From The Pastor's Desk

What it Means To Be a Christian

Admittedly, this is a tough topic to tackle in a short article!  There are many definitions (along with many debates) concerning what it means to be a Christian.  I won’t devote the time and space to such an endless discussion! 


Of course, the best place that we can go to consider such a subject is the Word of God.  Again, there are many things emphasized and taught in the Bible about this matter! Really, however, what it means to be a Christian can be summarized into two main things-faith in Christ and following Christ.


First, consider faith in Christ. Understand that faith is essential for the Christian.  It’s where it all starts.  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him-Heb. 11:6.  So, basically being a Christian is about believing that God exists and that you are NOT wasting your efforts in reaching for Him.  Rather, you are confident that He will help you because you asked. 


In addition, being a Christian is about believing in Who He is and What He has done.  Scripture depicts Him as the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).  It goes on to say thatGod sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:17).  Being a Christian is about believing personally that He is the One Who takes away your sins!  Being a Christian is about believing that He didn’t come to condemn you, but to save you! 


Second, consider following Christ.  Scripture speaks of walking in newness of life (Rom. 6:4).  Becoming a Christian points to a new, different, and better way of living.  Such an “exclusive” statement has merit when you consider that being a Christian is about following the example of Jesus Christ (I Pet. 2:21).  Pick up a Bible.  Read about Jesus.  There’s never been another so noble as He!  What a Model to follow!  This is exactly how the Christian feels.  It’s not a “drag” or a “bother” to follow Jesus.  Instead, it is the privilege of one who loves Him!  (John 14:15, I Pet. 2:7).  So, a Christian boldly and voluntarily takes up his cross and follows (Mt. 16:24, Mk. 8:34, 10:21, Lk. 9:23)!


Obviously, much more could be said, more study could be made, more opinions could be gathered.  Yet, I must eliminate all of that and ask have you put your faith in Christ?  Are you following Him every day?  These are questions that demand an answer and that require a decision.  It’s my earnest hope and prayer that you say “yes!” today. 


Pastor Micah Perry

Posted by Pastor Micah Perry on Aug.23, 2017

A Survey of the Bible-Joshua

Key Details:

  • ·         Author-Joshua

*Note-This is disputed by some, but Jewish tradition assigns the authorship of the book to its namesake.  Also, it is clear that the author was an eyewitness to the things recorded in it.

  • ·         Key word-victory
  • ·         Key dates-The book of Joshua takes the story of Israel’s history on from the death of Moses, through the conquest of Canaan, to the death of Joshua.  Chapters 1-12 cover the first five or six years after Moses’ death.  The events recounted in the last two chapters probably took place about 20 years later.
  • ·         Key passage-There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.  Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.  Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.  This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success-Joshua 1:5-8
  • ·         Key concept-God, not their own strength, gives Israel the land.  Victory belongs to the Lord.
  • ·         Key teachings about God

o   God kept [H]is promise, giving the land [H]e had promised to Abraham many centuries earlier.

o   God expects obedience.

Basic Outline:

  I.     Possessing the Land (chaps. 1-12)

*Note-Joshua and the children of Israel conquered 31 kings.

II.     Dividing the Land (chaps. 13-24)

*Note-Once the land was parceled out among the tribes, it became the responsibility of each individual tribe to enter its territory and eliminate all the Canaanites left there.  Joshua obeyed the Lord and completed his assigned tasks.  Unfortunately, as history reveals, Israel did not.

Important Observations:

  • ·         It is clear that the destruction of the people was not simply to make room for the Israelites.  The Canaanites and other inhabitants are portrayed as having brought the judgment of God upon themselves.  The response of Rahab is important in Joshua 2 in that it shows that even one under the judgment of God who responds in faith will be spared.
  • ·         The book concludes with a renewal of the covenant (chs. 23-24) as the people publicly and formally acknowledge that God has fulfilled [H]is promises and that they are indebted to [H]im, obliged by covenant to be faithful.  The book highlights God’s side of the covenant.  It shows that God is serious about punishing those deserving of judgment.  This is true whether the offenders are Canaanites or Israelites who violate God’s commands. . .


Resources:  Survey of the Old Testament, The Essential Bible Companion, and Zondervan Handbook to the Bible. 



Posted by Pastor Micah Perry on Aug.23, 2017

A Survey of the Bible-Deuteronomy

Meaning of the name:  “deuter”=second; “nomos”=law; a second giving of the law

*Note-Deuteronomy means “second law.”  In Deuteronomy, Moses restates God’s law for the Israelites (probably because 40 years had passed since the law was originally given on Mount Sinai).  The people had forgotten much of the law.  In Deuteronomy, Moses repeats many of the same rules that we read in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers.

Author:  Moses

*Interesting fact-Most people believe that Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible, including Deuteronomy.  Joshua, however, may have written the last chapter which describes Moses’ death.

Key words:  observe, do, keep, and obey

Key characters:  Moses and Joshua

Key verses:  And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?-Deut. 10:12-13

Key concepts:

  • ·         Obedience is only the beginning of what is expected of God’s people-[H]e wants [H]is people to be in relationship with [H]im.
  • ·         God’s people are to love [H]im.

Key teachings about God:

  • ·         God is faithful and expects [H]is people to be faithful.
  • ·         God is one.
  • ·         God is concerned with justice.
  • ·         God blesses those who are faithful and punishes those who disobey.

Purpose of Deuteronomy:

Deuteronomy is comprised of a series of speeches by Moses at the end of his life.  The people have traveled eastward from Kadesh, around the southern end of the Dead Sea, and have arrived on the Plains of Moab just east of the Jordan River.  They are ready to cross over and inherit the land that God had promised so long ago.  But Moses will not be going in with them, so he offers these speeches as his parting words to them before he dies. . . .The book can be considered the charter document. . . .containing Israel’s mission statement, values, and by-laws.


The main purpose of the book is to remind Israel of their special relationship to God.  They were the covenant people and were to obey His laws.  Israel was reminded in Deuteronomy of the privileged position that they had and the resulting responsibilities to serve God faithfully and to be holy.  In these messages Moses pled with the people to obey the commandments.  His pleas to the nation were based on several facts: (1) God’s goodness to them in the past (4:32-40); (2) God’s goodness to them in the recent wilderness experience (29:5-9); (3) Israel’s responsibility to be a good testimony to the nations of the earth (4:6-7); (4) God’s love which had been poured out on them (7:7-11); (5) God’s sure promise of blessing (7:12-14); and (6) God’s warnings of certain judgment for disobedience (29:24-28).


Resources:  Survey of the Old Testament, The Essential Bible Companion, and The King James Version Student Bible




Posted by Pastor Micah Perry on Aug.23, 2017

An Old Testament Survey

I continue with the big task of surveying the Bible.  I sincerely hope and pray that there are things here that you can both learn from and enjoy!  MP



Author-Moses>he wrote the book as an eyewitness who observed and experienced the events described.

Years involved-It covers a period around 40 years that began shortly after the escape from Egypt and leading up to the actual entrance into Canaan.

Key major characters-Moses, Aaron, and Joshua

Key minor characters-Miriam, Korah, and Caleb

Key terms-twelve tribes>The Israelites are organized socially and politically by tribes descended from

                    the sons of Jacob.

                -Nazarite>A person who engages in a designated period of dedication to God.

                -Levites-The clan responsible for priestly duties and for the care of the tabernacle.


Purpose for the Book-

Numbers was written to record Israel’s history from their departure from Mount Sinai to their arrival in Moab on the east side of the Jordan River.  Numbers continues the account of God’s faithfulness in making of Abraham a “great nation.”


The book’s purpose is to contrast God’s covenant faithfulness to Israel’s faithlessness and rebellion.  God keeps [H]is promise to make them a numerous people (shown by the census) and to bring them to the Promise Land.  But from the beginning, the people grumble, rebel against God’s leadership, and refuse to enter the land.  They not only wander in the wilderness, they wander into false worship.  The people test God at every level even while God is providing their needs.


Interesting detail-

The covenant theme of Genesis is continued as God reveals [H]imself and fulfills promises despite obstacles.  The Exodus theme of God’s [P]resence is continued as is the Leviticus theme of holiness.


Key thought on God’s Response to Sin-

In Numbers, we catch a glimpse of how severely God deals with sin.  When the Israelites stopped obeying God and turned their backs on [H]im, they suffered tremendously.  It’s a frightening thing to read about.  But as you read Numbers, keep this in mind:  God never stops loving [H]is people-even when they sin.  He hates sin, but [H]e loves the sinner.  Moses described God in Numbers as longsuffering, merciful, and forgiving (14:18). . .


Information compiled from The King James Student Bible, The Essential Bible Companion, Zondervan Handbook to the Bible, and Survey of the Old Testament.



Posted by Pastor Micah Perry on Aug.23, 2017



I have lately been writing to you about the Bible.  This is a very dear and passionate topic for me.  In fact, it has been quite tough to limit my words as I am forced to do in these brief articles!  I will be writing about the Bible for quite some time (although some other topics may be mixed in along the way).  My primary burden in doing this is to inform, to help you become more familiar with your Bible.  Some things you may already know and others you may not.  In the end, I sincerely hope and pray that this subject will be educational and enjoyable to you!  MP


*I will be more brief summarizing Genesis and Exodus since extensive time was devoted to the consideration of these two books in Sunday school class.





Key word-Beginnings

*This is demonstrated by the record of the beginning of the world and mankind (creation) along with the beginnings of marriage, sin, languages, nations, and worship.

Key characters-Adam, Eve, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph

Key verses-Gen. 12:1-3-Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.





Meaning of Exodus-“Exit” or “Departure”

Key characters-Moses, Aaron, Pharaoh, and Joshua

Key chapters-12-The “exodus” out of Egypt; 20-The giving of the law

Key fact-Practically every book in the Old Testament makes some reference back to this book, referring to the Exodus, the mighty miracles of God in the release of His people from slavery, or the law that was given at Mount Sinai-Benware, pg. 53.











Setting-The book of Leviticus complements Exodus; it does not advance the story of the Old Testament. . . .Along with Exodus, Leviticus records the law code of Israel, which Moses received from the Lord at Mount Sinai.  While he was inside the newly completed Tabernacle, Moses received the detailed laws of Leviticus that related to the sacrifices, the priesthood, the feast days, and other matters-Benware, pg. 61.

Purpose-To teach the nation of Israel the way to God and how to walk with Him.  This book was given to direct Israel to live as a holy nation in fellowship with a holy God.  It was part of a code of law for the total well-being of the nation-Benware ,pg. 62.

Key term-holiness (the sum total of godly traits)

-Holiness distinguishes God from people and distinguishes God’s people from other people.

-God is holy.

-God expects His people to be holy.

-God desires to live among His people but has high standards that must be maintained.

Key characters-Moses, Aaron, and the sons of Aaron

Key verses-11:44a-For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy. . .17:11-For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

Interesting Thought-Have you ever wondered about the meaning of the phrase “Jesus died for our sins”?  In Leviticus, you’ll read about the elaborate system of sacrifices that God designed as a way for Israel to pay for its sins.  Every sin required a sacrifice.  When you read about these sacrifices, you will begin to appreciate what Jesus did for us.  As the perfect Lamb of God, [H]e allowed [H]imself to become the ultimate sacrifice for sin (see John 1:29).  His death on the cross paid for our sins once and for all!  (King James Student Bible, pg. 119).


*Information compiled from Survey of the Old Testament, The Essential Bible Companion, and the King James Student Bible.






Posted by Pastor Micah Perry on Aug.23, 2017

The Bible Part 2

Last week, I wrote about the Bible in an effort to encourage you to read, study, comprehend, and apply it to your life.  After all, it’s not enough just to own one (or even several) Bible(s).  It’s also not enough to listen to the Word of God as it is preached or taught.  The Bible is your personal guide for life and eternity!  It should be something that you enjoy and cherish. 


In the past year, I have felt the burden to help you become more familiar with your Bible by looking at the individual books (particularly those within the Old Testament).  There was simply so much vital information within those books, that we only made it thru Genesis and Exodus!  So, I would like to continue my original burden within these articles by giving you a brief glance of each book in many of the coming bulletin articles.  I know this is a large task, but I believe a profitable one!  I hope you enjoy and learn some things about your Bible along the way!


Next week, we will briefly recap Genesis and Exodus while focuses upon Leviticus.  This week, I want to refer to an article from the Zondervan Handbook to the Bible which adequately sums up the contents of the Bible.


It says the Bible can be divided up into 6 parts:

1)   Creation  2) “Fall”  3) Israel  4) Jesus  5)Christ’s followers  6) The end-time


Now, I realize that’s a rather “loose” outline with many details left out, but these are the main points of emphasis throughout the Word of God.


The same article goes on to say that there are two main ways to look at the Bible:

  • ·         seeing it as a story
  • ·         and hearing it as a witness


The big story

The Bible is a superb story-book, full of exciting tales well told.  But it is more than just a collection of stories-there is one big story told by the whole collection of individual stories.  At the centre of the big story is God and what [H]e is doing with the world and the human race.  The Bible begins with God creating the heavens and the earth and tells the story of [H]is dealings with humankind through to the day, yet to come, when [H]e will wrap history up, and war, disease, death and pain will be no more. . . .


The Bible as a witness

The Bible does not simply tell this story in a detached way, as a historian might.  It is written to invite those who hear its message to respond to Jesus too.  It is a testimony to what God has done in history and what God will yet do.  It is written to persuade its readers to become followers of Jesus, and to help them understand how to follow [H]im. . . .  Reading the Bible is like receiving an invitation. . .it seeks our response!



Posted by Pastor Micah Perry on Aug.23, 2017

The Bible

In this article, I want to address a topic that I truly love-the Word of God.  I fully realize that various factors may cause us to fail to recognize and appreciate the Bible for what it is, so I would like to devote time and space to promoting it and placing it upon the pedestal of prominence that it deserves.


The sad reality is that the importance of the Bible is seriously undervalued in our world.  Many disbelieve and disregard it entirely while a multitude of others neglect it.  YET IT IS THE VERY THING THAT THE WORLD NEEDS!


These thoughts have been inspired by a recent conversation that I had with someone.  Actually, I did more listening than talking!  See if any of this sounds familiar to you.  As he began to talk, his perspective was interesting to me.  I recognized a mixture of ideas.  There was some truth mixed with error.  I could also tell that there was some emotion involved.  Hurt had happened and thoughts had been formulated by feelings. I could tell that he was trying to figure some things out.  I sensed that he was searching for both answers and approval.  Ultimately, confusion reigned supreme. 


If you have ever been in a “conversation” like this when someone is unloading on you, it’s hard to know what to say.  It becomes even harder when you recognize that there’s a needy soul behind all of it.  Clichés don’t fit. Flippant (carefree) explanations don’t work.  I felt the desperate pressure mounting, as he continued to express his difficult thoughts! 


However, I was not completely confounded, for I soon felt my responsibility to remind him of a very basic, yet very true reality-ULTIMATELY IT COMES DOWN TO THE WORD OF GOD.


What I mean is that the Bible is the FINAL AUTHORITY.  The Bible is the preeminent standard.  What it says takes precedence over everything.  It’s ok to have thoughts, feelings, and even questions, but at some point, they all have to bow in subjection to the Divinely Recorded Word of God!


This being said, it is of utmost importance to read it, concentrate upon it, and comprehend (understand) it.  To be blunt, STUDY YOUR BIBLE!  You will find that many dark things will fade away in the light of this glorious truth!


Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path-Psalm 119:105


Pastor Micah Perry

Posted by Pastor Micah Perry on Aug.23, 2017


As you may recall to mind, recently there have been many articles written in this bulletin that have been inspired by a little booklet that I happened to pluck out of the trash.  It came from one of our local hospitals and contains a wealth of helpful tips for dealing with difficulty.  I suppose the title itself is what caught my attention:  God’s Caring in the Everyday.  The subtitle was also intriguing:  Tips for Curing Soul Fatigue.  In this article, I want to highlight another of the practical pointers emphasized in this little booklet-RESILIENCE.


Now, resilience is a big (and somewhat difficult to say) word that simply points to the ability to bounce back.  A good example of this quality is the apostle Paul who was beaten many times, put into prisons, stoned, shipwrecked three times, and spent an entire day and night floating around in the deep sea.  He found himself in all sorts of perils (danger). He dealt with weariness, painfulness, hunger, thirst, cold, and nakedness.  This is a mere paraphrase.  You can review the official “list of problems” in II Cor. 11:23-33.  The point is that even after he suffered (I Thess. 2:2, Paul just kept on coming.  He may have regularly found himself bent, stretched, and compressed (Am. Her. Dict.), but he would not be broken.  This is resilience.


Our little guidebook on the subject offers 7 Habits of Resilient People.  I will include them followed by a brief personal comment. 


Here they are:

1.       They live with a sense of purpose-If you don’t know who you are or what you are supposed to do, you will find yourself easily hindered when things don’t go well.  Instead of “sticking it out,” you will simply move on to something else.  This pattern will repeat itself over and over thru life so long as you have no purpose.

2.     They hang out with positive people-Who you hang with does matter!  Surround yourself with people who genuinely care about your well-being.  How can you tell they care?  Do they remain by your side cheering you on regardless?

3.     They think long term-Unless you think this way, you will have a very hard time remaining resilient when there are seasons of setback after setback.  Constant, instant gratification simply isn’t reality!

4.       They find healthy ways to recharge-I like the term revive better. Resilience points to a commitment to regaining what was there previously.  There is a refusal to accept one’s current weakened condition.

5.     They keep things in perspective-A realistic outlook is essential if we are to be resilient.  This is more than just looking at the bright side.  Instead, it involves faith in and a focus on God.

6.       They quickly forgive themselves and others-There has to be an ability to pick up and move on after mistakes have been made.  Things like guilt, shame, bitterness, and hurt may be real issues that you have to recognize and take care of, but having done that you have to go forward!

7.     They squelch the negative voices in their heads-You have to have victory in your mind.  Fear, worry, regret, discouragement, etc., they all try to set up permanent residence in our minds.  You have to determine that you are not going to spend your days allowing such thoughts to be dictators in your mind!


Let’s Bounce Back!

Micah Perry

Posted by Pastor Micah Perry on Aug.23, 2017


We live in a very self-absorbed world.  This is often quite noticeable among many sinners.  However, it is also an alarming trend within the church. Everyone is concentrated and intent upon their own purposes and pleasures. 


Now, it’s important to note that it is not entirely wrong to have personal ambition.  Being driven to reach personal goals is both good and commendable.  The problem comes when that’s ALL that matters to you to the point that you aren’t focused upon anyone else.


Allow me to give you a bit of explanation concerning the direction that I’m going with this article.  I often write about a variety of topics.  Sometimes, I feel very passionate about the subject that I choose to write about.  This happens to be one of those times.  I simply want to encourage and challenge you to NOT follow the trend! 


Discipline yourself to notice and care about someone besides yourself!  My pastor used to make a statement similar to this:  Life is too precious to waste it on yourself. 


Scripture instructs:  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others-Phil. 2:4.


 I’m challenged by the example of Christ when He and His disciples sought to rest a whilein Mark 6.  The gospel writer records that their noble agenda was disrupted by the crowd coming to Jesus even though it was a barren place. What stands out to me is Christ’s reaction.  Verse 34 says [a]nd Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.  The lesson is quite clear.  Jesus wasn’t so caught up in His own world and plans, that He couldn’t take time and make the sacrifice to invest in some needy folks.  Study His life.  He demonstrated this over and over again!


Evaluate yourself.  How often do you intentionally and voluntarily (without being compelled) take time to help someone else?  There are many other questions that could be posed concerning this matter, but for now, I only want to attack the “me-first” mentality that is an epidemic in the land and challenge you to dare to put others first.


Consider the matter carefully and prayerfully.


From my heart,


Micah Perry


Posted by Pastor Micah Perry on Aug.23, 2017

Look Up

On occasion, I like to pass along some information that I have found to be personally beneficial.  I know that there is SO much negative news in the world, that it’s good to be able to read something good, positive, and true.  The following is a powerful excerpt from Dr. David Jeremiah’s book When Your World Falls Apart.  Chapter nine of that book is entitled When You Are at Your Wits’ End.  At the beginning of that chapter, Dr. Jeremiah includes a testimonial from a close friend of his, Dr. Marv Eastlund.  I have emphasized certain portions in hopes of drawing attention and enabling concentration.  Read and be encouraged!  MP

There are certain kinds of change none of us ask for, and none of us receive with open arms.  In my life, pancreatitis was an uninvited visitor-the last item that would ever have appeared on my agenda.  I was thoroughly miserable when the doctors broke the news to me about it.

The dreadful disease moved into my life like a tornado, demolishing my control over my life, my career, and all my plans for the future.  My first reaction was intense anger, to be honest.  I resisted this outrageous medical intrusion and fought it with all the energy I could muster.  One of my main weapons was denial.  I insisted on keeping my usual schedule and simply ignoring the pain.

That was a losing battle, as I’m sure you can imagine.  The pancreatitis won.  I soon reached my pain threshold, and I could no longer pretend that my body was fine and healthy.  I was filled with anger.  Who could I blame?  I could find no scapegoat, so I blamed myself.  Anger gave way to discouragement and self-pity.  I wallowed in my own misery for extended periods of time, fully realizing that I was sick-really sick-and that my life would never be the same.  What response was there for me but despair and gloom?  I became consumed with my own problems.  And if there was any small thread of hope left within me, the repeated hospitalizations snuffed it out.

Discouragement gave way to depression. There were days I could do nothing but sit and stare.  My family tried desperately to encourage me, but I made certain they didn’t succeed.  I was investing a good bit of energy in my negative emotions, and I didn’t want to cheer up.  Life was unfair.  The future was hopeless.

And yet deep within me, there was the nagging question of my faith.  I couldn’t give up the life commitment I had made to God.  He means too much for me to simply turn away from Him.  So I was being torn by great spiritual conflict:  How could a believer experience the thoughts and emotions I was feeling?  Why had God let me sink into anger, discouragement, and depression?  If my faith was as strong as I’d always thought it was, why, then-how, then-could I now be questioning His very existence?  Where was He?  Why didn’t He answer my pleas?

My faith was on very rocky ground indeed.  Physically, mentally, and spiritually, I had come to my wits’ end.  I had nowhere to turn.  So I lay down on my back one day, sighed deeply, and stared up at the ceiling.

And as I did that, I realized that my eyes were fixed in the right direction-up.  I was looking toward heaven.  Up was the only direction a bed patient could look.  And with new resolution, I realized I had to be faithful to Him and keep trusting Him.  I could not turn away.  As distant as He seemed at times, I realized that my pain and despair only served to draw me close to Him than health and happiness could ever have brought me.

Through the pain, I began to know Him better.  I found a friend in God, a genuine Friend I had never known before.

I see my problems differently now.  When life closes in, I know that the only way out is the way up.

 Micah Perry

Posted by Pastor Micah Perry on Aug.23, 2017