“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.”

Church Family,

What a great Sunday as we finished our series in the book of Psalms.  Psalm 8 was a wonderful way to conclude our time mining the depths of this tremendous book.  It is and will always be overwhelming to consider ourselves in light of God’s majesty.  The Lord has set his glory above the heavens, yet he considers us (Ps 8:3-4).  David cannot fathom that the Lord cares for us and has given us a special place in all of creation.  As he reflects upon the creation account, he says, “Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet” (Ps 8:5-6).  This is wonderful and should generate praise.  What’s of great significance is that the New Testament applies all of this to the greatest human, Jesus (Heb 2:5-9).  He alone captures these truths to their fullest extent, and because he does, he can taste death on our behalf (Heb 2:9).

 

New Sermon Series

As we have been announcing over the last few weeks, we will begin a new series on the book of 1 Timothy this Sunday.  This book is called a Pastoral Epistle.  This means that its content is about Timothy’s pastoral work he is to do in Ephesus.  The aging Paul is writing to young Timothy to give him direction on how the church should function, correct doctrinal issues, establishing church leadership, etc..  I think we will find a wealth of insight to guide us to become more and more healthy.  Take some time this week to familiarize yourself with this wonderful book.

 

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Bryan

True Confession

Church Family,

We only have two more weeks in the book of Psalms.  I do hope you will continue to read and reflect upon this wonderful book for years to come.  As I’ve studied each week, it has become apparent why this book has served God’s people for centuries with its depth and array of emotions.  We saw this past Sunday how confession could aid the follower of God during emotionally unstable moments of life.  Life has a way of being overwhelming, but God has a way of taking those moments to grow and strengthen us.  It seems from Psalm 6 that confession is how we express our honesty about our troubles, rightly mourn our difficulty, and grow our confidence in the Lord.  I pray that confession will be a regular part of your prayers.

 

1 Timothy: New Preaching Series

Here at Light in the Desert Church, we are bible-believing.  Because of that conviction, we make it a regular habit to preach through books of the bible.  We also want to encourage everyone to be engaging with that book beforehand to prepare their hearts to receive from God’s Word when we gather on Sundays.  I cannot imagine what the Lord will do when we are attentive to His word, not just on Sundays but throughout the week as well.  So, grab your bible, and start reading 1 Timothy and let’s see what the Lord will do over the next couple of months.

Jefferson Elementary

As we do every year, we will begin collecting school supplies for Jefferson Elementary this coming Sunday.  We are collecting pencils, spiral notebooks, highlighters, and glue sticks.  There will be a basket in the foyer to collect the supplies.

 

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Bryan

Continued Mercies

Church Family,

I do hope your week has been full of God’s continued mercies.  As we saw this last Sunday (Thanks, Jared!), suffering will be a part of our lives.  Whether it’s at the hands of others or our own doing, suffering will come.  David, though blessed by God, endures a lot throughout his life.  We’ve seen in the Psalms and will continue to see David’s prayers during his suffering, his confrontation of the wicked who are causing his suffering, and his repentance because of suffering brought on by his own doing.  What a wealth of help the book of Psalms has for the weary follower of Christ.  David leans into his (and our) great God for help.  In doing so, joy is his!  “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound” (Psalms 4:7).

 

Prayer

As mentioned Sunday, I had the joy and privilege to be away for a few days to plan, study, write, and most importantly, pray about the next significant steps Light in the Desert will need to take over the next year.  To break up the regular rhythm of my week and think strategically and deeply about what God has already done and is doing was refreshing and energizing, to say the least.  I look forward to sharing with you all over the next month what I sense the Lord is calling us towards.  In the meantime, I am asking you to pray, not humdrum prayers, but prayers of excitement and joy, bold prayers of faithfulness.  Church family, the Lord has been gracious to us, and he continues to pour out his mercy.  We’ve got a long way to go, but we are headed in a wonderful direction.

 

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Bryan

Salvation Belongs to the Lord

Church Family,

This past Sunday, Psalm 3 helped us deal with what we all go through, difficult times.  King David is in the midst of a revolt led by his son Absalom.  This is no small protest against his rule; it’s many who have been swayed by the King’s son to turn against him.  This causes tremendous distress for David, and Psalm 3 gives us insight into his distress (3:1-2), his theology (3:3-4), his peace (3:5-6), and his prayer (3:7-8).  All of which guides us in the more difficult times of life.  We are not immune from hard circumstances, but we can endure with peace depending on what we believe about God.  David is at rest and sleeps well because God is his shield, protector, strength, and the one who will and has put right all the wrongs.  Brother and Sisters, let us follow the pattern of Psalm 3 and Jesus and pray diligently in hard times, communicating our distress and leaning into the truths we believe to experience peace and trust God’s sovereign work.

 

Sunday Studies

Don’t forget we resumed Sunday Studies last Sunday.  We are exploring what it means to be the church in a study called “Living as the Church.”  We start at 9 am, so mark your calendar and come a little early and enjoy time together in God’s Word.

 

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Bryan

Kiss The Son

Church Family,

This summer, we’ve endeavored to work our way through the first eight Psalms, and I cannot be more thankful!  As I read, re-read, and study each week, my heart sings, my soul is soothed, and my affections burn brighter.  Last Sunday, we learned more about how someone is blessed, and it is through surrender to God’s authority and trust in His ways.  The imagery of “kiss the Son” draws our attention to God’s Son Jesus and our response to Him (Ps 2:12).  God has given Him ultimate authority, not you. He is worthy and given the victory (Ps 2:7-9).  Like the Psalmist says, “Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling” (Ps 2:11).

 

Sunday Studies

It’s been over a year since we gathered at 9 am for a Sunday Study, so to say we are excited about starting them back up is an understatement.  If you are unfamiliar with Sunday Studies, they are studies designed to tackle tough theological and cultural issues with a desire to help us love God supremely, love others sacrificially, and share hope through the gospel of Jesus Christ to all peoples.  Set your alarm a little earlier and join us this Sunday.

Sunday Gathering Time Change

Don’t forget this Sunday we will also begin our new service time.  We will begin our Sunday Gathering at 10:15 am to give us adequate time to dismiss from Sunday Studies and create some space for fellowship.  So take some time, head to the foyer, then find someone you don’t know and chat.

 

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Bryan

Delight and Meditate

Church Family,

I was so encouraged this Sunday as we began our summer preaching series in the Book of Psalms.  Logan reminded us from Psalm 1 that there is no scale between wickedness and righteousness; it’s A or B.  The many contrasts within Psalm 1 make us consider both, but it does not leave us to drown in our wickedness.  It offers us the way of righteousness, delighting and meditating on God’s Word!  Make no mistake about it, God makes us righteous, but He seems to do that through His word; after all, it does lead us to Jesus!  Logan was clear in showing us that we are made righteous by God through His Son to forgive sins (Psalm 32) and meditating upon God’s Word (Psalm 1).  So pick up your bibles this week, read, pray, re-read, pray again, think, and consider the truths of what you read upon your life.  God’s Word is where joy is found!

 

Desert Kids

With our first full month completed with our new changes to Desert Kids, we hope that you, parents, have been able to engage in thoughtful conversations with your children.  Desert Kids learned last month that God is the first and best of beings.  What a truth to grab hold of in our early years that will sustain us throughout life.  Church family, I encourage you to ask the children next Sunday, “Who is the first and best of beings?”  I guarantee you will be met with a smile and a joyous response of, “God is the first and best of beings!”  Be ready; they might be eager to show you from God’s Word how we know that truth!  Here is a link to this month’s family packet.

Thanks to our volunteers for all you do with Desert Kids.  If you are interested in helping, please let me know.  We can always use more volunteers!

 

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Bryan

Jacob’s Kids

Church Family,

As we hit pause on our Genesis series for a while, I hope you have found it beneficial for at least two reasons.  First, Genesis is foundational to our understanding of the entire bible.  Without it, we would not comprehend our need for a savior nor see Jesus as our savior.  In studying Genesis, I hope it has enhanced your daily bible reading.  Secondly, Genesis has provided for us a glorious picture of God’s faithfulness.  This past Sunday was yet another display of God’s care for His people and His faithfulness to His promises.  We have seen multiple times His providential care to bring about His promises.  I hope our time in Genesis has generated greater trust in Him.

 

Psalms

For generations of Christians, the Psalms have been a source of encouragement, comfort, and strong practical theology.  Every emotion one feels can be found somewhere within the Psalms.  One can literally find every heart condition within its pages that ultimately find their way into the arms of God.  Join us next Sunday as we begin a series in the book of Psalms for the summer.  We will cover the first eight chapters in June and July.  Grab your bible this week and start reading Psalm 1 in preparation for this coming Sunday.

 

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Bryan

Jacob’s Wives

Church Family,

This past Sunday, we explored another unique story in Genesis.  It is actually one of many stories over the last couple of weeks that can cause frustration at the lack of integrity we see in the bible.  But upon a prayerful investigation of the text, we see God confronting deceitfulness with His discipline.  He does not let His people get away with it.  Jacob needs to understand that he cannot use deception as a tool to get what he wants.  If he is to carry the covenant and represent God, he must deal in truth.  How does Jacob get this wonderful lesson?  Through Laban (Gen 29).  Laban deceives Jacob by giving him Leah instead of Rachel.  Through Laban, Jacob tastes the bitterness of deceit.  He now knows without a doubt that truthfulness is the way God’s people function.  He takes this deceit and perseveres another seven years to win Rachel’s hand in marriage.  The Lord disciplines Jacob through seeing the effects of deceit firsthand.  What a loving Father we have that loves us enough not to leave us the way we are!  “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.  For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives” (Heb 12:5–6).

 

Let Us Pray!

We will gather this Wednesday, May 26, to pray.  Join us at 6 pm as we rejoice and seek the Lord through prayer.

 

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Bryan

Jacob’s Ladder

Church Family,

Sunday was a gloriously busy day.  We had a team of people meet up early that prayer walked the community to our north, then we had our Sunday Gathering, and lastly, we enjoyed a member’s meeting in the evening.  It was a great day!  As we shared at the member’s meeting, we are excited about the future and look forward to the significant changes we hope to see over the next year.  Let’s continue to be in prayer for God’s wisdom as we push forward in gospel growth and maturity.  We are committed to being a people who love God supremely, love others sacrificially, and share hope through the gospel of Jesus Christ with all people.  Like we saw on Sunday, the Lord has made a way to Himself through the person and work of Jesus.  Jacob saw in his dream the Lord providing the means for man to be with Him; it was and is through the Lord’s faithfulness in bringing about the fulfillment of His covenant in Jesus (Gen 28:10-22; John 1:49-51).  That’s our only hope!

 

Sunday Gathering

As we announced on Sunday, we recommend masks but are making them optional.  We ask that we all continue to be considerate of each other by being aware of the different levels of comfort with space and greetings.  It’s been such a joy to watch Light in the Desert Church care and respect one another during this weird time.  You all have been so patient and kind.  Thank you so much!

 

Christology: A Discussion on The Person and Work of Jesus Christ

This Wednesday, May 19th, at 6 pm, will be our last discussion in our Christology series.  Grab your bible, a pen and paper, and a friend and join us as we talk about our wonderful savior Jesus!  Here is a zoom option (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84897204867).

 

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Bryan

Family Feud

Church Family,

What a great Sunday as we watched and celebrated baptism!  It never gets old hearing stories of God’s grace in redeeming sinners.  I hope you were encouraged and reminded of the joys of your salvation that God has worked from beginning to end.  God redeeming us is our only hope in all things, even our families.  This past Sunday, we looked at Isaac and his family’s struggle with their family dynamics.  Isaac desires his preference, Rebekah and Jacob use not-so-great means to accomplish God’s desire, and Esau is full of blame-shifting, unwilling to see his wrong.   Despite all this, God is gracious and faithful to continue to work to build His people His way. We rejoice “that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6).

 

Christology

This Wednesday at 6 pm, we will continue our conversation about the person and work of Jesus Christ.  Grab a friend and join us!  Here is a zoom option as well (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84724349759).

Members Meeting

This coming Sunday, May 16th, at 6 pm, we will have our next Members Meeting.  We will celebrate what the Lord has done the first half of the year and look forward to where He is leading us the rest of 2021.

 

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Bryan