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Humbled and Grateful

Jerry Poe prays for our family on June 17

Natalie and I want to give a special thanks to everyone at church who contributed to the “money tree” for our family.

What a surprise to have Jerry Poe come up front at the end of our June 17 business meeting to unveil a tree — full of red bows and green bills. We were even more surprised when we arrived home and counted out a total of $575! Thanks so much for your generosity. We are humbled and grateful.

Natalie and I feel very privileged to serve here at First Southern. It’s hard to believe we’re starting our seventh year at the church. What a journey!

Like the Apostle Paul, “We thank our God at every remembrance of you… We thank our God, for your cooperation in spreading the good news!” (Philippians 1:3, 5a)

May God continue to pour His grace upon our church.

Amazing Wonders VBS

First & Second Graders at our 2012 VBS

Our Vacation Bible School is off to a great start! This morning, we had 32 children come learn about our “Awesome God! Amazing Power!” The kids were energetic and well-behaved, and I expect we’ll see even more of their friends show up tomorrow.

 Special thanks to all our staff this year. In all, we have 30 volunteers (youth & adults) helping our program run smoothly.

This year’s VBS offering will support the Missionary Aviation Fellowship.  They deliver food, water, medicine, and Bibles to remote ares of the world. The boys took an early lead today by bringing $17.21, while the girls are close behind with $15.50. That means we already have $32.71 toward our goal of $100!

VBS is a great way to reach out to our community. One of the parents came up to me afterwards and said, “Thank you so much for doing this!”

Praise the Lord for a wonderful first day. Please keep praying for our program tomorrow and Thursday, and be sure to join us at First Southern this Friday at 6pm for Family Fun Night.

God never fumbles

Next Sunday, over 100 million people are expected to watch Super Bowl XLV, making it the most viewed TV event in American history.

Imagine the pressure on these players! They’ve spent every waking moment of their lives preparing for this single game, and it’s winner take all. Every play will be crucial. Every pass. Every rush. Every tackle. Every kick. A single play could change momentum and spell victory or defeat. One misplaced finger on the ball could result in a fumble. One misjudged pass could cause an interception.

This year’s matchup promises to be a good game, but in the end, it’s still a game. I’m so thankful that with the weightier matters of life — like heaven and hell — there’s no risk of a fumble. If God is carrying you in His arms, then your salvation is secure. He’ll never drop you or let the Enemy strip you out of His hands.

Jesus Christ our Good Shepherd says, “My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish – ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:27-29).

This is a wonderful promise for those who belong to Christ. Are you one of His sheep? Christ’s sheep hear His voice calling and follow Him. They admit they are lost and need to be rescued from sin. They trust in His atoning sacrifice, when He laid down His life for the sheep and then took it up again on the third day. Have you done this?

If you’re one of Christ’s sheep, then nothing can snatch you out of His hands! Satan can’t snatch you; the Destroyer is impotent against the power of God. Unbelievers can’t snatch you; they can mock and even threaten you, but they can’t lay a finger on your soul. Suffering can’t snatch you; even when life is most painful, God will help you persevere and walk by faith rather than sight.

As one man said, “It’s not finally our hold on Christ, but Christ’s hold on us. And praise God, he will never let us go!” What a comfort to know God never fumbles.

This article appeared in the Minister’s Message of today’s local newspaper, the Hi-Desert Star

Photo credit: kungfubonanza