I’m Claiming October


imagesOctober is a great month.  In fact, I’m going to claim October 2015 for myself as a milestone month!  I’ve been married 30 years and we are celebrating our anniversary this month.  I can tell you the story some time, but let me summarize.  We almost didn’t survive year 1 and by year 10, well, it wasn’t good.  By the grace of God, I stumbled into Faith Church and met Zack Turner 20 years ago, and came to understand my need for a relationship with Christ.  The fact that I’m celebrating 30 years of marriage, let alone still breathing, is a testimony the new life available in Christ and to the fact that Carolyn is definitely my better half!

When I moved to Illinois in ’95, I was only going to be here for 1 year.  I really don’t like living in the snow and cold.  I’ll refrain from bashing Illinois, but apparently God wanted me in this place.  We had been moving every couple of years, and I was really hoping to slingshot through.  But alas, this month officially marks the longest I have ever lived in any one state since I was born!  Last month I celebrated 7 years at Springbrook, and this month officially marks the longest I have ever had one job!

It just really feels like a millstone month.  I don’t know if I’m just getting older and more nostalgic, or if God is just getting ready to bust the doors open on something somehow.  I read once that 40 is the new 30, but heard someone say recently that 50 is the new 30!  I feel like that, although I don’t know what that means for the 30 year olds. Psalm 90:10,12 tells us we have 70-80 years and that we should number our days. I’m shooting for 80, so I have 9,713 days left as of today. I am waiting on and trusting in God each day, and am really looking forward to the next 30 years with Carolyn and what God has!

Be blessed, and Happy October!
(I’ll share my month with you 🙂

And Cornelius told us how he had seen the angel stand in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon who is called Peter; he will declare to you a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household.’ As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning.” ~ Acts 11:13-15

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The Christian’s Goal: Obedience


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In the beginning, God created…” Those first 5 words found in the Bible, still bring me to a place of awe every time I pause to reflect on them. They were penned thousands of years ago, and are the explanation for, and the foundation of our existence and purpose. All of creation is God’s and those words scream out to His glory.

In Genesis 2, after God created Adam (and before He created Eve), we read in verse 16, “And the Lord God commanded the man…” We also see just a few verses later in Genesis 3:11, God ask Adam, “Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”

It’s interesting to me that from the beginning, obedience was the one virtues of Paradise that God valued in our relationship with him. In fact, it is the one conditional requirement for mankind that enables us to experience Paradise. Nothing is said of love, grace, faith, humility – it is obedience that covers all. Equally supreme to the authority of God, is the demand of obedience, and it is that one thing that decides our destiny.

Turning to last chapter of the Bible, we read in Revelation 22:14, “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life.” Don’t miss this – from beginning to end, from Paradise lost to Paradise regained, God’s plan is unchanged: it is obedience that gives access to the tree of life, to His favor in our life, and to the fullness of a relationship with Him.

God’s love for us is vast, His mercies are new every morning, and His grace is sufficient and made perfect in our weakness. Do not copy the patterns and customs of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind as you reflect on God, His word, and your obedience.

On the journey together,
Pastor Rich

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