Greeley Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Worshiping Jesus. Growing in Jesus. Sharing Jesus.

Pastor's Blog
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April 17, 2018
Praying Believers Should Encircle the World -
Men ought always to pray, and not to faint. Luke 18:1.
Let our brethren and sisters remember that we are living on the verge of the eternal world. The cases of all are being tried in the heavenly courts, and it is high time to put away sin, and to work earnestly to save as many as possible.
 
Among God's people there should be, at this time, frequent seasons of sincere, earnest prayer. The mind should constantly be in a prayerful attitude. In the home and in the church, let earnest prayers be offered in behalf of those who have given themselves to the preaching of the Word. Let believers pray as did the disciples after the ascension of Christ.
 
The members of our churches need to be converted, to become more spiritual-minded. A chain of earnest, praying believers should encircle the world. Let all pray in humility. A few neighbors may meet together to pray for the Holy Spirit. Let those who cannot leave home gather in their children, and unite in learning to pray together. They may claim the promise of the Saviour, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20)....
 
In response to the prayers of God's people, angels are sent with heavenly blessings. The Lord desires us to be far more successful in our missionary efforts. Through daily prayer and consecration all may so relate themselves to their heavenly Father that He can bestow upon them rich blessings.
 
Especially do those young in the faith need to be wide awake, and on their guard against the strategies of Satan. They must adhere steadfastly to an unwavering faith in the great atoning sacrifice. They need not continue in sin. Through prayer they may receive grace that will enable them to overcome....
 
How much more might have been accomplished had the time spent by God's people in faultfinding been spent in encouraging one another, and in active service! How much better for voices to blend in prayer, in holy unison, than to be employed in finding fault!—The Review and Herald, January 3, 1907.
 
The greatest victories to the church of Christ or to the individual Christian are not those that are gained by talent or education, by wealth or the favor of men. They are those victories that are gained in the audience chamber with God, when earnest, agonizing faith lays hold upon the mighty arm of power.—Patriarchs and Prophets, 203.
 
What we want most is...heart power, prayer to God in faith for His converting power.... It is not brain power or purse power, but heart power, that the people need now.—Letter 20, 1890


April 10, 2018
The Deliverer -
I was doing a Bible study with a brother this afternoon and had a thought come to my mind concerning the gospel.  We often confuse love with, enabling.  What I mean by that is that often times we allow or enable somebody along in bad behavior or poor ongoing choices by not removing from them the circumstances or availability to their bad choices and behavior.  Often it is said, “I love them too much to put them through that”, or “I love them too much to put them through something that would be so difficult for them to go through”.
 
It struck me today that Jesus did the opposite for us.  In going to the cross and dying in our place He did not enable us.  He didn’t make a way for us to continue on in our weaknesses and struggles, but instead He delivered us from them.  He set us free.  He empowered us to overcome them.  Through His dying in the flesh He has given us the ability and strength to die to the flesh as well. 
 
What a blessing! Christ loved us so much that He took care of the sin problem.  It may be difficult for us to go through the process of finding victory, but if we continue on in faith, victory is surely ours.  He didn’t just say, “I’ll die so they have forgiveness for their sins.”  No, instead He gave us forgiveness through His death as well as victory through His life and resurrection from that death, so that we can be completely free from those weaknesses, bad habits, and sin.  Praise the Lord!



April 2, 2018
Manasseh -
We find hope in the story of King Manasseh of Judah.  He became King at the age of 12 and reigned for 55 years.  He did evil in the sight of the Lord; namely by rebuilding the high places that his father Hezekiah had broken down, making altars for Baal, as well as carving wooden images and worshiping and serving all of the hosts of heaven.  He even sacrificed his son to a false god and practiced soothsaying, witchcraft, and consulted spiritists and mediums.  It was said that during his reign his people practiced more evil then the surrounding nations that God had destroyed before them.
 
Because of all his evil God sent him and his people warnings which were continually ignored.  Eventually, God brought a judgement upon him having him led away captive by the king of Assyria by hooks in his nose and bronze fetters.
 
Through all of this, Manasseh cried out to God and repented.  When did this exactly take place in his life? We are not told exactly, but it seems that it was fairly late in his reign.  The amazing thing is, is that God accepted his repentance and restored him back to his rule.  You can read about all these things in 2 Kings 21:1-18 and 2 Chronicles 33:1-20.
 
It never ceases to amaze me how longsuffering and merciful our God is.  The fact that he would accept repentance and even restore a man such as Manasseh back to his former position and honor is irrevocable proof of this.  A man who had led a whole nation in to deep darkness, rebellion, and false worship for many years.  Our God has not changed, He is still ready to forgive and pardon those who seek Him in sincerity of heart.  He will do the same for our family members and friends who have lived a life of sin and degradation, but it is up to us to reveal this awesome truth about our God’s character to them.


March 27, 2018
Prisoners of Hope -
“Christ became the sinless sacrifice for a guilty race, making men prisoners of hope.” FW 117
 
I came across this quote a few weeks ago and it has stuck in my mind ever since.  To me, it is all about changing our way of thinking.  We so often become prisoners of our circumstances, our sins, how others view us, and so many other aspects of life.  Here we have a principle that sets us free from all of these things that so easily imprison us.
 
The truth is that no matter what is going on in your life, no matter how bad things get, no matter what somebody else says or does to you, no matter how much money you have or don’t have, or whatever it might be in your life; you don’t have to be a prisoner to it, but instead you ARE a prisoner of hope.  You see, no matter what is going on Jesus is still your Savior.  He still has set you free and is preparing an eternal home for you. 
 
So, my brother, my sister don’t be a prisoner of these things that are soon to be no more, but instead truly become a prisoner of HOPE. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:30), says our Lord.  These things have no right to hold you prisoner because your freedom has been bought at an infinite price.
 
Pr. Jason Logan


March 19, 2018
God Answers Daniel's Fervent Prayer - 
O Daniel, a man greatly beloved,... for unto thee am I now sent ... for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand ... thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. Daniel 10:11, 12.
 
“I Daniel alone saw the vision.... And there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption” (Daniel 10:7, 8).... All who are truly sanctified will have a similar experience. The clearer their views of the greatness, glory, and perfection of Christ, the more vividly will they see their own weakness and imperfection. They will have no disposition to claim a sinless character; that which has appeared right and comely in themselves will, in contrast with Christ's purity and glory, appear only as unworthy and corruptible. It is when men are separated from God, when they have very indistinct views of Christ, that they say, “I am sinless; I am sanctified.”
 
Gabriel now appeared to the prophet, and thus addressed him: “O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee” (verse 11).... What great honor is shown to Daniel by the Majesty of heaven! He comforts His trembling servant and assures him that his prayer has been heard in heaven. In answer to that fervent petition the angel Gabriel was sent to affect the heart of the Persian king. The monarch had resisted the impressions of the Spirit of God during the three weeks while Daniel was fasting and praying, but heaven's Prince, the Archangel, Michael, was sent to turn the heart of the stubborn king to take some decided action to answer the prayer of Daniel.
 
“And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb. And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips.... And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my Lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me” (verse 15-19).
So great was the divine glory revealed to Daniel that he could not endure the sight. Then the messenger of heaven veiled the brightness of his presence and appeared to the prophet as “one like the similitude of the sons of men” (verse 16). By his divine power he strengthened this man of integrity and of faith, to hear the message sent to him from God.
 
Daniel was a devoted servant of the Most High. His long life was filled up with noble deeds of service for his Master. His purity of character and unwavering fidelity are equaled only by his humility of heart and his contrition before God. We repeat, the life of Daniel is an inspired illustration of true sanctification.—The Sanctified Life, 50-52.


March 13, 2018
Pilgrims -
I remember a time when I was young and carefree.  I was married and had three little kids running around and life was pretty great.  We had a house, we had a job, we had a family, and we were pretty happy and content.  One day when I was out with a friend, a friend who was much older and wiser, I confided in her that I wasn’t ready for Jesus to come back because I was really enjoying life.  I will never forget her response to me.  She said, “Grace, someday you’re going to go through things in your life and it’s going to make you long for your heavenly home.”  Boy was she right, not long afterwards we found out Jason had cancer, and a year and a half later it was back, and then I went through health struggles for a couple of years, and on and on and on, and it hasn’t seemed to stop.  Oh, there are times when things aren’t as tough but something always comes our way. 
 
Do you ever feel like this?  Do you feel like life is a never-ending roller coaster, and sometimes you can’t even come up for air?  There are many reasons why I believe God allows us to go through trials, but I think one main reason is to help us remember this isn’t our home.  God wants us to desire our heavenly home with Him, and if we get too comfortable here, we won’t want to go home with Him nearly as bad. 
 
Hebrews 11:16 says, “But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.”  Philippians 3:20 says, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ”
 
When things get tough here please remember that Jesus is “preparing a place for you.”  And if He goes and prepares a place for you, He will come again and receive you unto Himself so that where He is there you may be also.  You can read about it in John 14. 
 
I hope that none of us forget, no matter if life is easy at the moment or hard, where our true home is.
 
Grace


March 6, 2018
Forbearance Under Wrong - "We cannot afford to let our spirits chafe over any real or supposed wrong done to ourselves. Self is the enemy we most need to fear. No form of vice has a more baleful effect upon the character than has human passion not under the control of the Holy Spirit. No other victory we can gain will be so precious as the victory gained over self." {HDL 25.1}
"We should not allow our feelings to be easily wounded. We are to live, not to guard our feelings or our reputation, but to save souls. As we become interested in the salvation of souls we cease to mind the little differences that so often arise in our association with one another. Whatever others may think of us or do to us, it need not disturb our oneness with Christ, the fellowship of the Spirit. 'What glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.' 1 Peter 2:20" {HDL 26.1}
 
"We are prone to look to our fellow men for sympathy and uplifting, instead of looking to Jesus. In His mercy and faithfulness God often permits those in whom we place confidence to fail us, in order that we may learn the folly of trusting in man and making flesh our arm. Let us trust fully, humbly, unselfishly in God. He knows the sorrows that we feel to the depths of our being, but which we cannot express. When all things seem dark and unexplainable, remember the words of Christ, 'What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.' John 13:7" {HDL 27.6}
 
"So long as we are in the world, we shall meet with adverse influences. There will be provocations to test the temper; and it is by meeting these in a right spirit that the Christian graces are developed. If Christ dwells in us, we shall be patient, kind, and forbearing, cheerful amid frets and irritations. Day by day and year by year we shall conquer self, and grow into a noble heroism. This is our allotted task; but it cannot be accomplished without help from Jesus, resolute decision, unwavering purpose, continual watchfulness, and unceasing prayer. Each one has a personal battle to fight. Not even God can make our characters noble or our lives useful, unless we become co-workers with Him. Those who decline the struggle lose the strength and joy of victory." {HDL 28.2}
Ellen G. White - Help in Daily Living


February 26, 2018
Judge Righteously -
John 7:24 “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
 
This is an interesting statement by Jesus actually telling us to judge.  The context here is that He is dealing with the Jews concerning a healing that He’d performed at the Pool of Bethesda just a couple chapters earlier in John 5:1-15.  Here he heals a man who had an infirmity for 38 yrs. (v. 5).  It just so happens that this took place on the Sabbath and after healing the man Jesus told him to take up his bed and walk (v. 8, 9). The Jews, seeing this, wanted to get to the bottom of why this man was breaking the Sabbath (v. 10-12).  It was eventually figured out that it was Jesus who told him to pick up his mat and from then on, the Jews persecuted Jesus and sought to kill Him (v. 13-16).
 
This brings us back to our key verse in John 7:24. Jesus here reminds the Jews of the scenario in Jn. 5 and how they were judging Him for making “a man completely well on the Sabbath” (John 7:23).  He also points out in verse 22 that they are completely fine with doing circumcisions on the Sabbath in order to keep the law of Moses.  Jesus is trying to help them to see that their focus is on the letter of the law rather than on actual people.
 
The original intention of the law is love, which Jesus was continually trying to remind His countrymen of.  Unfortunately, the law had become the focus rather than the people in which the law was originally given to protect.  So, in actuality, they were breaking the true intent of the law in their legalistic attempts to keep the letter of the law. 
 
It can be so easy to fall into the same trap today.  We can become so intent on the rules that we sacrifice the needs of those around us.  If this is happening, we probably need to revisit the law and what its true intentions are.  If I get to a point where I can’t see people’s needs, because I’m so focused on “the law”, then I’ve lost the intent of the law which is to reveal love to my fellow neighbor.  May God help us to judge righteously rather than legalistically (by appearance) for ourselves as well as for those around us who might do something that we see as breaking the law.  Let us not jump to conclusions, but instead give our brothers and sisters the benefit of the doubt.  They just might be acting in love toward someone who is in need.


February 20, 2018
Personal Calling Statements -
I was blessed in being able to take part in the “Empowered” seminar we had this past weekend.  It was refreshing to go through the materials and process again.  What was and even greater blessing was hearing all the good experiences so many of you had, being a part of it.
 
It’s a reminder to me that it doesn’t necessarily matter how many times we’ve read, been through, or experienced something; if we go into it with an attitude of learning and looking for a blessing, God will indeed answer that prayer.
 
Many of those who attended have put together a personal calling statement.  Some of those statements might be something that can be incorporated into your respective churches.  Please, feel free to talk to me about how we might be able to help in achieving that goal.  Others may not have been able to get their calling statements completed to what you’re hoping; again, let me know if I might be able to help you in finishing that statement to your liking.
 
It’s exciting to think of all that might be accomplished as a result of all of the personal calling statements that were developed and written over the weekend.  There may be souls in the kingdom as a result of what individuals have experienced and put together.  Please, don’t let those statements fall by the wayside.  Keep developing and fine tuning and praying about them, and most importantly let’s put them into practice to help grow God’s kingdom.


February 14, 2018
Answered Prayers for Gideon -
This past week has been a sobering reminder of how fragile life is.  Many of you have heard that Gideon became quite sick throughout the week last week.  Towards the end of the week he had become unresponsive for the most part and could not really be woken from sleep, he was also struggling with balance anytime he got to his feet.  There were many other symptoms that took place during those four days that became more concerning as the sickness progressed.
 
On Sabbath morning around 10:30 Grace took him into urgent care.  They were quite concerned of meningitis and sent him over to ER for more testing.  They ended up doing some blood work as well as a CT Scan of his head to rule out tumors, MS, as well as other serious conditions.  The CT Scan and blood work all came back normal except for one blood test which was very nonspecific, so it didn’t shed light on any specific answers.  Long story short, we didn’t get a specific diagnosis other than that he was going through some kind of serious viral infection.
 
Many of you had heard that he was sick and had gone in for testing so I wanted to give an update.  Gideon is doing much better and is improving each day.  His confusion and balance have been the symptoms that have lingered the most, but those seem to be slowly improving as well.  He is now awake most of the day and eating some at every meal.
 
I want to thank each and every one of you for your prayers for Gideon and for the rest of our family during this ordeal.  I wanted to share with you that Gideon’s marked improvement started while we were sitting in the ER waiting for results.  That was the first time he’d really been awake in a good 36-40 hours.  He was awake for a couple hours while we were there and to our surprise asked to eat some our food that was brought for us by church members (he had eaten very little for 4-5 days). 
 
I have no doubts that his sudden improvement was a direct result of members from both churches as well as both sides of our family uniting in prayer for him during those few hours.  I know there are so many others who are dealing with major health issues, biopsies, relational struggles, financial struggles, and a list of many other things that are currently going on.  Let’s continue to come together and lift up each other to our merciful God in united prayer.  He is listening and working accordingly.
 
“…He (God) is as willing to listen to the prayer of faith as when He walked visibly among men.  The natural cooperates with the supernatural.  It is a part of God’s plan to grant us, in answer to the prayer of faith, that which He would not bestow did we not thus ask.” GC 525.2


February 6, 2018
Prayer -
We finished up our Ten Days of Prayer on Saturday night, and what a blessing it was to pray together with brothers and sisters in Christ.  Jesus shared an example of persistent prayer in Luke 11:5-8.  In that parable a man has guests show up and he has nothing to share with them to eat.  So, he goes to a friend’s house at midnight to ask for help in the matter.  The friend tells him it’s too late and to go away, but he just keeps knocking and asking.  His friend finally gives in, not because of their friendship, but instead because of his persistence in asking.  The verses that follow go like this (Luke 11:9,10), “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you: seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
 
That’s kind of what the 10 Days of Prayer is all about, being persistent in our requests to God.  We experienced many miracles during this special time of prayer.  We had special anointing’s for several people, I think it ended up being a total of 18 individuals.  Then to end the 10 Days of Prayer we spent a couple hours sharing testimonies of answers to prayers.  Most of the testimonies shared happened during the ten days and there were also a few who shared God’s workings in people’s lives at other times.  I would share some of the testimonies here if space allowed, but instead I’d strongly encourage you to join in the experience next time so that you can experience them in person.
 
Something that keeps coming to the minds of many of us who took part in this special event is, how much are we limiting God by not praying like this all of the time.  If God could do so many things during this short time (and there’s more to come as a result of these 10 Days of Prayer), just think how much more He could do, yea wants to do, if we were praying like this continuously as a church body.  Now, I realize that most of us are praying on a daily basis, but I’m talking about being intentional about prayer as a church body.
 
Something else that became painfully obvious is how many things are going on in people’s lives that we for the most part know nothing about.  God used this time not only to answer prayers, but also to bind the hearts of those who attended together in Christian love.  It starts to make more sense what happened in the “upper room” in Acts 2 when you start to experience it yourself.  While in prayer together, minds tend to come into one accord.  Instead of noticing or focusing on each other’s differences, you start focusing on lifting each other’s needs up before the Lord.


January 30, 2018
Holiness -
In him was life; and the life was the light of men. John 1:4.
 
The ethics inculcated by the gospel acknowledge no standard but the perfection of God's mind, God's will. God requires from His creatures conformity to His will. Imperfection of character is sin, and sin is the transgression of the law. All righteous attributes of character dwell in God as a perfect, harmonious whole. Everyone who receives Christ as his personal Saviour is privileged to possess these attributes. This is the science of holiness.
 
How glorious are the possibilities set before the fallen race! Through His Son, God has revealed the excellency to which man is capable of attaining. Through the merits of Christ, man is lifted from his depraved state, purified, and made more precious than the golden wedge of Ophir. It is possible for him to become a companion of the angels in glory, and to reflect the image of Jesus Christ, shining even in the bright splendor of the eternal throne. It is his privilege to have faith that through the power of Christ he shall be made immortal. Yet how seldom he realizes to what heights he could attain if he would allow God to direct his every step!
 
God permits every human being to exercise his individuality. He desires no one to submerge his mind in the mind of a fellow mortal. Those who desire to be transformed in mind and character are not to look to men, but to the divine Example. God gives the invitation, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” By conversion and transformation, men are to receive the mind of Christ. Every one is to stand before God with an individual faith, an individual experience, knowing for himself that Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. For us to imitate the example of any man—even one whom we might regard as nearly perfect in character—would be to put our trust in a defective human being, one who is unable to impart a jot or tittle of perfection.
 
As our Example, we have One who is all and in all, the chiefest among ten thousand, One whose excellency is beyond comparison. He graciously adapted His life for universal imitation. United in Christ were wealth and poverty; majesty and abasement; unlimited power and meekness and lowliness which in every soul who receives Him will be reflected. In Him, through the qualities and powers of the human mind, the wisdom of the greatest Teacher the world has ever known was revealed.
 
Before the world, God is developing us as living witnesses to what men and women may become through the grace of Christ. — The Signs of the Times, September 3, 1902



January 24, 2018
Christ Acknowledged the Rights of Everyone –
“In every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” Acts 10:35.  The Lord Jesus demands our acknowledgment of the rights of every man. Men's social rights, and their rights as Christians, are to be taken into consideration. All are to be treated with refinement and delicacy, as the sons and daughters of God.
Christianity will make a man a gentleman. Christ was courteous, even to His persecutors; and His true followers will manifest the same spirit. Look at Paul when brought before rulers. His speech before Agrippa is an illustration of true courtesy as well as persuasive eloquence. The gospel does not encourage the formal politeness current with the world, but the courtesy that springs from real kindness of heart.
 
The most careful attention to the outward proprieties of life is not sufficient to shut out all fretfulness, harsh judgment, and unbecoming speech. True refinement will never be revealed so long as self is considered the supreme object. Love must dwell in the heart. A thoroughgoing Christian draws his motives of action from his deep heartlove for the Master. Up through the roots of his affection for Christ springs an unselfish interest in his brethren. Love imparts to its possessor grace, propriety, and comeliness of deportment. It illuminates the countenance and subdues the voice; it refines and elevates the entire being.—Gospel Workers, 123.
 
Some with whom you are brought in contact may be rough and uncourteous, but do not, because of this, be less courteous yourself. He who wishes to preserve his own self-respect must be careful not to wound needlessly the self-respect of others. This rule should be sacredly observed toward the dullest, the most blundering. What God intends to do with these apparently unpromising ones, you do not know. He has in the past accepted persons no more promising or attractive to do a great work for Him. His Spirit, moving upon the heart, has roused every faculty to vigorous action. The Lord saw in these rough, unhewn stones precious material, which would stand the test of storm and heat and pressure.—Gospel Workers, 122.
Be polite to those with whom you come in contact; thus you will be polite to God. Praise Him for His goodness. Thus you are witnesses for Him, and you are preparing for the society of the angels. You are learning in this world how to conduct yourselves in the family of Christ in heaven.—Manuscript 31, 1903
 



January 16, 2018
Here or There? -
A couple of Sabbaths ago when we were at Elm Haven, we were sitting in Sabbath school talking about materialism. Somebody brought up the situation where Esau traded his birthright for lentils and it got my mind to turning. Why did Esau trade his birthright for lentils? Wasn’t his birthright way more important than a bowl of food? In paraphrasing the Bible, it says that Esau was pretty sure he was starving, and if he didn’t get that bowl of stew he was going to die anyways so why not sell his birthright if he was going to be dead (you can read about this in Genesis 25 starting in verse 29). I think the problem with Esau is that his mind was focused on the temporal world and not the heavenly. All he could think about was his stomach, and how he needed food now!
Did you know that we have a birthright? God has chosen us to be adopted into his family. We are sons and daughters of God if we accept His invitation. He says in Ephesians 1:5: “God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.”
I know that I can be a lot like Esau. I’m so focused on this world and my present situations that I forget everything that God has already accomplished on my behalf. I’m in many ways selling my birthright. Matthew 6:19 says: “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will be also.” I can easily forget this verse from day to day. Where is my heart and my desires? Where is yours? What are we selling our birthright for? Are you focused on this present world or our heavenly home?
This world will never give us true peace but, “You, our God, will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is centered on You and who puts his trust in You.” Isaiah 26:3
Grace Logan


January 10, 2018
The Origin Of Sin -
A question that often arises is, “Why did God allow sin to come into existence?”  In other words, why did God create Lucifer if He knew that He would sin? The answer can be found in God’s character.  1 John. 4:8 and 16 tell us, “God is love”.  Love does not exclude someone because that someone does not please him or do everything just according to his desires.  Here is a quote from Desire of Ages that speaks to this: “The exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God’s government; He desires only the service of love; and love cannot be commanded; it cannot be won by force or authority…. The plan for our redemption was not an afterthought, a plan formulated after the fall of Adam. It was a revelation of ‘the mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal.’ Romans 16:25, R. V. It was an unfolding of the principles that from eternal ages have been the foundation of God’s throne. From the beginning, God and Christ knew of the apostasy of Satan, and of the fall of man through the deceptive power of the apostate. God did not ordain that sin should exist, but He foresaw its existence, and made provision to meet the terrible emergency. So great was His love for the world, that He covenanted to give His only-begotten Son, ‘that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ John 3:16.” { DA 22.2}
 
It would be completely selfish of God not to create Lucifer because God knew that sometime in the future Lucifer would displease Him and make things difficult for Him.  If God had done this He would have removed the ability for Lucifer to have free will and therefore would have gone against who He is, love.  Love will never force, coerce, or manipulate another for His own ease or comfort.  Love always allows the one He loves to make their own choices.
 
I praise God for the second part of the quote.  That because God knew the rebellion and fall of man would happen, He put a plan in place to give us the freedom to choose a different path.  Had He not done this, we never would have had the freedom of choice.  We would have been doomed to only be slaves of sin.  Praise God for His foresight and willingness to risk Himself for the sake of those He loves.


January 2, 2018
Awaiting the Blessed Hope -
Happy New Year!
 
In my mind, this past year was a very momentous year concerning signs of the nearness of the return of our Savior.  I think it would be safe to assume that this up and coming year will be the same or possibly even more momentous then the last. 
 
As we enter into this new year I encourage you to deeply and prayerfully consider the counsel we receive from the Apostle Paul in Titus. 2:11-15.  “(11)For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men (12)teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, (13)looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, (14)who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.  (15)Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.”


December 26, 2017
Time is Short -
During this holiday season, we’ve received various Christmas/New Years letters from friends in different parts of the U.S.  I’ve noticed a reoccurring theme.  Many have stated how they believe time is short and that the world is in upheaval, as well as sharing their opinion that the signs of the times are increasing.
 
I have felt this way for 2-3 years now, but my belief keeps intensifying as more time passes.  However, it is one of those topics where you tend to ask yourself the question, is it just me or are others feeling this way as well.  Well, with the letters we’ve received there has been a definite confirmation that, yes, people indeed are feeling this same way.
 
Something I’ve appreciated in particular with a few of the letters is that those writing them have appealed to their readers to seriously consider where their spiritual life is at.  One of them even offered Bible Studies within their letter if there might be somebody who feels they need to know Jesus better. 
 
So, my brother, my sister, where is your spiritual life at?  Is Jesus your all in all?  Is He your best friend?  Are you living your life for Him?  With the new year upon us, now is a great time to recommit yourself to our Savior and to rethink the direction our lives are going.  “For He says: ‘In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)


December 19, 2017
Family Traditions -
Today our family took some time to spend time together doing something that we do every year before Christmas.  We went to a Christmas store to pick out our ornaments for the year.  We’ve done this from the beginning with our kids and it has created a wealth of memories.  Then, every year when we set up our Christmas Tree we get to go through all of those memories together.
 
The kids have always just been able to pick whatever they want within reason.  Grace and I on the other hand, try to always get something that represents major events or experiences that have taken place that year.  This year one of the ornaments Grace and I chose was a Colorado ornament which represents our first Christmas as a family in Colorado.
 
As we think about the past 10-11 months that we have been here, we are already overwhelmed with all of the special memories and friends that have been made.  You folks are a very large part of that.  We want to say a very heart felt thank you to all of you for welcoming us into your lives.  You all have been so kind, loving, and accepting of us as individuals as well as a family.  THANK YOU!
 
We are so looking forward to making many more good memories and building upon the friendships that have already been started.
 
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!



December 13, 2017
Be Still -
A couple weeks ago our family made a trek up to the mountains to select a Christmas tree. We’ve done this every year for as long as we can remember but never in Colorado. It was quite a different experience! We bought our permit, could only go on select dates and only to a very select area of the woods. Not only that but we were up there with hundreds of other people. We’re used to going into the woods when we want, where we want, and never see another soul. If you get stuck you better have brought your shovel, if you get lost you better know which way the sun sets, if you get hurt well it’ll be awhile before help comes. Needless to say I was a bit skeptical about how our experience would be.
 
We chose an area to hike into the woods and saw several people coming out of the area and many others going in. After about a mile of hiking we got past everybody else and found ourselves alone. I sat down on a stump to take a break because hiking through knee deep snow can be tiring. As I sat quietly I could hear the wind blowing through the tree tops, I could see the mountain chickadees in the trees, and could hear them singing to one another. The snow looked like jewels where the sun was hitting each crystal. An enormous feeling of peace filled my soul and I began to cry.
 
As I sat there crying and basking in the feeling that God was so close, this verse came to my mind -- “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10. How many days do I wake up and as soon as my feet hit the floor it’s go, go, go? Too many. God reminded me loudly in that moment that it’s so much easier to hear His voice when we stop and take a moment to listen. In the book of Kings we find a story of when God revealed himself to Elijah. It says, “Then He said, ‘Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.’ And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.”
 
He is speaking to each one of us. Are we listening? I pray that in this busy month of shopping, parties, family, baking, etc., we all take time every day to stop and be still so we can hear that still small voice.
Grace Logan


December 6, 20107
Consider Yourself Warned -
Amos 3:7 “Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.
 
Israel had an ongoing bad habit of disregarding the warnings that God was continuously sending through the prophets.  It’s no different in the book of Amos.  It was a time of wealth, luxury, and a booming economy in Israel.  They’re pictured in Amos chapter 3:12 (NLT) as lazily lounging in their comfortable beds and couches. Just a few verses later, in verse 15, God reveals that He will destroy their winter and summer houses. They truly were in a state like we find in Revelation 3:18, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing”. How much does this remind us of our day and age?
 
God called a prophet to warn, rebuke, and encourage His last day people as well.  Are we taking advantage of God’s special counsel that was given?  Or are we making the same mistakes as God’s people of old?  Are we ignoring the messenger?  The things warned about in Scripture as well as through the last day prophet are upon us.  Let us take heed.


November 28, 2017
The Faithfulness of God -
Grace decided she would go through some old totes filled with papers from our days at The Black Hills School of Evangelism.  Wow, so many memories.  She came to me with a notebook full of written out prayers that I’d written back in 99.  So, I proceeded to read through some of them to see what I was dealing with at the time.  It’s truly amazing to think how many things we’ve experienced since that time, all of our kids, two bouts with cancer, and so many other memories both good and bad.
 
Anyway, what stood out to me after reading those prayers is God’s faithfulness in answering those prayers in my life even though I’d completely forgot that I’d ever prayed them.  Many of the answers have come as a result of terrible and difficult trials while others have come to pass through the daily process of sanctification.  I don’t say that proudly, but only to say that God is faithful.  Many of the prayers were focused on Christian character and spiritual growth and were quite specific in some cases.  When looking back I can see that God through His mercy and patience has taught me many of those things.  However, I have no doubt how much further He wants and needs to take me in all of those same areas.  
 
I have to ask myself the question, why does it surprise me?  After all, it is simply a matter of the Lord fulfilling His promises.  One in particular comes to mind.  “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)


November 23, 2017
HAPPY THANKSGIVING -
Happy Thanksgiving to our Greeley Church family.  We pray that you are blessed tomorrow as you celebrate with your friends and family.  
 
Please take a moment to reflect on the goodness of God and fill your heart with thanksgiving for what He's done for you.  FOR YOU! He says in Isaiah 43:1&4 "....Fear not for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are mine.  Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored and I have loved you."  It's so amazing to us that we are so special to God, and so are you!  He knows each of us by name and sent His son here to die and live for us so that we might be in His kingdom where we will each hear Him call us by our name.  
 
God bless,
 
Pastor Jason & Grace
 


November 14, 2017
Thanksgiving
has always been my favorite holiday. Even as a little boy I remember loving it. It may be partially because every seven years it falls on my birthday and I remember feeling special as a kid that a holiday would sometimes fall on “my” birthday. However, the main reason it’s special to me is because it’s always been a time for family and fellowship. I’ve always loved the fact that family come together and just spent time together while enjoying a bountiful meal. No other distractions, simply food and family.
 
It’s a holiday that seems a little more genuine. Maybe that’s because it’s not as commercialized as other holidays. The focus isn’t on getting gifts or candy, but instead just being thankful for what you already have and taking pleasure in those around you. I believe, in some ways, that this is a lot like how heaven is going to be. Psalms 100 is an excellent psalm to remind us of how much we have to be thankful for.
 
I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!!!


November 8, 2017
Measuring Strength -
This week I was texting with one of my family members who is going through a rough period in her life.  She’s been leaving her family every week to go three hours away to college only to return on the weekends.  As you can imagine, she’s having a hard time.  I know it would be difficult for me to leave my family each and every week.  As we were texting I let her know that she is a strong woman and that she will be even stronger by going through this.  Her response was, “I hope so…”  That got me to thinking, how do we as humans measure strength?  Do we measure it by the way we feel in the moment?  I know that’s how I used to measure my strength and fortitude. But this was my response back to her, “We don’t measure strength by how strong we feel. We measure strength when despite how weak we feel we keep moving and pushing onward and upward.”  This is something I’ve been learning in my life.  Sometimes when we are at our weakest is when we are our strongest, because that’s when it truly takes the most faith to keep going. 
 
Then I got to thinking, how does God measure strength?  This verse came to mind, “Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.  And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-10.   We truly have no strength on our own.  Even when we feel incredibly strong, we’re not.  God is the one who works within us to give us the strength for the day.  That is why we must lean on Him daily.  He says in Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
 
My prayer is that for those of you who feel weak today you will remember that you have all the strength you need from our most gracious Savior who is willing to give to you liberally.  He holds nothing back.  With His help, you can make it through this day.
 
Grace Logan


October 31, 2017
Walk Worthy of God -
1 Thessalonians 2:10, 12 “You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe…that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.”
 
I came across some statements the other day that the enemies of the Waldenses stated about them as a people.  Please understand, these are people who hated them and sought them at all costs to kill, torture, and destroy them.
 
Francis 1, King of France, wanted to know about the people that had such heavy accusations against them and his informers returned with this message. “They were a laborious race of people…they found they were a very peaceable people, beloved by their neighbors—men of good behavior of godly conversation, faithful to their promises, and punctual in paying their debts. That they were charitable people, not permitting any among them to fall in to want. That they were moreover, liberal to strangers and the traveling poor, as far as their ability extended. And that the inhabitants of Provence affirmed, they were a people who could not endure to blaspheme, or name the devil, or swear at all, unless in making some solemn contracts, or in judgment. Finally, that they were well known by this, that if they happened to be cast into any company, where the conversation was lascivious or blasphemous, to the dishonor of God, they instantly withdrew.”
 
During a time of great persecution, a certain monk was sent to show them their errors so there wouldn’t be shedding of blood.  “But the monk returned in confusion, owning that in his whole life he had never known so much the Scriptures, as he had learned during those few days that he had been conversing with the heretics.” Another group of doctors of theology were sent and one of them said something along the lines that he had understood more of the doctrine of salvation from the answers of the little children in their catechisms (spiritual books), then by all the disputations, which he had ever heard.
 
There are many more quotes I could share, but room doesn’t permit.  It’s my prayer that we today could have the same public witness to those around us.  That there would be nothing negative they could say about our behavior, daily life and character.



October 24, 2017
New Season -
Fall is such a beautiful season.  Only God could make beautiful, something such as death.  Of course, what I’m referring to are all of the wonderful fall colors in the leaves which are dying.  Then when the death of those same leaves is complete, what’s left is a bare tree.  Bareness, if you really think about it is kind of bleak.  There is just nothing there. 
 
What do we have to compare this to spiritually speaking?  “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints” Ps. 116.15.  To God the death of a believer is beautiful.  Why?  Because, they now are safely awaiting the resurrection, no more to be tempted and hurt.  Most importantly they are safe in His salvation.  However, those of us left behind tend to focus more on the emptiness and the bleakness when they are gone.  I’m so thankful that we can trust our God.  If it is beautiful to Him, then we can be sure that we can be content on behalf of our loved ones.


October 17, 2017
Christ Our Peace -
There is so much turmoil in our world.  People are suffering so much loss both here and abroad.  It seems there are so many natural disasters now that you can expect there to be a new one when you look at the headlines for each new day.  We are definitely living in a time when “men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming upon the earth…” Luke 21:26.  People realize that things aren’t right, and they try to explain what’s happening in many various ways. But the fact of the matter is “…that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs…eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption…” Romans 8:22, 23.
 
I’m so thankful for Jesus Christ, “for He Himself is our peace…” Ephesians  2:14.  In Him, we can have the, “…peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,” which “will guard your hearts and minds…” Philippians 4:7.  Those same hearts that are failing others from fear are guarded for those who have faith in the Son of God.  Why?  Because, “we love Him because He first loved us”, and “perfect love casts out fear…” 1 John 4:19, 18.  If you’ve come to Jesus and have seen what He has done for you, you come to realize you truly have nothing to fear.  After all, “If God is for us, who can be against us…” and what “shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword… death nor life, or angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31,35,38,39.  So, what do we have to fear?

October 10, 2017
First Snow -
One of my favorite things in nature is the first snow of the cold season.  It gives you that nostalgic feeling that the holidays are soon upon us.  It’s a reminder of how important it is to sometimes just hunker down, cuddle, and spend time with your family.  It’s at these times that we (my family) love to sit down together and reminisce of past years, past experiences, and funny stories.
 
There’s just something about that silent stillness that a snow with large snowflakes brings.  It’s so peaceful.  It reminds me of Psalms 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God…” Life in this world can become so chaotic sometimes.  Especially over the past couple months.  There has been so much destruction, pain, and heartache both from nature as well as from human choices.  Those snowstorms of silence have a way of pulling you out of the chaos even if it is only briefly.  It’s too bad that first snowstorms are almost always very short lived and then it’s back to normalcy.  However, I’m always thankful for the reminder that wonderful times are shortly ahead.

October 3, 2017
Philippians 1:6 - Praise God for what He has been doing through the preaching of the Word throughout the “Unveiling Revelation” evangelistic seminar.  God is entrusting us with many precious souls.  May we be a constant support and encouragement to all of these wonderful people.
 
Philippians 1:6 tells us that we can be “…confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;”.  Let us remember that this principle holds true with all of our friends that have been hearing for the first time the truths that we all hold dear.  God will guide them and lead them through various trials as they struggle to incorporate all of these truths in their lives.  We must be careful not to press upon them where we think they should be in their spiritual journey.  After all, every different type of seed in the natural world requires various amounts of water, time, and temperatures in order to germinate and grow healthily.  The same is true with spiritual seeds.
 
Where we usually get in trouble is when we put our expectations on others.  In doing so we set them up for failure and ourselves up for disappointment. Thankfully, God knows just how much pressure to apply and at the same time He supplies the power to accomplish what He places before them.  May God grant us all the wisdom we need as we mentor and befriend all of these beautiful people that He has brought into our midst.


September 28, 2017
Whole Armor of God -
There is a life changing principle within the texts of Ephesians 6:10-20, which talks about the armor of God.  When we understand this principle and learn how to truly live it out in our lives our lives. we are never the same again.  The purpose of the armor of God is so that we can stand up against, overcome, and see through the schemes of the devil (v. 11).  You can study through the armor and find that it’s of the upmost importance that we continually put all of the armor on.
 
However, the principle I want to specifically focus on is found in verse 12 which says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” The principle that I don’t wrestle against flesh and blood is so freeing.  It means that when someone or a group of people say or do something to me that seems to be mean, offensive, or a personal attack I don’t have to react because my battle is not against that individual or individuals.  I can know that Satan is trying to get me to react in the flesh, but I know that it’s a spiritual battle.  A battle that I can prayerfully turn over to God to guide me through by way of the Holy Spirit, and brothers and sisters, He will give you a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13).
 
How does this principle work?  Please read carefully Romans 6:3-14.  It’s quite simple! If self is dead how can self react or be defensive of self?  If I have to rise up and defend myself, it means I’m allowing the old man/woman to come back to life.  We have to constantly be pushing self back into the grave of baptism.  Paul said “I die daily (1 Corinthians 15:31, also see Galatians 2:20).  How was it that Christ and so many of the martyrs, while they were being so horribly mistreated, could pray specifically for those injuring them and for God not to hold that specific sin against them?  Self was dead. Their focus was on spiritual things rather then on the flesh.
 
Of course, there is the other side of this as well. If we’re dead to self, we are not going to say hurtful and offensive things to each other either.  Imagine if all of us, all of God’s people, were able to apply this principle on a continuous basis in our daily lives.  How different would our churches be?  


September 19, 2017
Worm Story -
A few weeks ago Gideon opened the fridge and he said that it was probably time to get rid of the worms that we had in there for fishing.  I told him to go throw them in the garbage so he went outside and threw away one package that was obviously a lost cause but came back in with the other container.  He showed me the worms and said they were still alive so I said he might want to go throw them in the flower garden.  He did as I suggested and then came back inside and started on his school work, but awhile later I couldn't find him.  I called for him upstairs and called for him downstairs but he didn't answer.  I figured he was outside somewhere and didn't investigate...until 45 minutes later when he still hadn't made an appearance.  I went out front and found him leaning over the flower garden with a stick.  I inquired as to what he was doing and he said he was helping the worms survive by making holes in the dirt really deep down and putting their heads or butts into them (because you can't tell on a worm) so they could burrow in.  They were all 10 trying to make their way down the same hole so he was just helping them on their journey.  He took a lot of time and put extra loving care into the project.

Fast forward an hour.  We're sitting at the table and Afton comes inside holding a jar and says in an incredibly excited voice, "Gideon, look at all the worms I found outside in the dirt.  They're so big.  I can't believe it." She had "rescued" every single one of those worms that Gideon had so painstakingly released into the wild.  Needless to say we had her put them back and I think the worms probably survived.


September 12, 2017
Today Is the Day of Salvation -
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the text in 2 Corinthians 6:2, which is quoting from Isaiah 49:8 “For He says: ‘In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”  In the last twenty days or so, many things have taken place; Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, scores of forest fires all over the western states, an 8.1 earthquake near Mexico City, as well as other disasters.  Locally, we lost a dear brother in Ben Gillham, another church member lost his father a couple weeks ago, and the list seems to go on and on.  Just this morning on my way to chapel at Adventist Christian School, I came upon an accident with a small sedan sitting underneath a truck with its rear tire almost sitting in its windshield.  Do you think the folks involved in that accident had any clue that, that is what tomorrow had in store for them yesterday?  The fact of the matter is none of us know what will happen tomorrow.  We have plans and schedules that we expect to be played out, but when it comes down to it we have absolutely no control over what will actually take place.  Truly, today is the day of salvation.
 
Why as humans do we put the most important things off to take care of in the future.  In the previous verse (2 Corinthians 6:1) Paul pleads with his readers “not to receive the grace of God in vain.”  We must take seriously our salvation in the here and now.  We can’t wait for another more convenient time.  In the book of Hebrews chapter 3, we find Paul again exhorting us to act today, in verses 7 through 15.  In verse 13 he tells us to, “exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”  The longer we toy with sin and put off giving it over to the Lord, the more we become enslaved and deceived by it, and the harder it is to submit it to God. “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.” (Hebrews 4:11) 


September 3, 2017
A Hedge of Safety - 
Our whole back yard is fenced with a gate on the side of the garage.  We often leave our dogs outside when were out and about.  Well one of the dogs has decided that she’s some kind of escape artist.  It seems no matter what we do to block things off she finds a way to move things around or dig around things so that she can be outside the fence.  She has no idea that the fence is there for her protection.  I finally took the time today to do the project of pouring a cement slab underneath the gate so that she can no longer find a way to dig herself out.
 
This reminds me of the hedge God has around us for our protection (Job 1:10).  Sometimes we’re just not happy being hedged in and we do anything we can to get outside of that protective wall.  All the while, not realizing God has put it there to protect us from what’s outside.  Without fail, when we do break out from His protection we end up getting hurt or hurting someone else.  I pray God would help me to be content staying within His protective hedge that He has put around me.


August 29, 2017
Harmless as Doves - In Matthew 10:16 Jesus says, “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves.  Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”  In today’s political climate I believe we have to be especially vigilant to apply the principles of this verse in our everyday lives.  When looking at the news or social media concerning politics it seems to be all filled with hate and vitriol.  We must be very careful to not get sucked into the same spirit that is running so rampantly throughout our nation right now.  It is so easy to get pulled into an argument or sharing (pushing might be a more fitting word) our opinion on politics.  Often we do these things without thinking things through or realizing that it’s going public for everyone to see.  My experience is that communicating in these ways usually doesn’t bring people together but instead causes greater division and greater feelings of bitterness, disappointment, or even hatred.
 
It seems like this is presently Satan’s playground and he is ripping apart our nation, our communities, relationships, families, and even marriages through our political stances.  Do we, as Christians really want to willingly jump in and take part in things that are causing so much division?  We live in a time where people need support, encouragement, and love more then any other time I’ve seen in my lifetime here in America.  We as Christians must measure our words and actions, whether they are in person or through social media.  What spirit am I writing or saying it in?  Is it in a spirit of love and affection to strengthen and encourage my brother or sister on their way?  There is a time and a place to speak out, but even then it should be done very prayerfully and in meekness and humility.
 
Something we often don’t realize is that even within our church (Seventh-day Adventist) here in the United States, roughly half of my fellow brothers and sisters disagree with me politically.  That may come as a surprise to some, but whether you are a democrat or a republican almost 50% stand on the other side of the aisle concerning their political ties.  We often make the mistake of assuming that everyone around me at my local church is in agreement with me on the issues.  The odds are that’s probably not the case.  Paul told the Philippians, “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among who you shine as lights in the world,” (Phil. 2:14,15).  May God help us to be blameless in our communications and interactions so that we might be lights in this ever increasing dark world.


August 22, 2017
Eclipse of 2017 - 
This past weekend we happened to be in northern Wyoming for the baptism of my sister-in-law in Sheridan.  We thought we’d take advantage of that and stop at Mills Spring Ranch just outside of Casper to take in the eclipse in its totality.
 
It was an amazing weekend.  The baptism was a wonderful baptism and another decision was made for baptism as well.  You have to understand that we have been sharing the truths we hold dear with Tara (Grace’s younger sister) for about 18 years.  To see her make this decision and to take a stand for things such as the Sabbath is very heart warming for us and above that, seeing the changes that have been happening in her life over the past year has just been amazing.  There is truly nothing like watching someone giving their life fully to Christ.
 
The eclipse was awesome! I don’t use that word lightly, but because our God is awesome and He put all of it into motion thousands of years ago I believe the word is very fitting.  It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen in my life.   We saw a few stars come out during its totality and we were surrounded by somewhat of a sunset that was 360 degrees around us.  It was truly breathtaking.  We were down in a meadow overlooking Casper with people dotted all around us.  When the sun went completely behind the moon you could hear the volume of people all around us as well as within our group automatically go into cheering.  Some broke into tears and all into praise of some sort.
 
The eclipse is such a testament to there being a Creator, a Master designer.  You see, the sun is just over 400 times the size of the moon, but it is also about 400 times as far away from the earth as the moon.  Put another way, estimates are that 65,000,000 – 75,000,000 moons could fit into the sun.  Yet, the moon and the sun appear to be the same size in our sky.  Earth is the only known planet to have solar eclipses.  The odds of this happening by happen chance are infinitely small.  God has everything right where He wants it. 
 
It was a wonderfully beautiful thing to experience and was a reminder of how great and awesome our God truly is!


August 8, 2017
Ezekiel 20 - 
In this chapter we again hear God telling the leaders of Israel that He will no longer listen to there inquiries toward Him (v.3).  Why? because of their hypocrisy.  He follows in verses 5-29 by giving a historical breakdown of Israel and their continual refusal to live according to the covenant they had made with Him, showing them how they have always continued on in their abominations and idolatry.  Yet, God has always been longsuffering toward them.  Now, however, He states that He is done listening.  In verses 30-32 God asks them the direct question, “are you continuing on in the sins of your father’s”?  He knows that they are, so He tells them He will not hear them.
 
God, as always, does not leave them with a hopeless message.  He reveals to them in the rest of the chapter how He’ll restore Israel to purity through His judgments.  He will remove all of those who practice evil.  He’ll cause them to realize how defiled they’ve become.
 
There are a couple verses in this chapter that jump out at us as Sabbath keepers.  They are almost a repeat of each other.  These verses are verses 12 and 20.  Both verses refer them back to “My Sabbaths” and that they are “a sign between Me and you”.  In verse 12 He says, “that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them.” God is here reminding Israel that He gave them a Sabbath that they might always remember their God and what He has done for them, that He is the one Who sanctifies them and provides for their every need, and that they can rest in Him.  Also, that they are His special, peculiar people.  The Sabbath was a sign to symbolize just that.
 
We still today have that special sign between us and our God.  It is a weekly reminder of our great Creator and that we can do nothing of ourselves.  He is the one who sanctifies us.  He is the one Who has set us apart to be His peculiar people.  You see, Israel was a nation who supposedly followed the God Jehovah, but in verse 32 God makes this statement about them, “What you have in your mind shall never be, when you say, ‘We will be like the Gentiles, like the families in other countries, serving wood and stone.’”  We have to ask ourselves this same question, do we proclaim the name of God yet choose to still live like everyone around us?  Do we still do the things that unbelievers do?  Or do we observe the Sabbath for the right reasons, because God has called us out to be His special people who do not conform to the things around us and therefore keep the Sabbath as a sign of our gratefulness and commitment to Him, a sign that we know that He is the Lord our God.

July 29, 2017
Ezekiel 18 -
Here God refutes a popular saying in Israel of that day, “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children’s teeth are set on edge”(v. 2).  Apparently they believed that the children were to receive the punishment according to the sins of their fathers.  God tells us in verses 3-18 that this will definitely not be the case.  Instead, each individual will receive punishment according to their righteous acts or their evil acts.  It has nothing to do with what their parents do, or the opposite, what their children do. 
 
He goes on to tell us in verses 21 and 22 that, “… if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live: he shall not die.”  This is just another way of saying that when an individual is converted and that individuals life is changed by the in-working power of God, God covers or forgets all of their past sins and wickedness. Wonderful news indeed!  However, in verse 24, we find that the opposite is also true.  When a righteous person turns from righteousness to wickedness, “All of his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered”.  Friends, we truly are only safe as long as the precious blood of Jesus covers us.  This reminds me of Rom. 10:12, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” Hold on a second though, don’t be discouraged.  The very next verse tells us, “… God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
 
God has given us everything we need in order to keep us from falling back into the life that we had prior to coming to Christ.  He also has supplied all of our needs to come to Him in the first place, when we are stuck in a life of wickedness.  Why does God do all of this for us?  The answer is found in the closing verses of this chapter (v’s. 30-32) “… ‘Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin.  Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.  For why should you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of the one who dies,’ says the Lord God. ‘Therefore turn and live!’”

July 25, 2017
Ezekiel 16 - 
Ezekiel 16 is a vivid depiction of God’s love for Israel.  The illustration is poignant with meaning.  I’ve seen and read stories in the news over the years about new born babies being left to their demise in a dumpster, garbage can, or thrown down a laundry chute.  According to God that was the equivalent of Israel’s situation when He initially took them in.  They were left for dead, orphans with no one to care for them.  God took them in, cared for them, and even lavished them with comely gifts.  He made them His own. Not only that but made them His prize possession.  Even to the point of taking them in spiritual marriage.
           
Their response was to go into idolatry and harlotry.  Actually, they were even worse then harlots.  Harlots are paid for their services, but God tells us that Israel was so abominable that they paid others to come in unto them.  It was a continual slap in the face to God.  He tells us that their behavior is even worse then that of Sodom.  For centuries God endured this behavior always trying to show them the dangers of their ways and win them back to purity and a committed relationship to Him.
 
I encourage you to read this chapter this week and to really ponder what God does for His people, for you.  After all, without Him, we all are destitute just as Israel was prior to His taking them in.  Where would you be today without the marvelous results of God’s plan of salvation working in your life? I have not quoted anything this week because I don’t feel it does justice to God’s beautiful illustration displayed in this chapter. It’s a must read to fully appreciate and take in God’s view of His church and His people.

July 18, 2017
Ezekiel 14:12-23 -
This week we continue our study in Ezekiel 14.  Last week we learned about the hidden idols of the hearts of the leaders of Israel and how those cherished idols were continually causing them to sin.
 
As the chapter continues we find a statement made by God in verse 13, that “when a land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it.” God is going to send, “four severe judgments on Jerusalem---the sword, and famine and wild beasts and pestilence”, verse 21.
 
What’s really interesting in the latter part of this chapter is that God very clearly wants us to understand that when His judgments are poured out nobody is going to be saved by somebody else’s faith.  Three times (verses 14, 18, and 20) God mentions that even if Noah, Daniel, and Job are in the land they will only deliver themselves, nobody else.  The same is true in the final judgments that are soon to come upon our world.  Only your faith in Christ will save you.  Not your parents, your spouse, your spiritual mentor, your pastor, or even some great world-renowned evangelist, only your faith.  Do you have an experiential faith in Christ?  Do I?
 
Thankfully, the chapter doesn’t end there.  It ends on a good note, on a wonderful promise.  In verses 22 and 23 we’re told that there will be a remnant “who will come out”, and that Ezekiel will see by “their ways and doings” that God did nothing in vein.  His judgments would bring about great results by refining His remnant people.  May we all allow the trials and challenges God allows in our lives to bring about the beautiful fruits of righteousness in our characters that God intends them to.  May we, by God’s grace, have others look at us and say, praise the Lord when they see our ways and doings.

July 11, 2017
Ezekiel 14:1-11 -
Here we find the elder’s of Israel are coming to Ezekiel (the prophet) for advice. However, God is tired of their hypocrisy.  In verses 3 and 4 we find God calling them out because they have set up their idols in their hearts.  These idols they have set up are continually causing them to stumble and fall into sin.  Yet, they continue to come and seek advice from the prophets.  To put it another way, they are using the prophet as a safety net.  Saying in their hearts, “ we will continue to do what we desire in secret because we can always go to the prophets of God to help us out of our undesirable situations, they will safe us”.  You see these were people who looked righteous.  They were continually coming to the temple to give sacrifices and to say they’re prayers.
 
God tells Ezekiel He’s had enough.  He calls for them to repent in verse 6 and to turn from their evil ways.  Then in verse 7 He tells them that whoever continues in their secret, hypocritical sins will receive the punishment that they deserve. God takes it a step further in verse 9 proclaiming that any prophet who gives advice to these hypocrites will face the same punishment as the evildoer. 
 
Do we do the same thing today as God’s people?  Are we setting up idols of the heart and fulfilling those idolatrous desires throughout the week and then coming in to the church on Sabbath expecting God to bless us anyways?  Are we using God, His church, and the Sabbath as a safety net?  What are our idolatries of the heart, which are causing us to stumble?  God is calling us to repentance just as He called the Israelites to repentance in Ezekiel’s day.  He wants to cleanse and purify us and He pleads with us to put away any idolatry hidden within our hearts.


July 5, 2017
Independence Day

With another Independence Day celebrated I think of how fortunate I am to live in this country.  The country has changed a lot just in my short lifetime, especially since 9/11.  However, it still remains true that we bask in freedoms that most of the world can only dream of.  I pray that I never take it for granted.  It’s kind of like good health, often times we don’t consider our health and how wonderful it is until sickness, injury, or disease comes on and steals it away.  We are truly blessed to have the freedoms to worship openly, own multiple Bibles and spiritual books, and so many other freedoms.  I for one, need to take greater advantage of these freedoms while they’re so accessible to me.
 
Even more then these freedoms though, I’m thankful for the freedoms that can be found in a life in Christ.  Being set free from sin as is mentioned in Rom. 6:18.  Then Paul reminds us that we’ve been set free from the law of sin and death in Rom. 8:2. Ponder that for a minute.  You’re no longer destined for death.  You no longer are a slave to sin as you used to be.  The gift of Christ is so far reaching and so supremely sublime.  Because of everything He has done for me, I again today purpose in my heart to “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do (will) not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” (Gal. 5:1) Of course all of this, can only be accomplished by and through His amazing, unfailing grace.

June 28, 2017
Last week we discussed Ezekiel 8 and the abominations that were taking place in the temple. As a result of these abominations God was having to turn away and leave. This week we find a continuation of the story in chapters 9 & 10.
 
In chapter 9 God sends out a “man clothed with linen, who had a writer’s inkhorn” (V.3), to “put a mark on the foreheads of those who sigh and cry over all the abominations that were done” (V.4). Then he is sent out to kill and destroy all who do not have the mark, or in other words those who are not sighing and crying over the abominations happening among God’s people. In verse 6 God tells him to start the slaying in the temple. Strangely, God Himself is ordering for the temple to be defiled (the temple would be defiled by the killings within it). The man clothed in linen follows through with the Lord’s command.
 
The result is described in chapter 10. The temple is completely defiled both through the abominations and now through the killings. Therefore, God leaves the temple. The worst thing that can happen to God’s people has happened, the Glory has departed. May we always be seeking discernment to sigh and cry against the abominations amongst God’s people so that it may never be said about us individually or corporately “the Glory has departed”. Amen!

June 21, 2017
Ezekiel 8
is a revelation of the abominations of the children of Israel and the effect that those abominations have on God.  In verse 6 God mentions the abominations happening within the temple and says because of those abominations they, “make Me go far away from My sanctuary?” The same remains true today, “19…do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 for you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Cor. 6:19 & 20. When we willingly commit sin or abominations we push God, in the form of the Holy Spirit away from us, just as the Israelites of Ezekiel’s day did.
 
We find in verse 12 of Ezekiel 8 that the abominations first revealed were “in the dark… in the room of his idols”.  In other words in your home, when you are alone in privacy.  Do you have hidden abominations that take place in a room of idols that are hidden from all others? Do you say as they did in this same verse “The Lord does not see us…”?
 
We find as we read on in the chapter (verses 14-16) that the abominations start at home, as we have discussed, then they spread to the temple itself pushing God out of the place He belongs. We must be ever vigilant to keep sin and abominations out of our personal lives and in effect keep them from tainting the larger body of Christ.

June 13, 2017
We’ve been enjoying the flowers at our house for the last several weeks. We’ve got a good amount of roses, some ground cover flowers, some flowering bushes, as well as some hanging baskets. The bright colors some how bring life and energy to the soul. Then you add some of the fragrances along with it and receive even more refreshment.
 
Every flower starts out as a bud. Buds tend to be somewhat colorless and boring. Then the sun connects with them and they open up in beauty releasing their invigorating fragrance. I’ve been blessed to witness this happening spiritually in the life of a young lady who is going into the 8th grade. A few weeks ago she approached me after church with a big smile on her face and told me she had made the decision to be baptized. Then Sunday morning I saw her at the ABC so I talked with her and her mother about a time to start studying in preparation for baptism. Again she had a bright smile on her face as we discussed her baptism. At the end of our discussion I invited them to come to attend the Wildfire series at the Greeley Church. Well, they’ve attended both nights and each night she has excitedly come and shown me the notes that she had taken during the message.. Last night’s message was about the Sabbath so I asked her if she’d ever heard these things before. She told me she had heard a couple of things but had never heard most of it. Then she proceeded to tell me that she was going to go home and study the notes and Scriptures she had written down some more.
 
What a blessing it is to watch a bud transform into a bright bloom releasing sweet fragrance in glory to God. She has turned toward Jesus the son of righteousness causing her spiritual life to bloom just as the flowers bloom when they receive the rays of the sun. Philippians 1:6

June 7, 2017
Ezekiel 2

We’re living in a time when we are going to have to stand up for truth and for what’s right on a more consistent basis.  This is the case within our country and unfortunately sometimes within our church as well.  How can we boldly stand if we don’t first know what we ourselves stand for?
 
I was encouraged recently in my reading and study of Ezekiel chapter 2.  First of all, in verse 6 we find God telling us, “don’t be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, …” God is pointedly stressing here that we have nothing to be afraid of concerning those who are against us.  He specifically mentions the looks they will give you and the words they’ll say to you.  Our humanity often immediately becomes concerned with, “what will they say or think”, but the Lord tells us not to worry or fret about these things.  Secondly, in verse 7 and 8 God tells Ezekiel, “speak My words to them” and “hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you.” Friends we have to know what God is saying to us in order to speak on His behalf. We have to be eating the Bread of Life, so that we can share the bounty with others.  The more a person knows what they believe the more boldly that individual will stand for those beliefs.  However, I can’t stress enough those beliefs must be Scripturally based.
 
Jesus gives us some excellent council in Matt. 10:28, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” It’s all about perspective. What have we to fear when we serve One who has all power and can deliver us from any situation in the here and now, but more importantly can deliver us into eternity in the here after.

May 25, 2017
I’ve recently started going through the book of Ezekiel for my devotions.  It’s a book that immediately stretches your imagination. Chapter one starts off with Ezekiel sharing a vision he was given of God.  If you haven’t read it for a while, I think you’d find it very fascinating how God is described.  It is definitely not the typical picture we get when we think of God and His throne room. 
 
I marvel to think that God is eternally different and more expansive and impressive then our finite minds can go.  After all He is infinite, so how does a finite mind comprehend infinity.  It can almost give you a headache when you really stop to ponder these things, but yet it is so exciting to realize that there is infinitely more to God then what has already been revealed to us.  Imagine with me, we will be able to constantly learn new details about God non-stop for eternity.  That’s every day for hundreds of thousands of years. It’s comical that we sometimes seem to think that we have our Creator and sustainer all figured out.
 
I so look forward to a not to distant time when I can, face to face, learn more about my God from my God; A time when revelations of Jesus will be personally divulged to me.  Oh, the wonder of it all.

May 17, 2017
My family and I have been reading through Ezra and Nehemiah for our family worships.  They are both interesting books that are very applicable for our time.  A people coming out of Babylon to rebuild that, which truly represents God.  I was specifically struck by Nehemiah chapter 3, A seemingly uneventful chapter that lists all those who rebuilt different sections of the wall surrounding Jerusalem.  It’s interesting to me that God saw it necessary to diligently recognize and include all of the names of these individuals who would otherwise never be mentioned.  Individuals who weren’t known for ongoing great accomplishments for the Lord, who would have went down through history unknown.  However, the task they performed faithfully for God opened the door for them to be mentioned amongst the great men and women of God in His Holy Scriptures.  
 
There is one exception in the list in verse 5.  We’re told that, "the Tekoites made repairs; but their nobles did not put their shoulders to the work of their Lord”.  Throughout the whole list all were mentioned in a positive light for the work they did for the Lord, but here is one group whose hearts were not in the work.  I’m so thankful that God takes notice of the faithful work we do for Him and I pray that we can all faithfully put our shoulders to the work of our Lord.

May 17, 2017
Eccl. 8:11 "Because the sentence against and evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” We live in a culture today that is shifting toward the concept that there are no absolutes.  "Your truth is good for you, my truth is good for me.  There is no absolute truth.”  With this mindset we are becoming more and more resolute in our wrongdoing.  If everything is just based on what’s right for each individual then we never have the right to correct a wrong.  Who am I to say that what you are doing is wrong, that is just my opinion.  
 
This line of thinking has unfortunately been creeping it’s way in amongst God’s people as well.  When people are caught in wrongdoing or sin is pointed out to them, their response is often, “stop judging me”.  This is a very dangerous mind set.  It emboldens us in our sinful ways.  If nobody has the right to correct me, I will continue on in my sin with greater boldness just as we’re told in Ecclesiastes.  My heart becomes hardened against the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
 
This doesn’t mean that we should all be looking for and pointing out every fault and shortcoming of our brothers and sisters in Christ.  However, if we see a fellow brother or sister who is living in open sin or habitually living out dangerous tendencies, it is our responsibility to lovingly reach out to them and seek to help them through their struggles.  We must take great care and in prayerful humility and love work for the salvation of our fellow believers.  On another note, we also need to be willing to humbly receive a loving rebuke from our fellow believers.


 
Greeley Seventh-Day Adventist Church
1002 21st Avenue | Greeley, CO 80631-3655