Monday, October 28, 2013

Message from Jim Callahan, High School Teacher

“You shall have no other gods before me” (Ex 20:3). The natural response to this commandment by sinners is to worship and serve the creature rather than the creator who is blessed forever amen (Rom 1:25). Hence, our society is full of idols - man made substitutes for the real God. This is nothing new. In Acts 17 Paul is taken by the number of idols that the Athenians had.  God substitutes come in many different sizes, shapes, colors and disguises. If we are to know and acknowledge the living and true God in all areas of our lives as commanded, then we must ever be at work seeking to identify the idols in our modern American society. This is necessary so that they do not sneak their way into our lives. Christians must remind themselves and all others that “the Lord is God, there is no other besides him” (Deut. 4:35).  

Monday, October 21, 2013

Message from David Callahan, High School Teacher
Reasons Believers in Christ Need Not to Be Afraid

November 27, 2001 | by John Piper | Topic: Fear & Anxiety
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We will not die apart from God's gracious decree for his children.

James 4:14-15
"If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that."
Matthew 10:29-30
"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."
Deuteronomy 32:39
"See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand." (See Job 1:21;1 Samuel 2:6; 2 Kings 5:7) 

Curses and divination do not hold sway against God's people.

Numbers 23:23
"There is no enchantment against Jacob, no divination against Israel." 

The plans of terrorists and hostile nations do not succeed apart from our gracious God. 

Psalm 33:10
"The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples."
Isaiah 8:9-10
"Take counsel together [you peoples], but it will come to nothing; speak a word, but it will not stand, for God is with us." (See 2 Samuel 7:14; Nehemiah 4:15) 

Man cannot harm us beyond God's gracious will for us.

Psalm 118:6
"The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"
Psalm 56:11
"In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?" 

God promises to protect his own from all that is not finally good for them.

Psalm 91:14
"Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name."
God promises to give us all we need to obey, enjoy, and honor him forever.
Matthew 6:31
"Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' . . . Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."
Philippians 4:19
"And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
God is never taken off guard.
Psalm 121:4
"Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep." 

God will be with us, help us, and uphold us in trouble.

Isaiah 41:10
"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Isaiah 41:13
"For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, 'Fear not, I am the one who helps you.'" 

Terrors will come, some of us will die, but not a hair of our heads will perish.

Luke 21:10-11, 18
"Then [Jesus] said to them, '. . . there will be terrors (!) and great signs from heaven. . . . and some of you they will put to death. . . . But not a hair of your head will perish.'"
Nothing befalls God's own but in its appointed hour.
John 7:30
"So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come." (See John 8:20; 10:18) 

When God Almighty is your helper, none can harm you beyond what he decrees.

Hebrews 13:6
"So we can confidently say, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?'"
Romans 8:31
"If God is for us, who can be against us?" 

God's faithfulness is based on the firm value of his name, not the fickle measure of our obedience.

1 Samuel 12:20-22
"And Samuel said to the people, 'Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. . . . For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name's sake.'" 

The Lord, our protector, is great and awesome.

Nehemiah 4:14
"Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome." 

Trusting firm promises with you in fragile times, 

Pastor John

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Message from Yvonne Calderon, Middle School Teacher

Matthew 11:6
6Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

Have you ever stubbed your toe? I mean stubbed it to the point where it brought tears to your eyes? At that moment, are you thinking about the laundry in the washer, the yard that needs tending to or the bills that need to be paid? The answer is a resounding NO!!
You cannot think beyond your pain. Your pain has shrunk you down to the size of your toe! For that moment, you cannot think about anyone or anything. Your compassion is GONE! If only for a split second, you ARE the size of your toe.

When reading about John the Baptist, I am reminded that we can lose sight of the big picture. We can become focused on our pain. In Matthew 11 John the Baptist is in prison. He is the cousin of Jesus. He has been reduced to the size of his pain. 

Matthew 11
2When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples
3to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”

When Jesus answers, he is not arrogant. He doesn’t say YOU BETCHA!!! He does not share an escape plan for John. Jesus encourages the disciples to go back and remind John of the things they are seeing outside the prison walls.

4Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosyb are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 

The last sentence in this verse is the one that I hold dear.

6Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” 

Jesus knew EXACLTY how we get! Jesus knew that sometimes it would appear that he was absent! He knew that sometimes we could only see to the end of our pain, the end of our prison cell if you would. 

Whether you can see GOD or not, circumstances DO NOT reflect how God feels about me!
How God feels about me was reflected on the cross! 

I do not know where you are on your joy meter. When I am writing this, my joy meter is pegged at ZERO! The circumstances in my life have been very overwhelming for some time now. However, I remind myself, that I need to look to the cross to find out how much God loves me!
I need to walk straight and not stumble just because I cannot see God’s plan. 

Matthew 11:6
6Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

Monday, October 7, 2013

Message from Rebecca Buys, Junior High Teacher

“Father God, just for today,
Help me walk your narrow way,
Help me stand, where I might fall
Give me the strength to hear your call.

(chorus, x2)
May my steps be worship,
May my thoughts be praise,
May my words, bring honor to your name.”

The words of this song have been my prayer this school year.

I thought that the crazy days of being a first-year teacher were behind me, but then I decided to move, get married, start teaching new curriculum at a new school in a new state full of new faces. Hello, first year in repeat! There are some most days when I find myself exhausted and slightly overwhelmed with the amount of work that I’ve got to do. This is a feeling that I’m sure we can all relate to at some point in our lives!

The words of this song bring me peace, strength, and comfort. I know that I am not alone and because of God’s grace I can call on His name to help me through each moment and with His power I can turn each moment, into a moment of praise.

I’ve found that it is important to take it one day at a time. One day at a time to serve God, to work for His kingdom. One day at a time, God lift me up in those places where I am too weak to stand alone. God, let my steps as a teacher be in worship to you. God, may my thoughts praise you, let each word that I say to these students honor you. There are challenges in our days that cause us heartache and stress, it is in these moments especially that I pray that God would help me, help us, to walk in His ways and honor Him with our words, thoughts, and deeds. 

God has promised to go before us and to go with us. He does not leave us or forsake us. He tells us to not be afraid, to not be discouraged. (Deut 31:8).

Let each thought this week, each moment, and each step be in praise to our God who has blessed us with immeasurably more than we deserve.  We are blessed to be busy, so in everything give thanks and praise to our God who guides us through each day!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Message by Karen Boyce, Chief Operating Officer

Today and every day, I am so thankful our God is bigger than our government.  We are blessed people despite what happens in our nation - our God will never shut down. 

When turning on my computer this morning, the prayer below flashed across my screen and just reminded me of Billy Graham’s prompting words, “It’s a great privilege, as well as a responsibility, to pray for our government leaders… It pleases God when we do so.”  

Father, thank You for the United States and its government. I pray for the President, the national and local government, the judges, the policemen, the business leaders and all those who are in leadership positions in this country. Please protect them from the evil that is in the world and keep them safe and free from all harm.  You have promised to bless any nation that follows after You. Help us to live quiet and peaceful lives so that we can continue to spread the Good News of the Gospel throughout our land.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Michael Youssef stated, “The answer to our national crisis and the crises we see around the world is not political. It is spiritual. People need the Savior and they need to hear about Him from His people. When hearts are changed, nations will follow.”

In days like these, it is just a reminder that I am thankful to be a child of the King of Kings, knowing my eternal future is secure and full of hope.  I can rest assured that His love never quits.