Ken and I are so amazed that a year has passed since the start of our church – Village Bible Church. We love this little church plant – full of committed, loving people who want to reach out into the Johnson County community with the story of Jesus. May there be many more church plants in this area in the next few years!
(1) If that which is holy touches that which is unholy, will it make the unholy holy “? The answer is no.
(2) If that which is unclean (unholy) touches that which is clean (holy), will the unclean make it unclean (unholy)? The answer is yes, that is what it will do.
Clean cannot change unclean. But unclean can change clean.
It is a shame that often Godly, well meaning people, catch the disease of sin because somehow they think that their example and presence of righteousness will somehow rub off. It doesn’t work that way. We can catch sin. We do not catch righteousness.
Righteousness comes from responding in faith to the hearing of truth.
Often we should re-read Haggai 2: 11-13. Do it today !
I taught a Bible study on Heaven – in January of 2012. Someone asked me if I would make it available online – so I’ve uploaded the mp3 files to this website – it was just 4 weeks long, but our little group had a really great time talking about Heaven – as we attempted to ask and answer a few questions about our real home. For many of us, it was a sweet time of remembering our loved ones who had already gone to Heaven – and realizing how fantastic their lives are right now as they live and walk with Jesus every day.
Here are the 4 weeks of the study – just click on the play button to listen.
Over the years I have met a large number of wonderful Christians who appear to understand that their eternal salvation is not based upon their good works or obedience, but upon their faith in the gift of salvation paid for by Jesus Christ. However, I have also seen that many of these same people who have been saved by faith, are trying to live each day of the Christian life by their own obedience and good works. They continue to live in bondage.
I am so anxious to walk through the Book of Galatians on Sunday mornings – to be together reminded that the Gospel ( good news) message of salvation by grace through faith is not just to get us to heaven….but is the message we need to remember every day in order to live our Christian lives.
If you are struggling and feeling defeated at the end of each day, you will be encouraged as we begin our study in the Book of Galatians on Sunday, July 15th…..”How To Be Free”.
Recently Kathleen and I have had the opportunity to visit a lot of wonderful churches. It has been so much fun to experience the different church personalities. One thing that has stood out to me is that the churches which present a very “high view of God” send me away with a lot of peace and security.
It seems almost ironic that the more focus we place on “how God is going to help me” the less secure we are. On the other hand, the more I/we focus on Who He is, the more secure and peaceful all of life becomes.
During the last few months Kathleen and I have come to appreciate what the Apostle Paul experienced as recorded in Acts 16: 6-10. In these verses we read of Paul’s two missionary trips where he invested time, travel and effort in order to plant new churches, only to have the Lord close both doors and send him to Europe.
As far as we know from scripture, God never told Paul why he let him first take those two trips. We cannot adequately answer why God permitted this to happen the way it did. We only know that a Sovereign God worked within His providence. Because of God’s redirecting, the Gospel went into Macedonia, into Greece, Italy, Spain, on up through Europe into Britain, and finally it reached the shores of America. Praise the Lord !
As you know, Kathleen and I invested time, travel and effort considering several new geographical areas to plant the next church. God closed doors and has made it clear that He is not through with us here in Greenwood.
On Sunday, July 15th, we will be holding the first worship service for Village Bible Church. We will be meeting at the Indiana Wesleyan Building located at the Greenwood/Rt. 65 Exit. The facilities are wonderful. New….high tech….spacious….lots of parking !
The service will begin at 10:00 a..m. Nursery and children’s ministry will be offered during worship. We invite you to visit this site often as we keep everyone up-to –date on what God is doing.
We had a great time last night with Pastor Michael Boehm and his wife, Maren, and 3-year-old Pierson and 18-month-old Thatcher. Lots of talking and rejoicing in the wonderful things the LORD is doing in new church plants all over the area.
Michael and Maren planted Encounter Church in 2006, working in partnership with Mike Grine and his wife, and Kerris Wright and his wife. The church runs about 100 now, with a strong volunteer-base of 55. Wow!
Our last Sunday at Southside Bible Church was on March 11th. And, as you probably know, our plan has been to start a church in Estero, Florida – we have worked getting that all put together for the last couple of months. But, after our last short trip down to Florida last week we were able to learn of some other strong new ministries recently launched and in the pre-launch stage in that very same area. Because of that, we have come to the conclusion that planting a church in Estero would not be the most productive move for us right now.
But at the same time we know that the LORD would have us plant a church somewhere…or maybe even help out a struggling church somewhere…. so we are actively researching other options, and have decided not to sell our house or leave Greenwood at this time. There is a wonderful sense of peace and anticipation at what the LORD will want us to do next.
You can still follow our progress at here on OneMoreChurch. And both of us have new e-mail addresses: mine: email@example.com. and Ken’s: firstname.lastname@example.org (had to make them similar so we could hopefully remember!)
We’ll keep you updated!
We are….In His service, and Grateful to Bear His name
Last Thursday Maury Smith went to be with the Lord. Maury was sick for eleven long years. He is no longer imprisoned within that body. This Wednesday I have the privilege to conduct his memorial service. Maury loved the Lord. He loved the Word of God. He loved to teach the Word of God. He loved to sing. I will miss him !
Seventeen years ago Maury invited me to work along side him with a struggling new church plant in Shelbyville, Indiana. The new church had struggled for a number of years, but Maury was determined to stay with it. Maury and the other elders in his church invited me to step in as interim pastor. Together we rolled up our sleeves, trusted the Lord and gave it one more shot. Maury worked night and day as a faithful elder. Soon the church began to grow and after approximately two years Pastor Brad Davis who had recently graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary was invited to take up the role as full-time/ permanent Sr. Pastor. Under his pastoral leadership, the church is today a thriving church family of more than 1,000 believers. None of this would have happened without the steadfast, unmoveable dedication on the part of Maury Smith…..a Godly, faithful elder. Not long before Maury became ill he went on staff as one of the associate pastors. Someone might make the mistake of saying that his ministry was cut short. But that is not true. In life, in sickness and even in death, Maury’s testimony changed thousands of lives for Christ. We will miss him !