What Is Going On Here?

"Simon Peter said, 'I am going fishing'....They caught nothing." (John 21:3)

"They caught nothing."  Our King Jesus "arranges" it so, i.e., when you and I are fishing in our own favorite spot, nothing there, empty, futile effort.  This does not just reveal our lives before we came to Jesus; it is an ongoing principle: Do life Jesus' Way or, "caught nothing."  So many keep fishing for what Jesus already has for us.  The Eternal Call is, "Come to Me."  If we do not respond to, "Come to Me," we will keep going back out on that empty lake, "caught nothing."  The Church needs to look at herself.  How much of our, "I am going fishing," has led to, "caught nothing."

The problem was that it seems as though Peter was in a sort of "go back" mode.  He had spent three years with Jesus, but the Word of Jesus had not taken root in him, or the others.  I can't say that they were "unbelievers," just perhaps confused Believers, you know, like so many of us at times.  There were times when, "then they remembered that these things were written about Him."  But it seems at other times, "they remembered...these things...," was replaced by the, "I am going fishing." 

Most of us have responded to Jesus', "Come to Me...."  But we have realized that over the years there have been temptations to go back to that "familiar" fishing spot. What a glorious moment of grace and mercy when Jesus "calls" to us from the shore, "Childrenhave you any food?"  If our hearts are "right," we will look at that futile "fishing spot," and come ashore to Jesus' "Banqueting Table."
Father, in Jesus' Name, I see myself in this too many times in life.  Thank You that you keep asking me, "....Have you any food."  Amen.

~ Pastor Woody Barnette

Another Great Prayer For the US President

"Deliver me from my enemiesO Godbe my fortress against those who are attacking me.  Deliver me from evildoers and save me from those who are after my blood....Arise to help melook on my plight!...I will sing of Your strengthin the morning I will sing of Your love;..YouGodare my fortressmy God on Whom I can rely."  (Psalm 59, NIV) 

If I say that the Bible is practical, I would get a rousing, "Amen," from most.  Yet I am more and more aware also of just how much "Bible-study"-limitations so many place upon the Bible.  I found in Psalm 59 today another prayer for the US President.

Our text was written by a shepherd, a warrior, and soon-to-be king.  But they were also written by a man who was literally "running for his life."  These Words were not written for a Bible study group or vacation Bible school.  David's very life depended upon the Living Triune God answering this most desperate of requests.  I have written before that when I was younger I didn't "connect" to the Book of Psalms.  The reason?  I was reading them as "religious" writings, not day to day life empowering prayers.  Besides, I was young; what did I know of suffering?  

The Luke 18 passage which says, "Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up," is a continual invitation of Jesus to, "seek His Face."  This is Jesus, "the Good Shepherd," calling us to a life of ceaseless fellowship and utter dependence upon Him. I submit to you, however, that many do not follow this command because they get so overwhelmed that they don't know how or what to pray.  A good start would be instead of just "dance as David danced," and, "sing as David sang," remember that the words of that song also say, "I will pray as David prayed."  A good place to start?--- Pray what David prayed.  

Father, in Jesus' Name, I thank You that You give so many "words" to pray that I need to pray.  Amen.

~ Pastor Woody Barnette

Does Your, "Soul Cling To the Dust"?

"My soul clings to the dustrevive me according to Your Word."  (Psalm 119:25)

The NIV says, "I am laid low in the dust...."  Have you ever felt like this?  My prayer for you is that these devotionals will help, in some way, to alleviate this.

I have been there--- dry, thirsty, "....laid low in the dust,...barely able to go on.  But our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, did exactly what our text declares, "....revive me according to Your Word."  I know I say this so often, but when your very life is "revived" in a certain "manner," how can you do anything but continually glorify and praise Father, Son Jesus, Holy Spirit, and thank our Lord Jesus Christ, Who Himself, "....revive[d] me according to [His] Word"?

Here another way of putting it from Psalm 40: "I waited patiently for the LordHe turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pitout of the mud and mireHe set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my moutha hymn of praise to our God."  This promise, as with all, "the Words of God," are rooted in and empowered in the Blood of Jesus, His Death, His Resurrection, His Second Appearing, His Eternal Kingdom Reign, sealed in the Holy Spirit.

When I "open the door" of my heart to Jesus, when I surrender my being, my very existence, my all to Jesus, "I am laid low in the dust," becomes, "He lifted me out....Gave me a firm place to stand." 

~Pastor Woody Barnette

"All People Walk...in the Name of His God"

"For all people walk each in the name of his godbut we will walk in the Name of the Lord our God forever and ever." (Micah 4:5)

This is akin to that great Pauline passage, "....We know that an idol is nothing in the worldand that there is no other God but one.  For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one Godthe Father,of whom are all thingsand we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christthrough Whom are all thingsand through whom we live."

These, "gods," are not necessarily "third world" gods.  Gods of "first world" countries are those things to which we have given our lives, which dominate our thinking and actions, our investment and energy.  In other words, that which is lord over us.  I watched this at work in DC the last two days.  Contrast, "the Father,..and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christthrough Whom are all things, and through Whom we live."  This is the One True God, "....through Whom we live."

I trust that you are of the, "yet for us," group.  And it is indeed a contrast, how we think, how we live, choices we make.  Every day we have the opportunity to say and live, "yet for us."

Father, in Jesus' Name, You are my, "yet for us."  Amen.

~Pastor Woody Barnette

A New Testament Teaching

"And His commands are not burdensome."  (1 John 5:3, NIV, from today's reading)

Then why do so many think they are?

The Garden reveals that Satan effectively deceived man concerning obedience.  He basically said that if we obey the Lord God, we will miss out on a really great life.  What mankind has discovered, however, is that what is really "burdensome" is you and I running our own lives.

Now, in our minds at least, we know better than the lie of Genesis 3, don't we?  But when people say such things as, "O, that's Old Testament," what they are really saying is, "Forget the laws of God.  I'm free now to do what I like," all the while harboring some erroneous theology that one can just confess and ask for forgiveness if they have a moment of conscience attack.

We are told in Scripture that the commands/laws/ordinances of God are, "....for our good always."  We are also told that to live a life in disobedience to God's Law brings severe consequences, which includes making terrible choices in life.  Jesus said that He came to fulfill, "the Law and the Prophets," not destroy them.  I wonder if their ever was a book with a title something like, How To Walk In The Fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets.

Jesus, "The Word of God," told Jeremiah that the day was coming when, "....I will put My Law IN their minds (literally, 'inward parts') and IN their hearts."  This, "is not burdensome."  When the world looks at you and me, they should be seeing a "revelation" of the, "Law and the Prophets."  This is exactly what the world beheld "when Christ was born in Bethlehem."  And as Jesus walked the shores of the Galilee, taught in the synagogues, healed the sick, raised the dead, died on the Cross and rose again, humanity saw just what that "bad" Old Testament was/is talking about.  Perhaps when the Book of Hebrews talks of a, "Better Covenant," one of the meanings is that the New Covenant explains the Old Covenant, a "revelation" of that Covenant.  For sure, the New Covenant is fulfillment of the Old.  May our lives so manifest.

Father, in Jesus' Name, if I have ever harbored a wrong attitude about Your Law, I ask forgiveness and a renewed mind in the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

~ Pastor Woody Barnette

From Outside Humbolt Seminary

"Christ....entered the Holy Place once for all....". (Hebrews 9)

I have been worn out at the end of the day; hence, been negligent with the devotional.  It is now 13:37 and I had some soup just across from the Seminary, and writing this on my phone.

I was in the noontime prayer service in the Berliner Dom.  When it was over, I was asked to leave.  Prayer must give way to "filthy lucre."  Apparently they don't want tourists ducking the entrance fee by feigning prayer.  Why argue?!?  

Our text is a "Reformation" text.  In the Catholic Mass, they assert that the sacrifice of Christ is offered over and over.  That is the, "First Covenant."  The Hebrew writer says that the Second is based on, "better promises."  There is just non better than when Jesus cried out, "It is finished," it was indeed, "finished."  

'It's done, the great transaction's done. I am my Lord's and He is mine."  Catholicism is based on "coming and going," theology, much like, "Take us into His presence."  Don't need that.  Reformers believe we entered, "once for all," when Jesus entered our very beings and we entered, "were grafted in," to Jesus.  We entered Jesus and Jesus entered us when we, "open(ed) the door."  So whether in the Berlin Mitte, or a 6+ hour time difference, no matter.  Jesus, "entered the Holiest, "once for all," and so did you and I.

"He takes away the first in order to establish the second.  By the will we have been sanctified through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ ONCE FOR ALL."  It is time the praying, worshiping community reestablishes the Reformation roots, the call to the Church to once again proclaim and live, "once for all."

Father, in Jesus' Name, I am eternally thankful for, "once for all."  Amen.

~ Pastor Woody Barnette

Where Do You Get Your Fish?

"'I'm going out to fish,' Simon Peter told themand they said, 'We'll go out with you.'" (John 21:3 NIV)

When bewilderment comes, works must take over.  Or, when we don't believe, "The Word of God," we have no choice but to rely on ourselves, our works.

It seems to me from our text that you and I have a choice.  We can work all night and catch nothing, or come to shore and partake of what our Lord Jesus Christ has already done and provided.

After the crucifixion, Peter went back to fishing.  It seemed as though all was over, for naught.  I'm not saying that he went back to his fishing vocation.  He just seemed at a loss as to what to do next; hence, go back to the familiar.  But it only yielded nothing.  Then Jesus appeared to them and invited the men to come on shore.   When they did, there was what they were looking for.  A Black Pastor once had one of the "Words from the Cross" in a Good Friday service.  It was, "Woman behold your son."  His title was, "Always providing."  When will we ever learn?!?

We as individuals and our nations need to look at what we produce out on "the lake," then look at what Jesus has already provided on "shore."  America, by in large, has decided for the lake provision and rejected the on-shore provision.  What America's "end" is I don't know.  I can know, however, what yours and mine will be if we give up our lake ministry for Jesus' shore ministry.  Maybe, "....the end from the beginning," or, "I gotcha covered," is a good reminder here.

Father, in Jesus' Name, Thank You so much for Your invitation to, "Come and dine."  Amen.

~ Pastor Woody Barnette

Darkness Is My Closest Friend?

"You have taken from me friend and neighbordarkness is my closest friend." (Psalm 88:18, NIV)

Many have been there; many are there.  But you and I know Who is Our, "closest friend."

"....darkness is my closet friend."  I felt this way at a period in my life.  Sometimes it tries to come back.  I can honestly say, however, that it is not my strength which overcomes that, "darkness".  It is simply and powerfully the "Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ."

What about you today?  Does it seem as though, "....darkness is my closest friend," to you?  The promise of our Lord Jesus Christ to all who trust Him is that you and I have, "....the light of the Gospel of the glory of ChristWho is the image of God...."  And when is seems as though, "....darkness is my closest friend", we need not fear.  The power to overcome that, "darkness" is in such promises, "For it is the God Who commanded light to shine out of darknessWho has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

So to you and me today, when it seems that only, "....darkness is my closest friend," then, as always, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His Wonderful Face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."  The song is just another way to continually remind us of the Biblical injunction for total-victory living, "Looking unto Jesus."

Father, in Jesus' Name, I confess that, as you said to Pilate, "You could have no power at all...unless it had been given you from above," so with me.  Amen. 

~ Pastor Woody Barnette

The Lord Reigns . . . Tremble!

"The Lord reignslet the peoples tremble He dwells between the cherubimlet the earth be moved!" (Psalm 99:1)

Have you ever considered, "tremble," as a part of worship?

Today's Psalms readings are full of praise.  The Holy Spirit is calling us to, "....worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness."  The Psalms are full of prayers for deliverance, healing, provision, asking the Lord to, "deal with them," viz., the enemies of His People.  Yet with all the songs dealing with wars, sickness, betrayal, heartache etc., there comes this "interlude" in today's text, "The Lord reignslet the peoples(nationstremble!"

Here are some selected verses from Psalms 96-100: "Oh comelet us sing to the Lord!...Let us come...with thanksgiving....Ohworship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!...Let the sea roar....The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice....Ohsing to the Lord a new song!...Break forth in songrejoice and sing praises....Exalt the Lord our and worship at His footstoolHoly is He....Enter into His gates with thanksgivingand into His courts with praise.  Be thankful to Him, and bless His name."

Feel better already.  Our Lord Jesus is the reason for worship.  Apart from Him, we would not know the Living Triune God.  We would still be in our sin.  We would be self-absorbed, our focus on "me and mine."  When Jesus "met" us on our "road of life," He opened our eyes, opened them to, "Our Father," The Son, and The Holy Spirit.  We saw our sin, which caused us to recoil at our wickedness, to come to repentance, turning to The Lord God from our, "condemnedalready," life. 

So I say with the song writer:
"Jesus is all the world to me." 
"When I am sad, to Him I go;
No other one can cheer me so.
When I am sad, He makes me glad;
He's my friend."  

This is the reason to, "Make a joyful noise to the Lord all ye lands.  And, to, "Serve the Lord with gladness...."

Father, in Jesus' Name, You are the reason I worship.  Amen.

~ Pastor Woody Barnette

Yahweh is a Jealous God!

Josh 24:19, “Joshua said to the people, ‘You are not able to serve the Lord. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins. 20 If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, he will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, after he has been good to you.’ 21 But the people said to Joshua, ‘No! We will serve the Lord.’"

I like their determination! Yet, when the previous generation met the Lord at Mount Sinai, they too had said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do” (Exo 19:8). And just a few weeks later, they were worshiping a golden calf! So Joshua had to be stern so that they would grasp the importance of examining their hearts, and then rely upon grace rather than themselves: “You will not be able to serve the Lord, for he is a holy God.”

In one sense, it’s impossible for us to serve the Lord because we can’t match the standard or splendor of his holiness: He is a holy God! But that’s not what Joshua had in mind because the standard of our service is actually not God’s holiness, but the standard of relationship! So Joshua introduces the priority of relationship when he says: Yahweh is a jealous God! We won’t be able to serve the Lord if we’re not understanding the intimacy of this relationship! We’ve got to grasp the relationship part of this.

Joshua wasn’t telling them it would be impossible for them to serve God, but he was challenging them to understand what’s involved. Just as a husband and wife are faithful to their marriage vows and they jealously guard each other’s affection, so Israel’s walk with God would be determined by a sense of intimate connection and faithfulness. Their biggest need was to cleanse their hearts from all allegiance to other gods and pursue only the Lord who loves and jealously guards their relationship with him.

Sent by the Risen Christ

Acts 9:17, “Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’” This is why we place our hands on people when we pray for them: Our touch represents the touch of God! God uses you as a channel to release power! Ananias went into the house—so we have to actually go into people’s homes, nursing home, homeless shelter, prisons, hospitals, people’s lives—and layed his hands on him, calling him “brother.” I’m going to share something profound with you, and I hope that you’ll receive it: Each one of us have the same ministry as Ananias. v. 17, “He laid his hands on him and said, ‘The Lord Jesus has sent me so that you might see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’" You are sent to change people’s lives! You’re called to do four things: (1) to go, (2) touch people’s lives (laid hands), (3) give spiritual sight & healing, and (4) to share the Spirit’s presence & power. You’re called to literally touch people’s lives, give them sight through the power of God in you, and to bring healing to them. You’re called to share the presence of the risen Christ so they can be filled with the love & presence of the Spirit, i.e., the life of the risen Christ!

Acts 9:18, “Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.” Saul was defeated and overwhelmed; the man hadn’t eaten for three days and he couldn’t even see! And his vision of Jesus wasn’t enough; he had to be touched by an actual person, a disciple, a follower of Jesus. Once Ananias showed up, laid his hands on him, and prayed for him, “immediately” Saul was healed & could see, and the Holy Spirit came upon him. As evidence of Saul’s transformation, he was dunked in water. All of us need a relationship with Jesus Christ… God may be sending someone into your life to touch you; receive them and be blessed by their ministry.

~ Pastor Roy

Esteeming the Unknown Prophets

2 Chron 15:1, “The Spirit of God came on Azariah son of Oded. 2 He went out to meet Asa and said to him, ‘Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.’”

The Spirit of God/of prophecy came upon Azariah. The Spirit “came on” him means there was a special movement of the divine presence. As the Spirit moves, he has the power to release a movement of revival, but he usually starts with one person: in this case, an unknown prophet named Azariah. So the anonymous Spirit moves upon the unknown prophet to bring a human being into the supernatural movements of the triune God. This is the first and last time you’ll hear about this unknown prophet, Azariah son of Oded, an unknown hero—unknown to most people but well known to God! He may not have been popular or well known, but he was faithful and available; sometimes God is just looking for us to be available. By the New Testament’s standard, the unknown prophets of the Old Testament are replaced by the largely unknown heroes of the Christian life. Paul put it like this: 2 Cor 6:4, “As servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: . . . 9 known, yet regarded as unknown.” Whether unknown or well known, what does it take to be great in God’s kingdom? It takes coming into agreement with God’s Spirit.

 The prophetic Spirit came upon Azariah, and he spoke. 15:2, “The LORD will stay with you as long as you stay with him! Whenever you seek him, you will find him. But if you abandon him, he will abandon you.” This isn’t a candy coated message of definite blessing, but this prophet is warning of the potential crisis of God’s presence. Essentially the prophet is saying, ‘God’s presence is relational, and you must stay with him for him to stay with you!’ The LORD’s presence will not abide with you indefinitely! The prophet’s warning couldn’t be more clear: “The LORD is with you when you are with him,” which is similar to James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”

So how do we know when we are “with him”? Azariah’s next words add some clarification: v. 2b, “Whenever you seek him, you will find him. But if you abandon him, he will abandon you.” Most notably the Old Testament crowd abandoned/forsook God by ignoring & rejecting his Law (cf. 2 Chron 24:20). But if they would “seek” God by insisting upon a life based on his word (and his Law), they would most certainly find him! They will discover the depths of his presence in their lives. Their nation would defeat every enemy that came against. They would display the Life of a Living God to a dying world.

Will you, dear Christian, allow God to use you as one of his unknown prophets, an unknown hero, that will usher in one of the great revivals of the ages?

~Pastor Roy

Thank God the Spirit!

I want to thank the Holy Spirit for speaking to his church and making his will known. Last night I had a vivid dream in which I met the Holy Spirit. As he spoke, his breath was visible and looked like mysical notes. The Hebrew ruach and the Greek pneuma can both be translated either breath, wind, or Spirit. By giving us the Sacred Breath (Holy Spirit), God anoints us with sacred breath to boldly proclaim the gospel message, with signs following. Believe in the Holy Spirit that God has placed within you! I said, Believe! He who is in you truly is greater than he who is in the world. March forward into the victories Christ has called you to. You are a child of God!

~Pastor Roy

This New Life

"The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. . . . Then the high priest and all his associates . . . arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. 'Go, stand in the temple courts,' he said, 'and tell the people all about this new life'” (Acts 5:12, 17–20). 

On Wednesday evening we received a testimony from a lady in our church. With a smile and great joy, she reported that God had healed her right arm, which had been prayed over at our most recent healing service. She was full of enthusiasm and excitement, describing how she's now able to do dishes all day long (cf. Matt 8:14-15)! Praise God! Testimonies like this add a certain potency to the Gospel—certainly not something that's lacking in the Gospel, but confirmation and validation of the hope that we have as Christians. This woman will always have this healing as part of her testimony of "this new life."

The world needs to hear your testimony of this new and glorious life we live in the presence of Jesus Christ. Each one of us have something in our lives that we can point to as "new," compared to who we were and how we used to live before we knew Jesus. I'm quite confident that when you talk to people there is ALWAYS something you can share with them about "this new life." The joys of waking up to a cup of coffee and prayer, the blessing of praying with your spouse, the privilege of forgiveness, hope for tomorrow, etc.

Please don't think that anything "new" about your life in Jesus is too menial or not worth sharing. The angel commanded the apostles, not to preach the Gospel or the resurrection or the doctrines of imputed righteousness or reconciliation, but to simply go into the temple courts, the city's most popular area of commerce and festivity, and talk about "this new life." You do the same! Go out and talk about your new life in Jesus! I promise you, it will make a difference . . .

- Pastor Roy

A New Year's Resolution Prayer

Ask God to bring genuine life change to you and your family. Ask him for the grace to make the difficult decisions day after day, decisions to honor him and serve him with all of your heart. This resolution isn't for a new year, but for a new life. If we are to live unto God and not ourselves, we must resolve daily (a daily resolution) to "take up our cross and follow him..." This radical commitment to God will look like greater patience and understanding toward your family, an eagerness to forgive others for hurting you, a desire to say I'm sorry when you're wrong or have hurt someone, meeting needs through compassionate action, etc. Thank you, Lord, for hearing the cry of our hearts!

- Pastor Roy

Our First Healing Service

We held our first healing service on Dec. 7th, and God showed up! It should be understood that this was truly God's healing service, just as 1 Peter 2:24 declares that "by His stripes (the blood of his sacrifice) we were healed..." If it's by Jesus' stripes, then it's His service, not ours. We started the evening with two thoughts.

First, healing is battle. In other words, persistence in prayer and claiming the battlefield through spiritual warfare, that is, warfare in the spiritual realm through the weaponry of the Holy Spirit. Each of our ministers on the healing team were anointed with oil and prayed over for fresh "anointing" of the Spirit. Only by the Holy Spirit's freedom and Jesus' total authority can anything get done in the spirit.

Second, healing is compassion. There is not a single passage of Scripture that says, "With great faith, Jesus healed them all..." On the contrary, what we find is, "Moved with compassion, Jesus healed..." (Matt 14:14; Mark 4:41). Thus armed with compassion and the affection of Christ Jesus, we fight the battle!

I'm purposely avoiding any exaggeration of the results of the service, but I can say with total conviction that God's healing presence showed up with great power and impression. Many of us felt his presence very strongly as we worshiped and prayed together. One person's testimony declared that God wrought deep emotional healing, demonstrating that God knows what area of my life most needs healed, even if I'm asking him to heal something else. With tears and great joy, we enjoyed the wonderful presence of God together. You won't want to miss our next healing service, the first Wednesday of each month. Bless you Jesus!

- Pastor Roy

Pray for Us

"Brothers and sisters, pray for us" (1 Thess. 5:25). As simple as this may sound, it is the lifeblood of the church. Otherwise, Paul wouldn't have asked the Thessalonians for it. Please pray for Covenant Church East. Pray for our marriages and our families. Pray for our ministries and our ministers. The church is full of full-time ministers; in fact, every single believer is called to full-time Christian service. You are a full-time minister! Please pray for us. Pray for next Wednesday's Healing Service. We can only have a healing service when God shows up. Pray for all of our outreaches, our nursing home ministry and homeless ministry. Pray for the Adelphoi Ministry and the Alpha Ministry. Pray that Bill and Mike and Erin are radically and completely healed, in Jesus' name. Pray that the Holy Spirit moves from our congregation to our homes, and from our homes to our church. Two weeks ago I spoke from the pulpit that this would indeed be so, so let's ask the Spirit to make his presence abound in our homes and in our families. Pray for our new members and our old members. Pray for God to make this church a place for 100 prophets, that this time next year we can baptize those who came and were unchurched, unsaved, or unbaptized. Pray with me for revival and renewal. "Brothers and sisters, pray for us..."

- Pastor Roy

Something has "Broken" in the Heavenly Realm (Pastor Woody)

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  For it is written: 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.'"  (1 Corinthians 1:18, 19, NIV)

How appropriate that one of my Bible readings today is our text.  Open Doors' Prayer Force for today requests prayer for young Christians in Indonesia who "are torn between education and Christianity."  I could save them an awful lot of time and consternation, more importantly, so could our Lord Jesus Christ: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."  It would be conservative to say that the vast majority of the universities and grad schools across the Globe are full of stupid, self-centered, egotistical fools.  Their philosophy rejects, "lean not to your own understanding."  

America's recent election did exactly the same thing, "....the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."  I cannot take the time here to tell you the depths of the fulfillment of this, what I see going on in America at this time.  The article which I sent to you earlier today is a very telling article about the recent elections.  I also mentioned a "prophetic word" which "developed" yesterday during our church service.  Something recently "broke" in the heavenly realm; I am absolutely convinced of this.  It was/is much like the Daniel 10 revelation, "And now I must return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I have gone forth, indeed the prince of Greece will come."  I can tell you that "the prince" assigned to The United States of America has been dealt a significant blow.  It was the Church who did this, not only here in America, but also around the world.

The haters of, "the message of the Cross," those who hate and despise Jesus Christ, His Church and Kingdom, however, will not give up the fight.  Never, ever be so complacent and naive to think and live otherwise.  "The message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing...," and, "perishing," they are.  Moreover, Biblical Theology tells us that it is even more than, "....foolishness to those who are perishing...."  To the, "perishing," Jesus Christ, Who Is, "the message of the cross," is a threat, a nemesis to be destroyed, eradicated.  What is going on in the streets of America at this time is not a hatred of President Trump, but rather a virtual demonstration of the hatred of Jesus Christ, His Cross, His Blood, His Death, His Resurrection, and His Glorious Second Appearing.  Think of the evil and the propagators of that evil who are now full of rage, doing all they can to see the culture of death, which has arisen and prevailed in America over the last 50+ years, continue to prevail in American culture.

"....but to us who are being saved," what the present evil age calls, "foolishness," is in the reality realm, "....the power of God."  In Luther's words, "His Truth abideth still."  I have exhorted, and will continue to exhort, that we all look at "the big picture" in what has transpired and in what is going on in the US now.  There is a "disguised" evil which America has rejected.  I could go on.  Personally, however, I'll take, "....the power of God," over, "the intelligence of the intelligent,"------------- any time, all the time.

Father, in Jesus' Name, I ask for, "more grace," to navigate these days.  Amen.

- Pastor Woody Barnette

Healing Service

“Great crowds came to Jesus, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them" (Matt 15:30‬). The reality of God's love is reaching the heart of our congregation in a big way. We're growing and learning together, and coming to realize that the miracles of God are filled with love. They're all filled with love! Capture this revelation: The only true miracles are love-filled ones! This means we won't experience the depths of miracles & healing unless we share the heart of God, his compassion, the affection of Christ Jesus! We must pursue the deepest intimacy with him... We're going to start a "healing service" on the first Wednesday of each month, beginning December 7th, and you're invited. More and more we're realizing it's all about Jesus and his faithfulness to show up, and he will! The revelation is dawning on this congregation that it doesn't require great faith to see God's miraculous works, but it does require compassion and taking the time to love one another. Join us the first Wednesday of the month and receive the precious gifts God has for you. "The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel" (Matt 15:31). Hallelujah!

- Pastor Roy

A Prayer for Donald Trump

Almighty God, our Lord Jesus, we thank you for fulfilling a prophecy from 2011 that said that Donald Trump would become president of the United States. We pray that this man will grow in grace and become a mature, godly example for this nation and for your church. Make him a man after your own heart, Lord! We ask, oh God, that you would give him supernatural wisdom, protection from all enemies, and a holy walk with you. Now we pray for his presidency in accordance with the Psalms.  “Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling. Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him" (Psa. ‭2:10-12).

- Pastor Roy