Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Sunday Reflections - October 19, 2016


Hello Deer Flat,

I was perusing the headlines this morning and reminded again of how the world we live in is filled with turmoil.  Here’s a sample from today:
Retaking Mosul – Kurdish, Iraqi and American forces vs. ISIS
The Quagmire of Aleppo
UN Sanctions Against Israel
Iranian Missiles targeting US Navy Destroyer in Red Sea
Disaster Clean Up in Haiti
Finger Pointing Between FBI and Department of Justice

The fierce conflicts we are witnessing in the two presidential camps are not just an American phenomenon, indeed it’s hard to find a country that isn’t fighting internally as we are. Most of the world is intensely divided, and our own domestic debates are part of a global disruption.

I saw a note written to a Christian Ministry that I thought captured the feelings of many people.

“I’m a Christian and I’m scared. It seems like the globalization of our world teeters on the brink of collapse. I worry about recessions. I worry about our retirement funds. I worry about the future of our children. I can’t believe it, but I’m scared to go to the mall. Is it safe?
Stock market dives, natural disasters, violence, and political unrest terrify me! How do I find peace?”

The ability to live sanely these days is a “God thing.” Here’s the key:
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

There is no doubt that the events happening in the world today are scary, and can bring much anxiety. But we who belong to the Lord must come to Him with our fears, anxious thoughts and troubles. He says “Fear Not” throughout His Word.

As Christians, it is imperative that we look to His Word to help us during these times. This also presents us with opportunities to share the Gospel with the lost. They are afraid too, and we have the BEST news in the whole word to tell them! It is during times when people feel so vulnerable, that they just might be more open to the message of Salvation.

Isaiah writes, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” (Isaiah 26:3-4)

Trusting in Christ is what transforms us, and keeping our mind stayed on Him is what sustains us. However, while we have the responsibility of actively keeping our minds fixed on his truth, Christ is ultimately the one who pursues us, opens our eyes, redeems us, and sustains us. If our Savior has done all of this for us, what more shall we fear? What are you allowing to steal the peace which he has purchased for you?

One of the greatest culprits that robs us of peace is our own lack of knowing the truth and believing it. Jesus tells us clearly that he will keep him in perfect peace the one whose mind is stayed on him. Why? Because when our minds are stayed on him, we come to know more of the incomparable holiness, power, love, sovereignty, and grace of the God we serve, which creates in us a greater humility, dependence, and trust in him alone. That knowing removes the fear.

When his Word permeates our hearts, it changes our thoughts, actions, and entire being. The things we once held so tightly to – our hopes and dreams, external comforts, health and financial security, and any other things which often rob our peace for fear of losing them – begin to lose their power over us as we learn to trust more fully in the love and sovereignty of Christ.

For the peace of Christ is not found in lack of turmoil, but in Christ’s presence within it.

Let me close with an important word. For a number of years, Deer Flat Church has made significant investments in Haiti. As you know, this small country has suffered much over the years due to poverty, earthquakes, disease, and most recently, Hurricane Matthew, resulting in a big increase in cholera, poor drinking water and little food. Deer Flat continues to make investments in Haiti, for which we are thankful. Your generosity still helps us make a difference there. 

A great couple in the Deer Flat Family are Vahan and Zoe Sipantzi. They too, have also invested much in Haiti. Their generosity has touched many of us as well, because throughout the summer (Sunday after Sunday) they are always loading up our fruit and vegetable wagon with great produce.  The various outlets where they sell their vegetables and produce have now closed for the season, but they still have a wonderful crop of apples and some fall vegetables. 100% OF THE MONEY GENERATED FROM SELLING THEIR HARVEST GOES TO SUPPORT AN ORPHANAGE IN HAITI, OPERATED BY MARANATHA MINISTRIES. Now, here’s the deal: You can bless them and the orphanage by stopping by their home and buying some of their goods. Their address: 26972 Lower Pleasant Ridge Road, Wilder. Just 2 blocks west of Hwy 95.

We’ve got an amazing Lord’s Day awaiting us this Sunday. Do you know someone who needs prayer for healing, some encouragement, some strength to endure? Why not invite them to join us, as we will be praying over all who would like prayer for healing. “Are any sick among you? Call for the Elders of the church. They will anoint you and pray over you, and the prayer of faith will make them well.”  James 5

Can’t wait to see you! Come expecting great things. Bring some faith and some friends!

Loving You and Him,

Pastor D 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Sunday Reflections - October 11, 2016


This evening begins the Holiest day on the Jewish calendar and in the life of the Jewish people. However, this important day isn’t just for the Jews. Once the sun goes down this evening, for the twenty-five hours, Yom Kippur will be observed and remembered. God mapped this whole thing out for His people back in Leviticus.

Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land.
(Lev. 25:9)

Let me give you some background. The people will refrain from work, fast, and attend synagogue services tonight and tomorrow. “Yom Kippur” means “Day of Atonement,” and it is a day set aside to “afflict the soul,” to atone for the sins of the past year.

Many religious Jews believe that in Heaven the books recording all the deeds of mankind are opened on Rosh Hashanah beginning an annual review of man’s behavior.

Those whose behavior has been exemplary in every respect are given another year of life, those who have demonstrated no redeeming qualities are scheduled for death, and those who fit neither category are given 10 days until Yom Kippur to right all the wrongs committed during the year just past.

These 10 days are called the Days of Awe because each man’s destiny hangs in the balance as he goes about asking forgiveness for sins committed against Him (violations of His Law) and from friends and neighbors for wrongs done to them. On Yom Kippur, the judgment entered in these books is sealed and the books are closed for another year. So this day is, essentially, their last appeal, their last chance to change the judgment, to demonstrate their repentance and make amends.

Yom Kippur is a Holy Sabbath; no work can be performed. Jews refrain from eating and drinking even water. It is a complete, 25-hour fast beginning before sunset on this evening and ending after nightfall tomorrow.

In bible times through the life and times of Jesus, until the destruction of the Temple in AD 70, Yom Kippur was the only day of the year when it was permissible to speak the unspoken, sacred Name of God. During a great and solemn ceremony at the Temple two goats were brought before the High Priest. One was a goat “for the Lord” to be presented as a sin offering as commanded in Lev. 16:7-10. The other was called “the scapegoat” because all the sins of the nation were symbolically placed upon its head, and it was led outside the city. The goat for the sin offering had done nothing to deserve this, but was killed to remind the people that only the shedding of innocent blood could atone for their sins. The death of the two goats symbolically set aside the sins of the nation, made their offering acceptable and gave them another year of peace with their Creator.

A bull was selected and slaughtered, its blood captured in a temple vessel and the High Priest would go into the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood on the Mercy Seat. This would atone for those priests who served throughout the year who were not pure.

Following that process, two goats were brought before the High Priest, their respective roles in the ceremony were determined by lot. Two golden lots were placed in a golden bowl and as he placed his hand upon the head of each goat, the High Priest reached into the bowl and pulled out one of the lots. One of the goats would be the scape goat, and the other would be the sacrificial goat. Before the cross the goat that was to be presented to the Lord as a sin offering was always on the right hand of the High Priest. Tradition says that after the cross it never was.

While the High Priest was confessing every conceivable sin to God, and everyone in ear shot was offended by the confession, a scarlet ribbon was tied to the scape goat. According to tradition, a priest would walk that goat out into the wilderness.  While this is taking place, the sacrificial goat would be slaughtered, its blood caught and then the High Priest would take that blood, once again into the Holy of Holies and sprinkle it on the Mercy Seat.  As the sin offering was made, and the blood applied, a miracle would take place out in the wilderness. The moment when God accepted the sin offering and confession of the people, the ribbon on the scape goat would turn from crimson to white, fulfilling the passage from Isaiah 1:18, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow.” After the cross this never happened again.

The Feasts and Festivals of Leviticus are Only A Shadow ... A Picture of Yeshua
It’s easy to see the Lord in the role of our sin offering, whose shed blood purchased our pardon forever (Hebrews 10:1-4). And at His trial before Pontius Pilate, wasn’t He chosen to bear our sins while Bar Abbas was released? But He was also our peace offering. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross (Colossians 1:19-20). He is our peace, who has broken down every wall (Ephesians 2:14).

So why was the goat chosen for the Lord never on the right hand again? And why did the ribbon no longer turn white at the death of the scapegoat? The One Who had fulfilled the role that the two goats only symbolized had come. It is He Who sits at the right hand of the Father and it is He Who has forever taken away the sins of all who would accept Him. Where the reality has come the shadow is no longer effective.

The prophetic fulfillment of Yom Kippur will come at the end of the Millennium at the Great White Throne judgment, when all the unsaved dead are brought back to life to be judged according to their works. (Revelation 20:11-15). The books will be opened for the last time and those from all ages who have refused the pardon purchased for them at the cross will bear the full responsibility for their sins against God and man, destined to spend eternity in shame and torment. But those who have accepted the Lord’s pardon are at peace with God, and will spend eternity with Him and shine like the brightness of the Sun. Do we not serve the most amazing God?  To have given His Son for our sin, what a God, what a Jesus, what a miracle.

I am wishing each of you a blessed and meaningful Yom Kippur.  Why not take some time during the next 25 hours and consider carefully what the Savior has done for you?  Perhaps there’s a person that you need to forgive, or maybe even someone you need to seek forgiveness from.

I can’t wait to see you this Sunday for another outstanding Lord’s Day at Deer Flat!

Loving You and Him,

Pastor D                   

BTW – Jer would love to have any of you ladies who can to join her this Saturday morning in the lobby of the church for some coffee and a chat!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Sunday Reflections - October 5, 2016


So, I endeavored to watch the debates.  It was awkward, difficult and frustrating.  I’ll be honest, this political season I’ve found myself struggling.  It’s the perfect environment to get me stirred up.

Sometimes in the midst of headline news, uncertain times, and constant debates that affect our future, it's hard to even know where to begin.  I have been so disappointed with more time being spent on attacks than on substance, policy and a hope filled future. Both candidates have the ability to cost themselves their own election without any help from anyone else.

I sense a deep ache in many hearts that cries out for God's mercy and a longing to see Him heal our land. 

We’ve either experienced it or seen it more the past few months.  You watch the news and it instills fear, cynicism, anger, and worry.
     If Candidate A wins, what will happen to national security?
     If Candidate B wins, will moral character go out the window?
     If I vote for a third party, will it be wasted?
     Should I even vote at all?
What is God thinking and what does He expect us to do?

But in all of the battles, defending our views, or pointing out differences, we have to ask ourselves one question… Have we prayed about it as much as we’ve talked about it? 

Our problem isn’t new. Because all our leaders are human, all our past and current leaders have been flawed. And will be flawed in the future. That’s a given.
When we place complete trust in any person, we show we’re flawed, too.
Listen to what King David said a thousands of years ago.
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God” Ps. 20:7
When we trust too much in democracy or a better candidate or any political party, we too are polishing chariots and grooming horses.

So how can we trust in God instead in real-life ways?
There’s no magic formula in praying verses and words, but there is power through the Spirit of God.  And there’s power in His Truth to bring forgiveness, healing, renewal, and restoration - no matter how uncertain things may seem. God promises that His Word will not return empty, without accomplishing great things.

Some Important Prayer Points:
1. That our nation would turn back to God. May God help us. We need him desperately to renew our hope and restore our land. We need his forgiveness and healing. May His Spirit sweep across our nation and draw many out of darkness. May believers everywhere draw close to Him and seek his face like never before. 
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chron. 7:14
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…”Ps. 33:12 

2. That we would be faithful in praying for leaders and those in authority, knowing that their decisions directly affect us too. May God give them wisdom and courage as they lead our nation. May He give them a desire to listen for His voice and follow His ways. May God in His mercy, appoint principled, godly men and women into positions of authority in our nation.
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” 1 Tim. 2:1-2   
“When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.” Prov. 29:2

3. That we would recognize God’s Sovereignty over all. His word reminds us that He is the One who ultimately has the power to position all those in leadership, and to remove them. Some may ask, “If God’s going to do whatever He chooses, then why even pray?” More than anything, God desires our hearts to be set on Him. And He chooses to work on behalf of His people. His word reminds us there is great power in prayer as we join together and seek to follow after Him.
It is “God who changes the times and seasons; He sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.” Dan. 2:21  

4. That we would not succumb to worry, fear, or defeat. That we wouldn’t grow so weary that we just give up and tune out. Our voices are important. Now, more than ever before. Headline news stories can often incite fear and worry as we think about the future. We don’t have all the answers. We feel powerless to change what we believe needs to be changed. We look around us and see dark days and evil often seems to be winning. But God’s words still remain true in it all. He’s the Light that breaks through the darkness. He’s the One who sets free and has the power to restore our nation.
Don’t be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  Phil. 4:6-7

5. That our hope would remain in the Lord. That we would recognize His great Power. That we would trust Him and believe that He is Able, and nothing is impossible with Him. He alone is where our real hope is found, not in our leaders, not in the economy, not in the condition of our nation today, or even in the future of tomorrows.
“Look at the nations and watch-- and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” Hab. 1:5
“Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” Hab. 3:2
 Whoever your candidate of choice may be, we can rest in this - God has a plan. He's not pacing heaven’s floors, worried about who will win or what the latest polls show. He's called us to pray, to be salt and light, and to have a voice. We can trust that the outcome is in His hands.

Remember this truth on which our nation was founded.  We are "One Nation under God." God never leaves us to fend for ourselves, wrestling with worry, consumed in fear, or tempted towards hate. He reminds us He is with us and will help us. He reminds us He hasn’t lost control, but has a plan, and His purposes will prevail.

Our hope comes from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth. And He gives us the strength to keep moving forward.
"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone, my hope comes from Him." Ps. 62:5

“Who have You chosen, Father?
We cannot know.
But Your way is the right way, perfect and good.
If we are under Your judgment, let us be judged.
And if under Your blessing, let us be blessed.
We pray for the next president of the United States, that You might reveal Your will and purpose, and bless his or her soul.
And we pray for each candidate who falls short of the goal.
Remind us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us.
Guide us all, as we cast our ballots.
We pray that You might bless us with a David, a Paul, or a Josiah
And humbly ask that You spare us our just desserts—an unrighteous leader, an Ahab or a Jezebel.
Yet, Thy will be done. Because Your ways are higher than our ways.
And Your thoughts, higher than our own we pray that you would heal our land, and shine your face on us. Our times are in your hands.”
In Jesus' Name,

I look forward to seeing you Sunday for another outstanding Lord’s Day at Deer Flat.  Between now and the Election, would you endeavor to whisper a prayer every time you see an ad or a story about politics?  I believe it will make a difference.

Loving You and Him,

Pastor D

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Sunday Reflections - October 1, 2016


One of the issues that seems to arise whenever we find ourselves in the political season is the Pro Life issue.  I ran across an excellent article written by a guy named Rolley Haggard that I thought was so well done that I couldn’t say it any better myself.  It’s thought provoking and underscores the power of the silent majority.  Take a few minutes and read it. 

 “I believe we could end abortion virtually overnight—if we really wanted to.

But much as I hate to say it, it appears we don’t really want to. At least, not badly enough. Permit me to explain.

Going Viral
We live in “the viral generation.” When an idea with universal appeal hits YouTube, practically the whole world knows about it overnight. It’s like a trumpet blast, rallying everyone together all at once.
“Yeah,” you say, “I think I see where you’re headed with this. Problem is, there isn’t ‘universal appeal’ for this issue yet.”
Exactly. But we can fix that.
“Who’s ‘we’?” you ask.
The evangelical church, that’s who.
“Yeah? And just how?”
I was afraid you’d never ask. It’s so simple it makes a body ache to think it hasn’t been done yet. Stay with me while I set this up just a little bit more.

A Matter of Priorities
In great measure, we march to the loudest drumbeat. We fall in step with the worldview that commands the most deference and respectability amongst our 70-80 million American evangelical friends and leaders. We give ourselves to what we perceive as God’s highest priorities. So the question becomes, “Do we perceive the battle for the unborn among God’s highest priorities?”
In my opinion, we do not. Because if we did we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
The zeitgeist, the shared consensus, the thread of common consciousness and call to mission that unites and excites and incites most evangelicals to heroic prayer and jackhammer preaching and the kind of sacrificial action from which legends are spawned, is not pro-life activism. It is missions and evangelism and church-planting and other respectable work that, to be sure, is exceedingly high among the great list of kingdom priorities. But it is not the highest.

The Great Commission and the Greater Commission
The aforementioned ministries, important as they are, are not supreme. They conform to the Great Commission, but there is, if you will, a Greater Commission. It is what Christ called “the great and foremost commandment” (Matthew 22:38). It’s called love.
Echoing the words of Christ, the apostle Paul said, “Love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:10), and “he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law” (v. 8), and “the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Galatians 5:14)
Important as the Great Commission is, it is not to be performed to the dilution, neglect, or negation of the Greater Commission. If a neighbor’s house is burning down around him, God’s will, God’s priority, is clear: You risk all to save the precious life.
Who among us can’t see the holocaust engulfing the unborn? The house is burning down around our little neighbor and we consider it merely “important.”
But the pro-life cause is not “important.” It is crucial. You’ve heard of “damning with faint praise.” Well, what we’ve been doing is “damning with half-hearted action.”
You don’t tell a patient, “It is ‘important’ for you to keep breathing.” If you don’t breathe, you die. It is crucial that we do every lawful (and I stress the word lawful) thing possible to end abortion. If we don’t, they die. And you know what? For all practical purposes, so do we (see Revelation 3:1).
Over 50 million children have been aborted in America under sanction of federal law since Roe v. Wade. Fifty million.
If we honored each of those 50 million human beings with a single minute of silence, we would remain speechless for over 95 years. How about instead of remaining speechless as, to our everlasting shame we have done now for 43 years, we open our mouths and blow the trumpet?

If I Have All Faith, but Have Not Love . . .
Too many of us are preoccupied with “ministry.” The entire law, the whole duty of Christians, is summarized in one word: love. “Ministry,” if it is not the incarnation of love for people, is unlikely to be able to look straight into the eyes of Love Incarnate on the Coming Day and survive the realization that to do everything else in life well but fail in this one, all-important point, is to fail in all. Read Matthew 25:31 again—“for the first time.”
Let’s quit “straddling both sides of the fence” on this. Where do we stand? The all-revealing test is easy to perform. Just ask yourself, “If it were MY child they were going to put to death, what would I do?”

A point well made.  Now, here’s an opportunity worth considering from David Ripley, President of Idaho Chooses Life -
Life Chain - This Sunday - October 2nd

Please help spread the word!  The Treasure Valley Life Chain will be held this Sunday, October 2nd.  2-4 pm.  We'll meet at the Red Robin on Milwaukee.

This event is being held in nearly 1000 American cities and represents one of the most powerful strategies of the pro-Life movement.  Every year, we see the Lord using our witness to touch the hearts of our neighbors and save lives.

Please help us make this year's event even bigger.  Ask your Bible Study or Men's Group to join you for just these two hours.  Signs and refreshments will be provided

An outstanding Sunday awaits you this weekend at Deer Flat.  It’s a great time to include a friend.  I’m excited about seeing you!  I LOVE MY CHURCH!

Loving You and Loving Him,

Pastor D

Friday, September 23, 2016

Sunday Reflections - September 23, 2016


Hey Deer Flat Family,

I’ve got to tell you, I’m still celebrating the fact that we have over 2 million dollars and counting committed for our Children’s Ministry Center - Vision 20/20! God has certainly been at work helping us with such an overwhelming togetherness as we undertake this next phase in the life of DF.  Plans are being drawn and the pieces are being put in place to be able to get a “green light” from the County so we can pull permits and break some ground in early 2017.

A number of you have asked me, “Pastor Dave, how soon should we start giving towards the project with what we committed?”  Great question!  You can start giving any time.  If it helps, you can start at the beginning of the year.  Remember, our goal is to pay for the building within 36 months.  Please mark your pledge “Building Project.” You guys are amazing!

Speaking of amazing, 3 out of the last 5 weeks we have had over 900 in Sunday attendance.  Even better, we’ve got a group of people being BAPTIZED THIS SUNDAY!  Now, that’s something to celebrate!  We are going to rejoice with those who rejoice at the end of 2nd Hour.

Each of these people are taking a great step of obedience.  Once you step into the Kingdom of God, the next step is to go public with your faith – AKA Baptism.  We value this greatly at Deer Flat.  If you haven’t taken this step yet, please sign up for the next Baptism class and “jump in.”  It’s one of the greatest things you’ll ever do as a follower of Christ.

Whatever you do, don’t miss this Sunday.  In just two days we’ll be continuing working our way through THE BOOK OF JAMES.  You’re going to be amazed at what James has to say about one of the most important issues in everyone’s life.  God is up to so many great things at Deer Flat and the lives of so many who make up the church family.  This is a great time to include a friend.  I LOVE MY CHURCH!  Can’t wait to see you in just TWO DAYS!

Loving You and Loving Him,

Pastor D

Thursday, September 8, 2016


In just two days, on Saturday September 10, Caldwell will be blessed with an outpouring of love for the third year in a row.  The event is called COMPASSION CALDWELL.  This is an intentional effort to serve a segment of our city who needs medical and dental assistance but typically can’t afford it.

Through the vision of some of our gifted professionals, along with a group of churches, it combines to provide many outstanding services that are very important and meaningful to many individuals and families in Caldwell who need a boost.  Services include medical screenings, dental care, immunizations, and a whole host of resources that are made available right on sight through the many vendors.

Doctors and Dentists, Physician Assistants, Hygienists, nurses and various other professionals give generously of their time and talents to touch people’s lives at no cost to the recipients.  Beyond this, there are many other volunteers who avail themselves to serve and help make a difference in people’s lives.  Over the past couple of years HUNDREDS of people have been blessed and helped.

A big SHOUT OUT to all of the Deer Flat people who give and serve with such great hearts.  If you have an interest in volunteering and would like to serve many of our friends and neighbors, check out and you’ll be amazed at the variety of teams that you can be a part of.  The combined effort of people of faith, and people of good will combine to “DO GOOD AND LOVE CALDWELL.

We are so blessed to have so many great volunteers that serve at Deer Flat church and beyond.  People who serve as volunteers at schools, the hospital, various organizations, care centers, and many other venues.  Thank you for your servant hearted life.  We are all recipients of your heart for God and your heart for people!

There is another amazing Sunday awaiting you at Deer Flat.  There’s something special for you and your whole family planned with you in mind.  I can’t wait to see you!  I LOVE MY CHURCH!

Pastor D

Thursday, September 1, 2016

What’s So Important About Labor Day Weekend?

The first Monday of September means that summer clothes are headed out, sales are in, holidays are over for a while and classes begin. It means one more chance to BBQ, a day off, a last weekend away for fun and relaxation. Americans have celebrated Labor Day weekend since 1882. From picnics and parades, to fireworks and friends, thousands of people every year take time to relax and recreate.

But what is Labor Day about anyway?  Great question.

It’s a day set aside to honor the working men, women and children who were the industrial foundation of America. Through the efforts of the Central Labor Union, and other trade unions throughout the states, the labor movement successfully established regulations that governed the working world, such as eight-hour days, two-day weekends, minimum wage and the abolishment of child labor. This movement eventually introduced an annual 'day off' for the working man, a day to pay tribute to those who contributed to the social and economic success of the nation. But the concept of an official day off of work began long before Congress voted it into existence.

For the Christian, a day of rest goes back to Creation: "And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work." (Genesis 2:2, 3) This day of rest was of such importance to God, that He established it as part of His law: "Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant -- for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed." (Exodus 31:15-17)

God created the heavens and the earth, birds of the air and beasts of the field. Every living thing seen today originally was created by God. But the scriptures teach that God does not sleep nor does He need rest, yet He chose to set aside a day to rest from His work. He did so as an example for all of mankind to follow. This day of rest is meant to be a time of refreshing, of looking over the week’s accomplishments and either enjoying the results or seeking ways for improvement. But it was also time to allow God to prepare us for what is coming in the next week. God, upon His day of rest, looked over everything He created and said it was good. His work was complete. Unfortunately, this is not the case for most of us today. There will always be more work to finish. But the concept of assessment and refreshment is still valid.

So many times we tend to see work as both a curse and a blessing: The mandate to toil the earth came with our expulsion from the Garden of Eden; but it also represents a high and noble calling of stewardship over God’s good creation.

So, here’s my encouragement to you:  Relax while you can.  Sleep in a bit even this Sunday, because there is ONLY ONE FAMILY SERVICE AT 10:30 A.M.  The coffee will be waiting for you upon your arrival, and so will an unforgettable time of worship as well as a great time in the Book of James.  This is one of those great times to invite a friend.  I can’t wait to see you!  Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Loving You and Him,

Pastor D