Life here can be a lot of fun, and a lot of work. You can try to make work fun, though it usually takes effort unless you love what you do for a living. As you get older, your job that was fun may become more like work, so persevere. Even if you are lucky enough to play baseball for a living you must have much perseverance to stay at the top of your game and not lose your job. Everything we do in this life takes effort to do it well. That effort, most times is not easy, it takes much perseverance.

 

     When we think about all we do in this life, how much effort do we put into our spiritual life? It is something we should be putting much of our effort into to receive our reward. The world will throw all kinds of curveballs at you to try to get you to fail but you must persevere through it all. Many things can go wrong here, loss of job and income. It could cause a loss of a home. There may be a health problem, a pandemic, or a serious sickness in your family. Some of these things may cause you to take your focus off the end game. Which is everything to us, it’s our eternity. Whatever this life throws at you, persevere. Don’t lose sight of your future with our Lord. He persevered for us to give us this opportunity, so never give up, you can do it.

 

     Romans 5:1-5 (Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance, and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.)

 

     Live for God until the end, persevere.

                                                                           In Him, Chuck

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     As beautiful and perfect as a rose can look when it is in bloom, it still has its thorns hidden behind the flower. You will find that almost everything in this world has hidden problems you can’t see. Maybe you buy a new car or a refrigerator and it looks great and is working great for a while. Then it has a problem or it breaks down. Maybe a recall comes out on it for service. If your new refrigerator isn’t an LG you might be able to fix it. We should research these things before we purchase them. The salesman may not be willing to warn you of past problems.

 

     We need to remember that people are imperfect also. Everyone has their own set of challenges, or you may say weaknesses to overcome. The thorns behind the flower. It’s sometimes hard or near impossible to see the thorns someone has to deal with daily. Some are obviously easy for people to see, more of a public problem. We certainly need to try to get to know each other well enough to hopefully see if someone is struggling, and do all we can to help. If someone has had a problem in a particular area in their life in the past, be there for them and give them the support they need to find strength to overcome. As much as we try change, it doesn’t come easy. Some thorns are very hard to get past, or rid of. Some we will deal with our whole lives, battling to overcome. Sometimes we will fail, but we must move forward in our walk and not get stuck in the thorns.

 

     Gods knows we are imperfect people. That’s why He sent His Son to die for us, to cover our sins. God knew we would sin but gave us opportunity to repent and return to Him. God wants us to abstain from sin, but if you fall you can return to Him.

 

    1 Thessalonians 5:14-18 (We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. As it says in Colossians 3 we must keep our minds on and seek things from above. Considering ourselves dead to the evils of this life.

 

     If you are struggling with secret thorns in this life, stay in the scriptures and ask for one of us to help you with your struggles. We are here to help each other and build one another up. We all need help and as a family we should and must be there for each other. Set your mind on Christ who died for us.

                                                                                                In Him, Chuck

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     We go through this life meeting people every day. Maybe at the store where you shop or at work. Maybe on the street or in passing, saying hello and never meeting again. Family members we see on holidays or just occasionally. Your doctors that you see, more often as you get older. Everyone has someone that first mentioned God to them. The one who taught them about Jesus. Do you remember the people that first spoke of Jesus to you? That invited you to church or for a Bible study? Think back, how many times have you been approached since then? Do we know how many opportunities we will get to take people up on that offer?

     What I want us all to take from this is that you may be the one. The one opportunity that someone else has to hear about God. The only one perhaps that a person may be comfortable studying with. The one they can relate to. The one that can sympathize with something in their life that holds them back. The one with some of the same experiences and that they can relate with. Think about that. Maybe you are the one. The only one to teach them the truth. Share Jesus with them.

     “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

     Don’t be afraid, be strong and brave for the Lord goes with you. Be the one.

            

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     Everyone has a story of things they have done in the past. Some may be good some may not be so good. We can be very influenced by the ones we grow up with. Sometimes they can convince you to do things that when you look back now, wasn’t such a good idea. The ones we look up to as children can influence who we become as adults. I did things when I was young that I’m not proud of, more than I care to remember. Many grow up in troubled homes and see things they should not have to see. It may affect them and cause them to act in ways that they shouldn’t. We are taught things when we are young that we may not know are wrong at the time. Things that were okay in the house you grew up in may not really be okay.

     In our search for the true meaning of this life we all will be faced with different obstacles. Maybe it is family members that aren’t very good people. Some may seem just pure evil, it is out there and dangerous. They could be abusive or just always putting you down. Or a thief or some sort of criminal.

     It could be that you just have your own sort of temptation. We could struggle with a whole assortment of things. It could be lying, or maybe a problem with cussing. Many struggle with alcoholism or with drugs. Some that came from broken homes have problems being faithful and with commitment to another.

     I have often heard it said that we become our parents. I can certainly see that true in some traits. It doesn’t have to be if you don’t let it. You can copy the good you see in people and not the bad. You can become who you want to be. We all have different temptations we must face, and face them you will. It’s how we handle them that makes the difference.

     If you had or have struggles and temptations just know you can turn to God for strength. Stay in His word and find your comfort. Let the love you find in Jesus be your guide in this life. God’s word is always a comfort to me if I am faced with temptation.

     When you make the decision to not be who you have been, some people will try to stop you. They may even be family, but don’t stop. Be the person you know you should be in this life. You can be the example to others with similar struggles, overcoming wrong with right.

Stay in the word and in prayer. Ask for help, we are all here for you. Love God for He loves you. Be the person you want to be, be God’s.

                                                                                                                             In Him, Chuck

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How many times have we sung this song and wondered, what it meant to our lives and how it's going to affect our lives in the future? The song was the introduction to a TV show called “In Search of the Lord’s Way.” The speaker for many years was brother Mac Lyons, and then brother Phil Sanders. Many great lessons were heard from these two men. In these troubling times, we had no idea that our worship would be challenge by our government. We were told we could not meet together, we complied but were fed by Matt’s great lessons on YouTube. After three months, we were told you can again be together but only one hundred at a time. We did cut fellowship time down, but we did worship. All this time following the rules set down by the government. Then we were told we should not sing, God said sing and that is what we did. Ephesians 5:19 “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord.”

 

This past week we were told not to use the inside of the building, another attempt to stop worshiping God. But the Lord is much more powerful than any government, so God gave us a way. The Lord gave us a drop-off area, a natural amphitheater. What a wonderful worship we had. When we put God first, He will find a way for us to worship Him. We all need to remember the church is US and not the building. Maybe it’s a lesson God wants us to relearn.

 

The Lord will find a way for us to follow Him. The Psalm of David should give us the strength. We need to allow the Lord to show us the way.

 

Psalm 23:1 & 2

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside quiet waters.

The Lord will find a way

 

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