Church Blog

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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Fri at 9:56am


Good morning everyone! At the end of the story of David and Goliath, we read, “So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him” (1 Samuel 17:50). In a matter of hours, a shepherd boy armed only with a sling and his faith in God took down a fearsome giant that had been taunting the Israelites for forty days. Your Shepherd, Jesus, will do the same in your life if you allow him (see John 10:11). In Psalm 23:5, David states of the Lord, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” Jesus, your Savior, promises to lead you, guide you, and protect you . . . not in the absence of your foes, but in the very presence of your enemies. As the pressures, the darkness, and the struggles of your giants close in around you, your Shepherd spreads a feast of provision right there in the midst of the battle. He gives you everything you need to not only survive but actually thrive as you navigate the path to freedom. The Bible states that Jesus is not only your Good Shepherd but also the Lion of Judah (see Revelation 5:5). His roar rules the nations. His voice shatters the enemy. But for a short while, Satan has been allowed to prowl and look for cracks through which he can insert himself into your mind. If you don’t stop him, then he will be the one sitting at the table. And if he’s at your table, then he will work to erode your confidence in God. He will try to tell you that you are all alone in the fight and that you have no chance of seeing your giants fall. At such times you need to agree with David, who—in spite of witnessing plenty of adversity in his life—could state with confidence, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (Psalm 23:4). David knew God had everything under control. He recognized during the dark times that God was on his side, walking through the valley with him. You can have that same trust, but only if you refuse to allow the enemy a seat at the table. This is because if the enemy is at your table, he will try to convince you that you will not make it. He will work to spin your head around and remind you that you’re surrounded and everyone is out to get you. He will tempt you with thoughts that there’s something better at another table and that God is holding out on you. You have to choose instead to believe that your Shepherd promised to lead you through the valley, that he is always with you, that he knows what is best for you, and that you are his beloved child. So today, take a seat at God’s great table. Sit down, be still, and just enjoy the presence of your heavenly Father. Go to him whenever you are weary and heavy-laden, for he has promised to give you rest (see Matthew 11:28). Focus less on the enemies who are surrounding you and more on the fact that he is there with you. Move forward into the victory that he has for you—and watch as one by one all the giants in your life fall.

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Sep 20th at 9:09am


REMINDER EVERYONE: Clothing Drive (free, good quality clothes) this Saturday (Sept. 23) 9 AM - 3 PM at the church!

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Sep 19th at 7:30pm


Good morning everyone! I practically tackled my husband when he walked through the door. Earlier in the evening I had almost finished Bible time with my kids when my then four-year old son told me he wanted to ask Jesus to take away his sins and come into his heart. We waited until my husband got home from working late and then the three of us prayed together. What a dear memory we had together that night, as my son accepted Jesus as his Savior. But even as we finished praying, I knew we couldn’t stop there. There is so much more for him to learn and understand, and even when he is able to grasp every beautiful detail of the plan of salvation, he will need us to show him how to follow Jesus. If we believe that Jesus paid for our sins on the cross and rose again to save us, that knowledge should affect how we live. But, it’s not always easy to follow Jesus in our everyday lives when there are so many influences pulling us opposite directions. My son doesn’t know any of these struggles now; he just knows He loves Jesus. There is a beauty in that simplicity, but as his parent, I am also looking ahead to prepare him to follow Jesus when it is hard, in those moments when it might be easier to take a different road. The Bible compares the Christian life to taking the narrow path, and that is such an appropriate analogy, because following Jesus is not easy. In fact, we are promised it will be hard. Here are a few things that have helped me as I have tried (and sometimes failed) to follow Jesus well. 1. Remember That Following Jesus Requires a Change In Behavior. After we make the decision to do that, we have to continually re-make the decision to “deny ourselves and follow [Jesus]”. It is so much easier to go with the flow and do whatever we (or others) want, but out of love for our Savior we should think about what He would want us to do first. 2. When In Doubt, Read Your Bible God’s Word is truth! Learning Scripture is a priority. All the help you will need can be found there. 3. The Devil Can’t Make You Do It, But He Can Sure Try Spiritual warfare is a reality I want my kids to be aware of, but ironically I don’t even always recognize my own struggles as spiritual warfare! It has taken me a while, but I am realizing how active the spiritual world is, and how often that spiritual warfare is a factor in the situations I face. There is nothing our kids can do to fight this spiritual battle if they do not know how to pray. When they find themselves struggling and making mistakes, I want them to attack it with prayer, because we need God’s help to truly overcome our enemy. 4. There Is No Such Thing as a Perfect Christian Though I accepted Christ at a young age, I have not always followed Jesus perfectly. There are times I have been distracted by everything the world chases after, times when I have ignored that gentle tug in my spirit, Jesus nudging me to get back on track, and times when I have flat-out disobeyed God and kicked myself afterward. It is so easy to get caught up in past failures, but the most beautiful thing about following Jesus is that there is grace. There is grace when we mess up, and we can come right back to Him and ask Him to forgive us and help us choose the better path. When my kids fail, and they will, I want them to know deep in their hearts that they can always rely upon the wonderful grace and forgiveness of Jesus. The world likes to tell us that if we follow our heart, we can’t go wrong, but that is just not true. Our hearts are deceitful, and feelings change all the time. There will be times in my kids’ lives when it will be hard to make the right decisions, when it will be tempting to follow what everyone else is doing. As parents, when our kids face tough decisions, we want to have already equipped them with the tools they need to choose to follow Jesus no matter what.

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Mar 17th at 7:08am


Good morning everyone! Praying this devotional will be an encouragement to you today. God bless, and have a wonderful day from JBC! Jesus Is Your Friend One of the most fascinating things about Jesus was how much time he spent with people. You would think that God in human flesh, knowing his time on earth was short, would have spent every minute expounding theological thoughts and doctrinal discourses. But Jesus took time out for people: good people, bad people, hyper-religious people, self-condemned people, sick people, even a few dead people. Jesus made friends with disreputable sinners, people that society rejected: Zacchaeus, Matthew, the woman caught in adultery, the thief on the cross. He made friends with invisible people, those that society ignored or undervalued: Peter, James, John, and the rest of the disciples. He reached out to the blind and the lame and the lepers, and he healed them with no strings attached. Keep in mind that Jesus came to show us the father (John 14:9). In other words, how he dealt with people was exactly how God deals with us. Jesus smiled at people because God smiled at them. He healed people because God wanted to heal them. He hugged people because God longed to hug them. He ate fish and chips with alcoholics, he played hide-and-seek with kids, and maybe he cracked corny jokes. But most importantly, He forgave sins left and right because that’s what God would have done in his place. We have to grasp this truth. Jesus didn’t come into the world to condemn it. He came to save it. He wasn’t out to highlight his holiness and shame those who didn’t measure up. He came to find sinners and offer them a way out. He came to give hope to desperate, lonely, hurting people. He came to replace our quiet desperation with righteousness and peace and joy. So what does this mean for us? It means that regardless of our past or present, in spite of our weaknesses and failures, Jesus is our friend, too. Sometimes we have a hard time believing that. We look at ourselves through the filter of our failures and we lose heart. How could God love us? How could we ever be successful? How could we ever help other people? But Jesus looks past our sin and loves us for who we are. His death and resurrection dealt with sin once and for all. They made a way for our relationship with him to be restored to what it was meant to be. We get in a hurry to perfect ourselves, because we think that when we do, God will love us more. We think he’s waiting for us to clean up our act before he will really be our friend. But he will never love us more than he does right now. He will never accept us more than he does right now. God is not in a hurry to fix us. Our behavior is not his first priority. Relationship is his first priority. We are his focus. We are what he thinks about all day long. Jesus is obsessed with loving us, with spending time with us, with knowing all the mundane details of our lives. We are his favorite. We are his friends.

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Mar 16th at 10:04am


Good morning everyone! It’s relatively easy to live as a redeemed girl when things are calm. But it’s much more difficult when the storms of life hit with full force. Are you currently walking through a storm of life, desperately seeking God’s wisdom? Our scripture verse this week tells us that by acquiring wisdom, years can be added to our life - - all we have to do is ask God for it. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5 By wisdom, James is talking about the skill that enables us to live obediently in the midst of a trial. The result can be a truly beautiful life that glorifies Jesus! Find a time today to stop, pray and ask God for wisdom. He delights to give wisdom to those who truly seek it!

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Mar 15th at 9:24am


Good early evening everyone! Sometimes our journey of faith means our vision is obscured by clouds, and at times we face obstacles that evoke such fear that we would rather forsake the journey than keep going. And yes, sometimes following Jesus means we trust His voice even when we can’t see His face. This is what it means to walk by faith and not by sight. Faith, after all, is defined in the book of Hebrews as the “certainty of what we do not see.” We often can’t begin to comprehend the glory that awaits us behind the clouds that obscure our path. When our physical eyes can’t see how God will answer, deliver, or provide, it is by faith that we move forward. - Marian Jordan

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Mar 14th at 6:25pm


Good afternoon everyone! I Just Unfriended My Friend by Nicki Koziarz “My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them for they will refresh your soul.” Proverbs 3:21-22a (NLT) “Women are ridiculous,” I said to my husband as I crawled into bed, tears dripping. He gave me an agreeable stare, since he had no words to console my aching heart. I’d just learned a friend lied to me. It was about something senseless, which just made it worse. As the hours ticked by, I wrestled through troubling thoughts. Why would she lie about THAT? Were we ever really friends? The combination of hurt and middle-of-the-night thinking was toxic, forming a very self-centered attitude in me. I decided I no longer had room in my life to deal with someone who had lied to me. So in my heart, I just unfriended this friend. I have other people I can be friends with, I thought as I drifted off to sleep. The next morning I realized how my emotions had distorted my perceptions. It concerned me how quickly I was willing to write off this friend, since we had been through a lot together. And I really did value our relationship. So I pondered the emotions swirling in my heart. In our cyber culture today, it’s easy to sit behind computer screens and smartphones while we reject the reality of many things, including friendships. My profile on Facebook says I have 900 “friends.” Social media convinces me I have hundreds of people in my corner. But in reality, I don’t have 900 friends I could call in the midst of a crisis or even go meet for a cup of coffee. And that “unfriend” button is mighty tempting when someone hurts me. But the truth is, ending a relationship is much more complex than the way social media convinces me it can happen — as easily as clicking an icon. Social media is a relational tool, but it’s not a relational reality. More than ever, I need to see my friendships through the lens of reality, and this verse helps me do this: “My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them for they will refresh your soul,” (Proverbs 3:21-22a). God has given us two trustworthy filters to help us see things as what they really are: common sense and discernment. In this situation with my friend, common sense, reminded me: You don’t really have 900 friends, but you do have one or two people you can really count on. And you need to cultivate those relationships through good times and bad. When I wanted to reject our relationship because I was hurt, discernment said: Your friend is human. At the core of her heart she cares about you and didn’t mean to hurt you. We will always be susceptible to flawed perceptions in our friendships. But when we hang on to the realities God offers us through common sense and discernment I believe we will be much wiser with our perceptions. Using God’s Word as my filter, rather than my emotions, allowed me to work through the hurtful issue with my friend. That experience made me a more compassionate friend and it strengthened our friendship, so that when I mess up (and I’m sure I will), hopefully she’ll forgive me. Friendships thrive when we cultivate them. Invite a friend to meet you for some meaningful connecting time, this week or next. Power Verses: 1 Corinthians 13:12, “We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!” (MSG) 1 John 3:2, “But friends, that’s exactly who we are: children of God. And that’s only the beginning. Who knows how we’ll end up! What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we’ll see him — and in seeing him, become like him.” (MSG)

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Mar 13th at 3:01pm


Electricity is on in Jasper! Church is on schedule. See you there!

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Mar 11th at 10:29pm