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May 12, 2019

Happy Mothers Day!

July 23, 2019

Pastor Steve’s Blog July 23, 2019 I wanted to share with you my opening story and a few of my comments from Sunday’s sermon on prayer for my blog this week. “During the offseason, one leading NFL quarterback took his spiritual life to the next level. Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who set records as a rookie and will be going into his third season this fall, was submerged in the Jordan River, the same place the Bible records Jesus was baptized, during his first trip to the Holy Land co-sponsored by America's Voices in Israel. “It is simply overwhelming," Watson explained. "To be baptized in the waters of the Jordan River, sail on the Sea of the Galilee, and visit one of the first towns where Jesus preached his Gospel – I am truly in awe of this wonderful land and the wonderful people who live here." What exactly is prayer? I briefly talked about this in my blog this past week. I mentioned Dr. Myles Monroe, who was a friend of mine at ORU and later became a celebrated mission evangelist and author. He was right when he said, “Prayer is not just an activity, a ritual or an obligation. It is not just simply begging God to do what we want him to do. Here is the key! Prayer is communion and communication with God…that touches God’s heart. (Myles Munroe “Prayer” Whitaker House, p. 22). But in order to really know Him, and develop a personal relationship with our Savior and Healer, then prayer must become a habit. When you understand that the true essence of prayer is about communion with God…about being in His presence…and communication with God, then you understand prayer is a habit that will put demands on our time every day. Real communion prayer with God has to be intentional. It is not something that can be done in only a few minutes while we are rushing from one place to another, or while the commercials are playing on TV between shows. A few practical things we can do as we practice our intentional prayer: 1. Schedule a daily appointment with God. 2. Find a special place to pray where you and God meet. 3. Repent of your sin as you begin your time of daily prayer. 4. Expect an answer from God. 5. Give God time to work after you finish praying.

July 14, 2019

Pastor Steve’s Blog 14 Jul 19 What can I say about Sunday’s worship service and the very strong presence of God and movement of the Holy Spirit among us. Didn’t you enjoy being in the presence of God. Resting in His presence. Sensing the movement of the Holy Spirit across the sanctuary. I know I felt it and I hope you experienced the Holy Spirit touching your life as well. At the end of worship, I extended an invitation for anyone who felt led by the Holy Spirit to respond and to come forward for anointing with oil and a prayer of faith. After both services there were a number of you who responded in faith and came forward. We anointed with oil and prayed in accordance to God’s word found in the Book of James, Chapter 5:13ff: “Is anyone in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” I firmly believe that the Holy Spirit was present during those precious moments as we prayed together…as we offered up our prayers of faith. For those who came for prayer, I am looking forward to hearing what God has done in your lives in the days and weeks ahead. Next Sunday I will be preaching about prayer. Sneak peek. Our Scripture will be Mark 1:35-39. I like what my friend, Dr. Myles Monroe said about prayer: “Prayer is not just an activity, a ritual or an obligation. Nor is it begging God to do what we want Him to do. It is communion and communication with God. Prayer is meant to be one of the most exciting aspects of a life of faith. The power of prayer is the inheritance of the believer.” See you next Sunday.

July 7, 2019

Pastor Steve’s Blog July 7, 2019 I saw this reflection on my Military Chaplain’s website this past week and I thought I would share it with you. After reading the reflection I would encourage you to read Psalm 85. It starts like this: “You showed favor to your land, O Lord; you restored the fortunes of Jacob.” The theme for Psalm 85 is reverence to restoration. I think our country today could take a few lessons from our founding fathers when it comes to subject of prayer. Please be in prayer for our country. Prayer still underpins our independence. History Reflection for the Fourth of July How Prayer Underpinned American Independence by Stephen Lynch Prayer played an important role in the American struggle for independence. The First Continental Congress (Sept. 5-Oct. 26, 1774), comprised of delegates from all the colonies except Georgia, met for the first time, in September 1774. In a letter to his wife, John Adams described the spiritual backdrop as the colonies were about to launch the Revolutionary War for independence. "When the Congress met, Mr. Cushing made a motion that it should be opened with prayer. It was opposed by Mr. Jay of New York and Mr. Rutledge of South Carolina because we were so divided in religious sentiments - some Episcopalians, some Quakers, some Anabaptists, some Presbyterians, and some Congregationalists - that we could not join in the same act of worship. "Mr. Samuel Adams arose and said that he was no bigot, and could hear a prayer from any gentleman of piety and virtue who was at the same time a friend to his country. He moved that Mr. Duche, an Episcopal clergyman, might read prayers to Congress the next morning. The motion was seconded and passed in the affirmative." Adams continued: "Accordingly, next morning the Rev. Duche appeared with his Episcopal vestments and read the 85th Psalm. I never saw a greater effect produced upon an audience. It seemed as if heaven had ordained that psalm to be read on that morning. "George Washington was kneeling there, alongside him Patrick Henry, James Madison, and John Hancock. By their side there stood, bowed in reverence, the Puritan patriots of New England, who at that moment had reason to believe that an armed soldiery was wasting their humble households. They prayed fervently for America, for Congress, for the Province of Massachusetts Bay, and especially for the town of Boston [whose port had been closed and in which British troops were being quartered. "And who can realize the emotions with which they turned imploringly to heaven for divine help. It was enough to melt a heart of stone. I saw the tears gush into the eyes of the old, grave, pacifist Quakers of Philadelphia."