The Bible records multiple times each year that God said were called divine appointments (Hebrew MOEDIM) in which he would meet with mankind.
Just like that, preparing for Easter is a time to slow down, set aside time, and ultimately celebrate God's great gift to the whole world ... the risen Savior, Jesus Christ.

The leadership & members of Beach Fellowship are excited to present a series of written devotions for you leading up to the celebration of Easter or Resurrection Sunday. Our purpose is to assist you in quality reflection time with God. These daily readings can help each of us in preparing and enhancing our expectations, while growing in understanding of the risen Savior.

The devotions are as diverse as the many individuals that wrote them ... so enjoy & let the words of God richly impact your journey.

James 4:8 Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.

Pastor Ray Bjorkman
Beach Fellowship

  • Day 01

    Day 01

    Hear my cry O Lord, attend unto my prayer. Psalm 61:1 Lent is a season to connect with God in a renewing way. Fasting is God's gift to us for a breakthrough into God’s presence. Earlier this year, Beach Fellowship conducted an eight day fast. I felt a strong pull to give it a go. Spiritually, I knew deep down I needed renewal and healing. I was praying and reading God's word, but I was not sure I was connecting, and wondering if God was hearing my prayers. For me, it just seemed something else was needed. By the end of the first day I knew I was on the right path. I was hungry, but with every hunger pang I turned toward Jesus. I knew I was connected to Him, and I knew he heard my prayer. My hunger for food became a desire for God and His presence. By day three, the hunger pangs were gone and I was in the zone, God's zone. Physically I felt good, and spiritually my prayers had a new strength, authenticity, and purpose. I felt heard by the loving Creator of the universe. I did not want this closeness to end and to my surprise, I extended my fast just to keep the connection going.

    Lent is a season to focus on the love and sacrifice of Jesus. Fasting helps us to keep the focus on Him. I encourage you to give fasting a try this Lent season. Even if a person fasts one or two meals a day, it will have an amazing impact and will prepare your heart for Easter.

    Joe Johnson

  • Day 02

    Day 02

    "For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable." Romans 11:29

    Do you ever feel that you missed God's full calling on your life? Or if you didn't make that mistake in life, you would be on the path the God wanted you on? Well, if you feel these things, don't believe the lie. Often, the enemy and the world system want you to believe that the "would've, could've and should've" points in your life were the defining moments of your purpose and those moments are forever lost. Be encouraged that God doesn't see it that way and neither should you.

    God sees you as his greatest creation. In fact you are "His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10. The workmanship unique to you is your gifts and callings. That, combined with the promise that these gifts and callings are irrevocable, means nothing can take away the gifts and the calling on your life – Nothing!

    Because you are the workmanship of our Father God, and the gifts and callings on your life are irrevocable - be encouraged that it's not too late to fulfill your purpose! Don't choose to believe any lie that is contrary to the Word of God - You are created for great things, and it's not too late. Make the most of today and "Commit your ways to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass." Psalms 37:5.

    Joshua J. Coe

  • Day 03

    Day 03

    Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence. 1 Peter 3.15-16

    As we excitedly await the arrival of our firstborn child, life has been filled with thoughts of anticipation and acts of preparation. From doctor visits, obtaining baby "supplies," and rearranging our home, we are readying our lives for the expected little one. We examine how our reactions to daily life experiences reveal our readiness (or un-readiness) for the challenges of parenthood and we prepare to love the child that will enter our lives - in the way the Lord has willed her to be. The many outward signs of pregnancy frequently prompt friends and strangers to ask about our expectations - and we respond with joy!

    In the same way, Christ teaches us to keep our hearts ever- prepared for Him. This requires daily "grooming" and growing, taking the time to read and study His word, to pray, seek and meditate on who He is -- His interests, His characteristics. In doing this, we sanctify our hearts. When friends or strangers ask about the hope that is in us, we are called to be ready to justly speak of the one who lives in our hearts. 

    Are we, like expectant mothers do, exhibiting signs of the Holy Spirit's growth within us? How can we purpose ourselves daily to anticipate and prepare our hearts and our lives more for God?

    Peter and Natalie Volsky

  • Day 04

    Day 04

    Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

    When I lived with my parents, we had a dog named Dot (she still lives with them). I call Dot the "perpetual puppy" because even though she's almost seven now, her face and demeanor are still very puppy-like: she's a cute little dog. Dot tries hard to please her people, and quickly looks sorry when she's rebuked for common offenses like barking at the UPS man.

    One summer day I was coming in from outside and quickly climbed the stairs leading up to the door where Dot was waiting for me. As I bounded up the stairs, Dot must have mistook my speed for anger, and tucked her tail and hung her head like she expected to get in trouble. As soon as I saw it I stuck out my hand and in a loving voice said, "It's ok Dot." What would have been a quickly forgotten event became memorable when I sensed the Holy Spirit say to me, "Andrew, sometimes you act like Dot."

    I was struck by the truth that just as Dot misinterpreted me that day, I can easily misunderstand who God is. Too often I may shy away from Him expecting anger, punishment or rejection, but I'm continually amazed by the love, grace and understanding shown to me. As we prepare for this season of Lent, remember the character of our Father in heaven. Don't cower in the corner because you don't feel like you measure up. Draw near to God, His arms are open.

    Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

    Andrew Cross

  • Day 05

    Day 05

    Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the LORD until He comes to rain righteousness on you. Hosea 10:12

    Each January brings with it a time of consecration in many churches. This time is a kind of First Fruits that we give to the Lord, seeking his presence and will for the year ahead. Without fail, the days or weeks of consecration include breakthroughs and imparted wisdom, intimate worship and prayer experiences and a profound sense of rest. The final day of these times of fasting and prayer are often celebratory: we praise God for the revelation of His word and for meeting us in the space that once held food; in the silence created by our unplugged television sets. Many don’t want it to end, but we eat. And life continues.

    I challenge the Christians of Beach Fellowship to walk in a consecrated life. It is an honor to be able to come before the Lord every January, but He has not reserved all of His love and instruction for us just for that time. It is imperative that we continue to seek Him; that we remain consecrated – set apart – for His divine use and revelation. More now than ever we need to soak in His presence.

    The inundation of the world around us now reaches us in a myriad of ways and, as a result, we have severely compromised the time that once was His. When was the last time we put away our phones and sought Him at the water’s edge? How long has it been since we paused pinning inspirational quotes long enough to actually talk to Him? We have the ability to walk in consecration to the Lord. The more we turn away from the entertainments of the world, the better the ground of our heart becomes.

    We may not be seen as trendy as those we encounter, but we are more powerful in the Lord, in a day where His people truly need to pray in everything; to lay hands on the sick and see them healed, to intercede, and to speak His light into the darkness of this fallen world. A life of consecration allows us to remain attentive to the movement and will of God, like soldiers awaiting the direction of their commanding officer. January may be over, but it is still time to seek the Lord. Consecrate yourself to Him today.

    Trey Campbell

  • Day 06

    Day 06

    "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty." (Isaiah 6:5) "But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ." (Ephesians 2:13)

    The struggle I so often face is not with hearing God. It’s hearing the question Satan asked Eve in the Garden: “Did God really say?” This question seems to haunt me every time I’m sure God is calling me to do something. I am not certain that it always comes from the “Enemy” either; I often think it’s from my own flesh. I hear it and question the very thing God just told me. For instance, I see a man sitting by himself in the mall looking very lonely when God places on my heart to go over and speak with the guy. No sooner than when I turn in the direction of this man and begin walking, I hear that nagging question: “Did God really say…”

    The answer that I have had to prepare in my heart is “YES, God did really say!" There is nothing preventing you and I from clearly hearing God. He is our loving Father and He has a plan for us. Remembering scripture that declares who I am in Christ Jesus helps to clearly refute the questions that rise up, which try to prevent me from what God is asking me to do. I have always found satisfaction in obedience to the Lord.

    Building a solid preparation in my heart to defeat the question has allowed me to go places that I would have never imagined. I hope next time God calls you to do something, big or small, you are prepared to obey Him and receive the blessing of a child of God.

    See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3:1

    Chaplain Art Briggs

  • Day 07

    Day 07

    He says, '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

    Have you ever been in a situation where you were trying to study, listen to someone or just get a second of peace & quiet – yet there are distractions? Busy city noise, a crowded restaurant or maybe even in church. We're used to these things because we've all experienced them in life. Frustrating, yes, but understandable in certain environments. Sometimes we can be completely alone in the most isolated location yet still be distracted.

    I, myself, have found that it's easy with today's current technology to always have something "on" and in front of me. This ESPECIALLY goes for social media. I would sometimes allow myself to be utterly consumed and obsessed with "what's the latest post from my friends?!" "what is everyone talking about?!" and "I'm so bored right now! WHATS NEW!?" constantly seeking to be entertained by the latest and greatest. I did these things without even knowing it, daily, hourly, even minute by minute and most times never asking myself "Hey, is this becoming an idol in my life?" "Is this taking time away from me and the Lord?"

    Maybe you can relate with me. Without even knowing it, maybe it's taking up too much free time or maybe you're creating free time JUST to feed the habit. I know I was. In preparation for Lent, realize that instead of obsessing over the latest post, we should pray, read the Word and worship the Lord as a godly replacement from those distractions. Calm down. Relax. Retreat to a quiet place and "Be still, and know that I am God."

    Derek Auth

  • Day 08

    Day 08

    I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can only do what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. John 5:19

    Watching college basketball is my favorite pastime this time of year. Each week I can’t wait for the next round of games — so full of drama. And when I see the amazing ability of these young men, making shots from long distance, I'm inspired to get on the court with some friends and try to duplicate what I see on TV. Of course, my efforts are inferior in comparison to those of the basketball players we see playing in the NCAA Tournament. But the result is nonetheless a positive experience of exercise, fellowship, and fun!

    More significantly, Jesus also did what he saw. And when the religious leaders challenged Jesus about healing people on the Sabbath, he responded, “My Father is always at work to this very day, and I too am working” (John 5:17). Speaking of himself a couple verses later, Jesus said, “the Son can do nothing by himself; he can only do what he sees his Father doing.” How much could the Son do by himself? Nothing! That’s partly because by nature Jesus and God are one. But as an example to us, Jesus showed how to have spiritual eyes for the things God is doing around us. We need to watch what God is doing and join him in his work.

    It may be a ministry that you see as particularly effective. It may be something that you’d never call “ministry” — you just see God at work. What do you see God doing in you and in your surroundings that you can join him in today?

    David Rundle

  • Day 09

    Day 09

    For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14

    Have you ever held on to the pain or rejection from what someone did to you? It consumes your thoughts during the day and keeps you awake at night. It can go on for years. We think we can change the person or situation. Bitterness, anger and even self-righteousness seeps in. All our thoughts, love, energy and focus are taken away from God. We become trapped in Satan’s web. This unforgiveness steals our joy and peace and turns our hearts hard and unreachable. We cannot become the person God wants us to be. God is actually weeping over us.

    We are missing out on his mercy and grace. Free gifts – and we can’t even enjoy them. We don’t even know he is right beside us. Forgiving someone or something is a choice. Not an easy choice, but a choice for healing. We have to pray and release our unforgiveness. Jesus died for everyone’s sins. Allowing God to do his will and trust him takes the burden off our shoulders. Our shoulders were never meant to carry this heavy burden. We truly cannot forgive on our own. Only through Christ in us, the true hope of glory, can forgiveness take place.

    I promise you that the freedom you will find in Christ as you heal is very real. Peace and joy from God is freeing. We need to keep our eyes and heart on Christ our savior. The freedom he fills you with is contagious. Everyone around you sees Christ in you. Isn’t that how we want to increase HIS Kingdom?

    RSTNHM

    Karen Roenker

  • Day 10

    Day 10

    How often do you think about your spiritual freedom? I'm referring to the freedom we have, as Christians, to no longer be slaves to sin, but walk in the assurance (or grace) "that through Jesus the forgiveness of sin is proclaimed in you" Acts 13:38.

     

    But what does that really mean to us? It means that Jesus, the Messiah, gave His all for OUR spiritual freedom. He chose to come to Earth, live a perfect (sin-less) life and sacrifice Himself for OUR sins! Galatians 5:1a tells us, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free". Not for personal gain, but so WE can live freely and eternally, and have full access to God -- a personal relationship with the Creator!

     

    Our spiritual freedom is a GIFT. That's right, it's not something that can be earned or even repaid. Therefore, we should accept it with an attitude of gratitude and be comforted "that you have been set free from sin . . . and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 6:22-23.

     

    Heather Boros

     

  • Day 11

    Day 11

    Take my yoke (teaching) upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:49

    I was reading an article about the building of the Golden Gate Bridge over San Francisco Bay; and how construction fell badly behind schedule because several workers had accidentally fallen from the scaffolding to their deaths. The peril of failing or falling perplexed the engineers and administrators searching for a solution to the costly delays. Finally, someone suggested a gigantic net should be hung under the bridge to catch any who fell. Ultimately, in spite of the enormous cost, the engineers opted for installing the net. Amazingly after it was installed, progress was rarely interrupted and productivity soared. A worker or two did actually fall into the net but were saved by this thoughtful, costly provision. However as a result, the previous time lost to fear was regained by simply replacing fear with reliance (faith) in the net.

    Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower and the righteous run into and are safe. Do you have a fear of falling or failing? The Lord is actually always right there to be our net to catch us when we fall. He is both our salvation in times of trouble and simultaneously the perfect safety net – filling our lives with inner peace for whatever lies ahead!

    The Lord has not given us a "spirit of fear, but of power, of love and a sound mind!" I pray you learn to rest in the finished work that God provided 2000 years ago, and leave your fears at the cross -- and in doing so, we will do great things for the Kingdom!

    Pastor Ray Bjorkman

  • Day 12

    Day 12

    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15

    In this busy world we live in, it seems as though we are always preparing; preparing for the next vacation, the next milestone in our career, deadlines, renovations, children, college and the list goes on and on. However, are you prepared for the challenge to share your Faith and Hope with someone that doesn’t believe or questions God’s existence? When we find ourselves in such an encounter; I believe that a paintbrush serves as a better tool than a chisel.

    God’s love is meant to be shared. As Christians, I believe we have a tendency to put limits or stipulations on just how much of God we share when those divine opportunities occur. Recently, my 2½ year old son taught me how to respond. My son said to his mother after watching The 700 Club “let’s pray”. The two clasped their hands together and my wife prayed out loud. About five minutes later our boy says again “let’s pray” but this time my wife, not wanting to make a game of prayer said to him “you pray”. Without hesitation he grasped his mom’s hand, bowed his head and said “Yes God, in Jesus name I pray, Amen”. He was sincere, humble and obedient before God without limits or stipulations.

    That short little prayer has had a profound impact in our house; instead of limits and stipulations of our Faith we now strive to have the obedience to say “Yes God” in all we do.

    “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

    Clif Boyce

  • Day 13

    Day 13

    But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

    Joshua 24:15

    I love this verse! Joshua is throwing down the gauntlet. He is telling everyone Whom he serves; and he wants to know who else is with him. 

    I accepted Christ as my savior 20 yrs ago when I was a teenager. At my most desperate time I cried out to God and as he always does, He answered. However if you met me 10 yrs later you probably wouldn't have guessed that I was a Christian. The term we use at Beach fellowship to describe the life I had chosen is "colorful." My life was about me: what I wanted, and what I could get. You see the issue was that while I had accepted Christ as my savior I had slowly pushed Him aside as lord of my life. I thought less and less about how a decision would effect the plan that my Father had for me, and blocked out that still small voice that had once been my guide. I eventually found myself crying out to Him as I came to the end of my rope once again. 

    I have since decided to be a "yes man." To go "all in" for Christ. To serve him completely and in all things to listen to his voice above all else. Most importantly, to give Him my whole heart, not just the parts that my friends see or the people at church see, my WHOLE heart. That decision is an ongoing one. I choose daily to serve my God and allow myself to be used in whatever way He wants. That one daily decision has made all the difference in my life. My encouragement to you as you read this is to choose this day whom you will serve, to whom you will give your entire heart, who will be lord of your life. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

    Josh Rockwell

  • Day 14

    Day 14

    The power of God is amazing; yet it is often very misunderstood. God has the power to create the universe, yet He lovingly draws near to us. God has the power to shape the heavens and the earth, yet He gently shapes us as a potter to the clay. God has the power to destroy the earth because of wickedness, yet He pours out His grace and mercy to prove His love. God has the power to judge every person to eternal hell but He chose instead to send a Messiah, His Son, the Christ to be the sacrifice as punishment for our failures.

    When Christ was crucified and buried, it was God’s power that caused Him to rise from the grave. He now gives us the opportunity to believe, receive, and experience the journey of this life in a dynamic relationship with God. In a divine exchange we give to the Lord our lives, our will, our way and our desires; and we receive the benefits of a Spirit-filled life as He reveals our purpose and destiny for His Kingdom. Jesus said that “a time is coming, and now is, when true worshippers would worship the Father in spirit and in truth”. [Jn 4:24]

    As a Worship Leader, Psalm 66 fully encompasses the worship experience for me. There is high praise for the great things God has done. The Psalmist leads the worshipper to an expression of faith through the testing and refining, through the burdens and trials, through the fire and the rain, to a place of fulfillment. Psalm 66 teaches us that when we 1.) bring and offering to fulfill our promises [v13-14] 2.) come and listen to what He has done [v16] 3.) cry out to Him [v17] 4.) praise Him [v17] and 5.) not cherish sin in our hearts [v18] God promises to listen to and hear our prayer [v19] and to not withhold his love from us [v20].

    Jody Williams

  • Day 15

    Day 15

    Isaiah 61:1-4
    Hebrews 9:14

    Eleven years ago, my husband and I painted a wall of thick, blue Yankee Stripes. Now as I go over those stripes with paint to hide them, I find they are much harder to cover. Three frustrating coats of paint later and there they are, remnants of those irritating blue stripes. Those stripes represent a time of joy, excitement, & casting dreams to the sky. But after my husband died seven years ago, they have served to mock me with memories of deep hurt, pain, loss, & devastation. Yet now, a calm voice comes whispering into my heart…”This is not you anymore. I have washed you clean. I have made you new. You have exchanged the spirit of despair for my very garment of praise. You are clothed in my righteousness. I have sent you out now to rebuild, restore and renew the broken hearted. Just watch what I do next.”

    From the beginning of Genesis, God provided a way back to fellowship with him for Adam and Eve – a blood sacrifice. All throughout scripture, the Israelites knew this was necessary to commune and serve a holy God. But their sacrifices were insufficient because they only covered their PAST sins. Praise God, we live in a time where Jesus Christ, God himself, became a sacrifice for us ONCE AND FOR ALL – to cover our past, present and future sins. So we could have fellowship with the very Creator of the Universe. His blood covers all my sins, all your sins. Unlike my stripes on the wall, one coat of Jesus’s blood is sufficient and he sees my sins no longer.

    What are you fruitlessly trying to cover up that Jesus’s blood has already washed away? Will you come to him now in awe of his perfect gift? Will you allow his cleansing to bring you in to new life?

    Jen Spriggs

  • Day 16

    Day 16

    "Jesus said, 'Take away the stone.' Martha, the sister of [Lazarus], said to him, 'Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.' Jesus said to her, 'Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?'" John 11:39-40

    When we struggle with sin, we have trepidation about bringing it to Jesus. Just like Lazarus' body in the tomb, it stinks. It's been buried a long time. It's created death. I know on many occasions I believed if I admitted my failures, Jesus might revoke my blessings, gifts or call. Let's face it: it’s scary to bring our sin boldly before the Throne of the Almighty. We are not called to live in fear!

    Jesus' sacrificial love and death on the cross provided us an amazing gift – confession of sin. Confession is "homologeo" in Greek, and it means "to speak the same." Confession releases the chains of condemnation. It's so easy to sit comfortably under condemnation and believe the lies of the enemy that tell us we'll never be good enough. But the truth is, we won't ever be apart from Jesus!

    Do you know that confession doesn't produce the forgiveness we long for when we're feeling condemned? The cross of Jesus Christ did that. We're already forgiven, free of guilt and shame. Confession is the gateway to the freedom provided by the death and resurrection of our Savior. The practice of confession reminds us of the finished work of the cross.

    Today, what stones need to be rolled away in the darkest part of your heart? Don't worry- Jesus can handle the stench, the brokenness, the places that seem to be dead. Don't let another moment pass living in condemnation – confess to God! Believe in the finished work of the cross. Let Jesus resurrect those broken, dead and stinking places. He's always ready to show you His glory!

    Jessica Briggs 

  • Day 17

    Day 17

    When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. John 21:9-13

    I recently spent a cold day on the water in January attempting to catch fish, and as the joke goes, on this particular day all my friend and I caught was a cold. The disciples had a similarly frustrating night shortly after Jesus’ burial and resurrection. The resurrected Savior has appeared to them. Then, in a beautiful picture of human friendship and service, Jesus prepares them a breakfast. It is during this time of fellowship Jesus lays out their new mission, which is to 1) love their Savior and 2) feed His sheep.

    Shared meals often represent close fellowship, and it is fitting Jesus would use a shared campfire meal to say a temporary goodbye to His earthly friends for the last 3 years. This story in John allows us to glimpse the humanity and heart of the Christ we follow. It is also a reminder when we find ourselves coming up short in life, that we need to go back to the basics—fellowship with our friend and Savior Jesus Christ. We have all been in circumstances where our earthly efforts fail-whether it is at work, school, friendships or family relationships. In those moments of human weakness and desperation, this portion of John shows us we serve a High Priest who sympathizes with our weaknesses and is able to supernaturally do a miracle in a moment. When was the last time you broke bread with your King? How can you create space today to allow Him to speak to you about your destiny? When we find ourselves worn out from our own effort, it is time to look up and have a seat at the table our Father has prepared.

    Chris Bjorkman

     

  • Day 18

    Day 18

    God made each of us with such intent and purpose. God knew your “inmost being” before you were formed in your mother’s womb. His word tells us how intimately He knows us as we can see throughout Psalms 139. God created only one of you. When God looks at you, He does not compare you to anyone else. Why is it that when we look at ourselves, we compare ourselves to others? God did not create you from others, He created you in His own image (Genesis 1:27).

    Because you are one of kind, no one can do what you do the way you do. Stop comparing yourself, your ministry, your family, or your marriage to others. You are not qualified to judge yourself in this way. He didn’t create you to imitate others, but the Lord Jesus Christ. Seek the Lord with all you heart. If you do so, he says in Jeremiah 29:14, “I will be found by you”. Get the mind of Christ, which is attainable through the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:12 confirms this by stating, “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.” Keep your eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ and see yourself through His eyes.

    Beth Williams

  • Day 19

    Day 19

    "The most important” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. ’There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31

    In this season of Lent we are reminded of the great love of God. To fulfill the laws of God we are called to one action- love! But His love isn't just for you; it's for all who receive it. That's so hard to remember and apply when we are at odds with a brother or sister in the Lord, especially our closest "neighbor," our spouse. 

    Love is cheap, or at least that's the lies the world tries to have us believe. But real love, love that comes from God, comes with cost. It's love that sacrifices for others. That gives with the whole heart, soul, mind and strength. But if we're honest we often look at the people around us – our neighbor – with eyes like the Pharisees instead of the eyes of the Lord. We look at our spouse and see the flaws. We apply a rule book of preconceived ideas of what we want or what we think love should look like or feel like. And then we expect love in return. This wrong thinking robs us from being able to love our closest neighbor as ourselves! That isn't love; it's convenience. Love always comes with a cost. 

    If we are Christ’s disciples, the world will know by the way we love one another (John 13:35). Think about that for a moment. Will you be the light on the hill, the lamp lifted high and draw the world to the Lord by your love for your spouse or your "closest neighbor?" 

    Arthur and Jessica Briggs

  • Day 20

    Day 20

    Jesus turned and said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

    As an engaged man I am beyond excited to marry my beautiful fiancée. Many times we would talk about plans for the future, like: where to live, having children, and our finances. It could get easy to forget all the things the Lord has done to get us where each of us is in our faith. It was only until late one night the Lord asked me one of the toughest questions I've had to face in my relationship. “What if I've done everything up to this point in your relationship, only to split you apart?” Alone in my room, I was in absolute shock. How could the God I so adore tear me from a girl that I love, and end a relationship He himself has done so much for? I was afraid and extremely heartbroken, at first. Then I began to think about it more. If my relationship was a sacrifice I had to make in order to follow the desire of God, would I be willing? Could I really find myself setting aside this relationship I so loved to truly take up my cross, or was there a cost that was just too much?

    It took my complete surrender that night to get to sleep. How can I not willingly sacrifice anything it takes in order to follow my calling, or even not be willing to do so for a God I claim to adore, love, and worship. The Lord was so faithful in his reminder. Scripture doesn’t say “Love me equally” or “ Love me until I ask you to leave someone you love.” It’s so funny, though, once I truly gave of myself the more of the Love of God I received. 1 John 4:8 says, “Whoever does not love God doesn’t know God, because God is love.” As I woke the next morning I found something sweeter than what I could’ve imagined, I fell deeper in love with my fiancée. The more I was willing to follow him, the more he gave of himself, and the more he will continue to do so. The Lord is faithful, so I encourage you: Remain faithful to him, and watch as he blesses your life beyond understanding.

    Enrique Solorzano

  • Day 21

    Day 21

    1 Cor. 15:12-20,32

    My late wife would tell the story that when she was in college she attended a party where the conversation with some friends turned toward what they believed. When asked her personal beliefs, she responded about her relationship with Jesus and it's meaning for her. One of her friends declared that it was a "nice fairy tale!" To which she said it may be but it is the one I choose to believe. Well, of all the stories which one is true?

    Paul addresses this in I Corinthians 15 where he declares in vs.3 "I passed on to you as of first importance..." What follows is his understanding of that which validates Jesus' life and testimony. In vss. 12-20 Paul states it is the resurrection that authenticates Jesus' claims. Without it, Paul says in vss.14,15,17, "...our preaching is useless and so is your faith, ...we are false witnesses, ...your faith is futile...you are still in your sins." Paul, unequivocally, states that without the resurrection, Jesus' claims are untrue and they are deluding people with false testimony. In vs.32 it seems he goes further by writing if the resurrection is not true "Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die." The resurrection is the most critical aspect of Jesus' story. 

    Without the resurrection, it is a fairy tale as her friend stated. But, if it is true...He is the KING!

    Oscar Richardson

  • Day 22

    Day 22

    The theme of the annual Women’s Conference this year at Beach Fellowship was one word, “Abide”. Abide is originated from Old English as follows: “a”- onward; “bidan” – wait. Abiding with our Lord is a state of motion (onward), fully immersed in His presence and waiting ready to do all He has for us to do. Synonyms for abide include: to obey, observe, follow, uphold, and accept. These are words that involve submission.

    Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to “Trust the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” Abiding with our Lord needs to be a mature daily choice for those who believe in Him.

    At the conference we were taught how to “soak” in the presence of the Lord. The pastor created an environment conducive for us to submit ourselves to the Lord corporately, yet extremely personally. She played “soaking” music that was instrumental only and asked us all to close our eyes. The submission part was up to us. I obeyed the instructions given. And with no expectations, God spoke to me saying:

    “Abide in me and I will restore your self-image to the image I have of you. You are mine. Let me do the defining, not to be confused by the opinions of others around you. Abide in me and things that are not of me will flee. Things that others have burdened you with will flee. Abide in me and I will equip you for the tasks that I have for you to do. Abide in me and let me do the talking. Abide in me. I’ve demonstrated my love for you. Receive it as often as you need. Abiding is a choice, it is as it’s been said. I am here waiting for your response. Your response involves some kind of movement. Don’t be afraid. I am enough, more than enough. I will equip you, let me show you what it is I have for you to do. Accept the gift of forgiveness and redemption, never forget that it is how much I love you and yes, I am enough. Abide in me and let it be so here on earth as it is in heaven. Let my kingdom come. Abide in me. My yoke is easy. I am able, willing and ready. Are you? Let me lead you…it will be ok.”

    God loves you so much. Take the time and “soak” in His presence. He wants to speak to you. He wants you to know who is and who you are to Him. Submit you whole heart to Him. Let God define who you are and order you steps.

    Beth Williams 

  • Day 23

    Day 23

    A Christian friend of mine had written a song titled FOR HIS PLEASURE, and explained it was based on Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” I’ll be honest… as an ambitious young man, the verse upset me. It seemed to suggest that I needed to become a full-time monk. How else could I live up to an existence solely to please Him? Would I abandon time for family, friends, job, hobbies, sports or other interests?  I had to put the implausible thought out of my mind.

     
    One summer morning after breakfast, I strolled to our front window to look out on a beautiful sunny day. Outside, my daughter Becky was playing in the front yard with a few friends. They were having a blast running around, laughing and talking, and had no idea I was standing there watching them with a smile on my face. Seeing her enjoying the life she had been blessed with gave me so much pleasure.
     
    The light bulb went off in my head and I recalled that verse. In that moment I realized why God is called “Father”, and began to relate to my own desire for my child to have everything she needs, to be obedient to my authority, to grow in maturity, and follow a right path. Most of all, I wanted to keep her safe and guide her in making wise decisions so she might experience the fullness of life’s blessings. If I was a good father, others should see that in the way she lives.
     
    The epiphany lifted a weight off my shoulders knowing that I could indeed give our Father pleasure in my obedience and relationship to Him, just as He takes pleasure in seeing us enjoy the rewards that come with that. When our lives are fully fashioned and directed daily by God’s word and wisdom, it will manifest itself through everything we invest in from worship to work to family to fellowship to walking on a beach. He will be in everything we do, and others will see our good Father in the way we live and love.  
     
    Ira White
  • Day 24

    Day 24

    Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

    And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

    God allows various trials to come in our life to test our faith. 2014 was a year of testing for me and my family. My wife has suffered with crone’s disease for many years and the medication she was taking destroyed her blood plates, damaged her liver and enlarged her spleen. Thank God she is slowly recovering from the damage this medication caused.

    We have two grandson’s one 20 and the other 29 years old that were diagnosed with crone’s disease in 2014. God has not given man a cure for this devastating disease. But we know by Jesus stripes we were healed, so we pray in faith that a manifestation of this healing will become evident in God’s time.

    How are we to respond to situations like this? Our trials and testing’s should draw us closer to our Lord. We know that He always desires to do us good. We must stand on His promises that the testing of our faith will bring us into spiritual maturity. We must also stand on the promise that all things will work together for good and He will never leave us or forsake us.

    We must not allow our trials and testing’s to discouraged us; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    Jim & Mary Smith 

  • Day 25

    Day 25

    John 19:1-3; 16-18

    Most of us as we walk through our Christian life have ups and downs. I believe when we are going about doing good things – that is when we feel the best about ourselves. We feel so blessed and loved by God. On the other hand, when we experience a season of life that is very painful to walk through, and we all go through periods like that, we sometimes feel like failures or we blame someone else for our pain and walk in unforgiveness.

    However, let’s look at Jesus’ life for a moment. We know that Jesus went about doing good works. He healed almost all that came to Him, He fed the thousands that followed Him, He cast out demons that were holding people in bondage and He even raised people from the dead. Now those are good works and the people loved Him and wanted to follow Him wherever He went. He would have to go off by Himself so He could be alone in prayer with His Father.

    But in His last months of His life He was rejected by the religious leaders who should have embraced Him, He was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver by one of His own disciples. Last but not least He was arrested and beaten so badly that His back was like raw meat and then He was put on a wooden, splintery cross to die an unimaginable death. We have to remember though that He willingly went through all of that pain and suffering so that we could have a new life.

    As wonderful as it is celebrating Christmas and Jesus’ birth, it is this time of year that we should be so grateful that He shed His blood that we might know Him and have eternal life with Him.

    Martha Davies

  • Day 26

    Day 26

    Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. John 21:7

    Allowing the Lord to lead has always been the main goal in my walk, to get to the point that His Peace would reign in my life. But what was throwing me off was when the storms of life would come along; I tended to buckle under the pressure. Philippians 4:7 (NKJV) states, “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.” Although I had read that before, I wondered where that peace was in my times of trouble. I needed more, so I read more.

    When I first read John 21:7 I was wondering why would someone put on the outer garment then jump into the sea. Wouldn’t he be drenched from head to toe? But that’s when this verse spoke to me; I realized that I hadn’t totally jumped in. I was seeking the Lord in times of the storms but I wasn’t yielding and fully trusting Him in these situations, trying to get through using my own strength.

    Through reading His Word and allowing Him to take over my life, it has created a stronger relationship with my Savior, and has built the faith I needed to trust Him in all aspects of my life. Whether I’m dealing with storms, relationships, finances, even tithing, it has created that peace I always longed for knowing that all my provision comes from my God. I have taken the “plunge” as Peter did and now His peace reigns more and more in my life as he truly “guards” my heart.

    Carlos Solorzano 

  • Day 27

    Day 27

    “…in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 4:11

    In February of 2014, I was burned when a gas can I was holding outside my house exploded. While I was literally on fire, I resigned that this was the way I would die – the flames just wouldn’t stop. But when I went inside the house, and the flames went out, the first words I spoke were “Praise God.” I ended up with third-degree burns on 1/3 of my body and was in a burn unit for several weeks.

    As I recovered in the burn unit, I encouraged the youth group via FaceTime. I told them that for me it was easy to praise God in my situation: I had been in a trial, I had been spared, and I was given a second chance. For the youth group, I told them, they had it harder to praise God in everyday life. We get so accustomed to life being normal that we put him on the back burner. But God is worthy of our praise “in all things.”

    What about you? Is it easier for you to praise God in the midst of trial or during everyday life? How are you praising God today?

    Rick Griffith

  • Day 28

    Day 28

    Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24

    I remember when I was a small boy about 12 years old. My grandfather and I would go fishing with cane polls and sit on the bank of the lake. He would always talk about life and how a person should conduct themselves with other people. One time he talked about how a person should be a person of there word. He would tell me if you say that you will do a certain task that you should follow though with it about character and how your friends and family will view you. That's why we see in the book of James 5:12 he talks about letting our "Yes be yes and our "No" be no. Now we can see that the Lord wants us to be a person of our word and accountable to others. So as a person is serving remember it is the Lord Jesus Christ that you are serving. Amen

    Dave Furbee

  • Day 29

    Day 29

    I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord. Revelation 1:8

    Quite often in practicing medicine I come across patients who are very sick. Doctors have told them they have an incurable disease, “6 months to live.” We all no doubt have heard the stories – if not directly impacted in some way. Certainly the weight of such a final verdict can be overwhelming. It can call to question who really has control. If we are not careful we can easily become encased within the darkness of our circumstances. Maybe your situation is not as grim. Maybe it’s struggles in finances, relationships, marriage, promotions. Maybe you just feel like your life is an amalgamation of failures, shortcomings that have left you wondering, where did things go wrong?

    But fortunately for us our situations do not have final say. When Jesus hung on the cross, He took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses. He banished our iniquities once and for all. That is why your sickness, your circumstance, your stronghold will never have the final word in your life. Jesus does, because He took your sickness upon His body and paid for your healing with His blood. Because of that, we are more than conquerors; we are the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus. He is our Defender, our Healer, our Redeemer. Remember that when man says that it is impossible, Jesus says “all things are possible with Me, for I am your Alpha and Omega and I have the final word, my beloved!!”

    Prayer: Jesus You stand through the ages; Your voice shatters the darkness. You speak and strongholds surrender; Your Name overcomes the enemy. In You I am more than a conqueror. My fear is silenced in Your love, my hope is endless. Jesus, You have the last word, IT IS FINISHED!!!!!

    Joey Roenker

  • Day 30

    Day 30

    JESUS dedicated his whole life to pleasing God. In John 5:30 he says, "I seek not to please myself but him who sent me." Often I find the need to remind myself of Jesus' perspective... life and serving has it's subtle way of skewing our outlook on what we are doing.

    The noted English architect Sir Christopher Wren was supervising the construction of a magnificent cathedral in London. A journalist thought it would be interesting to interview some of the workers, so he chose three of them and asked this same question, "What are you doing?" The first replied, "I'm cutting stone for a shabby 10 shillings a day." The next answered, "I'm putting in 13 hard hours a day on this job." But the last said, "I'm helping Sir Christopher Wren construct one of London's greatest cathedrals."

    Whether you realize it or not, we too are all building something. We who believe and simply continue as disciples of Jesus, are building up God's Kingdom; the eternal and greatest Kingdom this world will ever see!

    Let’s utilize this time to examine ourselves and see if we need to make any adjustments in our perspective. We have both the privilege of partaking in something amazing -- and better yet, doing it for the King of Kings!

    Let's give our will and our entire life daily back to the Lord and focus on simply pleasing God individually; then in & through our CHURCH COMMUNITY... ultimately helping build his eternal church.

    Colossians 3:23 And whatever you do, do all things with your whole heart as UNTO THE LORD, not to men.

    Pastor Ray Bjorkman

  • Day 31

    Day 31

    His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness… 2 Peter 1:3-9

    This was the very first scripture shared with me by a man, in a divine appointment set by God to open the eyes of my understanding. I always knew about God growing up and I even prayed to Him often. Most of my prayers however were prayers of desperation, “Get me out of this God and I will never do this again.” Sound familiar? I call them “foxhole” prayers. My whole life before following Christ consisted of one bad decision after another. I ignored so many warning signs and ran on self-will until July 28th 2006. This time my foxhole prayer wasn’t going to work and I had hit rock bottom. I found myself in a place I never thought I would be, JAIL! I made a decision in my prayer that night to God; my decision was to try His way because my way wasn’t working. So moments after praying my first sincere prayer, I encountered a man who quickly became more than a stranger. He picked me out of a crowd of over 100 men who were dealing with their own issues and we began to talk. A light conversation at first and then he wanted to introduce me to his best friend. I looked around and waited, he just smiled. “My best friend is Jesus Christ and He desires to have a relationship with you.” He said. At that point the flood of tears poured out and I made a real decision, which was to follow Christ. That was the first time that I could truly see the Love of God. He opened the eyes of my heart and my life has never been the same.

    What I got from that scripture, was to make every effort to do something better today than I did yesterday with the help of my new best friend… Jesus!

    Until we make a decision to follow Jesus, our lives may be filled with countless “foxhole” prayers, and we will continue to maneuver through life with spiritual blinders on. Romans 10: 9 says, “If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

    Chris Ford

  • Day 32

    Day 32

    “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.“ I Peter 5:6

     I like to think of preparation as “active waiting”. It’s sometimes easy to use the term “waiting” as a cop out for living a life of laziness or complacency. Perhaps it’s a result of this instantaneous culture we are submersed in. We never have to really wait for anything, and when we face a season in which we aren’t seeing dreams fulfilled or promises realized, we have a tendency to slip into a “what’s the point?” mentality, which for followers of Christ is dangerous territory.

    The point is Jesus—he is our shield and our exceedingly great reward (Genesis 15:1), and in him we find all we need for each day and not a moment of our lives is wasted. Coming to the end of ourselves in the Father empties us, our plans and creates room for Gods Dream. His dreams beat ours by a landslide.

    These humbling times aren’t easy. I remember a season where I really had no clue what God was doing with my life. I felt like everything I tried never worked—every path I tried to take was a road blocked. My prayers went something like this: “I really don’t know what you want me to do, but I know I love you and I want to serve you.” God taught me what it meant to humble my self, my life and my plans before him. Those moments of anxiety and fear were opportunities to trust him and let his love take over my heart.

    Maybe right now you have dreams that don’t seem to be coming to fruition. Relationships that haven’t been restored yet. Unanswered questions. Maybe you need a new job or a job. Whatever it is, don’t be caught just “waiting”. Prepare for the future God has for you by humbling yourself and give everything over to him.                     

    Kara-Leigh Sakis

  • Day 33

    Day 33

    Psalm 122 :1 I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord. There was a common and shared expectation and anticipation of encountering the Lord God in his temple. This song was sung among others by the Israelites on their annual trips to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of Jehovah.

    Psalm 126:1-2 When the Lord brought back the captive ones of Zion we were like those who dreamed. Then our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongues with joyful shouting, then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them." He whom the Son sets free is free indeed. When Jesus washed the disciples feet he was saying they needed to be periodically cleansed of earthly encumbrances and weights. Thus they would have their captivity ended and be filled with joy.

    Psalm 130:3-4, 7 If the Lord should mark iniquities who could stand? But there is forgiveness with Thee that now may be feared and revered and worshiped. Oh Israel, hope in the Lord. For with the Lord there is loving-kindness and with him is abundant redemption.

    This is realization of sins forgiven and hearts restored.

    Psalm 132:13-14 For the Lord has chosen Zion he has desired it for his habitation this is my resting place forever, here I will dwell, for I have desired it!

    We are told in the book of Ephesians that we are being built together for a habitation of God by the Spirit. This is made possible by the resurrection of Jesus and his blood that cleanses us from all sin.

    Paul Mozley

  • Day 34

    Day 34

    But Jesus still answered nothing, so that Pilate marveled. Mark 15:5

    I have often been marveled myself at the answer of “nothing” from Jesus during his trial in front of Pilate. I have understood that the Sanhedrin didn’t have the authority to actually carry out a death sentence once they had condemned someone to death. So they took Jesus to Pilate, the Roman Governor for a second trial. Now the Roman Government could issue and carry out a death sentence, but not for religious reasons like blasphemy. Yet, despite the fact that his life is on the line, Jesus utters just one sentence during the time his life is held in the hands of Pilate. When Pilate, acting as judge, asks Jesus, (Mk 15:2) “Are You the King of the Jews?” He answered and said to him, “It is as you say.” Just one sentence.

    The chief Priest accused Jesus of many more things that they witnessed and it seems that Pilate was trying to bring out an answer from Jesus about these accusations. Pilate wanted Jesus to defend himself, because if Jesus makes no defense, according to Roman law, Pilate will have to pronounce him guilty. Mark’s gospel tells us (Mk 15:5) “But Jesus still answered nothing, so that Pilate marveled.”

    The truth is, God’s passion to save us ran through what seems like a hopeless and contrived situation before a human judge named Pilate. What Pilate doesn’t realize is this…In the eyes of God, the Truth needs no defense; and for our sake, this perfectly innocent King makes us perfectly innocent, too.

    Selah (think about that)

    Steven James

  • Day 35

    Day 35

    “You are already clean because of the Word I have spoken to you.” John 15:3

    Can you feel your mistakes fall away? Missteps, shortcomings, sin – all gone because Jesus declares that He has cleansed you! Can you recall the first time you heard someone else say, “I love you”? What does it feel like when someone says, “It’s nice to see you. I really missed you!” Do you feel that way now? Can you hear Jesus say to you, “Stop running from me. Stop hiding. I love you and I missed you! Trust me with your salvation! Trust me, I have forgiven you. You have been cleansed and made whole! You have been healed and restored! Stay with me, and I will stay with you.”

    If we choose to stray from God and fall into sin, we have decided to separate ourselves from God’s love. We are warned of what will happen if we do stray in John 15:1-8. Therefore, Jesus insistently encourages us not to stray, but to remain in His love. Apart from Him, we wither and die. In Him, we thrive and produce fruit that is nourishing to anyone who passes by the vine. By remaining in His love, we grow into our fullest potential and fulfill the plans that God has for us. Then we have life in abundance which provides strength and encouragement to others.

    Here’s a simple reflection (inspired by Psalm 46:1,10 and John 15:3): God tells us, “Be still and know that I am God. I am your refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Find a quiet time and place to be alone with God and reflect back to Him, “Father God, slow my thoughts and actions until all I feel is you- my refuge and my strength- my ever present help in trouble. Thank you, Father, for cleansing me and making me whole.” Then, spend a moment with Him to trust Him with all that you are. Enjoy your special time alone with Him.

    Justin Kolaya

  • Day 36

    Day 36

    Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, So that you take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against the flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground. Ephesians 6:10-18

    To me, this verse means we need to continually put on the full armor of God, doing our best to never take it off. The Lord has given us this armor so we are able to make the right choices and endure whatever may be ahead. Especially when fear and doubt tries to take over our mind. Knowing that God has already equipped us should bring a mindset of victory as we overcome and persevere through the great storms of life. At times it may have seemed that I was shaking in my Armor, then when I realized I could stand my ground, I found the Peace and Growth given through the experience. Even our Lord and Savior experienced persecution unto death, (Luke chapter 22) knowing that His Father would raise Him up to be on His right side of Him and to be the Head of His church. So the Strength I draw from and now receive is from our Mighty Warrior who is our King and Lord is His name. While the enemy will try to tempt me, or this world will try to put obstacles in my way, I can stand assured having my armor fully on and knowing that my victory is in My King. I am more able to withstand the attacks of the enemy and even at times my own self-doubt.

    Serena Solorzano

  • Day 37

    Day 37

    Zechariah 9:9, John 12:12

    Have you ever been in a situation where your prayer was not “God, get me through this,” but was “God, get me outta here!!!”? The situation could be an unfulfilling job or an exam we didn’t study for, or for some a difficult marriage, illness or family situation. Whatever the predicament, we can all relate to the feeling of wanting rescuer Jesus to parachute down from the sky and scoop us up and out of whatever trouble we are stuck in. The Jewish people experienced severe persecution under the rule of the Roman Empire. When Jesus began His public ministry many of His followers and disciples assumed this was the beginning of a rebellion against this tyrannical government. He attracted zealots and Jewish nationalists who viewed him as the literal fulfillment of the scripture in Zechariah –the victorious King of the Jews. Imagine these followers’ emotional rollercoaster of confusion and disillusionment going from the high of Palm Sunday to the low of the darkness of the crucifixion. The disciple’s beloved King and revolutionary leader was tortured and killed in the most horrific way. However, three days later, Jesus would reveal himself not as a revolutionary but as the Almighty Reconciler--the Messiah come to set them free from spiritual chains of bondage to sin and the curse of death. Through His resurrection, Jesus tore the curtain separating man and God and made a way for His followers to experience truly eternal freedom and joy. Though He did not remove the Jewish people from Roman rule, His death and resurrection answered their greatest need of all and provided a pathway to eternal peace and infilling with the Holy Spirit.

    Think about the situations you may be looking for God’s deliverance from. Is it possible you are looking for a rescue where God would like to bring reconciliation and resurrection? Instead of sweeping away the broken pieces of our troubles, we are children of a Father who can make all things whole and new again. We serve a God who is able to do above and beyond what we could ask or imagine. He makes the lame walk, the blind see, and brings the dead back to life. He can take whatever hopeless situation we face, and use it for our good and His glory. Open your heart to Him today, and be filled with faith, knowing we can believe for resurrection miracles because we serve the Risen King.                                                         

    Mary Ann Bjorkman

  • Day 38

    Day 38

    John 19:1-3; 16-18

    Most of us as we walk through our Christian life have ups and downs. I believe when we are going about doing good things – that is when we feel the best about ourselves. We feel so blessed and loved by God. On the other hand, when we experience a season of life that is very painful to walk through, and we all go through periods like that, we sometimes feel like failures or we blame someone else for our pain and walk in unforgiveness.

    However, let’s look at Jesus’ life for a moment. We know that Jesus went about doing good works. He healed almost all that came to Him, He fed the thousands that followed Him, He cast out demons that were holding people in bondage and He even raised people from the dead. Now those are good works and the people loved Him and wanted to follow Him wherever He went. He would have to go off by Himself so He could be alone in prayer with His Father.

    But in His last months of His life He was rejected by the religious leaders who should have embraced Him, He was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver by one of His own disciples. Last but not least He was arrested and beaten so badly that His back was like raw meat and then He was put on a wooden, splintery cross to die an unimaginable death. We have to remember though that He willingly went through all of that pain and suffering so that we could have a new life.

    As wonderful as it is celebrating Christmas and Jesus’ birth, it is this time of year that we should be so grateful that He shed His blood that we might know Him and have eternal life with Him.

    Martha Davies

  • Day 39

    Day 39

    Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” John 11:25

    When our beloved son Joey suddenly passed away at age 28, our hearts were broken beyond description. He’d had a seizure disorder since he was 12, but with daily medication, it had never slowed him down. He surfed, scuba dived, hiked and travelled the world with ease. Nothing prepared us for the phone call we got telling us that he was gone. We had seen him four days before, radiant with life and energy, his warmth and humor and confidence lighting up the room. And now he was gone. Gone...gone...gone. The word reverberated in our heads like the clanging of a dull bell that drowned out every other thing. We were crushed and broken, seemingly shattered beyond repair.

    As the weeks and months went by, we struggled to come to terms with a world without our son. Into this void, God patiently and gently whispered to us, over and over again, reminding us of His promises. God’s words began to fill the gaping hole carved out by grief. This verse in particular, John 11:25, spoke directly to our need. “The one who believes in me will live, even if he dies”. Even if he dies, he will live. He. Will. Live. That precious red letter truth became our anchor. Our son believed, therefore he was alive. He was in a far country, to be sure, but he was alive. He was safe. Death had not triumphed.

    That truth gave us the hope we needed to start healing. Jesus died so we could all be together always. In the end, there is no greater promise.

    Joe and Karen Johnson

  • Day 40

    Day 40

    “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
    ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭53:4-5‬ ‭NIV‬‬
     
    One could say that God punished Jesus for our sins. It was a team effort — this solution to our big problem of sin. God had a plan, a decision he’d made, and Jesus called it God’s “will” as he wrestled with it in prayer in the garden of Gethsemane on the night he was betrayed. Imagine the conversation Jesus had with his dad:
    “Father, take this punishment from me, but not my will, your will, be done. They’ve messed up their relationship with you, and this sin problem we can fix, and I don’t see any other way, do you? I am ready to take on their punishment so we can have peace with them again.”
     
    We deserved the wages of our own sin, the punishment for it, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom 6:23
     
    David Rundle

 

Worship Services

Sunday Morning: 9:00am & 11:00am (Identical Services)

All-Church Prayer: First Sunday of each month: 12:30pm - 1:30pm – 7:00pm

 

Special Services


Good Friday Service: 6:00pm - 7:00pm (Friday before Easter)
Christmas Eve Services: 4:00pm and 6:00pm (Identical Services)
Mega Sports Camp: 2020 Summer Season TBD

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