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Feb 022017
 

February 3, 2017

Dear Friends,

February is the month for Valentines – chocolates, a nice card, and dinner out for our loved one, because in our hearts we love them. February is also “heart month” when the medical profession reminds us to take care of that vital organ in our body.

These things remind me of a hymn by Eliza E. Hewitt, that was in our old hymnal – “Give Me Thy Heart”. The first stanza goes like this:

“Give Me thy heart,” says the Father above, No gift so precious to Him as our love;
Softly He whispers, wherever thou art, “Gratefully trust Me, and give Me thy heart.”
“Give Me thy heart, Give Me thy heart, hear the soft whisper wherever thou art:
From this dark world He would draw thee apart; speaking so tenderly, Give Me thy heart.”

Have you given your heart to God? Not the physical organ that pumps blood, but rather, the totality of your being to the Lord; (your desires and your personality) as the Old Testament, Deut. 6:5 and the New, Matt. 22:37 tells us to do; “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind”. The Psalmist prayed to the Lord in 26:2, the, “Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins (mind) and my heart.” And in Psalm 139:23, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts.” Just as you go to your doctor, and I go to my cardiologist, to see how my heart is doing, may I suggest that you ask God to check you out this month. He does this as you read the Bible and the Holy Spirit ministers to your spirit, by applying God’s Word to your life.

The prophet Samuel exhorts us to: “Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things He hath done for you.” Take some time to “consider” all the wonderful things the Lord has done in your life – then “serve Him…with all your heart.”
The Psalmist said in 28:7, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; (is He yours today?”) my heart trusteth in Him, (exactly what are you trusting in today – your job, the government, the new president?) and I am helped (are you?) therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; (is yours?”) and with my song will I praise Him.”

Joshua reminded the people in 23:11: “Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the Lord your God.” The Psalmist said in 18:1, “I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength.” Is The Lord God Almighty your strength today?” He can be if you will love Him. Consider the words of God in Exodus 20:6, “…showing mercy unto thousands (that means you) of them that love Me, and keep my commandments.” How are you doing, following the teachings of God’s word? (See also John 14:15)

Jesus said in Matt. 6:21, “…where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Do you treasure your salvation in Jesus Christ, sent from the loving Father? (see John 3:16). Where is your heart this day in February – heart month” Always remember the words of 1 John 4:19, “we love Him, because He first loved us.”

Rejoicing and basking in God’s love,

 

 

Pastor Frederick W. Carroll

Jan 032017
 

January 3, 2017

Dear Friends,

                We entered a new year, 2017, this week and in a few days a new administration will take over in Washington, D.C. Remember the admonishment by Paul in 1 Tim. 2:1, 2 to pray “for all men: for kings (presidents) and for all that are in authority (Congress & local officials); that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” 

Something else as we come into a new year, as a little 99 year old lady in our congregation used to remind everyone – “we are another day closer to heaven.”  So, let us live like it.

                Another subject that is “heavy on my mind and heart” is your progress in your Christian life this new year of 2017.  In concluding the great Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 7:24-27), our Lord vividly portrayed to His disciples the contrast of the consequences of two types of hearers.  The truly wise, who hears and performs the Word of God, is the man who built his house on the rock; when the rains, winds and flood came, his house stood firm.  On the other hand, the foolish man built his house upon sand and when the same calamities came, it fell.         The foolish man depicts the man who hears God’s Word but does not apply it to his life.  The fool hears God’s Word in a careless, superficial and haphazard manner, where he eventually suffers for it.

The wise man knows the efficacy and power of God’s Word and approaches it with reverence, fear and trembling, with the intent to perform it.  Such an attitude will make that man (and you) blessed and prosperous in all his (and your) ways. (Joshua 1:6-8; 1 Kings 2:3, 4; Psa. 1:1-3)

The foundation of the “house” requires the arduous and painful process of digging, stone-lifting, rock-breaking.  The wise man knows his toiling is not in vain.  The foolish man, lacking resolve, purposefulness and diligence, ultimately experiences a disastrous outcome when the calamities transpire. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to take heed to how we hear and read God’s Word in the coming days of a new year.

Remember the words to the seven churches in Revelation (2:7, 11a, 17a, 29; 3:6, 13, 22) “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”  Consider these attitudes and conditions for your life as you begin reading and listening and studying God’s precious Word, the Bible.

  1. Realize you must be saved and using spiritual principles to understand God’s Word. Some folks never get God’s Word (2 Tim. 3:7), it must be spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:24).  In other words, make sure you are saved (Eph. 2:1, 5, 8).
  2. Realize you must stay teachable and humble. How is your attitude toward the Word and the preacher?  Check yourself out (Psa. 139:23, 24; 2 Cor. 13:5).  As we seek to know and grow in grace, we need to be humble and contrite (Isa. 57:15; 2 Cor. 12:9, 10).  We need to learn from our Savior, in Matt. 11:29, 20.
  3. Realize you should have a devotional life. Plan on spending much time with the Lord in Bible reading, study and in prayer (Psa. 63:1; Mark 1:35; Psa. 1:2; Josh. 1:8).
  4. Realize – this is most important – that you need to obey and apply God’s Word to your daily life. James warns us in 1:22, “Be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” Now look at James 1:25 and stop and think how this applies to your daily walk.  Notice how Ezra “…had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it…” (Ezra 7:10).

Friends, the foolish man’s house was destroyed – Matt. 7:27b.  It is my prayer that your life and walk in 2017 will not end up that way but will be as Matt. 7:25b, “and it fell not.”  Determine by God’s grace and enabling that the coming year will be one of substantial spiritual growth for you and yours.

Thankful for another year,

 

 

Pastor Frederick W. Carroll

Psalm 119:15, 16

Dec 062016
 

pastor500December, 2016

Dear Friends,       

An article on Christmas that mentioned some parents, in an attempt to stave off greed and materialism in the hearts of their children, limit the number of Christmas presents each child receives to three.  The rational is that if three gifts were enough for Jesus then three should be enough for any child.  I remember one year, as a child, when things were really ‘tight financially’ in our family, when my brother Eddie and I received only one gift each.

As you prepare for the coming holiday and the gifts that ‘must’ be purchased for others, consider for a few moments the gifts the baby Jesus received from the ‘wise men’ in Matthew 2:11.

 Gold is a gift for a king – remember that Jesus Christ is King.  Is He your King this Christmas season?  When you are thinking what gift to give others, considered giving yourself afresh to Jesus as your King. (See Romans 12: 1, 2; 6:13; 1 Corinthians 6:20)  There is no better present the Lord could receive from you this year than yourself.

Frankincense is a gift for a priest – The function of a priest is to open the way to God for men.  That is what Jesus did with His work on the cross and with His resurrection from the dead.  We can come “boldly” into the Heavenly Father’s presence now. (See Hebrews 10:11-12, 19; esp. 4:16).  The Latin word for priest is pontifex, and means ‘bridge builder”.  A priest is a man who builds a bridge between God and man.  That is exactly what the Lord Jesus did.  He opened the way to God for each of us.

Myrrh is a gift for one who is going to die – Myrrh was used to embalm the bodies of the dead.  Years ago I conducted a Christmas Cantata entitled “Born to Die Upon Calvary”.  The music and words were a great blessing to all.  The baby Jesus came to give His life and then His death for the people of the world (see John 3:16) if we would just accept Him as our Savior.  Myrrh speaks of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for us. (See Matthew 27:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 5:6; Ephesians 5:2).

Thank the Lord Jesus, that He loved us (Romans 5:8) and that He came and lived as the perfect God/Man, that He might provide salvation (Acts 4:12) for mankind.  That is His gift to you this Christmas.

Now, what will you give to Jesus as your gift to Him this year?

While dating my future wife, Marion Jannette, in high school, her parents invited me to a Christmas dinner with the family. At the end of the meal, Mrs. Proehl came into the room with a birthday cake with a candle on it – and everyone sang “Happy Birthday to the Baby Jesus”.  I must say that left quite an impression on me.

This Christmas, it is the Lord’s birthday we are remembering.  Not all the fanfare, festivity and frivolity. May each of you have a blessed and rejoicing Christmas, thinking of and thanking the One it is all about.

Remember – “Jesus is the reason for the season.”

God’s blessing on you all,

Pastor's Sig 04-29-16

 

 

Pastor Frederick W. Carroll

Psalm 3:8  “Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people.”

Nov 032016
 

pastor500November, 2016

Dear Friends,

I trust you have prayed and decided on your election choices. Remember what the Bible says in Daniel 4:17, “…know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.”  I am not trying to be smart or cruel, but we need to remember the Lord God Almighty is sovereign.

Let’s change ‘gears’ and deal with something else this month.  It is the month of Thanksgiving (November 24th).  Consider with me the admonition in Scripture to “give thanks”.  1 Timothy 2:1 states, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men.”

This means that we thank God for hearing and answering – thank Him for what He has done, and is going to do for all men.  We are to give thanks in all things.  How can we thank God for terrible trials, such as accidents and death and sin?  We cannot; this is not what the Scripture means.  What God means is to thank Him for His presence (see John 14:18; Hebrews 13:5b) and power (see Romans 8:31-39) as we walk through such trials (see Romans 8:28).  In Christ Jesus there is victory and triumph over all (see 1 Corinthians 15:57), no matter how terrible.  Therefore, in everything (not for everything), as we walk through all – thank God for the victory He has given us through Christ.

One more passage – Philippians 4:6-7 “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” One of the steps to peace in your life is prayer (4:6-7) and positive thinking (4:8-9).  The remedy for anxiety and worry: prayer.  The four words used for prayer show exactly how prayer is the answer to anxiety and worry.

  1. Prayer refers to the special times of prayer when we share periods of devotion and worship. Do you have a set time for this?
  2. Supplication refers to the prayers that focus on special needs. We pour out our soul to God.  We lay our needs before Him as a child crying, pleading and begging for His help, comfort, deliverance and peace.  Do you have times for this?
  3. Thanksgiving means that we thank and praise God for all He is and for all He has done for us. Do you do this often?
  4. Requests mean specific and definite requests. Our prayer is not to be general, but specific.  Tell your Lord exactly what is needed.

Brethren, we are to walk in God – live, move and have our being in Him – and we do this by prayer.  We pray “in everything” – all day long, as we walk and move about our daily affairs.

  1. We pray in times that are specifically set aside for devotion and worship.
  2. We supplicate – struggle in prayer – when facing times of deep and intense need.
  3. We offer thanksgiving (and praise) all day long, as we walk and move about.
  4. We offer our requests – specific requests – to God. We ask Him to do definite things, as we walk throughout the day.

Just some thoughts to help you as you go through the month of November.

Working on being more thankful,

Pastor's Sig 04-29-16
 
 

Pastor Frederick W. Carroll
Philippians 4:13