Thursday, July 28, 2011

Family Connection 07.28.2011

Family Connection


“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, ‘ABBA, Father.’ The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.”-Romans 8:15-17
At the end of the book The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis, the main character Shasta finds out that he is not the orphaned boy he thought he was but is the oldest son of the King of Archenland and heir to the throne. Shasta had spent his entire life being raised by an abusive fisherman as little more than a slave. When Shasta gets to Archenland he expects to be dismissed but instead is embraced by the King, his real father, and treated like royalty. In an instant, Shasta goes from an orphaned slave to the son of the King and heir to the throne. From that point on, Shasta’s life is forever changed.
This storyline is repeated in many different books but it is always exciting to see someone rise from obscurity to their true place of honor. We thrive on these types of stories and children’s books are full of this theme; it’s even possible that you may have wondered what life would be like for you if you faced something like this. Well, if you have asked Jesus to come into your life and save you from your sins; you are living that life right now because you are a joint-heir with Christ and an heir of God!
If you have never read The Horse and His Boy to the children in your life you might consider doing so in order to help them understand this wonderful truth of how we can and should live life in Christ. Just as people would shudder if Shasta put on his old slave rags and went back to his old life, we should shudder if we pick up our old ways and live in the slavery of sin we used to before we accepted Christ and made Him Lord of our lives. This is a wonderful truth that Paul unveils for us throughout the entire book of Romans. Even though some of the concepts might be a bit over the heads of the children in your lives, I would encourage you to read through Romans with them as well. You might learn something together.
My prayer for each of us is that we can live our lives as a living, breathing example of Jesus to our children and the people around us. I hope you have a wonderful week and God gives you opportunities to glorify Him as you go through your days.
Walking by your side,
Brett Humphrey
Pastor H

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Family Connection 07.19.2011

Family Connection


“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything…My dear brothers, take note of this; Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”-James 1:2-4; 19-21
My family and I just got back from vacation last Friday after spending a week in Williams, Arizona. Williams is near Flagstaff, in the mountains, and is beautiful. The weather didn’t get above 80 and we even had thunderstorms. Not only were we in a different climate, but it almost felt like we were in a different world. You may or may not know this but Arizona laws are a bit different from California. For example, you are not required to wear a helmet when you ride a motorcycle, you can ride in the back of a pickup truck and you are allowed to wear a gun in a holster. As a Californian it is a little strange to see a person wearing a firearm in a holster but people in Arizona live under a different set of laws and follow a different set of rules.
I have been thinking that it is the same for those of us who follow Christ. When we decide to ask Jesus to come into our lives and become our savior, we also give Him access to become the Lord of our lives. We ask Him to take charge and we agree to follow His ways, all of His ways (Jesus said-“If you love me, you will obey what I command.”-John 14:15). While this is a lifelong process, as followers of Jesus, we should start to do things differently and live for Him by following God’s Word. I don’t know about you but I don’t always find that easy to do so I am constantly asking for God’s wisdom and help as I strive to live like Jesus.
Each week, this ministry works to show the children who attend how they can learn to live for God now and follow Him for life. As we partner with you, I want to assure you that we are trying to help children understand, at their level, how to follow God and His rules, by teaching them out of the Bible. We are here to partner with you and to help you raise your children to follow God and His ways.
On another note, we are going through a bit of a trial here at church as our Lead Pastor, Bob Thune has resigned. I love Pastor Bob and his wife Ruthie and will miss them. Even though I am sad to see them go, I am excited to see what God has in store for them and this church. Pastor Bob has served with distinction and his ministry legacy will go on. I personally have been ministered to by Pastor Bob and Ruthie and both Jennifer and I, along with our children are forever changed for the better by our knowing them.
I also know that there are those who are questioning the integrity and motives of the Elder Board at this time. I would like to comment on that. These 8 elders are men of godliness and integrity. I know them personally and have ministered alongside all of them for many years. These elders have served this church for many, many years (most of the elders have been on the board for 6 years or more) and before that each of the elders served in other ministry areas. I have served alongside some of these men for the almost 16 years I have served at this church. In all of the years of service alongside these men, none of them have ever given me a reason to doubt their godliness, integrity or love for the Lord and the people of this church. I have utmost confidence, based on years of past experience, that these elders are following God and want nothing but the best for Pastor Bob and Ruthie, this church and the entire Coachella Valley where we are to minister; and I trust them completely.
I apologize for the length of this Family Connection, as most of my others are easy to read in a minute or two, but I felt I should share my heart with you.
It is my honor to serve the children and families of this church; but more importantly it is my honor to serve the Lord.
Walking by your side,
Brett Humphrey
Pastor H