Hello! Unfortunately, technology has betrayed us once again — the batteries died on the recorder! So, I’ll do my best to summarize the wonderful lesson from Pastor Steve as he continued his teaching on being salt and light. But first, the Call to Worship.

Call to Worship
Psalm 16
1 Keep me safe, my God,
    for in you I take refuge.

2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
    apart from you I have no good thing.”
3 I say of the holy people who are in the land,
    “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
    I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
    or take up their names on my lips.

5 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
    nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

This week, Pastor Steve took us into the book of Ephesians.

Ephesians 5:1-2 says that we need to be imitators of God. We need to model our conduct after Christ, Who gave His life for us. Our “Thought for the Week” in our bulletin talked about this, too. We have been looking at Greek words each week, and this week’s reading said, “The word ‘imitators’ comes from the Greek word mimétés. This is the same root word as our English word ‘mimic.’ It means exactly what you’d think it does: an imitator or emulator; properly, the positive imitation that arises by admiring the pattern set by someone worthy of emulation. There is no one more worthy of imitating that God, who sent His Son to be a perfect example for us to follow…. To be like God, and to set ourselves to resemble Him, is the sum of all Christian duty.”

Other verses also call us to be imitators of God. Ephesians 3:19 tells us to be filled with all the fullness of God. Our goal is to be like Him. Matthew 5:48 says we are to be perfect as our Father is perfect. There is no way we can ever do this on our own. That is why God sent His Son. 2 Corinthians 5:21 explains that Christ became sin for us, so that by His death on the cross and His resurrection, our sin could be wiped away when we repent — so we can become righteous, right with God and able to be in His presence.

Ephesians 5:3-7 tells us some of the ways to imitate God while we are in the world. Just as Romans 12:2 told us, we are to be different from the rest of the world, not conformed to it. Deception surrounds us at all times; it is one of Satan’s greatest tools. So, we need to remember to test those things that are spoken or given to us, to make sure that they are God’s truth, not just what we want to hear, as 1 Thessalonians 5:20-22 and 1 John 4:1 remind us.

And, finally, Ephesians 5:8-10 takes us right back to where this all began: we are children of light in this dark world, meant to shine the love of God onto others. When we accept Christ as our Savior, we are rescued from the darkness (Colossians 1:13). Those spiritual forces which are battling against us cannot overcome us when we are walking in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:2, Galatians 5:25, Ephesians 6:12). If we follow Him, we will not walk in darkness any longer (John 8:12); we are God’s holy people, called into the Light (1 Peter 2:9).

Christ gave His life for us. It is our reasonable service (Romans 12:1 NKJV) to give all that we have to be like Him: lights in the darkness.

Have a blessed week!

Transformed vs Conformed, pt. 2

Hello! Yesterday, Pastor Steve continued his teaching on being the salt and the light in the world. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included our Call to Worship, links to Scripture references, and some very brief notes from the lesson. 🙂

Call to Worship
Philippians 2:12-18
Do Everything Without Grumbling
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

Scripture References

Romans 12:1-2

2 Corinthians 4:16

Matthew 25:4

Ephesians 4:23

Titus 3:5

Ephesians 6:17

Ephesians 5:18

1 John 1:9

Romans 14:9

Mark 11:24

Luke 11:23

Luke 8:17-18

1 John 2:17


Source = God
Course = following Jesus
Force = the Holy Spirit
Series of Twos
2 Agents - The Holy Spirit & the Sword of the Spirit
2 Actions - Be willing to be renewed & practice daily discipline
2 Attitudes - Be serious & be submissive

Transformed vs Conformed

Hello! Sorry for the late posting. I’m getting old, and my brain doesn’t work as well as it used to. 😉 But Pastor Steve continued his teaching last Sunday on what it means to be salt and light. He talked about being transformed versus being conformed. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included the Call to Worship and link to Scriptures that Pastor Steve referenced in his lesson. Enjoy!

Call to Worship
Titus 3:1-8
Saved in Order to Do Good
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

Scripture References

Luke 8:16-18

Matthew 5:13-15

John 10:27

Matthew 5:16

Romans 8:29

Romans 12:1-2

Galatians 2:20

Colossians 1:27

Psalm 37:5

Paradigm Shift

Hello from snowy Colona! We had a small, but faithful, group this morning, due to the crazy February snow that blew in overnight. But Pastor Steve made it safely to the church to continue his teaching on salt & light. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. Also included in this post are the Call to Worship and links to verses that Steve references in his message.

Call to Worship
1 Peter 1:13-19
Be Holy
13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

Scripture References

Matthew 25:1-13

Matthew 5:13-15

John 3:19

Luke 8:16-18

John 9:5

Matthew 5:16

Colossians 1:13

Romans 12:1-2

Covert Discipleship

Pastor Steve is finally back on his feet, so we got to hear him teach today on Matthew 5:15-16. To hear this message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included the Call to Worship and Scripture references.

Call to Worship
2 Corinthians 5:16-21
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Scripture References

Matthew 5:13-16

John 3:19-21

John 8:12

Luke 8:16-18

2 Corinthians 5:17-20

Ephesians 5:8

1 John 1:7

1 Peter 2:9

Colossians 1:13-14

Ephesians 2:8

Jeremiah 29:13

Life and Death

Since I was out of town last weekend, I am going to post two messages as soon as I can get them uploaded! This message was given by Terry last Sunday, teaching on Luke 16:19-31. To listen to this teaching, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve included the Call to Worship and Scripture references as well.

Call to Worship
Romans 8:31-39
More Than Conquerors
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Scripture References

Luke 16:19-31

John 9:1-7

Galatians 6:7-10

Matthew 11:28-30

Hebrews 13:2

Matthew 6:21

Matthew 6:33

Hebrews 10:4

John 5:28-30

Ephesians 1:10

James 4:14


Hello there! Yesterday morning we heard another message from Terry, this time regarding how being Christ-like means the doing the opposite of what the world sees as success. To listen to this message, simply click play on the audio player below. Also included is the Call to Worship and a list of the verses Terry references in the message with links to view those verses at Bible Gateway.

Call to Worship
Matthew 16:21-27
Jesus Predicts His Death
21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

Scripture References

Proverbs 11:24-25

Matthew 16:25

1 Peter 5:5-6

Luke 9:46-48

John 13:12-16

Romans 6:3-7

2 Corinthians 12:1-6

Philippians 3:12-14

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Praying you are blessed this week, resting in the Lord and trusting in His promises! 🙂

A Shelter in the Time of Storm

Pastor Steve could not be in church today, so we were blessed to have Terry give our message this morning. He taught from Matthew, chapter 11, about finding rest in the Lord. To hear this message, simply click play on the audio player below. I have also included our Call to Worship, along with links to the verses Terry references in his teaching. (*A quick note: Terry used a different mic from Pastor Steve, so there may be moments of feedback. Sorry!)

Call to Worship
Acts 17:24-31
24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

Scripture References

Matthew 11:25-30

1 Corinthians 1:18

1 Corinthians 2:14

1 Peter 5:7

Hebrews 3:11-12, 18-19

Hebrews 4:10

Praying that you find your rest, your shelter in these times of storm, in Christ this week and always!

The Light of the World

Here is today’s message from Pastor Steve about the Light of the World. To listen to the message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included the Call to Worship and a list of verses he references in his message.

Call to Worship
Ephesians 5:8-14
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness,
righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have
nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But
everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is
illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
    rise from the dead,
    and Christ will shine on you.”

Scripture References

John 9:4

Colossians 1:13

John 9:5

Isaiah 7:3-9

John 8:12

John 10:27

Matthew 5:13

Matthew 5:14

Romans 8:38-39

John 18:37

Isaiah 9:2

1 John 1:5-7

John 3:19-21

2 Chronicles 7:14

Praying your week ahead is blessed indeed!

Be of Good Cheer

Here is the message from January 3, 2021. I must apologize that I did not post this last Sunday. I simply forgot to do what I’m supposed to and have no other excuse. Sorry. 😦 But it is a beautiful message from Pastor Steve about having a cheerful heart, and I pray that it brings you joy. This Sunday’s message will be posted as soon as I get it ready. 🙂

To listen to the message, simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve also included the Call to Worship and Scripture References for you.

Call to Worship
2 Corinthians 1:3-7
Praise to the God of All Comfort
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who
comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those
in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from
God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of
Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we
are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are
comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you
patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And
our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you
share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

Scripture References

Deuteronomy 33:25

1 Corinthians 13:12

Proverbs 15:13

Matthew 14:27

Mark 6:50

Matthew 9:2

Matthew 9:20-22

Psalm 36:5-6

Galatians 4:4-7

Acts 23:11

John 16:33

Acts 27:22-25

Isaiah 58:11

Psalm 23
   The Lord the Shepherd of His People
   A Psalm of David.
23 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord