From The Pastor's Desk

God’s Caring in the Everyday Part 2

In the last article, I spoke to you about a pamphlet I recently came across that contained the Title: God’s Caring in the Everyday: Tips for Curing Soul Fatigue.

We all familiar with the reality of physical fatigue. We know what it is to be so worn down in our bodies that we just want to drop where we stand in utter exhaustion. Likewise, we have experienced mental and even emotional fatigue. Have you ever said I’m tired of thinking this way or I’m sick of feeling like this?

Fatigue, in general, is a harsh reality of the human condition. However, this pamphlet brings the familiar (and unpleasant!) subject up in a way that I haven’t often considered. Soul fatigue. See, there is often more going on with our weariness than tired bodies, minds, and emotions. Under the surface of it all, there is a worn out soul.

The little booklet offers a good description of this condition. Weariness of soul is epidemic. The unmerciful crush of life’s demands can drain you of hope and joy, stunting your spiritual growth. Soul fatigue creates people who are rushed, always behind, wishy-washy, superficial, disconnected from God, and too tired to care. Our world pushes us into this frantic way of life that makes no sense. Can you relate? Ever feel like your life is stuck on fast-forward? Do you feel guilty when you relax? Is every thought weighed down with worry?

It also provides a quote from John Ortberg-When we are preoccupied with unhealthy habits, when we are not centered in God, our soul cries out in distress. When you choose to live a shallow life, one that only skims the surface of spirituality, your soul shrivels from neglect.

When I first saw the title of this little pamphlet I wondered does the soul get weary? Having considered it, I must conclude “yes!” As much as I would like to dismiss and discredit this little book, I have observed far too much of what it describes (among Christians) to deny it credibility. The nasty news is that the souls of many are fatigued. Even worse is the fact that some are not recovering. The condition has become fatal for them!

Yet, I must not conclude this article without pointing out another certain reality. There is DIVINE AID! Think about Jesus invitation in Matthew 11:28-29-Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

If you’re weary in your soul, why not accept His invitation, why not seize your opportunity and find the rest that you seek?

Posted by Pastor Micah Perry on Mar.25, 2017

God’s Caring in the Everyday

I’m always amazed and interested in how God tends to give me thoughts for my own edification and for the purpose of sharing truth with others. Recently at work, I came across a discarded folder as I was taking one of our dump trailers to the dump. It had been placed in there by one of my coworkers and was from one of our local hospitals. Normally, I wouldn’t have thought about it any more than he did (I am NOT a dumpster diver!), but there was something about a little pamphlet inside the folder that caught my eye. It said God’s Caring in the Everyday with a subtitle that read Tips for Curing Soul Fatigue. So, that day at the dump, I felt compelled to pluck that little book from the garbage and in this article, (and the articles that will follow), I feel compelled to share some of the things in it with you!

First of all, it’s important to focus on the title-God’s Caring in the Every Day. Remember, God cares. The entire Bible is a record of God’s intense concern for man. Of course, that Divine interest and involvement was powerfully demonstrated in the sending of Jesus Christ (John 3:16). God DOES care. Such a simple truth, yet one that we so often shakily believe.

Perhaps, we can have faith that He does when all is well, but how about when things are not? How do you feel about this timeless principle when things are spiraling out of control and life becomes impossible to handle? May Peter’s message in I Peter 5:7 remain with you no matter what-[H]e careth for you.

Not only should you remember that God cares, but you need to realize that He cares every day. I’m not talking about mere mental recognition of this fact, but an experiential recognition of it. To put it simply, you know He cares every day, because you have personally experienced that care every day. My dorm supervisor at O.B.I. used to get us boys up every morning for devotions and would say “I’m glad He woke me up this morning and started me on my way.” Bro. Snow knew of God’s daily care! Do you know of it? Scripture declares [b]lessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits (Ps. 68:19). He is not sporadic or occasional in His involvement in our lives. He daily cares for us.

If you happen to be weary in your soul, it’s time for a renewed focus and a revived faith in the God Who Cares Every Day!

Micah Perry

Posted by Pastor Micah Perry on Mar.25, 2017

Reassurance Concerning Strength

Weakness may be unpleasant, but it is a very real symptom of the natural human condition. Jesus declared the flesh to be weak (Mt. 26:41, Mk.14:38). In Isaiah, the prophet pronounced that [e]ven the youths shall faint and be weary (Isa. 40:30). This points out that the strength of even the most vigorous among us does not really amount to much. Such a plain reality is not only bothersome, but it can also be downright depressing! It’s little wonder that David bluntly, desperately prayed [h]ave mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak (Ps. 6:2)!
Yet, the Bible doesn’t just set forth the misery of man’s wretched condition. It also presents the potential for strength. *The wonderful thing about God’s Book is that it always offers a solution for our need!
Do you painfully sense your own weakness? Consider these powerful words from scripture:
• He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength-Isa. 40:29
• But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint-Isa. 40:31
• Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold [grasp, hold, support-O.B.H.L]thee with the right hand of my righteousness-Isa. 41:10
• . . . . but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits-Dan. 11:32b.
• For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. . . . That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man-Eph. 3:14, 16
• Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power-Col. 1:11a
Feeling Strengthened,
Micah Perry

Posted by Pastor Micah Perry on Mar.25, 2017

Nothing But Manna?

The following article contains excerpts from two separate articles. One of the articles, written by Warren Wiersbe, is entitled Nothing But Manna. The other article, written by Dr. David Jeremiah, is entitled Simplify-Seeing the Importance Of Little Things. I was challenged and blessed in reading both articles and believe that you will be as well! *I have emphasized certain portions with bold lettering. MP.

Wiersbe uses Numbers 11:6 for his text where the children of Israel complain: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.

He comments:
I have felt for a long time that one of the particular temptations of the maturing Christian is the danger of getting accustomed to his blessings. Like the world traveler who has been everywhere and seen everything, the maturing Christian is in danger of taking his blessings for granted and getting so accustomed to them that they fail to excite him as they once did.

Dr. Jeremiah, in writing about becoming like a little child in order to be a part of the kingdom of Heaven , says:
That means knowing how to slow down, see the world around us, be present with a sense of wonder, and be awestruck with the greatness of our heavenly Father-and the smallness of some of His blessings.

Wiersbe confronts some fundamental problems in his article. Consider this: One of the evidences that we have grown accustomed to our blessings is this spirit of criticism and complaining. Instead of thanking God for what we have, we complain about it and tell [H]im we wish we had something else. . .Another evidence of this malady is the idea that others have a better situation than we do.

He does not, however, merely diagnose this common problem that most of us have. He offers a solution: Constantly give thanks to God for all [H]e gives and all [H]e does. A thankful heart, lost in wonder of God’s grace and goodness, will never take God’s blessings for granted. Just as a little child is constantly filled with wonder at what life brings him, so the maturing believer must marvel at God’s gifts and God’s provisions.

Concerning this matter, David Jeremiah used Gypsy Smith as an example-Gypsy Smith, a famous evangelist of a bygone day, came to the Lord as a boy living in a gypsy wagon, and he later went into the ministry and labored until he was well up in years. People used to ask him, ‘Gypsy, how do you manage to stay fresh, to maintain your zeal and excitement?’ His answer was, ‘I’ve never lost the wonder of it all.’

In conclusion, consider these words of admonition from Dr. Jeremiah: Pay attention to the small things. Remove the clutter from your mind, and be grateful for simplicity. Be present enough to relish the grace of everyday blessings. Let your worship be filled with wonder, your faith overflowing with sincerity, and your life attuned to the splendor of the ordinary.

Posted by Pastor Micah Perry on Mar.25, 2017

Blessings Part 2

In the last article, the emphasis was upon recognizing the reality of God’s blessings in your life.  The fact is there are things going on right now in you, for you, and through you for which there is no other explanation but God.  As the song goes, I can truly say that I’ve been blessed. . . .

 Having focused upon the Presence of these blessings, let’s meditate further upon the subject by considering the Nature of them.

 1.     They are Divine.  I know this may seem rather obvious, but it’s important to note that you did not just “get lucky.”  Neither are you the object of some mysteriously, wonderful coincidence.  God has been involved.  You have the Attention of the Almighty.  You, that’s right, you have received Divine Favor!  Consider the testimony of David who declared [H]e delivered me, because [H]e delighted in me (Ps. 18:19). 

2.    They are abundant.  Having first observed that these blessings are Divine, it is natural to realize that they are also abundant. In fact, they have their capacity in Him.  Limitless.  There are no deficits.  There are no time constraints.  There are no human requirements involving age, intelligence, “social status,’ etc. There are simply no boundaries to how good God can be to you!  It’s no wonder that David said my cup runneth over (Ps. 23:5).  Proverbs 10:22 states [t]he blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich. . . .

3.    They are frequent.  There are many things that can only be enjoyed every once in a while.  Holidays, birthdays, vacations, etc.  Those joyous occasions are short lived before the drudgery of life soon retakes its dominant position.  Blessings are not events that are anticipated before they come and lamented after they are gone.  They are a regular part of our everyday lives.  They are present during the mundane days and even (and perhaps especially) during the “dark” days when nothing notably positive seems to be happening.  Look closer and remember this declaration of truth from Lamentations-It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness(3:22-23).

They are powerful.  Life doesn’t have to be perfect for you to be blessed.  To the amazement of many, there are often times you find yourself in a prosperous or stable position although faced with incredible adversity.  These are the “in spite of” blessings.  God demonstrates what He is able to do in spite of what you are facing.  Remember the children of Israel who were slaves under the terrible tyrant Pharaoh?  It’s easy to read the account and feel great pity for them.  Indeed, it was a terrible situation!  However, you should also look closer.  Exodus 1:12 says the more they (the Egyptians) afflicted them, the more they (the Israelites) multiplied and grew.  Verse 20 says the people multiplied and waxed very mighty.  What’s the explanation for this incredible phenomenon?  The powerful blessings of God! 

Posted by Pastor Micah Perry on Feb.04, 2017

Blessings-Part 1

Do you recognize the presence of God’s blessings in your life?  I know that it’s easy to get caught up with the problems and the trouble. . . .

 In fact, much time and energy is exerted by many in concentrating on and being captivated by all that is not right in their lives.  There’s so much to be put right, yet there are so many obstacles to arriving at that plane of life where everything is just how it is supposed to be.  It seems that we are always dealing with some sort of dysfunction or disturbance. So, our days, and months, and years are spent in frustration, weariness, and discouragement.

 Still, I am compelled to ask-have you noticed what God is doing in your life?  The reality of God’s blessings often are, but never should be, lost on us.  There are things happening for you right now for which there is no other explanation but God.

 1.     Consider your life itself.  I remember a familiar saying of my old dorm supervisor, Bro. Don Snow, who would offer the same testimony every morning.  He’d say I’m glad He woke me up this morning and started me on my way. Indeed, He has!  Paul preached and said [f]or in him we live, and move, and have our being(Acts 17:28a). 

 2.    Think of your children.  Often children try our patience and have the potential to create or contribute to a tumultuous atmosphere. Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward(Ps. 127:3).  Children are God’s property that He loans to parents to be stewards over.  While this is a huge responsibility (deserving of extended focus at another time), it is also a unique and incredible privilege.  God has entrusted you to shape a life and impact them forever!

 3.    How about the “good things” in your life?  Look around.  Take inventory.  Think about those things that really matter.  Do you think that God had something to do with them?  I’m convinced that He did!  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning (James 1:17). 

 I recognize that your life may not be what you envisioned it to be.  Youthful enthusiasm and optimism tend to fade after some bad experiences in life and are often replaced with bitterness and skepticism. 

 In spite of that, I want to encourage you to discipline yourself to focus on God and His blessings in your life.  This may be very difficult at first, but if you will keep at it, I guarantee you that life will begin to look different!

 

Micah Perry

Posted by Pastor Micah Perry on Feb.04, 2017

Unusual Kindness

Do all things without murmurings and disputings:  That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;  Holding forth the word of life. . . .Phil. 2:14-16a.

How quick do you complain?  How frequently do you gripe?  Do you find yourself often with a disagreeable attitude?

 Truthfully (and shamefully), most of us must admit that murmurings and disputings characterize our responses far more often than they should!  While this regrettable disposition may not easily be seen while we are at church, it does often show up in our day-to-day lives and thru our interaction with others.

 I recently read something from David Jeremiah that both stirred, convicted, and challenged me concerning this theme.  I pray that it does the same for you!-MP

 Ask almost any waiter, waitress, or server and they’ll tell you:  They dread the Sunday after-church crowd.  Perhaps it’s undeserved, but many churchgoers have the reputation of being demanding and stingy. . . .

 It behooves us to be kind to those who serve us. . . .Those who serve us-waiters, clerks, tellers. . . babysitters. . . .supermarket baggers. . .and so forth-often work long hours and receive minimal pay.  Yet they bear the brunt of complaints.  They often have to put up with arrogant, unkind, irritable clients.

 Go out of your way to smile at the guy behind the counter.  Be pleasant to the woman on the phone.  Tip when appropriate.  Be a pleasure to serve.  Show unusual kindness.  A dash of gratitude can brighten the skies of others and exemplify Christ to those who don’t know Him, and encourage those who do! *Emphasis mine.

Posted by Pastor Micah Perry on Feb.04, 2017

An Important Mission Field

But Jesus said, Suffer little children [Allow the little ones to come to Me-AMPLIFIED], and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven-Mt. 19:15.

 Train up a child in the way he should go-Pr. 22:6a.

 [Concerning Abraham, God said] For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD-Gen. 18:19a.

 These verses may initially seem disjointed to you, but they have a couple of things in common.  First, they involve children or young people.  Second, they emphasize pointing these young ones in the direction of the Lord.

 I was recently stirred concerning the incredible responsibility that we have concerning the youth among us and concerning my own children in particular.  Charles W. Conn, an old Church of God preacher had some strong words to say concerning this matter:

 . . . .many who call themselves Christians have never really been born again. . . .There are those who have heard the gospel, and have given assent to it, but have never accepted it personally. . . .They have known the fact of Christ without knowing the reality of Christ. . . .

 I believe that this is particularly true in regard to many of our church young people. . . .Many of them have been brought up in our Sunday Schools, have participated in our youth programs, have sung in our choirs, have listened to our preachers without ever personally being born again.  Many of our young people are in the church through tradition and loyalty more than through individual choice and conviction.

 The blame for much of this lies with us parents.  It is a dangerous error to take it for granted that our children will have the same conviction and the same dedication to Christ that we had.

 We make a further mistake when we leave it up to the church to bring our children to conversion.  The home, probably the family altar, is a much more appropriate place to lead our young ones to Christ.  If we parents, sensitive as we are to every mood of our children, cannot lead them into the new birth in the secure and familiar surroundings of their own home, how can we expect the church to do it in the short time they are there?

 Now, I realize that these are stern words.  They may actually upset you a bit.  They are also challenging words.  Rather than simply being upset, why not let them motivate you to definite action?  Let’s do everything we can to bring them to a place of genuine conversion!

Micah Perry

Posted by Pastor Micah Perry on Feb.04, 2017

Who Is He?

Have you ever stopped and considered who Jesus truly is?

There are many descriptions of Christ in the Bible. These descriptions often involve Who He is and what He does. These references are both enlightening and encouraging.

Here are a few to consider:
• He is God-In the beginning was the Word [another reference to Christ], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God-John 1:1. Concerning his birth, the angel told Joseph that He would be called Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us (Mt. 1:23).
• He is Life-In him was life; and the life was the light of men-John 1:4.
• He is the Way to God and to Heaven-I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me-John 14:6. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved-Acts 4:12.

These are merely a miniscule sampling from the scripture concerning Who He is, but from these it is quite clear that there is NO ONE like Him!

Though this is certainly true, I’m afraid that our understanding of Him is often academic. The above descriptions and others concerning Jesus become much like textbook definitions. As a result, we find ourselves familiar with Him much in the same way that we are with a “stale” term.

So, I’m compelled to ask again who is He? Allow me to follow that with a second question-to you?

He’s not interested in lofty descriptions nor is He focused upon precise definitions. He’s much more concerned with your perception, your opinion, your conclusion. . . .

Who is He. . . .to you?

Remember His blunt question to the Pharisees? What think ye of Christ? (Mt 22:42). Or what about His pointed inquiry to Peter and the rest of the disciples? [W]hom say ye that I am? (Mt. 16:15). Let those questions resound within.

Who is He? What do you think? What do you say?

Micah Perry

Posted by Pastor Micah Perry on Feb.04, 2017

Prayer Part III

Over the past few articles, I have emphasized the subject of prayer. I started by presenting verses from the Bible (OT and NT) because I believe this is where our primary motivation and commitment to prayer should come from. However, I have also been privileged to come across many powerful statements concerning prayer that I consider beneficial for sharing.

These statements are miscellaneous in nature. I’m not trying to emphasize any particular category of prayer at this time. I only want you to read and carefully consider these powerful messages concerning prayer-MP.

. . .what deep-seated malice against God is this, that I will do anything and everything, but go to Him and remain with Him in secret prayer-John Calvin [quoted by Ralph Turnbull].

No man is greater than his prayer life. . . .The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. . . .We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, few pray-ers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestles; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters-Leonard Ravenhill

. . . those who do not pray, especially in private. . . have no religion of any kind, whatsoever pretensions they may choose to make-Adam Clarke

God must reveal to us that the lack of prayer is a greater sin than we have thought. It means we have little taste for fellowship with God. Our faith rests more on our own work than on the power of God-Andrew Murray

Consider that thy time is short, and that business and company must not be allowed to rob thee of thy God-Adoniram Judson

It’s important not to rush through daily devotions. Someone once said, “Hurry is the death of prayer.” We can’t enjoy God’s presence if we have to rush in and out like crowds darting across the street between breaks in the traffic. Decide now that the busier you become with life, the slower you’re going to be with your devotions. God will make up the time for you-Dr. David Jeremiah

. . .we see that the remedy for nonpraying is praying. The cure for little praying is more praying-E.M. Bounds

Prayer grasps the power of heaven. . . .Our power in prayer depends upon our life. When our life is right, we will know how to pray in a way pleasing to God, and our prayer will be answered-Andrew Murray.

. . .the hidden life, a life whose days are spent in communion with God, in trying to reach the source of power, is the life that moves the world-Dr. A.J. Gordon

Prayer is the slender nerve that moveth the muscles of omnipotence-C.H. Spurgeon [quoted by Dick Eastman]

Those who have left the deepest impression on this sin-cursed earth have been men and women of prayer-D.L. Moody

. . . .faith thrives in an atmosphere of prayer-E.M. Bounds

Satan dreads nothing but prayer. His one concern is to keep the saints from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, he mocks our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray-Samuel Chadwick

Posted by Pastor Micah Perry on Mar.06, 2016