You're Already There

Greetings everyone, Today we begin what has been said is going to be the hardest week of this coronavirus pandemic yet. Last week the Surgeon General said this week will be our “Pearl Harbor” moment – the peak of this disaster. Indeed, the numbers are already rising and will probably continue to do so throughout this week.
In the midst of this there is some good news. One of our number at Rocklane, Stuart, who spent roughly 15 days in the hospital with COVID 19, came home yesterday to his wife and 3 daughters! Yesterday, New York reports the first lowering of numbers since this whole thing began. Also, many who are dealing with the financial side of this crises are receiving help they need in various ways. 
As we begin this week, I want to share with you a profound passage from the Apostle Paul about what you and I already have in Christ. 
1 Corinthians 1:30-31, And because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemptio…

"And Lead Us Not into Temptation"

“And Lead Us Not into Temptation”
I don’t know about you, but it is when I am overwhelmed, frayed, in my low points that I am most susceptible to temptation. This is when I become more and more likely to fall into bad habits and thought patterns-when I am most ready to go to other gods for comfort and relief. 
Right now, being isolated, being fearful the adversary will come to you, temp you and try to drag you backwards. Back into doubt, sin, wrong-headed thinking, anger, frustration and hopelessness. 
So, I want to share with you a few scriptures today about how to battle temptation, the first of which is Genesis 4:6-7. Here Cain and Abel have presented sacrifices to God. God was pleased with Abel’s sacrifice but not with Cain’s. Cain is upset by this and look at what God said to him, The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen?7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you…

Seeing Things Clearly

Seeing Things Clearly
I love the musical “Fiddler on the Rood”! In fact, one of these nights at home we are going to have to break that out and watch it! One of the reoccurring themes throughout this story is the fact that the main character (Tevye, a milkman with a wife and 5 daughters) is very poor. He is always having sort of tongue and cheek conversation with God about making him rich. There is a comical moment in the film where a character named Perchik says, “Money is the world’s curse.” And Tevye quickly replies, “May the Lord smite me with it! And may I never recover.” 
It’s funny but it is an accurate reflection of many of our inner attitudes. There have been so many times in my life when I have thought, “If I were a rich man than things would be so much easier. I wouldn’t have to deal with this or that.” There have been other times where I have thoughts, “Well, as long as I’m making a decent living, we will be ok.” In other words, I have often, in my heart believed that mone…

Dealing with Anxiety

Dealing with Anxiety
Well, are you worried today? What are you worried about? How was your worry before the pandemic? The same, a bit more, a bit less? 
Worry has been plaguing us since Adam and Eve. Essentially, if I could define it, worry is fear of what might happen
Corrie Ten Boom once said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of sorrows; it empties today of strength.”
Boy that’s true isn’t it? As many of you know, this has been an area of weakness in my life. But, by the grace of God, I am doing so much better than I used to. There was a time in my life when this pandemic would have paralyzed me – but no more. And please hear me when I say this, not because of me, but Christ. And I am also not saying I don’t deal with worry still today – I am saying that I am better at it now than before. I want to share three scriptures with you today that help me deal with my worry. 
The first one is Proverbs 12:25Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”

"O death, where is your sting?"

“O death, where is your sting?”
Hey everyone! This morning I am thinking about Peter, the night of Jesus’ arrest. Remember Jesus tells Peter that he will betray Jesus 3 times. And Peter says, “I will die before I betray you!” 
Then, when push comes to shove, he denied Jesus. Why? Because Peter feared death more than he trusted Jesus. I wonder how many of us have this problem too? When things are good we proudly declare that we do not fear death – we shout “Amen!” and sing “death has been defeated”. But when push comes to shove… 
Today we are going to be looking at two passages. The first is Hebrews 2:9, 14-15 “9But we see Him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.” (italicize added). Here the connotation is that Jesus tasted death so everyone (this includes you) might have the opportunity not to have to taste death! More on this later.…

You Will Never Know Why

You Will Never Know Why
Today we are going to begin our week with the story of Job. This story about Job begins by describing the outstanding character of Job. Job 1:1 says, “There was a man of the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turn away from evil.” It goes on to describe his immense wealth and large family. As the story goes, the Devil approaches God and tells God that Job wouldn’t be so devoted to Him if God didn’t protect Him so. So, God allows the devil to take all of his possessions, his children and his health. So, Job goes from being rich and prosperous to having nothing, no children and sitting the dust with “a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself”. 
And yet, Job never attacks God nor forsakes Him. But Job does go into deep depression. He spends the next 36 chapters begging God for an explanation, he, like many of us in troubling times, wants to know why?Finally, in Job 38 God speaks to Job out of …

Everything is an Opportunity Part II

Everything is an Opportunity Part II
Yesterday we talked about finding opportunity in everything to share the truth about Jesus. Today we are going to look at another way that everything – both good and bad – has the potential to be an opportunity if we choose to use it as such. 
Today we will be looking at Romans 8:28-29. Now, if you want to hear an excellent sermon on this text follow this link: Adam, our worship arts minister, delivered on this text and really dove deep into the point we are going to skim over this morning.
The text says this, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” We like to stop there! And you know why we like to stop there right? Because we want to define “good”! We want this verse to mean that if we love God enough, He will heal us or protect our employment or make sure this ministry works exactly as we envision it working. We want good to mean –…