Saturday, December 31, 2011

Greetings from Len Harper at South Brandon Worship Center

Greetings Family and Friends of SBWC,
        I woke up this morning with great anticipation and excitement for the New Year 2012! The Holy Spirit is doing a "New thing among us. He is making paths in the wilderness and streams in the desert places!"  Expect a great harvest in your life in 2012 and in our church! As you celebrate the New Year tonight, dedicate your life, your family, and your church to the Lord. Ask the Holy Spirit to "overshadow you" as He did with Mary, and birth great things through you and through our church in 2012!
Start the "New Year" off right by worshiping in the Lord's House on Sunday morning. We will begin a new message series: "Inspire 2012!"
Also, plan to join us on Monday @ 7 pm for our "Inspire 2012" prayer service, as we pray God's blessing for 2012.  Jesus said:"You do not have, because you do not ask . . . ask and it shall be given to you!"

What is "Inspire 2012!" ? We believe the Holy Spirit wants to "Inspire" us as a church family in "2012" to: 

1. "Read the entire Bible in 2012!"  Through daily Bible readings. The Holy Spirit "inspired" men to write it and is now "Inspiring" us to read it!

2. "Share and Prayer!"  Share family devotions after dinner (read 1 or 2 verses & talk about what it means); and then pray for another family (invite them to SBWC).

3. "Worship! Grow! Serve!"  Eliminate excuses for missing Sunday worship (be faithful!); grow closer to God (join a Family Group!); serve others on mission (volunteer!).

As we commit to these 3 challenges, "Inspire 2012!" is going to be a great year for your family and for our church.  Thank you for the joy of being your pastor. I look forward to sharing this New Year . . . "Inspire 2012!" with you!
Pastor Len Harper
South Brandon Worship Center

A Papa Roy Devotional for the New Year

The following came from a friend.  It was written by his spiritual mentor, whom he refers to as Papa Roy.

A Touch of Encouragement
Today, when it comes to setting up circumstances, no mere game can top God.Look among the nations and watch—be utterly astounded!  For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you. (Habakkak  1:5)

 God’s reminder is to watch what he is doing. He is at work even through the seeming injustice. He is not wasting your time even in the pain. Observe the things going on around you. You will be “utterly amazed.” God is doing some unbelievable things. But you’ll have to look up and look out to see them. (R. Moore)

“Be Amazed!”  Have you ever stopped to think about the smallest things in life? Just think… the trees that we see, the air that we breathe, and the ground that we walk on our something we take for granted. Think about what life would have been like without any of these things that I have just mentioned. Look at the world and be amazed. God put all these things for us. Yes, we (humans) may have built the roads for us to drive on, but who gave us the land? God provides us with a strong foundation for us to live the way live today. It's too bad that we seem to forget that regularly. (M. Lee)

December 12/31/11 click on this Song [Mercy Me-I Can Only Imagine]
“In God we trust”, so, “Just watch!” God seems to be saying.  Watch these things work out! Recommended Reading: Habakkuk 1:1-11, Isaiah 45:1-13,

Papa Roy says the purest mark of spiritual maturity is the confident acceptance and assurance that God is in control in all circumstances of one’s life and everyone else’s life as well. We need not understand the whys and wherefores or even the when’s. We need but trust the one who is in control. It’s a waste of time to try to strive for control over what’s in God’s hands. Isaiah makes that clear for us in 45:9. He says, “Woe to him who strives with his maker! Does the clay say to the one who fashions it, what are you doing?”

God of Wonders

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Rizen You've Done So Much/ We Worship You

One of my friends from junior high school posted this on his Facebook wall. I thought it was worth posting here!!

God Alone is a Refuge from Treachery and Oppression

Today I was taking a look at Psalm 62.   At the beginning, there is a note that this is a Psalm of David.  As you read the Psalms, you will see that David, shepherd, musician, warrior, king, went through many struggles.  Despite these struggles, he states that he will put his trust in the Lord.

In verse one, David writes “My soul waits in silence for God only.” Ps.62:1.  This demonstrates that as we struggle, we still must wait on Him.  In waiting on Him, sometimes we must turn off the noise and the distraction so that we can hear where he is leading us.  Remember in Hebrews, He invites us to boldly (or with confidence) come before his throne of grace where we can receive mercy.  Heb. 4:16.  Also, in Hebrews, He promises that he rewards those who diligently seek Him. Heb. 11:6.

In the second part of the same verse, David reminds us that our salvation is from God. When it comes to our souls…eternity…our salvation definitely comes from Him. Ps. 62:1. We repent from following the ways of this world, we turn to Him, who told us to put our trust in His Son.  See, e.g. Matt. 17:5.  Not only do we look to Him for the salvation of our souls, but we look to Him to rescue us in every aspect of our lives.  David faced difficulty when his king, Saul, was trying to kill Him.  David was later challenged when his own son Absalom, stole his throne.  Still, he placed His trust in God.  Not only will God rescue our souls, He will also rescue us in all of our struggles… if we relinquish our pride and trust Him.

Then, in the second verse, David reminds us of God’s nature. See Ps. 62:2.  He is our rock!  He is our salvation! He is our stronghold!  If we stand on our trust in Him we will not be shaken!  If we drop to verse 5, we see the same description, as David reminds us that our hope comes from the Lord.

If any of us is struggling, going through a difficult time, we can certainly look to Psalm 62 for encouragement, and see how despite his oppression, David was willing to put his trust in the Lord.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thoughts About the Meaning of Christmas

Is it possible that this joyous occasion that we call Christmas is really about darkness.   If it was not for darkness, there would have been no need for the Father to send the Son.  Our sins place us in darkness.  Because of our sin, we harm those around us . . . and ourselves.  Because of our sin we are on a path of destruction that would take us into eternal separation from God.  That is a polite reference to hell. We know this is true because the Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death.  Rom. 6:23.

Despite this depressing outlook, God gives us hope.  Although the Christmas story is described in the books of Matthew and Luke, the often quoted scripture from the Gospel of John should not be overlooked.  God has given us an avenue that allows us to turn away from that path of destruction.  “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life.”  Connecting the Christmas story to the Gospel of John, we can look at Isaiah 7:14 which is quoted in Matthew and reads, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and they will call Him Immanuel, which means God is with us.”  Matt. 1:23.  God sent his Son on a rescue operation.  He call us to receive this gift that is eternal life through Jesus his son.

The Father sent this message to Joseph through an angel who said “she will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus…. Joshua….Yeshua, which means the Lord saves because he will save people from their sins,

So this Christmas will you reject him or receive him.  Are you willing to receive the one who came to save this world.  John instructs us that Jesus is the true light.  He reminds us that to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, he gave the right to become children of God.  John 1:12.