Thanksgiving month here we are! In between seasons of fall and winter we can pause to remember all that we have to be thankful for. This is a time to be reminded of many truly good things and remember things from ‘back home.’ It is great to call Northeast Iowa home; fields, farms, trees, wildlife, hills and streams. We live in a beautiful area dotted here and there with small towns. No matter where our travel takes us to and no matter what nice sites we visit I am always glad to be ‘homeward bound’ and then again back ‘home.’
Back home in the town of West Union the recent school play was a musical about a man named Joseph who interpreted dreams. He was taken to a place far from his original home. The play of Joseph brought a couple memories of school productions I took part in. One was during grade school in the small town of Luana. That is quite a memory as I played Captain John Smith.
That story is about the voyager John Smith and first British American colony of Jamestown. Maybe you know the story of Pocahontas saving John’s life. Oh how I remember being asked in one scene of the play to bow down and to kiss Pocahontas’ hand. That kiss was a big thing for me at the time. While at a recent class reunion I was able to talk to Pocahontas, Cynthia in real life. She laughed a bit and said she doesn’t even remember that part yet did remember taking part as a character in the play. As a young boy not wanting to kiss a real girl’s hand it is a memory that has stayed with me. Today I am thankful for the memory sharing and the laugh too. You can ask and I can tell you there is more to the story. Just for the record; I never dated Cynthia if that is what you are thinking.
Knowing that what the Bible says is always true is good to know as there is so much misinformation pushed upon us today from multiple sources. It’s difficult to find what is true. I remember our Pastor during confirmation class in another small town, Gunder, teaching us about becoming happy with how God has made us male and female. There seems much confusion today about that. Our Pastor wisely made it clear teaching us in class to “Thank God you are a girl.” and to “Thank God you are a boy.”
I am thankful for the recent school play in West Union being based upon a true story of Joseph taken from the Bible. There is more to that story too. I encourage you to read the real story from the Bible. Then you will know more. Bible truth tells about the past history and it tells of our future events also.
In another production at school our senior class sang “Homeward Bound” by Simon and Garfunkel. Anyone out there remember them? Whew, that was a long time ago. Someday our time here will pass and we all will become ‘Homeward Bound.’ Have you considered carefully where you will be when your time here is over?
There will come a time when you will no longer walk and talk here; your voice will no longer sing from within this earthly body, breathing will stop. If you are among those who have accepted Jesus, God’s only begotten Son, as Lord and Savior, and walk with God’s Spirit, if forgiven and renewed you will travel on to your eternal ‘Home’ to be with Him. For that you will surely be thankful.
Pastor Leslie White
CrossFire Church, West Union, IA
…Find The Miracles For Yourself
We just love to see clearly. Lately, however, we have seen a long-lasting haze darkening our sky and dimming the sunshine. We are told this is smoke from wildfires. There are those among us troubled with respiratory issues, itchy eyes, and sniffles. All this originates from places unknown yet it causes problems for us where we live.
While my wife and I recently were on a trip in California we received warning not to go east from the Redwoods because of the fires burning there. It is easy to become lost, unable to see. Traveling twisty mountain roads one could easily lose their way and become trapped or at least be delayed. Going the wrong way a person can be more than simply lost on direction but lose their life.
We easily made the decision to stay far from that area.
We were fortunate a friend who knew gave us direction on which way to go to avoid the fires.
My thoughts turn to Moses, that man in history who received directions from God. Initially Moses received word by discovering a burning bush. God had used fire to get his attention. Moses was to pass on the word how to proceed with his life and gave warnings for God’s people as God does not desire anyone to become lost. There were those who did not heed the warnings continuing to do whatever they desired and many wailed from the consequences of disobedience. Death and destruction occurred due to the failure to follow what God directed.
Moses decided to do as God directed and delivered a multitude of people from harm in miraculous ways. Miracles are not only past history.
People suffer from issues that bother us today, many of which we might not understand where they originate. We have an enemy that wishes us ill named Satan. We have problems of our own making because we go our own direction. We are fortunate that we have the Holy Bible to give us direction.
The Bible tells us of many miracles and how God delivers salvation to His people. The greatest of these is how much God loves us that He sent His only begotten Son Jesus to be born as Man, suffer death, and rise powerfully from the dead to show us He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The extra-biblical Historical Record gives no debate of Jesus’ existence in ancient times; “Jewish rabbis who did not like Jesus or his followers accused him of being a magician and leading people astray, but they never said he didn’t exist.” Stated by Lawrence Mykytiuk, associate professor of library science at Purdue University.
Many people still choose to do whatever they desire and don’t believe God’s Love exists. Although many turn from God to their own direction becoming lost people who choose to follow Jesus’ direction are delivered today from death and sin’s addictions with its associated discomfort.
Today you do not need to be lost. Jesus came that you can be saved from destruction. Find a Bible-based church and choose to attend there to learn what direction God has for your life, to see more clearly, and discover how to find the miracles for yourself.
Pastor Leslie White
CrossFire Church, West Union, IA
Article for Newspaper ….In Fear No Longer
A great deal of fear exists centered around COVID-19. It is called by a common name, Coronavirus. You see it in the news, on Facebook, and all sorts of media exclaiming the danger. We are warned to stay away from large crowds, to be careful, use common sense. All of it is not so much how bad it is but how severe the problem might become at an uncertain time in our future. People are scared, some government entities have declared a state of emergency!
Events have been canceled, games and other gatherings called off. Various institutions ban outside people from visiting. Certain items from stores are hoarded. Authority figures tell you to stay home, afraid they might lose control of the masses. So much fear exists that even the stock market halted growth. People are angry their normal way of living has been interrupted. It appears a matter of life and death is imminent.
One student who attends our local school stated doubt that coronavirus exists. I wonder what he has heard from his sources of information. Do his parents doubt the news and voice their doubt? Perhaps it is a good thing to discover a young person uses critical thinking to figure out what is right and what is wrong; to not be taken up into ideas so many around them come up with which are not based on truth.
Soon we celebrate Easter. Whether you gather with others or stay home alone you can be assured this Holiday is based on truth. Events surrounding the time of the first real Easter were recorded by witnesses. People were living their own way, making up their own rules. Then Jesus the Son of The Living God made Himself known.
Jesus walked among the race of humans talking to us, performing miracles, telling us what was truth and what was untrue regardless what others decried.
Three days prior to the first Easter Jesus was put to a painful death on a rugged wooden cross. Even that this Jesus was guiltless, innocent, people were incited into becoming an angry crowd of people demanding Jesus be crucified. One root cause were a few authority figures afraid they would lose their control of the masses. One authority figure decided to wash his hands of the responsibility of Jesus being put to death.
John 10 tells us Jesus’ words: “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”
People were mistaken. Jesus’ death was a temporary thing. He arose very much alive on that third day following what He had said would happen. He told them He can lay down His life only to take it back. He did it that first Easter!
Jesus stated, recorded in Matthew 10:32-34 New Living Translation (NLT) “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.34 “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword.
This was a major disruption because no longer could people realistically claim there was no God. Nor could they make up Father God to be whatever they wished he would be, like using ideas so many around them made up. The myth that there are many ways to heaven was dismissed and rendered useless words.
The reality to be faced is that certainly we will die at some point. Our earthly bodies will all fade away, no longer our home. The thing to truthfully fear today, a matter of life and death, is where you will spend eternity.
Those who have accepted the Risen, Living, Son Of God, Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior will not be in fear but living in everlasting joy in heaven. Those who reject Him denied.
Take some time now to get to know this Jesus personally. Accept and declare Him as Lord and Savior. Then you will experience the joy of knowing that you will one day spend eternity in heaven with Him living in fear no longer.
Pastor Leslie White
CrossFire Church, West Union, IA