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This morning one of our missionaries shared about his latest trip to Mexico. His enthusiasm for what he’s doing is remarkable. Not all of us are cut out to do missions work in other countries but I am so thankful for those that do. Mark 16:15 tells us to “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation”. For those of us who do not travel to other regions, ‘all the world’ also includes Roseburg and every other place we go, right?
Pastor Bob Scroggins delivered the message today. I’m going to start with one of the scriptures he shared; Proverbs 1:7 (NIV): ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.’ The footnote in my NIV states that the ‘fear of the Lord is a reverent awe of God’s power, majesty and holiness; it produces in us a holy fear of transgressing His revealed will, and such reverence is essential to gaining a heart of wisdom’. The cool thing about Proverbs is its purpose is to give understanding concerning our behavior. It’s like a ‘wisdom handbook’, ultimately stating that the wisdom is the fear of the Lord. It also has 31 verses – one to read each day of the month, and for those of us working on that ‘need to read more’ situation, this is a great way to start!
Pastor Bob reminded us to guard our walk, the way we conduct ourselves and to be careful. ‘Take great thought as to how you live, not as a fool but be one who is wise’. He said that a fool has lost direction and is without moral values and is without a moral heartbeat. “…listen to God’s instructions, you wouldn’t be in the mess you are in, you need The Manual. To refuse that instruction places you in a terrible position.”
As I am writing this blog I see a cup sitting next to me and it reminds me of how accountable we are as Christians. There is one word written on it: ’Accountability’. I thought about how ‘foolish’ I felt today. Sometimes things come out of my mouth before I can catch them – this is where I wish God had some duct tape! Romans 3:19 (NIV) says: ‘Now we know that whatever the law says…so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.’ I’m pretty sure this cup will be with me every day at work as a reminder.
Pastor Bob said: “Be careful – you need to know where you’re going.” To me that also means to be careful, think before you act or speak, because you need to know how you’re leading (others to the cross).
Best Quote of the Day:“When God says it’s right, it’s right. When God says it’s wrong, it’s wrong.” -Pastor Bob Scroggins
If someone asked me how the Friends Day service was today, I’d have to use a Pastor Randy term: It was a Grand Slam!
Of particular note was how he apologized on behalf of those who misled, misquoted or misguided anyone – who put God in a box, and for those who were raised in a home with so many rules about God that their faith would not be enjoyable and they could not be free to commune with the very One who made them. In my own search for a personal relationship with God I found some of these religions to be clinical, for lack of a better word. They have rules that either I did not agree with or could not find a solid basis for. They believe what they are doing is right. We believe what we are doing is right. I believe the Bible is right. I don’t need a second book written to accompany the Bible, I don’t need to be told I can’t be friends with someone because I’m not ‘in their fold’ and I don’t need to be told what to wear or how long my hair should be. I need to know what God wants in my life – the way His Word tells me to live it. Colossians 6:8 NIV says it like this: ‘See to it that no one takes you captive through deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world, rather than on Christ’.
Pastor warned us to be mindful when religious people or legalists are quoting the Bible. They may quote things that are not in it or add to it, just to keep you under their control and convince you to do as they say. In addition to the other things we’ve already been told – being a legalist can make you unloving. A legalist wants you to fear them, not God. They will swarm in to sting…to get you to give up, or to give in. They will do this in public places like Facebook, church or any other public gathering, looking for an audience. Just like the Pharisees and Scribes who came out to public places to find fault in Jesus, instead of coming to learn they came to criticize. Their ears were closed to Jesus’ teachings, picking Him apart and finding something to disagree with. Here they were, sitting in the presence of the greatest teacher of all…looking to find fault and blowing the chance to appreciate the fact that they were hearing it straight from the One who wrote The Book. What a shame. If Jesus knocked on your door – would you invite Him in and listen with an open heart and mind?
Pastor asked us if we are coming to church to listen and learn or if we are coming to find something to disagree with and to criticize. He encouraged us to ask God to show us our faults, our weaknesses, and how dangerous those things can be so that we do not walk in error. He believes that those who mostly disagree do so because it would disrupt the way they are living. Interesting thought…
Do you want to know what I appreciate about this church? It’s this: In this place you will be loved and fed the Word regardless of your reasons for showing up each Sunday. That’s the way Jesus wants it and that’s just the way we roll around here. I am very thankful for that.
Best Quote of the Day:
“You never measure a champion by how many times he gets knocked down. You measure a champion by how many times he gets up.” -Pastor Randy Scroggins
Did you find yourself well fed this morning? That was another one of those ‘Tell it like it is’ sermons. God always delivers – He hits the floor running – and speaks to each of us individually. He wonderfully and beautifully created each and every one of us and He sees (and knows) our very souls. God does not see us from the outside first…he sees us from the very center of our beings first. The rest is packaging. I wish we all would focus more on looking at others from the inside out – the world would be a much better place.
We are still walking through who or what, legalists and religious people are. Reiterating the facts, Pastor explained that legalism makes you bold. Being bold does not make you right, and the louder you talk the more obnoxious and annoying you become. Legalism makes you ineffective. It’s not enough to know a lot. It doesn’t make others want to be around you. Legalism makes you arrogant. Just because someone is well versed does not make them right.
I feel that many of these people Pastor speaks of are missing that close, personal relationship with Father God. Not to say they are not committed and believe wholeheartedly in whom they serve, but it appears to me they miss that personal communion with God. “The qualification is critical to our thinking -- He is our heavenly Father. He is not a father who is called God; He is God who is called a Father...” - Christian Leadership Center (online)
This coming Sunday, August 1st is officially Friends Day at New Beginnings Church of God. Let’s pray that we pack the place out! Pastor Scroggins said: “We are about to turn Roseburg upside down…we have sat in complacency in Roseburg for way too long…” With that in mind, don’t forget to pass out those church business cards, invite people to church and remember this Sunday is our day to start building the kingdom, one friend at a time!
We did learn a new term today: ‘Reduction ad absurdum’, which refers to anything pushed to absurd extremes. "Consider it a peaceful way of settling an argument or a discussion by concluding that your opponent is right then walking through it to the end to see it out", Pastor Randy said. I like that, it may be a tough stand to take at times - especially when you are in a heated or offensive situation, but practice becomes habit.
Throughout my notes from this Sunday’s service I keep being reminded of Psalms 46:10-11: ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord God Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah' ('selah' means to “pause and calmly think about that”). When you find yourself in a conversation you don't agree with, consider the peaceful way of settling it and be still - know that He is God.
“I believe in the power of Jesus…I live by it” -Pastor Randy Scroggins
Did the Holy Spirit knock your socks off today? From the praise and worship to the sermon, I could clearly feel the movement of God. There were two women standing near me this morning who were very deep in worship - what a joy to witness this. It was energizing and exciting!
Pastor Randy brought up a recent tragic event in our community, acknowledging the family’s need to vent, grieve and to be angry. He asked that we ‘not be God, but represent God’ in our community. Good one.
His message this morning was loaded with - yes, I’m going to say it again…meat and potatoes. He began teaching us about Legalism, stating how it makes a person bold - that all is right with them, and if you don’t agree with a Legalist – you are obviously wrong. He used the Scribes and Pharisees as examples: Scribes were educated, religious men whose rules were never questioned. Pharisees carried out their bidding, swarming into places and destroying them. Right or wrong, no questions asked. Aren’t you glad we serve a God of love and compassion whose rules make our lives and those around us better on every level?
“Stop worrying so much about the rules and regulations and start practicing having a relationship with Him. The rules and regulations that He has through your relationship will fall in line without you even trying”, said Pastor Randy.
That old saying ‘Practice what you preach’ comes to mind. You can be sure that as soon as someone in the world finds out that you are a Christian they will be watching you, like the Pharisees watched Christ – waiting for you to make a mistake. I am human – and there are days. Sometimes things come out of my mouth before I can stop them. Walking with God has given me the ability to apologize more readily, to admit I was out of line and to maintain better control of my mouth. Could I have done that before? Not so much!
Best quote of the day:God is love, compassion, life, grace, sympathy, has empathy. He is the Great Shepherd, Pastor, Leader, Guide, Deliverer and most importantly the Soon Coming King. –Pastor Scroggins
Happy Independence Day! As our visiting missionary, Pastor Gary Tygart said: “This is our nation’s Independence Day, but we are also independent from sin…are we not indebted to God to live in such an incredible nation?” Amen, brother! Indeed we are.
He referred us to Luke 15:10, referencing the three parables that deal with what is lost. It reads ‘In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.’ Can you imagine the sound of angels rejoicing in Heaven for every lost soul that is found? Do you realize that the very same rejoicing this scripture refers to happened when each of us was saved? Each name was lovingly written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. How awesome is that!
Referencing the Prodigal Son, Pastor Tygart mentioned that in his quest for independence, he leaves his father’s house and spends his inheritance. He had all he wanted…for a while. He did not think that everything he needed was already in his father’s house. Interesting.
I found the following on gracethrufaith.com: ‘Even in the midst of our very worst rebellion, we can’t stop being our father’s children.’ Thank you God, for that food for thought!
Best quote of the day:
If you missed it, watch the video! Pastor Randy gave us the usual ‘meat and potatoes’ in his sermon. I don’t know if there is one sermon I walk away from that does not affect my thoughts, and therefore my life. His messages always feed us. The ‘dessert’ is left up to your own interpretation. Perhaps it is the positive change in your life through God and how it affects those around you.
Apparently most Christians only read their bible for about 20 minutes a week - at church. “If I can just get you to open The Book, it will save you a multitude of sorrows…the largest majority of Christians don’t know what’s in the bible”, said Pastor Randy. How many of us felt the Holy Spirit point a finger in our direction?
‘Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path’ Psalms 119:105
Biker Sunday, wow-we had a great time this past Sunday.
Many thanks go out to all that participated in our Biker Sunday.
We had people from all over who came including Pastor Lee and his group of insane people from the coast.
We were reminded again that we live in a free country however freedom was and is not free. There was a price to pay and many of our young men gave the ultimate price.
God help us to make sure we treat our servicemen and women with the respect that they deserve.
Kevin came down and sang and did an amazing Job as usual, while singing the moving song, “Statue of Liberty” thanks Kevin.
Then our own Don and Becky did as usual a great Job in leading the service.
I am so pleased as Pastor to have a ministry that includes another side of life, let all of New Beginnings hear this, we had better get used to people who don’t look just like us, sing just like us, wear the same clothes as us, because heaven is going to be filled with people who is not like us. However we will all have one thing in common, we will all have the blood of Jesus Christ flowing through our veins.
For that I say, “Praise the Lord”
Get ready for this Sunday, I will be preaching a message the title, “Jesus Loves sinners” it looks like at this point it will be a good one.
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