Archive for August, 2015

On Making Plans

Hello everyone,
It is good to be back writing again. I am feeling much better, and improving daily. It is definitely slower than I would like, but progress is evident.

A benefit, I suppose, of forced inactivity is that I have had a lot of time to think on important matters. As I reflect on our tendency as humans to plan our days, weeks, and years, I am drawn back to the Psalms. There, God reminds us who is really in charge of personal and world events. We think we are in control of our lives on a personal level, while governments and government officials carry on business as if they are the ones in charge of history. This morning, I want to give God’s perspective on all our plans and dreams for the future.

Psalm 2:1-11…”Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One. “Let us break their chains,” they say, “and throw off their fetters.” The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them….Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling.”

To the leaders of nations, who deny Him, Psalm 33:10-11 gives a reminder: “The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” In light of this, it would be wise for the leaders of the nations to consult God’s Word before making their plans.

It is no different in the lives of individuals. Read with me these words from Proverbs: “To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue. All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed…In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” (Proverbs 16:1-9).

As it was made very clear to me that Sunday night, our plans can change in an instant. Would it not be wise to have included God in those plans? I believe it is so.

In His unchanging love,
Pastor Jerry

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Life Flight Thoughts

Hello all,
We all know life takes unexpected turns. At this time last week I found myself In the ICU at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney. After a week of reflection, and I don’t think this will be the end of it, I have some new perspectives. And I feel the need to share some of those. For a little background, I had some symptoms that concerned me, we called the ambulance, and I was taken to the Ord Hospital. From there, I got a direct flight on a helicopter to Kearney, and was sent straight to the operating room. The doctor determined at that time, I didn’t need immediate surgery, and admitted me.

My condition is called an “aortic dissection”, which means there is a separation between the walls of the aorta. It is a serious condition, and can be fatal. The good news is it can be treated with medication. For once, I noticed something about myself that wasn’t quite right and acted upon it.

During the short flight (23 minutes) to Kearney, I had time for some conversation with God. Was I concerned? Yes, but in the midst of that was a peace. I told the Lord if this is going to be the end of my earthly journey, I was okay with it. I was ready to go to glory if that was his will. This, I believe is what Paul speaks of in Philippians 4. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present you requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7). I experienced that peace there on that Life Flight helicopter in the darkness last Sunday night.

I pray each one who reads this already knows the peace that faith in Jesus Christ gives. I believe He took me to the edge, to show me I need not fear the unknown when I know Him as my Savior and Lord.

If you are unsure of your salvation, if you cannot confidently call heaven your home, I pray you will trust Jesus today. Because, as I was so clearly shown in the events of last Sunday, we are not guaranteed tomorrow. Today is the day of salvation. If you have questions email me at lakecitynews@gmail.com.

Blessings to all,
Pastor Jerry

Repentance: The Missing Ingredient

As I read and observe comments made on social media and other sources, it occurs to me that in the conversation there are a couple of words that are missing. As people debate the issues of the day, the underlying theme seems to be that everyone wants things their own way. We excuse sinful behavior by calling it many other things, but the word sin never makes it to the top.
Another missing ingredient, if you will, is the idea of the need for repentance. My Bible Dictionary defines repentance as: “Change of mind; also can refer to regret or remorse accompanying a realization that wrong has been done…”
In the biblical sense, repentance refers to a deep seated and thorough turning from self to God. Much of what is presented from pulpits today is far removed from any idea of a change of life, or repentance from sin. It comes down to “believe and be saved, continue in your sinful lifestyle because Jesus loves you and wants you to be happy.” This is far from the truth.
John the Baptist began his ministry with these words: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” (Matthew 3:2). Jesus said, “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news”, and, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32). He said to some who were questioning Him, “Unless you repent, you will all perish” (Luke 13:3).
There are enough New Testament references to repentance that it should be clear it is of great importance. In response to God’s call on one’s life, there must be repentance, that is, to turn from a life of sin and self-rule to a life ruled by God and lived in His righteousness. In other words, the call to repent means we must abandon sinful lifestyles and express sorrow for our sins.
Christians and churches are not exempt. We must be constantly involved in self-examination, allowing the Holy Spirit to point out areas where change is needed. To continue living in sin, with no thought of changing (repenting) can only lead to judgment.
In Him,
Pastor Jerry