Mar 28, 2013

The Trials of This Earth Shall Pass

"This too shall pass” a phrase commonly heard by those going through periods of mourning or struggle. When viewed in an earthly sense, it can be difficult to believe, since we know struggles often pass only to bring forth different struggles. This life is never free of suffering. Instead, we move through life and its trials, attempting to make it through by leaning on God, and doing our best to glorify him in the process.

Throughout Isaiah 33, a beautiful reminder is painted. A glorious image of the future, paired with the mournful present—a reminder that though we will struggle tremendously throughout this life, we will someday rejoice in the presence of God’s glory.

Rejoicing through forgiveness

Not only will we live in the most perfect place, in the presence of God; we’ll be completely forgiven of our past (Isaiah 33:24). We will be completely free to rejoice and enjoy life in God’s presence, free of guilt and regret. And this all began on the cross with Jesus.

Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, we are able to look forward to one day living in total happiness. We are able push onward because the mourning and sadness that this world holds for us are only temporary. We know that this won’t last forever, so we are able to push forward each day, looking forward to the day when we meet our father and live in the glorious home he has prepared for us.

Looking forward to heaven

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”—Colossians 3:1–4

If it were not for Jesus coming to die, death would be something to dread—a terrible ending to a difficult life. However, we have been given a gift leading to an even more beautiful beginning. Because of God’s grace and forgiveness, we are able to look onward to the place where the Lord in majesty will be for us (Isaiah 33:21).

Easter is an amazing reminder of the fact that “this too shall pass.” Though we go through dark times, times of mourning, loss, and disappointment, we get to look forward to living forever as though we are blameless and perfect, just as we appear because of what Jesus endured for our sake."

by Tayler Beede

Mar 26, 2013

Young Women

1 Timothy 2:9-10

English Standard Version (ESV)

Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel,
with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,
but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.

In today’s society, we have created a world that completely idolizes sex and lustful thoughts. We often wonder how things like human trafficking and teen pregnancy could be so prevenient in America but it doesn’t take long to realize after taking a look around you. We live in a society focused on self-satisfaction. We are told to look at what will make me happy or what can I do to become successful? We mass-produce pornography, sex scenes on TV, and even post photos of women and men in undergarments everywhere. It is to the point where Victoria’s Secret is launching a line for middle school girls called “Bright Young Things.” Yes, that does mean Victoria’s Secret will be promoting twelve and thirteen year old girls to wear lace intimate apparel with phrases like “feeling lucky?” on them. In honesty, from a girl’s perspective, it seems to be what is expected of young women today. As a young woman who grew up in a society like this, I want to share my thoughts and experiences.

You see, the world around us screams messages to young girls and women. We have to be beautiful to get a guys attention. We have to be that size two and have to be showing off our bodies to gain the attention the world says we should have. We have to date and have a guy to feel self worth. These are what we feel society wants us to do. I mean if it wasn’t would there be a Victoria’s Secret fashion show; models posted on the cover of every magazine; sex scenes in every chick flick?

So what do girls do to become what society wants them to? They adapt. That sweet innocent young girl playing with Barbies begins to try to turn herself into a living Barbie. They wear makeup to cover up imperfections. They wear low cut shirts and short shorts to gain attention (not to mention it is about all that is sold in most stores.) They show off a little and they flirt. As a teenage girl, I definitely got sucked into these patterns. Spending time in the morning to put on makeup and pick out just the right outfit and make sure my body and attitude was just right. Not to say these are bad things but often times they can be done for the wrong reasons. In my case, I was doing it for the wrong reasons. I wanted guys to see me as attractive and for other girls to see I was pretty. Other girls do this too, not that we want to get sucked into this pattern; it is just an adaptation to society and a desire to fit in.

Girls are not the only ones who suffer from this mass message. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for guys to look around everywhere and see women’s bodies exposed. Lustful thoughts then enter a guy’s head. The message to them is also to date and find a relationship. And what kind of girls do these guys get? The girls’ society has adapted. It is a message that not only affects girls buy also guys, so in reality our whole society. This can lead to unhealthy relationships and problems. I have experienced what these kinds of relationships can be like.

Now not all young women are like this. Some have stood up to society and decided to dress modestly and view themselves as beautiful the way they are. I feel that more women need to realize that. This obviously means a change in society would be needed but you as a young man or women can help. Men can see and encourage women that they are beautiful the way they are. A simple complement goes a long way. To the young women and girls in America today, you do not need men or society to feel valuable. Find a group of women to encourage you along the way. My best girl friends have been so much help with this. Respect yourselves and your body by dressing modestly and saying no. Just a word from a woman who grew up in this society to all other young women and men out there.

by Amy Lucas
Amy is a student at U of M Dearborn


Mar 22, 2013

Corrie ten Boom

There is no pit so deep,
that the hand of God is
not deeper still.

-Corrie ten Boom-

Mar 21, 2013


~ ~ ~ ~

Our heart-felt prayers go
out to the students,
the staff and the parents of
Davidson Middle School.
May God give comfort and peace
in this most difficult time.

~ ~ ~ ~

Mar 20, 2013

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Great is Thy Faithfulness

"Great is thy faithfulness," O God my Father
There is no shadow of turning with thee;
Thou changest not, thy compassions, they fade not;
As thou hast been thou forever wilt be.

"Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!"
Morning by morning new mercies I see:
All I have needed thy hand hath provided
"Great is thy faithfulness," Lord unto me!

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in thy courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

"Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!"
Morning by morning new mercies I see:
All I have needed thy hand hath provided
"Great is thy faithfulness," Lord unto me!

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

"Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!"
Morning by morning new mercies I see:
All I have needed thy hand hath provided
"Great is thy faithfulness," Lord unto me!

by: Thomas O. Chisholm
Tune: Faithfulness, William M. Runyan

Mar 19, 2013

Blessed is the man...

Blessed is the man who
makes the LORD his TRUST
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.
Psalm 40:4

Mar 12, 2013

Hebrews 6:18-19

Therefore, we who have fled to HIM
for REFUGE can have great
Confidence as we hold to the HOPE
that lies before us.
Anchor for our souls.

Hebrews 6:18-19

Mar 4, 2013

Spring Forward!

Ready or not, the time is almost upon us....
We have to Spring Forward this week-end,
March 10!
And not to fret, you can get your hours'
worth of sleep back in November.

Mar 3, 2013

The Word-less Church

Many American churches are in a mess. Theologically they are indifferent, confused, or dangerously wrong. Liturgically they are the captives of superficial fads. Morally they live lives indistinguishable from the world. They often have a lot of people, money, and activities. But are they really churches, or have they degenerated into peculiar clubs?
What has gone wrong? At the heart of the mess is a simple phenomenon: the churches seem to have lost a love for and confidence in the Word of God. They still carry Bibles and declare the authority of the Scriptures. They still have sermons based on Bible verses and still have Bible study classes. But not much of the Bible is actually read in their services. Their sermons and studies usually do not examine the Bible to see what it thinks is important for the people of God. Increasingly they treat the Bible as tidbits of poetic inspiration, of pop psychology, and of self-help advice. Congregations where the Bible is ignored or abused are in the gravest peril. Churches that depart from the Word will soon find that God has departed from them.
What solution does the Bible teach for this sad situation? The short but profound answer is given by Paul in Colossians 3:16: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” We need the Word to dwell in us richly so that we will know the truths that God thinks are most important and so that we will know His purposes and priorities. We need to be concerned less about “felt-needs” and more about the real needs of lost sinners as taught in the Bible.
Paul not only calls us here to have the Word dwell in us richly, but shows us what that rich experience of the Word looks like. He shows us that in three points. (Paul was a preacher, after all.)
First, he calls us to be educated by the Word, which will lead us on to ever-richer wisdom by “teaching and admonishing one another.”
Paul is reminding us that the Word must be taught and applied to us as a part of it dwelling richly in us. The church must encourage and facilitate such teaching whether in preaching, Bible studies, reading, or conversations. We must be growing in the Word.
It is not just information, however, that we are to be gathering from the Word. We must be growing in a knowledge of the will of God for us: “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Col. 1:9). Knowing the will of God will make us wise and in that wisdom we will be renewed in the image of our Creator, an image so damaged by sin: “Put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (3:10).
This wisdom will also reorder our priorities and purposes, from that which is worldly to that which is heavenly: “The hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of truth, the gospel” (1:5). When that Word dwells in us richly we can be confident that we know the full will of God: “I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known” (1:25). From the Bible we know all that we need for salvation and godliness.
Second, Paul calls us to expressing the Word from ever-renewed hearts in our “singing.”
Interestingly, Paul connects the Word dwelling in us richly with singing. He reminds us that singing is an invaluable means of placing the truth of God deep in our minds and hearts. I have known of elderly Christians far gone with Alzheimer’s disease who can still sing songs of praise to God. Singing also helps connect truth to our emotions. It helps us experience the encouragement and assurance of our faith: “That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”
The importance of singing, of course, makes the content of our songs vital. If we sing shallow, repetitive songs, we will not be hiding much of the Word in our hearts. But if we sing the Word itself in its fullness and richness, we will be making ourselves rich indeed. We need to remember that God has given us a book of songs, the Psalter, to help us in our singing.
Third, Paul calls us to remember the effect of the Word to make us a people with ever-ready “thanksgiving.”
Three times in Colossians 3:15–17 Paul calls us to thankfulness. When the “word of Christ” dwells in us richly, we will be led on to lives of gratitude. As we learn and contemplate all that God has done for us in creation, providence, and redemption, we will be filled with thanksgiving. As we recall His promises of forgiveness, renewal, preservation, and glory, we will live as a truly thankful people.
We need the word of Christ to dwell in us richly today more than ever. Then churches may escape being a mess and become the radiant body of Christ as God intended.

by W. Robert Godfrey
This post was originally published in Tabletalk magazine.

Bulletins, Sunday, March 3, 2013