Blog

Fear of the Lord as Spiritual Maturity

January 25, 2018 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

With the start of the new year, perhaps you have taken stock of your spiritual well-being. Am I growing? What does growth look like? Am I ensnared by any particular sin? Who helps me fight the good fight? What is my goal; for what am I aiming? What does spiritual maturity look like? These are healthy questions we all need to ask of ourselves on occasion. This line of questioning is a part of what Paul implies when he says, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves” (2 Cor. 13:5).... Keep Reading

Longing to Make Known Because We Delight in Christ

January 18, 2018 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

In Hebrews 4:16 we are commanded to “draw near to the throne of grace” with confidence. It’s a beautiful application after the writer has exalted the greatness of Christ as our high priest. Jesus has destroyed “the one who has the power of death” (2:14), delivered us who were “subject to lifelong slavery” (2:15), made “propitiation for the sins of the people” (2:17), and is “able to help those who are tempted” (2:18).... Keep Reading

Longing to Know God’s Grace by Knowing Christ

January 11, 2018 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Every new year and season change affords us an opportunity to reevaluate how things are going. It is healthy and important for marriages, families, individuals, organizations, and even churches to take stock of current conditions, revisit core values, and consider readjustments as needed. This is the philosophical background to new year’s resolutions. With the elders, I have been thinking through these items for the sake of our church. God has been kind and faithful to our church, but we have room to grow as a church body. I pray that as we refocus on our mission of longing to know and make known the astonishing grace of God and lean into our core value of celebrating a robust, dynamic, Reformed understanding of God’s grace, we would be reenergized for what God will do in and through us.... Keep Reading

Worship in the Midst of Suffering

January 4, 2018 | by: Stephen Sprague | 0 Comments

What does it look like to worship God in the midst of suffering or grieving? That’s a hard question to wrestle with and it’s one I’ve found particularly perplexing over the last month. Especially in the first few days after Eden’s death I found myself angry at God or mistrusting of him. It was hard not to be. I’d ask myself, “Why did this happen? Christians all over the US and in many cities around the world were praying for us, why?!” In the hospital before Eden was born I found myself praying constantly for God to stop Madison’s laboring and spare Eden’s life. But after Eden was born, and died, I couldn’t bring myself to pray anything short of a meager, “Lord, help us.”... Keep Reading

Hope in the Midst of Suffering

December 28, 2017 | by: Stephen Sprague | 0 Comments

For the past several years of my life I have kind of been fixated on the end-times. Not in the sense that I've been reading Tim LaHaye's Left Behind series or Hal Lindsey's The Late Great Planet Earth. Rather I've been fixated on the chapters of scripture that describe to us the beauty of life on the other side of Christ's second coming ... Keep Reading

A Son is Given to Us

December 21, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

The birth of Christ, perhaps, was the most promised and anticipated event in the history of mankind. For centuries, the Jews heard and held onto prophecies of one to come who would bring deliverance, justice, peace, and a kingdom. Part of the wonder of Christmas is seeing those prophecies fulfilled in the birth of Christ. God promised, and God fulfilled. Our faith in the promise-keeping God is bolstered by celebrating the “good news of great joy” of the birth of Christ. This month, let’s consider a few of those Old Testament promises and their fulfillment in Christ. This is part four of a four-part series. In no way do I envy J.J. Abrams. He is a movie director. He directed the recent Star Trek films and episode 7 in the Star Wars saga, The Force Awakens. People have loved his work. But now, Abrams faces, perhaps, one of the greatest challenges of his life. He will be writing and directing the ninth episode of Star Wars. After such divided opinion over episode 8, with some saying Star Wars has been ruined for them by this film, many are looking to Abrams to fix it. Save the Star Wars universe from the mistakes of The Last Jedi! Abrams has such incredible pressure to deliver a great film that fans will celebrate.... Keep Reading

A Ruler for Israel

December 14, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

The birth of Christ, perhaps, was the most promised and anticipated event in the history of mankind. For centuries, the Jews heard and held onto prophecies of one to come who would bring deliverance, justice, peace, and a kingdom. Part of the wonder of Christmas is seeing those prophecies fulfilled in the birth of Christ. God promised, and God fulfilled. Our faith in the promise-keeping God is bolstered by celebrating the “good news of great joy” of the birth of Christ. This month, let’s consider a few of those Old Testament promises and their fulfillment in Christ. This is part three of a four-part series. I have noticed this month that these Old Testament prophecies of the coming Messiah were, for the most part, given during times of distress. This serves to emphasize that the birth of Jesus was God’s action on behalf of distressed people. We live in a world wracked by sin and the effects of sin. We need God’s intervention to bring healing, restoration, and redemption. This is exactly what the promised Messiah has come to do. ... Keep Reading

Finding Joy in the Midst of Anguish

December 7, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

The birth of Christ, perhaps, was the most promised and anticipated event in the history of mankind. For centuries, the Jews heard and held onto prophecies of one to come who would bring deliverance, justice, peace, and a kingdom. Part of the wonder of Christmas is seeing those prophecies fulfilled in the birth of Christ. God promised, and God fulfilled. Our faith in the promise-keeping God is bolstered by celebrating the “good news of great joy” of the birth of Christ. This month, let’s consider a few of those Old Testament promises and their fulfillment in Christ. This is part two of a four-part series. I suspect that Jeremiah 31:15 was not considered to be prophetic, foretelling what was to come, for the first listeners. The Babylonian Empire had been attacking Judah and the city of Jerusalem in waves between 605 and 586 BC. Jeremiah foretold of this impending doom. Chapter 31 is a word of encouragement in the midst of the tragedy. God promises to “turn their mourning into joy,” and that “your children shall come back to their own country” (v. 13 & 17). And the clearest declarations of the New Covenant promises come in 31:31-34.... Keep Reading

The Virgin Shall Conceive

November 30, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

The birth of Christ, perhaps, was the most promised and anticipated event in the history of mankind. For centuries, the Jews heard and held onto prophecies of one to come who would bring deliverance from oppression, justice, peace, and a kingdom. Part of the wonder of Christmas is seeing those prophecies fulfilled in the birth of Christ. God promised, and God fulfilled. Our faith in the promise-keeping God is bolstered by celebrating the “good news of great joy” of the birth of Christ. This month, let’s consider a few of those Old Testament promises and their fulfillment in Christ. This is part one of a four-part series.... Keep Reading

Rice and Beans Again?

November 22, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

In our home we have developed a Thanksgiving Eve tradition. We eat only rice (and sometimes beans) for dinner the night before the feasting. My pastor while I was growing up in Illinois held this tradition with his family. We don’t do this so that we would be super hunger for Thanksgiving. It is a form of fasting. As with any form of fasting, we “afflict” ourselves physically in order to stir up spiritual virtues. We pray for the growth of:... Keep Reading

Filter Messages By: