Welcome to our blog. Messages from Pastor Phil, Pastor Tony, and/or other church leaders will be posted here. We pray the Lord speaks to you through them.  Please submit comments via email: One of our church leaders will be sure to get back with you promptly. Thank you, and God Bless!

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020
James 4:11-17 
James warns us against arrogance. He says, “Do not speak against one another.” Three times he uses the words “speak against” in Vs. 11. The E.S.V says, to speak evil, while the N.I.V. renders to slander. In other words, Christians are not supposed to put each other down, and it’s a command. However, the first thing an arrogant, worldly minded person will do is criticize. It’s no mystery why James gets into this topic after teaching us about the source of conflict. These Christians were obviously having a difficult time getting along. It’s a shame when Christians who worship together can’t control their tongue and just respect each other and get along for the sake of the body. Instead we judge one another. James says, when we slander one another we are making ourselves judges of the law. When the Bible speaks of the “law” it is typically speaking of the Word of God, consider Psalm 119:1, “How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord.” Therefore, we are making ourselves out to be God, because as James puts in in Vs. 12, “There is One Lawgiver and Judge,” and it’s not us. Next, James warns us against arrogant self-confidence Vs. 13-17. We don’t get to decide what tomorrow holds for us. A humble person knows how to say, “Lord whatever your will is for my life.” Finally, he concludes by wrapping up the whole chapter with the sin of omission. If you know what you're supposed to be doing, and you don’t do it, you're responsible. 
 Your brother in Christ, Pastor Phil
Wednesday, April 8th, 2020
The Source of Conflict 
James 4:1-10 
 James teaches us that the source of conflict in every relationship we have is selfishness. It doesn’t matter if it is our relationship with God, in our marriages, with our children or in our church. Conflict always stems from selfishness, we want what we want, and we want it now. The word “pleasure” used in verse one as well as in verse three, comes from the Greek word “hedon.” Hedon is the root word for hedonism; one’s personal goal is pleasing one’s self. Therefore, James says, the source of all our conflict is selfishness inside of us. If conflict comes from selfishness within us, then we control the conflict. We can choose to honor God rather than fight with each other. In verse two James tells us this selfishness inside of us is so powerful we will stop at nothing to get what we want. We murder, we covet because when we can’t get what we want. (Vs. 2) We definitely will not ask God for what we want because we know it is not what God would want us to have. (Vs. 3) Therefore, we are spiritual adulteresses. We choose the things of the world, the things we want, over the things God would want us to have. (Vs 4) We do this in two ways; First by ignoring the scripture. (Vs. 5) It’s a sad day when a Christian ignores what God’s Word tells them to do. Also, We choose pride over humility. (Vs. 6) We choose our own way over the ways of God. We are self- reliant instead of God reliant. The Solution to Selfishness James 4:7-10 So, what is the answer to our selfishness? Complete surrender to God. James gives us the idea here in vs. 7-8, that Satan plays a role in our selfishness. As the prince of the power of the air we follow his lead naturally. James tells us to resist that urge by surrendering to the will of God for our lives. How do we do that? By choosing everyday to draw near to God. Seek forgiveness for what we’ve done and take repentance seriously. (Vs. 8b-9) Consider 1 John 1:9. Strive for humility not exaltation. (Vs. 10) Let God exalt you. Do not go around promoting yourself. That is how we overcome conflict in our lives according to James. We live our lives seeking to honor God and not ourselves, in every decision we make. Thinking about what God’s Word says, not how we feel or how angry someone has made us. As Christians we are to seek peace, not self. 
Your brother in Christ, Pastor Phil
April 1, 2020
True Wisdom: James 3:13-18 

Proverbs 9:10 tells us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” This is the point James is making here; practical Christian living directed by the Word of God. Living with Godly wisdom is exercising your mind. Using your thoughts, based on the facts and weight of every situation. Then making decisions in -light of the Word of God. The importance of this cannot be overstated because, there is another type of wisdom, a wisdom from the world. This wisdom is driven by jealousy and selfishness. It leads to confusion and every other kind of evil practice. Unfortunately, it is this worldly wisdom that comes easy for us. We are born with it. Selfish ambition is woven into our D.N.A. Worldly wisdom is something we would expect to find from people we work with, or anyone we meet that doesn’t have a relationship with God, through Jesus Christ. However, this false wisdom is thriving in the church. Anytime there are divisions in the body you find jealousy and strife. This is a sign of a lack of understanding and spirituality. A truly wise believer will never advertise it. It will be displayed in his, or her daily life with an attitude of humility. It will first be “pure,” meaning uncontaminated by the world. It will be committed to being peaceable, reasonable and harmonious, with everyone, whether it agrees with them or not. It does not argue or fight battles that do not need to be fought, but it will not compromise truth. It’s interesting how closely related, James' description of what Godly wisdom looks like, and Paul’s description of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. Not surprising though, they come from one and the same Spirit. Godly wisdom comes from the fruit of the Spirit, combined with our surrender to the Spirit. Be a doer of the Word of God and not a hearer only. 
Your brother in Christ, Pastor Phil
April 1, 2020  
COVID-19, Power of Praise: Psalm 92:1 

Always better to praise than to panic! It is so easy to praise the Lord when all is well, but things don’t always go well. In the world that we live in, there are always problems, sickness, death, sadness (tribulations). John 16:33 There are many panic-producers. Problems about health, families and finances are always at the top of the list. Panic only deepens the trouble and affects all of these areas. 

How can we praise God at our panic point? 
By remembering that God always loves us and that Jesus suffered and died for us to prove HIS LOVE. 

Always better to praise than to be pessimistic. Pessimism can become a way of life. Some Christians are natural fault-finders. They are gripers by choice. Pessimism is the opposite of faith. PESSIMISM IS A DOUBT IN ACTION. What you are really saying, I don’t believe God is big enough or cares enough to handle this. (Romans 1:17) The just shall live by faith.(Romans 1:17) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His Purpose. (Romans 8:28) Faith in Christ enables us to always expect the best!  

Always better to praise that to be problem-conscious. Everyone has problems. The world is not perfect. People are not perfect, but we do not have to focus on what is wrong. 

Paul tells us how to overcome doubt, overcome pessimism. Philippians 4:6 Don’t worry about anything 
Philippians 4:7 Trust God for everything. 
Philippians 4:8 Think only to praise. 
Praise is powerful! Praise demonstrates our Faith! 
So put your praise on!
~ Pastor Tony

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

Taming the Tongue 
James 3:1-12 

Throughout our study in the book of James, he has been teaching us what it means to be a Christian. It means growing in faith through trials and temptations, 1:1-25. It means having self-discipline and compassion, 1:26-27. It means not showing favoritism, but showing kindness to everyone, 2:1-13. Also, True faith is evident by our works, 2:14-26. The point James is making; True faith results in a changed life. If you had to pick one area of spiritual growth that was harder to improve in than all others, what would it be? Would you say immorality? Living a pure life free from lust or indignity. So many people, Christians included, struggle with pornagraphy today, surely immorality would be at the top of the list. How about over indulgence, or gluttony? Certainly this is a problem many of us face. Furthermore, some would say pride, selfishness, anger, the list is exhaustive. James tells us in chapter three, if we can control our tongue, we can control all areas of life. Controlling the tongue is a key mark of spiritual maturity. I know what you’re thinking; that’s simple. I don’t curse, or use foul language of any kind. I haven’t done that in years. But is your language free from anything that doesn’t glorify God? Do you complain about your day? Do you speak negative to your spouse or your children? Do you complain about the weather, or other drivers on the road? How long does it take for something to come out of our mouth that doesn’t glorify God? Verse two says, “ We all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body. The ultimate test of self-control is not to allow anything negative to come out of your mouth, but to always speak in a way that glorifies God!!!!  Your brother in Christ, Pastor Phil!!! 

Wednsday, March 18th, 2020    

True Faith 
James 2:14-26 
Pastor Philip Wallin

 The democratic primaries are taking place around the country. The politicians are saying things and making promises we know they will not keep. How do we know what a politician really believes? Is it because of what he says, or what he does? Of course, it is because of what he does. We know from experience we can not trust what they say. However, we can check their voting record to see what they really believe. What about a Christian? How do we know if someone is really a Christian or not? Do we base it on what they say, or what they do? This is the point that James is making in this passage. If a person is really a believer in Jesus Christ there will be some evidence in what they do. There will be some works that follow their faith. It’s important to note that James is not teaching us how to be saved. He is not saying we have to work for our salvation. It’s also important to realize, James is not telling us if you believe you are saved then get to work. That is not what this passage teaches. What James is saying, is that works are evidence of true faith. If you are truly saved works will be the result of your salvation. He is teaching us this so we can make sure our faith is true. Note: three times in verses 14,16 and 18 the use of the word, “says.” The first sign of a dead faith is a false profession in Christ. There are alot of people who say they believe, but there is no evidence in their life. James goes on to make an illustration in verses 15 and 16, of someone who says they are a believer, but makes no attempt to help a fellow believer in need. This is the worst kind of false profession of faith because this is a false claim of love. Jesus commanded us in John 13:34 we are to love one another. Finally, many people will “say” they have faith and that’s all they need. James makes it clear, the demons have that kind of faith, but it’s not the kind of faith that leads to salvation. James uses two Illustrations to prove his point; the faith of Abraham when he was willing to offer his son as a sacrifice to God, and the faith of Rahab, when she willingly hid the spies. The point that James is making is that faith requires action. If your faith is not an active faith, you can not begin to work to secure your salvation. It is necessary to go back to Jesus and start from the beginning, in repentance and forgiveness asking for His grace and mercy. Take note of what Jesus said in Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven will enter.” We do not work to earn our salvation, we work because of our salvation!!!
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