Wednesday, January 26, 2011


2011 is a year of promise for LPC!

As much as you and I have failed and have been failed by others who have made promises this is not something that God has ever done… he is the one true promise maker and promise keeper…

In fact understanding the relationship and the role that  God’s promises have in our lives as His follower is very important.  Have you ever noticed how promises and God are SO connected so interwoven?  

Soon into the story of the first people in Genesis Chapter three we read a the first promise of God.  The first promise of God was soon after Adam and Eve who rebelled against their Creator, God in His grace, even as He pronounced judgment, spoke also of grace and deliverance for them.

To the Tempter, God said: “I will put enmity (a feeling or condition of hostility; hatred; ill will; animosity; antagonism )between you (the snake the devel)  and the woman, and between your  seed (kids) and her seed (kids) he will crush your head,   and you will strike his heel (Genesis 3:15).

There is the first promise of GOD… that the seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent… it would take 1000 s of years for that promise to be kept… but it was kept.  

A few pages later in the Bible we see God making a “Covenant” (is a solemn promise to engage in or refrain from a specified action) to Noah.  Then a few pages after that we see another promise that God makes to an old man named Abram.  On and On as we read the Bible we see God promising many things to people;
*To David that he would be king…
* To Joshua that he would conquer a new land
* To the people of Israel he promised provision
* To kings he promised judgment
* To those in exile he promised deliverance
* To those dying he promised heaven
* To those heavy burdened by sin… He promised to take their burden away.

Yes, God and promises are very connected, and it is VERY important for us as followers to understand this connection as it has great implications to our following Christ.  This year, 2011 we want to learn and know what God has promised and how those promises are to be viewed and understood. As we learn or review what they are we pray that God, by His Spirit in us will continue to deeply affect us and cause even a greater desire in us to share His promises to everyone, anywhere, who will listen.

So memorize the theme verse then come join us on Sundays as we worship this promise making God!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

We are all called to be MISSIONARIES

In 2010 the invitation of the Lord to our Church was to that everyone become missionaries in the communities we are called into.  This is the meaning of being a missional church.  Here is a story that though I am not sure it if is true, is good to read anyway.  You never know what God wants to do as we join him on His mission to reach people with the Gospel.


Every Sunday afternoon, after the morning service at the church, the Pastor
and his eleven year old son would go out into their town and hand out
Gospel Tracts.

This particular Sunday afternoon, as it came time for the Pastor and his
son to go to the streets with their tracts, it was very cold outside, as well
as pouring rain.

The boy bundled up in his warmest and driest clothes and said, 'OK, dad,
I'm ready.'

His Pastor dad asked, 'Ready for what?'

'Dad, it's time we gather our tracts together and go out.'

Dad responds, 'Son, it's very cold outside and it's pouring rain.'

The boy gives his dad a surprised look, asking, 'But Dad, aren't people
still going to Hell, even though it's raining?'

Dad answers, 'Son, I am not going out in this weather.'

Despondently, the boy asks, 'Dad, can I go? Please?'

His father hesitated for a moment then said, 'Son, you can go. Here are the
tracts, be careful son..'

'Thanks Dad!'

And with that, he was off and out into the rain.. This eleven year old boy
walked the streets of the town going door to door and handing everybody he
met in the street a Gospel Tract .

After two hours of walking in the rain, he was soaking, bone-chilled wet
and down to his VERY LAST TRACT. He stopped on a corner and looked for someone
to hand a tract to, but the streets were totally deserted.

Then he turned toward the first home he saw and started up the sidewalk to
the front door and rang the door bell. He rang the bell, but nobody

He rang it again and again, but still no one answered. He waited but still
no answer.

Finally, this eleven year old trooper turned to leave, but something
stopped him.

Again, he turned to the door and rang the bell and knocked loudly on the
door with his fist. He waited, something holding him there on the front porch!

He rang again and this time the door slowly opened.

Standing in the doorway was a very sad-looking elderly lady. She softly
asked, 'What can I do for you, son?' With radiant eyes and a smile that lit up
her world, this little boy said, 'Ma'am, I'm sorry if I disturbed you, but I
just want to tell you that * JESUS REALLY DOES LOVE YOU * and I came to
give you my very last Gospel Tract which will tell you all about JESUS and His
great LOVE.'

With that, he handed her his last tract and turned to leave.

She called to him as he departed. 'Thank you, son! And God Bless You!'

Well, the following Sunday morning in church Pastor Dad was in the pulpit.
As the service began, he asked, 'Does anybody have testimony or want to say

Slowly, in the back row of the church, an elderly lady stood to her feet.

As she began to speak, a look of glorious radiance came from her face, 'No
one in this church knows me. I've never been here before. You see, before
last Sunday I was not a Christian. My husband passed on some time ago,
leaving me totally alone in this world. Last Sunday, being a particularly cold and
rainy day, it was even more so in my heart that I came to the end of the
line where I no longer had any hope or will to live.

So I took a rope and a chair and ascended the stairway into the attic of my
home. I fastened the rope securely to a rafter in the roof, then stood on
the chair and fastened the other end of the rope around my neck. Standing on
that chair, so lonely and broken-hearted I was about to leap off, when
suddenly the loud ringing of my doorbell downstairs startled me. I thought, 'I'll
wait a minute, and whoever it is will go away.'

I waited and waited, but the ringing doorbell seemed to get louder and more
insistent, and then the person ringing also started knocking loudly...

I thought to myself again, 'Who on earth could this be? Nobody ever rings
my bell or comes to see me.' I loosened the rope from my neck and started for
the front door, all the while the bell rang louder and louder.

When I opened the door and looked I could hardly believe my eyes, for there
on my front porch was the most radiant and angelic little boy I had ever
seen in my life. His SMILE, oh, I could never describe it to you!

The words that came from his mouth caused my heart that had long been dead,
TO LEAP TO LIFE as he exclaimed with a cherub-like voice, 'Ma'am, I just
came to tell you that JESUS REALLY DOES LOVE YOU .' Then he gave me this
Gospel Tract that I now hold in my hand..

As the little angel disappeared back out into the cold and rain, I closed
my door and read slowly every word of this Gospel Tract. Then I went up to my
attic to get my rope and chair. I wouldn't be needing them any more.

You see-- -I am now a Happy Child of the KING. Since the address of your
church was on the back of this Gospel Tract, I have come here to personally
say THANK YOU to God's little angel who came just in the nick of time and by
so doing, spared my soul from an eternity in hell..'

There was not a dry eye in the church. And as shouts of praise and honor to
THE KING resounded off the very rafters of the building, Pastor Dad
descended from the pulpit to the front pew where the little angel was seated....

He took his son in his arms and sobbed uncontrollably.

Probably no church has had a more glorious moment, and probably this
universe has never seen a Papa that was more filled with love & honor for his
son.... Except for One. 



I read this article by by Tina Houser (publications director for KidzMatter who lives in Atlanta USA), who is encouragin parent to be active in teaching our kids to pray.  As we begin a new year, I would encourage you to be active in praying and in teaching your kids to pray. 

What do do think of her ideas?

As a child, I remember that every day closed with one of my parents sitting on the side of my bed, the covers pulled up under my chin, and me muttering...
Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
Night after night after night after night, that third line sent chills through me. Most certainly, some frightened adult had written that prayer poem out of a desire of his heart, but it lived on to torture children all over the world, right before they went down for a restful night’s sleep. After a while, I just let the words tumble out of my mouth and tried not to think about what any of it actually meant. And this is one of the prominent ways we teach children to pray—a rhyme that is said over and over without real meaning to the child.
Another way we teach children to pray is nothing short of a Santa’s wish list. We ask children to share their requests, which is another way of saying, “Let’s tell God what you want Him to do for you.” They quickly rattle off a long “To Do” list of relatives and friends who are sick and pets that are missing. Then we acknowledge that God answers prayer only if God does it the way we’ve suggested. This may come as a surprise, but God really answers every prayer. His answers are of such a wide variety that we can’t even imagine the possibilities. It’s an every day occurrence, though, to hear someone say, “God still answers prayer,” when what they mean is, “God answered in the way I wanted Him to.”

Is this how we should teach our children to pray? Scary prayers? Prayers that fall from their tongues without thought? Prayers that find themselves alongside nursery rhymes? Prayers that instruct God exactly what He’s supposed to do for us? What would your best friend think if every time you spoke with him, you just said the same rhyme? And she most certainly wouldn’t stick around as your friend if all you ever talked to her about was what you wanted her to do for you. Something needs to change in the way we teach our children to pray.
We’re just downright good at getting ourselves into messes and then praying that God will get us out of them somehow. Instead of praying for deliverance from the mess, what if we started teaching our children to pray in the middle of the mess, not with their minds set on deliverance, but simply asking God to help them see how they can grow in His wisdom by going through it? How about praying for the strength to make it through to the other side?
If you look back on your life and identify the times when you grew spiritually—those times when spiritual growth seemed to come in leaps and bounds—I venture to say that it was in times of struggle. It was during those times when there were more questions about life than there were answers that you felt God moving in your life in a tremendous way. That’s when you saw miracles happen. That’s when you found yourself resting in His presence. Through those times, spiritual truth became clearer. So why do we shy away from that? Why do we pray that we never have to experience it? Why do we teach our children to pray safe prayers that if answered in the way they are prayed would only keep them from searching for God’s truth and His plan for their lives?
As a newlywed, 34 years ago, I woke my husband up in the middle of the night to ask him a question, “Why do we need to pray if God already knows everything?” I was content to ask the question then roll over and go back to sleep. My husband, on the other hand, wrestled with the question the rest of the night. Over the years, we’ve come back to that conversation, and it’s been a growing time.

So why do we pray? It’s about coming into His presence. It’s about being part of a relationship that is alive and full of meaning. I’ve talked to a lot of children’s workers, and they all hang their heads in unison when I talk about those times when we look up and see parents at the door. We put our words in high speed and quickly tell the kids to bow their heads and close their eyes so we can pray. While you have your head bowed, the kids are putting their jackets on and not at all thinking about spending time in the presence of God. That sure doesn’t feel like leading the children to a relationship that is alive and full. The Lord deserves an apology.

One of the first things you can do to elevate the importance of prayer is change where it falls in your time with the kids. We open with a ceremonial prayer and then close haphazardly. The children know what to expect so their brains experience something similar to the sound that depicts the off-screen teacher on the Charlie Brown cartoons … blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Think about the ways you experience a friend. You share a meal together. You go to a game with rowdy fans together. You sit with him in silence as he grieves the loss of a loved one. You sing karaoke with her. You sit quietly on a dock waiting for a fish to bite. We need to teach our kids that there are an endless number of ways they can experience the presence of God through prayer.

Prayer is a spiritual discipline, and like other disciplines, it needs to be practiced and experienced on a regular basis in order to become something that we can’t imagine living without. So our challenge is to give children an opportunity to experience the presence of God in different ways. They need to be shown how each time they engage in a conversation with God, it can be new and fresh. Prayer should be a time of evaluation, when each person makes a conscious effort to identify their spiritual condition and expose that before the Lord.
The best way to teach kids to pray is to help them understand that there is no set place or position or time of day. Since God is omnipresent and prayer is experiencing the presence of God, then anywhere, any time, any position is in fair territory. Let me just get your creative juices flowing with these prompting ideas.
Let John the Baptist help you pray. When John was in the wilderness, he told the people that: (1) they needed to confess their sins, (2) they needed to exchange their old lives for a new one, (3) they needed to be baptized, (4) they needed to stay on track, and (5) they needed to live authentic lives. Help the kids identify where they are in these five points. If they need to confess their sins (point #1), then tell them to put one finger of one hand in the palm of the other hand. If they have asked the Lord to forgive them of their sins, but need help staying on track so they don’t slide back into those old habits (point #4), then tell them to put four fingers of one hand in the palm of the other hand. Each point gives them a way to talk to the Lord about where they are spiritually.
Pray like Daniel. Daniel’s disobedience to King Nebuchadnezzar’s law was obvious because he prayed three times a day at his window. When Daniel prayed, he was unashamed. He didn’t care what other people thought of him. He only knew that he was devoted to God. You probably have a window in your worship room and most kids have a window in their bedroom. Use a Crayola window marker to write on the window. You can simply write, “Pray Today” on the window, or the kids can actually write out their prayer in its entirety on the window. Then kneel down at that window and look to the sky. Concentrating on the sky will act as a focal point and help kids clear their minds of other thoughts.
Pray like Moses. When Moses heard of Koreh’s plans of rebellion, the Bible tells us that Moses’ first reaction was to drop to the ground and pray. So instruct the kids to kneel all the way and bend over with their faces to the floor. Teach the children that when they are threatened by anything, they can pray like Moses and lay themselves before God.
Pray with the unseen paper clip. Lay a paper clip on the table. Cover the paper clip with your hand so you can feel it under your knuckles. Then place a bar magnet over your knuckles. Slowly lift your hand with the bar magnet still against the knuckles. The paper clip will hang from the palm of your hand as long as the magnet stays in place. You can’t see the paper clip hanging there, but you can feel the power of the magnet. Pray that even though we can’t see where God is leading, we will always feel God’s presence. Seeing this object lesson will give the kids a way to associate with God leading them in ways they can’t see.
Pray a color. This is especially good with younger children. Pull one crayon from a full box. Thank God for everything you can think of that is that color. Smother God with thankfulness prayers of a particular color. That seems like a much better way to say goodnight than “IF I SHOULD DIE BEFORE I WAKE.”

Let’s raise this generation of kids to feel at ease with prayer and know it as a real conversation, not just a rhyme or a give-me list. Let’s raise them to not be afraid of going through any life situation, because God will be with them and teach them great spiritual truth on the journey.