Teaching Moments – July 28, 2017

Last Sunday, July 23, 2017, we were again treated to the voices, enthusiasm and happy faces of the Patriot Singers. It is always a joy to have this special group in our worship service! They sing from deep within their heart and hesitate not to “let it go” in song and sound.

Our new Calearning momentsdillac Community Church and Cadillac Community Bible School are humming right along with Dr. Jim Stark sharing a “teaching moment” each Sunday during the worship service. From my point of view they are a “learning moment”.  He asked if we ever wondered what some of the people in the Bible looked like(?)….then proceeded to tell us that Elisha was bald.(II Kings 2:23-24)  It is written that a group of youths were mocking him and he turned around and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the Lord.  Two bears came out of the woods and mauled 42 of the youths.  How about that!  What a wonderful, fascinating and completely factual Book of Life God’s Holy Word is!

Added insight: For the “want to learn mind,” this moment in Elisha’s life was right after he had received Elijah’s literal cloak as prophet and God’s servant to Israel. There are bible is aliveseveral oddities in this passage, other than the bald comments and harassment mockery by the youths per Elisha on his return trip from watching Elijah “swept up” by a fiery chariot. Elijah had swiped his cloak on the River Jordan to cross over it while walking with Elisha. The Jordan parted and they walked across on dry land. When Elisha turned back to the Jordan River, he shouted out, “Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” Then he struck the waters of the river just as did Elijah a few minutes earlier. The waters parted again and 50 prophets on the other side of the river witnessed this.

This confirmed Elisha as the true prophet of God. [2 Kings 2:15] The 50 prophets then declared, “The spirit of Elijah is now upon Elisha.”

Pastor Gina Tuch

 

Pastor’s Notes – June 27, 2017

exampleSalvation/Vocation, what has one got to do with the other you may ask. I did ask Pastor Mike over dinner in a restaurant Saturday evening. I knew from typing the Sunday bulletin what his sermon title was and wanted an explanation. First of course, I wanted to state my case. The circumstances were perfect for good communication….no television, no audience, no phone calls….just the two of us.  I love a captive audience. I remarked that I didn’t see the relationship between Salvation and what one would choose for life’s work.
His eyes lighted up as he prepared to explain. He said carrying your salvation into your vocation was the connection. We as Christians sometimes separate our employment from our religion. Do we have to do that?  No, I don’t think so.  Our very being is a testimony to our faith in God. We are walking in the Light and our steps on the path of righteousness are there to see, to be an example.
Whether you are a garbage collector, a medical doctor, an engineer or a circuit court clerk (as I was) you are a walking, talking example of God’s love for all of us. We are His children and He asks that we love Him above all and love our neighbors as ourselves..
That should be easy enough. We are filled with His spirit, right?  But if you look around – even in this small city of Cadillac – you will see souls in need of salvation, people living on the streets, child abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, crime, bullying and suicide.
We also see charity organizations, missions, churches offering food and free clinics. We have grief support groups and community outreach and backpack programs to make sure our kids have healthy meals if needed.   Are you aware that if you know the good you ought to do and  do nothing, you are in sin (James 4:17) .
Dearest Lord, thank you for the Holy Spirit that keeps us on track by reminding us we can do more, we should do more….to spread your love as far and wide as  possible, and we know all things are possible with You. In Jesus name, Amen
Pastor Gina

Pastor’s Notes – June 20, 2017

father-and-son-June 18th was- as we all know- Father’s Day.   Pastor Mike preached on the most Holy Father God.  How amazing to have God call us His children!  Can we take that in?   It’s almost beyond understanding, but He truly loves us!  God is love, but he is also just. That does not mean we will not be chastised.   We will have consequences in this life. We will (hopefully) learn lessons and we will not succeed at some things we try. Because He is a parent, God will lead us in the path of righteousness.   Being human we will become impatient and sometimes not communicate with our Heavenly Father.   He is always there; we need to listen more carefully.

I was so fortunate to have wonderful Christian parents. My father was (to me) perfect. He was honest, honorable, kind and loving.  He adored my mother and never raised his voice to either of us.  He worked every day, didn’t drink alcoholic, never said a swear word and not only attended church every Sunday, but worked tirelessly in every official capacity in our church.   He said his prayers on his knees every night.

I have heard horror stories of fathers who are cruel or worse. Drunkenness, laziness, addiction, unfaithfulness…these are just some of the problems some families face. That is if the man even stays with the family at all!  This is a real problem, but our Father in Heaven has a plan for us. We know He will never leave us nor forsake us.  He wants us to succeed and prosper. “Thank you God for desiring a loving relationship with us.  We are not worthy to sit at your table Lord, but you invite us in and gather us up in your arms.”

Thank you for fathers. Most of all, thank you for God our Father.

Pastor Gina Tuch

Pastor’s Note – June 7, 2017

potter wheelI am the Potter, you are the clay. This sermon of Pastor Mike comes from Jeremiah chapter 18.  Jeremiah is the three “d’s”: i.e. discouraged, despondent and disillusioned.  Jeremiah feels he isn’t making a difference and that no matter what he does no one is going to listen.  We all know how that feels; our kids, our spouses, our friends. Like Jeremiah we sometimes wonder if anything we say in our witnessing or work at, in and for the church matters.

The Lord sends Jeremiah down to the potter’s barn. There He shows Jeremiah how the potter takes the clay and molds it and works it in his hands to create something.  When a vessel does not conform to what the potter is making, he molds the clay to make something else. God is the potter. We are the clay. He has plans for us…Jeremiah 29:11…”For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Oh that we could place ourselves completely in the Potter’s Hands and let Him mold us thereby fulfilling His plan for us. Too often we, unlike the potter’s clay, don’t mold very well. Like the potter’s clay, sometimes we need to be remolded into something other than what was originally intended for us as individuals. Our shape by the one and only real potter’s hands; i.e. God himself, is determined by our use of our spiritual gift. Have you ever tried to find out what that gift may be?

Insight written by Bob Deffinbaugh (Th.D.):

In the life of the local church there are two major problems related to the subject of spiritual [clay pot] gifts [and development]. The first is that far too few Christians are involved in any kind of ministry. They conceive of themselves as spectators rather than participants. None of these ‘spectators’ have the joy of being actively involved in ministry and of seeing God work through them in the exercise of their spiritual gifts…[like an uncooperative hunk of clay].

A second problem is with those who are actively involved in the ministry of the local church, but who are not functioning in a ministry which corresponds. Their dilemma is illustrated by the story of a certain sea captain and his chief engineer who were having an argument as to which one of them was the more important to the ship. Failing to agree, they resorted to the unique idea of swapping places. The chief ascended to the bridge, and the captain descended into the engine room. After a couple of hours, the captain suddenly appeared on the deck covered with oil and soot.

“Chief!” he yelled, wildly waving aloft a monkey wrench. “You’ll have to come down here; I can’t make her go!”

“Of course you can’t,” replied the chief. “She’s aground!”

Pastor Gina

 

Pastor’s Notes -May 25, 2017

To pay “ransom” brings to mind many scenarios…..we think of kidnapped victims saved by a demanded payment. We think of the recent electronic scandals where persons unknown held electronic information hostage, for ransom.

Pastor Mike referred to the ransom our Lord paid, His precious blood, to redeem our souls and save us from Satan and a dangerous possibility of eternal condemnation. Without this ransom being paid, we would all be doomed. The beautiful song, Jesus Paid It All, All to Him we Owe; doesn’t this gift from God, His only Son, implore us to get down on our knees, and in our spirit, praise and glorify His name? “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit”(Galatians 5:25).

Every minute of every day we should be praising our Lord and Savior.  We can do this by being in harmony with the Holy Spirit and living to please our Master.  I am humbled to be a servant of Jesus Christ…..aren’t you?  Thank you Heavenly Father, for saving us from damnation due to sin.  If I abide in You, nothing shall be impossible.  “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” John 15:7.

ginaGina Tuch