By: Dave Messenger
Many years ago, when one of my boys was only 5-years old, he learned to ride a 2-wheeled bicycle for the very first time. He was so excited that he had finally learned to ride a 2-wheeled bicycle. His face lit up with a grin from ear to ear declaring the great joy of his newfound accomplishment. He had tried several times before without the training wheels, but just could not seem to get the hang of it. During his several attempts to learn, I would remove the training wheels, but then later I would have to re-install the training wheels because of his frustration with the learning process. I kept trying to encourage him and tell him that it would be easier to ride without the training wheels. So, then very reluctantly he would have me remove the training wheels once again only to find that he still just could not seem to do it. Finally, one day as he tried once again, to his great surprise, and to mine as well, he just seemed to get on and go without any difficulties whatsoever. He said, “Dad, look I am finally riding a 2-wheeler all by myself!” And once he started riding all by himself, he did not want to stop.
How many times do we find ourselves in a similar scenario in our own lives even as “grown-ups”? We seem to try something and then just give up because we just don’t seem to be getting the hang of it. It seems that sometimes in life we seem to think we need the old “training wheels” and can’t move on without them. However, we do not realize that sometimes it is the “training wheels” that are holding us back from the acceleration and smooth ride that we are desiring to accomplish.
Do you remember learning to ride a bicycle? Do you remember the first time you took off the training wheels? It was a moment filled with anticipation, excitement, and maybe a little bit of fear. But in that moment, you embraced the unknown and trusted in your ability to balance and ride on your own.
In our spiritual journey, there comes a time when we need to take off the training wheels of our faith. We need to step out of our comfort zones and embrace the challenges and opportunities that God has placed before us. It may be a new ministry, a mission trip, or simply reaching out to someone in need. Whatever it is, it requires us to trust in God and rely on His guidance.
Just as the training wheels gave us stability and support when we were learning to ride, our comfort zones provide a sense of security and familiarity. But there comes a point when God calls us to step out of that comfort zone and discover the fullness of His plan for our lives. He wants us to grow, to learn, and to experience the beauty and joy that come with walking in obedience to His calling.
But taking off the training wheels requires faith. It requires us to believe that God has equipped us with everything we need to succeed. In the book of Hebrews 11:1 (NLT), it says, " Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. " We may not see the outcome or the path ahead clearly, but we can have confidence in God's faithfulness and His promises.
When we take off the training wheels, we may stumble, and we may fall. But remember, failure is not the end. Failure is simply an opportunity to learn and grow. Proverbs 24:16 (NLT) says, "The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked." God's grace is there to lift us up, to dust us off, and to set us on the right path again.
As we take off the training wheels, let us remember that we are not alone. God is with us every step of the way. He is our loving Father, cheering us on, guiding us, and encouraging us to keep going. Psalm 32:8 (NLT) says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you."
So, my friends, today I urge you to take off the training wheels of your faith. Embrace the unknown, trust in God's guidance, and step out in obedience. As you do, you will discover the incredible joy, fulfillment, and purpose that come with surrendering your life to God's plan. Remember, He is making a way for you, and He is ready to do a new thing in your life. May we all have the courage to let go of our comfort zones, to trust in God's promises, and to ride the exhilarating journey of faith without training wheels. Amen.
Facing Your Giants
By: Dave Messenger
Have you ever encountered a GIANT in your life? By a GIANT I am referring to something that seems to be an insurmountable problem or issue. You try to knock these giants down, but they often times seem to only grow stronger with the passing of time.
These GIANTS can present themselves in many ways to us at any time in our lives. The GIANTS you face today could be many things like fear, failure of the past, a sudden illness or disease, a family crisis, anxiety, depression, mental illness, addiction, loss of job or income, loss of spouse or family member, a financial burden, an unbelieving spouse or child, someone has slandered you or filed a lawsuit against you, suicidal thoughts, loneliness, marital problems, and many others too.
So how do you deal with these GIANTS? We find the answers in the Old Testament story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel chapter 17. Looking at the great bible story of David vs. Goliath in 1 Samuel 17 we can learn a great deal from it and how we can apply it to our lives today. It seems that when we look at a lot of characters in the bible we can often times see similarities between the things they were going through then to some of the same struggles or issues we face today.
What is your "Giant"? What is the biggest obstacle you are facing, right now?
I know that you might be facing a giant right now. How do I know? We all face giants of some kind in our lives. Life is like that - out of the routine, normal day to day stuff emerges a giant, a challenge, a mountain, problem, etc. Surprise!
So how do you deal with and defeat these GIANT when they come into our lives? There are several keys to defeating the GIANT you are facing that can be found in the story of David and Goliath.
You need to:
Due to some technical difficulties with recording the sermon on Sunday, April 30 we were not able to upload the sermon to the website. Therefore we are providing the "Facing Your Giants Sermon Notes" for anyone who would like to have them since the recording is not available.
Mentoring Our Children and Youth
By: Pastor Bob Lauver
One of our responsibilities as believers is to train up our children, grandchildren and heritage, in the ways of the Lord and also how to live a respectful, proper Christian life in these days we live in. The following are a few ways that I feel are important to impart to our children.
1. We must lead our young ones to Jesus Christ, to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, to bring them to the House of the Lord and to train them how to pray and know the Word of God, the Bible.
2. Our children need to learn obedience, discipline, correction, rules and that choices have consequences. (Eph. 6:1-2)
3. Children need to be trained to respect people and property, honor their parents and authority and be considerate of others that they come in contact with.
4. I believe that children need to be taught to work, earn money, save and how to spend properly. They need to learn the value of things that God provides for us and to give to God from their money.
5. Manners and etiquette are also important to teach. How to say: please, thank you, excuse me, I’m sorry. Table manners are important to teach and to train children to not be rude and disruptive.
6. We must show our children how to be: honest, always truthful, loving, kind, forgiving and how to be friendly and how to choose good friends.
7. Children should be taught to be helpful, to learn how to serve mom and dad and others and how to be responsible and to do their chores with excellence.
8. We should teach our children how to conquer their fears, challenges and what seems impossible for them to accomplish. With God’s help, all things are possible. (Phil.4:13)
9. We must teach our children the power of moral purity, Godliness and how to live holy lives in an ungodly culture. At some point, teach your young ones about sex as taught to us in the Word of God. Not more than they are ready for, using wisdom, timing and God’s leading and help.
God says in 2 Timothy 4:12 to Timothy, “Be an example”. This is a must for us. We must do more that teach with words, we must train with our life style. Kids learn more from what they see than from what they hear. May God help us and may God bless you as you train your heritage.
The God of Hope
By: Pastor Bob Lauver
There are times that we walk through valleys in our life, times of confusion, the unknown and times where there seem to be no answers nor help. Romans 15:13 says, "May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace, as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. God is a God of Hope. "God is the only one who can make the valley of trouble a door of hope."
Yes, we serve a God of hope. There is nothing too large for Him. Someone has said, "Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God."
Let me give you two verses from God's Word to help you build your faith and hope.
2 Corinthians 4:18 - Keep your eyes on the greatness of God, and not on the immediate problem that you have.
Isaiah 26:3 - Keep your mind on God, His promises, His love for you, His miracle working power and how He has helped people in the past. He has not changed.
There is Hope for you in Christ Jesus. He wants to be your Savior, your Lord and your Hope and Help. Turn to Him now in prayer, receive Him, He is your help.
Newly Updated Website
By: Dave Messenger
We hope you like the new look and feel of our newly updated website. We are now setup for viewing on mobile devices like android phones and iphones, ipads, etc. We will soon be going live with online giving, and will be adding more new content soon including pictures and possibly some videos. If you have any ideas that you would like to have us include on this website please leave your comments here. We will probably not be able to accommodate every suggestion but we will review all suggestions and implement any that we believe would be beneficial for all.
We are excited about the things that God is doing at New Life and would love to have you come and join us for worship on Sunday at 10:00 am. Hope to see you soon!
Conversations With God
By: Dave Messenger
Did you ever think that you know God pretty well and that that you have learned a great deal about Him. It seems to me that every time I think that way He usually makes me realize that I really don't know Him all that well and that I know much less about Him than I could.
I believe God desires that we learn to know Him on a more personal level and to know more about Him. In order to know someone better it requires a conversation with them. A conversation is two-way. A conversation not only requires speaking by one party but it requires listening by the other party. Did you ever have a "conversation" with someone and they did all of the talking and you couldn't get a word in edgewise? I believe that is sometimes how we treat God. We do all of the talking and don't give Him a chance to talk back to us. If we would spend more time "conversing" with God rather than to God perhaps we would receive more answers to life's problems, challenges, whatever we are in need of, or are seeking God for answers to. If we do all of the talking and God is only allowed to listen, how is it that we expect Him to answer us? The dictionary defines "converse" as: to talk informally with another or others; exchange views, opinions, etc. by talking. Wow! So if we talk with God informally and exchange our views and opinions with Him and allow him to talk back to us by telling us His views and opinions, wouldn't we have a much greater understanding of God and know him better. Proverbs 2:6 (NLT) says that "For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding." In order to gain that wisdom, knowledge and understanding we must first learn to listen to what He is saying to us.
If we are intently listening for God to speak to us I believe He can also speak to us through: His Word, other people, a time of worship, a time of prayer, a time of fasting. Don't you think that if we would only be patient and sit quietly just listening for God to speak to us perhaps we would receive more answers? We shouldn't always come to God by just making our requests only known to Him and doing all of the talking. Sometimes I think we need to develop that intimate conversation and relationship with Him and learn to just listen for the sound of His voice.
Did you ever call out to your pet to come or to do something, whether it be a dog or another animal? Do they not know the sound of their master's voice? They are not only obedient to that voice but they know the sound of their master's voice very well. How much more should we know the sound of our Master's voice, like the scripture says in John 10:27 (NLT) "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." When He speaks to us we should listen and hear what it is that He has to say to us.
Return To The Lord
By: Pastor Bob Lauver
And Azariah 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. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. II Chron. 15:2 NASB
What a word for our nation at this time, as we have crowned our president for a second term as the leader of the United States of America. And oh yes, this is also a great word for Churches across our land and even for families. We cannot assume that the Lord is with us just because we are Americans and that we used to fear God in the past. God plainly says here, “The Lord is with you when you are with Him.”
And again He says, “if you will forsake Him, He will forsake you.” Now that is a sobering thought. Do you think that God stands with our nation as we: slaughter millions of innocent babies, as we openly condone the practice of Sodomy, as we forbid the mention of His Name in our schools and colleges, and forbid our children to celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ, calling it a winter Holiday instead of Christmas.
I believe that many of our leaders no longer value Jesus Christ and have forsaken Him for a more secular, politically correct position. What does God say? He says, “if we forsake Him, He will forsake us.
Listen, it’s time to return to the Lord in our families, in the churches and in or nation. May God be with you as you walk through this year of 2013. We do not know what this year all holds, but we do know who holds us in the palm of His Hands.