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It is good to be back with our dear readers.
Pastor Michael and Diane announced Sunday the upcoming arrival of their first grandchild who is expected to make his or her grand entrance in September. Our prayers and well wishes are extended to Micah and Ashley Peebles on the upcoming birth of their first child. Congratulations are also extended to the family of baby Colby Ben Thomas, who was born on St. Valentine’s day by parents Vanessa and Benny Thomas. Jim and Erma Cudney are now Great-Grandparents.
Todd Greer was the guest speaker at Dogwood Nazarene Church Sunday evening. He spoke of his missionary work in India and we wholeheartedly support Todd in his ministry through prayer and partnering with a love offering.
The wheelchair ramp is now installed for our friend on O Highway. As a combined effort between our local church missionary group and Hospice we were able to provide the supplies and skill necessary to complete a good sturdy ramp. Thank you to everyone who contributed time and money into this effort, and thank you to our friend for his patience as the project went a little longer than planned.
During the monthly board meeting we agreed to aim for resurrection Sunday as our first day in the new church building. We will know more for certain in the upcoming week or two. If you or a loved one would like an invitation to this much welcomed event, please drop us a line at Dogwood Nazarene Church, PO Box 2718, Seymour MO 65746, or look for our advertisement in the upcoming issues of the Herald.
The interior of the new building received a fresh coating of blown insulation the other day, (it looks like something from NASA) and Sam and helpers will install the new furnaces as soon as the gas lines are installed. Lord willing, with the quality insulation and the energy efficient furnaces and air conditioners we expect our utilities to drop dramatically in the new building, even though it’s square footage is much larger.
Thank you to Bob for replacing the broken down door sill in the old church building. It had sagged and rotted out so much some folks joked that we could toss a rock through the gap.
On Jan 29th, I attended a Miracles and Healing service at the Agape church in Wentzville MO, which is up toward St Louis, and next week’s column will feature the miracles and healings I witnessed.
We continue this week with our focus on God wanting us all healthy, and that His desire is for us to prosper and to be in health even as our soul prospers (3 John 1:2)
The foundation for this work is to know in your heart, not just in your head, that God loves you. If you don’t have an idea of the depth of God’s love for you, consider the work that Jesus did on the way to the cross and on the cross. The stripes that we are healed by (1 Peter 2:24, Isaiah 53:5&6) happened in the hours before Jesus endured the cross. With every blow he took Jesus could think in his heart of the words of Isaiah, “by my stripes they are healed”, another blow, “by my stripes they are healed”, and another, “by my stripes they are healed”. As he endured the suffering Jesus knew that God’s word was faithful and true and as the blows fell on him he thought of you.
His suffering was for you because he loves you. God’s love for you is greater than any earthly parent could have for their child, though many parents would say without hesitation that they would literally die for the sake of their child if it would help, that they would take the suffering they see their child enduring if it would restore their health. That is exactly what Jesus has done for you. He took your sickness and infirmities so you would not have to bear them. He came so that we might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10).
I will discuss how to receive healing next week, but for now I am going to jump ahead and cover why we sometimes lose our healing. The reason I am jumping ahead is to prepare you to recognize deception.
I can’t expand fully on this topic due to space constraints, but the main points are covered.
In all areas of our life, not just healing, the way we are defeated is through our thoughts. It started with Eve having a thought seed planted in her mind by who–? That old serpent, the devil, and his ways are the same today. He wants to steal, kill and destroy according to John 10:10 and the way he does it is through your thoughts. For example, as you go through the week, consider what thoughts are running in your mind. Just because they are in your mind does not mean you thought of them, and just because they are in your mind does not mean you have to think on them. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself if this thought builds and encourages, or does it tear down and discourage? Remember, the devil has come to steal, kill, and destroy, and every good thing comes from God.
Are you focused on your relief or your ailment? On your blessings or your troubles? The devil will use your own thoughts to trick you that you are not blessed, you are not healed, you are not worthy, and on and on, and if you continue to allow your thoughts to be manipulated, the devil will steal what already belongs to you. We are at war folks, the devil hates you with a passion and he will use everything he can to steal everything you have, including and especially your health. But, when you know the truth about how he operates, then you can recognize a deceptive thought, and cast it down as the bible says, which means toss it out. To be clear, we can have plenty of destructive thoughts on our own without the devil’s help, and not every destructive thought comes from him, but be assured the devil will use our thoughts against us.
The point of the lesson is to practice and recognize and toss out those unhelpful thoughts and replace them with Godly thoughts that will construct and build you up. If you discover that your thought life needs improving do not be discouraged. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and we cannot change our thoughts overnight, but what we can do is be aware of them, seek God, toss out the destructive, and fill our thoughts with memories of how good God has been to us, what good he wants for us and others, and how much he loves his children, just to name a few. When was the last time you had a good wholesome belly laugh? (Proverbs 17:22) Have you thought to yourself , “Jesus loves me”. Have you told someone else that Jesus loves them?
Expect to be tested, because the devil won’t give up easily like an annoying buzzing fly, but if you submit yourself to God, persist and resist the devil (James 4:7), which means being active in the battle, scripture assures us that he will flee. Happy practicing, and until next week, God bless you and your loved ones.