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Sun, Sep 27.20

  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

 

The Story: Daniel in Exhile

Chapter 18:Daniel 1-3, 6, Jeremiah 29-31

Integrity is a rare commodity. Daniel, Hanniah, Mishael, and Azariah show us three examples of integrity in Daniel. (DA 1:4;1 PE 2:11)

Daniel and his three friends refuse to eat from the King’s table . (DA 1; JE 1:4-10, 17-19) Like Daniel, we need to refuse to eat the world’s diet.

Hanniah, Mishael, and Azariah refuse to worship the image of Nebuchadnezzar. (DA 3: EX 20:3-6) Like Hanniah, Mishael, and Azariah we need to stand up for God.

Daniel refuses to pray to anyone but God. (DA 6)

Daniel 9 gives us a glimpse into the coming and second coming of the “anointed one”, the Messiah. He is coming to take us home to heaven. We need to be men and women of integrity.

Reading This Week: The Story (chapter 19)

The Return Home (Chapter 19) -Ezra

Text: Ezra 1-6, Haggai 1-2, Zechariah 1, 8

Today (Sunday) Ezra 1-2

Monday Ezra 3-4

Tuesday Ezra 5-6

Wednesday Haggai 1

Thursday Haggai 2

Friday Zechariah 1

Saturday Zechariah 8

Memorize Jeremiah 29:11

Podcast of Sermon
Jan 23, 16/ Anonymous/ Ministers Minute/

Flooding My Soul With Glory Divine

-1 John 1:5

1 John 1:5 – “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”

I had a rough night and didn’t sleep well all night. I didn’t feel well when I woke this morning. I didn’t want to get out of bed let alone even think about walking or exercising.

I felt the need for prayer but the words were illusive and I didn’t even know where to begin. I drug myself to the coffee pot and hastily made a cup of Joe. My mind wasn’t in it when I shaved and I paid the price with a little nick below my chin. It was almost time to go to the preacher’s meeting.

God has a way of putting things in perspective. While I was at the meeting, the sun started coming in the window. At first, I was a little annoyed that the sun was in my eyes and I moved over a bit. But the sunlight seemed to follow me and was again in my eyes. So I looked up and the stain glass window was aglow. The image seemed to reach out to me. The colors were so vivid and alive. It was a picture of Jesus holding a lamb. And it was awesome.

Suddenly, things were in perspective. Jesus, the Great Shepherd, was carrying a lamb. His other sheep were gathered around him. The lamb, who was to young and weak to follow on his own, was being carried. I knew then who was really carrying my load. Jesus doesn’t just have my back. He is willing to carry me.

Do you know how often we let little things become stressful and hinder our walk and our testimony. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, The Great Physician, and Mighty Counselor. What more do we need?

Heavenly Sunshine

Lyrics: H. J. Zelley

Music: George H. Cook

Walking in sunlight all of my journey

Over the mountains, through the deep vale;

Jesus has said, “I’ll never forsake thee,”

Promise divine that never can fail.

Heavenly sunlight, Heavenly sunlight,

Flooding my soul with glory divine;

Hallelujah! I am rejoicing,

Singing His praises, Jesus is mine.

Shadows around me, shadows above me,

Never conceal my Savior and Guide;

He is the light, in Him is no darkness;

Ever I’m walking close to His side.

Heavenly sunlight, Heavenly sunlight,

Flooding my soul with glory divine;

Hallelujah! I am rejoicing,

Singing His praises, Jesus is mine.

In the bright sunlight, ever rejoicing,

Pressing my way to mansions above;

Singing His praises, gladly I’m walking,

Walking in sunlight, sunlight of love.

Heavenly sunlight, Heavenly sunlight,

Flooding my soul with glory divine;

Hallelujah! I am rejoicing,

Singing His praises, Jesus is mine.

Prayer Thought: Dear God, Everlasting Father, Creator of all things. I am really sorry for the times I have let distractions, stress, and frustrations get in the way of doing what I should. I thank you for carrying me and caring for me. Thank you for the message written very clearly and delivered in brilliant color. Help me to trust you in all things. I pray this prayer in the name of Jesus, Amen.

-Loren Lung

Sep 15, 15/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

I Believe in the Church

Acts 2:42

Acts 2:42 –They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

I have to admit that I get a bit upset when I see an old church building converted into a fitness club, a brewpub, or restaurant. It’s not that there is anything holy or sacred about the building. It’s just a building… a piece of real estate where people used to gather to worship God.

I think about the songs of praise and worship that were raised to God in those buildings. I think about the people who sang them and the preachers who preached in the pulpit long since removed to make way for a salad bar or beer tap.

These building had a purpose that they fulfilled and have now been re-purposed for some other use. I may not always care for how they are now being used but that is not my concern.

I am seeing a lot of churches that were once thriving and full now struggling to keep the doors open. My aunt was talking about how few there are attending their church. They barely raise enough money to pay the preacher and the light bill. The sad news is that they announced that if things keep going they will only survive another two years. I’m sure that sucked the joy out of any ambition that they had left in them.

Some people think that churches are dying because of the changing times. Some say that it is because people don’t have time for church. There are those who think there is no value in church. Some say that the church has outlived it’s purpose and needs to die.

I don’t believe any of that. I believe that the church is as relevant today as it was in the beginning when it started on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). I just believe that the message and the purpose has been lost and convoluted. We are good at coming together for an hour a week to worship. But we are missing the rest of the mission. The church has lost it’s value because it focused on the building and not the mission.

No, the building isn’t special. It is the people. They are Christ’s Ekklesia. They are the ones who are called out. They were called out by Jesus for a mission. The mission is to worship, fellowship, discipleship, evangelize, and outreach. We were not called out to build buildings or care for property. We were called to take care of people.

There are churches that are thriving. There are churches that are growing. And there are churches that are doing incredible things in the name of the Lord. They don’t always meet in the traditional building. Sometimes they meet in outdoor pavilions, store-fronts, or even barns. Some of these churches build buildings that suit their purpose that don’t even look like the traditional church building.

My sister commented that my parent’s church doesn’t look like a church. It looks more like a movie theater or office complex. To their credit, they don’t act much like a traditional church either. Their bulletin is full of ministry opportunities. They meet in homes for growth groups. There are so many activities and opportunities during the week that the worship team actually has to have a special practice room just to get ready for Sunday because the auditorium is constantly being used.

But it’s not just about being busy and active and full. The people have opportunities to become disciples and grow in their faith, opportunities to get involved, opportunities to minister to the needs of others, and even opportunities to take missions trips to foreign countries. They freely share their faith with others. They don’t try to win them to the church but to help them build a loving relationship with Jesus Christ that inspires them to keep growing spiritually.

I believe in the church. I believe in God’s people. I believe it is time that we get serious and get back to the mission that we were given.

Prayer Thought: Oh Holy God, We praise you for who you. We thank you for your goodness. We worship you. Father, you have called us out and given us a purpose to our lives. We ask you to stir the spirit within us so that we may be united as we work together in love to fulfill this mission. Thank you, Lord. I pray this in the name of Jesus, Amen.

- Loren

Jun 4, 15/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

All Things Point To Jesus

Romans 1:20

Why do we do the things we do as Christians? The answer is simple, we do them to point people to the Lord Jesus Christ and glorify God.

Unfortunately we are also human and prone to making mistakes. Inadvertently, instead of pointing people to Jesus we sometimes show them our selfishness, pride, sins, weakness, anger, jealousy, and other things that just aren't pretty to see. Instead of drawing people to a relationship with Jesus we drive them away.

Sometimes even the good things can distracts from the love and grace of Jesus. For instance, Instead of showing them to Christ we point people to the church or the many activities we have going on there. We point people to our good works and our “friendly, family atmosphere”. We point them to programs and worship styles rather than a saving relationship with Jesus. All these things are good but we need to bring people to Jesus, not programs, activities, and ministries.

Sometimes we have even been guilty of asking people to accept Jesus as their savior so they will be saved from the punishment of sin. It sounds like a good reason - Fire insurance…”get out of jail free” card. But the problem is they don’t have an interest in Jesus so their relationship never grows beyond their baptism. We need to emphasis that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. He died to take away your sins because he wants a personal relationship with you.

In his book, God is the Gospel, John Piper wrote, “The critical question for our generation, and for every generation, is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and with no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there?”

Ouch! That is a painful question to ponder if you are honest with yourself.

I once had a professor at Johnson University that told us, “You keep them with what you catch them with.” I may not have fully understood then but I do now. If you catch them with fun things when the fun is over they will leave. If you catch them with food, personalities, programs, gimmicks, or fascinating lessons, etc., they will leave when it’s all over. You keep people by inviting them to a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

The challenge is to make sure everything points to Jesus. Growth in our walk with the Lord happens when we have a desire to please Jesus and a hunger and thirst for Him. Ministry happens when we have a passion for Jesus and compassion for others.

There was a person who saw the face of Jesus everywhere. She saw the face of Jesus in the wood grain pattern of the church door. She saw the face of Jesus in the shape of a potato chip. She saw the face of Jesus reflected in the glistening light of a pond. She even saw the face of Jesus in the spots on a cow! Many people though she was a bit odd or even crazy. But when you got to know Mary you understood that she saw Jesus everywhere because she loved him so much and was looking for Him in everything around her.

Romans 1:20 states, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

Have you seen Jesus lately? Are you pointing others to Him?

Prayer Thought: Dear Heavenly Father, I praise you for your mighty works of creation. These beautiful things point me to Jesus and remind me daily of your love and grace for me. Please help me to keep pointing others to Jesus too. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Loren Lung, minister

May 8, 15/ preacher/ Ministers Minute/

By-Laws and The Bible

2 Timothy 3:16-17

“Why do we need by-laws? I thought we were a Bible church. If we go by the Bible why do we need by-laws?”

These are all good questions and some that have been brought up recently as the leadership began looking at revisions for the by-laws.

First of all, let me emphasize the fact that we are a church that believes and follows the teaching of Jesus Christ and the Bible. The Bible is our ultimate guide in doctrine, principle, and procedure. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.“

Every incorporated body by law must have a constitution and by-laws that outlines the purpose, principles, procedures, and government of that body. These are there for legal protection of the organization, it’s leaders, and it’s membership.

Because the by-laws are for legal purposes they should be reviewed and updated to make sure that we are doing what we say and saying what do.

The review of the by-laws has been discussed by the board for the last couple of years. Last year the board appointed a committee to look over and review the by-laws to see if there were weaknesses and inconsistencies with how the church functions so that we can better lead and protect the Church and the membership. 

One of the changes that has been suggested addresses the concerns above. It reads, “We accept the Bible as the inerrant, inspired Word of God and as the ultimate authority in matters of faith, doctrine and Christian living. These bylaws and any amendments made hereto shall be the governing documents of this Church but they should always be interpreted and applied in conformity with the Bible.” Scripture references have also been added through the by-laws.

It is our desire that you will prayerfully read over the amendments and changes to the by-laws. There will be a congregational meeting following the morning worship service on February 1st. We will briefly go over the changes and then have a question and answer time. The vote on the by-law changes will be on February 15th.

If you are an active and eligible member of Beaver Creek Christian Church you may vote at the election. If you are not going to be in town for the election, please contact one of the elders who will arrange for an absentee ballot.

Prayer Thought: Dear Father in Heaven, We praise you and lift you up. We thank your for this congregation of believers. We want to serve you and live for you. Help us to live up the the scriptures. Thank you for Jesus Christ and the salvation that comes through his sacrifice on the cross. Thank you for your blessings. In Jesus' name, Amen

-Loren Lung

Feb 11, 15/ Anonymous/ Ministers Minute/

State of the Church Address

Revelation Chapter 2 and 3

Once a year the president of United States of America gets up in front of a joint session of congress and gives “The State of the Union Address”. It is televised all over the world and preempts most of the network programing.

In the address, he shares the condition and issues facing the country, what has been done during the past year, and what he hopes will be accomplished in the coming year. For some people the address is like a “pep-talk” for the country and yet some people think it is a total waste of time and money.

But let me ask you this. What if Jesus where to come and talk to us about the condition of his church, what we have or have not accomplished in the past year, and what he wants us to accomplish this year? What would he say to our ministry teams, our board, our preacher, and to you personally?

How would you react? What demands would be put on you for your time, your finances, or talents and abilities? Would he ask you to be more involved in helping others? Would he ask you to attend church a little more regularly? What about sharing your faith a little more enthusiastically?

Jesus did just that to seven churches in the book of Revelation (ch. 2, 3). For some of the people he gave praise and for others they received a scathing report in which he warned them to do better.

To the church in Laodicea the report was really bad. He told them that they’re service was unpalatable! He said that even they thought they were rich that they were wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. But he told them that because he loved them he was disciplining them. And that they should repent.

After each of the reports he added, “Let him who has ears hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” It reminds me of what my mother used to say when she was trying to make a point, “LISTEN UP AND LISTEN GOOD!”

I don’t know what Jesus would say to Beaver Creek Christian Church. There are good, generous, loving, and caring people who work hard for the kingdom in our church. But just like in anything, there is room for improvement.

Paul begged the good brothers and sisters of the church at Rome to be living sacrifices for God. He told them not to be conformed to the world but transformed by God’s renewing of the mind (Rom. 12:1-2).

My prayer for Beaver Creek Christian Church for 2015 is that we let Jesus lead us to new areas of service and ministry for his kingdom.

Prayer Thought: Dear God, Thank you for the congregation at BCCC. I want to lift up the church to you and ask for your blessings about everyone there. I ask that you will help us to be the church you have called us to be. Help us put aside indifference in order to serve you and work in your kingdom. You are our awesome God. Remind us that it is your name on the door. In Jesus' name, Amen.

-Loren Lung

Nov 1, 14/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

What Happened to Autumn?

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Ecclesiastes 3:1 - There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens...

It was hard enough for me to watch the trucks full of Christmas trees heading out to parts unknown. Then I had to start planning the holiday season on the church calendar. When I had gone to bed last night I had planned on going though some Christmas songs this morning for the choir to start preparing. But this morning there is about 2 inches of snow on the ground. WHAT HAPPENED TO AUTUMN?

It's All-Saint's Day for the Catholics; November 1st. And the first winter storm of the season is passing through. It's not even officially winter!

Seasons come and go. They often pass faster than we wish. That is especially true when we watch our children growing up...then our grandchildren... and so on. The days go by so fast.

That is why it is so important to make a decision for the Lord and to live for him each day. We may think we have all the time in the world. The invitation is always open but we are not even promised the next hour!

I am not selling fire insurance. I am offering you more time... eternal life with our Lord, Jesus Christ. And everyone can use a bit more time!!!

Prayer Thought: Dear God, Where does the time go. One day we are children longingly looking forward to growing up. The next day we are older adults remembering the carefree days of our youth. To you a day is like a thousand years and thousand years is like a day. But to us life is a precious struggle for each moment. Help us to release the bounds of time and to embrace the eternal nature of your majesty. Help us to boldly shed the temporal and clothe ourselves in the spiritual. You are our God. In Jesus' name, Amen.

-Loren Lung

Nov 1, 14/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

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/

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