It is painful to confess I skipped CHURCH during a period of time while in Bible College. My reasoning was this – I had to be in class at 7:30 AM and heard the Bible taught all day – that was enough for me. I needed the weekend to sleep – rest- and do homework. Deep in my heart I knew this was wrong. As a youth, I had a string of 14 years of perfect attendance at my home church. At our home – going to Church was as common as eating meals.
As it is painful to confess – it is just as wonderful to report – God soon changed all that. I don’t expect you to believe this – but today, I’d rather be in fellowship with you – sharing communion than watching an Illini basketball game.
What grieves my heart is this: coffee shops – lazy boys rockers – and tailgaters are filled with people who think they can EXIST WITHOUT CHURCH. They believe in God but spending an hour with God’s children doesn’t fit their lifestyle. Mobility, convenience and privacy are their gods. Consequently, they sacrifice enduring friendship and Christ-centered companionship.
It’s those friendship that have been made the difference in my life. Eph 4:16 from him, the whole body joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love as each part does its work. What is the difference between this verse and going to church? Interdependence – not – independence – is the key strength and fulfillment. We can no more disconnect ourselves from other members and remain healthy than we can disconnect the ligaments form the bones and try to live without veins and arteries.
God’s infallible Word reminds us that it is the CHURCH that will ultimately and completely equip us to fight the evil that permeates our society. If that is true and I believe it is, then it’s the absence of the church in our lives that it bringing ruin with it. If you don’t agree, just imagine what our community would be like if we close our stores dropped our routines and went to church on Sunday? What a difference a day could make!!!
This study of the Book of Daniel – has been a breath of “fresh air”. The time frame covers about 80 years of Daniel’s life – and he is never able to journey back to Jerusalem – yet at the same time there is never a time when his faith wavers. Daniel has seen Kings come and go – (remember these kings rule the world) – Babylon – the Medes and Persians – etc).
A sad “side-bar” – through the 80 years Daniel is captive in Babylon – we never see a spiritual revival – we do not see the Jews coming to his aid – it appears same oh, same oh…..there has been no Spiritual kingdom growth for 80 years.
A new king enters the Throne and quickly sees the character development of Daniel by promoting him to “top-dog”….this only excites their ire of two other presidents. They rack their brain to find a way to bring Daniel down. They come up with the most “lame brained” plan possible — for 30 days no one can pray to any god or man except you oh King Darius…..his idea swells his head – and he makes it the Law of the Medes and the Persians…..how will this all play out? Daniel 6 is our text this weekend….come and worship with us as we tell the rest of the story!
Parents of youth – 6th grade through 12th grade – please encourage your young person to attend the Sunday Night Thing at Discovery. Games and snacks are available at 4:30 PM – with worship kicking off at 5:00 PM. Last Sunday night – Doug challenged the young people to invite a friend – and if that friends attends – both the young person and guest will be given a free shack from the snack bar. The service ends at 6:00 PM…..If we don’t use God’s Word – to tell and show our youth the “way to live” – the world is waiting to tell them Jesus irrelevant – old fashioned – or doesn’t exist. Discovery understands the extreme importance of developing a service for our young people where friendships are developed – God’s Word is loved and appreciated – and where growing in Christ is both existing and fun. Make every effort to be here Sunday at 4:30 – with a FRIEND.
· John Bowders is recovering from a terrible bicycle accident in West Virginia. He was flown to the University of Virginia hospital where he remains in ICU. Our son Gregg visited him Tuesday afternoon and reported John is in great spirits but badly banged up. ***At our Friday night Prayer Gathering – some of the men’s D-Group came and in a little prayer circle we had verbal prayer for John***
· Today – (THURSDAY) – Leslie Marshall is having a serious procedure at the Surgery Center to help relieve pain along her spinal cord.
· MANY will understand the benefit of a life changing mid-week experience and seek out one of our D-Groups.
· Ongoing success of our Sunday Night Youth Group
· Our President will understand the seriousness of securing our borders
· Not to early to pray for the mid-term elections –
· The Supreme Court will get it right on gay-marriage
Tonight (Thursday) – at 6 – 8 PM will be the visitation at Parkers Funeral Home – for Bro. Wilford Baker.
The Celebration of Life service will be held at Discovery Church tomorrow (Friday) at 10:00 AM.
There will be a luncheon at the Grandview Church on Route Z following the committal service.
Bro Wilford was a warrior for Jesus Christ. For 3 years, he and Kay hosted one of our D-Groups. Often we would sing hymns to Jesus for 20-30 minutes – he loved to praise His Savior. One of the highlights of my week these past years has been to meet at the Bakers for this group – to encourage them –all the while they were encouraging me. These few days are more than bittersweet — sadness of soul – a vacuum of heart – a loneliness in the home – but the knowledge that Bro Wilford is with Jesus. Several times we talked about this – “What do you think you will says when you see JESUS for the 1st time”…..I would love to know what Wilford did say? Jesus said – if one part of the body hurts – we hurt all over…..I am currently experiencing that pain. We mourn –(1 Thes 4:13) we mourn – but not as those who have no hope.
Daniel’s Vision of Four Beasts Daniel 7:1-7
Earlier, during the first year of King Belshazzar’s reign in Babylon,[a] Daniel had a dream and saw visions as he lay in his bed. He wrote down the dream, and this is what he saw. 2 In my vision that night, I, Daniel, saw a great storm churning the surface of a great sea, with strong winds blowing from every direction. 3 Then four huge beasts came up out of the water, each different from the others. 4 The first beast was like a lion with eagles’ wings. As I watched, its wings were pulled off, and it was left standing with its two hind feet on the ground, like a human being. And it was given a human mind. 5 Then I saw a second beast, and it looked like a bear. It was rearing up on one side, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And I heard a voice saying to it, “Get up! Devour the flesh of many people!” 6 Then the third of these strange beasts appeared, and it looked like a leopard. It had four bird’s wings on its back, and it had four heads. Great authority was given to this beast. 7 Then in my vision that night, I saw a fourth beast—terrifying, dreadful, and very strong. It devoured and crushed its victims with huge iron teeth and trampled their remains beneath its feet. It was different from any of the other beasts, and it had ten horns. 8 As I was looking at the horns, suddenly another small horn appeared among them. Three of the first horns were torn out by the roots to make room for it. This little horn had eyes like human eyes and a mouth that was boasting arrogantly.
Every one of us sees the little yellow duck on the table in the hallway leading to the auditorium. Missionary Matthew Dolan has arrived in Panama and is working among the indigenous tribe – helping them learn to be self-sufficient. Discovery has committed $50 a month to this project. It was our objective as the little duck was placed on the table to see the amount in total be given by placing our monies in the little duck. Please consider this as you enter and exit the auditorium this weekend.