Category Archives: Pastor’s Corner

Praises and Prayers

We have SO much for which to be grateful! I watch as the termination dust creeps down the mountains and enjoy the crisp temperatures of Fall and remember that God loves me so much He allows me to live in Alaska!  Remaining aware of our small daily blessings and remembering to give thanks to our gracious God for His bountiful provisions will help us to maintain that attitude of  gratitude and go through our days with joyful hearts.  Like the flu, Joy is contagious, but unlike the flu, everyone WANTS joy. Count your blessings and then go out and share your “germs” of Joy!

-Pastor Dave Jones

A Season for Grieving

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:  a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-4)

This past month has been a difficult one for our nation. We have seen the devastating impact of three hurricanes on scores of Southeastern US and Caribbean communities. We have been bombarded by the media with divisive displays by athletes using their game to promote their cause. The international peace continues to be threatened by a nuclear arms race in North Korea and Iran. Investigations and allegations run rampant through our federal government in a seemingly  endless battle of  political wills. And, finally, this week’s tragic massacre in Las Vegas where over 500 people were wounded or killed. In dark days such as these, it  is easy to see why the writer of Ecclesiastes laments the meaninglessness of human existence without God.

Were we to try to weather all of  life’s storms, trials, tribulations, and senseless loss of life under our own power, we would surely empathize with the lamentation of Ecclesiastes.  There is a purpose for which this  Scripture was written – it is to  remind us that our lives WITHOUT GOD are meaningless. There is a season for everything under Heaven – we will have ups and downs, victories and defeats, joy and grief and it will all be meaningless WITHOUT GOD.  As our nation searches for answers to difficult questions regarding disasters, divisions, and death, we, the Children of The Living God, must stand up and be heard. There are no satisfactory answers to why we suffer premature deaths, and loss of property – nothing we can say to one who  is grieving a loss will “heal” them – that is beyond our power. But, it’s not beyond HIS power. Our steadfast reliance on God to pull us through every difficult situation and our joyful expression of gratitude when  He does, is one of the best witnessing tools we have.

So, this week as you interact with  those suffering from tragedy of  any  ilk, remember to draw on the power of The Holy Spirit who indwells you and allow Him to speak and act through you. Pray for our country to return to God and actively show Christ’s love to others regardless of how they treat you.

-Pastor Dave Jones

How do you Stand on Kneeling?

The Media is all abuzz about the NFL’s actions with regard to teams linking arms and kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem. Some of the players interviewed said it was a display of “unity” although many of them didn’t really understand what they were “unified” with. Proponents of this display cite solidarity with one-time San Francisco Forty-Niner Colin Kaepernick, who began this practice last year in what he claimed was a protest against racism being suffered by black Americans at the hands of Law Enforcement. Other advocates of the practice have touted their “first amendment right” to free speech as a justification for their actions. While I have nothing against the people’s right to protest perceived injustices, and am certainly an advocate for upholding the Constitution, allow me to offer a few thoughts on this subject and challenge you to consider the argument from a different perspective.

First, as an Army officer, I took the following oath:   “I _____, having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.”  Let me explain what taking that oath means:

1)     I went places I didn’t want to go and put myself in harm’s way to protect the right of every American to protest – even when they were protesting against Soldiers.

2)     It means that I have stood through far too many memorial services saluting a flag-draped coffin while watching a comrade go home for the last time.

3)    It means that I have knocked on doors in the early morning hours to inform a young wife that her Soldier-husband had lost his life in the line of duty.

4)    It means that I have Stood at graveside services and handed a spouse a folded flag from the coffin of her loved one and watched her clutch it in her arms while trying to contain her grief.

The flag is our nation’s symbol of freedom – freedom for which countless men and women for more than two centuries have fought and died. Freedom which is so rare and precious that immigrants flock to our shores in hopes that they too can enjoy it. For over 200 years Americans have honored our flag and respected our country by standing during the playing of the National Anthem. So when someone decides that the flag does not deserve the honors traditionally given to it because they want to use the opportunity as a platform to protest a cause, I question their judgment and their regard for all the brave Americans who have valiantly served to protect it.  Consider how your “right to protest” stacks up against honoring the country in which you have chosen to live (yes, you are free to leave America if it displeases you – another of your valuable rights).

Second, as a Minister of The Gospel I have sworn to uphold and defend the Christian Faith and the sanctity of Holy Scripture. One of my “duties” in this regard is to proclaim God’s Word and exhort other believers to obediently follow it. Scripture has a lot to say about how citizens are to behave with respect to civil government. Jesus, when asked if it was right to pay taxes to the civil government, remarked “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s…,” effectively telling His followers that they should obey the laws of the land. Paul admonished us to pray for our civic leaders and reminded us that all civic leaders serve under God’s approval. As Christians, we should be obedient to the laws of our country (unless they contradict Scriptural law) and we should pray for our civic leaders. By the way, there is a law pertaining to the flag – it’s called the flag code, give it a read some time.

I believe that the citizens of the United States (Christian and otherwise) have become far more interested in our “personal rights” than in the laws of the land and the selfless service of our nation. That is, indeed, a reflection of our sin nature and evidence of how it manifests itself when we allow ANYTHING to become more important to us than God. So, where do your allegiances lie? “Put First the Kingdom of God…”

I am not advocating that you boycott the NFL or burn your team jerseys and season tickets as I have seen so much furor in the news about, but I would ask how much better off you might be if you spent the time you now spend with football with God instead.  You may exercise your “rights” as you see fit, but as for me and my house, we choose to STAND for the flag and KNEEL at the Cross.  Please pray for our country – Scripture tells us to!

-Pastor Dave Jones

Praises and Prayers

Reparatory and Preparatory Prayer

As the weekend draws nearer to Florida so does Hurricane Irma. A record-breaking Atlantic storm which has already devastated a number of Caribbean islands appears to be headed for landfall in Florida sometime Sunday morning.  Several of us have friends and relatives living in Florida so we are rightly concerned for their safety. As we continue to pray for the reparation of all the damage done to the Houston area by Hurricane Harvey, I ask for your prayers for the people of Florida as they prepare to face the violent winds and waters headed their way.  Pray for safety for the residents and for the storm to dissipate or turn back to sea. Pray also for the rescue workers and repair crews being called in to help. Above all, pray for God to be glorified as a result of these storms. May His love, compassion, and mercy shine through and bring people to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. May all those affected by the storm praise God for the strength to withstand such tragic losses. 

I saw a T-Shirt the other day with the following words printed over a picture of an armor suit (full armor of God): “The Devil whispered in my ear today ‘you are not strong enough to withstand the storm.’ I replied, ‘I am a chosen child of The Living God. I am bold. I am courageous. I AM the Storm!’”

As children of The Living God, we are empowered by the indwelling of His Holy Spirit – the full power of God literally lives in us! So, we have a choice to make; we can choose to try to endure the storms of life, or we can choose to use the power of God available to each and every follower of Christ and be the storm which brings fear and dread to Satan. Remember that the victory already belongs to the children of God – we just have to claim it.  Philippians 2: 10-11 assures us that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Pray in faith, live in strength.

-Pastor Dave Jones

A GUARANTEED Investment Opportunity!

I’m sure you have all experienced some sales pitch which “guaranteed” a hefty return on your investment…yet there always seems to be some “fine print” in the disclaimer if you search hard enough.  For instance, yesterday in the mail I received a check for $35,000 guaranteed to be wired directly to my bank account!  In (much) smaller print at the bottom was the stipulation that this was a “personal loan” for the low, low interest rate of 12%. As the old saying goes, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”  Pretty sound advice when we are dealing with matters in a fallen world filled with selfish people who are (mostly) only interested in promoting their own interests.  Even our closest loved ones will often fail to deliver on promises made – we are, after all, only human.

The Good News (really, THE GOOD NEWS) is that Jesus, the One Man who ever lived who never broke a promise, has offered us a number of fail-proof investment opportunities and we have it in writing!  Forgiveness, eternal life, joy, and peace, just to name a few of my favorites. But, there is one more promise which I would like to remind you of today – the promise of answered prayer (John 14:13-14).  In these dark days of trial, suffering, and continual attacks on followers of Jesus, I urge you to remember this promise and do not be discouraged, but be ENCOURAGED as we have the iron-clad promises of The One (and only) who has not and cannot break His word.

-Pastor Dave Jones

Psalms 150

During my morning meditation The Spirit pulled me to Psalms 150:

Praise the Lord.

Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

As Chaplain Nigolian so poetically pointed out to us last Sunday, we must stay “on mission.”  As Christians, our mission is to live lives which praise The Lord.  Every action and every inaction we take will determine how successful we are in accomplishing our mission.  We have SO MANY reasons to rejoice in the lives which God has so graciously granted us.  As you continue to charge through your busy week, I challenge you to take the time to read this short psalm every morning and see for yourselves how putting your focus squarely on God and rededicating your daily lives to your mission of praising Him changes your attitude, your world, and the world around you.  As Jesus told His disciples, HE is the vine and we are the branches – don’t cut yourself off from your life-sustaining nourishment…PRAISE THE LORD!

-Pastor Dave Jones

Praises and Prayers

As we continue to study The Holy Spirit and His power in the life of believers, I urge you to reflect on our congregation’s praises and petitions.  The Spirit will move us to pray for God’s will and will increase our awareness of needs of others.  Pray earnestly and expectantly – God WANTS to answer our prayers!

-Pastor Dave Jones

Praises and Prayers

As we continue to study the impact of The Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives, we must always remember to seek Him in prayer. As we commune with God through the power of the  Holy Spirit, we will grow closer to God and to our goal of becoming more like Christ. Seek God through His word and through prayer.

-Pastor Dave Jones

Praises and Prayers

As we learned from John 14 this past Sunday, Jesus PROMISED to answer our prayers when we pray in His name. We also learned that we have the power of God Himself, in the form of The Holy Spirit, LIVING INSIDE us as believers.  He is our advocate, helper, counselor, friend, and constant companion—we are NEVER alone.  So, be encouraged, pray boldly, seek first His Kingdom, and enjoy the abundant life which God wants us to have.  Read John chapter 14 again, then start praying!  🙂

-Pastor Dave Jones