Buyers Remorse

The euphoria of Christmas has worn off of us as the kids head back to school, our work week is back to the full schedule and the bills are rolling in from your holiday spending sprees.  The cool plastic toy you purchased for your child, niece or grandchild is broken already or they are bored with it.  The awesome kitchen gadget you had to have just isn’t as awesome as you thought.  The outfit on the model on the website looks much better on them than it does you.  Buyers remorse has sunk in.  $$$$$ dollar signs flash before your eyes as you see another “wasted” Christmas explosion of spending.

We always think we know what we want and need better than anyone else.  But then reality hits and we find out we aren’t as brilliant as we think we are.   We get things wrong quite often.  We seem to emphasize the earthly elements of our lives and forget what is truly important, our eternal life in heaven.

We can thank God that he has no buyers remorse concerning us.  He sent his son Jesus to save us from our sins.  He had JESUS pay the price of our sins.  What if God had buyers remorse and changed his mind because we aren’t honoring and praising him enough for what he’s done?  We’d be lost forever in eternal darkness in the depths of sin and despair.  I don’t want to be in that pit of despair and hopelessness! I want to be with Jesus in the heavenly home God has prepared for me.

How do you not want to hear the saving message of JESUS? How do you ignore the forgiveness given to us freely by our heavenly father?  Get into God’s word!  We have an opportunity every day of the week with a Bible class except Friday.  But, we have the one year Bible study group chat that happens everyday!  Be strengthened, be renewed by the good news of Jesus.

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Present for the Community

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The members of Deer Valley shared their present of the good news of Jesus through their Living Nativity event last Sunday night.  We had 119 come through and hear the story from Luke 2 about the birth of our Savior Jesus.  Our guests were treated to Christmas music by the carolers, crafts for the kids, hot chocolate, cider and cookies as a snack and the petting zoo.  It’s our Christmas present to the community.

We also need to be PRESENT in the community ourselves.  The roles you have in your community is an opportunity to invite people to our Christmas worship.  You may be saying to yourself, “What role do I play in the community?  I don’t belong to any organizations.”  The answer is simple and right in front of you.  Be PRESENT where you are at this moment.  Whether its the cashier at FRYs who is having a rough day-invite them to worship this Christmas; maybe it’s your neighbor who complains a lot to you about the happenings of the world; maybe it’s your spouse who is struggling emotionally with the loss of relatives; maybe it’s your friend at the library who confides in you her struggles; or it’s that person at work who seems like they are searching for something.  Engage and invite!  “Bob, I’d like to invite you to our Christmas Eve service at 6:30 pm this coming Monday.  I can pick you up or I’ll meet you out front of our church.”

We have the greatest gift of all, the gift of a Savior, and it isn’t meant just for you!  Share this wonderful gift with others.  Who knows what will happen when you invite someone to know Jesus?

Sharing the Good News

Psalm 96:3 Declare His glory among the nations, His wonderful works among all peoples.

We get to follow these instructions this weekend at Deer Valley!  Our annual Living Nativity event is Sunday December 16 from 6-8 pm.  We have a host of volunteers who portray biblical characters in three different scenes.  The shepherds and the angels; Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus in the manger and the three wise men who came to visit Jesus with gifts.  Our narrators will tell the good news of Jesus birth-the Savior of the world.  The gospel proclaimed in a different format for young and old alike.

Our members have the opportunity to serve in a number of ways.  We can be characters, narrators, part of the caroling crew, refreshment servers, setup and take down crew, greeters and information booth leaders, craft leader and even an inviter.  The INVITER is not on the sign up sheet for the event.  The position is one that automatically occurs by being a Christian.  We have the privilege of sharing God’s word with others and the easiest was to do that is to invite them to hear the good news. If your friends are wary of the church scene this event is a great opportunity.   We are outside interacting with other people hearing the gospel proclaimed.

Take advantage of the opportunity to join us the Sunday night!  Take this opportunity to invite someone to hear the good news of the Savior!

See you Sunday!

The Black Friday that Matters

It looks like the economy is doing pretty well:

CNN REPORTS: MasterCard estimated sales on Black Friday hit $23 billion, surging 9% from last year. Cyber Monday sales are expected to climb to $7.9 billion, a 19% increase from last year, Adobe Analytics predicted.

The Christmas list items are being checked off and the retailers are grinning from cash register to bank account.  The importance of Black Friday, which also includes Cyber Monday now, is crucial to year-end statistics for the retailers.  Of course the big winners were Wal-Mart, Target Best Buy and Kohl’s.  The hours of “Black Friday” have expanded and some stores even open on Thanksgiving Day in the name of making a buck.  But mask as providing you with the best sale!

The only important Black Friday we as Christians need to be concerned with is Good Friday.  Where our Savior Jesus Christ died on the cross bearing our sins.  Remember these words from Mark 15:33 When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.   And at three Jesus cried out with a loud voice, Eloi, Eloi, lemá  sabachtháni? which is translated, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?

The black Friday we deal with every year is part of the temporary life we have here on earth and aren’t important in our final goal of heaven.  We can celebrate Christmas and participate in shopping but need to beware of making that the priority and forgetting the true reason for the season, JESUS!

I hope you found some great deals on your Black Friday excursions and purchased some great gifts for family and friends.  But the gift of life this Christmas and tell some/invite someone to hear about their Savior, JESUS!

Thanksgiving Week

It’s here!  It’s here!  Thanksgiving week is here!  We get to over indulge in several different areas of life.  We get to over eat; have our fill of football; overspend on black Friday shopping; and over do the baking.

We also have the opportunity to come together in worship in a Thanksgiving worship service.  Ours here at Deer Valley is Wednesday night, the Thanksgiving Eve service, at 6:30 pm.  It’s a chance for us to reflect on the blessings that God showers upon us and thank him for them.  Please feel free to come and join us!

The president of our Ministry training college has shared a link to Advent devotions that we can use on our own.  I’ve include his paragraph and the link for you to use and get your own devotions to bring the family around your family altar.

As you finish your Thanksgiving festivities and begin to look ahead to Christmas, this booklet, with daily readings for December 1-25, will help you prepare. Go to mlc-wels.edu/publications/seasonal-devotions to read it online, to order a print version, or to sign up for daily devotions to be sent to you during Advent. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Work in Progress

We had our dedication of our remodeled sanctuary on October 14th which was followed by a luncheon and fellowship.  The chairs were new, the walls newly painted and the flooring replaced with tile-beautiful.  However, we are still a work in progress.  We have some cover plates that aren’t on the switches and outlets; the boxes are still boxed with things we packed away in the teen room and Nancy’s office; the narthex is a little barren.  The committee has met and made some plans to get closer to the finished product but no specific date is set for the total completion.

Our lives are a work in progress as well.  I am not a finished product as I continue to grow in God’s word.  We all have the constant battle of our Old Adam versus the New Man.  The struggle is real and is part of our work in progress.  We an visualize what the sanctuary is going to look like but are awaiting the finished product.  We too can visualize what heaven is going to be like but have a hard time understanding perfection.  We know that it will be better than anything we can imagine.

I for one am glad I am a work in progress under God’s grace.  Without the promise of  a Savior I am condemned forever.  Because of Christ’s work I am finished, made perfect in Christ!  I like that work in progress.   Who do you know that could benefit by being a work in progress?  Share the good news of Jesus with them.

How cluttered is your heart?

If you are anything like me there just doesn’t seem to be enough room to store all the stuff I need.  We have a two car garage at home with zero cars in it but we do have 10 shelving units, a workbench, a fridge, a file cabinet, an armoires, bike, boxes and you get the picture.

In our Ministry center at church we have a storage issue problem as well.  The picture is an example of the clutter happening in one corner of my office.

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one corner of my office

There is VBS stuff, evangelism stuff, Trunk or Treat stuff, signage, file cabinet, book shelves, baskets, boxes and that’s just one corner!  We like to keep our stuff don’t we?  We say we’ll use it again and want to hang on to it just in case.

The same can said about our sins.  We like to hang on to them.  God encourages us to come to him with our burdens, struggles and sin and leave them at the cross.  Lay them at the feet of Jesus who lived a perfect, died an innocent death and rose again to pay for those sins 100 %.  PAID IN FULL is your receipt and a home in heaven is yours.  We don’t need to hang on to the sins that clutter our heart.  When we come to God in full repentance and are truly sorry for our sins he forgives them.

I hope you’ve experienced the feeling of unburdened heart removed of all the clutter because of the forgiveness you’ve received.  It’s a wonderful moment in the life of a Christian knowing you are forgiven and don’t have to find another shelf to put your next sin on to.  Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Philippians 4:4