Category Archives: Pastor’s Corner

Happy Birthday America!

Today* we celebrate our country’s 242d birthday! The fourth of July holiday is called “Independence Day” as a reminder that it was the day our founding fathers declared the American colonies as being independent of the British Empire. Looking back on the events which led up to their decision to break away from British rule and form an independent nation, we see that religious freedom was an important reason for the American patriots. Freedom of religion from state control was the primary reason the pilgrims came to America in the 17thcentury. The founding fathers of this country were, contrary to what is taught in schools today, overwhelmingly evangelical Christians. Some of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were ordained pastors and at least 29 of the 56 signers had been trained in schools whose primary purpose was the preparation of ministers. America has a deeply rooted foundation as a nation based on Christian principles. Some of you have enjoyed studying the American Heritage series with me on Wednesday evenings, but for those of you who haven’t, I encourage you to talk to me about viewing this video series. Additionally, I recommend you visit wallbuilders.com (the organization which produces the series) so you can learn the truth about America’s Christian heritage.

As a nation, we have fallen far away from the Christian ideals set forth by our forefathers. On this day where we celebrate America’s independence, let us also renew our commitment to America’s dependence on God. If you need a reminder of where to put your faith, just look at your money…In GOD we trust!

May God Bless America and may America Bless God!

-Pastor Dave

*Message originally distributed by Pastor Dave on the 4th; posted by church clerk on the 5th.

Prayers and Praises

As we continue to enjoy our short Alaskan summer, please be in prayer this week to prepare yourselves for  Holy Communion which will be observed this Sunday, July 1.  Spend some extra time in the next few days, getting your heart right with Jesus so you can commune with Him and remember WHOSE you are.  See you all Sunday!

-Pastor Dave

Praises and Petitions

As always, we have SOOO Much for which to be grateful! Let us never forget the PRIVILEGE we have to enjoy a personal audience with the Creator and Ruler of  The Universe.  Please praise and lift up your cares to HIM who sustains the universe and loves each of us intimately.

Also, join us Sunday for Worship and fellowship lunch as we continue on our journey together!

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Dave

A Day to Celebrate!

Today (June 14) is a GREAT day to Celebrate!! It is our Nation’s Flag Day and the Army’s 243d Birthday, but most importantly, this is the day that THE LORD has made so let us rejoice and be glad in it! Several national polls indicate that more Americans than ever suffer from depression, anxiety, worry, and general discontent with our lives. At the same time quality of life statistics such as income levels, unemployment, access to healthcare, education, and government services indicate that most Americans are better off than our parents’ generation was. If our quality of life is better than it used to be, why are we more consumed by our “woes?”  The answer, I believe, is largely because we have drastically plummeted in one major quality of life area – GRATITUDE! We have become a nation of “complainers” who are seemingly dissatisfied with our lives regardless of the circumstances.

According to one top economist nearly half of the world’s richest 1% live in America. That may make one believe we have a LOT of Millionaires, but that’s not true. The threshold for being in the top 1% of income in the world is only $34,000 annually. The world’s median family income is roughly $1,225 per year. At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. UNICEF statistics indicate that over 20,000 children die each day due to poverty. While these statistics vary from year to year and from different sources, they all point to one thing – Americans are extremely blessed compared to the rest of the world. If we are so well off by world standards, why are we so miserable? Again, the ugly monster of ingratitude rears its head. We almost seem intent on being discontent!

The good news is there is GOOD NEWS! Developing an attitude of gratitude and living a joy-filled life requires just one thing – Jesus. When we allow Jesus to become Lord and Master of our lives and truly put our lives in His hands, we develop a new perspective on life. Paul reminds believers that we have “died to sin and are alive in Christ” (Rom. 6:11) and that we should be “content in whatever circumstances we are in” (Phil. 4:11-13). The guiding principle is to understand the source of joy and contentment…Jesus, The Way, The Truth, and The Life. This, and every other, is the day that The Lord has made, let us DETERMINE to rejoice and be glad in it. Take the time to praise God for His Goodness and His bountiful blessings in your life today.

-Pastor Dave

Your BOSS INSISTS you take a day off!

Those are sweet words to most of us who are used to non-stop toiling to try to keep the boss happy! It is truly enlightening and encouraging to know that our REAL BOSS COMMANDS us to rest one day each week. Last Sunday we discussed the fourth command in our Ten Commandments series enjoining us to “remember the Sabbath and keep it Holy.”  The Jewish faith observes Sabbath on Saturdays while Christians, following the New Testament church, observe it on Sundays and refer to it as “The Lord’s Day.” As we discussed, the Bible does not direct which day of the week (e.g., Saturday, Sunday, etc.) is to be regarded as “the Sabbath,” it simply tells us to observe it one day each week. That day is to be “Holy” and it is blessed by God.

The Bible spends a great deal of time promoting the value of hard work while, in Proverbs particularly, it also makes multiple mentions of the dangers of laziness. So why does God single out this requirement to command us to take a day a week to rest? Because He designed us, created us, and knows what we need to function at our best. Those of us who have worked more than 24 hours straight know He was Right! After a certain point without rest, your brain turns to jell-o, your cognitive powers are sharply reduced, your emotions become uncontrollable, and you just shut down.

Modern medicine confirms the biological need for humans to rest in order to function. But, what did God mean when He commanded us to “rest” and to make the Sabbath “Holy?” Why, exactly, did He tell us to do this? It was intended for us to Rest and to Worship (Mark 2:27-8). Observing the Sabbath Day as God intended will accomplish two things for us:

It will draw us closer to God.

It will prevent burnout.

Taking this time each week to observe corporate worship and quiet time with God and family will prepare us to continue doing Kingdom work. There are three ways God wants us to utilize the Sabbath:

1. To Rest my body

2. To Recharge my emotions

3. To Refocus my spirit

When we obediently follow God’s directives we find ourselves far more productive and joyful. So how are you doing in the “rest” department?

See you Sunday!

-Pastor Dave

Prayers for the Week

As we move into the Summer season in Alaska, our schedules and routines tend to change as dramatically as the daylight! We naturally yearn to be outside more to enjoy our brief summer season. The change is good for us as we, like God’s creation, are renewed by the daylight and warmer temperatures of Summer. Change CAN be good as we are told NOT to become complacent in our lives but to be always seeking to grow in our faith and in our desire to do good works for others. While a change in routine is helpful in many ways, we must also guard against abandoning good and necessary habits which enrich our lives and draw us closer to God. One of  those habits is a personal daily “quiet time” or “devotional.”  During this “alone” time, it should be just you and God and His Word. Spending even 15 minutes a day studying and reflecting on God’s Word will deepen your faith dramatically. As you spend time in His Word, He will speak to you through it and grant you understanding and wisdom. In addition to studying Scripture, be sure to spend time in prayer – it  is a POWERFUL tool! It is your personal opportunity to interface directly with The Creator and sustainer of the Universe. Prayer is a GREAT PRIVILEGE – don’t pass it up!

As you pray this week, please remember the praises and petitions of your brothers and sisters in Christ.

-Pastor Dave

A Memorial Prayer

This week has seen a fair number of articles regarding Memorial Day and they have caused me to stop and ponder what Memorial Day really means. Like so many of America’s “Holidays,” most people don’t really know the history and meaning behind the observance. While a number of places claim to be “the home” of Memorial Day, the basic story behind the observance goes like this:

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30.

It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country. Local springtime tributes to the Civil War dead already had been held in various places. One of the first occurred in Columbus, Mississippi, April 25, 1866, when a group of women visited a cemetery to decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers who had fallen in battle at Shiloh.

Nearby were the graves of Union soldiers, neglected because they were the enemy. Disturbed at the sight of the bare graves, the women placed some of their flowers on those graves, as well. By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities.

It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.

As I reflected on my own life in the Army, I tried to recall the names of all the servicemen and women I knew personally who had died in the line of duty. The result was sobering and emotional. Even more sobering was the thought that there were another 1.3 Million (plus) in the history of the United States whom I didn’t know personally. Memorial Day is a tribute to each and every one of these men and women who fought and died for our country. These Servicemen and Women placed honor, freedom, and love of country above their own personal desires and comforts. They served selflessly regarding their country, and their countrymen, as more important than their own lives.

In John 15, Jesus is addressing His disciples and says, “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”

Not all of us are asked to make the sacrifice of physically laying down our lives for our friends, but we are all commanded to love each other to the extent that we would. One of the greatest acts of love we can show others is to save their lives by sharing with them The Way, The Truth, and The Life which is found ONLY in the work and Person of Jesus Christ.

This Memorial Day, let us honor our fallen in a special way – by doing what they did: selflessly giving their all to help save others. Our actions can save countless lives for eternity. Go out and show how much you love your neighbor.

-Pastor Dave

What is your GREATEST desire?

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day. My own dear mother went home to be with The Lord ten years ago and I still miss her. She was the best Christian role model I have ever known and one of the most gentle souls God ever created. I adored my mom, I loved my mom, I would do anything for my  mom…well, almost anything. You see, one of the things she taught me was the second commandment which told me NOT to WORSHIP my mom (or anything else but God). No matter how much we may cherish, respect, adore, or honor someone or something, NOTHING should be higher in our adoration than God.

Most Christians say they don’t worship anything but God, but their actions often bely their words. It is a simple test to determine where your highest allegiances lie: With whom or what do you spend most of your time, energy, and money.  For instance, take a look at your checkbook and determine how much money you spent last year on recreation versus funding Christian ministries. How many hours did you spend hunting, fishing, watching TV or surfing the internet versus time spent in church, Bible study, or engaged in active ministry? Wherever your time and money are found will tell you where you priorities are. Which brings us back to our question, What is your greatest desire?  Whatever is most important to you is where you will spend your time and money.

No, you don’t need to give up all your hobbies and recreation or liquidate all your assets and give the money to the poor (unless you happen to be the rich young ruler), you simply need to focus your life on Him Who provided it to you. Galatians 2:20 says I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 

Who or what are you living for? Is it someone or something which could be gone tomorrow or is it The Eternal Living Lord who is earnestly seeking your eternal well-being? Food for thought.

-Pastor Dave

National Day of Prayer

By Proclamation of the President of the United States, May 3d is declared a National Day of Prayer. I find it fascinating that in this era of Christian persecution in America (e.g., Ten Commandments statues and crosses being removed from public lands, prayer being banned and even punished in schools, Christian businesses being sued for refusing to participate in sinful events, etc.), The PRESIDENT of The United States is issuing a proclamation encouraging all Americans to pray! His proclamation (see below) is full of truthful facts about the history of prayer in our country and what an important role it has played in the successes and in the trials of our country. I am certainly grateful that President Trump issued this proclamation and I would call on all Christians to read it.  And, after you read it, contemplate how contradictory the proclamation is from the government rules and  judicial rulings which are preventing Americans from actually honoring the proclamation and, more importantly, honoring the God to whom we pray. We NEED to pray that our country will remember and return to The God Who has led us through the good times and the bad. Pray for Revival in our land with full assurance that God will answer the prayer if we do what He asks (2 Chronicles 7:14).

-Pastor Dave

 

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER, 2018

– – – – – – –

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

On this National Day of Prayer, we join together to offer gratitude for our many blessings and to acknowledge our need for divine wisdom, guidance, and protection.  Prayer, by which we affirm our dependence on God, has long been fundamental to our pursuit of freedom, peace, unity, and prosperity.  Prayer sustains us and brings us comfort, hope, peace, and strength.  Therefore, we must cherish our spiritual foundation and uphold our legacy of faith.

Prayer has been a source of guidance, strength, and wisdom since the founding of our Republic.  When the Continental Congress gathered in Philadelphia to contemplate freedom from Great Britain, the delegates prayed daily for guidance.  Their efforts produced the Declaration of Independence and its enumeration of the self-evident truths that we all cherish today.  We believe that all men and women are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Prayer sustained us and gave us the strength to endure the sacrifices and suffering of the American Revolution and to temper the triumph of victory with humility and gratitude.  Notably, as one of its first acts, our newly formed Congress appointed chaplains of the House of Representatives and Senate so that all proceedings would begin with prayer.

As a Nation, we have continued to seek God in prayer, including in times of conflict and darkness.  At the height of World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called for prayer “for the vision to see our way clearly ‑‑ to see the way that leads to a better life for ourselves and for all our fellow men ‑‑ and to the achievement of His will to peace on earth.”  Decades later, following one of the darkest days in our Nation’s history, President George W. Bush offered this prayer for our heartbroken country, mourning the precious souls who perished in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001:  “We ask Almighty God to watch over our Nation, and grant us patience and resolve in all that is to come.  We pray that He will comfort and console those who now walk in sorrow.  We thank Him for each life we now must mourn, and the promise of a life to come.”

America has known peace, prosperity, war, and depression ‑‑ and prayer has sustained us through it all.  May our Nation and our people never forget the love, grace, and goodness of our Maker, and may our praise and gratitude never cease.  On this National Day of Prayer, let us come together, all according to their faiths, to thank God for His many blessings and ask for His continued guidance and strength.

In 1988, the Congress, by Public Law 100-307, as amended, called on the President to issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer, “on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.”

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 3 as a National Day of Prayer.  I encourage all Americans to observe this day, reflecting on the blessings our Nation has received and the importance of prayer, with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities in their houses of worship, communities, and places of work, schools, and homes.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this third day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.

DONALD J. TRUMP

A simple way to stay on the right side of the law

There was a 95 year-old lady who was passionate about prison ministry. Every week she visited the prison witnessing to and encouraging the inmates. The inmates came to respect and adore the grandmotherly figure. One day, one of the inmates, who had taken the time of his incarceration to study law, said to her, “Did you know that there are over ten thousand laws which, if broken, could send you to jail?” Without a moment’s hesitation the wise old lady answered, “Did you know that there are ten which can keep you out?”

The wisdom of the ages! This dear little old lady, who had very little formal education, knew the simple way to stay on the right side of the law. Ten simple rules to live by which will keep you out of trouble – Christians know them as THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. For over two thousand years these “laws” which God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai for the Nation of Israel have been used as a basis for civil law in almost all civilizations. “Natural” or “moral” laws have been universally accepted as “binding rules of moral behavior from God’s creation of reality and mankind.” In simpler terms, they are the basic, immutable rules by which all mankind operates. For thousands of years these laws have governed civilizations and, when followed, maintained a peaceful and just society.

The historical significance and effectiveness of these laws is difficult to overstate, so why is it that they are now being banned from public display? What suddenly happened in the last half-century which caused these treasured and respected principles to become a target of ridicule instead of a guiding light? That is a long story describing America’s degeneration into immorality. While there are several political factors involved in the attempt to dethrone God’s laws, the primary reason they have fallen from prestige is that Christians allowed it to happen. I don’t mean to assert that Christians actively attacked the public display of the Ten Commandments, but rather that we passively allowed it to happen. By most statistical accounts, the majority of Americans still identify themselves as “Christian” by faith. Since we live in a democratic republic and elect representatives who make the laws, shouldn’t government policies be those which are favored by the majority?

The truth is that Christians have segregated their “faith” from their “politics” and tried not to be involved in civil government concerns. The result of this withdrawal from civic duty is the escalating immorality in our country – much of which has now been “legalized,” and sanctioned by the state. Things like abortion and same-sex marriage are now “protected rights” under the law of the land rather than “sins” as determined by God. There are many things Christians must do to turn this country around and get it back to being the “one nation UNDER GOD” which (for the time being) is still our money’s motto! Let’s start with something simple. I challenge you to memorize the Ten Commandments. You don’t need to get them word for word or from any particular translation – just get the meaning of each and memorize it. As you do this exercise, say them to yourself several times a day and see how your own personal behavior changes. Remember, God’s Word does not return void!

-Pastor Dave