Honduras team have lift off

7 of the Honduras team left on their journey yesterday. All bags were checked and through security at Medford they went. First flight was to San Fran, then to Houston and finally to San Pedro Sula.

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Honduras Packing Party 2015

Wednesday Oct 7 saw the team plus friends gather to pack the bags with supplies for this year’s trip. 8 Bags were packed that night as some supplies (270lbs of them) had not been located. They were the following day and 6 more bags were packed.

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Honduras Team Prayed Over

The team for this year’s Honduras Mission trip (Oct 9 – 24 2015) were prayed over this past Sunday Oct 4 at both services. They will be packing the bags full of donated items tonight Wednesday Oct 7 and 7 of them (Amber Shields, Lori Bell, Linda Smith, Mark Offord, Brian Smith, Greg Scott and Mike Hooper) will be leaving this Friday Oct 9. Dr Rich Owens will join them a week later.

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Gifts from Home Minute for Ministry

Click Below to see the minute for ministry from October 4 2015.



Give God What You Owe Him – Mark 12:13-17

Some shrewd, sly men confronted Jesus. They tried to trap Jesus and embarrass him before the crowds. They asked Jesus if they should pay taxes to Caesar or not?

If Jesus had said, “yes, pay your taxes to Caesar and the Roman government!” the crowds would have accused Jesus of supporting a foreign government who were occupying their country. If Jesus had answered, “no, don’t pay your taxes”, he could have been accused of promoting sedition by the Roman occupiers.

Instead, Jesus asked for a denarius, a Roman coin which represented a day’s wages. He asked whose inscription was on the coin and they answered, “Caesar”. Jesus then said in vs. 17, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s”.

Jesus taught us to give God what we owe Him. In a broad sense, we should give God everything we are and have because we belong to Him. This means we give God our time, relationships, money, marriages, work, etc.

In a more narrow sense, Jesus wants us to give respect and obedience to the civil government, belief in the limitations of the state and give our ultimate allegiance to God.

This means that we should pay our taxes and function as good citizens of our country. But we should never give our country our worship or consciences! Remember what happened to the Nazi’s supreme leadership in World War 2? These men tried to excuse their heinous crimes by stating, “we were only following orders”.

We should give our ultimate allegiance and devotion to God and God alone. Give God your time, money, service, kids, etc! We owe God everything because we belong to Him.



Minute for Ministry "The Endowment Fund"

Click Below to see the minute for ministry from September 27 2015.



Jesus Teaches About Divorce – Mark 10:1-11

Jesus left Capernaum and headed south to the regions of Judea and Perea.  Perea is a region east of the Jordan river.  Some Pharisees questioned Jesus about his view of divorce.  They were trying to trap and embarrass him in front of the crowds but Jesus would have nothing of it.

 

In response to their question about divorce, Jesus quoted from the creation order in Genesis to affirm God’s plan for marriage.  Jesus made it clear that God established marriage between a man and woman as a life-long commitment.

 

Though God intends Christian marriages to last a life-time, we know that many of them don’t last a life time.  Perhaps you had to suffer through a divorce at some point in your life.  Know that God still loves you and embraces you!

 

Let me offer some suggestions for keeping our marriages strong.  I believe that in order to keep a marriage strong, they take lots of work, time and attention.  First, communicate often with your spouse.  Sally and I take walks several times a week.  We love being outdoors and talking about life, our kids, activities and future.  Second, learn to resolve conflict in a healthy way. Screaming, yelling and, losing your temper don’t solve problems. Identify the problem or conflict.  Reserve some time to discuss it.  Discuss solutions that haven’t worked.  Brainstorm a possible solution.  Discuss how each of you will contribute to making the possible solution be successful.  Give it some time to work.  Re-evaluate it after some time.  Reward each other if the solution works!  Third, take a time out.  Get away periodically from kids, routine and activities just to be together as a couple.  Fourth, manage your money in a biblical way.  Money issues are listed as one of the greatest issues causing marital separation and divorce.  Find out what the Bible teaches about money and put it into practice!  Start tithing and giving the first and best to God.  Finally, maintain physical and sexual intimacy.  God created sex as a good thing within the bond of marriage!

!



Accurate Recognition – Mark 8:27-37

 

Jesus asked his disciples what people thought about him.  The first two answers were rather dramatic: John the Baptist and Elijah.  Why were they dramatic?  For Jesus to have been John the Baptist, he would have to return from the dead.  Remember, Herod had ordered John’s execution while John languished in prison.  For Jesus to have been Elijah would have meant that Elijah had returned from heaven.  Elijah had been taken to heaven on a chariot of fire.  The last answer provided by the disciples, “one of the prophets” was not as dramatic.

 

Jesus then asked his disciples who did they think he was? Peter, the brash, impetuous disciple spoke up: “You are the Christ”.  (vs.29) In Matthew’s version of this dialogue Matthew records Jesus as saying in response, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah for this was not revealed to you by man but by my Father in heaven”.   So, Jesus is the Christ, the holy One of God! He’s the long-promised Messiah.  Jesus wants us to correctly identify him today.

 

But many people do not correctly identify Jesus today.  Some view Jesus merely as a well-respected prophet.  Others believe Jesus served as a great moral teacher or enlightened master. Still others believe Jesus the man became imbued with the Holy Spirit at his baptism and God adopted him.  Many views exist about Jesus’ identity.

 

Jesus wants us to view him correctly, as Lord and God, the Savior of humankind!  Recognizing Jesus’ true identity should lead us to believe in him as Savior and Lord.   This proper recognition and this correct belief in Jesus comes to us by faith.  We don’t obtain this recognition through our own wisdom or insight but as the result of the gift of faith, from God.  The faith that we receive as a gift from God connects us with the church, the people of God.  Jesus makes this clear in Matthew 16:18.  How connected are you with the church?  Do you love the church as Jesus loves the church?

 

Jesus wants all of us to recognize his true identity.  Jesus is the One who died for our sins and seeks to be Lord of our lives.  This accurate recognition should lead us to believe in him as Savior and Lord.  Do you believe in Jesus as your Savior and Lord?  I hope so!



Rough Edges of Ministry – Mark 8:1-26

This passage of scripture contains two narratives which teach us that we should keep our hearts open and tender towards God.

In the first narrative in vs.13-21 Jesus warned his own disciples about unbelief, hypocrisy and hardness of heart. Since Jesus warned his own disciples of these things, we too can struggle with unbelief, hypocrisy and hardness of heart! The fact is, Christians close to Jesus can still develop hard hearts!

I’ve known a few Christians who, due to some unfortunate life circumstances became bitter and angry towards God. Their hearts became hard! Their struggle really affected those who loved them and cared for them.

I’ve also known Christians who have reacted much differently to life’s trials and struggles. Instead of becoming angry and bitter towards God they developed a greater love for God and sensitivity and compassion for others. So, let me ask you: is your heart open and tender towards God or closed and hard towards Him?

In the second narrative in vs.22-26 Jesus healed a blind man. This particular healing was unusual. It occurred as a two stage process. Jesus laid his hands on the man and he regained partial sight and then Jesus laid his hands on him again and he was completely healed!

This second narrative teaches us that Jesus has power to open our eyes and soften our hearts. So, if you believe your heart has become hard towards God, Jesus can change it! Jesus can remove the bitterness, resentment, sin and hardness of heart. Just ask Him in prayer to change you. He will! Praise God!



Persevering Faith – Mark 7:24-30

This text describes a Greek woman who possessed great faith in Jesus. Her daughter was suffering terribly from demon possession and she begged Jesus to heal her.

We learn from her example that we should persevere in our faith. Persevere in your faith! Don’t ever give up; stay with it and trust God! When the unnamed woman first approached Jesus he didn’t answer her, as recorded in the parallel passage in Matt 15:23. Sometimes our faith must persevere in the midst of silence from God. Many of us have prayed for something important to us and our request is met with silence from God. We wonder, “why, God?” “Why do you remain silent?” Note how Jesus’ silence did not deter the woman. She continued to plead for help from the disciples and Jesus. We too should persevere with our praying in spite of silence from God. Keep praying! Keep believing! Don’t give up.

Further, our faith must persevere in the midst of discouragement. When Jesus did speak to her, he indicated that He had been sent to the Jews. This comment could have discouraged some Gentiles from pursuing their request but it did not discourage the Greek woman. She continued to beg Jesus for help. Jesus eventually granted her request and healed her daughter!

Finally, our faith must persevere in the midst of limited understanding. The Greek woman knew Jesus as a healer; as one who had the power to cast out demons. But there was so much she didn’t know about Jesus and his mission. She only knew he had the power to heal her daughter. So, she pursued Jesus relentlessly! Impressed with her great faith, Jesus healed the daughter. There’s much we don’t understand about God but we should still persevere in our faith.

In what way do you need to exercise faith today? For healing? A stronger marriage? Better work relationships? Growing in your commitment to Christ or the church? In whatever way you need to exercise faith, practice a persevering faith