“Rick’s Call”

So, who did it?  Who answered the call that Rick gave during announcements this past Sunday?  Who took the time to talk with our visitors at the Community Thanksgiving Dinner?  Who took the opportunity to invite someone back to our services here at Sciotoville Christian Church?  As you look around, is there anyone new here that you can say, “I played a part.”

In case you are lost, of perhaps you were not here last week, Rick stood on stage and gave a very compelling speech about getting out of our comfort zones, and talking with others and sharing our faith with them.  In particular, Rick challenged everyone to take time at this past week’s Community Thanksgiving Dinner and grab a church business card and give it to one person at that dinner that was not a part of our church.  This was designed to make us take time and talk with our guests, get to know them, and let them know that we would love to see them here.  He also challenged you to get their number and give them a call this week to remind them about church services.  How many of you took that call, and ran with it?

While writing this Monday morning, I and praying that this Sunday, the results of your faithfulness to the call, can be seen all throughout our auditorium.  I pray that we have new faces at church, and that new relationships with God are being formed.  And if my prayer is answered, it will be because all of us took seriously the call, the call to get out of our comfort zones, to talk to people other than those we already know, and to truly show them that we care and would love to have them be a part of what is going on here at Third and Bloom.

In Isaiah 6:8 we read, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send?  And who will go for us?”  And I said, “Here am I.  Send me!””

We read in other places, that the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  It is my prayer that we have all taken the challenge, and that we will be the workers that are spreading the gospel to those who need to hear it.

And if you didn’t get a chance to share your faith, or to invite someone back to church this past week, then consider this, when was the last time that you actually invited someone to come to the Sciotoville Christian Church?

I don’t know if you know it or not, but the great commission gave us ALL a job to do.  We have all been called to share our faith, and to invite others into a right relationship with God.  We are told in Matthew chapter 28, “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.””

Look around you, do you see new faces that you can honestly say, “I played a part in them being here.”  If not, then I challenge you to accept the call, say to God, “Here am I.  Send me.”  Go out, share your story with other, and tell them about HIS story too.  Simply invite them to come and be a part of HIS story here at Third and Bloom.

In Christ,


The Pumpkin Prayer


For all of you who are not sure if Halloween is a activity that a “good Christian” should take part in or not, here is a thought for you.  Rather than focusing on the negative, spend time teaching your kids and grandchildren some positive lessons.

For example, if you go out for Trick-Or-Treat, talk about how the candy and treats that they are getting are some pretty good gifts.  But then explain to them that, “Every good and perfect gift is from God…”  Take time as you are out and about to talk to your kids about all the things that are scary about Halloween, and then teach them that in Christ, we need to fear anything.

And instead of a scary jack-o-lantern, spend time with your kids and grandchildren carving out a less scary image on the pumpkin.  And as you do, share the following lesson/prayer that I found this week with the little ones:

Dear God, as I carve my pumpkin help me say this prayer:

Open my mind so I can learn about You; (Cut the top of the pumpkin)

Take away all my sin and forgive me for the wrong things I do. (Clean out the inside)

Open my eyes so Your love I will see; (Cut the eyes out in heart shapes)

I’m so sorry for turning up my nose to all you’ve given me. (Cut a nose in the shape of a cross)

Open my ears so your word I will hear. (Cut the ears shaped like the Bible (rectangles))

Open my mouth so I can tell others You’re near (cut the mouth in the shape of a fish)

And let Your light shine in all I say and do!  Amen. (Place a candle inside and light it)

In Christ,



Christopher Columbus Was Wrong?

With tomorrow being Columbus Day, what if you suddenly read in the papers that, “Christopher Columbus was wrong?”  Now, think of the many things that Columbus is credited with.  I am not saying that in any of those things he was wrong.  But what about his use of God simply for his own benefit?  The following is a devotion found in an old issue of Our Daily Bread:

“On one of Christopher Columbus’ voyages, he found that his crew’s food supply was almost depleted.  Anchored off the island of Jamaica, he was grateful to be given food by the islanders.  But as time went on, the gifts of food decreased so that the crew began to starve.

Columbus knew from an astronomy book that a lunar eclipse would soon occur.  He called the native chiefs together and told them God was angry about their selfishness and would blot out the moon.  At first the islanders scoffed.  But when they watched the night’s silver disc slowly become dark, they became terrified and quickly brought food.  Columbus said that if he prayed, the moon would be restored.  Though we may empathize with his circumstances, Columbus’ “message from God” was dishonest and self-serving.”

Paul was aware that some were using God’s word for their own desires, and so in II Corinthians 2:17 he says, “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit…”  We must realize that at all times we must be on guard not to misrepresent God’s message just to suit our own desires.  You see, the purpose of sharing God’s word and His truths with those around us is to profit others, not to prosper ourselves.  So be very careful the next time you are tempted to twist God’s word so that it fits into what you want.

In Christ,


Laboring For Him

As we finish up a series here at church on lessons learned on the farm, I stumbled across this devotion from a copy of Our Daily Bread.  And since this weekend is also Labor Day weekend, I found it only fitting that I should share it with you.  Here was the short devotional:

“Chinese proverbs are common and often have stories behind them.  The proverb, “pulling up a crop to help it grow” is about an impatient man in the Song Dynasty.  He was eager to see his rice seedlings grow quickly.  So he thought of a solution.  He would pull up each plant a few inches.  After a day of tedious work, the man surveyed his paddy field.  He was happy that his crop seemed to have “grown” taller.  But his joy was short-lived.  The next day, the plants had begun to wither because their roots were no longer deep.

In II Timothy 2:6, the apostle Paul compares the work of being a minister of the gospel to that of a farmer.  He wrote to encourage Timothy that, like farming, making disciples can be continuous, hard labor.  You plow, you sow, you wait, you pray.  You desire to see the fruits of your labor quickly, but growth takes time.  And as the Chinese proverb so aptly illustrates, any effort to hurry the process won’t be helpful.  Commentator William Hendriksen states, “If Timothy . . . exerts himself to the full in the performance of his God-given spiritual task, he . . . will see in the lives of others . . . the beginnings of those glorious fruits that are mentioned in Galatians 5:22, 23.”  As we labor faithfully, we wait patiently on the Lord, who makes things grow.”

What we need to realize, is that we sow the seed, but God produces the harvest.  It can be so easy to labor for the Lord, and feel discouraged when you see little to no results.  Whether that is serving here at the church, ministering to those in need, helping to serve others around you, or just laboring to set a good example in the way that you live, when you see no real measurable growth, it can be downright discouraging.  It can even be easy to decide to just throw in the towel and give up.  After all, what good are you really accomplishing?

But, I have to go back to the first sentence of the last paragraph.  WHAT WE NEED TO REALIZE, IS THAT WE SOW THE SEED, BUT GOD PRODUCES THE HARVEST.  All we can do, is be faithful in laboring for Him.  So, the next time you feel like you aren’t seeing any result, or you think your work for the Lord is not important or not producing anything, remember the words of I Corinthians 15:58, “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

In Christ,