Friday, June 25, 2010

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Fear. The very words strike apprehension and concern in us as we consider the potential causes of this most normal of human emotions. Whether it be the fear of losing your life savings, your possessions as a result of an earthquake like the one that touched our region this week, or even a catastrophic event brought on by terrorism, we Americans are becoming a nation of fearful people who never quite know when and if the bottom will fall out of our once-peaceful existence and we will be thrown into turmoil unlike any we have faced before.

Thankfully, God’s Word, the Bible, is not silent on the issue. It recognizes that fear is a part of being human but directly confronts fear with a message of hope brought about by faith in the One who is Fearless in the face of any and every terror.

This summer I’ll be preaching a new sermon series entitled: “Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear.” Together we’ll browse through the Bible and discover the reasons why we fear and then look at some of our biggest fears and how to deal with them appropriately. This exciting and insightful series begins July 18th at 10:30 a.m. in the main auditorium. I invite you to mark it on your calendar and plan to make every message!

Rosalie and I were out walking late last evening. We were chatting away as we walked through the small parking lot beside our home. Suddenly, and without warning, something in the tree above us moved violently. Yikes! We were immediately put in a fight or flight mode of reaction. Funnily, it was only a bird!

Many of us are walking through life and things that go bump in the night are startling us and robbing us of the peace we can expect as human being created in God’s image. I hope these messages will help you discover that your greatest fears are really only little birds in comparison to mighty power of God at work in your life.

See you on July 18th,

Pastor Dean Brown

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Thank You, Volunteers!

As you know, we had quite a weekend last week here at the church. We hosted District Praise Gathering on Saturday and then on Sunday we held our very first Classic Car Rally and BBQ on Father’s Day. It turned out to be a huge success. Many people visited our church for the first time and many, many doors of opportunity have been opened to us as a church family. I believe only eternity will measure the impact our labor has had on the lives of so many.

I really want to thank you for your help in either one or both of these events. We could not have given like we did had it not been for people like you giving of yourself for the cause.

“Thank you” seems like so small a way to let you know how much you are loved and appreciated!

Our team served with excellence and genuine warmth toward those we served. I thank God that you were a part of the team!

Your Pastor and friend,

Pastor Dean
Senior Pastor

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Humble Yourself

I read this from Wisdom Chasers this week:

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” 1Peter 5:6

Christ’s command is clear to His children: “Humble yourselves”. What He requires is a volitional and willful act of humility. Just like I choose to love, I choose to humble myself. I can be humble, just like I can be compassionate, forgiving and gentle. Humility is not an outside force waiting to have its way; it indwells the believer waiting for action.

So, how do we humble ourselves? It is the submission to God and others that unleashes humility. Humility will lie dormant and be a doormat to pride unless we surrender to our Savior Jesus. We give up our right to be right, so that we can walk in humility. It’s taking the low position that gains the high ground of grace. Humility is the preserver of peace, while pride is the disturber of peace. We first humble ourselves and then trust God to do what’s right.

Are you at enmity with the Lord? If so, humble yourself. Are you at odds with an individual? If so, humble yourself. Did you mess up at work? If so, humble yourself and take responsibility for your poor performance. Did you speak harsh and hurtful words? If so, humble yourself and ask for forgiveness. Humility heals, while pride prolongs pain.

It’s the proactive process of humbling ourselves that keeps power from feeding our pride and fame from deflating our faith. Success is an enemy to humility because it tries to move us from submission to self-sufficiency. Leaders don’t let the accolades of man soften their submission to God. If you act like you do not need the Almighty, He will allow you to fall on your face in forced submission. Better to voluntarily submit to authorities in heaven and on earth than to be made to surrender and humiliated.

Grace is the gift you receive from God when you humble yourself. Grace is the gasoline that runs the engine of an eternal and abundant life. Humble yourself and watch the Lord lift you up in His timing. Self-exaltation is not sustainable, but eternity’s exaltation is forever. Submit under His mighty hand and you’ll decrease, while He increases.

“He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30).

Do I daily humble myself by submitting to Almighty God and to the authorities in my life?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Best Interpreters

"I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts." (John Locke)

Friday, June 4, 2010

What Jesus Said

1Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him." 3Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." 4Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?" 5Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'

I Love This!

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3: 16 NASB)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Gnosticism was an ancient heresy that stated that matter was essentially evil; only pure spirit was not sinful.

Gnosticism, soundly defeated by early theologians, has pulled itself out of the ash heap of subjugation and once again seeks victims today.

Gnosticism teaches that a religious person can maintain spiritual holiness all-the-while reveling in fleshly indulgences and that sinful mindset engendered by a world value system completely opposed to God and His holy, just ways.

Today's configuration encourages libertinism in that it fosters an erroneous belief that a person can "live as the devil himself" yet, since what the body does is of no moral consequence to the spirit, is freed to indulge in the unholy patterns and practices of the world while still enjoying the promise of a luscious existence in eternity. It's a dichotomy that the Scripture cannot support nor does it encourage.

What is Universalism

“Universalism is a doctrine believed by many that teaches that in the end everybody will be saved, that ultimately the saving plan is universal and God's going to save anybody and in the end everybody is going to heaven and hell will not exist. That's how some people answer the problem of if God loves the whole world then how could He possibly send everybody to hell, except that few that believe. They answer it by saying that, well, in the end He won't do it. In the end His love will prevail and He will save everybody. That's universalism.” (John MacArthur)

Universalism teaches that no person, no matter how much they embrace crass disobedience to God, will be excluded from His redemption. They believe God, the loving Father, will bring all people into conformity with his will, thus saving them from eternal damnation.

Origen, in the 3rd century, speculated on this beyond scriptural warrant. Socinus, in the 16th century, brought a revival of this "doctrine." He argued that because Jesus died, ALL would be forgiven.

In the 1800's, this movement organized in the US. But after much internal debate and contradiction, lost its steam and joined with the Unitarians.

I believe in "universal salvation" - that Jesus Christ died for ALL people, even those who would reject Him. It is a "universal and saving light" Robert Barclay noted. John Wesley wrote of that "prevenient grace" a clarifying teaching that describes the universal character of God's wonderful salvation.

God, in scripture, however, declares that there are moral basis's for salvation and never gives indication that He will set these aside to accommodate those who are impenitent.