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Marty Kessler | August 4, 2022
In celebration of my wife’s heritage, she has sewn garments for our children like those of her ancestors from Czechoslovakia. Each puffy sleeved blouse or ruffly skirt starts with a pattern, or a set of patterns designed to create all the individual parts of the garment that are eventually sewn together. Those patterns are just pieces of paper you lay on whatever fabric you are using so you can cu...
Marty Kessler | July 29, 2022
Why a picture of a puddle? Because even a little rain in a drought is precious. All living things need water; no exceptions. Around 2,000 years ago, Jesus asked a woman for a drink of water. She was a Samaritan, and was evidently surprised that a Jewish man would even speak to her, much less receive a drink from her hand. Perhaps she was more surprised when he told her that if she knew who he was,...
Steve Harrison | July 23, 2022
“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you…” Philippians 2:12-13 We can’t earn our salvation, God added us to His kingdom when we confessed the name of his Son and were baptized into Christ. “Work out your own salvation” doesn’t mean to find out how to be saved. It means to work your salvation with the abilities , time, health, and wisdom that God has giv...
Titus West | July 15, 2022
It’s 6:30-7am. You open your eyes after getting a great night’s sleep and see the dawn light coming through the blinds. After stretching, you roll over and put your feet on the floor, and you go to make your coffee. As your coffee brews, you look around your home and it’s peaceful. The kids are still sleeping, it’s clean and tidy which invites you to enjoy it. You pour your cup of coffee and step ...
Marty Kessler | July 8, 2022
Ask any experienced aviator, and he will tell you all about the walkaround. Before getting in the cockpit to fly, a pilot will literally walk around his plane inspecting it to make sure it is safe to fly. After all, he is about to trust his life to this machine at high altitudes and high speeds, so reason compels him to make sure everything is as right as it can be. What is he looking for? He...
Marty Kessler | July 3, 2022
It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.” -George Washington, 1st President of the United States “We have staked the whole future of American civilization not on the power of government, far from it. We have staked the whole of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves accor...
Marty Kessler | June 24, 2022
Because I am afraid and insecure when I see the chaos in the world all around me and realize how powerless and vulnerable I really am. My life could change in an instant, and Jesus is the only insurance policy that prepares me for every possible contingency. Because I am guilty of sin, just like you, and have no means of doing anything about it on my own. Jesus willingly hanging on that cross in m...
Marty Kessler | June 17, 2022
Generally speaking, the importance of our mother’s influence is so naturally understood, that it requires no explanation. Appreciation for the profound impact made by our fathers, however, may not be realized at first. Perhaps this is at least partly because mothers connect us to home and hearth where we spend our early years, while fathers tend to be our guides into the world at large after we’ve...
Marty Kessler | June 10, 2022
Moses argued with God about whether he was the man for the job. The job was going back to Egypt, from which he fled as a fugitive, to tell Pharoah to let all of the Israelites go free. It did not sound like a winning proposition to Moses, but if you’ve read Exodus, you know it turned out fantastically. Best not to argue with God. Gideon was not at all sure about being called to lead the fight agai...
Titus West | May 26, 2022
This month our congregation has been focusing on prayer. There has been something selected each day this month to be in prayer about. This Sunday, our focus of prayer is on new Christians. In the last year we have baptized several into Christ from young to old. No matter where one is in their stage of life, if they are capable of understanding, one who believes and wants to follow Christ is baptiz...
Marty Kessler | May 20, 2022
Most encouraging thing about prayer – it works, or rather God works when we pray and Jesus said so (Matthew’s gospel 7:7-11). Easiest thing about prayer – it need not be long. The prayer Jesus used as an example of prayer in the sermon on the mount is only 58 words long in some translations. Most convenient thing about prayer – God is always ready to hear from me as if he were always just right th...
May 13, 2022
How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word” Psalm 119:9 Our prayer for you as you go on your way is that you seek the righteousness of God as Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, knowing, “For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked shall perish”, Psalm 1:6. But the way of the wicked looks like so much fun. It is even called “the fast lane”. But t...
Titus West | May 6, 2022
Mother’s Day. A day when mother’s all over America are celebrated by their children and spouses. Today, I’d like to concentrate on a sub-group of mothers that have neither spouses nor children, the lonely mothers. The mothers that have outlived their family or been abandoned by them. Mothers who have lost children before they had a chance to live their lives. I’d argue that these mothers are the s...
Marty Kessler | April 29, 2022
I will learn to go beyond the cliché – In the process of offering up more frequent and more deliberate prayers, I will come to cease using the shallow, oft repeated words & phrases I tend to use, and really talk to God from my heart (see what Jesus said about this at Matthew 6:7-8). I will Draw closer to God – How can you reveal your greatest concerns and deepest thoughts to someone without gainin...
Titus West | April 22, 2022
Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, th...
Titus West | April 14, 2022
Wednesday, April 6th, 2022, it was reported that the Chicago Zoo placed a special bar along its gorilla cages to keep visitors further from the windows. This is to prevent the visitors from showing their phone screens to the gorillas inside. The zookeepers did this because they noticed the 3 “teenage” gorillas were showing signs of anti-socialism and extreme distractedness. One gorilla was distrac...
Marty Kessler | April 1, 2022
How is Jesus’ church described for us in his book? The Greek word Jesus used that is translated “church” means a called-out assembly (Matthew 16:18 & 18:17) and is called out by his gospel (2nd Thessalonians 2:13-14) His bride (Matthew 9:14-15) His flock or His sheep (John 10:14-16) His holy temple (1st Corinthians 3:16-17) His body (Ephesians 1:22-23) Mount Zion (Hebrews 12:22) City of the Living...
Marty Kessler | March 24, 2022
He told Peter to go catch a fish, knowing that the fish would have a coin in its mouth to pay their taxes. Instead of saying, “Let’s all go down to the lake and see what Peter catches at my word”, he sent Peter by himself (Matthew 17:24-27). His miracles were not about being “showy”. Jesus’ miracles were practical and helpful. How many heart-broken, crippled, blind, deaf, mute, demon-possessed and...
Titus West | March 17, 2022
I’ve heard the Bible verse about God and time mentioned loosely a few times lately. At least enough in our class discussions to have it on my mind. 2 Peter 3:8, “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” This is an interesting description, but what does it mean? For that we need context; let’s continue read...
Marty Kessler | March 10, 2022
Only the acts of four apostles are actually described in the book (Peter, John, James & Paul), but it mostly focuses on Peter’s and Paul’s ministries Barnabas is included as an apostle along with Paul in 14:14, but almost certainly as an apostle (one sent) of the Holy Spirit and of the church in Antioch of Syria (13:1-3). Though his work is a major focal point of Acts, Paul was not even one o...