Pastor Mike’s Blog

Be Refreshed

Welcome to all you desert-dwellers! You know what the summer heat can do to plants and people. It sucks the life right out of everything. On the withered and weary, the monsoon rains are a welcomed refreshment. The book of Proverbs says that the words of a faithful messenger do the same thing: “refresh the soul” (Pr. 25:13). My hope is that these words may refresh your spirit the same way they have mine. – Pastor Mike
 
Were you refreshed? Please click the icon and leave a comment below.
 
 

Prop 207

Prop 207

Bad for AZ families.
Bad for AZ freeways.
Bad for AZ future.

Find out some of the leading reasons in this video. . .

A House for Me

A House for Me

from Series: Prayer Points on Property

Moses built the Lord a house; we call it the tabernacle. Solomon built Him a house and we call it the temple.

Acts 7:48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands.

Why are men so set on building God a house, when He doesn’t even dwell there? The prophet Jeremiah reminds us that God fills heaven and earth (Jer. 23:24). We don’t need a house to place God for He is everywhere. And if He wanted a house, He could build one much more majestic than we.

But there remains a need for a house, not for God’s benefit but for ours. We need a place where we can pray and worship and meet with others who wish to do the same. We need a place to remind us that the God who is everywhere is also right here. We need a place to display His fame and to invite others to call upon His name. To these ends then, let us pray for a house for the Lord.

Like a Dream

Like a Dream

from Series: Prayer Points on Property

KJV Psalm 126:1 When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.

It must have seemed like a dream when a new leader rose to power and told the Jews they could return to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple. It had to be stunning; the Jews must have shaken their heads in disbelief that after 70 long years they were actually going home; that they actually had a home. But God had done the impossible. He had turned a dream into reality so much so that the Jews were laughing (v. 2) and singing God’s praise because He had done great things for them (v. 3).

Does it seem like a dream, like a long shot, for our church to have its own place? Believe the Lord can “turn again” for us. If He could bring the Jews into favor with a new leader, then He can bring our church into favor with this landlord. Then we will be like them, laughing in wonder at the God who still does impossible things for His people.

Changed by the Virus?

Changed by the Virus?

“Unanticipated, Unprecendented, Unsettling”

These are just a few of the adjectives people use to describe the times in which we live. There is hardly a way in which our lives have not been touched by the virus:

from the way we buy groceries,

 

 

 

 

 

 

to the way we do school,

 

 

 

 

 

 

to the way we worship.

 

 

 

 

 

No doubt, you have reached out to God many times in prayer for protection for your family and the community from this spreading virus. At the same time, you may feel your connection to God slipping due to your distance from worship. So I have a question for you.

How has the virus changed how you relate to God?

Please share your comments below.

Unsettled Places

Unsettled Places

A man needs a home so he can hang his hat; a woman needs a home so she can roost and redecorate. How men and women come at things from opposite directions! But all of us know the value of a place to call home, a place to call our own. But sometimes, God allows us to go through seasons of unsettledness.

For forty years, the Israelites were unsettled. Here one day, packing up and moving on the next. When the cloud moved, so did they. And each new place brought a new adventure: a shortage of water, a lack of meat, a disruption of some kind. And according to God this was all part of the plan. He took them places to teach them lessons.

KJV Deuteronomy 8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

If you study the text carefully, you will see that God gave them manna not just to feed them but to teach them. He wanted them to understand that there was more to life than eating bread. As they opened their mouths, they were to remember the words of His mouth.

Does it seem like God has always got you on a new adventure? Here one day, and a new challenge the next?  Why are we surprised? That same God is leading us. And a shortage of bread or water (or toilet paper) might just be another lesson, a lesson on how much you need God just to live!

Gender Confusion in Our Schools

Gender Confusion in Our Schools

During its September 10th meeting, the Tucson District Board of Supervisors will vote on whether to overhaul the sex education curriculum in the Tucson School District. Part of the proposed updates include dealing with gender identity issues including the use of a “genderbread person” which will explore gender on the basis of a continuum of possibilities rather than that presented by biology at time of birth.

First, this is not scientifically sound for every single cell in the human body is stamped with either an x or y chromosome received from the person’s father. Nor is it socially sound. In a day when adults still cannot decide how many letters we should have in the LGBTQ acronym, are we really willing to test our ideas on elementary and junior high age children?

This has nothing to do with education or even bullying. This is about using our kids as pawns in a political battle in which grownups are still very much divided. This may be one of the biggest problems with public education today – using our schools as platforms of social change rather than teaching children gender neutral subjects like reading, writing, and basic math. Is it any wonder that more and more parents are opting for education alternatives like charter schools, online schools, and homeschooling?

Christ in the Passover Demo

Christ in the Passover Demo

Join us for a fun and interactive look at one of the most sacred of Jewish feasts, the Passover.

  • This Friday, April 19th, 7:00-8:15pm
  • Kid-friendly
  • Interactive
  • Prizes
  • Kosher refreshments served.

We welcome our Jewish friends and neighbors.

Go Ye

Go Ye

“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

Jesus holds every believer accountable for fulfilling the command in this verse. Preach means “to proclaim or share.” Every person who knows Jesus Christ has a moral obligation to share the gospel which is simply the Good News of salvation in Christ. Who are we to share this Good News with? “Every creature” certainly includes every single living person.

Christ instructs us to carry this out in the context of our daily lives. The Greek word translated as go in this verse could be translated “as you are going.” We are a “going” group of people–we live busy lives. Today we will have many things that will demand our attention, and in the midst of that busyness, we can miss our purpose. God gives us the opportunity to meet people in order to share the gospel we know. As you encounter people today, look for divine appointments.

-Craig Bowers, Locust Grove, CA (from My Daily Devotional Prayer Book, Thomas Nelson, 2012.)

My Right to Choose

My Right to Choose

Don’t Take My Right to Choose!

Since 1973, a mother’s right to terminate a pregnancy in the United States has been protected by law.  Many Christians believe the Roe v. Wade decision should be overturned. But should Christians expect everyone, even unbelievers, to be pro-life?

The Bible teaches that every life, even in the womb is precious: “Thou has covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:13-14). But what do we say to people do not share this belief?

The question comes down to one’s view of morality. Is morality formed by the consensus of the majority, or is morality superimposed from a higher authority?

You may have heard that Wikipedia.org has suffered “friendly” sabotage from time to time, by those who artificially introduced content on certain pages that did not square with reality (i.e. existence of pink elephants). This tampering illustrates the fact that if consensus is allowed to determine morality, results can fluctuate with votes not truth. That is not only true of the web; it is true in real life. Just because 51% agree that stealing is now permissible would not make it right, nor would it reduce my angst if my neighbor took something from my garage. Lest you think my examples ridiculous, there have been cultures that practiced stealing as a way of life.[1]

No, the belief in morality is the belief in constants/universals that apply to all people in all places. One such universal is the belief in the dignity of every human life. Our country was founded on such a belief. Thomas Jefferson wrote that our independence was based on the fact that every person has the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” It is this fundamental belief that led to the elimination of slavery. And it is this belief that should lead to the end of abortion. Every life should be entitled to the freedoms protected by the Constitution. Civilized cultures have always championed life, not because of consensus, but because it is right. Call it what you will, but a developing, growing fetus is a life inside the womb, no different from a seed which contains the life of a full-grown plant within itself.

The Roe v. Wade decision put the life of the unborn outside the protection of the Constitution, which was the same rational that was used to protect slavery in this country before the Emancipation Proclamation.  No person’s freedom (i.e. a mother’s) should infringe or usurp the freedom of another. This is precisely what abortion does and this is why it is wrong in a moral society, regardless of one’s religious profession. Protecting life at every stage is the right thing in a moral society.

[1] Otto Koning in the Pineapple Story documents that a tribe in Papua New Guinea did not have a rule against stealing.

SAFE at Church?

SAFE at Church?

People used to refer to houses of worship as sanctuaries, because they were a place of refuge or safety. But no more! The violence at houses of worship like Sutherland Springs, leave us all wondering where we are safe. Not at Walmart, not even in church?!

Why the madding violence? Why must we witness bloodshed in the house of God? Consider this.  In 1877 American Evangelist D.L. Moody wrote: “A good many years ago there was a convention held in France, and those who held it wanted to get the country to deny a God, to burn the Bible—wanted to say that men passed away like a dog and a dumb animal. What was the result? Not long since, that country was filled with blood. Did you ever think what would take place if we could vote the Bible and the ministers of the Gospel, and God out from among the people? My friends, the country would be deluged with blood. Your life and mine would not be safe in this city tonight.”*

Moody nailed it!

Violence follows rejection of God. And the problem with America is that we are unwilling to go there. We already made that decision when we voted God and the Bible out of our schools a generation ago. Not wanting to endorse any one religion, we offered students no religion at all. But more was lost than religion; we lost a fixed moral reference point. And things have been deteriorating ever since. The anti-hate campaigns and the “be kind” bells cannot restrain a heart that has deified itself. So let the talk go on and on and on. Let the media tell us we need better laws, better education, better safeguards. Nope! We need better people. I wonder how much worse it must get before we invite God back?

*D.L. Moody. Moody’s Sermons, Addresses, and Prayers. New York: Goodspeed & Co. 1877. p. 447.