March 15

Well, I have finally gotten the church’s website back up and running.  For some reason I could not post my sermon or my devotional two weeks ago.   In the process of trying to correct this, I messed it up even more.  It is a good lesson to learn.  Most of the time I try to do things on my own, even if I have little or no knowledge of how to fix things.  I figure I am smart enough to figure things out on my own.  And when I try, many times I fail and have to call in the experts to fix not only the initial problem, but correct what I made more difficult along the way.  That is what it took to correct this website.  I had to call the experts (several times) because I made things worse.
  The same is true about our spiritual lives.  When we try to fix them on our own, we find that we cannot fix the problem and sometimes make matters worse when we fail to fix them.  We need to call on the expert, God, (several times) in order to get our lives back online.  Do not wait until things are too difficult to fix.  Call on the expert today.

March 8

Due to website problems, I was unable to post a devotional this week.

March 1

Due to website problems, this devotional was unable to be uploaded.

February 22

As I start this new series on the one another commands in the Bible, I just want to remind you of the importance of these commands.  The church, the body of Christ, the fellowship of brothers and sisters, is what Jesus set into motion when he walked on the earth.  The Old Testament had a family group (from the line of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob who were called God’s people.  The church is a combination of families and nationalities from around the world.  In fact, if you continue reading a few verses after the command not to lie to each other in Colossians, Paul talks about Jew and Greeks coming together.  And the basis of all this is telling the truth.  If so many different people are to come together as one, certain “ground rules” need to be in place in order for fellowship to occur.
Now add to this the ideas we are bombarded with about separation, quarantine, social distancing.  If these ideas leak into our relationships as Christians instead of purely physical distancing, the church could get into big trouble.
So hopefully, as we continue looking at the one another’s, we will overcome this negative tendancies.

February 15

   I hope you all were able to listen to my sermon online Sunday.  I do not like closing church due to the weather, but I also know the concept many people have about needing to come to church “every time the doors are open.”  Some people feel guilt about staying home on Sunday when there is a worship service.  I love the fellowship of seeing everyone face to face even if only a few come to worship during inclement weather.  But I also know the dangers this kind of weather can be on people, their vehicles, and the streets between their home and here.
   This is one benefit of this Covid 19 has had over this last year.  Watching a service live on your computer was something only the mega churches did not too long ago.  But with the church closures this last year, more and more churches, even small ones like Groveland Missionary, are starting to reach out via the internet to those who may be to timid at first to come to a building or for those unable to attend.  I pray that God will use this medium to continue to grow his church.
   However, that all being said, the Bible makes it clear that meeting together and having fellowship one with another is also important.  This is the scope of my new series starting this next Sunday.  One another . . . what can we do to help our fellow Christians.  So I hope you will tune in and show up in the coming weeks.

February 8

We talked Sunday about contrasts in Samson’s life.  Unfortunately, I did not read the Our Daily Bread story from Saturday before today.  It was a good one to illustrate one of my points.  You can read it for yourself here: .  I also just got an email from some missionaries would reminded me of a famous prayer (one of contrast) that I have read before but is also a good application to my sermon.  It is a prayer from St. Francis who lived who lived around 1200 AD.  He prayed,
Lord make Me an instrument of Your peace
Where there is hatred let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness joy.
O Divine master grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand.
To be loved. as to love
For it’s in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to eternal life.
How is that for contrasts?

February 1

I am not discounting foxhole conversions.  There are many who come to Jesus during a crisis point in their life.  I was one who confessed my sins out of fear of going to hell.  And there are others who sincerely call upon God out of fear of dying.  However, there are just as many who use these confessions out of a sense of manipulation to get them out of the line of fire.  These are the ones I caution people about.  Time and time again, we treat God as a “Get Out of Jail Free” card or even worse a “give me what I ask for” card.  God is not a magical genie granting us our three wishes.  He is a loving and caring God who blesses us according to his will and plan for our lives.  When we abuse this love, we are not treating God as he deserves.  Remember to ask for things that are according to his will not ours and we will end up better for it.

January 25

I am finishing up on the annual report for our church this year.  And even though the pandemic did cancel a few events, shut our doors for 2 1/2 months, and changed how we worshiped together, God did bring us through and our church continues to grow deeper in God’s word.  Even with the virus, our attendance has remained almost the same as the last two years.  We did have 5 members from our church die this last year but all of the were already homebound.  As I will put in my report, I think God is preparing us for some wonderful things in this new year and I hope that everyone is on board for the ride.

January 18

Well, this next week we welcome a new president into the White House.  And with a nation so divided I wanted to remind you of a few Bible verses. 
Romans 13:1, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.  The authorities that exist have been established by God.” 
Titus 3:1, “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.” 
Hebrews 13:17, “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account [to God]. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
1 Peter 2:13, “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by Him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.” 
Notice the words/commands in these four about submitting or being subject (underlined).  Also notice who established them(bold).
And finally (and probably most importantly), 1 Tim 2:1, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone, for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”

January 11

I just wanted to use this spot to follow up on my lesson about Barak not being willing to be used by God.  God wants to use us but we need to be willing is the lesson I pointed out.  But here is an idea that I did not explain further.  Even though Barak was hesitant the first time Deborah talked to him (vs 6-8), the second time, Barak listened and was able to accomplish God’s plan/will (vs 14-16).  He was given a second chance.  This is why he made it into the great faith chapter of Hebrews 11.  I think this is also something we can learn.  Even if we are unwilling at first, God can change our hearts and give us a second (or third or fourth . . .) chance.  This is not guaranteed, but God can (and often does) give us another chance if we become willing to follow him.  So if you have failed God in the past because of your unwillingness to carry out his plan, does not mean that God is through with you.  If you change and become willing, God will often give you a second chance.  Are you willing to be willing?