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Tue, Aug 11.20

  Beaver Creek Christian Church : A nondenominational fellowship of believers in Ashe County, West Jefferson, NC Minister's Minute: Minister's Blog - Posted Every Tuesday - Friday

 

FALL FELL

Ecclesiastes 11:4

Ecclesiastes 11:4 - Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.

Fall weather came in quickly this week. Br-r-r-r! Just when I was getting back into the routine of daily exercise the temperature has to drop and the sky has to be so overcast.

But that, for me, is just an excuse. I have exercised in the cold, in the rain, in the snow, and even in the gloom. Not only that but I have exercise equipment in my basement. I also have a series of videos on DVD that I could use to workout. Isn't it funny how we sometimes look for an excuse not to do the things we don't really want to do!

The writer of Ecclesiastes sees right through our excuses. He tells us not to hesitate and not to let our hand be idle. Keep at it and you will work through it.

Sometimes we make excuses when it comes to God. It may be in our attendance at church or Bible study. It might even be in putting to work that which we have learned. It might be that we hesitate in telling someone about Jesus and make an excuse about "the timing wasn't right." We even make excuses when it comes to reading the Bible and praying.

In Luke 14, Jesus tells the parable about the great banquet and the invitation. People who were invited began making excuses. And Jesus concluded the story by saying "not one of those invited will taste of my banquet."

It's time to stop making excuses. I'm going to go exercise.

Prayer Thought: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for all the opportunities that you have given me. Help me to make the most of them and to stop making excuses. Who am I fooling anyway. You are the God who sees my heart. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Sep 25, 14/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Don't Bring Me Down!

Romans 15:2

Romans 15:2 - Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.

The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) used to sing a song entitled, "Don't Bring Me Down". I must admit that I used to think they were singing, "Don't bring me down, Bruce." And I wondered what Bruce had done to get them so frustrated, especially since the song is about a girl who is acting all uppity. The real word is "Grroosss".

Isn't it funny how easy it is for people to bring other people down. The other day, I asked someone how they were feeling and then commented that they didn't look to good. I meant it out of concern since the fellow has been having some health problems. Although I didn't mean to do it I brought him down and made him feel even worse (Sorry, friend). "Don't bring me down, Grroosss!"

Then the other day someone did something to me. I was feeling really good about a song I sang in church a few weeks back because it had a great message. I will be the first to admit that my singing and guitar playing are not the best. But someone told me that I should stick to what I do best. Now I am afraid to do anything because I am not really sure what I do best. "Don't bring me down, Grroosss!"

We went through a beautiful revival with a speaker who challenged us to get off the pews and get out in the streets. Unfortuantely, as I high as I was feeling about the power of that revival there are some who have chosen to fuss and complain about it. "Don't bring me down, Grroosss!"

Sometimes we do mean it to hurt. We say something hasty or out of sorts and then it's too late to take it back. Feelings are hurt and that can cause bitterness and mistrust. "Don't bring me down, Grroosss!"

We are supposed to be working together in the kingdom to bring others to Christ and His glory. But often we are distracted by petty bickering and ill feelings towards others. Some times it's just sharing our opinion about something we should keep to ourselves. "Don't bring me down, Grroosss!"

This should not be so. The Bible tells us over and over again to be humble and to build others up. Don't let your pride get in the way and bring someone down.

Let's work to build each other up!

Prayer Thought: Dear Heavenly Father, Please fill my mouth with worthy stuff and nudge me when I've said enough. I want to honor you with my words. I pray that you will help me to build others up instead of tearing them down. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Loren Lung

Aug 30, 14/ preacher/ Ministers Minute/

The Walls Around You

Joshua 1:6

Joshua 1:6 – Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.

It had been 40 years since Joshua and Caleb had spied out the land with the other ten men from Israel. Joshua and Caleb had been the only two who stood their ground when they gave the report to the people. They knew that they could do it with God’s help. He would be with them. But the people cried out that they couldn’t do it.

Now Joshua was older, more mature, and in charge. Moses was dead and Joshua would have to lead the children of Israel into Canaan and face the walls of Jericho. Do you think that he was feeling his age now? Do you think he had doubts or fears? Do you think he questioned if the people were ready? Do you think maybe he wondered if he was ready to lead?

The Bible doesn’t say he faced these questions. The walls of Jericho were high and wide. It is said that the walls were impenetrable. God doesn’t know something that is too big for him but we of human frailty know!

I know that we often face walls that seem impenetrable. Sometimes the walls are ones we have built ourselves. Sometimes they are walls that have been built by others or by the circumstances of life. But we all have big walls that need to fall down.

In my spiritual walk with Jesus I see some walls that seem pretty impressive. How can the walls of fear, doubt, temptation, addiction, selfishness, pride, and sin come falling down?

Well, if you remember the story, Joshua and the people did not bring down the walls of Jericho. God did it. All they had to do was follow his directions. They were to march around those monstrously impressive walls one time each day for six days. On the seventh day they were to walk around the wall seven times. And on the seventh time they were to blow trumpet and shout. And the walls of Jericho fell flat.

So as we prepare for God to tear down the walls let us stand faithfully and follow his instructions.

As we prepare for revival we need to be praying each day. Here are some suggestions for you spiritual walk around the wall each day. Pray this as you go:

Day 1: Our revival speaker and musicians

Day 2: Our church leaders

Day 3: Our church

Day 4: Our community

Day 5: Our country

Day 6: Our Youth

Day 7: Our sick, shut-in, elderly

Keep walking and praying. The walls will fall down.

Prayer Thought: Dear God, Today, I stand before the walls and I see just how big they are. But I know that I have a God that is even bigger than the biggest wall. And you are the one who can bring them all down. Help me to trust in you and not be overwhelmed by obstacles that stand in my way. I want to serve you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Loren Lung

Jul 31, 14/ PREACHER/ Ministers Minute/

Open The Eyes of My Heart

Ephesians 1:17-21

Ephesians 1:17-21 – I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

Our congregation is trying to make that awkward move to include a praise song or two into our traditional worship service. This is a good thing. It appeals to the younger people in our congregation and ministers to us in a different way. It is another means to worship and praise God.

I must admit that I really like praise and worship music as well and often find myself listening to K-Love, Air1, or the Message on my radio. I also like the hymns as well and I feel that both hymns and praise music have a place in worship. Ephesians 5:19 says, "speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord."

There is always resistance to the dreaded word, “CHANGE”. We might like a little change in our pockets but we don’t always like change in the church. When some people think of change they think of liberalism and anarchy taking over the church. I understand the fear that comes with music. I can assure you that praise songs will not change what the Bible says. In fact, they can help us better understand God as many of the praise songs take their words right from the Scriptures.

This past Sunday we sang, “Open the Eyes of My Heart”. It is a beautiful song with lyrics that reflect what Paul was trying to get across the people of Ephesus in Ephesians 1:18. His prayer was that God would enlighten or open the eyes of their hearts so that they could see hope we have in God’s inheritance and his power.

Sometimes we need to have the eyes of our heart opened. Sometimes we forget that we have a hope of eternal life and that the things of earth are not that important in the eternal scheme of things. At other times we are blinded to God’s power. We know it is there but we don’t allow his power to flow because we don’t think or believe that God will do something. Like the father of the demon possessed boy we have to say, “I do believe. Lord, help my unbelief.” And then there are times when we do not see past our own needs and miss the needs of others. Our heart’s eyes need to be enlightened so that we can allow God to work through us.

I can not tell you the number of times this song has ministered to my spiritual life or my relationship with others. Having God enlighten the vision of our hearts is something we should be asking him to do more often. It is my prayer today that you will allow God to open the eyes of your heart and show you a new and better way.

Open The Eyes of My Heart

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord;

Open the eyes of my heart

I want to see You, I want to see You

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord;

Open the eyes of my heart

I want to see You, I want to see You

To see You high and lifted up

Shining in the light of Your glory

Lord pour out Your Power and Love

As we sing Holy, Holy, Holy

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord;

Open the eyes of my heart

I want to see You, I want to see You

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord;

Open the eyes of my heart

I want to see You, I want to see You

To see You high and lifted up

Shining in the light of Your glory

Lord pour out Your Power and Love

As we sing Holy, Holy, Holy

To see You high and lifted up

Shining in the light of Your glory

Lord pour out Your Power and Love

As we sing Holy, Holy, Holy

Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy,

Holy, Holy, Holy, I want to see You. (repeat)

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord;

Open the eyes of my heart

I want to see You, I want to see You

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord;

Open the eyes of my heart

I want to see You, I want to see You

Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy,

Holy, Holy, Holy, I want to see You.

Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy,

Holy, Holy, Holy, I want to see You.

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord;

Open the eyes of my heart

I want to see You, I want to see You

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord;

Open the eyes of my heart

I want to see You, I want to see You

Words and Music by Paul Baloche ©1998 Hosanna Music

Prayer Thought: Dear God, You are Jehovah Ori, The God of light, and my guide. My prayer today is that you will open the eyes of my heart so that I can see you clearly and so that I can know the security of your eternal nature and your power. Help me to lift you up and glorify you instead of trying to lift myself up or think of myself before others. You are holy. You are God. You are my light and my salvation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Loren Lung

Jul 22, 14/ preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Cold Water Challenge

Proverbs 25:13

Proverbs 25:13 -Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him; he refreshes the spirit of his master.

We had a blast at VBS this year. It was wonderful to see so many people excited about the things we can do together to spread the joy of the kingdom of God. It was a great week.

Our mission this year was IDES - International Disaster Emergency Services. Although they are based in Noblesville, Indiana, their mission touches the world and ministers to those who are affected by all kinds of natural disaster. Miss Minnie presented their mission each night. We challenged the kids to raise $500.00.

We wanted to keep the goal lower because we wanted it obtainable. Their were less children this year in part because we were one of 28 churches in Ashe County that had VBS all on the same week. As an incentive to get their goal we made a cold water challenge. If the children raised their goal they would get to see me get drenched in cold water. For every ten dollars they got to put in a cup of ice to make it even chillier. They made the goal by Wednesday night so we volunteered Michael Hohman if they could get $700.00 and Mike Grubb if they could get $1000.00. And the kids and adults raise $1,029.00 for IDES.

I must admit that I feel guilty dragging Michael and Mike into the fray. But the kids had a good time getting us wet... and cold. The water took our breath away for a second or two and then we were okay. Michael and Mike were good sports even though I believe they got it worse than I did.

It is refreshing when you think that the proceeds are going to a very good cause. It is wonderful to know that we can do great things for the Lord if we just put our minds to it.

I look forward to the challenges and the fun of working together with the people of Beaver Creek Christian Church. You are wonderful and loving people. God bless you.

Prayer Thought: Dear God, You are our creator, provider, protector, savior and king. Thank you for the refreshing snow-chilled drink that Mike, Michael, and I enjoyed. Please bless the money that was raised and help IDES use it to relieve suffering and to bring hope and salvation to other around the globe. Thank you for bringing me and my wife to Beaver Creek. In Jesus' precious name I pray. Amen.

International Disaster Emergency Services - IDES
Jul 1, 14/ Anonymous/ Ministers Minute/

"Do You Believe In Easter?" - The Parable of Edith Burns

John 3:16-17: Romans 5:8

This story is one of many inspirational fiction writings from the pen of Russell Kelfer who was an elder and Bible teacher at Wayside Chapel in San Antonio, Texas until his death in 2000.

Edith Burns was a wonderful Christian who lived in San Antonio,

Texas. She was the patient of a doctor by the name of Will

Phillips. Dr. Phillips was a gentle doctor who saw patients as

people. His favorite patient was Edith Burns.

One morning he went to his office with a heavy heart and it was

because of Edith Burns. When he walked into that waiting room,

there sat Edith with her big black Bible in her lap earnestly

talking to a young mother sitting beside her.

Edith Burns had a habit of introducing herself in this way:

"Hello, my name is Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?" Then

she would explain the meaning of Easter, and many times people

would be saved.

Dr. Phillips walked into that office and there he saw the head

nurse, Beverly. Beverly had first met Edith when she was taking

her blood pressure. Edith began by saying, "My name is Edith

Burns. Do you believe in Easter?"

Beverly said, "Why, yes, I do."

Edith said, "Well, what do you believe about Easter?"

Beverly said, "Well, it's all about egg hunts, going to church, and

dressing up."

Edith kept pressing her about the real meaning of Easter, and

finally led her to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Dr. Phillips said, "Beverly, don't call Edith into the office quite

yet. I believe there is another delivery taking place in the

waiting room."

After being called back in the doctor's office, Edith sat down, and

when she took a look at the doctor she said, "Dr. Will, why are you

so sad? Are you reading your Bible? Are you praying?"

Dr. Phillips said gently, "Edith, I'm the doctor and you're the

patient." With a heavy heart he said, "Your lab report came back

and it says you have cancer, and Edith, you're not going to live very long."

Edith said, "Why Will Phillips, shame on you. Why are you so sad?

Do you think God makes mistakes? You have just told me I'm going

to see my precious Lord Jesus, my husband, and my friends. You

have just told me that I am going to celebrate Easter forever, and

here you are having difficulty giving me my ticket!"

Dr. Phillips thought to himself, "What a magnificent woman this

Edith Burns is!"

Edith continued coming to Dr. Phillips. Christmas came and the

office was closed through January 3rd. On the day the office

opened, Edith did not show up.

Later that afternoon, Edith called Dr. Phillips and said she would

have to be moving her story to the hospital and said, "Will, I'm

very near home, so would you make sure that they put women in here

next to me in my room who need to know about Easter."

Well, they did just that, and women began to come in and share that

room with Edith. Many women were saved. Everybody on that floor

from staff to patients were so excited about Edith that they

started calling her Edith Easter; that is, everyone except Phyllis

Cross, the head nurse.

Phyllis made it plain that she wanted nothing to do with Edith

because she was a "religious nut". She had been a nurse in an army

hospital. She had seen it all and heard it all. She was the

original G.I. Jane. She had been married three times, she was

hard, cold, and did everything by the book.

One morning the two nurses who were to attend to Edith were sick.

Edith had the flu and Phyllis Cross had to go in and give her a shot.

When she walked in, Edith had a big smile on her face and said,

"Phyllis, God loves you and I love you, and I have been praying for you."

Phyllis Cross said, "Well, you can quit praying for me. It won't

work and I'm not interested."

Edith said, "Well, I will pray and I have asked God not to let me

go home until you come into the family."

Phyllis Cross said, "Then you will never die because that will

never happen," and curtly walked out of the room.

Every day Phyllis Cross would walk into the room and Edith would

say, "God loves you, Phyllis, and I love you, and I'm praying for you."

One day Phyllis Cross said she was literally drawn to Edith's room

like a magnet would draw iron. She sat down on the bed and Edith

said, "I'm so glad you have come, because God told me that today is

your special day."

Phyllis Cross said, "Edith, you have asked everybody here the

question, 'Do you believe in Easter?', but you have never asked me."

Edith said, "Phyllis, I wanted to many times, but God told me to

wait until you asked, and now that you have asked ."

Edith Burns took her Bible and shared with Phyllis Cross the Easter

Story of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Edith said, "Phyllis, do you believe in Easter? Do you believe

that Jesus Christ is alive and that He wants to live in your heart?"

Phyllis Cross said, "Oh, I want to believe that with all of my

heart, and I do want Jesus in my life." Right there, Phyllis Cross

prayed and invited Jesus Christ into her heart. For the first time

Phyllis Cross did not walk out of a hospital room, she was carried

out on the wings of angels.

Two days later, Phyllis Cross came in and Edith said, "Do you know

what day it is?"

Phyllis Cross said, "Why Edith, it's Good Friday."

Edith said, "Oh, no, for you every day is Easter. Happy Easter,

Phyllis!"

Two days later, on Easter Sunday, Phyllis Cross came into work, did

some of her duties, and then went down to the flower shop and got

some Easter lilies, because she wanted to go up to see Edith, give

her some Easter lilies, and wish her a Happy Easter.

When she walked into Edith's room, Edith was in bed. That big

black Bible was on her lap. Her hands were in that Bible. There

was a sweet smile on her face. When Phyllis Cross went to pick up

Edith's hand, she realized Edith was dead. Her left hand was on

John 14:2

"In my Father's house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place

for you. I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I

am, there you may be also."

Her right hand was on Revelation 21:4:

"And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, there shall be

no more death nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more

pain, for the former things have passed away."

Phyllis Cross took one look at that dead body, and then lifted her

face toward heaven, and with tears streaming down her cheeks said,

"Happy Easter, Edith --- Happy Easter!"

Phyllis Cross left Edith's body, walked out of the room and over to

a table where two student nurses were sitting.

She said, "My name is Phyllis Cross. Do you believe in Easter?"

Jun 13, 14/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

In The Beginning God

Genesis 1:1-2

Genesis 1:1-2 -In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

I am reminded of an old joke I was told many years ago. When is baseball first mentioned in the Bible? Answer: Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning (Big Inning). Well don’t blame me, I never said it was a good joke. I said it was an old joke.

I love how the Bible never seeks to prove the existence of God. It never tries to explain him or categorize him. It isn’t a study on him. It is a revelation. Simply, In the beginning God.

In what beginning. Throughout the Bible we see God as the beginning and the end. He is the alpha and the omega (He’s A through Z). He is the first and the last. We know that God is eternal. We know that he has always been and always will be. That is how he reveals himself to us.

So what does the Bible mean when it says, “In the beginning?” The Hebrew word is “bereshith”. It is hard for us to fathom something that doesn’t have a beginning or end. Everything we know has a beginning and an end. We see how life starts and how it ends. We even know that the stars which all burn brightly now will have an end.

When the writer of Genesis declares “In the beginning” he is not stating the beginning of God. He is announcing the beginning of the history of creation. It is the beginning of time. It is the beginning and their will also be an end.

“In the beginning God created.” What did he create? Everything. The stars, the planets, the sun, light and darkness, land and seas, animals, birds, fish, even small insects and micro-organisms. He created man and woman. He created life.

Where as God created all things he created life and he gave that life to man and woman. He put them in charge of all things, plants, animals, birds, and fish. It was a blank canvas for us to show our creative nature too. Yes, God made us in his image. We are the only things with a creative nature that can use his creation as canvas to paint upon.

Your life is a canvas. Your talents and abilities are your palate of color. Your hands and feet are the brushes to use. God gave you a life as a gift. And he wants to see what you will paint. What will you create of your life?

What will you paint about God? How will you show this beautiful creation and all the gifts he has given you? We often call this a “spiritual” life. But it is not separate from the rest of life. Your painting should include God and his gifts to you. It especially should include his son, Jesus. When people look at your life painting will they see the beauty that God has created in you?

What will you paint about your family and friends? I know a woman who is tormented by how cruel her father was too her. Everyone thought else who looked at his life painting saw wonderful things but they did not see the darkness he painted to his family. He was a great man but she saw a different painting. It so hurt her that her painting has areas of darkness in it too. We need to make sure that our life painting is consistent to all who view it, especially our family and friends.

God has given us this wonderful gift, the canvas of life. What are you painting on it?

Just as life has a beginning, it also has an end. We don’t know when that end will come. Will your picture be complete? Will it be coherent? Or will it be a bunch of colors flung carelessly on the canvas? What will you do with your life canvas when it is all said and done.

Show Me Your Glory

by Third Day

I caught a glimpse of Your splendor

In the corner of my eye

The most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen

And it was like a flash of lightning

Reflected off the sky

And I know I’ll never be the same

Show me Your glory

Send down Your presence

I want to see Your face

Show me Your glory

Majesty shines about You

I can’t go on without You, Lord

When I climb down the mountain

And get back to my life

I won’t settle for ordinary things

I’m gonna follow You forever

And for all of my days

I won’t rest ’til I see You again

Show me Your glory

Show me Your glory

I can’t live without You

Prayer Thought: Dear Heavenly Father, You are Elohim, the creator. You have given me a beautiful life-canvas and the freedom to use it however I would like to use it. I know that you would like me to honor you with it. And I want to do just that. Help me to paint a picture that honors you. Hide me behind your glory and grace so that when others look at my life-canvas they will see you. In the name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.

Loren H. Lung

Jun 6, 14/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Revive Us Again!

Psalm 85

Psalm 85:5 -Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?

Sometimes we need to be revived. When we are refreshed our minds are clear and our hearts determined. We do better because our eyes see the goal and our minds understand the reasoning more clearly. We are no longer distracted. And it is easy to get excited.

We need a good revival. There is a church down the road that is having an old fashioned tent revival. I got tickled when I saw the flyer because it said, “7:00 p.m. – ?”. I commented to someone about it and they said, “We like to have the evangelist preach until everyone is revived.”

Our revival meeting is coming up in August. Pete Kunkle from First Christian Church in Kernersville will be our speaker. I am looking forward to being inspired and revived by these meetings. I hope you will start inviting your friends, family, neighbors, and acquaintances.

But I don’t necessarily mean a church meeting when I say that we need to be revived. Although for those who are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, burned-out, or broken a good old church revival is just what the “Good Doctor” prescribed. The “Great Physician” can do some marvelous spiritual healing through a church revival. I have seen those who were dead in sin reborn through church revivals. I have also seen those who were downcast turn to joyous rapture in Christ.

But when I talk about revival it doesn’t necessarily take a tent meeting or week-long preaching. What it takes is a heart that is open to God. I love how the Psalmist asked God for refreshing. Throughout the Psalms we read how he asked God for a new spirit, refreshing, rekindled, revived, redirected, or renewed. And God delivers when we ask.

Revival is like looking for a spring rain that brings new life and bright color to the plants. Everything seems so much clearer after the spring rain. Even the air itself is clean and fresh.

Revival is a new start. Sometimes I need a nudge. I need a fresh perspective. I need to feel the Spirit move in me.

The great thing is that there can always be a new start. As long as you have breath left you can be revived to live a spirit-filled life. You can have fresh insight into your job, your family, your finances, your weight loss journey, your exercise routine, your church, and your spirit. All you have to do is ask.

REVIVAL is there for the asking.

The Rain Of God

By M.S.Lowndes

Lord, you send the rain,

Giving water to the church,

To wash us and to cleanse us,

To quench our endless thirst

The rain that falls on us

Is often what we’re needing,

To refresh us and restore us,

A time of awesome blessing

For often we may feel

That we are in a drought,

In need of refreshing waters

When we are running out

For with the rain of God

Comes the growth that we need

And life springs forth from it

Just like a little seed

For if we don’t have rain,

How can our spirits grow

And flourish to produce

The crop that God has sowed?

So rain on us, dear God,

Draw us deep into your spring,

So our thirst can be satisfied

When we come and freely drink.

The Rain of God © By M.S.Lowndes

Prayer Thought: Dear Heavenly Father, You are the one who brings the rain. Let your refreshing rain fall on me today. I need revived. I need to see your love and grace poured out. Thank-you God for the love and grace of Jesus Christ who died for me. Fill me with your presence and open my heart for revival. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Loren Lung

May 23, 14/ Minister/ Ministers Minute/

Rejoice Always

I Thessalonians 5:16

1 Thessalonians 5:16 – Rejoice always

I like verses that are plain and simple. This is about as easy as it gets to understand. The ERV says,”Always be full of joy.” The Geneva Bible says, “Rejoice evermore.” And The Message says, “Be cheerful no matter what.” That’s easy to understand. What could be so difficult about that?

Understanding it is a whole lot easier than practicing it. It is hard to be happy in all circumstances. After all, happy has it’s root in the word happenings. We are happy when things are happening the way we want them too. We are happy when life is going well. We are happy when all everything lines up in a straight row and nothing is out of order.

But that is not life. This past week has been hard. My wife has had a virus. That made her sugar out of wack. Her glucose meter wasn’t giving accurate readings so we missed some of the signals and messed up. On top of that I did not felt well because of sinuses and allergies (Yea, Spring!). With family problems, financial pressures, and other things, I feel like there are times when I am barely keeping my head above water.

The dog ran off yesterday as we were getting ready to go to the doctor. We didn’t have time to mess with his foolishness. Every time we would get close to him he would run off. So we had to leave him out. We were concerned that he would get out in the street. But when we got home the neighbor helped us to get him. He was wet, dirty, thirsty, and happy. I was frustrated but glad to have him home.

Life can be trying at times. It can be frustrating. And it can be overwhelming. So how does one find happiness amidst the grinding of life?

We don’t.

Joy comes from within. It comes from understanding that God is in charge. It comes from trusting in his grace, his provision, his protection, and his providence. It comes from totally giving it over to him.

That’s difficult.

There are times we don’t feel like rejoicing. There are times when it is very difficult to hold on to joy. That is why we have to bring a sacrifice of praise to God. A sacrifice is offering something to God that cost us. Sometimes the sacrifice is to praise him even when we do not feel joyful.

Hebrews 13:15 says, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.” Jonah prayed from the belly of the fish, “With shouts of grateful praise, I will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good” (Jonah 2:9). Jeremiah stated that we will bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. Even though his wife told him to “curse God and die,” Job, even though he lost almost everything, talked about giving God praise.

The Hebrew word "Todah" expresses the idea sacrificial praise to God. Giving Him glory even when you are struggling and suffering.

The blessing is that when we honor God with rejoicing and praise in the midst of trouble he rewards us with a lasting peace and joy that flows from the heaven.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Lord Almighty, Thank you for the good days and thanks for the hard ones. The bad days help me appreciate the good ones. And I praise you for seeing me through everyday. You bless me beyond measure. You are my God and my King. Thank you for the saving grace that comes through your Son, Jesus Christ. It is in his name that I bring you praise, Amen and Amen.

Loren Lung

Great Song: Broken Hallelujah - The Afters
May 7, 14/ preacher/ Ministers Minute/

GPS – Global Positioning Satelite

Proverbs 3:21-23

Proverbs 3:21-23 -My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble.

I usually love my GPS. But Yesterday I was frustrated and angry with it. We were scheduled to leave for the Singspiration at 3:45 p.m. and our van driver, Dwight, was in the hospital. “No problem,” I said, “I’ll drive.” But Tom-Tom had a different idea.

Since I had never been to the church we were going to attend I pulled “ole Tom” from my desk drawer and started it up. The screen turned red and said “No Maps Available”. I plugged it into the computer and it told me I had to download the map and it said it would be 38 minutes to download. We were supposed to leave in less than 20 minutes! So I left Tom-Tom on my desk with the computer.

Mike called and told tried to give me me directions over the phone. When I still sounded confused Mike suggested that I meet him along the way and I could follow him. That was a relief. Then I found out that Ronnie, one of the men riding in the van, knew where we were going. I was relieved! It is always good to know where you are going and have helpful people to guide you.

We got to the Singspiration safely and had a good time of fellowship and singing. I really enjoyed the conversation and joking around in the van on the way there and back too.

It’s funny how much more enjoyable the journey is when you know you a going the right direction and you are with others who will help see you to the end.

We need to be grounded to God’s word in our lives. We also need fellowship and accountability in our spiritual walk. If you think you can find God on the golf course on Sunday morning or have a relationship with him outside of the church you are in danger of being lead the wrong way. The Church of Jesus Christ is built on the rock that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God. Their are too many people out there that are trying to sell you pebbles in your shoe rather than the solid stone bolder that is Jesus, our Lord. We want all the benefits of Jesus without having to endure those things we find less pleasant. But you need GPS (God's Practical Solution) in you life.

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.” Psalm 119:9

Prayer Thought: Dear God, Thank you for Mike and Ronnie helping me to get to the church yesterday. And thank you for those who have guided and helped me in my weight loss journey and in the church. Please be with Dwight and help him to feel better quickly. Thank you for this “great cloud of witnesses” who have clearly marked the path for my journey. You are my GPS and my God. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Loren Lung

Apr 29, 14/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Easter Donuts

Luke 23:46

Luke 23:46 – Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

There was a certain Professor of Religion named Dr. Christianson, a studious man who taught at a small college in the Western United States. Dr. Christianson taught the required survey course in Christianity at this particular institution. Every student was required to take this course his or her freshman year regardless of his or her major. Although Dr. Christianson tried hard to communicate the essence of the gospel in his class, he found that most of his students looked upon the course as nothing but required drudgery. Despite his best efforts, most students refused to take Christianity seriously.

This year, Dr. Christianson had a special student named Steve. Steve was only a freshman, but was studying with the intent of going onto seminary for the ministry. Steve was popular, he was well liked, and he was an imposing physical specimen. He was now the starting center on the school football team, and was the best student in the professor’s class.

One day, Dr. Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him. “How many push-ups can you do?”

Steve said, “I do about 200 every night.”

200? That’s pretty good, Steve,” Dr. Christianson said.

Do you think you could do 300?”

Steve replied, “I don’t know… I’ve never done 300 at a time.”

“Do you think you could?” again asked Dr. Christianson.

“Well, I can try,” said Steve.

Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I have a class project in mind and I need you to do about 300 push-ups in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it,” said the professor.

Steve said, “Well… I think I can…yeah, I can do it.”

Dr. Christianson said, “Good! I need you to do this on Friday. Let me explain what I have in mind.”

Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room. When class started, the professor pulled out a big box of donuts. No these weren’t the normal kinds of donuts, they were the extra fancy BIG kind, with cream centers and frosting swirls. Everyone was pretty excited it was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an early start on the weekend with a party in Dr.

Christianson’s class.

Dr. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, “Cynthia, do you want to have one of these donuts?”

Cynthia said, “Yes.”

Dr. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, “Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?”

“Sure.” Steve jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then Steve again sat in his desk. Dr. Christianson put a donut on Cynthia’s desk.

Dr. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, “Joe, do you want a donut?”

Joe said, “Yes.”

Dr. Christianson asked, “Steve would you do ten push-ups so Joe can have a donut?” Steve did ten push-ups, Joe got a donut. And so it went, down the first aisle, Steve did ten pushups for every person before they got their donut. And down the second aisle, till Dr. Christianson came to Scott.

Scott was on the basketball team, and in as good condition as Steve. He was very popular and never lacking for female companionship.

When the professor asked, “Scott do you want a donut?”

Scott’s reply was, “Well, can I do my own pushups?”

Dr. Christianson said, “No, Steve has to do them.”

Then Scott said, “Well, I don’t want one then.”

Dr. Christianson shrugged and then turned to Steve and asked, “Steve, would you do ten pushups so Scott can have a donut he doesn’t want?” With perfect obedience Steve started to do ten pushups.

Scott said, “HEY! I said I didn’t want one!”

Dr. Christianson said, “Look, this is my classroom, my class, my desks, and these are my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don’t want it.” And he put a donut on Scott’s desk.

Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down. You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around his brow. Dr. Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were beginning to get a little angry.

Dr. Christianson asked Jenny, “Jenny, do you want a donut?”

Sternly, Jenny said, “No.”

Then Dr. Christianson asked Steve, “Steve, would you do ten more Push-ups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn’t want?” Steve did ten….Jenny got a donut.

By now, a growing sense of uneasiness filled the room. The students were beginning to say “No” and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks. Steve also had to really put forth a lot of extra effort to get these pushups done for each donut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort involved.

Dr. Christianson asked Robert, who was the most vocal unbeliever in the class, to watch Steve do each push up to make sure he did the full ten pushups in a set because he couldn’t bear to watch all of Steve’s work for all of those uneaten donuts. He sent Robert over to where Steve was so Robert could count the set and watch Steve closely. Dr.

Christianson started down the fourth row.

During his class, however, some students from other classes had wandered in and sat down on the steps along the radiators that ran down the sides of the room. When the professor realized this, he did a quick count and saw that now there were 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it. Dr. Christianson went on to the next person and the next and the next. Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.

Steve asked Dr. Christianson, “Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?”

Dr. Christianson thought for a moment, “Well, they’re your pushups.

You are in charge now. You can do them any way that you want.” And Dr.

Christianson went on.

A few moments later, Jason, a recent transfer student, came to the room and was about to come in when all the students yelled in one voice, “NO! Don’t come in! Stay out!” Jason didn’t know what was going on.

Steve picked up his head and said, “No, let him come.”

Professor Christianson said, “You realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten pushups for him?”

Steve said, “Yes, let him come in. Give him a donut”

Dr. Christianson said, “Okay, Steve, I’ll let you get Jason’s out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a donut?”

Jason, new to the room hardly knew what was going on. “Yes,” he said, “give me a donut.”

“Steve, will you do ten push-ups so that Jason can have a donut?”

Steve did ten pushups very slowly and with great effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a donut and sat down.

Dr. Christianson finished the fourth row, then started on those visitors seated by the heaters. Steve’s arms were now shaking with each push-up in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity.

Sweat was profusely dropping off of his face and, by this time, there was no sound except his heavy breathing, there was not a dry eye in the room.

The very last two students in the room were two young women, both cheerleaders, and very popular. Dr. Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and asked, “Linda, do you want a doughnut?”

Linda said, very sadly, “No, thank you.”

Professor Christianson quietly asked, “Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Linda can have a donut she doesn’t want?” Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow pushups for Linda.

Then Dr. Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan. “Susan, do you want a donut?”

Susan, with tears flowing down her face, began to cry. “Dr.

Christianson, why can’t I help him?”

Dr. Christianson, with tears of his own, said, “No, Steve has to do it alone, I have given him this task and he is in charge of seeing that everyone has an opportunity for a donut whether they want it or not.

When I decided to have a party this last day of class, I looked at my grade book. Steve, here is the only student with a perfect grade.

Everyone else has failed a test, skipped class, or offered me inferior work. Steve told me that in football practice, when a player messes up he must do push-ups.. I told Steve that none of you could come to my party unless he paid the price by doing your push ups. He and I made a deal for your sakes. Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Susan can have a donut?” As Steve very slowly finished his last pushup, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 pushups, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.

Dr. Christianson turned to the room and said. “And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, on the cross, plead to the Father, ‘into thy hands I commend my spirit.’ With the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him, he yielded up His life. And like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk, uneaten.” Two students helped Steve up off the floor and to a seat, physically exhausted, but wearing a thin smile. “Well done, good and faithful servant,” said the professor, adding “Not all sermons are preached in words.”

Turning to his class the professor said, “My wish is that you might understand and fully comprehend all the riches of grace and mercy that have been given to you through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He spared not only His Begotten Son, but gave Him up for us all for the whole Church, now and forever. Whether or not we choose to accept His gift to us, the price has been paid. Wouldn’t you be foolish and ungrateful to leave it laying on the desk?”

He Is Risen! HE IS RISEN INDEED!

Prayer Thought: Dear God, Thank you for Jesus, the cross, the tomb, the death and the life. I praise you for this day when we celebrate the victorious resurrection of Jesus Christ who gave us the victory over sin and death. My God, you are awesome and beyond my imagination! I worship you for you are Lord and King. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Loren Lung

Apr 20, 14/ Anonymous/ Ministers Minute/

Guilt and Shame

Psalm 38:4; Hebrews 10:22

Psalm 38:4 – My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.

Hebrews 10:22 – let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

I spent sometime talking with a young lady about the problems in her life. It didn’t take long to figure out she was feeling guilt and shame. She is having trouble cooping with her life. She knows the choices she has made do not honor God. And her guilt is eating her up.

She is has been gaining weight really fast as of late. She knows that she can’t deal with the guilt so she sits and watches movies and eats. The weight goes up and she feels more guilt and shame. It is a vicious circle.

I can relate to her because I have been there too. I told her that the only way to deal with her problems is to surrender. You have to give up and trust God. You have to repent of the things that are causing the guilt and ask God to forgive you and remove the guilt and shame. Then you set your eyes on Christ. You look at the love and forgiveness that cleanses you from sin. You look at what God wants you to be.

Guilt is one of the tools in Satan’s toolbox. He wants to remind you of the mistakes you’ve made. He wants you to take your eyes off Jesus. He wants you to see the dirty rags you once wore and remind you of the mess you made of things. With your eyes off Jesus you fall into the raging sea just like Peter did when he got out of the boat to walk to Jesus.

Guilt is misdirected anger accompanied by sorrow and self-pity. It doesn’t do anything productive. It is worldly sorrow. “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no guilt, but worldly sorrow brings death,” 2 Corinthians 7:10.

Did you know that guilt is mentioned in the Bible almost 200 times. Most of the verse that deal with guilt are found in the Old Testament. That is because Christians are free of guilt. When we confess our sins, Jesus is faithful and just to remove all our iniquity! We are 100 percent clean. Our sins are as far is East is from the West.

Don’t let Satan trick you into living a life of guilt! Keep your eyes on Jesus. Walk in the light as he is in the light.

Prayer Thought: Dear God, Thank you for your grace and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Thank you for freeing me of the chains of guilt. I ask you to be with those who are suffering in the same way this morning and bring them to your loving, forgiving, cleansing grace. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

Loren Lung

Apr 10, 14/ Anonymous/ Ministers Minute/

What Is Lenten?

Matthew 3:1-3

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”

Many church denominations celebrate what is called the Lenten season. It is the forty days prior to the Passion week. It is a call for followers of Christ to prepare themselves for Easter. During this time followers are called to give up something for the sake of Christ.

All throughout Jesus' ministry he told those who followed him that they should be prepared. They should be found to be faithful servants when the Jesus comes into his kingdom. In Matthew 25, Jesus tells three parables that give light to how we are to be prepared.

Preparation is not just for the season leading up to Easter. As faithful followers of Jesus we need to be prepared at all times. We need to be waiting patiently for the return of Christ by being about the work of our Lord and Savior.

Are you ready? John prayed "Maranatha" at the end of the book of Revelation. It means, "Come quickly, Lord". I remember telling the congregation that this should be our prayer too. And one little old lady said, "Just not today!"

Prayer Thought: Dear Heavenly Father, I praise you for the marvelous gift of grace that came from the death and resurrection of your son, Jesus Christ. I want to be prepared at all times. Remind me that I need to be vigilant in following your way. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Loren Lung

Apr 4, 14/ Anonymous/ Ministers Minute/

Hope and the Spirit of God

Romans 15:13

Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I have talked with many people who are obese. They tell me that the hardest part of their situation is the total lack of hope. They struggle with depression and self-loathing. I can relate because I have been there with them too. And it doesn’t feel good not being able to see your toes, let alone touch them.

The greatest comfort to me in my life and on my weight loss journey is that God is with me and it is he who gives me hope. When life feels empty and void God can fill you with peace, hope, and yes, even joy. He can make the difference and change our sorrow to joy.

We so underestimate the Holy Spirit. I don’t think we understand God’s Holy Spirit as much as we understand his Son, Jesus. Jesus is “God with Us” but the Holy Spirit is “God in us”. It is this spirit that guides, helps, and comforts us. His Spirit even prays for us when we don’t even know how to put our experience into words. How awesome is that?

God’s Spirit isn’t just here to help us with the religious stuff. His Spirit helps us where ever we need it. Yes, the Holy Spirit is moving in my life and helping me to lose weight. It makes sense, God has called us to be a living testimony of his power, love, and grace and we need to be healthy and strong as his living testament to what he can do in our lives.

The problem is that not many of us want to give up control of our lives. That is probably why the Word tells us not to put out the fire of the Holy Spirit. When we put our will over His than we are throwing water on the Lord’s Spirit in our lives. We need to fully trust him so that he can fill us with hope. Then we will see how the power of the Holy Spirit can overflow from our lives and affect others for the kingdom.

“Hope is some extraordinary spiritual grace that God gives us to control our fears, not to oust them.”

-Vincent McNabb

Prayer Thought: Dear God, Thank you for being my creator-God. I praise you for Jesus and the sacrifice he made by taking my sins on himself and dying on the cross. I praise you for the victory over death, sin, and Satan when Jesus rose from the grave. I worship you for the Spirit you have given to me. I ask that you fill me with hope, peace, love, and power through your Spirit so that I may be a bright light and a testament to your glory. I love you, Lord. Thanks for loving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Loren Lung

Mar 18, 14/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Learning That It’s A Learning Experience

Hebrews 3:16-17

Hebrews 3:16-17 – Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness?

I often wonder about the Hebrew people. Why were they so hard to get along with? Why were they so stubborn? Why did they keep biting the hand that feds them? Why did they grumble and complain so much?

Well, let us think about it for a minute. They had just come out of 400 years of slavery. They weren’t used to thinking for themselves. They weren’t used to taking care of themselves. They weren’t used to making decisions for themselves. They couldn’t raise an army, put together a government, or even organize their labor. No wonder they drug their feet so much.

It only takes a few months for them to travel the 350 miles to the Promised Land. And yet, God makes them wander the wilderness for another 40 years. Yes, it was because of their sin and lack of faith. But it was also a time which God used to train them to be “His people”. He wanted to break some old habits and teach them a new way of life.

I look at my time on earth with the church as that trip through the wilderness. God is giving me the tools, incentives, and important ingredients to become a man of faith and integrity. I have to patiently wait and be open to learn his will and his ways. He is using this time to teach me and to break a lot of old habits. He is using this time to train me so that I’ll be ready for whatever he has for me to do.

Are you learning that it is a learning experience? Are you frustrated with you growth in the Lord? Are you looking for a short-cut or thinking about quitting all together? Remember that there is something for you to learn and discover about yourself and how you live.

“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”

-Attributed to Harry S Truman

“Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.”

-Mark Twain

Prayer Thought: Dear God, It is easy to give up. It is harder to submit. Please help me to stop looking for the quick fixes in my life and learn how to live, love, and do the things you want me to do. Help me to grow in my life to be the person of integrity and faith that you are teaching me how to be. I pray this in the name of my savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Loren Lung

Mar 10, 14/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Excitement Building

Ephesians 3:20

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

I am excited at what is going on at Beaver Creek Christian Church. Plans are being made for Vacation Bible School. People are a buzz talking about what God is doing in their lives. Wendy and I are getting to meet and develop relationships with more and more people. You can feel the spirit of the Lord moving in people's lives.

What is it that you want to see God do among his people? Whatever it is you may be thinking too small. God is able to do more than we can ask... or even imagine. So don't be putting binders on God as to what he can do or can't do. Don't limit the power of his spirit at work in us.

I am looking forward to seeing God continue to move in our lives, our church, and our community!

Prayer Thought: Dear Heavenly Father, I praise you for your power, strength and direction in my life and in the ministry at Beaver Creek Christian Church. I ask your blessings to be on us as we seek to follow your will and to get out of the way so you can do even more than is in our puny little minds. I love you, Lord. In Jesus' name, Amen!

Loren Lung

Feb 27, 14/ preacher/ Ministers Minute/

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