In this strange time our world is going through we are all hoping for something.  Some are just hoping that this period will pass quickly and that life will return to the way it was. Some are hoping they can get through their economic difficulties without losing all they have worked for.  Some are hoping this time will give them an opportunity to change their life. 

Now, today, is an excellent time to hope for life changing experiences. 

Isaiah 40:31 tells us “those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.”  We need strength during this time, but we need His strength every day.  Hope in Him happens when we choose to follow Him through the good times and the rough times.  Hope in Him, lifts life’s burdens

This is definitely something we need to hear and do right now.  If you don’t yet know the LORD, we would encourage you to join our family this Sunday morning at 9:00 or 10:40 a.m. to hear Pastor Ann’s message of hope and how that can carry us to the end.

We will be livestreaming on Facebook and her sermon will be available on YouTube as well, if you are unable to join us in person.

Our Courteous God

Love each other as I have loved you. JOHN 15:12 

Courteous is not a word we often use to describe God. Perhaps that’s because our concept of courtesy is limited to the idea of being polite. The Greek word that is translated “courtesy” in the New Testament, however, comes from two words, one meaning “friend” and the other meaning “the mind.” To be courteous is to think of everyone as a friend—an attitude that God models for us.

When the Israelites were looking for the Promised Land, Moses would go to the tent of meeting where “the LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend” (Exodus 33:11). This tells us that the Creator of the universe wants to be our friend.

When Jesus came, he revealed the courtesy of God in all his relationships. Jesus told the early believers, “I no longer call you servants.…Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John15:15).

You might feel distant from God or unsure of what he thinks of you, yet he calls you a friend. He longs for your relationship with him to thrive. He is ready to be your companion and guide, as a true friend loves to be.

Thought  Think for a few moments about the joy of deep friendship. How would thinking of God as a friend change your attitude toward him?

Dr. Gary Chapman is the beloved best-selling author of The Five Love Languages and Love as a Way of Life.

Our Faithful Father Abraham

Fathers are extremely important to God.  The word father is used 145 times in the NASB version of the Bible.  One hundred forty five times.  One of His first Commandments is to “honor your father…” (Deuteronomy 5:16).  In our culture, we have set aside a special day each year to do this. 

Again and again, our attention is directed toward fathers, their role in our lives, what is expected of them and how we are to treat them.  What may not be so obvious at first glance is that all these references point us to our Heavenly Father. 

In Deuteronomy 6:5, Moses tells us, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”  The only way to truly do this is to make every day of our lives Father’s Day.  We will reap the benefits of His love in amazing ways if we are willing to do this.  That’s His promise to us in the remainder of the verse I quoted above.  It says, “…that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you…” (Deuteronomy 5:16)  

Moses had a great example to follow.  Abraham followed YWHW from his home in Ur (near Babylon if you look on a map) across to modern Israel and down into Egypt before he returned to the land God promised to his offspring (Israel).  Now the interesting part of this story is that during all this following where God led him, Abraham had no children.

God didn’t bless him with lots of children.  He gave him 2 sons in his old age.  The Bible tells us that Ishmael was born 13 years before Isaac and that Sarah was 90 when she bore Isaac.

Abraham’s faith in God was passed to his son Isaac who became the father of the Israelites.  Ishmael fathered other peoples of the middle east. 

Abraham stands as testimony to all fathers everywhere.  His steadfast faith in God’s promise in Genesis 12:2 “I will make you a great nation” resulted in the founding of the Israelite line.  In Genesis 12:3 he was told that “in you all families of the earth will be blessed” and so we have been through the birth, life and death of Abraham’s descendant, Jesus.

As the verses in Deuteronomy indicate, when fathers’ follow Our Lord they are able to lead their own children in God’s path, “that [their] days may be prolonged and that it may go well with [them].” 

Please join us Sunday morning at 9 or 10:40 a.m.  Pastor Ann will be bringing fathers a special message this weekend that will enrich families. 

We will be livestreaming on FB at approx. 11:00 a.m. and will have video posted to YouTube as soon as possible (for those of us who don’t do facebook). 


“Those who are wise will take all this to heart; they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord.” —Psalm 107:43

Every family has a unique history. The act of remembering this history has a distinctive way of leading family members into deeper places of intimacy as a collective whole.

Several weeks ago, I spent time in my hometown of Mandan, North Dakota, doing this very thing with my family. Together, we sat by my parent’s fireplace and passed around lively stories filled with laughter and surprise. We blew the dust from old memories which were seemingly forgotten. We even dared to step into the dark corners and carefully recalled tender stories filled with tension, trauma, and grief. This act of familial remembrance caused us to lean in closer, listen more carefully, and ask more curiously.

It made us acutely aware of major themes and minute details. In doing so, we became more attentive to each other. As we basked in stories that were filled with goodness as well as heartache, I realized I was standing on holy ground. In that moment, the members of my family knew one another in new ways based on our shared experiences together. Even more sacred was the way in which we witnessed the shimmering threads of God’s faithfulness woven throughout our entire family history. I am led to worship even now as I reflect on this moment.

You see, the kind of remembrance exemplified in Psalm 107 has the potential to lead us to deeper places of intimacy not only with ourselves and others, but ultimately with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Your memory of God’s presence in your history, both personal as well as in the collective Body of Christ, is meant to sustain you and propel you forward into deeper and more intimate spaces of faith. In other words, your faith and intimacy grow as you practice a rhythm of daily remembrance.

As you remember where you have been and how God has moved on your behalf, you will undoubtedly come across moments of tension and pain mixed together with moments where God’s steadfast love and blessing are easy to identify. If you desire to be honest with yourself and with God, I encourage you to not only recall the moments of goodness but also recall the moments when you felt abandoned.1 Remember the tender seasons when you felt as though your prayers went unanswered as well as the seasons you felt blessed. Sit with the Holy Spirit and ask Him to reveal His presence to you and to renew your perspectives on both of these realities. As you stand on this holy ground, perhaps you will be led to lean in closer, listen more carefully, and ask more curiously.

Prayer for the week: Father, as we take a posture of remembrance, lead us into a deeper space of intimacy, healing, and worship with You that we have not yet experienced. We love You. Amen.

Sarah Fredricks is Associate Pastor at Living Hope Church of the Nazarene in Olathe, Kansas, USA.

[1] Dan Allender, The Healing Path (Colorado Springs: Waterbrook Press, 1999), 115.

Written for Coffee Break


Holy is a word that has fallen out of use in our society.  Well, except for the occasional “holy-moly” “holy cow” or something along those lines.  So most of us don’t give much thought to what it would mean to be Holy.

According to Christianity.com editorial staff, “Time, space, objects and people – all can become holy if they belong to God.”  This is because God is Holy.   Holiness comes from God.  It is a gift from Him to us. 

Holiness requires us to step away from our sins and onto His path.  This sounds impossible, improbable, difficult, threatening, and completely foreign to much of our culture’s current beliefs.  In Leviticus 19:2 God told Moses and the people of Israel that “You must be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.”  He was setting them apart and He continues to set people apart today.

It is God’s desire to have a relationship with us.  We need to consider the seriousness of entering into this relationship with God.  Jesus has provided a doorway, but we need to realize that not everything can be carried through that door.  If we are hanging on to our sins because we like them or feel like they are no big deal, we won’t be going through Jesus’ door.  We won’t become holy. 

To become holy we must open our eyes to see our sins, then open our hands and release our sins. To be holy with God means to be wholly with God.  There is no middle road.

Please join us Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. or 10:40 a.m. in the Sanctuary at 964 W. Hwy 190 to hear Pastor Ann give us this rich message from the LORD.  We will be on Facebook live-stream at 11:00 a.m. or you can watch her message later on YouTube.