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Showing posts from July, 2018

NOT Doing This Is Sinful!

Morning Inspiration: Remember, it is a sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.
James 4:17 This simple line of scripture has immense power, if we take it to heart! We should never pass up an opportunity to do something kind & helpful for others, in the name of Jesus. Spend your days in worthwhile & meaningful ways. Stay alert to God guiding us step by step along our way. ‘Constant contact’ with Jesus makes us much more sensitive to the guiding of God’s Holy Spirit, who will prompt us on what to do, as well as when & how to do it.

God Guarantees Our Protection

Morning Inspiration: Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. 
For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Isaiah 43:1-3 God made this promise to His chosen people of Israel, & it rings true for all of us who follow Jesus today.
When we reach the end of our own strength & endurance, Our Savior is there to save us against all odds. He will pluck us out of the raging waters, & protect us from the flaming fire. We do not need to be afraid of anything in this life.

Getting Past Rejection & Fear

Morning Inspiration: You know how badly we had been treated at Philippi just before we came to you and how much we suffered there. Yet our God gave us the courage to declare his Good News to you boldly, in spite of great opposition.
1 Thessalonians 2:2 Paul had been thrown in prison, simply for sharing the Truth about Jesus. He was threatened with more jail time & even death. Yet God gave Him the courage & boldness to continue telling everyone he met, what they needed to know about the Lord. Never allow rejection, retaliation or fear, to keep you from speaking the Truth our world needs to hear. Pray for the courage & boldness Jesus gave Paul, to come into your heart today.

Are You Too Casual About Church?

Morning Inspiration: Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:23-25 I’m truly puzzled at how many Christians are very casual about attending church on a regular basis! Jesus is coming back soon. We need to know the Word, be reminded of what it says, & how to apply it to life. We are to encourage others who are new to the faith, or faltering in their beliefs. By doing this, we ourselves are lifted up & motivated. Close contact with other believers helps us hold on tightly to the truth, & gives us great hope! Meeting together in church services & small groups helps us encourage each other in ways well beyond what we can do alone. We each need church...& the church needs each of us! We hope to see you soon.

Den Filion Update

Our friend & sister Deb Filion is back in the hospital, but hopefully not for long. She wanted to go home yesterday, but they kept her for observation due to some blood & infection concerns. Please keep Deb & her husband Gene in prayer, as they determine the best way to continue serving Jesus, while she battles the cancer.

Good News from Scott Benefield

Scott's surgery to remove a cancerous kidney went as planned. He was feeling well enough this morning to text back & forth with me. Scott & Julie are very thankful for your prayers, which we hope will continue. Pathology results may take a few weeks, & the test results will determine if further treatment is required.  Praising God for the good news so far!

The Danger of Rejecting Your Invitation

Morning Inspiration: “The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ After the servant had done this, he reported, ‘There is still room for more.’ So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full. For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.’ ” Jesus, quoted in Luke 14:21–24 The worker returned from inviting high ranking individuals, with bad news. Every single person had rejected the generous offer of a great feast! They had a variety of excuses, but the bottom line was, they weren’t interested. The boss quickly turned his generosity towards those who had previously seemed unworthy, & made plans to expand the invitation to include anyone who was willing to celebrate with him. Jesus told this story …

Our Faith Is Confidence!

Morning Inspiration: What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see. God gave His approval to people in the old days because of their faith. Hebrews 11:1-2 True faith is uncompromising trust in God. Yet, it is not just blindly believing whatever we are told. God’s Word helps us understand the Lord’s character. As we learn to follow His guidelines & see the results in our lives, we become more & more confident in His promises. Our hope for what is to come, grows into personal certainty of our future in the trusted hands of Jesus. The 11th chapter of Hebrews goes on to give us many beautiful examples of faith in Old Testament times. Read how their rewards from way back then, transfer to us, even more so today! We can have true faith, because of all that God's Son has already done, & all He promises is still to come.

Living To Please God

Morning Inspiration: Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you
in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we
have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do
so even more.
1 Thessalonians 4:1

Paul constantly encouraged Believers, to live more like our Lord. Even
those who were doing a good job, were urged to step up their game! You
& I should take note of this, never settling for just ‘doing
something’, but doing as much as we possibly can for God’s Kingdom, &
doing it well. When we continuously strive to be better at sharing &
caring for others, always looking for opportunities to share His
Truth, we are living a life that pleases Jesus.

Stan Farmer Memorial Service

The Memorial service for our long time NCC brother Stan Farmer, is this Saturday, July 28th at 11am at New Covenant Church. Please join us to comfort his wife Chris & their family, as we remember Stan's life of service to God & his country.

Stan passed into eternity with our Lord last week, after a long illness. He had just celebrated his 93rd birthday on July 4th. Stan was a Prayer Warrior for many of us over his many years at NCC.
He was a proud Navy Veteran of World War 2, seeing action in 10 of the 13 major battles in the Pacific. Thanks for your prayers.

Scott Benefield Details

Many of you know my friend Scott Benefield. He was one of our  pastors at NCC, who retired to be the caregiver for his daughter Whitney, after her horrific motorcycle accident & amazing comeback.
Scott is in our prayers again, with a major challenge in his life. He will have a cancerous kidney removed this Tuesday, the 24th. Please keep him, his wife Julie & their family in prayer. Here is his Face Book post w all the details:

PROCLAMATION: From this day forward, July will be annually recognized as “Kidney Stone Appreciation Month” in my life. In my thirty plus years of dealing with kidney stones, I never experienced a kidney stone that I liked…until recently. I had been dealing with typical symptoms beginning May 13, Mother’s Day. After navigating the health care system process for 5 weeks, I got a CT Scan on June 21, my birthday. My follow up appointment two weeks later, revealed that I had multiple stones in both kidneys. No big surprise. I was all ready to accept the game …

Covenant Men This Morning!

Ever catch yourself worrying? In today’s world, worry is expected...& often even encouraged!
Yet worry often ruins our lives, & can literally kill us. This morning we take a deep dive into the World of Worry, & look at an incredibly simple, yet powerful way to stop it! It all begins when we change the letter F, to the letter S! Join us for Covenant Men, 8-9:30am. My brief lesson is followed by Small Group Discussions, to hash things out & help is put God’s Word into action in our make things better with our jobs, our children & our wives. Almost everyone is welcome...but NO Perfect Men allowed!
Hot coffee, Donut Mart goodies & Live Worship are waiting for you. It’s not easy being a man these days. Come be encouraged in your walk with Jesus! Covenant Men, 7201 Paseo NE

It's ALL Part of His Grand Plan

Morning Inspiration: See, my servant will prosper; he will be highly exalted. But many were amazed when they saw him. His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human, and from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man.
Isaiah 52:13-14 The greatest mystery, in all of history, has to be the death of Jesus. Why would God allow His own Son, to be brutally killed; beaten so severely, that you couldn’t even tell he was a man? This Scripture proves it was all part of our Lord’s grand plan! Take a few minutes to read these verses in your Bible, & continue through all of chapter 53. You’ll see that the everything from the miraculous birth, to the gruesome death of Jesus (the Messiah) was clearly predicted in Isaiah, almost 700 years in advance! Even though it seemed like a terrible thing, God uses what man meant for evil, for our own good! God has more amazing events coming to this world soon, & His Grand plan includes you! Open your heart to Him today, then listen careful…

Seeing Past The Pain

Morning Inspiration: For to me, living is for Christ, and dying is even better. Paul, in Philippians 1:21 When we are in the midst of great suffering, it’s hard to see anything beyond what we are experiencing at the moment. The Apostle Paul went through extreme pain, but always understood the big picture. If he were to live, he’d spend every day teaching about & glorifying Jesus. If he were to die, he’d be with Jesus for eternity. Either way, he couldn’t lose! To those who don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus, this life is all there is; the best they will ever know. They feel the need to fight for power, pleasure & prestige every step of the way. Being willing to live & die for Jesus are much more rewarding ways to spend our days.

Positive Actions vs Negative Reactions

Morning Inspiration: Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. 1 Peter 3:13–15 Who would hurt a well meaning person, doing something to help others? It happens more often these days, & the truth is, many Christians are afraid of those who oppose our faith. That concern can keep us from sharing what’s on our heart, or from doing what we know is right. Whether it’s good works for the needy, or standing up for the rights of Believers...we must realize our positive actions, may very well bring on negative reactions. Yet allowing the threat of harm or retaliation to stop us, is not an option if we truly want to follow Jesus. Total trust defeats our biggest fears. Pray for the boldness required for us to be protected & rewarded by the Lord.

Stan Farmer Memorial Service

We will gather together as family & friends of Stan Farmer, at 11am on Saturday July 28th.
Please join us as we comfort & encourage his wife Chris, & their extended family, while remembering what a good & godly man Stan Farmer was.

Hold On To Each Other Tightly

Morning Inspiration: Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:23–25 Our faith in Jesus is deeply personal. As individuals, we must hold onto His Truth tightly, without giving in to the objections & temptations from the world, knowing God is good to His Word. We greatly multiply our personal strength, when we encourage others in theirs, through the love & good works taught by Jesus. Gathering together on a regular basis helps build our courage, & generates waves of encouragement, as we remind each other Jesus is coming soon.

Stan Farmer Is With Jesus

Stan Farmer, passed from this life & into the arms of Jesus at 9:45 Sunday night. He was in Hospice at the Veterans Hospital of Albuquerque. Stan was 93 & a Veteran of World War Two, where he served on an Oil Tanker. He was in something like 9 or 10 of the 13 major battles in the Pacific. He loved the fact that he was born on the 4th of July, & was very proud of his nation, the USA.  Stan was a prayer warrior, who loved praying for others, & cherished others praying for him. Please keep his wife Chris in prayer. She has cared for him in amazing ways, through his illnesses the past several years. We would enjoy seeing any memories you have of Stan posted here, & may use some of them at his Memorial Service, which will be announced soon.  Thank you Lord Jesus for our friend & brother Stan Farmer, & the example he was to us. While we are saddened by his passing, we know your Angels rejoice.

Feeling Unworthy Of God's Call

Morning Inspiration: And so we keep on praying God will make you worthy of the life to which He called you. And we pray that God, by His power, will fulfill all your good intentions and faithful deeds. Then everyone will give honor to the name of our Lord Jesus because of you, and you will be honored along with Him. 2nd Thessalonians 1:11-12 Almost all of us who try to serve God, feel unworthy & unqualified for the tasks He has given us. Faithfully follow His lead anyway. You’ll see that while Jesus doesn’t always call the qualified, He never fails to qualify the called. Putting our faith to work, & leaning completely on His power, allows us to accomplish more than we ever thought possible. When others notice our efforts, we give God all the credit. That attracts them to our mighty Lord Jesus. Glorify God with your words & your works. He will make you more & more like Jesus, allowing you to share in His honors.

Paying Off The Debt of Love

Morning Inspiration: Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. Romans 13:8 There is one debt that can never be fully paid off; our obligation to love others. To love, & to keep on loving, regardless of their behaviors or response, is what Jesus does for us. In return, He requires us, as believers, to love others too. Love is not a feeling, it is a commitment; a personal determination to put the concern for others on a level equal to, or higher than ourselves. It’s far from natural for us to feel love for those outside our little circle of family & friends. That’s where Jesus comes in. His Holy Spirit shows us how to love supernaturally....the same way He loves us, in spite of our faults.

What We Gain When We Give

Morning Inspiration: Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. Proverbs 11:24-25
The world tells us to hang on tightly to our money & possessions. The Word teaches that riches are not really ours; it all belongs to God to begin with! He blesses us with His abundance, so we can share it with others, blessing them in the process. When we give to the church, ministries & organizations dedicated to good works, or individuals in need, God gives us back even more. Jesus does that so we will be encouraged to give even more. Much like the natural water cycle of rain, runoff & evaporation that God created, our trickle of ‘Giving’ can turn into a running river, becoming a constant cycle of refreshment for all involved.

Keep An Eye Out For Jesus!

Morning Inspiration: “The coming of the Son of Man can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. When he left home, he gave each of his slaves instructions about the work they were to do, and he told the gatekeeper to watch for his return. You, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know when the master of the household will return—in the evening, at midnight, before dawn, or at daybreak. Don’t let him find you sleeping when he arrives without warning. I say to you what I say to everyone: Watch for him!” Jesus, quoted in Mark 13:34–37 Jesus told this story for several important reasons. He wanted us to know He IS coming back. He knew it would be quite a long time, & that our tendency is to wander away from our duties & responsibilities...the things we know we should be doing. Jesus wanted to give us both the warning to stay faithful, & the gift of encouragement when times are tough! No matter how crazy the world seems today, we know our Lord & Savior is …

Urgent Prayer Request for Stan Farmer

Our oldest and much loved brother from NCC, may be close to his new life with Jesus. 93 year old Stan Farmer was again taken to the hospital last night. I prayed on the phone with his loving wife Chris. I am attaching her email describing his situation. Stan, Cris and I have become close friends over the past eight years. He is proud of his military service in World War II, where he was in the Navy and involved in about 10 of the 13 major battles in the Pacific. This may be his toughest battle yet, but we know his eventual victory is promised. I humbly ask you to keep Stan & Chris in your prayers. Steve

Well, it's been a long day and night.  I just got home from the hospital.  I didn't want to leave but there is someone sitting with him all night.  I'm exhausted and almost ready for bed. It doesn't look good.  The doctor didn't have much hope but our Lord is the hope we need and is the ultimate healer.  My energizer bunny seems to have come through many things in o…

Prayer Request Joshua Link

Urgent prayer request for our brother Josh Link, his wife Mary & their young children. Here is the latest Facebook post from Josh:
So apparently I’m really bad at this social media stuff. It has been over a year since I’ve given everyone an update on my health, so here goes.
As most of you know by now, I’ve been fighting colorectal cancer since August 2016. I made it through all the treatments and surgeries and was considered “cancer free” until February of this year when they found some new lesions on my liver and a possible lymph node. Thus, I began chemo again in March and finished in May. The cancer responded well to the chemo so they determined another liver resection was the best course of action.
I have spent the last couple months recovering from the chemo, getting mistletoe treatments, and doing everything possible to get as strong and healthy as possible for the pending surgery. I will have that surgery tomorrow at 0730 at UNM main and hope to be out within 3-4 days. …

Following Light Through The Darkness

Morning Inspiration: Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
John 8:12 Jesus often used the terms Light & Dark, to help us understand important spiritual concepts.
Finding our way in darkness often causes us to stumble & fall, or to go the wrong way. The resulting doubt can be overwhelming. Depending on Jesus as our light in this world, allows us to follow Him without fear, confident He is leading us on the path to eternal life with God.

What Could We Be Missing?

Morning Inspiration: The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other. And I know it is important to love Him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.”
Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
Mark 12:32–34 While He encouraged this religious leader for his understanding of God’s most important laws, Jesus didn’t tell him he had things all figured out! He told the man he wasn’t ‘far’ from being granted entrance into God’s Kingdom, but purposely created a question in the minds of those who heard His response: “What could he possibly be missing?” The answer of course, was standing right in front of them...Jesus Himself! While the world has changed immensely in the 2,000 years since this, th…

Jesus Is Our Freedom!

Morning Inspiration: For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.
Galatians 5:13 How many times have you heard someone use the phrase “It’s a free country” to justify their poor attitude or behavior? Their approach to life is “I can do whatever I want”. Technically, & even legally, that’s true...but that doesn’t make it right. As Americans, we have been granted personal freedoms that were previously unheard of throughout the entire history of mankind. Our Founding Fathers were far from perfect, but they worked hard to fashion a government that would grow & improve, to eventually grant freedom & fairness to all. God did that long ago, when He sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins. His powerful sacrifice freed us from the law, & from the slavery of sin! Yet it also gave us an awesome responsibility to honor Jesus, through our willing…

Accepting the Invitation, Then Inviting Others

Morning Inspiration: As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. Matthew 9:9–10 Many were surprised when Jesus invited Matthew to follow Him. Tax collectors were despised as greedy & traitorous sinners. Yet, Jesus saw his potential, & gave Matthew the opportunity to change his life, immediately & forever. Matthew accepted, then invited other sinners into his home to meet Jesus for themselves. Many of them then did something much more important than inviting the Lord into their homes; they invited Jesus into their hearts! Regardless of what kind of life you have lived so far, God’s Only Son is knocking at your door, waiting for you to invite Him inside your heart.

I Can Do All Things!

Morning Inspiration: For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Paul, in Philippians 4:13 Life is filled with pain, doubt & fear. As humans, we quickly realize our weaknesses & limits.
We think & say the words “I just can’t do this” again & again. By ourselves, that is a correct assessment. As children of God, we have direct access to the One Who holds all things in His hands. We can do whatever it is God has placed in our path, because Jesus is there by our side. He gives us the courage, desire & strength to do ALL things in His will.