Friday, December 14, 2012

The Chronological Plan PDF Download

We have chosen to use the Read the Bible for Life Chronological plan for 2013. You can download and print off the chronological plan by clicking here.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Read the Bible for Life Chronological Plan

You can pick up the 2013 Bible reading plan either online or in the Sunday School office. This sheet will fit nicely in your bible, and provide you with a full year of reading through the Bible chronologically. Some of the benefits of this plan include:
  1. Reading the Bible chronologically gives one a better sense of the overall flow of Bible history from beginning to end. The reader learns to keep a Bible passage in its historical context and order. By reading chronologically, the Bible student can more easily follow God’s plan of salvation from the beginning – the “mystery” that has been manifest from times eternal to the present (Rom. 16:25-261 Cor. 2:7Eph. 3:9Col. 1:26). Remember, the Bible is not a catechism or a topical textbook arranged by subject matter: God, man, sin, salvation, etc. The Bible is a single and unified message of salvation that flows through several periods of history.
  2. Reading the Bible chronologically allows the reader to put together the historical events with the doctrinal lessons attached to them. For example, in the Old Testament, one can read about the tumultuous events of the life of David in 1 Samuel, followed by the God-honoring feelings of his life in the book of Psalms. Or, one can read about the ungodly history of Israel in 1-2 Kings, followed by the powerful sermons preached by the prophets during that time. The historical events are explained by the spiritual lessons and vice-versa.
  3. This plan has only 6 readings per week. You get a free day to catch up or read elsewhere. 
  4. You can read through this plan on any electronic internet device of your choice. You can read through this plan on the internet by going to and setting up the “Reading God’s Story: One Year Chronological Plan”. If you own an apple device (iphone, ipad, or ipod touch) or an android device - you  can download the Youversion Bible app for free and access this resource from your mobile device. This app/website will help you keep up with your readings and will allow you to read through the plan in any Bible version of your choice for absolutely free.  

Let me encourage you to read the Bible in chronological order at least once in your lifetime. It will reward you greatly in your understanding of God’s overall plan for saving mankind. The Bible is one, continuous message of salvation from paradise on earth lost (Gen. 1-3) to paradise in heaven regained (Rev. 21-22). By reading chronologically, you will see the beautiful panoramic view of the Bible’s plan of salvation as it is seen through a series of unfolding events throughout history.

May God give us a greater hunger for and a better understanding of His Word!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The 2013 Bible Reading Plan and 2012 Christmas Children’s Gift Suggestions

After much prayer and research, I have chosen the 2013 Bruner’s Chapel Bible Reading plan to be: “Reading God’s Story: One Year Chronological Plan.” I will write more about this plan next week, but if you would like to pick up a copy of it you can do so this upcoming Sunday. Copies will be available in the Sunday School office and you can get an early start on reading through the Bible for 2013.  

Every year I am asked to provide gift suggestions for Christmas. All of these will teach your kids and grandkids the Gospel:

1) The Big Picture Story Bible, by David Helm. With full-page illustrations   and an incredible overview of the whole Bible, this has been a favorite in the Crowe house.

2) The Jesus Storybook Bible, by Sally Lloyd-Jones. Shows how Jesus is in every story of the Bible. Does a great job highlighting where He is in the Old Testament.

3) The Child's Story Bible, by Catherine F. Vos. The wife of a Biblical Theology professor at Yale wrote this Bible in the 1920's. Vos took her husbands notes and wrote them out for Children. Though not as well illustrated as the others, its literary style is engaging for kids and full of rich theological truths.

4) The Action Bible. This comic book style Bible was drawn by Marvel Comic and DC Comic veterans. Kids will love the illustrations and adults will learn more about the Bible as they read through this beautiful version of scripture.

5) Long Story Short, by Marty Machowski. This is the devotional that the Crowe family has been working through this year. Long Story Short is a family devotional program designed to explain God s plan of salvation through the Old Testament and is suitable for children from preschool through high school.The gospel is deep enough to keep the oldest and wisest parents learning and growing all their lives, yet simple enough to transform the heart of the first grader who has just begun to read. Ten minutes a day, five days a week is enough time to pass on the most valuable treasure the world has ever known.

May God bless you with a wonderful Christmas!

- Bro. Dave

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Preparing for Christmas

Luke 1:31-33 - And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
A little girl once opened a big box under the Christmas tree to find a giant doll that, when set upright, towered over her. Her parents noticed a few minutes later that the doll had fallen to the side, but the little girl was having a ball playing in the oversized box. We’re apt to do the same at Christmas, discarding the baby but having a great time with the wrappings. At the outset of the season, I’d like to turn us toward that Baby. Here in Gabriel ‘s announcement, we learn four things about Him:
1.   His Name (verse 31). “Jesus” is the Greek form of the Hebrew “Joshua,” meaning “Jehovah Saves,” or “Salvation of Yahweh.” Woven into the syllables of that name, we see the suffering He would endure, the salvation He would bestow, and the splendor He would display. Throughout the Gospels, we find that name over and over—172 times. The name Jesus contains and conveys His mission—to seek and to save those who are lost.
2.   His Nature. In Gabriel’s brief announcement, four different “sonships” are given to Jesus. He is: (1) Son of Mary (v. 31); (2) Son of the Highest (v. 32); (3) Son of David (v. 32); and (4) Son of God (v. 35). Two of these references imply His human nature (son of Mary; son of David), and the other two refer to His divine nature (Son of the Highest; Son of God). He is both God and Man. Only Christianity presents a God who, out of love, became a human being through the womb of a virgin to provide atonement for sin.
3.   His Nobility (vv. 32–33). He will be given to throne of David and will reign over the house of Jacob forever. His kingdom will never end. Robert Morgan reflects from this passage, “his is a powerful kingdom.” If the skies could part as they did for Stephen in Acts 7, we would see Jesus on His throne, worshipped by angels, feared by demons. “His is a permanent kingdom.” He rules over the stars and planets, over all time and space. “His is a providential kingdom.” Behind the scenes of history is His all-controlling hand. “His will be a political kingdom”, for one day the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover
the sea (Hab. 2:14). “His is a personal kingdom”—He wants to be king of our hearts.
Mary’s response to this message was simple and sincere: “Behold, the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” When we come face-to-face with God’s wondrous plan for us—a plan that is always centered around Jesus Christ—there is no response better than: “Behold, I am your servant. Let it be to me according to Your word.”
May we fulfill God’s will as we journey through this Christmas season.
-       Bro. Dave

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Blessings that Remain.

The Blessings that Remain.
There are loved ones who are missing
From the fireside and the feast;
There are faces that have vanished,
There are voices that have ceased;
But we know they passed forever
From our mortal grief and pain,
And we thank Thee, O our Father,
For the blessings that remain.
Thanksgiving, oh, thanksgiving
That their love once blessed us here,
That so long they walked beside us
Sharing every smile and tear;
For the joy the past has brought us
But can never take away.
For the sweet and gracious memories
Growing dearer every day,
For the faith that keeps us patient
Looking at the things unseen,
Knowing Spring shall follow Winter
And the earth again be green,
For the hope of that glad meeting
Far from mortal grief and pain—
We thank Thee, O our Father—
For the blessings that remain.
For the love that still is left us,
For the friends who hold us dear,
For the lives that yet may need us
For their guidance and their cheer,
For the work that waits our doing,
For the help we can bestow,
For the care that watches o’er us
Wheresoe’er our steps may go,
For the simple joys of living,
For the sunshine and the breeze,
For the beauty of the flowers
And the laden orchard trees,
For the night and for the starlight,
For the rainbow and the rain—
Thanksgiving, O our Father,
For the blessings that remain. (
Annie Johnson)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Are women to wear head coverings today?

Reflections on 1 Corinthians 11:1-16
If wives are to voluntarily to subordinate themselves to their husbands, does this mean they are to still wear head-coverings? No! Why not? Because the head-covering doesn’t mean in our culture what it did then. The absence of it then identified a woman as immoral and disrupted the church. The absence of a head-covering doesn’t do either of these things today. In other words, we have to distinguish between what is culturally dated and what is eternally valid. The head-covering was culturally dated, but the principle of man’s headship is eternally valid.
Another example of this distinction is the kiss of greeting Paul told Christians to use (2 Cor. 13:12; 1 Thess. 5:26). The kiss was that culture’s way of expressing a warm welcome. In our day, a handshake suffices, but the principle of Christians showing warmth to each other remains the same!
This passage gives all Christians plenty to think about. Do we give the public worship services of our church the priority Paul gave them? Do we take care not to identify ourselves as immoral people? Are we willing to submit to the authority of Scripture? Or do we resist and resent when its teachings rub us up the wrong way?
Let’s make it our chief concern to honor and glorify God. When that becomes our grand pursuit, a lot of trivial concerns will melt away and the church will be molding society instead of society molding the church.

Let’s all submit to the headship of Jesus Christ and follow His commands!

-      Bro. Dave

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Prayer Guide for our Nation and Election

You can download the 2012 prayer guide for our nation and election by clicking here. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Odds and Ends...

Trunk or Treat - Happening on Sunday Night, October 28, from 6-8PM. We are doing a few things differently this year. From 6-7 we will have games and candy collecting in the Fellowship Hall and from 7-8 we will have a gospel presentation and prize giveaway and film in the Sanctuary. We need more tables! We also need candy! Please pray about helping by decorating a table for the competition and also please donate some candy to be given away.  

Operation Christmas Child - Our goal is 100 boxes - the largest goal we have ever had! This upcoming Sunday is our ingathering for these boxes! If you need a box, let us know and we will get more!

Lord’s Supper - This upcoming Sunday Morning we will be observing the Lord’s Supper. Please be in prayer and preparation for this as we will remember together the body that was broken and blood that was shed for our sins.   

Prayer Night for the Church - Has been moved to Wednesday Night October 24. We had to move it because of the renovations happening on our church baptistry. Please come out and pray for God to bless our church, our ministries, our growth, our outreach,  our vision, and our attitudes! We will have prayer stations set up throughout the church with a prayer guide for everyone. It will begin in the fellowship hall at 7PM. If you are unable to attend, prayer guides will be available early next week on our website and from our church office.  

Prayer Night for the Nation - Has already taken place this week. If you missed out on joining with us, you can download a prayer guide for our nation and for our election from our church website, or pick up a copy of the guide in our church office. Please carve out some serious time in your schedule and pray for God to bless our nation!

May God bless our church, our community, and our nation as we seek to do His will!

- Bro. Dave

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What God does to our sin...

Psalm 103:12 says that God has removed our transgressions from us as far as the east is from the west. What other imagery does the Bible use to speak of our sins being removed?
-       God remembers your sin no more (Isaiah 43:25; Jeremiah 31:14; Hebrews 10:17
"I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.").
-       God covers our sins, blots them out as a thick cloud (Romans 4:7; Isaiah 44:22
“I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.”).
-       God “cancelled out the certificate of debt,” and declares, “Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD will not take into account” (Psalm. 32:2).
-       God casts our sins behind his back (Isaiah 38:17 Behold, it was for my welfare that I had great bitterness; but in love you have delivered my life from the pit of destruction, for you have cast all my sins behind your back.).
-       God treads our iniquities under his feet (Micah 7:19).
-       God casts our sins into the depths of the sea (Also Micah 7:19 “He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.”).
-       God cleanses us through the blood of Jesus Christ (1 John 1:7  “…and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”).
-       God atones or covers our sins in such a way that He even blots out the proof against us, nailing it to the cross (Romans 4:7-8; Colossians 2:14 “by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”).

A minister had sinned very badly and even though he had confessed his sin, he never felt forgiven. A lady in his church was always saying, "The Lord said to me …" It wasn't that he didn't believe her, because she was usually right, but she really irked him. One day he said, "If God is speaking to you, ask Him to tell you what it was I did years ago." A few days later, she came back to him. "Well?" he demanded. "Did you ask Him?" "Yes," she replied. "And what did He say?" asked the minister. "He said He doesn't remember."

Do you realize that all of your sins have been forgiven? Does this motivate you to want to obey Jesus?

-       Bro. Dave

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What happens to those who have never heard the Gospel?

All people are accountable to God whether or not they have “heard about Him.” The Bible tells us that God has clearly revealed Himself in nature (Romans 1:20) and in the hearts of people (Ecclesiastes 3:11). The problem is that the human race is sinful; we all reject this knowledge of God and rebel against Him (Romans 1:21-23). If it were not for God's grace, we would be given over to the sinful desires of our hearts, allowing us to discover how useless and miserable life is apart from Him. He does this for those who continually reject Him (Romans 1:24-32).

In reality, it is not that some people have not heard about God. Rather, the problem is that they have rejected what they have heard and what is readily seen in nature. Deuteronomy 4:29 proclaims, “But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.” This verse teaches an important principle—everyone who truly seeks after God will find Him. If a person truly desires to know God, God will make Himself known.

The problem is “there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God” (Romans 3:11). People reject the knowledge of God that is present in nature and in their own hearts, and instead decide to worship a “god” of their own creation. It is foolish to debate the fairness of God sending someone to hell who never had the opportunity to hear the gospel of Christ. People are responsible to God for what God has already revealed to them. The Bible says that people reject this knowledge, and therefore God is just in condemning them to hell.

Instead of debating the fate of those who have never heard, we, as Christians, should be doing our best to make sure they do hear. We are called to spread the gospel throughout the nations (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8). We know people reject the knowledge of God revealed in nature, and that must motivate us to proclaim the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. Only by accepting God’s grace through the Lord Jesus Christ can people be saved from their sins and rescued from an eternity apart from God.

If we assume that those who never hear the gospel are granted mercy from God and will go to heaven, we will run into a terrible problem. If people who never hear the gospel are saved, it is logical that we should make sure no one ever hears the gospel. The worst thing we could do would be to share the gospel with a person and have him or her reject it. However, the Bible is clear that people who do not hear and respond to the gospel will be condemned (Acts 4:12; John 14:6; 1 Timothy 2:5; John 3:36; 1 John 5:12). The strongest desire of our hearts towards lost people must be for their salvation.  Paul mentions this desire in Romans 10:1 and God Himself in 1 Timothy 2:4.

- Let us be faithful and obedient in sharing the Gospel!
-       -  Bro. Dave

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What is “Secret Church”?

During Sunday Nights in October we will be going through “Secret Church” together.

Our focus will be a Survey of the Old Testament. We will be watching Dr. David Platt as he walks us through the Old Testament. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about Secret Church:

What is “Secret Church”?
From David Platt: When we think of "church" in America, we think of going to meet at a building, singing, praying and hearing a message from a Pastor. But in many places around the world, "church" meets in a home, an apartment, even in secret. These small groups of Christ-followers often meet for many hours in study, prayer and fellowship, as it is dangerous to travel to "church" and they want to make the most of their time together.

Secret Church is our "house church," where we meet periodically for an intense time of Bible study--lasting 4-6 hours--and prayer for our persecuted brothers and sisters across the globe. This is not for the uncommitted or faint at heart. But if you desire to know God more deeply through His Word, and know His Church more fully around the world, then please join us for Secret Church.
God will use this focused time of study to enrich our knowledge of His Word as we gain understanding of the state of His Church and our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. The objective of Secret Church is for you to pass along what you learn to others, so that you can make disciples of Christ--both locally and globally.

Who is David Platt?
David Platt is the pastor of the Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, AL. He is best known as the author of the book Radical: Taking Back your Faith from the American Dream. (If you have not read Radical yet, ask Mike Riley how it has impacted his life.)  David has served as the Assistant Professor of Preaching and Apologetics at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

What do I need to do to participate?
Call the church office and tell Jeanne that you want to attend so that we can have your workbook printed and ready for you on Sunday night, October 7 at 7PM.

May we grow in our love for the Bible and for missions as we learn together!

- Bro. Dave

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Take my life and let it be...

I want to thank everyone who showed up Friday night and worked hard during our fall festival. It was a great outreach and I am excited to see what great things God has in store!
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
In this day of self-centered living and pleasure-oriented lifestyle, the total commitment to God of body, mind, and possessions portrayed in this verse is difficult for many Christians to achieve. Even though we realize that we have nothing we have not received and that we are only stewards of the good gifts God has entrusted to us, we often fail to apply this basic truth to our daily lives:
The gold that came from Thee, Lord, to Thee belongeth still;
Oh, may I always faithfully my stewardship fulfill. —Unknown
It was said of Frances Ridley Havergal, author of the Hymn, “Take my Life and Let it Be”, that the beauty of a consecrated life was never more perfectly revealed than in her daily living. She has rightfully been called “The Consecration Poet.”
“These little couplets that chimed in my heart one after another” were for Frances Havergal the result of an evening in 1874 passed in pursuing a deeper consecration of herself to God. “Take my voice and let me sing always only for my King” was personally significant for Frances. She was naturally very musical and had been trained as a concert soloist with an unusually pleasant voice. Her musical talents could have brought her much worldly fame. However, she determined that her life’s mission was to sing and work only for Jesus. The line “Take my silver and my gold” was also sincerely phrased. At one time Frances gathered together her many fine pieces of jewelry and other family heirlooms and shipped them to the church missionary house to be used for evangelizing the lost. Nearly fifty articles were sent with “extreme delight.”
Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee; take my hands and let them move at the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee; take my voice and let me sing always only, for my King.
Take my lips and let them be filled with messages for Thee; take my silver and my gold—not a mite would I withhold.
Take my love—my God, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store; take myself—and I will be ever, only, all for Thee, ever, only, all for thee.
-       May God strengthen us to do everything for His glory!
-       Bro. Dave

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fighting Temptation

1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV) 
13  No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 

After Franklin Graham committed himself to Christ, he was surprised to find his taste for cigarettes was strong as ever. He determined to quit smoking, but three days later, he awoke with an absolutely overwhelming—almost terrifying—desire for a cigarette. I wanted to smoke so bad that I couldn’t think of anything else. It intensified with each passing minute. Throughout the day, the yearning for a cigarette grabbed me like the jaws of a junkyard dog.

He finally shared his struggle with his friend Roy Gustafson. “Roy, I quit smoking, but I don’t think I can hold out. I just don’t think I have the power to say no any longer.”
“Oh, you don’t, huh?” replied Roy, looking up from a hamburger. “Why don’t you just get down on your knees and tell God He’s a liar?”
“What? I can’t do that!”
Roy quoted 1 Corinthians 10:13 to him, then said, “You need to tell God He’s a liar. You claimed that verse and it didn’t work.”
“I’m not going to call God a liar,” said Franklin. “Besides, I haven’t claimed that verse yet!”
“You haven’t?” said Roy, sounding shocked. “Why don’t you, then?”
Returning to his room, Franklin knelt beside his bed and prayed, “Lord, I’ve been wanting a cigarette all day. I don’t want to smoke again, but I don’t know if I can make it through this day. Will you take this overpowering desire from me?”
Though the desire didn’t cease, Franklin’s ability to resist it grew. Only once did he slip, on a flight the next day to Athens. I lit up and took several puffs. Instead of the usual satisfied feeling I would get, the cigarette left a bad taste in my mouth. I snubbed it out, wadded up the pack, and threw it on an empty seat.
It was his last smoke.

May we claim the promises of God this week in our fight against temptation. 

- Bro. Dave

Monday, September 3, 2012

Encouraging Passages for Teachers

As I have been observing our students and teachers returning to class, I am praying for both groups that this would be a fruitful year. I know that all of our teachers work hard to serve their students, and I want to provide some encouraging passages for your labors.
1 Corinthians 15:58 “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not vain in the Lord.” (ASV)
Jeremiah 17:8
“They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.” (NRSV)
Matthew 25:21 “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (KJV)
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (KJV)
Ephesians 3:16-19 “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (NIV)
1 Peter 4:10 “Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.” (NRSV)
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (NKJV)
Romans 12:7 “If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well.” (NLT)

Whether you are a teacher or not, let us all work hard, with the strength God supplies, to bring glory to God through our work!  

-       Bro. Dave

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Overcoming our Culture’s Definition of Tolerance to Witness to Lost People

Overcoming our Culture’s Definition of Tolerance to Witness to Lost People

Tolerance has been redefined in this generation. The word formerly meant patience and respect for persons who held positions with which you disagree. Our culture has redefined the word to mean acceptance of every viewpoint as equally valid. Tolerance now means you embrace every belief as true. Suppose you believe Jesus is the only way of salvation but your friend believes all religions lead to heaven. Tolerance once meant you honored your friend’s opinion while patiently, persuasively trying to influence him or her to change their mind. Now, tolerance means you affirm your friend’s belief as equally true with your position. This new politically correct definition of tolerance denies absolute truth and pronounces “true” whatever any person believes to be true.

Christians sometimes adopt this point of view out of fear of judging others. They take seriously Jesus’ warning, “Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged” (Matthew 7:1). They are determined not to be judgmental, preferring to avoid confronting anyone about their behavior or beliefs.

However, the Bible is very clear—the gospel must be shared, without compromise. A good example is Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well (John 4). She was openly immoral (John 4:18) and tried to shift the focus by starting a debate about worship (John 4:19). Jesus was nonplussed and undeterred. He kept the focus on the woman’s need for a relationship with Him. Jesus didn’t say, “I understand your choices. If adultery is your sexual preference and worshipping your way makes you feel close to God, then I affirm the truth as you know it.” Instead, He confronted her immorality and confounded her misguided attempt to start an argument about worship practices.

When you share the gospel, your attitude should reflect humility and gentleness. When your words are steeped in compassion, even bold confrontation comes across as genuine love for the other person. Your witnessing role involves persuasion, sharing the gospel, and doing all you can to convince a person to place faith in Jesus. Don’t let a misguided definition of tolerance keep you from asking people to change their beliefs.

SOLUTION: Stand firm against the cultural definition of tolerance as accepting all beliefs as equally true. Avoid the devilish misconception that holding to the truth of the gospel somehow judges others who disagree with you. Determine to share the gospel with compassion, persuading others in appropriate ways to follow Jesus.

May God give us boldness to share the Gospel to a world that desperately needs Jesus!
-       Bro. Dave

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Advice for Singles from 1 Corinthians 7

This past Sunday I preached from a passage in the Bible that addressed singleness.  The following quotes should be helpful for those who are currently enjoying the gift of singleness:

Tony Evans:
“If you are single, God says you ought to be free. Free from what? Free from concern. The desire for a marriage partner should not preoccupy you. Singles, who are concentrating on marriage, are like folks who drive and talk on their cell phones. As a matter of fact, there are laws now in various states to stop people from talking on their cell phones because they are too distracted. They are running through red lights, bumping into the cars, and causing havoc on the highway. State after state now is coming up with laws to say, “If you are going to drive, drive. If you are going to talk, talk. Don’t talk and drive, because you are going to hurt somebody.” People who are preoccupied with marriage put themselves in a position of being hurt or hurting others.”

Warren Wiersbe:
Warren Wiersbe suggests five questions to be answered when considering marriage, which aptly sum up Paul’s concerns in this chapter: 
What is my gift from God? 
Am I marrying a believer? 
Are the circumstances such that marriage is right? 
How will marriage affect my service for Christ? 
Am I prepared to enter into this union for life?

Michael Green:
Instead of adopting the countless other criteria society suggests, Christians should ask themselves in which state, single or married, they can best serve the Lord. Michael Green recommends asking the following question, “Could I be equally useful to the Lord if married, or would it inevitably curtail my usefulness to him?” He then comments, “The quantity of time available for Christian involvement may be reduced once we are married, but its quality may be enhanced. At all events, I have no right to marry unless I have honestly faced the question of the impact marriage will have on my Christian life and service.”

Whether single or married, let’s give our lives for Christ and His Kingdom!
- Bro. Dave

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ice Cream Fellowship Results

I want to thank everyone who came out Sunday Night and competed for the Golden Scoop Ice Cream Award. Thanks go to Marci Grey, Linda Devine, Mike Hensley, Jamie Gibson, Tammy Reed, Margaret Lowe, Ann Nichols, and Gail Moeller for their contributions to the contest. While it was a close contest, the judges made their decisions known after much deliberation. Third place went to Doug Lester for his amazing homemade “Butterfinger” Ice Cream. In second place, Ann Nichols took the prize with her homemade Orange Ice Cream. The first place winner, and the winner of the Golden Scoop Award, was Gail Moeller with her homemade vanilla ice cream!
Taylor Grey walked home with a shiny new quarter, which was her consolation prize for missing the final question during the game – “Who wants to win a dollar bill?” Luann Hill won a pound of Hershey’s Chocolate and Denise Edwards won 2 pounds of Twizzlers for winning the “Church Lingo” Game. The final game of the night, Pictionary, saw the women beat the men.
The best part of the evening was some of the amazing fellowship that took place. One young man who had not been to our church for years was counseled after the event. Another young man was introduced to the Brotherhood ministry and made a verbal commitment to attend the meeting this week. Praise God for a fun night of Christian fellowship!

God is doing exciting things in our midst! May we join Him in His great work!
-          Bro. Dave

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Oswald Chambers on God's Ownership

Know ye not that … ye are not your own? 1 Cor. 6:19.
There is no such thing as a private life—‘a world within the world’—for a man or woman who is brought into fellowship with Jesus Christ’s sufferings. God breaks up the private life of His saints, and makes it a thoroughfare for the world on the one hand and for Himself on the other. No human being can stand that unless he is identified with Jesus Christ. We are not sanctified for ourselves, we are called into the fellowship of the Gospel, and things happen which have nothing to do with us, God is getting us into fellowship with Himself. Let Him have his way, if you do not, instead of being of the slightest use to God in His Redemptive work in the world, you will be a hindrance and a clog.
The first thing God does with us is to get us based on rugged Reality until we do not care what becomes of us individually as long as He gets His way for the purpose of His Redemption. Why shouldn’t we go through heartbreaks? Through these doorways God is opening up ways of fellowship with His Son. Most of us fall and collapse at the first grip of pain; we sit down on the threshold of God’s purpose and die away of self-pity, and all so-called Christian sympathy will aid us to our death-bed. But God will not. He comes with the grip of the pierced hand of His Son, and says—‘Enter into fellowship with Me; arise and shine.’ If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, then thank Him for breaking your heart. (Oswald Chambers, from his devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, for November 1).

May God break us and remake us for His use!
-         Bro. Dave

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Psalm 147 - English History Significance

This past Sunday we looked at Psalm 147 and learned about how God heals a broken heart. There is an important historical story that connects to this Psalm that is worth hearing.
Psalm 147:18 became of special interest to the English nation in the late sixteenth century after the defeat of the Spanish Armada. The Spanish were planning an invasion of England, and the Armada was launched in the summer of 1588 to defeat the English navy and then transport the Spanish army to England from the Netherlands. The Armada consisted of 130 ships containing 7,000 sailors and 17,000 soldiers. The English had 90 ships under the command of Francis Drake. The battle was fought for days, the English maintaining their distance and relentlessly bombarding the opposing fleet with alternating broadsides. They fought wisely and well, but the decisive factor in the battle was a strong wind that churned the waters of the English Channel and eventually drove the Spanish galleons up the channel into the North Sea, where many were destroyed. Attempting to return south by rounding Scotland and Ireland, even more of these impressive vessels were sunk, and in the end only half of the Armada returned to Spain or Portugal.
‎     The English victory was complete. The Spanish defeat was total. The English celebrated their deliverance by minting a new issue of coins, which bore the Latin inscription Affavit Deus (“God blew”), taken from Psalm 147:18: “He stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.” In those days there was at least one nation that knew how to praise God for its safety.
     May we continue to praise God for His safety!

-      Bro. David Crowe

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

VBS Update

This week has been such a special week with our VBS running full speed.  I can sense the presence of God here as I move among the classes and watch the children learning about the love of Jesus. I am so proud of all of our hard workers who give up time to come and love on these kids.

I am meeting more and more children each year who do not regularly attend a church. While we usually get a group of kids from other churches who will come to our VBS, this year, there appears to be more unchurched kids than ever.  My parents had me in church every Sunday, and I cannot imagine what it must be like to grow up without the influence of the church.
Sitting in on one of the classes, I overheard prayer requests that broke my heart. One child asked for prayer for her mom and her boyfriend who always fight. Another asked for prayer for her brother who was in jail. Another asked for prayer for her father who struggles with drinking and drugs. All the while – our workers are sharing the gospel message with these kids! One worker told the kids, “it does not matter what circumstances you have, Jesus wants a personal relationship with you and he will save you and help you to live a life that honors God!”

This is tiring work. I know that our workers will be worn out when the weekend gets here. Some may wonder if any impact was made at all in the hearts of these kids. From what I have seen, the impact has been priceless. Hungry kids who do not have enough to eat at home are getting all they can eat. Kids from broken homes with fighting are having fun and laughing through the games and songs. Kids without any spiritual background are on the edges of their seats listening to the stories from the Bible. Kids who do not receive any love at home are experiencing the unconditional love of God.

Thank you all who have given of your time and talents this week to make an eternal impact on hearts!

May God bless the outreach of our Vacation Bible School and may he grow our hearts for greater outreach,

-       Bro. Dave

Monday, July 9, 2012

Logo Design Contest

A closer look at the images (click them for a larger view):

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Vacation Bible School is here!

Vacation Bible School is here! My favorite week of the year is upon us! This is the largest outreach of the year for our church as it brings more non-churched people onto our grounds better than any other event. Are you ready for it? Are you playing a role?  

If you have not yet signed up to help us out - here are ten reasons why you need to help out at Vacation Bible School:

1.    Because you will be a part of helping the children of Mercer County know the love of Jesus Christ.
2.    Because someone you love will benefit from your involvement.
3.    Because children need a good role model.
4.    To meet people.
5.    To have fun.
6.    To exercise your spiritual gifts or God given skills.
7.    To escape boredom.
8.    To get out of the house.
9.    To make new friends.
10. To make an eternal impact on lives.

If you would like to help us out, you can show up on any evening that you are available and we will find a place for you. Just see Amy Riley and she will put you where the needs are.

I would ask that you make our VBS a matter of prayer. Pray for God to bless the outreach with many kids coming to faith in Christ. Pray for families to be touched by the love of God to the point that they see their need to be involved in church. Pray for the health and energy of our workers who will be working hard to show the love of Jesus to the kids. Pray for the follow-up to yield fruit.  Pray that those who come to faith in Christ might plug into our fellowship.

May God bless our Vacation Bible School with a harvest of salvations!

-       Bro. Dave

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bearing Spiritual Fruit

This past Sunday morning I preached from 1 Corinthians 4 about the Judgment seat of Christ. It is there that we will be judged for our obedience to Jesus and for the fruit that was developed in our Christian lives. The topic of bearing fruit always brings up questions and one question that I get asked occasionally is, “can someone be a Christian and never bear fruit?” Charles Ryrie, in his book, So Great Salvation, provides the following careful answer to this question:
Every Christian will bear spiritual fruit. Somewhere, sometime, somehow. Otherwise that person is not a believer. Every born-again individual will be fruitful. Not to be fruitful is to be faithless, without faith, and therefore without salvation.
Having said that, some caveats are in order.
1. This does not mean that a believer will always be fruitful. Certainly we can admit that if there can be hours and days when a believer can be unfruitful, then why may there not also be months and even years when he can be in that same condition? Paul exhorted believers to engage in good works so they would not be unfruitful (Titus 3:14). Peter also exhorted believers to add the qualities of Christian character to their faith lest they be unfruitful (2 Peter 1:8). Obviously, both of those passages indicate that a true believer might be unfruitful. And the simple fact that both Paul and Peter exhort believers to be fruitful shows that believers are not always fruitful.
2. This does not mean that a certain person’s fruit will necessarily be outwardly evident. Even if I know the person and have some regular contact with him, I still may not see his fruit. Indeed, I might even have legitimate grounds for wondering if he is a believer because I have not seen fruit. His fruit may be very private or erratic, but the fact that I do not see it does not mean it is not there.
3. My understanding of what fruit is and therefore what I expect others to bear may be faulty and/or incomplete. It is all too easy to have a mental list of spiritual fruits and to conclude if someone does not produce what is on my list that he or she is not a believer. But the reality is that most lists that we humans devise are too short, too selective, too prejudiced, and often extrabiblical. God likely has a much more accurate and longer list than most of us do. Nevertheless, every Christian will bear fruit; otherwise he or she is not a true believer. In speaking about the Judgment Seat of Christ, Paul says unequivocally that every believer will have praise come to him from God (1 Corinthians 4:5).

May God bless us to become more fruitful for Jesus!

-          Bro. Dave