Church Blog

Don't forget -- the Chili Cookoff today at noon! Come out for some fun, fellowship, and football!

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Nov 18th at 10:33am


Good morning everyone! “If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.” (Matthew 10:39 MSG) Jesus was a man who was purpose driven. He knew his purpose, and he lived with priorities. The earliest statement we have from Jesus was when he was 12 years old and said, “I must be about my Father’s business.” At age 12, he already knew his life plan. He was focused. Then, at the end of his life, he said, “It is finished.” Those are the bookends of a successful life. I want you to live a successful life. I want you to get to the end of your life and say, “I did it. I used my life the way God wanted me. I may have had a rocky start. But I used the rest of my life the way God wanted me to use it. And I put him first.” Jesus said in Luke 12:30, “Only people who don’t know God are always worrying” (CEV). What does that mean? It means that when you worry, you’re acting like an atheist. Worry is practical atheism. It’s saying you don’t really believe God’s going to take care of you. It’s acting like an orphan. Jesus also said in verse 31, “Your Father knows what you need. But put God’s work first, and these things will be yours as well.” All the other things in your life — your career, your education, your friendships, your romance, your finances — are all from God and are good. But if you’re a Christian, God comes first in your life. Everything else is second place. When you put him first, everything else will come into focus. God will help you with that. Have you ever talked to people who say, “I'm just trying to find myself”? I hate to tell them, but they’re never going to find themselves — unless they do what Matthew 10:39 says: “If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me” (MSG). The most counter-culture statement in today’s world is the first sentence of “The Purpose Driven Life”: “It’s not about you.” Everything in society says it’s all about you. All of the advertisements say it’s all about you: “Have it your way,” “We do it all for you,” “You deserve a break today,” “Obey your thirst,” “You’re worth it.” Yet God says the only way you’re ever going to find yourself is by forgetting yourself and focusing on God. Then you’ll not only figure out God; you’ll also figure out you. That’s what it means to live like Jesus.

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Nov 14th at 7:12am


Good morning everyone! We recently had two family pets in our household. Molly who is our beloved and faithful German Shepherd, and has the affectionate soul of a saint and a cat who we had renamed Snipes because of the condition of his heart. He was known by all who knew him as a predator and hot shot backbiter! For reasons known only to him, he would wait until you were just about to reach out and pet him and he would pounce on you with an evil vengeance unlike anything you have ever seen. Our precious Molly had to endure bites and attacks every day from that cat. For without warning, and unprovoked, he would simply jump on them for no reason to try and bite him. Like all seasoned backbiters, Snipes was very calm and collected. He was so sweet to look at. Yet the closer you got to him and the more you engaged him, the more pain he would inflict upon you. If Snipes could talk today, I feel sure that he would tell you that he regrets being that way. His mean and backbiting nature cost him his life over the long haul. While we mostly ignored him, because we got tired of the attacks in trying to befriend him, our neighborhood cats were not so tolerant and willing to ignore him. He was constantly fighting other cats and because of that, he ended up with Feline Leukemia and has just recently died. Like Snipes there are some people with that same backbiting nature. Whenever you see them coming you just try and dodge them. Because you know what they are capable of once they open their mouths. While they may be enjoying whatever pleasure they receive by pouncing on other’s feelings and lives, with their slanderous backbiting, malice and gossip, in the end they will end up being bitten themselves by the whirlwind of wrong, vindictive and mean choices that they have inflicted on others. When someone backbites or gossips, others may listen, but they will never trust the one who is dishing out the information that could, in the long run, cause great pain in someone else’s life. When that person hurts others by gossip or innuendo, they are saying much more about their own character than the one who they are hurting. They never consider the impact it may have in turning the opinions of the one that they are sharing it with, to dislike or disrespect the one being talked about. James 4:12 says, “…what right do you have to condemn your neighbor?” In all honesty, I have never met a person that has not engaged in some type of gossip or backbiting at some point in their lives, including myself. Yet, for the most part, we that do not call ourselves gossips or backbiters, have often times said something... and in hindsight wished we would have never opened our mouths. We may call what we say or do, “well meaning” gossip. Yet the Bible tells us that ….those who "refuse" to slander others or harm their neighbors, or speak evil of their friends….such people will stand firm forever.” Ps 15:1-5. This should be what we strive for. The Bible actually has a lot to say about gossip, slander, malice and backbiting, and the lessons that we can learn from scripture and start applying even today, is to stop it! Simply realize your responsibility, confess it and change your attitude about it. Realize that we all reap what we sow….and as God’s children we had better be about sowing kindness and compassion. Like we had to do with Snipes, you may in love just need to avoid those people that get you caught up in their gossip, making sure that you yourselves are not the ones instigating the pain on others through your own desire to spread the news that you deem so important, that it just needs to be shared! Be aware, be very aware....it will always come back and the bite is very bitter! Leviticus 19:16 – Do not go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the Lord. 1 Timothy 5:13 – Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to. Proverbs 18:8 – The words of gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.

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Nov 8th at 8:13am


Good morning everyone! What is our obsession with image? It’s like we just can’t stop tooting our own horns and posting pictures that capture the very best of our lives. I guess that’s because there’s no way to really photograph the hard stuff. Actually, our obsession with image started back in Genesis, at the fall, when Adam and Eve hid in the Garden. God asked, “Where are you?” and they were like, over here, hiding, pretending like they didn’t just get hustled by that serpent. There’s another story in Genesis 11 about the people in Babylonia who wanted to be famous and make a name for themselves, so they built the Tower of Babel. God stopped them, but that spirit lives on today. These days, we see people refer to fame as a career path, and if we’re not careful, whatever we are building – even in Jesus's name – can be more about us and our platform than about Him and His glory. Let’s just be honest about it, even with Jesus, pride is a central issue in our lives. Personally, pride has kept me bound up in unforgiveness. Pride has hindered relationships in my life. Pride has given birth to control, anger, fear, insecurity, and jealousy in my heart. Pride has kept me at odds with the will of God. At different times in my life, pride has made my image, my desire, my insecurity, and my intellect my god. I can think of nothing more destructive to the purpose of God in our lives and in the lives of others than pride. How are you doing? I wonder if we build an image because we are searching for significance. We haven’t learned how to be found in Christ, so we look to find ourselves in a person or career, in the clothes we wear, car we drive, pants size and Instagram likes, being better than other people, or proving ourselves to someone in our past, because that makes us feel significant, like we matter. Listen, I’m not anti any of those things, but if our motivation is to exalt our image above our integrity, then we’ve rooted our pursuits in pride. If we can surrender our image to Jesus, we can learn to live adverse to haughtiness. That’s what Paul did. When he met Jesus, he conquered the pride that shaped his religion and exalted his intellect. So when he writes in 1 Corinthians 2, “I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified,” we see a man completely changed by the power of the gospel. We see a forgiven man who has let the idol of his image die on the cross with Jesus, so that he can walk in the truth before God and man. Our image-obsessed world can sometimes be a hard place to find God. We can lean into the Holy Spirit and find His presence and power to heal us from our past, to receive forgiveness, and to forgive those who have hurt us, so that pride and its offspring does not rule our lives. I pray you continue to find God in the hard places of life.

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Oct 31st at 8:54am


Good afternoon everyone! This coming Sunday, October 29 at 10:30 A.M. "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" will be filming at JBC! Invite your friends! You cannot miss this taping!!!!!

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Oct 23rd at 4:30pm


Good morning everyone! The book of Philippians is a mission letter. WHOA, don’t you dare stop reading! Not a missionary fan? I hear ya. I hear the word “missionary,” and my mental earbuds are in my ears. But just wait a minute, this Paul guy, this book of Philippians is really good! It has some really interesting things that made me continue reading. Paul sends his update letter back to his church to let them know how missionary work is going, and “HE’S IN PRISON!” But this letter, this letter is filled with gratitude for support, and most importantly, fellowship in the mission itself. That word fellowship is right at the heart of this letter. Think of your own close friends. How did you get that way? A lot of things make friends close: shared interests, shared laughs, shared troubles. But for me, my best friends come from shared mission. Paul calls it the “fellowship of the gospel.” It’s a powerful bond. Now who is Paul anyway? Well, he wrote this letter. To the Philippians, Paul is the missionary who gave them hope. The story is in Acts 16, and you may want to read that chapter today as a great introduction to Philippians. Now by the time of this letter the Philippians are a thriving church and a core part of Paul’s mission team. They know Paul, he introduced them to Jesus. They believe in Paul’s mission and they support it financially. Paul meanwhile is in Rome, in jail. He is awaiting trial for doing exactly what he did in Philippi, sharing the gospel and changing lives. Paul is waiting to see Caesar Nero, and it might mean death. Imagine getting a missionary update written from jail. Paul writes to tell his support team that he’s chained up and the mission is still on! Chain me to a guard and I’ll reach the guard. And amazingly, this letter written in chains is full of joy. It’s just a joyous letter because of what Paul is writing about and who he is writing to. That’s how joy works. You don’t analyze it and figure it out; you get it along the journey – on the mission together. Speaking of which, verse 3: “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now” (Philippians 1:3-5). I love how this letter starts. I think it’s just about the best compliment you can give, “I thank God for you. And when I do, it is joy in my heart and a smile on my face.” Why? Your fellowship in the gospel. I think the word fellowship has kind of lost its meaning. In church we share some coffee and call it fellowship. And it sort of is, at least a start. But Paul is talking about more than caffeine and a few laughs. He’s talking about the kind of fellowship you find on a mission - together. Shared goals, shared hardships, shared stories and prayers and laughter and tears. There are just a handful of people who have really walked through it for years of ministry with me. Those are my best friends. When God sets you on the same mission, and sets His love in your hearts for the same people – that’s fellowship. Paul’s fellowship with his old friends in Philippi had depth. Paul had reached them with the gospel - brought them hope. And together they reached more. Shared sacrifice, shared love, shared mission. For me, as of late, everything seems…bleak. But this little update letter from Philippians chapter 1 made me feel joyful about lots of things. I hope this letter brightens your day like it did mine!

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Oct 18th at 10:25am


Have you ever wanted to encourage a hurting friend and weren't sure what to say or what not to say? How can you help a friend who is grieving, depressed or has experienced a loss? Look no further! Each Wednesday night at 7:00 P.M., Pastor Jewett presents the series, "Helping the Hurting." It's practical...it's interesting...and...it's FREE! See you there!

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Oct 17th at 6:34pm


Good morning everyone! Paul is thankful to God that His powerful Word of Truth has borne the fruit of faith and love in the lives of the Christians in Colossae. And not just in their lives, but also “all over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing” (v.6). Do those words ring a bell? Where have you heard the words “be fruitful and increase” before? It was God’s first command to humanity in Genesis 1:28. In the beginning, how did God bring men and women to life? We find the answer in Genesis 1:28, “God said to them” (NKJV). And God’s almighty Word, carrying His authority and power, made it possible for humans to reproduce and fill the earth. Today, God is re-creating men and women in the image of His Son by the same powerful Word. So, how do we grow the church? Yes, we should research, plan and strategise. But, fundamentally, faith, love and hope spring to life in people’s hearts by God’s Word of Truth. Therefore, like Paul and Epaphras (v.7), we must speak this gospel. This gospel begins to bear fruit in people’s lives once they have “heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth” (v.6). But, of course, you can listen to the gospel and never really hear the gospel. Many times I have heard people say they went to a church for many years and never heard the gospel. Maybe the gospel was not preached there. But, such a statement may be more a comment on their spiritual condition rather than the spiritual condition of the church. You can ‘hear’ the message but never truly comprehend the grace of God. It is only by God’s grace that we understand that not only have all sinned, but I have sinned; that God did not just love the world, God loved me. That God’s amazing grace saved a wretch like me. How did this life changing Word come to these people? Through the mouth of an ordinary man, Epaphras, who was beloved by his fellow workers, faithful to Christ and a servant to the church (v.7). May we all be worthy of such a threefold commendation. Powerful words to think about today. Have a great day!

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Oct 11th at 6:05am


Good morning everyone! "Always Thankful" Colossians is Paul’s word of encouragement to the “holy and faithful” in Colossae. Having introduced himself, Paul immediately reminds the Colossians of how he prays for them. Paul’s prayer is astonishing: “We always thank God” (v.3). Imagine you were awoken in the middle of the night to the news that your house had just burned down, and then you decided to send an email to friends around the world seeking their prayers. How would you begin? I would say, “Pray for us,” and then at length describe my awful situation. How stunning that Paul begins with thanksgiving. Why is that so remarkable? Paul is awaiting trial, probably under house arrest in Rome. But you would hardly know that from this letter. Many of Paul’s letters were written from prison, but most of them contain almost nothing about his own situation. They are full of thanksgiving and exhortations to those he writes to. And look at what Paul is thankful for. He has heard about their faith in Christ and their love for one another (v.4). Why are the Colossians living such faithful, loving lives? Because of “the hope that is stored up for [them] in heaven” (v.5). We too share in this hope—the new heaven and the new earth that we will soon occupy. It is because we know we will have such an incredible inheritance then that we are energised to keep on trusting God and loving one another now. How did people who were faithless, loveless and hopeless have their lives so amazingly turned around? How did this miracle take place in the Colossian believers’ lives? It is only because of “the word of truth, the gospel” (v.5). The gospel is, first and foremost, news. It is words that are spoken and heard. The fruits of faith and love spring to life when God’s mighty Spirit takes His dynamic, truthful Word and plants it in the hearts of people. Paul has heard of this great work in the lives of these young believers and so, despite his terrible trial, he first gives thanks to God. Think about the hope laid up for Christians in heaven. How could more reflection on this hope transform your daily living?

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Oct 10th at 6:58am


Good morning everyone! "Where Are You?" I have never had to work hard to find God in the good times. My wedding day; the moment we laid eyes on our newborn son; sitting at the dinner table surrounded with people who love us. It’s glorious. It’s as if the face of God is shining on me, as if His favor has poured out in my life. But in the hard times, I confess to you, that I wonder where He is. And, yes, I know that He will never leave me, nor forsake me. I know that He works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. I know I should trust Him, cast my cares upon Him, and rest in His presence. When life is falling apart, how in the world are we supposed to practically do that? How am I supposed to get all those scriptures from my head to my anxious heart? If you’re feeling a little out of control and crazy, I want you to know that we’re all a bit north of crazy, given our circumstances. You are not alone. I want you to know that God can be found when you’re celebrating, when you’re suffering, when you’re transitioning, and when you’re bored completely out of your mind. He is found as we engage with the character of Christ, whose life and Spirit direct us to the Father. And I want you to know that God is a good Father. Our life does not always tell that story; but it’s true. You have no reason to trust me yet, but as someone who has emerged from hell on Earth more than once, I have personally fought to find Him at every stage of my life. “Where are you, God?” has been a through line in my personal story. If you find yourself asking that question today as you examine your history, as you walk with a friend in need, or even as you examine the heartbreak that seems to be exploding all over the Earth, I invite you to ask Him this question. In his book, Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God, Dallas Willard said, “We truly live at the mercy of our ideas; this is never more true than with our ideas about God.” Let’s learn together about our Father in Heaven, about Jesus, and His Spirit made incarnate in our lives, and how He is Emmanuel, God with us. He is gentle, humble at heart, and as we seek to learn from Jesus, we find rest for our souls. I pray you know Him every moment of your life as a “with us” God. Be found in His grace and His peace today.

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Sep 22nd at 9:56am