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Titus West | December 2, 2022
There’s a saying, “No one is too bad to go to church; neither is anyone good enough to stay away.” As I pay attention to what people outside of Christ think about church, it seems that they think the opposite of this saying. They believe they are too bad to go and those who do go will be fine to “skip” whenever they want, so to speak. This frame of thought comes from a misconception about what chu...
Marty Kessler | November 25, 2022
Luke’s gospel records a time when Jesus was approached by ten lepers who asked him to have mercy on them. Jesus told them to go show themselves to the priests. As they left to do so, their leprosy was cleansed. But Luke writes that only one of them returned to give Jesus thanks and glorify God. Hence Jesus’ question, “Were there not ten?” (Luke 17:11-19). Why did it matter to Jesus what these men ...
Jon Arvin | November 18, 2022
Now that I’m officially in the family, what is the first message I want to share with all of my new brothers and sisters in Choctaw? I’m going to “pull a Paul” and take a page out of his books. In nine of his thirteen New Testament writings, Paul begins with a message of thankfulness. If you’ve never noticed this, take a look and see for yourself. “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for al...
Marty Kessler | November 11, 2022
Perhaps it is because what soldiers do parallels what Jesus did in several ways. 1) Soldiers leave behind the comforts of home. So did Jesus: “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of m...
Marty Kessler | November 4, 2022
1st Kings 17 records a time when God sent his prophet Elijah to a Gentile woman of Sidon on the coast of Phoenicia. She was a widow, but God told Elijah that he was sending him to her so that she could provide for him and hide out from wicked king Ahab (18:10). Odd, wouldn’t you think? God had stopped the rain so as to bring a famine on the land (18:2) but sends his prophet to be cared for by a wi...
Marty Kessler | October 28, 2022
I don’t mean what place do you go to pray, but rather where does your prayer take you? The letter to the Hebrews tells us that Jesus is our high priest, and since he is, we can come to God’s throne with confidence (4:14-16). A bit later, however, something is written that would have profound meaning for those who understood worship under the Old Covenant of Moses: “This hope we have as an anchor o...
Titus West | October 21, 2022
If you are ever in any church service and want to suck the air out of the room, bring up modesty. Unfortunately, that word causes intense debate in the Christian community, but it shouldn’t. Modesty is actually a very attractive trait and something all Christians should strive for. So, why is it so controversial to talk about in the church? Because it gets down to the very heart of the individual....
Titus West | October 14, 2022
It’s been said, “If you have nothing for which to be thankful, make up your mind that there’s something wrong with you.” As Christians, we are called to be giving constant thanks to the Lord. I think we have a hard time understanding what it means to give constant thanks. As a people, it’s very easy to focus on all the negatives and trials and sweep the positives under the rug. We constantly focus...
Marty Kessler | October 7, 2022
It is believed that most of the ideas behind the night we now call “Halloween” originated with the Celtic religion of Druidism which flourished for around 300-350 years between the second centuries BC and AD. For the Druids, this night meant that the “lighter” part of the year was coming to an end and the “darker” part was beginning. They further believed that on this night the veil between the li...
Titus West | September 29, 2022
Most people have some sort of streaming service in this period in time and everything out there has ads. Whether it’s coming from our phone or tv while we’re watching movies, shows, listening to music or playing games, very dark content is delivered straight to our minds through ads. This content glorifies Satan, demons, blaspheming of God, torturing people, doing hardcore drugs, having inappropri...
September 23, 2022
Football season is here. The lights. The roar of the crowds. The rivalries and team spirit. The hot dogs and soda pop. It is time to go to the games and support the team. I’ve been going to the games for years. I know that it’s the right thing to do. I know I should, but I’m not going this year. Do you want to know why? I’ll give you 12 good reasons why I am not attending those football games anym...
Marty Kessler | September 15, 2022
I was a little surprised at myself at how sad the news of her parting made me feel. More puzzling, is that I am having a hard time putting it into words as to exactly why losing her saddens me like it does. Already I feel as though we will miss her greatly. Of one thing I am certain, her behavior demanded our respect. She bore the unique burden of royal leadership with such grace and dig...
Marty Kessler | September 9, 2022
The above is a direct quote of Paul’s letter to the churches of Galatia, 6:2. Wow! Helping someone with their troubles fulfills the law of our Lord? Yes, that is what his apostle writes, but how do you bear another’s burden? Following are a few suggestions: Ask how they are doing, then listen to their response. In the process of listening, keep your judgments and advice to yourself. Those with hea...
Marty Kessler | September 2, 2022
Almost out of the blue, a generous family member has offered to take Deb and myself on a tour of Israel! How great is that?!?! Our itinerary will take us to Caesarea, Mt. Carmel, the valley of Megiddo, Capernaum, Caesarea Philippi, Magdala, the Jordan River, the Dead Sea, Masada, Jerusalem, the Pool of Siloam, the Mount of Olives, the Pool of Bethesda and more. A bonus will be that our travels wil...
Titus West | August 25, 2022
The word ‘goodness’ is agathos in Greek and it describes that which, a person being good in character or constitution, will be beneficial in its effect on others. Goodness or the act of being good is looked down on in mainstream society. Goodness is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) yet, goodness is an old-fashioned quality and is now synonymous with being lame. It’s much better to be edgy, pop...
Marty Kessler | August 19, 2022
How will the world know that you are a disciple of Jesus? They will know that you follow Jesus when they see your love for your brothers and sisters in Christ. I believe this because Jesus said: “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” John’s gospel, 13:35 How will the world know that God has sent Jesus to save them? When they see you united with your...
Marty Kessler | August 12, 2022
“He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.” John’s gospel, 12:48 No surprises is what that means. The judge already gave us the book. His book says the “weightier matters of the law” are such things as justice, mercy & faithfulness (Matthew 23:23). You can practice justice by treating others with fairness & h...
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...