Good Morning,

During the past week or more the leaves have been falling to the ground in bunches.  When the wind blows, the leaves fall in droves.  The scene around our home and at the church is just beautiful to the sight of the eyes.  The colors of orange, yellow, green and even brown make a wonderful picture of the Creator-Artist of God.  The blanket of leaves under the soft maples has become special pictures for the future as we use our cameras capture the work of God in the fall of 2014.  We did not get to go to Holy Hill near Hartford this year, but we had much beauty around West Allis to enjoy.  It was our intent to go, but busy lives must say, “No” to some things in life.  Fall is a great time of the year but reminds us of the nearness of winter.  But, spring is coming!!!

October 20 – It represented Egypt’s and Cush’s spiritual plight (v.3-4).

Chapter in the Bible – Isaiah 21

Subject:  Prediction of Defeat

Isaiah is shocked by the vision that he sees concerning the Babylonian Empire.  His heart staggers and he is dismayed at what he sees.  The year is approximately 640 B.C.  The year of Babylon’s defeat is 540 B.C.  Yes, 100 years before the impending judgment God reveals this prophecy concerning this powerful and great empire of the world.  No one could stand against this great power yet Media will lay a siege against the great city of Babylon and defeat it in the future.

What if someone had prophesied that America would be destroyed 100 years ago by some foreign country or power?  I have heard many that have said that America is too strong to be defeated especially since we have nuclear arms and specialized armed forces.  Who would have thought in Isaiah’s day that anyone could have ever defeated this great empire of Babylon?  The news about this nation was all around the known world and its power and fame was growing with each passing decade.

The prophetic words came down to the statement that “Fallen, fallen is Babylon;” (v.9).  Notice that the focus came upon the images of her gods.  Yes, it was Jehovah God who was going against all the false gods of the Babylonians.  Our God would win and He always wins.  The one behind the gods of the Babylonians was Satan and his demons.  They are allowed to exert some power, but our God holds all power.

To put the cherry on the whipped cream, God gives Isaiah a prophetic word that Arabia and the glory of Kedar would come to an end within a year (v.16).  One might say, “The fall of Babylon will never happen to that city or empire.”  But, God is already stating that it will happen to Babylon as I have stated just as it will happen to Arabia.  God’s Word is always true and can be trusted!  Are you trusting in His Word?

In His love,

Pastor Les

Good Morning,

What a day Linda and I shared when we came back to our church family on Sunday morning!  It was a very special day for both of us.  Linda and the church had a time of recognizing my 70th birthday after the morning message.  They had a birthday cake, some beverages, a picture of the entire congregation and some sweet fellowship.  They had prepared a book of pictures which turned out to be the story of my life and ends with birthday wishes and words of encouragement from those that attended on Sunday.  It was amazing.  On top of that, Linda had a special DVD presentation in the church entrance of my life in pictures.  I am humbled and thankful for this church family.  It was a sweet way to end my celebration of the beginning of this 70th year of life with our church family and a gift of raspberries from the Goetz’s!!!  Thanks so much!!!

September 29 - He should forget what lies behind and press on for the goal of the high prize of God (v.13-14).

Chapter in the Bible – Philippians 4

Subject:  Trusting Christ Completely

You and I have to trust Jesus Christ for our eternal salvation and that is just fantastic and secure!  But, an even more amazing thing is that we get to depend, trust, and lean upon HIM for every day that we live.  This chapter is abounding with wonderful promises that we have from the hand of God for every part of our lives.

First of all, we need to rejoice in the Lord always and not in our circumstances (v.4).  Secondly, the Lord’s coming is near (v.5).  Thirdly, there is nothing in this world that we need to fret or worry about.  There is nothing to be anxious about as we live out each day.  What God tells us to do is pray with thanksgiving, seek the face of God and His will and wait for the peace of God to lead us for the decisions of life.

This passage (v.6-8) is an amazing way to really know the will of God for our lives.  When we are faced with times of anxiety, we are told to come to God in prayer about the matter.  There is no matter that is too big or too small for us to lay at His feet.  We are to pray and wait upon HIM.  Relax in the concern that we have as we give it to our great God!  When we pray and we sense God’s peace, we are to go in that direction.  If God’s peace in our hearts and minds does not come, we are to say “no” and look for another solution.  We are to continue to pray and wait for that peace that comes from His hand.

Our thoughts in our mind should be fixed upon the positive (v.8).  Worry reduces us to the standards of the world, relaxing and trusting in our God is the way of the Christian.  We are to give our burdens to the Lord and He will take care of the direction of our daily walk with Him.  With this comes other promises such as being content (v.11), doing all things in the power of Christ (v.13), and sharing our finances with those in need realizing that God will reward us for sharing (v.16-17).  What a great God we have to lean upon!!!

In His love,

Pastor Les

Good Morning,

This is why my motto for life is “DO IT NOW!”  It is because it gets lost in the cracks and the busyness of life.  I had Thursday’s devotional ready to go, but decided to wait after Sunday’s entering of the first three days of devotionals on the website.  Well, I forgot that it was a job that was not completed for the week. So, you did not get the Thursday devotional until later in the day because of this unseen task that I did not write down and because of the busy, busy schedule this week.  Finally at 9:00 a.m. Thursday morning my wife, Linda, said, “I did not get your devotional.”  It was then that I realized what I had not done, but it was too late to get it out early in the AM on Thursday.  Linda and I had a meeting with two gals from a company regarding Linda’s Medicare beginning in April.  Yesterday was filled with moving a family in the morning, a hearing aid appointment, and a very profitable counseling session for marriage.  By that time I had 12 hours of work in for the day and the last thing I wanted to think about was another project.  The brain was mush by that time anyway.  So, here it came after noon in West Allis and shows that I am human like all of us are.  It will probably happen again down the road so I will apologize in advance for the lateness of a few of my devotionals.  Thanks for your patience and you have a super weekend with Christ!!!

January 16 – Joshua chose to serve the Lord (v.15).

Chapter in the Bible – Judges 1

Subject:  God’s Presence

The book of Joshua is history and is now history to the GPS 2014 reading program.  We continue on with the next book of history…Judges.  This is a book of ups and downs.  Israel, God’s people, continually live for God for a short time and then God has to chasten His people.  This happens over and over again.  They blunder and fail to live up to the will and ways of God.  But, God is gracious and gives them a redeemer from the people who come against them.

There are a number of applications that we can make in this chapter in Judges.  The first comes from the daughter of Caleb named Achsah.  After she marries Othniel, she goes to her father to ask for the springs of water.  When she does, he gives her the upper springs and the lower springs.  This should teach us to ask the heavenly Father for things in our lives and expect Him to give what is best for us.  Sometimes He may say, “No”, but we are to ask from our hearts and allow God to respond to our requests.

A second lesson comes from some of the tribes of Israel that “could not drive them (the Canaanites) out completely.” (v.28, 29, 31, 32).  What seems to be the problem with some of the tribes of Israel is that they did not exhibit enough faith for God to do a complete job of driving out the inhabitants of the land.  It left the people of God with temptations in the coming days that would cause them to sin against God.

The final lesson comes from the first paragraph (v.1-7) in this chapter.  Judah and Simeon fight against King Adoni-bezek and conquer him.  They caught the king and cut off his thumbs and big toes.  The king makes a statement, “…so God has repaid me” because he had done the same to 70 kings that used to gather up scraps under his table.  Sometimes God does repay us for our wicked ways of the past.  We need to be careful of how we treat others in this world.

In His love,

Pastor Les

Good Morning, It is Friday,

Linda and I are planning a trip out west…Mount Rushmore and then on to Old Faithful and the Teton Mountain Range.  We have spent lots of time talking and even doing some preparing for the trip out west.  The more we dig into the trip, the more we realize we need to play.  There are the sites to see, the places to sleep and eat and the time that is necessary with each of the major sites and the minor ones.  We will have to discard some of the places that we would like to visit, I am sure.  There is travel time, the possibility of complications and even the weather that might present problems for our trip.  The unexpected things may happen as we travel from place to place.  If you have ever been out that way and you know that there is a site to see, please let us know.  We shall be glad to consider putting it into our itinerary.  A number of people have suggested places along the way or at the centers of the more famous sites to visit.  We would love to consider your input.  You have a blessed weekend and a super worship on Sunday!!!

February 27 – He defeated the Philistine giant, Goliath in a fight (v.32, 37, 50).

Chapter in the Bible – 1 Samuel 18

Subject:  God Blesses David

Why does God bless some people and not others?  You may have asked that question from time to time in your life.  The Bible says, “God has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as a ruler over His people,…” (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22).  No, David was not a perfect man, but he was a man that wanted to do the will of God with all his heart.  It is this kind of a man that God wants to bless.  This does not mean that everything in life is going to “peaches and cream” or a “bed of roses” or “every-thing is going to be great”, but that God would be with him and watch over him all the time.

David’s life gets rough and tough before it gets better.  David is tested by God over and over again.  He fails God at times but most of the time he pleases the Lord.  So it is with you and me as Christians.  We are tested by God over and over again and God is watching to see how we will respond to the challenges that come into our lives.  Life is not meant to be easy, but to be real.  God has a reason for every challenge, problem, and blessing that comes into our lives.  Let us look for His hand as we go day-by-day.

David heard the women sing when he comes back from battle, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.”  This made Saul angry, but God was pleased with David’s life.  David acted wisely in all his ways and succeeded, and the Lord was with him. (v.14)  Saul wanted to give his daughter Merab as David’s wife if he would serve the king in battle.  David’s response was one of humility saying, “Who am I…that I should be the king’s son-in-law?”

A humble heart is what God was seeing in David.  What does God see in you and me?  David said, “I am a poor man and lightly esteemed” (v.23).  What are we saying about ourselves and all that we have in this life?  David had more success and behaved himself more wisely than all Saul’s servants, so that his name was very dear and highly esteemed (v.30). 

What does your life reflect?  Are you moral, ethical, and godly in your walk in this world?  Do people respect you because you are living your life for God’s glory and honor and not your own?  Do you behave more wisely than all the other Christians that you know because you desire God to be exalted?  Our hearts will tell the story and they do not lie.  God sees our hearts and the attitude that we have in our daily lives.

Are we worshiping God and thanking Him for all that we have physically, financially and materially?  Or are we hoarding it all to ourselves and wanting more and more for ourselves as we grow older?  What a gift that God has given to us called Life.  What gifts that God has given to us in life like health, wealth, jobs, friends, loved ones, and many other tangible and intangible things.  Yes, God is good.  What are we doing to demonstrate our love to HIM?

In His love,

Pastor Les

Good Morning,

It has been good to have Jared Kusz here as our intern pastor.  In a few more days (July 7), Jared will have been here one of his six months.  A new Logos5 software program was purchased as a graduation gift for Jared by the church people and after installing it on his computer, his computer decided (if they could do such a thing) to slow down and freeze on him over and over again.  Fortunately Pastor Randy’s wife, Sue, has great expertise in reviving computers with this kind of problems.  She began the process and worked hard on it for two days eliminating some serious “malware” and doing whatever computer gurus do to a computer.  It was with great success and a better working computer for Jared.  It is great to have someone give of themselves for another person expecting nothing in return.  That is what Christ called us to do for one another in this world.  Christ gave Himself for us expecting nothing in return and yet we should give of ourselves because of His great demonstration of love towards us (2 Cor. 5:14-15).  May we be giving of ourselves that others may know that we are Christians!!!

July 2 – She is willing to risk being put to death because it was unlawful for anyone to enter into the king’s court without being summoned or the scepter being extended towards the one who entered his court.

Chapter in the Bible – Esther 5

Subject:  Joy of the Lord

The third day comes too quickly and Esther is ready to enter into the inner court before the king realizing that it may be her last day to be alive.  I am sure that she was nervous, yet courageous.  She walks through the door with great respect and trust in her God.  When the king sees her, he extends the golden scepter in his hand.  Ester draws near to the throne and touches the tip of the scepter.

The king asks her what her request is and that he is willing to give it to her even to the half o his kingdom.  The queen has a plan and requests that the king and Haman come to a dinner that she would prepare.  I like the king’s philosophy of life, “Do it now!”  He tells his servant to cause Haman to come quickly so that Esther’s request may be completed.

They came to the dinner and were enjoying the mean when the king asked, What is your petition or request?”  She responds with a request to come to a second dinner and it is at that time that she would share her request with the king.  The king is satisfied with this and he and Haman go their ways.

Haman is exceedingly joyful and elated in his heart over being the only one along with the king coming to the dinner (v.9).  But, his joy turns to anger when he sees Mordecai on the way home from the queen’s dinner engagement.  Haman is filled with wrath over this one man who refuses to bow down to him in reverence.  Haman restrains himself and continues to go home.

When he gets there he recounts all of the events of the day and brags about all his wealth, the things that he possesses and how he has been promoted by the king.  He is especially proud of the fact that he has been asked by Queen Esther to come to another dinner tomorrow with only the king.  But, all of his joy and happiness in life is made as nothing because of Mordecai’s refusal to bow down to him.

His wife and his friends give him an idea to build a gallows 75 feet high and hang Mordecai on it before tomorrow’s dinner and then go and really enjoy your meal at the queen’s dinner.  This pleased Haman greatly and ordered that the gallows begin immediately to be built.

Is there something in your life that really “bugs you”?  It is like a burr under the saddle that gets worse and worse as each hour passes.  Maybe it is like a small stone in your shoe that really irritates your foot.  It is that one small thing that takes the joy of the Lord out of your life.  Do not let that happen to you!

It is because of what Christ has done for you that you should have joy.  The small matters in this world will challenge us to not have the joy of the Lord in our lives.  When that happens we are defeated by our flesh and by Satan himself.  He loves it when the joy of the Lord is gone.  It may be forgiveness, acceptance, sensitivity, and a loving and caring spirit that can change your attitude.  Ask God to help you through it.  He is always there to help you conquer any bad attitude and give you victory and replace it with His joy!!!

In His love,

Pastor Les