A day is mixed with what is around me and what I feel inside. That becomes a combination of how I relate to things around me, how I relate to God and how I relate to others. Frontier Christian Living will be more about my relationship with God through His Son, Jesus.
This platform is a place to bring up whatever I am learning. Even if I think I have learned something, God manages to show me there is a long way to go. I am so grateful for His patience with me.
Lenise Braurer went to be with the Lord last week after a long battle with cancer. She and her husband Dr. Al had attended the local church here in Aeneas Valley, which they had helped to start. They had moved away a couple years ago to spend more time with family, which she loved dearly.
Lenise lead the women'a ministries, was a great organizer, and used her artistic talents to design the church logo and sign. We would listen to her "laughing llamas" during bible studies at her home, which inevitably made us all laugh.
Based on today's sermon. 1 Kings 3:7
When King Solomon had a dream where God asked him what he wanted, Solomon's answer was wisdom. Most of us would be asking for riches or other things, even health and a long life. By answering God with wisdom, Solomon actually covered all bases. What a great answer. I never would have thought of that.
Knowledge without wisdom is dangerous. Having a lot of knowledge gives pride. Wisdom allows one to use the knowledge with the understanding that one is not at the center of the situation. Many have a great knowledge of the Bible and can repeat verse after verse and yet are without the wisdom to understand how/when to apply it. This is so often missing because the person has not allowed God to build the relationship so the Spirit is allowed to direct the person on when/how to apply scriptures. Faith is often missing with those who have a "head' knowledge as opposed to a heart understanding of God. The more one uses knowledge and reason, the more difficult it is to know God's heart and will. It takes practice through a myriad of life situations to learn to have faith and lean on God. Knowledge of Him personally, trumps knowledge of the Bible alone. (This is totally my opinion and experience.)
Solomon's father David was a man after God's heart, yet God did not allow David to build the temple. That was left for Solomon to do. David had the blood of many men on his hands as well as having had an affair and arranging for the death of the woman's husband. Solomon was the resultant child of that affair. Did God punish Solomon? No, He had Solomon build His temple. Was Solomon perfect? No! He wasn't. Yet God still used him.
This gives us all hope. Whatever our background, whatever we have done, God sees us differently than we see ourselves. He sees who we can be and all we have to do is turn to Him. The thief on the cross near Jesus, affirmed who Jesus was and asked Jesus to remember him. Jesus told him he would be with Him that day. No baptism, no religious to-do list. Just an acknowledgement and belief.
Things we do without God often negatively affects others. That is a great reason to try to stay in God's will. If we decide we know God's will, we can often be wrong because the decision is based on what we think we know. Does it (the object/direction of our decision) require faith to happen, because we cannot see how it can happen otherwise? That is more likely to be in God's will. He loves to surprise us when we see how he made it all come together and know that whatever it was is only a small part of what He is doing. He is the master weaver of lives and situations. Timing and faith are everything.
Let God show you how involved in your life he is and wants to be more so. You don't have to be perfect, just willing to try. Ask Him for wisdom and guidance. You can find yourself blessed beyond belief.
Praise the Lord, we are not alone.
It has been over two years since I posted. The Lord put us aside for growth and personal relationship with Him. Our faith has grown tremendously as we watched from outside the fellowship. We attended churches elsewhere waiting for God to bring us back into the fold. It was a time of much prayer and waiting.
He brought us back in to the church, which is experiencing a new beginning of sorts. A new pastor has accepted the position to lead us, the sheep, the Bride of Christ. He is lead by the Holy Spirit. His preaching is strong, yet sensitive to the Spirit and he loves God's sheep. His name is Dennis Henley and his wife LK is a delight. A warm, godly woman who is upbeat and loves to teach the women about how God works in our lives.
The church has almost doubled in attendance as people come and spread the word to their friends that there is a difference here. If you get the chance, come and join us at 717 Aeneas Valley Road. Service starts at 10:30.
Oh, and you may notice that neither the yellow and white circus tent is there nor the army tent. We have a real building! While still in construction, it is warm, light, an big enough to hold well more than the 50 or so coming already!
There is coffee and usually some goodies to snack on after the morning's message. No need to dress up. Some do, some don't. It is totally alright to be casual, like you dress everyday.
And there is no lightning striking or buildings catching on fire when people step in that may have never gone to church. It is a welcoming environment. We would love to have you come visit us.
You are not alone:
If you need prayer, stop by early on Sunday morning or drop us a note at the above address. Our phone has been on hold with all the construction and should be back on again this summer. We regularly pray for this valley and for God to touch the people herein.
I hope to post soon about how God has been working in our lives. There is much to tell! He has been very busy with us. Good thing He is God with infinite bandwidth.
Experience the God of everything yourself! Ask Jesus into your heart.
Wow, it has been a while since I posted. Please forgive me. God has been working in my life more than I could ever have imagined.
I could not say that God has commanded me to be silent. It just seems to have worked out that way. I got a gentle nudging to post so here I am.
There has certainly been a lot going on. Our church got its tent up and we have been meeting there on Sunday Mornings. The service has changed to 10:30 AM (was 9:30) due to the cold weather as we need to warm the tent up hours before starting service. Last Sunday we could see our breath as we sang! Brrr! Don't think I have seen a pastor with a beanie and gloves on while preaching the Word either!
There was a terrible forest fire near us in August. There were two huge fires that threatened the Aeneas Valley for over a month, the Tunk complex and the Northstar complex. Both were south of the valley, but from the east and west sides and were about to meet. God showed up. The firefighters were amazed that the fire would threaten the ridges that would allow the fire to overtake the valley and the flames would die down as if not allowed to go further. Many of us evacuated as the valley was on level 3 evac notice. That means get out now.
We left and gave it to God. Our travels are a story in and of themselves which I will not go into here. Let's just say that God was with us in every step, along every mile and with every situation. Praise the Lord! All is well in the valley as the fire went around the sides of us. Others were not so lucky and need our prayers and help.
Frontier Hubby (FH) and I took a break from Growth group meetings. These are discipleship meetings to help others grow into small group, home-meeting leaders. Awesome time of fellowship and learning how to incorporate God into our lives!
We are starting growth group meetings again. Just one. We said we had thought about it and a bunch of people said, "How about Thursday?" People are hungry for God and fellowship.
In the next few months, FH and I are looking to start a marriage solidarity group. It's purpose is to bring couples together stronger than ever. It is a Christ centered ministry. FH and I have experienced a tremendous leap in the strength of our marriage (it was spiraling downwards) as we have put God first and gotten some good information. This helps to mend us more and more into the oneness mentioned in the Bible. We expect the sessions to be about four months long if we meet weekly for 2-4 hours. No start date or curriculum is finalized.
There are announcements being made this Sunday at the church. Important ones. Please be there if you can. For location and other church related info, visit avefc.org.
Silly conclusion isn't it? Looking at a day in time does not prove the season. Yet that is how science makes conclusions now and usually how we make conclusions too. Is the Bible true? This is an eternal questions with eternal consequences. I do not pretend to be so knowledgeable to give a grand and fully reasoned answer. All I can offer is my experience (in a very shortened version) and another question.
I had my doubts. I thought maybe God's days were longer than ours. I have reasoned that God uses parables to teach and that maybe the Bible was just a collection of stories. Maybe God is so distant from us, that we don't matter to Him, it's just us against the world.
Then, I found some teaching that presented the Bible as fact. They read the stories as if we were a part of them. What were the people in the stories thinking, experiencing? How did they feel and what did they do right or wrong? Easy to see when sitting in a pew, but what if that was us? It's like the difference between playing football and sitting on the couch telling the players what they should be doing. The stories such as Jonah came to life like a movie and Frontier Hubby and I would talk for hours, sometimes days afterwards.
OK, if you are bored jumped down to the section after the line to read the second question.
There is a whole 'nother discussion about creation vs. evolution that I cannot do justice. It boils down to your underlying belief system. Science in no way disproves God. It totally depends on your basis of belief. In fact, there are a lot of scientific proofs for God and creation. Here is a website that discusses scientific finds from both perspectives. creationrevolution.com
I loved physics and biology in school. Loved them. I was fascinated by how things worked and getting down into cell structures and reproduction, how muscles worked, how the body was put together and all that was of great interest. I liked physics for how it showed how things worked. It also showed me the difference from hypothesis (educated guess), theory (testable guess) and law (proven consistency when tested). I could apply laws and theories to things in nature and get an outcome. Cause and effect. Story of my life in a way.
Now, I see these words tossed around like people do not understand their meaning. The "Big Bang Theory" can only be a hypothesis since it cannot be tested, but hypothesis does not sound strong enough. Global warming can only be a hypothesis too as it is a suggested conclusion to some facts that many scientist (even some who worked on the project) do not agree with. The world goes through heat and cold cycles over years. In the 70s we were told an ice age is coming and that no one could live north of California by the year 2000. Doesn't that sound silly now? But it was what the people were told to get laws made and give the government more control. Same 'ole same 'ole.
So what has all that to do with the Bible? I believe God shows Himself in His works. Go out and visit the mountains, deserts, beaches, rivers, valleys and such where there is little or no sign of man. Wow, it is breathtaking. Look in a microscope at a cell reproducing. The complexity of all things individually and then together, shout there is a God.
Spiritually, I have had a couple of scary moments that I could only describe as spiritual attacks and the instant I finally got the name "Jesus" out of my mouth, the attacks were gone. That convinced me right then and there that there is an unseen world.
Now as I read in the Bible, I can see God is consistent, yet surprising. He is loving, yet just. He had a plan from the beginning and it works.
I read a book, Cold-Case Christianity, that was written by a guy who was actually out to prove Jesus didn't exist and even if he did, Jesus was not the Son of God. He was a cold case detective and started reading the first books of the New Testament. He used his skills from his job to read the testimonies of the gospel writers. What he did convinced himself that Jesus was real and that God is the one represented in the Bible. He states that you have to go into any evaluation with an open mind and let the evidence take you where it will. Deciding beforehand that someone is guilty, does not bring justice. It only brings your own desires into play. There are a lot of stories about people who set out to disprove God exists by reading the Bible and God shows up. It's awesome.
So why did I write all the above? Because of the second question I have. We ask ourselves this at church and growth groups (small Bible studies that review Sunday's sermon.) "If the Bible is true, what does that mean to us?"
If God is God and he is the personal, caring God that the Bible represents Him as, shouldn't we somehow change? That question has rocked my world. I want to just fit Him into my life and keep on doing things my way, but that question makes me stop and wonder what it is that I have to change to fit better into His world.
How have the changes that I have been making affected me?
1. My marriage is better. Frontier Hubby was a diehard atheist and even he came to see the reality of God through Jesus since we have been in Aeneas Valley. We both have made Biblical principle based changes into our marriage. Our fighting is reduced to about 10% of what it was and is less emotionally harmful to each other.
2. We have a lot of friends. Now, understand I have had a few friends all my life and make new friends fairly easily. Frontier Hubby does not like people that much. In fact, we moved here to "get away" from everyone. But God in His infinite wisdom has put us in a place that has a multitude of exceptionally bright people in similar circumstances. They have built, with God's help, an extensive community interwoven with folks of different backgrounds and skills that help each other and get along fairly well. They are a blessing to us!
3. I am growing emotionally and spiritually. I look to God much more often. I love people more than ever. I am so grateful for what I have and no longer feel like I need more to be happy. These are all works in process and I feel like I am improving in so many ways I cannot write about them all.
If you are interested in learning more about God but have been put-off
by hypocritical Christians, find a church that isn't put-offing. They
are out there like AVEFC. It is worth the effort!
Are we going to change our life to be more like what God wants us to be? How? Each lesson we learn helps us do
just that and that is the purpose of this blog, to share what I am
learning. May you find all things new in Him, Frontier Woman @FrontierChristianLiving
This service was one that I think many people will remember. Pastor Shane showed us the perspective of the criminal on another cross, the one who acknowledge Jesus. The Holy Spirit was sweet and convicting. Easter always brings up in me what Jesus went through on the cross. This offered an aspect I had not seen before. How even through the horrid pain He was suffering, He was able to give the criminal salvation and hope. WOW!
Songs: Joyful Crown Him Jesus Loves Me Above All Jesus Messiah
We started with a reading of Psalm 139. This is a psalm where David says "Lord search my heart . . ."
Luke 23: 32-43
This seems to be a time of reflection for me. I do not have many words to write. I highly recommend you take some time to watch the video. You can do so at avefc.org and pick the video from 4/5/15. As Jesus hung from the cross, there was a lot of mocking going on from different groups: the crowd, rulers, soldiers, and a criminal also hanging on a cross. But the other criminal rebuked him, confessed his sin, then asked to be remembered by Jesus. It was a really beautiful moment of faith and by that faith he was saved. There was a lot packed into this message, so please watch the video and God bless you.
We missed the previous Sunday as we were traveling over the weekend. So I did not post last week. We did go over it in our growth groups and got a lot out of it. It is also posted in the same place as the Easter service. Mark 2:13-17 on 3/22/15.
Any small community has pros and cons. But how about a church full of professing Christians, me included? One would think the love of Jesus would rule our lives, and it does to a point. Because we are all human, we naturally lean to our own understandings, forgetting about God. We fumble around and there are the inevitable bumps in the road. Can God be trusted to make all things work for good like the Bible teaches?
We love our congregation at AVEFC. Not just as a "feeling" but in real ways such as concern, helping, being available when called. How do you love them all when one is doing something that may hurt another person? For me it is not making judgments, and knowing God is big enough to handle the tough situations. I pray to be in His will. Sometimes that becomes awkward so I keep moving forward so that He can work things out. That has to be God, because my nature is to not get involved and stay hidden. He gives me strength and love. I must rely solely on Him.
At one point last year, the church leadership at AVEFC realized that as we grow, the church will get messy. What does that mean? Well the Aeneas Valley is a small population base and their backgrounds vary a lot! And there are many broken people in this valley. As they all come in to be part of God's family, we need to love them. PERIOD. Let God work out any flaws in their lives as He works out the flaws in ours. Its a process and we will always be in process until we get to heaven. We very much expect messiness from a group of people who have different belief backgrounds, such as Catholic, Lutheran, Assembly of God, Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist, Messianic Jews, and even non-believers just looking to see what we are about. Frontier Hubby was a diehard atheist until attending this church and meeting Jesus in a new way. AVEFC wants to be a place where people can learn about God in a non-judgmental environment. A safe place. I hope that can become the reality. All Christians are in the family of God. Let's take keep our eyes on Him and not ourselves. In the scope of eternity, denominations and other differences should not keep us from loving one another with agape love -- no judgments, no expectations, no grudges.
If you are curious come check us out. It is a different experience from most churches. The people are real, the preaching is different, the Word of God is explored, and hopefully, then applied to our lives. Bring a teachable spirit. It does not help much if you come in already knowing everything. We all have much to learn. See more at avefc.org
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Frontier Hubby had a really tough week last week. He was preparing to give a teaching Sunday morning on a chapter in the Firm Foundations series. As a new Christian, only 3.5 years old, his depth of knowledge is limited, but he is truly searching out the Word and has been successful at getting the lessons across. This is not a pastoral thing, but as Frontier Hubby has a background in teaching, he is comfortable being up-front. As a teacher/seminar leader, he was an expert in his field. Now that 'expert' prop is gone, he is learning to rely on God -- a difficult lesson for a lifelong, self-reliant man.
He was preparing his teaching and smack in the middle of the week, he was exposed to a horrendous scene of a video on the internet sent via email. It was a sick violence that disturbed him to his core. He could not unsee it. There was an instant hatred that entered him. He began praying about it and God gave him much relief. Over the next few days, his hatred turned to prayers for the people involved. God is showing him how to love those who we would normally hate for their actions. That has to be divine as Frontier Hubby is not one to just love and forgive his way through life.
With all that going on, Frontier Hubby was having problems concentrating how to give his presentation. On Sunday after the service, it was Frontier Hubby's time to talk. We had some great discussion on the scripture and its interpretation, mostly on legalism. He ended his session by talking about his week and how this video affected him and how God was blessing him through this time. His final statement was awesome, "Jesus is enough for me."
The congregation was clapping when it was done. That rather shocked Frontier Hubby as he hardly knew where the words were coming from when he spoke. I think God was helping him to say what He needed to be said. There seemed to be a shift in the room as God touched the hearts of people.
Pastor Shane often tells of problems that come up during the week that relate to what he is preaching about on Sunday. Ken is now learning that God works like that in his life too. Their messages are so much stronger and real when they share what has been going on during the week. It is clearly a God thing to make it so relative to the scripture to be covered. How does He do that? Guess because He is God and He does work all things out for good. Just sometimes we don't always see the good, but it is there.