SUNDAY   –   DECEMBER 31, 2023

“A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me.  Because I live, you will live also…

Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him,

and We will come to him and make our home with him.’”  John 14:19, 23


I want to say “Thank you” to Kelly Miller (Ray helps too!) for putting the messages on the sign along the highway at the end of the church’s driveway.  During the Christmas season, Kelly had the message, “Don’t leave Christ out of Christmas” on the bulletin board.  A very appropriate message and reminder for all of us who can be distracted by the busyness of the holiday that we could very easily “leave Christ” out of the festivities.  Of course, when we leave Christ out of Christmas, we really don’t have Christmas at all because Christ is at the very center of this special celebration.


I have read and thought about that statement every time I have driven in and out of the driveway.  Now that we are at the “end” of the season, I have thought about changing the idea just a bit.  I would now say, “Don’t leave Christ in Christmas.”  Perhaps too many folks will put all of the “Christmas spirit” to rest by removing the decorations and returning them to their storage places like attics, closets, garages, and storage buildings.  After it is all “out of sight,” I wonder how many will put Jesus away as well.  You know the old adage, “Out of sight, out of mind.”  I want to say it very clearly, “Don’t leave Christ in Christmas.”  Don’t neatly “fold Him up” and “place Him in a box” to be stored away for the next 11 months!


God became “flesh and dwelt among us” in order to become a part of our daily lives.  He came to bring redemption and reconciliation that we might have a living, vital relationship with Him forever.  He offers Himself as a “partner” in our lives.  He does not want to be relegated only to our “religious” lives; He wants to be a daily, hourly, and minute-by-minute Presence in our everyday lives.  Put Christ first in all that you do!  Love Christ with all your heart, soul, and strength!  When you do, you will not leave Christ in Christmas!


This coming year promises to be filled with His grace, and we will experience exciting demonstrations as we walk in         fellowship with Him!  Hallelujah!


I’m walking with Jesus Christ!
     Pastor Doug






4th Sunday in Advent

December 24, 2023

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,

that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16


This past Monday, the 3-minute devotional thought from A Gift Given/A World Changed was based on the Christmas tradition of “kissing under the mistletoe.”  In the devotional message it was said that mistletoe is actually a parasite!  “It steals water and nutrients from its host plant.  Mistletoe does more than kiss; it consumes the plant on which it grows!”


The author contrasted this idea with Jesus as the “True Vine” into which believers are grafted.  We, believers become “branches” which “draw” their life from the “True Vine,” Jesus.  From one perspective, we become “parasites” because we are totally dependent on Jesus for our spiritual lives.  However, the author wrote, “But this is no parasitic relationship; rather, Jesus has welcomed you to live in Him and to receive all that He freely gives you.  And, just as mistletoe bears fruit, when you are connected to Jesus, you bear fruit – love, joy, peace, patience, and all the others – in Him!”


There is another very significant difference between a parasite-host relationship and the believer-Jesus relationship.  In the natural realm, parasites will indeed drain and deplete life from its host, but Jesus is eternally the same.  No number of         believers drawing grace and life from Him can diminish Him in any manner whatsoever!  Jesus is God and has all the       attributes of God Almighty!  Hallelujah!  I can receive all that I need from Jesus, and you can too!  He will always have the supply of life for all!  Hallelujah!


It is hard to believe but in a few short days, perhaps weeks, all of our Christmas decorations will be “taken down” and “put away.”  Some of those decorations will be used again and again, while some will be faded, broken, or worn out.  Many of us hope to be able to display them next year and renew the spirit of the Christmas season.  Please remember that we never “put Jesus away!”  Neither does He fade, break, or wear out!  Make Jesus a living and real source for your life.  He will sustain you throughout all your days on the earth and in heaven too!
I am receiving life from Jesus daily!
     Pastor Doug






3rd Sunday in Advent

December 17, 2023


Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold,

I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.’”  Luke 2:10


For many of us, one feature of this holiday season that we greatly enjoy is seeing the “decorations” that adorn our buildings, yards, and homes.  Perhaps they can become a distraction, but they certainly do add brightness to the atmosphere in which we live.  Perhaps a distraction if they take our attention away from the real significance of our Christmas celebration.  The following from E. Stanley Jones might help you understand why I wrote that.


     “The builders of civilization have tried to build without Christ.  True, we thought we could put Him in as a decoration to make the building religiously respectable.  But we did not put Him in the foundation and build upon Him.  We thought He wasn’t practicable.  And now the structure of civilization is crumbling around us.  The foundations are wrong; they are Christless, hence crumbling.  ‘The builders’ – the experts – have failed us, because they failed Christ.  All their attempts at diplomacy, balances of power, security through armaments, and selfish nationalism have broken down.  The bankruptcy of these methods is laid bare before us.  We must begin again.  This time Jesus must be not merely decorative but the foundation itself.  It is our one hope.”  (Jones, Victorious Living, p. 344)


Here are some phrases that Jones wrote on the next page: “Christ must be put into the foundation…”; “Christ must     become the cornerstone in the structure…”; “The builders rejected Him…”


Cathy and I have decorated our home for our time of Christmas celebration, but it is our sincere desire that Christ will always be more than a “decoration” in our lives and our home.  We have chosen to build our lives on Christ 365 days of each year (and 366 every Leap Year)!  We know that any foundation for our lives individually and our life together other than Jesus Christ will fail.  We do not want our lives to crumble like Jesus described as a “great fall.” (See Matthew 7:24-27)  We have chosen to “build our house on the rock!”


I am praying that during this time everyone of us will be caused to turn our minds and hearts toward Jesus Christ.  We pray that the lights, special trees, bows, and glitter will cause us to desire a life of hope, peace, joy, and love all through the year!  Choose Jesus Christ as your daily foundation for life!


We are building on the Rock!
     Pastor Doug






2nd Sunday in Advent

December 10, 2023


“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah 9:6


We have been reminded that the family and home are extremely important in the plan of God for mankind.  The last minor prophet, Malachi predicted that a prophet would be sent “before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord” for the specific purpose of strengthening the home.  He wrote, “And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I (i.e. God) come and strike the earth with a curse.” (Malachi 4:6)  The peace in this world begins at the “hearth” of every home!  “The saddest thing on earth is a spiritually poverty-stricken home, where there is no central lamp from which youth can get a torch.  Be victorious in the home, and you are victorious everywhere.”


That last quote was written by E. Stanley Jones in Victorious Living on Wednesday of the 48th week.  Two days later he wrote the following.

     “We saw that the Epistle to Diognetus says that the Christians ‘hold the world together.’  They do, and they also hold the home together.  A homeless, unmarried man becomes the power that sanctifies marriage and holds the home together!  His power was never more needed than just at this place.  For the home is being assailed from many directions.  If it survives – and it will! – then Christians will save it.

     “Casual divorce is very seldom seen among earnest members of the Christian church.  Christians do not fly to pieces under trouble and misunderstanding, and they know how to hold situations together.  They know how to forgive when wronged – the central characteristic of the Christian – and how to make an apology when they wrong others.  An apology often saves a situation. As someone says, ‘An apology: – Is a friendship preserver, – Is often a debt of honor, – Is never a sign of weakness, – Is an antidote for hatred, – Costs nothing but one’s pride, – Always saves more than it costs, – Is a device needed in every home.’

     “Jesus says, ‘Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace one with another’. (Mark 9:50)  ‘Have salt in yourselves’- don’t be dependent on your environment for life’s taste.  Have springs from within.  Then the ups and downs of the home will not mean you’re going up and down.  You are fed from within.  That very self-contained sense of taste will help you to be at peace with one another.  For the greatest cause of breaking peace with others is the sense of tastelessness within ourselves.  We feel out of sorts with ourselves and take it out on others.  The Christians hold the world together; they hold the home together, for they hold themselves together by the fact that life has inward taste, no matter what happens on the outside.”


Oh, may this Christmas be a time of holding our homes together in the Peace of God!

I am thankful for my peace-filled family!
     Pastor Doug






1st Sunday in Advent

December 3, 2023


“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope.  For You will not leave my soul in hell,

nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.”  Psalm 16:9-10


This time of the year, the word “family” is heard very frequently.  From Thanksgiving throughout the Christmas season, there will be many, many “family” gatherings.  It seems almost as if we would not be able to really celebrate apart from those “family” gatherings.  Family should be significant to us all as God designed, created, and demonstrates the importance of “family” to Him.  He is called “Father”, and our eternal home in heaven is called “the Father’s house.”  We want God to bless all of our families and homes in a special way during this year’s Christmas celebration!


E. Stanley Jones wrote a devotional entitled “Growth in Making the Home Christian” in his book “Victorious Living.”  He wrote: “Jesus finally won His whole family to His cause.  There was a time when ‘His brothers did not believe in Him’ (John 7:5).  But at Pentecost, they were all there: ‘Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers’ (Acts 1:14), waiting for the gift of the Spirit.  Apparently, they had all been won.  One of the greatest proofs of the resurrection can be found in that simple fact.  Something has happened to change them.

     “But Jesus did not win His family by compromising with them.  He won them by making sacrifices that were costly for both Him and them.  Many are willing to sacrifice for the kingdom, but not if it costs suffering to their loved ones, a mistake.  Our decisions will involve our loved ones in common suffering with us.  It is a part of the price.  But it works both ways, for as sacrifice will lift us, so it will lift them.  We break with them on a lower level in order to meet them on a higher level.

     “But we win them not merely by a once-and-for-all spectacular sacrifice, but by the constant pressure of a Christian example. When John the Baptist was born, the neighbors asked, ‘What then will this child be?’ for the hand of the Lord was with him’ (Luke 1:66).

     “The question could be asked in many ways.  What will this child be, either a hard crusher of others, or a woman who turns out a beaten soul?  And what will this child be, seeing that the hand of sex-saturated movies is upon him?  The modern libertine!

     “And what will these children be, seeing that the hand of a consistent and contagious Christian example is upon them?  Who can tell?  Infinite possibilities of development open up to such children.  Are you that kind of a father or mother?”


Let the Presence of our Lord bless our “family” gatherings and fill our homes with His peace!


I’m very thankful to be a “family” member!
     Pastor Doug






Thanksgiving Communion

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor… be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly.  Do not be wise in your own estimation.”

Romans 12:10, 16, NASB


Here are five words that can change people’s lives: “I thank God for you!”  The Scriptures are filled with teaching about loving God and loving people.  It is certain that loving God is the easier of the two, and loving people is our greatest challenge.  Most of us have experienced disappointment created by the people we live with.  In Luke 17:3-6, the disciples asked Jesus to “increase their faith.”  E. Stanley Jones commented on the context of that request and wrote: “When the disciples asked that their faith be increased, it wasn’t so much faith in God as faith in people, in wobbly people, that needed to be increased.”


Mr. Jones wrote about growth in Christian love and unity for several days in Victorious Living.  Here is one paragraph from    November 18. “The real test of spiritual growth is whether or not we are growing in love.  This test applies to society (also the church) as well as to individuals.  To test how civilized any society (or church) is, measure to what degree love is being built into the social structure, manifested as social justice and the abundant life for all.”  Then Jones wrote for November 20, “The next step in Christendom is Christian unity.  In a world seeking unity, Christians have little moral authority unless they can demonstrate unity.  Now we do not demonstrate unity; we demonstrate disunity.  This is blocking the acceptance of Christianity and the development of Christians themselves.”


On the same day Jones wrote: “You ask, ‘How can we come together unless we agree on everything?’  But we do not make that a prerequisite for fellowship in the home.  The home can be a unity in spite of differences in temperament and belief.  The one thing that binds together is that all are members of the same family.  So in the family of God, the thing that binds us together is not that we all have the same spiritual temperament, or the same shades of belief, but the fact that we are all children of the same Lord.  Let that suffice us.”  He goes on, “The very differences are made for richness.  We shall never get melody-unity in church unity, for we cannot all sing the same part, but we can have harmony-unity, and that will be far richer.”


Let’s seek and ask our Lord to make us one in His grace and Spirit!  Let us truly seek to love one another!

I believe in the “second” greatest Commandment!
     Pastor Doug






“My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”  II Corinthians 12:9


I have often expressed the notion that the “Christian life” is a miracle.  It is not people “trying their best” to live the way that Jesus has taught that we are to live.  The Christian life is not lived in human strength or human resources alone.  I have stated that it is an “exchanged life.” We give Jesus all our sin, sickness, and weaknesses in exchange for His Life, a life of righteousness, peace,   power, and wholeness.  In essence, the Christian life we live is Jesus’ life in us!  There are many Scriptures that teach this as true.  I pray every morning, “Lord, I give You my sin and receive Your righteousness.  I give you my dying, and I receive Your living.  I give you my weakness, and I receive Your strength.  I give You my sickness, and I receive Your health.  Thank You, Lord Jesus.” This is the true nature of Christian living, the exchanged life.


Charles H. Spurgeon wrote the following for November 8 in his Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith.  It is also an expression of the exchanged life!

     “Our weakness should be prized as making room for divine strength.  We might never have  known the power of grace if we had not felt the weakness of nature.  Blessed be the Lord for the thorn in the flesh, and the messenger of Satan, when they drive us to the strength of God.

     “This is a precious word from our Lord’s own lip.  It has made the writer laugh for joy.  Is God’s grace enough for me?  I should think it is.  Is not the sky enough for the bird, and the ocean enough for the fish?  The All-sufficient is sufficient for my largest want.  He who is sufficient for earth and heaven is certainly able to meet the case of one poor worm like me.

     “Let us, then, fall back upon our God and His grace.  If He does not remove our grief He will enable us to bear it.  His strength shall be poured into us till the worm shall thresh the mountains; and a nothing shall be victor over all the high and mighty ones.  It is better for us to have God’s strength than our own; for if we were a thousand times as strong as we are, it would all amount to nothing in the face of the enemy; and if we could be weaker than we are, which is scarcely possible, yet we could do all things through Christ.” 


I encourage you to give the Lord all of you, which basically amounts to only fleeting dust, and receive that Life and Power of the living Christ in exchange!  That will make your living truly Christian!


I am nothing!  Jesus is everything I need and want!
     Pastor Doug






“The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.  The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations.  Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance.”  Psalm 33:10-12


Our nation has been built on some very important truths that are actually confirmed in the Bible.  The very first idea is found in the Declaration, “All men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.” The first listed in the Bill of Rights includes the “basic freedoms” like speech and religion.  Then there is the idea of private ownership which no government has a right to violate. This tremendously wonderful principle is summed up in the phrase: “Every man is the king in his own castle.” No king, prince, governor, or potentate has the right to “invade” your private home!  You are the king of your own home! (Well, I hope Jesus is actually Your King in your own home.)  The earliest believers declared, “No king but King Jesus!”


We are very thankful for all the individuals who believed in those foundational principles of this nation to the extent that they were willing to defend them.  Thank you to all the veterans who have served to preserve our basic rights as defined by our founding fathers.  The following poem was written by Edgar A. Guest and gives us a little different perspective on the “every man, king in his own castle” concept.



The things that make a soldier great and send him out to die,

to face the flaming cannon’s mouth nor ever question why,

Are lilacs by a little porch, the row of tulips red,

The peonies and pansies, too, the old petunia bed.

The grass plot where his children play, the roses on the wall:

‘Tis these that make a soldier great.  He’s fighting for them all.


‘Tis not the pomp and pride of kings that make a soldier brave;

‘Tis not allegiance to the flag that over him may wave;

For soldiers never fight so well on land or on the foam

As when behind the cause they see the little place called home.

Endanger but that humble street whereon his children run,

You make a soldier of the man who never bore a gun.


What is it through the battle smoke the valiant soldier sees?

The little garden far away, the budding apple trees,

The little patch of ground back there, the children at their play,

Perhaps a tiny mound behind the simple church of gray.

The golden thread of courage isn’t linked to castle dome

But to the spot, where’er it be – the humble spot called home.

And now the lilacs bud again, and all is lovely there

And homesick soldiers far away know spring is in the air;

The tulips come to bloom again; the grass once more is green,

And every man can see the spot where all his joys have been.

He sees his children smile at him; he hears the bugle call,

And only death can stop him now – he’s fighting for them all.


Thank everyone who has done their best to protect and defend the ideas that make the U.S.A. great!
A grateful Christian citizen,
     Pastor Doug






“That I may know Him (Jesus Christ) and the power of His resurrection!”  Philippians 3:10a


During His discourse with His disciples about going to heaven, Jesus spoke about the power of the disciples’ prayers and the promise of the Holy Spirit with them after He went to heaven.  He also said that people would “not see” Him any longer after He went to the Father, but Jesus told the disciples that they would “see” Him because of the presence of the Holy Spirit and because of their faith.  Then He declared, “Because I live, you will live also.” (See John 14:12-19)  Jesus was making it understandable to the disciples that His life of resurrection would impact them.  They would have a definite experience of His power in their lives because of His resurrection.  The following was written by E. Stanley Jones about the impact of Jesus’ resurrection on the lives of His followers.  This comes from his Victorious Living, page 304.


     “…There is the joy of realizing ‘the power of His resurrection’ (Philippians 3:10).

     “The resurrection means that the worst has been met and conquered.  This puts an ultimate optimism at the heart of things.  The resurrection says that no matter how life may seem to go to pieces around you, nevertheless, the last word is with love… and that, on the plane of the physical, in the here and now.  Had it been a spiritual resurrection only, it would have meant that the victory is beyond matter, not in the midst of it.  But as the battle was embodied, so the victory is embodied.  This sweeps the whole horizon, and says that, here and now, we can meet and conquer anything, everything.  No wonder Christians in the midst of a decaying order are not pessimists.  They have solid grounds for optimism.  They have got hold of unconquered and unconquerable Life.

     We shall not deify the resurrection, neither shall we dim it, but we shall declare it as the most amazing and transforming fact of human history.  Nothing really matters now, except this one thing: Christ is alive forevermore!  Related to Him, realizing Him, drawing life from Him, we are in fellowship with  ultimate Life, and nothing again can dismay us or make us afraid.  If, in the end, everything will come out all right, then what does it matter what happens to us on the way?  He is    risen!”


I pray that you know that Jesus not only died for you, to pay the penalty of your sin, He also rose triumphantly from the grave in the greatest victory of all ages!  Hallelujah!  And because He lives, you can live also in the Power and Life of His resurrection!
You ask me how I know He lives; He lives within my heart!
     Pastor Doug






“Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, ‘You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.  Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.  And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all.  For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.’”  Mark 10:42-45


Our world is filled with people who are very motivated to become “bosses” and have the “power” to tell others what to do.  There are three goals that mankind seeks after: power, pleasure, and possessions.  The “old preachers” warned the young men coming behind them that the greatest pitfalls for them would be “glory, gals, and gold.”  Probably in this hierarchy of motivations, the desire for “power” and authority” over others ranks at the top.  At least Jesus taught that the “Gentile world” was strongly driven by the notion of greatness and the ability to control others.  Jesus also spoke clearly that this is not the “way” for Christians to behave. The kingdom of God operates according to a different “economy.”


E. Stanley Jones wrote about Christians having victory at the place of power.

     “We must see how power, which usually corrupts people, may serve people. Power is the expression or projection of personality. When the personality is converted, power must be converted along with it.  But the matter of power has its individual and its social aspects.  So it must be doubly converted.

     “Jesus ‘sat on the Mount of Olives, opposite the temple’ (Mark 13:3) and surveyed it and judged it.  The power represented in that temple had turned from service to exploitation.  Given to serve the people, it now made the people serve it.  It must therefore be cleansed, and if it did not respond, it must come down.  Jesus is surveying the power side of civilization today.  His searching eye rests on the exploitation taking place through power.  And we feel His burning condemnations.

     “Jesus taught that we must get the victory by surrender.  (See the verses from Mark 10 at the top.)

     “I must, therefore, renounce all power over others that is not gained by service.  All power based on money, prestige, class, race, or sex must go, and I must retain only that gained by actual self-giving service.”


We must remember the example that Jesus has given to us.  We are not here to be served by others, rather we are here to serve as many people as the Lord will help us to serve.  This is the call of our Lord and Savior!


All to Jesus I surrender; make me, Savior, wholly Thine.
May the Holy Spirit fill me; may I know Thy power divine!
     Pastor Doug






“Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul;

neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.”  Acts 4:32


There is a clear principle of life (especially the Christian life) that we need to understand.  It is the “dual” dynamics of our faith. The first is that we must be saved “individually.” It is necessary for every individual to choose to trust Jesus Christ as their “personal Lord and Savior.”  Nobody can “get saved” on behalf of another person.  You cannot be saved through my faith; you must have your own faith for your salvation.  In this sense, salvation and the Christian life are very private and individualistic.  The second dynamic is that the life of faith can never be lived privately or individualistically!  As soon as a person comes to faith in Jesus Christ and is saved, he or she is immediately a “member” of the family of God, a member of the Body of Christ, the Church. The Christian life is initiated on an individual’s choice, but it is experienced and lived corporately.


E. Stanley Jones wrote about this corporate nature of the Christian life in Victorious Living, page 288.

     “We have been studying the difficulties that come out of temptations that largely arise from within ourselves.  But many of our spiritual problems do not arise from ourselves; they arise from our relations with others.  It is not an easy thing to adjust oneself to other people and their wills.  Christianity should teach us that very thing, for Christianity is the science of living well with others according to Jesus Christ.  Many of our attempts to live together with others are haphazard; they do not obey the underlying principles of corporate living, for there are principles or laws of corporate living as well defined as those that underlie nature.  We must attempt to discover them and live by them.  All of us have to live in relationship with others.  Many try to do it without any underlying principles, and it ends in disaster with its resultant bitterness and strife.  If we depend too much on emotion, and not enough on intelligent planning, the result will be a disaster.

     “John Wesley said that he was ‘a man sent from God to persuade people to put Christ at the center of their relationships.’  It would be difficult to give a better definition of what our Christian task is than just those words.”
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God!
     Pastor Doug






“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”  Psalm 133:1


In addition to the declaration of Psalm 133 about the blessing of the believers’ fellowship, there are the verses in Matthew 18 where Jesus was teaching about the authority or power that the church has to “bind” and “loose” on the earth. “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:19-20)  I have enjoyed teaching and preaching both of these passages of scripture many times in camp meetings and revival meetings.  There is no doubt that God has designed the fellowship of the church to be something that is tangibly better for those involved than any other gathering or group we might be a part of.  However, there is a necessary characteristic of fellowship to make it what God has designed it to be.  The Psalmist used the word “unity” to describe the necessary ingredient.  Jesus used the word “agree” to insist on the exact idea of “unity.”  The Greek word translated as “agree” is sumphoneo which means to speak or sound the same thing.  The transliteration of that word is symphony!  If we want to enjoy the blessing of true Christian fellowship, we must produce a symphony when we are together.  That is true unity!


In A. W. Tozer’s My Daily Pursuit, he wrote: “The fellowship of the brethren is the sweetest thing short of heaven.  We do not need each other; that is, we do not need each other in that ultimate final sense, though as a church we need each other.  Nothing is more wonderful than that sweet fellowship among the brethren.”  In his work, The Dangers of a Shallow Faith, Mr. Tozer asked: “Do we take pleasure in the fellowship of God’s people?  Do we take pleasure in the presence of God?  Or must we go outside the circumference of our Christian fellowship and find pleasure out in the world?  This is wrong!”


The best way to make sure our fellowship will be a sweet symphony is to make Jesus our song!  We must focus on Him and lift our hearts and voices to praise His holy name.  When Jesus becomes the real “center of attention” in our church gathering we will be able to experience genuine fellowship.  The blessings of His presence in our midst will produce the dynamic for help and healing for all of us!  Hallelujah!  There’s nothing as good as, certainly nothing better than      experiencing unity in the Body of Christ!
Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love!
     Pastor Doug






“Give unto the Lord, O you mighty ones, give unto the Lord glory and strength.

Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”  Psalm 29:1-2


Why do you come to “church?”  The question is asked not to judge or criticize, but to spark some thought and self-reflection.  There could possibly be as many reasons as there are individuals in attendance.  It should be obvious that often we attend because some other person is “leading” us to attend.  It could be our parents or our spouse.  It could be a close friend or business acquaintance that we feel the need to placate or satisfy.  Probably every one of us has attended at some time in our life because of the influence of  another person.


There are times of “desperation” that are either “quiet” or very public.  Perhaps it could be a physical illness that we are handling for which we don’t know a certain prognosis.  It could be there are challenges in our marriage, and there is very little peace in our home, and we come to church in hope of finding help or at least some personal inward peace.  We might be motivated to come to church by the uncertainties and perplexities of life in general.  Again there could be as many “problems” as there are individuals in the church on a given Sunday morning.


It is not wrong to bring our “problems” to church in order to present them to God.  The Lord has encouraged us to “call upon Him in the day of trouble,” and He has promised to answer us. (See Psalm 50:15)  The Word of God tells us to “cast our burden on the Lord, because He cares for us.” (See I Peter 5:7)  The “church” should be a “spiritual hospital” where people will find help and healing from the Lord.  It is better to be a place of help and healing than to be a museum where we simply put relics on display!


There is another reason for attending church that ought to be at the forefront of our purposes.  God has always intended for His people to gather and corporately worship Him.  In The Purpose of Man, A. W. Tozer has written, “Every Christian church in every country across the world in every generation exists to worship God first, not second, not tacking worship at the end of our service as an afterthought, but rather to worship God primarily, with everything else coming in second.”  In the same book, Mr. Tozer also wrote, “Worship is man’s full reason for existence.  Worship is why we are born and why we are born again.  Worship is why there is church, the assembly of the redeemed.”


“Here we are to worship; here we are to bow down; here we are to say that You’re my God!”
I worship and praise my God and Redeemer!
     Pastor Doug





OCTOBER 1, 2023

World Communion Sunday

“And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.’”  Revelation 5:9-10


When you come to church at this particular location, what do you “see?”  The question should be asked of every believer that gathers in a certain location with other believers for worship.  It is easy to “see” only what is in our immediate purview, but it is certain that our Lord sees something much larger than any local gathering even if it is made up of thousands of people.  The church is  comprised of all believing saints throughout all of history and from all parts of the world.  That’s the vision that the Apostle John had and recorded in the 5th chapter of Revelation: all those who have been redeemed by Jesus Christ from every little “nook and cranny” on this earth!  One day, that innumerable group of the redeemed, the Church of Jesus Christ will sing together in heaven the praises of Him Who redeemed us.  Hallelujah!


Today is to serve as a reminder that we (Needmore Bible Church) are a part of something “way beyond” us, and yet we are a very real and significant part, or perhaps we should use the term “member” since the Bible calls us members of the Body of Christ.  It is our privilege to belong to and participate in the life of the True Church.  I have given some thought about individual believers I have met and know personally from other areas.  I can start by listing at least 15 different states in our own country.  Then I can name individuals from African countries, India, Thailand, the Philippines, Haiti, Brazil, Scotland, Ireland, England and perhaps  others that don’t immediately come to my mind.  There are people in those countries that I have “broken bread” with and have the joy of calling my brothers and sisters in Christ.  Hallelujah!  Someday, we will all meet again in heaven with multitudes of other believers who are members of the same Family of God.


It is God Himself that unites us!  A. W. Tozer wrote in The Purpose of Man: “Most churches today are run the way you would run a club or business, and it grieves my heart.  I wish we might get back again to worship so that when people enter the church, they find God’s people worshiping and fall on their faces and say, ‘Truly God is in this place.’”  He also wrote in Reclaiming Christianity: “If there is a church anywhere in the world that can have the same purity of life, intensity of worship, the same liberty in the Holy  Spirit, and the same high moral level that we see in the Book of Acts and the epistles, then that church is in apostolic succession.” When we become what Christ wants us to be as a congregation, then we are full-fledged members of the Body of Christ!
I live in Needmore, but I belong to God’s worldwide family!
     Pastor Doug






“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.  Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge.  There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.  Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.”  Psalm 19:1-4


The Bible states that God has already and is continuing to “reveal” knowledge to the entire world through “general revelation.”  The verses above from the 19th Psalm teach us that there are no language, time, nor geographical barriers that interfere with God “speaking” this general knowledge about Himself.  The Apostle Paul has written that all individuals can know and understand that God exists and that He has “eternal power” through this general information revealed in nature. (See Romans 1:20-21)  This information is enough to cause the necessity for individuals to choose between believing and following God or rejecting the very idea that God exists.  The Bible also records that God has given this world “special revelation” so that we can personally know God and be saved.


The Psalmist continues to state that God has given this “special revelation” not in nature, but in the words recorded in the Bible.  He uses the words (law of the Lord, testimony of the Lord, statutes of the Lord, commandment of the Lord, fear of the Lord, and judgments of the Lord) in verses 7 through 11 of Psalm 19 to express what is found in God’s special revelation.  The Bible is God’s special revelation that makes it possible for you and I to have the necessary knowledge to be saved.  In fact, David started out by writing that we “are converted” through the law of the Lord!  We all need the Bible in order to know how we can be saved and have eternal life!


In verse 12, David asks, “Who can understand his errors?”  The answer lies in “the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart.”  David makes this concern a prayer, “Let them be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my          Redeemer.” (Verse 14)  The only way that we can know that our words and meditations are acceptable to God is if they agree with His Word!  We must be “enlightened” by His “special revelation” in the Bible to align our words and thoughts with His Word!


We rejoice and thank God that He is a speaking God!  He does not hide those things we need to know!  He makes them clearly known to everyone who seeks to know the truth of salvation.  Hallelujah!


The entrance of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple! (Psalm 119:130)
I am walking in the Light!
     Pastor Doug






“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell.  For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.”  Philippians 1:21-23


The biggest problem for mankind faces every individual member of the human race.  It is the universal problem of death.  The Bible declares that it is appointed to man to die once. (See Hebrews 9:27)  The greatest and most recognized verse in the Bible addresses the very subject of death and judgment.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)  The main purpose for which Jesus Christ died was to give every person the possibility of being saved from eternal judgment and be given eternal life instead.  The hope of heaven is the real result of trusting in Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection on our behalf.  Hallelujah!


I know that death is not a popular nor particularly pleasant topic to consider, but it is necessary for us to find an answer to this universal and personal problem.  As Paul wrote to the church at Philippi, trusting in Jesus will give us a confidence of our future eternal home.  The following was written many years ago by a lady missionary in India who was dying very quickly of cancer.  She wrote this to E. Stanley Jones when she was stopped in Bombay and was told that she would not be able to return to the United States for her passing and subsequent burial.

     “Use me as an illustration in your book, Sure – But What? I haven’t suffered much yet, and when I do, I may not be able to tell you how it goes.  How thankful I am for all these years of perfect, abounding health!  What a happy life I have had!  Let me tell you of the experience of these last two months.  With a host of others I am working along in a great field, digging, sowing, weeding, watering, never noticing I had reached the edge, until I heard, ‘Alice, that’s enough; come over here and sit down a bit.’  I looked up and there stood Jesus smiling at me.  I went over and sat down on the grass by Him, and He said, ‘You have been busy working and have not had time for all those intimacies that go with a great friendship, such as I want with you.  Come along and let us walk together here.’  He put His arm through mine, and we walked along an avenue all covered with grass and flowers, and the birds were singing.  Oh, it is beautiful!  As I look down toward the river it is a little misty, but I know He will see me through that.  Even now I am forever with my Lord.  His peace within me is    wonderful.  Nothing can separate us now.  It is heaven.  That’s all.  The doctors and the nurses cannot understand how I can calmly discuss my condition and outlook.”


“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
I too am persuaded!
     Pastor Doug






“And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you.”

(Romans 8:11, AMP)


The power of resurrection is the central message throughout the Scriptures that reveals what our God can do and what He will do. The faith that can save us must be centered on the fact of God’s resurrection power.  In Hebrews 11, the great “faith chapter” in the Bible, even Abraham’s faith that identified him as the “father of the faithful” was based on his belief in God’s ability to resurrect, “…concluding that God was able to raise him (i.e. Isaac) up, even from the dead.” (11:19)  Paul, the Apostle wrote of his greatest ambition: “that I may know Him (i.e. Jesus Christ) and the power of His resurrection.” (Philippians 3:10)  The power of God to  resurrect invades your life and works miracles!


Charles H. Spurgeon wrote: “Indeed it must be so: those who receive life from the dead are sure to recognize the hand of the Lord in such a resurrection.  This is the greatest and most remarkable of all changes that a man can undergo – to be brought out of the grave of spiritual death, and made to rejoice in the light and  liberty of spiritual life.  None could work this but the living God, the Lord and Giver of life.

     “Ah me!  How well I remember when I was lying in the valley full of dry bones, as dry as any of them!  Blessed was the day when free and sovereign grace sent the man of God to prophesy upon me!  Glory be to God for the stirring which that word of faith caused among the dry bones.  More blessed still was that heavenly breath which made me alive!  Now I know the quickening Spirit of the ever-living Jehovah.  Truly Jehovah is the living God, for He made me live.  My new life even in its pinings and sorrowings is clear proof to me that the Lord can kill and make alive.  He is the only God.  He is all that is great, gracious, and glorious, and my quickened soul adores Him as the great I AM.  All glory be unto His sacred name!  As long as I live, I will praise Him.”


We are praying that God will breathe His life-giving Spirit upon each and every one of us!  We need and want His         resurrection power to raise us to new life this very day!
Because He lives I can face tomorrow!
     Pastor Doug






“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved.”

Psalm 55:22


We have sung that verse as a praise chorus in our congregation.  Perhaps you remember it as the words were placed on the video screen in clever patterns.  The second half was sung, “He will never, never, never let the righteous fall.”  I often sing the words in my head and always picture the word fall as it was stretched vertically downward on the screen.  That is an encouraging word to God’s children since they are declared righteous in Christ.  Since we are God’s righteous children, He will never, never, never let us fall!  Hallelujah!


So just a few days ago in our devotional reading, Spurgeon wrote about verse 16 in the same Psalm (55): “As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me.”  Here is what he wrote almost 150 years ago about that verse.

     “Yes, I must and will pray.  What else can I do?  Betrayed, forsaken, grieved, baffled, O my Lord, I will call upon Thee.  My Ziklag is in ashes, and men speak of stoning me; but I encourage my heart in the Lord, who will bear me through this trial as He has borne me through so many others.  Jehovah shall save me; I am sure He will, and I will declare my faith.

     “The Lord and no one else shall save me.  I desire no other helper, and would not trust in an arm of flesh even if I could.  I will cry to Him evening and morning, and noon, and I will cry to no one else, for He is All-sufficient!

     “How He will save me I cannot guess; but He will do it, I know.  He will do it in the best and surest way, and He will do it in the largest, truest, and fullest sense.  Out of this trouble and all future troubles the great I AM will bring me as surely as He lives; and when death comes, and all the mysteries of eternity follow thereon, still will this be true: ‘the Lord shall save me.’  This shall be my song all through this autumn day.  Is it not as a ripe apple from the tree of life?  I will feed upon it.  How sweet it is to my taste!”


I know of no other sure confidence than faith and trust in the Lord’s real help and deliverance in my life!  Certainly everyone can call upon Him today and discover the same rock of confidence!
On Christ the solid Rock I stand!
     Pastor Doug





Rally Day

SUNDAY – AUGUST 27, 2023

“Forever, O Lord, Your Word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; You established the earth, and it abides.  They continue this day according to Your ordinances, for all are Your servants.  Unless Your law had been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.  I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have given me life.”  (Psalm 119:89-93)


The Bible is the Word of God!  The truth contained in the Book teaches us all that we need for faith and righteous living.  God has actually “established” this whole world by His Word.  When this world operates according to His Word, it runs well.  When the world, or components of the world, attempt to function in “their own way,” the world and civilization tend to decay.  While it is our utmost desire that individuals come to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, it is also our desire that people learn to live in accordance with His Word.  Even lost people who choose to follow the truth of the Bible will live better lives than those who choose paths contrary to God’s ways.  Twice in the Book of Proverbs it is stated, “There is a way that seems right to man, but its end is the way of death.” (14:12; 16:25)  Oh, we need to show to this world the paths that follow God’s Word!


One of the reasons that our nation, the United States of America, has been so successful is the influence of Bible truth on our culture.  Until the American Revolution, America’s Bibles had been shipped in from England.  When that supply was cut off and supplies dwindled in 1777, Congress resolved to import 20,000 copies of the Bible from other countries, based on a Congressional committee’s determination that “the use of the Bible is so universal and its importance so great.”


That resolution was not acted upon, though, and the need remained.  Robert Aitken of Philadelphia published a New Testament in 1777 and followed it with three additional editions.  In early 1781, he petitioned Congress and received the approval to print the entire Bible.  Thus originated the first American printing of the English Bible in 1782, what has come to be called the “Bible of the Revolution.”


W. P. Strickland, an early American historian, said of this Bible publication: “Who, in view of this fact, will call in question the assertion that this is a Bible nation? Who will charge the government with indifference to religion when the first Congress of the States assumed all the rights and performed all the duties of a Bible society long before such an institution had an existence in the world?”


The B-I-B-L-E, yes, that’s the book for me; I stand alone on the Word of God, the B-I-B-L-E!
     Pastor Doug





SUNDAY – AUGUST 20, 2023

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.  You are My friends if you do whatever I

command you.  No longer do I call you servants…; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from

My Father I have made known to you.”  John 15:13-15


The prophet Isaiah introduced a promise from God that He would send a Servant to His people.  He would be sent to “help” them and “deliver” them.  In that process of bringing God’s salvation to mankind, it would be necessary for His Servant to suffer in the accomplishment of His work.  Throughout his prophetic book, Isaiah gave descriptions of the Servant’s ministry which you can read in chapters like 42, 49, 50, and especially 53.  In 50:6-7 we read: “I gave my back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.  For the Lord God will help Me; therefore I will not be disgraced; therefore I have set My face like a flint.”  When Jesus came as that promised Suffering Servant, He knew and understood that He would lay His life down in death for us!


Jesus suffered as no other person ever has or ever will suffer in this world.  His suffering was unique and beyond the ability of mere human speech to explain.  Charles H. Spurgeon wrote about His unique suffering as an example we need to consider when we think our own suffering is too unbearable.


     “The Lord will help Me are words of the Messiah in the day of His obedience unto death, when He gave His back to the smiters, and His cheeks to them that plucked off the hair.  He was confident in divine support and trusted in Jehovah.

     “O my soul, thy sorrows are as the small dust of the balance compared with thy Lord’s!  Canst thou not believe that the Lord God will help thee?  Thy Lord was in a peculiar position; for as the representative of sinful men – their substitute and sacrifice – it was needful that the Father should leave Him, and cause Him to come under desertion of soul.  No such necessity is laid upon thee: thou art not bound to cry, ‘Why hast thou forsaken Me?’  Did thy Savior even in such a case still rely upon God, and canst not thou? He died for thee, and thus made it impossible that thou shouldst be left alone; wherefore, be of good cheer.

     “In this day’s labors or trials say, ‘The Lord will help me.’  Go forth boldly.  Set your face like a flint, and resolve that no    faintness or shame-facedness shall come near you.  If God helps, who can hinder?  If you are sure of omnipotent aid, what can be too heavy for you?  Begin the day joyously, and let no shade of doubt come between thee and the eternal sunshine.”


The Cross of Calvary is our banner to look to!  Oh, that He has suffered for us like no other ever has comforts our souls!
I will lift my eyes to Calvary!
     Pastor Doug





SUNDAY – AUGUST 13, 2023

“Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:7


There was a “big” change in leadership taking place for the “nation” of Israel as they had left the bondage of Egypt and wandered in the wilderness for 40 years.  Moses had led them all the way to this particular point in their journey to take possession of and inhabit the Promised Land.  Then Moses died on Mount Nebo, and God buried him in a secret grave.  No one knew where his body was.  They now had to look to someone else for leadership.  God had appointed one of the spies who returned from an earlier mission to evaluate the conditions in the Promised Land, and who said that the Israelites could go to “take” the land.  Joshua was that young man who was chosen by God to lead the people on the next stages of the journey.  It is certain that Joshua had some reservations and perhaps some fear.  God then told him at least three times to “be strong and very courageous!”


There were two conditions that were an encouragement for Joshua.  The first was that God was with him.  God said, “I will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5)  The second was that God had given His Word, His laws and commandments to direct Joshua and the people.  God said, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it.  For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)  That verse has been a huge encouragement to me since the “first days” of the ministry of Needmore Bible Church.  It was then that I memorized that verse and have depended on its promise down through the years.  His promise has not failed!


Here is some of what Charles H. Spurgeon wrote about that passage of Scripture: “Our victories will very much depend upon our obeying Him with all our heart, throwing strength and courage into the actions of our faith.  If we are half-hearted, we cannot expect more than half a blessing.

     “We must obey the Lord with care and thoughtfulness. ‘Observe to do’ is the phrase used, and it is full of meaning.  This is referring to every part of the divine will; we must obey with universal readiness.  Our rule of conduct is ‘according to all the law.’ We may not pick and choose, but we must take the Lord’s commands as they come, one and all.”


Of course, we are told not to “turn either right or left.”  You and I are encouraged to travel in the “straight path” that our Lord has prescribed for us!  The great promise is prosperity and success in this life!
I have chosen the path that I will follow!
     Pastor Doug






“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”   Mark 8:35-36


I saw a picture of a young mother lying comfortably on an overstuffed couch with her three little children each lying partially on or against her.  All four were obviously asleep as they were dressed in their flannel night clothing.  Their husband and father had taken the picture in the morning as he was preparing to leave for work.  Later in the day he sent the picture to his wife much to her surprise because he rarely took a picture of anything.  He wrote to his wife, “This morning, I saw the most beautiful sight that I have ever seen in this world!”  It was an expression of his love for his family!  I trust that many of you feel the same about your own family and certainly should!


The question we might ask is “If you give your family the whole world, but they lose their souls, what would that profit you or them?”  We must make the salvation of our family the top priority of our lives!


This past week, several of us read what Charles H. Spurgeon wrote about Genesis 17:7 where God reminded Abraham about the Covenant that He had made to him and how it included his “seed after him.”

     “O Lord, thou hast made a covenant with me, thy servant, in Christ Jesus my Lord; and now, I beseech thee, let my children be included in its gracious provisions.  Permit me to believe this promise was made to me as well as to Abraham.  I know that my children are born in sin, and shapen in iniquity, even as those of other men; therefore, I ask nothing on the ground of their birth, for well I know that ‘that which is born of the flesh is flesh,’ and nothing more.  Lord, make them to be born under thy covenant of grace by thy Holy Spirit!

     “I pray for my descendants throughout all generations.  Be thou their God as thou art mine.  My highest honour is that thou hast permitted me to serve thee; may my offspring serve thee in all years to come.  O God of Abraham, be God of his Isaac!  O God of Hannah, accept her Samuel!

     “If, Lord, thou hast favoured me in my family, I pray thee remember other households of thy people which remain       unblessed.  Be the God of all the families of Israel.  Let not one of those who fear thy name be tried with a godless and wicked household, for thy Son Jesus Christ’s sake.  Amen.”


Pray for your “seed after you” throughout all generations!  We want “the circle to be unbroken by and by, Lord, by and by!”  May our households stand forever!
I believe in God’s plan for our families!
     Pastor Doug







SUNDAY – JULY 30, 2023

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand.”  Psalm 37:23-24


The Bible is filled with realistic stories.  The record does not attempt to deny the realities and actualities of the events in this world. It does not paint everything as “rosy” nor as if life is “all peaches and cream.”  The Bible simply records the truth about man,    mankind’s sin, evil, pain, loneliness, sorrow, hurt, and all the other difficulties that surround us.  In the same record, however, the truth about God is also revealed, and the truth about God is good news for us!


One of the best hopes that we can have is expressed repeatedly in the Bible, but a passage that “shouts” that great hope for us is Psalm 37.  The very essence is expressed in these words: “Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.  For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.” (Verses 1 and 2)  God’s Word assures us that He is going to judge all that is wrong, and in His judgment, He will “destroy” the evil!  Hallelujah!  But even that is not the whole truth about our hope.  Read the following encouragements.  “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Verse 4)  “For evildoers shall be cut off; but those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.” (Verse 9)  “The Lord knows the days of the upright, and their inheritance shall be forever.” (Verse 18)  And the one found in verses 23 and 24 at the top of this page!!!


Spurgeon wrote: “Though the earth be burned up no smell of fire shall come upon the chosen.  Amid the crash of matter, and the wreck of worlds, the Lord Jehovah will preserve His own.

     “Rest will be ours.  All other things swing to and fro, but our foundation standeth sure.  God rests in His love, and therefore we rest in it.  Our peace is, and ever shall be, like a river.  A lot in the heavenly Canaan is ours, and we shall stand in it, come what may.  The God of Daniel will give a worthy portion to all who dare to be decided for truth and holiness as Daniel was.  No den of lions shall deprive us of our sure inheritance!”


God is going to take care of us, always and forever.  Our inheritance in Jesus is as sure as your present breath and is more secure than Fort Knox!  Hallelujah!
I am His, and He is mine… forever!
     Pastor Doug





SUNDAY – JULY 23, 2023

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who are called according to His purpose.  For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”  Romans 8:28-29


There is a passage in Acts that gives a hint about the purpose of “church” and the results of belonging to a fellowship of believers. “Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul.  And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch.  So it was for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people.  And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” (Acts 11:25-26)  Interestingly, it was not intended to be a compliment to be called a “Christian.”  The word is actually what in language is called a diminutive, many times an expression of ridicule, because it indicates a smaller version of the original.  In our English language, we might look at a child and see a behavior that is common in a parent and call them “little Bob.”  We mean that there is a reflection of the father, Bob, seen in the child.  The name Christian was applied to the disciples, because they were called “little Christs.”  The people of the community obviously saw a reflection of Jesus Christ in the behavior of the disciples.  In the minds of unbelievers it seemed a sarcastic expression, but it actually turns out to be a compliment!


God’s intention is that you and I who are trusting Jesus Christ for our salvation will become like Him in our behavior.  The verse from Romans 8 that so many people quote, verse 28, which states that God causes “all things” to work for “good,” doesn’t identify what that “good” is.  Verse 29 does explain that the “good” which God wants to “work” in our lives is Christlikeness.  We are called to be conformed specifically to the “image” of Jesus Christ, God’s Son.  People should be able to identify us as a “little Christ” when they observe our behavior.  They should be able to legitimately call us a Christian!


 A few decades ago, a common question became very popular.  It could be found on stickers, T-shirts, posters, and cards.  Here it is: “If you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” 


The old hymn’s chorus went like this: “Be like Jesus, this my song, in the home and in the throng; Be like Jesus, all day long!  I would be like Jesus.”  The title is I Would Be Like Jesus.  In present day culture, Zac Williams sings, “A little more like Jesus, a little less like me!”  This must be our prayer!
I claim Jesus as my Savior and Lord!
     Pastor Doug





SUNDAY – JULY 16, 2023

Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.’”  Matthew 18:2-5


Throughout the years of our ministry at NBC, we have always had a special interest in ministering to the children of the community.  From the earliest days we have had Sunday classes for children as well as “youth groups” that have come in all shapes and names.  One of the “marks” of our (Pastor Doug and Diane) early ministry was an active puppet ministry.  We became involved in the Released-Time Bible Program as the host church from about 1976 until the present.  Many of our children and youth have attended Camp Joy-El, and we have run our “own” youth camp at Camp Hebron for many years.  In recent years, we have offered the AWANA clubs each Wednesday evening during the school year.  We started having “Kids’ Krusades” during the summer in the 1970’s with the Shands family and continued with several different speakers and VBS programs throughout all our years of existence.  We have always believed that God has an extra special interest in children.  We have attempted to win boys and girls to Christ and to train them in the way of the Lord.  We want them to know Jesus and live all their days for Him.  This coming week will be the next ministry to boys and girls during VBS entitled “In The Beginning.”  We have been praying that God will touch many children with His great love and fill their hearts with His peace and hope for their futures.


We know in our present age that children are at higher risk than ever before.  The enemy of our souls is on the prowl to seek, damage, and destroy as many children as he possibly can.  Many people have intentionally joined his scheme out of pure evil and hate.  Others are being drawn into his activities unknowingly.  We are taking the position of being a “rescue mission” for as many children as the Lord will enable us to save.  We take the words of Jesus very, very seriously when He said the following:

     “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea, Woe to the world because of offenses!  For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!”  (Matthew 18:6-7)




My heart has a “soft spot” for all the children of the world!
     Pastor Doug





Ordination Day

SUNDAY – JULY 9, 2023


“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”  Matthew 4:4


Today is a day that all of us need to be reminded that the Word of God, the Bible, must be the “center” of our faith and practice.  I was asked by members of a cult which does not recognize the Bible as the final authority for faith and doctrine, “What is the most important doctrine?”  I replied, “The doctrine of the Holy Scriptures, the Bible.”  “Oh,” said the cultist, “I thought the most important doctrine is the doctrine of Jesus Christ.”  I again replied, “If you will agree with me about the inerrancy, infallibility, and sufficiency of the Bible, I can easily show you the correct understanding of who Jesus Christ is!”  That ended the questions and the conversation.  The Bible is “my final answer!”


Charles H. Spurgeon wrote about the Bible verse taken from Matthew’s account of Satan’s temptation of Jesus in the wilderness recorded in Matthew 4.

     “If God so willed it, we could live without bread, even as Jesus did for forty days; but we could not live without His Word.  By that Word we were created, and by it alone can we be kept in being, for He sustaineth all things by the word of His power.  (See Hebrews 1:3)   Bread is a second cause; the Lord Himself is the first cause of our sustenance.  He can work without the second cause as well as with it, and we must not tie Him down to one mode of operation.  Let us not be too eager after the visible, but let us look to the invisible God.  We have heard believers say that in deep poverty, when bread ran short, their appetites became short too; and to others, when common supplies failed, the Lord has sent unexpected help.

     “But we must have the Word of the Lord.  With this alone we can withstand the devil.  Take this from us, and our enemy will have us in his power, for we shall soon faint.  Our souls need food, and there is none for them outside of the Word of the Lord.  All the books and all the preachers in the world cannot furnish us a single meal; it is only the Word from the mouth of God that can fill the mouth of the believer.  Lord, evermore give us this bread.  We prize it above royal dainties.”


The pastors, elders, teachers, and leaders at NBC will do our best to use the Bible as our “bread” in feeding the souls who come under our ministry.  But we encourage everyone to feast on the Word of God personally every day!  We all must “eat” His Word which is nourishment for our souls!
Oh, how I love Thy Law!  It is my necessary food!
     Pastor Doug





Independence Day Celebration

SUNDAY – JULY 2, 2023

“The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.  The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations.  Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord!”  Psalm 33:10-12a


I have in my hand a number of coins taken from my pocket.  There are pennies, nickels, dimes, and a quarter (not many quarters stay in my pocket because they go in a “pill bottle” for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes).  Every single coin has our national motto on it: “In God We Trust.”  Although the motto was not officially adopted until 1956, it appeared in the colonies as early as 1746 and was used many times in states’ and militia’s documents.  From the writings of our founders, it appears that faith and trust in God was a very important theme.


In 1776, the future President John Adams said, “Statesmen may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is religion and morality alone, which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand.”  That mind-set was widely held among the Founders who helped shape the political, educational, and legal foundations of the new nation.  Men such as Daniel Webster, Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Rush, Samuel Adams, and George Washington echoed these same sentiments, believing that the strength of the republic was dependent upon the morality of her people, and that religion must undergird it.  They saw the education of young minds being at the heart of it.


In 1836, Noah Webster, often called “The Father of American Education,” expressed the purpose of schools was meant for the advancement of the Christian faith: “In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children under a free government ought to be instructed.  No truth is more evident to my mind than the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.”  Compare that to the words of John Dewey, known as “The Architect of Modern Education,” “There is no God, and there is no soul.  Hence, there are no needs for the props of traditional religion.”  Those props have been knocked away, and we know the loss of moral standards has opened the door to untold numbers of unwanted pregnancies, abortions, alcoholism, drug abuse, broken marriages and homes, violence, and suicides.


We must have a revival of true Christianity and a return to biblical standards of truth and morality!  Let’s pray that as a nation we will all live by faith, trusting in the living God!
A very grateful Christian citizen of the U.S.A.!
     Pastor Doug





SUNDAY – JUNE 25, 2023

“Oh, how I love Your law!  It is my meditation all the day.  You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; for they are ever with me.  I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation.”  Psalm 119:97-99


Psalm 119 is an amazing piece of Hebrew literature.  It’s an alphabetic acrostic using the Hebrew letters to start the first word of 22 sets of 8 verses that describe the Word of God.  That’s 176 verses about the “law of the Lord” and how it blesses our lives if we yield to it.  Cathy and I have enjoyed reading through the Psalms together and especially the 119th Psalm.  Last Monday, June 19th Spurgeon wrote about one verse from Psalm 119, and it spoke to my heart.  (Then I noticed that Brother Jim posted that devotional on Facebook.)  Following is my “posting” of the same devotional and I hope an encouragement to each of us to spend time reading the Word of God.  It is based on verse 80, “Let my heart be blameless regarding Your statutes, that I may not be ashamed.”


     “We may regard this inspired prayer as containing within itself the assurance that those who keep close to the Word of God shall never have cause to be ashamed of doing so.

     “See, the prayer is for soundness of heart.  A sound creed is good, a sound judgment concerning it is better, but a sound heart towards the truth is best of all.  We must love the truth, feel the truth, and obey the truth, otherwise we are not truly sound in God’s statutes.  Are there many in these evil days who are sound?  Oh, that the writer and the reader may be two of this sort!

     “Many will be ashamed in the last great day, when all disputes will be decided.  Then they will see the folly of their inventions, and be filled with remorse because of their proud infidelity and willful defiance of the Lord; but he who believed what the Lord taught, and did what the Lord commanded, will stand forth justified in what he did.  Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun. Men much slandered and abused shall find their shame turned into glory in that day.

     “Let us pray the prayer of our text (Psalm 119:80), and we may be sure that its promise will be fulfilled to us.  If the Lord makes us sound, He will keep us safe!”


May His Word be a “lamp to our feet and a light to our path!”  The only solid foundation on which to build strong and godly lives, homes, churches and even communities is the everlasting Word of God!


I am a confirmed and committed Bible-believer!
     Pastor Doug




SUNDAY – JUNE 18, 2023

Father’s Day

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God…

Beloved, now we are children of God!”  I John 3:1a, 2a


God has been revealed and known by many descriptive titles.  He has been called creator, judge, friend, counselor, lawgiver, among others.  Perhaps the one that He wants us to know and trust most is Father.  Certainly we understand that Jesus most frequently used this title for God, and used stories of a father’s role and responsibility when teaching us about God.  It should also be evident to us that when Jesus described God as our Heavenly Father, He emphasized the truth that God loves us as a father is supposed to love us. Indeed, God loves us perfectly as our Heavenly Father.


John wrote in his first epistle, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”  (I John 4:7, 8)


From the Christ Through the Bible Commentary we read: “God is not justice.  God is not wisdom.  God is not power.  God has all these attributes, but none of them is great enough to constitute His essence.  But love is His very nature, and in love all other        attributes find their completeness.”


In His teaching about prayer and faith, Jesus repeatedly referred to our Heavenly Father.  Throughout Matthew 6, it is recorded that Jesus encouraged us all to pray, fast, and give gifts as if we are doing them with our Heavenly Father as our only audience.  Then He introduced the “model prayer” which we call “The Lord’s Prayer” with these words: “For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” (See Matthew 6:8)  He repeated this idea when He encouraged us not to worry about food and clothing: “For your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” (See Matthew 6:32)  Faith that is living and will sustain you throughout life comes when we personally know God as our Heavenly Father.


I have a great desire for all people to know God as their loving Father in heaven.  Many of us have already been blessed with this truth, and we live in its reality, but many continue to  struggle through emptiness and brokenness because of a lack of the Father’s love in their hearts.  Let’s pray that the hurting will be touched with a full knowledge and understanding of God’s fatherly love for them.


May our fathers here become reflections of our Father in heaven!
     Pastor Doug





Graduate Recognition

SUNDAY – JUNE 11, 2023

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it…That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.”  John 1:4-5, 9


Jesus made a very bold declaration about Himself when He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” He concluded that statement by saying, “No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (See John 14:6)  That last part makes it obvious that Jesus was talking about the spiritual realm, and heaven, and men’s souls.  Jesus is the one and only way to get to heaven.  It doesn’t matter where you live on this planet, what language you speak, or what social status you have, Jesus is the way for everyone to “make it” to heaven. But questions might be raised about “this life” in the “here and now.”  Does the way of Jesus apply to this world?  Does the truth of Jesus apply to this world?  Does the life of Jesus apply to this world?  I will state emphatically that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life for this world just as He is for the “next world!”


E. Stanley Jones wrote a book entitled The Way. The following is from the very beginning of that work.

     “This question confronts us as we begin our quest: Is there any such thing as the Way?  Aren’t we looking for something that isn’t there?  Philosophy has been facetiously defined as ‘a blind man searching in a dark room for a black cat that isn’t there.’  Are we on the same kind of futile search when we search in a universe of this kind for the Way?  Are we trying to impose on reality our way and making it out to be the Way?  On the other hand, is it possible that Way is written into the nature of reality?

     “In regard to all phases of life in the universe there is ‘the way’ and ‘not-the-way.’  In chemistry H2O produces water.  You may fight with the formula and try to twist it into something else, but in the end you will surrender to it, accept it, obey it, or you will not produce water.  Two parts of hydrogen and one of oxygen is the way, and everything else is not-the-way.  Aviators tell us that every moment they must obey those laws upon which flying depends – or else!  There can be no moral holidays in the air.  You obey or break.  You gain mastery only by obedience.  Aviation did not invent those laws or impose them; it discovered them.

     “This necessity of obedience to laws holds good in every single physical relationship, but what about it when we come to the business of human living – come over into more subtle relationships like the social, the moral and spiritual?  Does chance reign there?  Can you do as you please and get away with it?  Or do you find there is something which demands obedience if you are to live masterfully and well? … If you obey the way, do you get results, and if you don’t, do you get consequences?” 


I believe absolutely that Jesus is The Way!
     Pastor Doug





SUNDAY – JUNE 4, 2023

“And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals;

for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.’”  Revelation 5:9-10


The “last words” spoken by an individual are often of great interest to those who knew the person in life.  It is frequently thought that the “last words” reflect the greatest interest of the dying person.  Most of us would agree that the “last words” do have significance to the speaker and the hearer.  From the gospel accounts and the Book of Acts, we learn that the content of Jesus’ final comments to His disciples was about the “mission mandate” to the church.  “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’  Amen.” (Matthew 28:18-20)  That statement contains the final words of Jesus recorded in Matthew’s gospel.  Then in Acts 1, Luke records these final words of Jesus spoken just before His ascension, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Verse 8)  If the final words of Jesus indicate the greatest concern of His heart, then it should be clear to us that the “work” of international missions should be our priority.


One of the greatest missionary statesmen that ever lived       declared, “Every person is either a missionary or a mission field!” One day Dr. Wilfred Grenfell, medical missionary to Labrador, was guest at a dinner in London, together with a number of socially prominent British men and women. During the course of the dinner, the lady seated next to him turned and asked, “Is it true, Dr. Grenfell, that you are a missionary?”  Dr, Grenfell looked at her for a moment before replying, “Is it true, Madam, that you are not?”


We must be a “missions-minded” church if we are going to be what our Lord wants us to be.  We must pray, give, and go!  A famous artist once was asked to paint a picture of a dying church.  It was expected that he would paint a small and    humble congregation in a dilapidated building.  Instead, he painted a stately edifice with a rich pulpit and magnificent  windows – and near the door, an offering box, marked “Missions,” with the contribution slot blocked by cobwebs.
Until I die, I’ll preach and shout “To the fields!”
     Pastor Doug





Memorial Day Weekend

SUNDAY – MAY 28, 2023

“Where there is no vision (prophetic revelation), the people cast off restraint; but happy is he who keeps the law.”

Proverbs 29:18

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”  Proverbs 14:34

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance.”  Psalm 33:12


The impact on the founding of these United Sates of America by the truth of God’s Word, the Bible, is written in the annals of this nation.  From its founding through its history, great statesmen have recognized and expressed this fact.  One of those early leaders was Patrick Henry, a man known as a revolutionary and leader of anti-British political action.  Although most of us recognize him for saying, “Give me liberty, or give me death,” he also wrote the following:

     “Whether this will prove a blessing or curse will depend upon the use our people make of the blessings, which a gracious God hath bestowed on us.  If they are wise, they will be great and happy.  If they are of a contrary character, they will be miserable.

     “Righteousness alone can exalt them as a nation.  Reader!  Whoever thou art, remember this, and in thy sphere practice virtue thyself, and encourage it in others.”

He also wrote: “It is when a people forget God, that tyrants forge their chains.”


Others have also realized why this nation has prospered in so many wonderful ways.  Charles Malik (1906-1967) was the ambassador to the United Nations from Lebanon, and he served as the president of the 13th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in 1959.  This man wrote:

     “The good in the United States would never have come into being without the blessing and power of Jesus Christ…  Whoever tries to conceive the American word without taking full account of the suffering and love and salvation of Christ is only dreaming.  I know how embarrassing this matter is to politicians, bureaucrats, businessmen, and cynics; but whatever these honored men think, the irrefutable truth is that the soul of America is, at its best and highest, Christian.”


I believe the only reason why this nation is worth defending is because of its Christian foundations.  Without them, then the United States is really no different than Russia, China, or any other nation founded by men for personal, ethnic, or material reasons.  We must defend the true history and the honest reason why people have sought independence from a king or any other tyrant.  Let us proclaim that there is no other True King than the Lord Jesus Christ!  Even so, quickly come, Lord Jesus!
I will live as a Christian citizen first and last!
     Pastor Doug





SUNDAY – MAY 21, 2023

“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”  Matthew 5:44, 45


The demands of following Jesus are extremely challenging and actually humanly impossible.  To live like Jesus requires that we experience the victory that Jesus offers us through the spiritual new birth.  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.” (II Corinthians 5:17)  Only as the “old man” is sublimated to the higher “mind of Christ” can one actually live and love like Jesus.  It is good for all of us to be reminded that we indeed are called to this “higher life” in Christ.


“Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy.”  C. H. Spurgeon wrote the following about Matthew 5:7 for the May 16th devotional in Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith.

     “It is not meant that the man who will not forgive should be forgiven, nor shall he who will not give to the poor have his own wants relieved.  God will measure to us with our own bushels, and those who have been hard masters and hard creditors will find that the Lord will deal as hard with them.  ‘He shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy.’

     “This day let us try to give and to forgive.  Let us mind the two bears – bear and forbear.  Let us be kind, and gentle, and tender. Let us not put harsh constructions upon men’s conduct, nor drive hard bargains, nor pick foolish quarrels, nor be difficult to please. Surely, we wish to be blessed, and we also want to obtain mercy; let us be merciful, that we may have mercy.  Let us fulfill the condition, that we earn the beatitude.  Is it not a pleasant duty to be kind?  Is there not much more sweetness in it than in being angry and ungenerous?  Why, there is a blessedness in the thing itself!  Moreover, the obtaining of mercy is a rich reward.  What but sovereign grace could suggest such a promise as this?  We are merciful to our fellow mortal in pennies, and the Lord forgives us ‘all that debt.’”


You and I are called to really live the Christian life!  We are not called to act or play at being a Christian.  We are called to be real! As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ we are the salt and light of this world, and it needs real Christians desperately!
Love this world through me, Lord!
     Pastor Doug





Mother’s Day

SUNDAY – MAY 14, 2023

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,

so are the children of one’s youth.  Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed,

but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.”  (Psalm 127:3-5)


The very first institution that God established was marriage and the home.  His instruction was given at the very beginning to “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)  As Scripture reveals God’s purpose for the home, He makes clear that parents are to “teach” their children and “train them in the fear and admonition of the Lord.”  Parents are given the responsibility of their children’s “upbringing,” growth, knowledge, and wisdom.  The following illustration gives a very keen insight into the enemy’s attempts to thwart the plans of God and the great answer to those attempts.


     “A little girl was being troubled by a parish priest to attend classes for religious instruction.  She refused, saying it was against her father’s wishes.  The priest told her she should obey him rather than her father.  ‘Oh, sir,’ she replied, ‘we are taught in the Bible to honor our father and mother.’ ‘You have no business reading the Bible,’ declared the priest.  ‘But, sir,’ the child replied, ‘our Lord said to search the Scriptures.’ ‘That was said only to the Jews, not to children who cannot understand it,’ he said.  ‘But, sir,’ the girl said eagerly, ‘Paul said to Timothy, “From a child thou hast known the Scriptures.”’ The priest had an answer for that too. ‘Timothy was taught by the authorities of the church,’ he explained, ‘and trained to be a bishop.’  The little girl knew her Bible so was able to have the last word.  ‘Oh, sir,’ she answered, ‘he was taught by his mother and grandmother.’”  (II Timothy 1:5; 3:15)


That little girl had the correct understanding about her need to be submissive to her parents.  Paul did write to Timothy, “…I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.” (II Timothy 1:5)  As the church, we want to assist families in their role of training    children, but also do our best to help children who do not have godly parents.  Let’s pray that the devil will fail in his attempt to “cause one of these little ones to sin.” (See Matthew 18:6)  Let’s work together to win the next generation to Christ and to teach them how to live in faith all their days!
A very blessed son of believing parents!
     Pastor Doug





SUNDAY – MAY 7, 2023

“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out,

‘Abba, Father.’  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs –

heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ…”  Romans 8:15-17a


An incredible and wonderful declaration is made in God’s Word that born-again Christians are children of God!  We are members of God’s family with the identical status as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Wow!  “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (I John 3:1a)  Every believer is given a new identity in Jesus Christ.  Our earthly family background is no longer the most prominent identifying feature of our life!  I love what E. Stanley Jones wrote in Victorious Living for Wednesday of Week 18.


     “Jesus overcame two handicaps: He had no formal education, and He did not belong to a leading family.  He suffered in the eyes of the educated and cultured because He had no learning which would correspond to our college degree: ‘He’s never been taught! How has He mastered the Law?’ (John 7:15 CEB).  But He overcame that, and made what He has so real and worthwhile that the people who followed Him saw that He knew life and could give it.  You and I can enter into that victory!

     “Then, again, there was victory over a commonplace family tradition.  He came from a peasant family, from a despised place. And when you look at His family history as seen in the genealogy you see streams of rather evil blood poured into that family tradition.  Many of us have to gain victory at this point, for we come, not from ‘the best families,’ but from very common stock.  But that very handicap can make us start a new tradition.  We are told by Harry Emerson Fosdick that Shakespeare was the son of a bankrupt butcher and a woman who could not write her name; Beethoven was the son of a consumptive mother and a father who was a drunkard; Schubert was the son of a peasant father and a mother in domestic service; Michael Faraday was born in a stable, his father an invalid blacksmith, his mother a common drudge. (That is the noun form referring to the person who works and lives in drudgery.)

     “When people in the 1600s objected to a noble lady marrying a nonconformist minister Matthew Henry because of his lowly birth, she replied, ‘I don’t care where he came from; I’m only interested in where he is going to, and I want to go with him.’

     “We too can enter into the victory that Jesus gained and make people forget where we have come from as they watch us going on with Him!”


May we all realize that we begin a new life and heredity in  Jesus Christ!
I’m a child of the King!
     Pastor Doug





SUNDAY – APRIL 30, 2023

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.”  (Psalm 127:3)  “When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.  Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house, your children like olive plants all around your table.  Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord…  Yes, may you see your children’s children.”  (Psalm 128:2-4, 6)


The very first “institution” that God created was the family, the home.  God has established and revealed in the Bible guidelines and laws to protect the family and maintain the family as the basic unit of all life on this earth.  Even as Jesus spoke and taught about our relationship with God, He used the imagery of the family and home.  He called the Creator God “our Father” and our home in heaven “the Father’s house”.  As believers in the Bible and followers of Jesus Christ, we must be committed to the protection and preservation of the family as defined in the Bible as a union of a man and woman which can be blessed with children.  The following was written by Charles H. Spurgeon for the April 25th reading in Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith.  It is based on Proverbs 20:7: “The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him.”


     “Anxiety about our family is natural, but we shall be wise if we turn it into care about our own character.  If we walk before the Lord in integrity, we shall do more to bless our descendants than if we bequeathed them large estates.  A father’s holy life is a rich legacy for his sons.

     “The upright man leaves his heirs his example, and this in itself will be a mine of true wealth.  How many men may trace their success in life to the example of their parents!

     “He leaves them also his repute.  Men think all the better of us as the sons of a man who could be trusted, the successors of a tradesman of excellent repute.  Oh, that all young men were anxious to keep up the family name!

     “Above all, he leaves his children his prayers and the blessing of a prayer-hearing God, and these make our offspring to be favoured among the sons of men.  God will save them even after we are dead.  Oh, that they might be saved at once!

     “Our integrity may be God’s means of saving our sons and daughters.  If they see the truth of our religion proved by our lives, it may be that they will believe in Jesus for themselves.  Lord, fulfil this word to my household!”


Only the eternal inheritance of salvation will last forever!   Everything else is passing away like the withering grass and the fading flower!
I have a home in gloryland that outshines the sun!
     Pastor Doug





SUNDAY – APRIL 23, 2023

“And he who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.  He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”  Matthew 10:38-39


One of the repeated challenges throughout the New Testament is the call to self-renunciation.  It is found in words about denying self, putting off self, or even crucifying self.  This call to total commitment to the cause of Christ must be given attention if we are going to progress in our spiritual life.  E. Stanley Jones entitled a devotional about this “Letting That Last Thing Go,” found at    Friday of the 15th week in Victorious Living.


     ‘The last thing we want to let go of is just ourselves.  It is the one and only thing we really own.  And now Christ with imperious demand asks for that last one thing.  It is at this place that the real battle is joined.  All else have been skirmishes.

     “Jesus said with awful decisiveness, ‘Whoever comes to Me and doesn’t hate father and mother, spouse and children, and   brothers and sisters – yes, and one’s own life – cannot be My disciple’ (Luke 14:26 CEB).  Our families and ourselves must be placed on the altar.  This does not mean that we should necessarily leave the family.  Here, to ‘hate’ means to ‘love less,’ according to the parallel passage in Matthew 10:37.

     “A lighted candle casts a shadow when it is put before an electric light.  Thus the lesser loves, while really light, cast a shadow when this all-consuming Love makes its demand upon the human spirit.  These loves are not to be abandoned; they are to be surrendered.  You still live with yourself even after you surrender yourself, so you may still live with your family after you surrender them.

     “Now, the interesting thing to note is that the ‘life,’ or the self, was the last thing mentioned: ‘yes, and one’s own life.’  Why is that last?  Because it is the last thing we ever give up.  The missionary gives up home and loved ones to go to another land – everything except self.  The missionary finds the inner self touchy over position, place, and power.  The minister sacrifices a great deal to go into the ministry – everything except the minister.  A minister preaches the gospel with a great deal of vanity and personal ambition mixed up in it.  Laypeople give up much to follow Christ, but find themselves easily offended in the very following of Christ.  In each case the self is still there!  It must be surrendered!”


Many of us have sung, “I surrender all; I surrender all.  All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.”  Those words are the  repeated refrain after each verse.  Verse 4 says, “Lord, I give myself to Thee; Fill me with Thy love and power; Let Thy blessing fall on me.”  That’s it!  The final surrender is “myself!”
I am His,
     Pastor Doug





SUNDAY – APRIL 16, 2023

“Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.  We know that we have passed from death to life,

because we love the brethren.  He who does not love his brother abides in death.”  I John 3:13-14


Jesus told His “inner circle,” those first 12 men whom we call His disciples, that the evidence of their discipleship, the “marker” that would tell them and the world that they were indeed disciples, was a genuine presence of love in their lives.  Jesus said, “By this all the world will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (See John 13:34-35)  I doubt that there is a greater need or heart-cry in the world than for real, genuine love.  God’s love filling our hearts to overflowing will bring “new life” to the church and her outreach to the hurting people all over the world.  E. Stanley Jones wrote that a victorious Christian is one filled with God’s love.  That love will help us to be more “creative” in our efforts of outreach to this lost and dying world.


     “The last thing we shall mention as being a sign of the victorious life is the fact that life now becomes spiritually creative.  The victorious life is organized around love.  But as love is creative, life now becomes creative.

     “With love there is always a plus, a margin for somebody else.  We have enough to spare.  A woman, who became one of the great missionaries of the world, was being taken in a sedan chair through the dirty, narrow, crowded streets of a Chinese city just after her first arrival.  Everything in her revolted against the strangeness and the dirt.  ‘O God,’ she cried, ‘how can I live among these people without love in my heart?’  An immediate answer came in the flooding of her heart with what was nothing less than divine love.  From that moment on she forgot dirt and narrow streets and strangeness; she saw only people for whom Christ died. Instead of being driven back upon herself, love drew her out of herself into an amazingly creative service for her beloved people. There was a plus.

     “The victorious life means the heightening of all the powers of the personality.  The mind becomes keener and more       creative; the emotions become broader and more sensitive, and the will more active and decisive.  The whole of life is outreaching.  Lives begin to be changed; movements begin to be launched; a creative impact is made upon life.  ‘I used to pick and choose my friends,’ said a recently changed society lady, ‘but now since the great change has taken place, I take everybody into my heart.’  Love has begun to be creative.” (Jones, E. Stanley, Victorious Living, p. 98)


I am praying that NBC will be revived by a fresh outpouring of God’s love upon all of us!
Love this world through me, Lord!
     Pastor Doug






 “The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God,

who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  I Corinthians 15:56, 57


The Gospel of John reveals much information about “life.” In the very first chapter, John recorded that in the Word, that is, in Jesus is “life,” and that life is the light of all mankind.  Later John recorded that Jesus said He came that we might have “life, and may have it more abundantly.” (See John 10:10)  On the night Jesus was betrayed, He spent time with His disciples and said to them, “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me.  Because I live, you will live also.” (See John 14:19) From these statements about “life,” it should become obvious that Jesus wants us to have “life” that is a God-sort-of life.   It is a dimension beyond mere physical life, and it is found only in God through Jesus Christ our Lord.


 John 3:36 states: “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”  We should know that “life” which comes from God is everlasting, eternal.  We should also recognize that not possessing this eternal life from God doesn’t mean that the unbelieving person will not cease to exist.  The unbeliever will not have the “life” of God, which is from God, but they will exist.  In verse 36, the opposite of “life” mentioned here is “the wrath of God.”  So a believing person will have “everlasting life,” while the unbelieving person will have “the wrath of God” that will “abide” on him.  In other words, the wrath of God will continue to be his experience throughout eternity.  It will not be cessation of existence.


The Bible describes this “wrath of God” as “the lake of fire,” “the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (See Revelation 20:6, 14 and 21:8)  “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abdominal, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (21:8)  The “life” that Jesus died and then rose from the grave to provide is a blissful eternal existence in the very presence of God.  We normally think of it as “going to  heaven!”  But those who are not saved by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, will experience the wrath of God forever in the “lake of fire!”  We normally think of this as “going to hell!”


The great hope that the resurrection of Jesus Christ guarantees believers is an eternal life in heaven!  This is the greatest joy of this Resurrection Sunday!!!
I’m going to “live” forever; I’m going to die no, never!
     Pastor Doug





PALM SUNDAY   —   APRIL 2, 2023

“Save now, I pray, O Lord; O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity.  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!  We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.  God is the Lord, and He has given us light; … You are my God, and I will praise You; You are my God, I will exalt You.  Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!  For His mercy endures forever.”

Psalm 118:25-29


Psalm 118 was a prophetic scripture that was quoted as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a young donkey.  The Bible indicates that the whole city was moved by the events of that day which began the final week of the “natural” life of Jesus.  The consequences of what happened that week continue until this very day.  God wills that your life should be impacted in a very positive eternal way by what Jesus did from Palm Sunday until the following Resurrection Sunday.  Jesus wants us to live abundant lives of freedom as a result of His redemptive actions of that very first Holy Week.  It is necessary for us to fully surrender to the reign of King Jesus.


     “Spiritual freedom is not a characteristic of present-day Christianity.  We are stiff, stilted, inwardly tied-up Christians.  Unified spontaneity is not the thing we think about when we think of ourselves.  ‘People in this place will insist on talking about God outside of church,’ said a horrified English lady.  God should be spoken about in churches, but the door should be closed in on God when we leave.  God as the thought of our thought, the joy of our joy, the will of our will, and the life of our life – well, that isn’t our experience.  Yes, but that is normal Christianity.

     “’I came to India as a medical missionary, so I would not have to speak about God,’ said a lady describing her inwardly tied-up condition.  She was free in her hands, but not in her heart.  She could minister to the body, but deeper than that she was out of her depth.  Later, when she was inwardly released, she joyously said, ‘I do believe I am getting vocal about God.’

     “The Japanese have a way of stunting forest trees so that they never grow higher than a couple of feet.  They become potted plants, instead of forest giants.  This is done by tying up the taproot, so that the tree lives off the surface roots.  It      remains a stunted thing.  (This is called bonsai.)

     “Many of our lives are like that.  We live off the surface roots, not from the depths.  The surface roots go out into the cultural, educational, economic, social, political, and perhaps also the religious lives that surround us.  The roots draw      sustenance from these, but our lives are stunted, for the taproot has not gone deep into God.  Only as the taproot goes into the depths of the Divine and draws, every moment, its sustenance from those depths do we fully and truly live.

     “Are you a stunted spiritual being?”  (Taken from E. Stanley Jones’ Victorious Living, Sunday, Week 13.)
I want to go deep with the King of kings!
     Pastor Doug





The Fifth Sunday in Lent

SUNDAY – MARCH 26, 2023

“For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  Luke 14:11


The “first principle” of the Kingdom is humility.  Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount characteristics of Kingdom living which was begun with the Beatitudes.  The first one is “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  None of us can enter the Kingdom except by humbling ourselves and “kneeling” before the Great King and Savior of our souls.  The following comes from Charles H. Spurgeon’s Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith, the March 22nd entry.


     “Humble hearts seek grace, and therefore they get it.  Humble hearts yield to the sweet influences of grace, and so it is bestowed on them more and more largely.  Humble hearts lie in the valleys where streams of grace are flowing, and hence they drink of them. Humble hearts are grateful for grace and give the Lord the glory of it, and hence it is consistent with His honour to give it to them.

     “Come, dear reader, take a lowly place.  Be little in thine own esteem, that the Lord may make much of thee.  Perhaps the sigh breaks out, ‘I fear I am not humble.’ It may be that this is the language of true humility.  Some are proud of being humble, and this is one of the very worst sorts of pride.  We are needy, helpless, undeserving, hell-deserving creatures, and if we are not humble we ought to be.  Let us humble ourselves because of our sins against humility, and then the Lord will give us a taste of His favour.  It is grace which makes us humble, and grace which finds us in this humility and opportunity for pouring in more grace.  Let us go down that we may rise.  Let us be poor in spirit that God may make us rich.  Let us be humble that we may not need to be humbled, but may be exalted by the grace of God.”


The wise man wrote, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.  Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.” (Proverbs 16:18, 19.)  Let’s humble ourselves before the Mighty Hand of God and wait for His deliverance!
I am the least of the saints!
     Pastor Doug





The Fourth Sunday in Lent

SUNDAY – MARCH 19, 2023

“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much more as you see the Day approaching.”  Hebrews 10:24-25


E. Stanley Jones has written in Victorious Living about assurances or evidences that we are actually born-again. Obviously, there are certain characteristics that should be evident in the life of those who profess to be a follower of Jesus Christ.  I think his explanation about church “membership” is as sensible as it is biblical.  The following excerpt is from Week 10 on Sunday.

     “’Don’t you think I should belong to some church?’ asked a lady who had just entered the new life.  Was her instinct for  corporate fellowship right?  It was.

     “The spiritual life cannot be lived in isolation.  Life is intensely personal; it is also intensely corporate, and you cannot separate them.  If you should wipe out the church today, you would have to put something like it in its place tomorrow.  For there must be a corporate expression of the spiritual life as well as an individual.  Even to separate the social and the personal life in this way is wrong.  For the social life is the personal in its larger relationships.

     “The idea that it is your duty to support the church seems to me to be all wrong.  The church is not founded upon a duty imposed on you from without.  It is founded on the facts of life.  Your very inner nature demands it.  American evangelist D. L. Moody, in answer to a man who said he did not need the church, quietly pulled a coal from the hearth and separated it, and together they watched it die.  It was a legitimate answer.

     “I am quite sure that I should not have survived as a young Christian had I not had the corporate life of the church to hold me up. When I rejoiced, they rejoiced with me.  When I was weak, they strengthened me, and once when I fell – a rather bad fall – they gathered around me by prayer and love and without blame or censure they lovingly lifted me back to my feet again.

     “I know the stupidities and the inanities and the irrelevancies and the formalities of the church.  Yes, I know them all.  But nevertheless, the church is the mother of my spirit, and we love our mothers in spite of weakness and wrinkles.  My word, then, to you is that, as you begin this new life you begin it as a member of the church family.”


May the Holy Spirit awaken us to the very real value of the church of Jesus Christ.  May His presence empower “our church” to be a real living body of faith and love.  May His power in our midst “birth,” nurture, strengthen and equip     believers!  Amen!
I’m so glad I’m a part of the Family of God!
     Pastor Doug





The Third Sunday in Lent

SUNDAY – MARCH 12, 2023

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  I Corinthians 15:57


E. Stanley Jones entitled his writing for Tuesday of Week 10 in Victorious Living “The Spirit of Non-expectancy.” I think this is so important as a challenge for all of us that I present it here in its entirety.


     “Yesterday we said that the chief characteristic of modern Christianity is not victorious living.  This would not be so serious if we expected something else; if we were pushing upon the gates of abundant life to have them open.  But many have settled down to a spirit of non-expectancy.  They do not expect anything beyond spiritually muddling through.  This is serious!

     “I have watched what the awful power of fatalism can do when it falls upon a civilization.  Have I not seen these lovely people of the East paralyzed at the center by a strange fatalism that makes them turn over their hands in helpless resignation?  Across the world that danger is at our doors.  It has slowly crept into many a heart, and we are resigned to moral and spiritual defeat- we take it for granted, in fact.  Doctor Elwood Worcester of Boston, who has labored for years in clinics for people troubled in body and soul, can say these astonishing words: ‘Most Christians do not expect their religion to do them any great or immediate good.’  When one tells them that this condition of moral and spiritual defeat need not last for a single hour, that we can find victory and adequacy and buoyancy in living, they look at you as one who announces strange doctrine.  For they have become naturalized in defeat.

     “Mathias Alexander tells the story of a little girl who was permanently lopsided and who was brought to him for treatment.  After working with her for some time, he managed to get her to stand quite straight.  Then he asked her to walk across to her mother.  She walked perfectly straight for the first time in her life and then, bursting into tears, threw herself into her mother’s arms, crying, ‘Oh, Mummy, I’m all crooked.’  We too think of being spiritually straight and upstanding and adequate as something strange and unnatural.”


May the Holy Spirit awaken us to the very real possibility of victorious living!  Let’s pray: “O, Christ, we know we cannot live unless, first of all, we desire to live.  We do desire to live – to live fully and adequately.  Your pressure awakens us.  Open our eyes!  Amen.
I know that faith is the victory that overcomes the world!
     Pastor Doug





The Second Sunday in Lent

SUNDAY – MARCH 5, 2023

“And we have known the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God,

and God in him.”  I John 4:16


I really appreciate the expression about Sundays in This Love Changes Everything Prayer Journal.  The author identifies each    Sunday as “Sunday Oasis.”  The fellowship of believers who gather to worship the Lord will find refreshing there.  We should    especially get a “fresh dose” of God’s love as He pours it out on His people.  During this season of Lent we are being reminded about God’s love for us and how it affects our daily lives.  The Bible teaches that genuine love is a characteristic of believers.  E. Stanly Jones has written about “assurances” that are given to us who have been born again.  The following comes from Thursday of Week 8 in Victorious Living.


     “There is another source of assurance that the New Life is within us.  We will be conscious of the impulse to share something, yes, to share Christ.

     “Life manifests not merely in a desire for more life for itself but also for more life for others.  The two sides of religion are love to God and love to humanity, and the moment we touch God, we will have an impulse to touch people.  If, therefore, we are not sure of our love to God, we may be assured of it, if we find our love to people increase.

     “The moment I arose from my knees after surrendering myself to Christ, I wanted to put my arms around the world and share this with everybody.  There was an almost irresistible impulse to give this precious fact.  I felt that everyone should know it and experience it; I feel that way still.

     “It may be that you have no such overwhelming impulse; it may be very feeble; it may be just the timid peeping of buds through the yet partly frozen ground of your reserves, and yet it is there.  Act on it today.

     “You may be rebuffed as I was rebuffed, when the next day I spoke to my companion in the law library of what had      happened: ‘What?  I’ll knock that out of you in two weeks.’  He didn’t; he only knocked it deeper.  It is the very life of God within you when you have an impulse to share!  Take its assurance!”


Jones ended the writing with a prayer which included: “O Christ, your love is conquering me, for I would conquer others for you.”  Each of us should say a hearty “AMEN!”
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ‘Tis a heav’n of heav’ns to me!
     Pastor Doug





The First Sunday in Lent


“And we have known the love that God has for us.  God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God,

and God in him.”  I John 4:16


Most of us can quote John 3:16.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  So often when we talk about how much God loves us, we point back to something He has done in the past.  We tend to use the “past tense” of love when we speak about it.  I want to move your thoughts from the past into the present.  It is certainly true that there are historical events that are behind us in which God has demonstrated His love, but He loves us NOW as much as He loved us then.  Past actions are intended to prove to us that He loves us presently, in this very moment.  I want you not only to believe and know that God loves you, I want you to also experience His love for you RIGHT NOW!


This is a reason I want to encourage you to use the Lent Prayer Journal.  I urge you to read the Bible verses for each day and think about what God is saying to you through His Word.  Actually “reflect” on God’s Truth and then write down some of your own thoughts in your own words.  This exercise in your “devotional life” will draw you closer to the reality of God in your life.  My prayer is that you and I will have a deeper, greater sense of God’s love.


Each week has a theme that is at the top of each page.  Here they are!

This Love Is Real  (Week 1)

This Love Changes Everything!  (Week 2)

This Love Changes Our Love for Others  (Week 3)

This Love Changes Our Priorities  (Week 4)

This Love Changes Each Today  (Week 5)

This Love Changes Every Tomorrow  (Week 6)

Christ’s Life-Giving, Life-Changing Love  (Holy Week)


This will take us to our Easter Sunday celebration of His Resurrection!  Hallelujah!  We have always needed God’s love in our own hearts and lives!  The world we live in certainly needs God’s love NOW very desperately!  Let’s pray and seek our God for a fresh wind of His Spirit and His LOVE!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ‘Tis a heav’n of heav’ns to me!
     Pastor Doug






“Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you;

but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”  Luke 24:49


Before Jesus ascended into heaven after the resurrection, He met with His disciples to give them a final instruction concerning the ministry that lay ahead of them.  Luke wrote in Acts 1, “He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father.” (v. 4)  Jesus then explained, “You have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (v. 5)  The Promise was that God would send the Holy Spirit in a “new” way so that every believer would be “filled with the Spirit.”  It is recorded in the Second Chapter of Acts that God did send the   Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost “…and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:4)  If that great work of God that is recorded in Acts was contingent on the believers being filled with the Holy Spirit then, it remains the same today!  We must be filled with the Holy Spirit!


Corrie Ten Boom wrote a little book, Marching Orders for the End Battle, in which she wrote the following.  “In the Acts of the Apostles we see that the kingdom of God, the Church of Jesus Christ, was built through the work of the Holy Spirit, His fruit and His gifts.  The Word of God shows us that there is no substitute for the gifts of the Spirit.  They were not only for that time, but also for today.  The Good Shepherd will give to His own a life which reveals His Spirit and power.  For this equipment is necessary for the life of the Church, in her battle against the powers of darkness now, as in those days.”  She writes on the same page 35, “The first Christian church, which was brought to life in an unusual way through the creating power of the Holy Spirit, needed gifts of the Spirit to be built up.  How much more do we need the gifts of the Spirit in this time in our churches and groups, where life is so often absent!  One appeals to tradition and habits and refuses to acknowledge the truth which the Bible teaches us: ‘The Spirit of God alone can give life to the soul’ (2 Cor. 3:6)  But this Spirit does not reveal Himself apart from the gifts of grace.  The ‘letter’, as the apostle writes, that is to say, pious human effort to understand and grasp the Word of God, cannot be a substitute for these. Only the Spirit can give light.  Only He can touch the heart.  Only He can lead us to repentance, humility and reconciliation.  The Spirit alone makes us understand the signs of the times, and He shows us that we have to stand in the gap for a world that is doomed to destruction.”


The Bill and Gloria Gaither song says in the refrain (chorus) what we need to pray: “Come, Holy Spirit, I need You; Come, sweet Spirit, I pray.  Come in Your strength and Your power; Come in Your own gentle way.”
Let’s open our hearts and lives to the Spirit’s fullness!
     Pastor Doug






“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their

trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”  Matthew 6:14, 15


It is obvious from observation and reports in the media that our country is filled with much hatred and bitterness.  There are large numbers of people behaving in unkind and harsh ways toward their fellow man.  A line from a pop song of the 60’s was “what the world needs now is love, sweet love.”  The song included phrases like “it’s just what there’s too little of,” and “no, not just for some, but for everyone.”  I believe that true love is found only in God.  He is the “source” and “example” of what true love is.  If the world is ever going to experience God’s true love, then certainly it must be found in the church of Jesus Christ!  It begins with us, dear brothers and sisters in Christ!  We must be the instrument of God through which His true love is manifested to the world.


The following was written by E. Stanley Jones in the 1930’s in Victorious Living.  (This was taken from the Sunday reading of Week 6.)

     “Take resentment.  Whether you have wronged your brother as shown in Matthew 5:23-24 (in coming to the altar you remember that someone has something against you) or in Matthew 18:15 (someone has sinned against you); in either case you are to go and be reconciled.  Whether sinned against or sinning, the Christian is under obligations to take the initiative in settling the dispute.

     “But you say, ‘I can’t forgive.’  Then may I say it very quietly, but very solemnly: You can never, never be forgiven.  ‘But if you don’t forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your sins’ (Matt. 6:15).  Do you not remember that in the Lord’s Prayer we pray, ‘Forgive us of our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us’?  So if you do not forgive, you ask not to be forgiven.  In refusing forgiveness to others you have broken down the bridge over which you yourself must pass, namely, forgiveness.”


Mr. Jones wrote the following prayer in conclusion: “O Christ, you who did hang on the cross, tortured in every nerve, yet did pray for your enemies, ‘Lord, forgive them,’ help me this day, now, to forgive those who have wronged me in a lesser way.  In your name.  Amen.”
The change necessary in our country must begin in us, God’s children!
     Pastor Doug






“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”  Matthew 7:7-8


One very important idea that Jesus taught about God the Father is that He is interested in our individual, personal lives.  Jesus wants us to know that we can trust our Heavenly Father.  He wants us to learn to petition our Father through prayer and to      believe that He will answer us!  Jesus taught that even imperfect earthly fathers give the proper and necessary items to their   children.  Examples were given, among which was the following: “…what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will he give him a stone?”  He concluded this section of the Sermon on the Mount by saying, “…how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (See Matthew 7:9-11)  Repeatedly throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus encouraged people to pray in faith expecting an answer from God the Father.


While it is true that we must have faith, our confidence in answered prayer is not in ourselves.  We don’t receive answers because we are “super spiritual” and superior to others offering prayers also.  We don’t receive answers because we “deserve” them through our extraordinary “good works” that we have accomplished.  Our confidence cannot rest in our oratorical abilities that cause us to think we “pray better” than others.  There are no special rituals we need to learn in order to receive answers from our Heavenly Father.  Answers to pray come to people because of the character and nature of God Himself!  Our confidence and faith for prayer must be fixed on Him and never on ourselves!


Mr. Charles Haddon Spurgeon wrote about “prayer-confidence” for the final day of January in Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith. He began, “Friends may be unfaithful, but the Lord will not turn away from the gracious soul; on the contrary, He will hear all its desires.”  The next paragraph he began, “Our wisdom is to look unto the Lord, and not to quarrel with men or women.”  People may forget us or deliberately reject us in our times of need, but God never will.  He loves and cares for us!  Read the final paragraph of that day’s devotion.

     “Because God is the living God, He can hear; because He is a loving God, He will hear; because He is our covenant God, He has bound Himself to hear us.  If we can each speak of Him as ‘My God,’ we may with absolute certainty say, ‘My God will hear me.’ Come, then, O bleeding heart, and let thy sorrows tell themselves out to the Lord thy God!  I will bow the knee in secret, and inwardly whisper, ‘My God will hear me.'”
We can all pray with confidence because of who our Heavenly Father is!
     Pastor Doug






“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.”                      I Timothy 2:3-5


I have met a few people over the years who indicated to me that “it didn’t take with me like it did with you.”  Most of these were people who grew up in the same setting as I did, and some even went to the same church as I did.  They expressed the belief that for one reason or another, they just couldn’t get saved.  I want to be very explicit with you to tell you that you can get saved.  God wants you to be saved, and it is certain that everything God wants He makes a possibility!


E. Stanley Jones wrote about “God’s Search for Me” and based it on the 15th chapter of Luke. He wrote, “we must accept the thought that God is in a persistent, redemptive search for us. It seems too good to be true.  My answer is that it is too good not to be true.”  Mr. Jones goes on to apply the content of the parables in Luke 15 to God’s search for every lost soul.

     “But here Jesus flings back the curtains and lets us see the God of the shepherd-heart who seeks and seeks the lost sheep until it is found.  And then the woman who sweeps the house for the lost coin.  So, says Jesus, God will sweep the universe with the broom of redeeming grace, until each lost soul is found.  For as the king’s image is stamped upon the coin so is the Divine image stamped upon the human soul, lost though it may be amid the dust of degradation.”


The final paragraph Jones explains that the son who “went into the far country” was so loved by the Father, that “…this lad got hold of his father’s outreaching love, and it led him back to the father’s bosom.  The Hound of Heaven relentlessly pursuing us down the years!”  (Jones, Victorious Living, Week 4, Tuesday.)


The next day, E. Stanley Jones addresses the issue of the possibility that “some souls are incapable of finding God by their very mental and spiritual makeup.”  He declares: “Everyone has a capacity to love God.  Everyone who is willing to pay the price of finding can find God.  Remember this: No one is constitutionally incapable of finding God.  If we do not find God, the cause is not in our constitution, but in our consent!”


Each of us must turn our eyes toward Jesus, look full in His wonderful face; and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
I rejoice that He sought me, and He bought me!
     Pastor Doug





“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear… The Lord of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our refuge… The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.”  Psalm 46:1-2a, 7, 11


Throughout history people who have trusted in the power of God to help them have discovered that He is indeed real.  God will not forsake us to the enemy and his schemes to harm us, but He will demonstrate His real interest and intervention in our lives.  You actually can trust Him!  The question to answer: Do you trust Him?


Charles Spurgeon wrote about Joel 2:32, “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.”  His writing is entered for January 16 in his Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith.

     “Why do I not call on His name?  Why do I run to this neighbor and that, when God is so near and will hear my faintest call? Why do I sit down, and devise schemes, and invent plans?  Why not at once roll myself and my burden upon the Lord?  Straightforward is the best runner – why do I not run at once to the living God?  In vain shall I look for deliverance anywhere else; but with God I shall find it; for here I have His royal shall to make it sure.

     “I need not ask whether I may call on Him or not, for that word ‘Whosoever’ is a very wide and comprehensive one.  Whosoever means me, for it means anybody and everybody who calls upon God.  I will therefore follow the leading of the text, and at once call upon the glorious Lord who has made so large a promise.

     “My case is urgent, and I do not see how I am to be delivered; but this is no business of mine.  He who makes the promise will find out ways and means of keeping it.  It is mine to obey His commands; it is not mine to direct His counsels.  I am His servant, not His solicitor.  I call upon Him, and He will deliver me!”


I urge you to trust Him so much that when you are in need, the first thing you will do is call upon the Lord!
I rejoice that He has heard my cry, and He answered me!
     Pastor Doug






“And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!  Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.  But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”  I Corinthians 15:17-20


E. Stanley Jones was a missionary who shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ among many nations and religions, but worked most extensively among the Buddhists of India who viewed life as a “bubble.” As a Christian, Jones viewed life more like an “egg” than a “bubble.”  Following is a demonstration of the difference between the two views.  The material is taken from Jones’ Victorious Living, Wednesday’s entry of the first week.


     “Is life a bubble, or is it an egg?  I must make my choice.  On the one hand, experts tell us that the universe is slowly running down and that one day it will end in ash, carrying with it all things and all life to its final doom.  Death shall reign.  On the other hand, some tell us that the universe is being renewed by a silent and saving bombardment of life-giving rays, so that the last word is not being spoken by death, but by life.  Life shall reign!  One says the universe is a bubble; the other says it is an egg.

     “On the one hand, they tell us that man is made up of elements that can be purchased for a few cents, so that life is only mucus and misery.  On the other hand, some tell us that humanity is made in the image of the Divine, that we have infinite possibilities of growth and development before us.  One says humanity is a bundle of futilities; the other says we are a bundle of possibilities.

     “Some say prayer is an auto-suggesting of oneself into illusory states of mind, that nothing comes back save the echo of one’s own voice.  Others say that in prayer actual communication takes place, that I link myself with the resources of God, so that my powers and faculties are heightened and life is strengthened and purified at its center.  One says prayer is futile; the other says it is fertile.”


The Lord Jesus Christ teaches us that life is all about God!  Life is negatively impacted by unbelief and rejection of God!  But life is fully lived and enjoyed through Jesus Christ and a vital relationship with the God of the universe.  God is the source and Savior of Life!


I am alive in Jesus Christ!
     Pastor Doug






“For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you…was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes.

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”  II Corinthians 1:19-20


We have received many “gifts” from different people throughout our lifetimes. Often these gifts have been in the form of a promise. “In the Spring, I’m going to take you to a Pirates home baseball game.” That’s just a simple example of “promise-gifts” that some of us may have received.  In my birthday card from my daughter back in August, she wrote, “I have tickets to a For King & Country concert on December 2nd; if you will go, I’ll take you.”  That was a “promise-gift” that I gladly accepted and received in fulfillment on December 2nd, 2022.  Can you think of any gift that you have received of that nature?  This is an exciting and encouraging type of gift.  They give us “something to look forward to” and a hope of something good coming into our lives.


God has given many, many promises in His Word, and according to the verses from II Corinthians at the top of this page, Jesus Christ is the guarantor of His promises.  “The promises of God are YES in Him!”  What wonderful “gifts” God has given to us in His Word!  Charles Spurgeon wrote the following in his Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith for January 3rd.


     “No promise is of private interpretation: it belongs not to one saint, but to all believers.  If, my brother, thou canst in faith lie down upon a promise, and take thy rest thereon, it is thine…. All the promises of God are Yea and Amen in Christ Jesus; and as He is ours, every promise is ours if we will but lie down upon it in restful faith.”

     “Come, weary one, use thy Lord’s words as thy pillows.  Lie down in peace.  Dream only of Him.  Jesus is thy ladder of light.  See the angels coming and going upon Him between thy soul and thy God; and be sure that the promise is thine own God-given portion, and that it will not be robbery for thee to take it to thyself, as spoken specially to thee.”


I pray that you will experience many of God’s “promise-gifts” throughout this New Year.  The most wonderful “promise-gift” is our Home in Heaven!  Hallelujah!
I’m standing on the promises of God!
     Pastor Doug






New Year’s Day

“But what things were gain to me, these I counted loss for Christ.

Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord,

for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ!”  Philippians 3:7, 8


There are times when people seem to make certain types of promises to themselves and others about changes they are going to make.  The beginning of a new year is one such time when folks “swear” that they are “turning over a new leaf.” We call these    decisions New Year’s Resolutions.  There are always good intentions behind these “promises” made, and most of them involve “giving up” certain things or behaviors that have questionable benefit.  The effectiveness of this practice seems to bear little fruit in the grand scheme of life.  Let’s be clear about one principle.  The principle of “letting go” of things and practices that we ought not to hold on to.  As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we have probably heard that it is necessary “to give up” certain negative, sinful, and worldly “things” in order to follow the Lord Jesus more closely.  There are many illustrations in the Bible of this truth. The more one loves Jesus and seeks His Kingdom, the more obvious it becomes that certain activities will be forsaken and “left  behind.”


The important motivation is that we “weed out” those detrimental things for the Lord!  We get rid of certain things because we want to walk closer to Jesus.  Make no mistake about the fact that Jesus sees all that you “have left” for Him.  He notices and appreciates that your love for Him has cost you something, and you willingly relinquished even valuable things for His sake.  He will bless you for it!  I love the following paragraph from Cowman’s Springs in the Valley on December 28.


     “Is it too much to hope that when we see our blessed Lord in glory, when the trials and the toils and the sacrifices are all at an end – Is it too much to desire that He would say something like this to us: ‘Thy love to me was wonderful.’?  I tell you it will make the toils of the road and all the renunciations and willing sacrifices of life seem as nothing to have some such words of commendation from the lips of our Savior, and to hear Him say to the one who has sought to be faithful at all cost: ‘Well done.  You were  never popular on earth, and nobody knew much about you.  The life you lived to My glory in the uninspiring sphere of duty seemed to be wasted, and its sacrifice to be worthless by those who knew it; but your love to Me was wonderful!  Men said you made mistakes and were narrowminded and did not catch the spirit of the age.  Men thought you were a fanatic and a fool, and called you so; men crucified you as they crucified Me, but your love to Me was wonderful!’”
He gave everything because He loves us!  Can we count it too much to sacrifice for Him because we love Him?
He deserves my all!
     Pastor Doug