Change of Plans

Church Family,

I write with a heavy and hopeful heart.  Heavy because Lauren, the kiddos, and I had to quickly make a trip to Tennesse due to my mom having a severe stroke.  Heavy because our time in Tennesse will take us away for this coming Sunday, which will delay our regathering until June 14th.  I often don’t know how to process and make sense of certain events in life, but what I do find is a hopeful comfort as I look to our sovereign God, who is our refuge.  The last 12 hours have been emotionally draining but full of hope as I consider Proverbs 16:9, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”  There is hope when plans you have made, considered and prayed over get suddenly changed.  The hope is not found in the circumstance, but a God who establishes our steps.  I trust the Lord will take this sudden change of plans and establish in me, us, a deep sense of peace in His sovereign care over us.  Thank you for your patience and prayers.  If you should need anything, please reach out to our Leadership Team.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Bryan

Trust or Bust!

Church Family,

This past Sunday, we were reminded that following God requires tremendous trust on our part.  Whatever the decision, issue, circumstance, or tragedy trust in the Lord when we don’t fully understand is best.  This certainly is not easy, but Proverbs reminded us that when we keep God’s commands close to us and follow his teachings, in general, peace will follow.  In the Sea of uncertainty, it is God’s truth that anchors us.

 

Sunday Gathering

We announced this past Sunday that we plan to gather again on June 7th.  We could not be more excited and long to see one another again, face-to-face.  We will give very detailed instructions next Sunday about the precautions we will put in place.  In the meantime, be in prayer as we prepare and head over to our Facebook page on Wednesday at 6 pm to watch an announcement video about gathering again.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Bryan

Beyond The Sermon Podcast

Church Family,

I am happy to announce the first episode of our first-ever podcast titled Beyond The Sermon.  One of our deep convictions around here is to let God’s preached Word, reverberate, to echo, to work its way into our daily lives beyond Sunday morning.  This podcast is an effort to do just thatIt will be geared around taking what God does on Sunday, as we come under His word, and move it into our daily lives.  Now, of course, the sermon should already make strong applications through the clear implications of the text, but Beyond The Sermon will seek to further your thinking from Sunday’s text.  Be prepared; I just might ask some of you to be a part of it!

You can subscribe to this podcast through iTunes or Spotify.  You can simply click the links in the previous sentence, or search for “Light in the Desert Church Sermons and Podcast” on those apps, then click subscribe.  Or, if you prefer not to use those apps, you can click here and then click on the graphic to listen to any episode from our website.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Bryan

Valuable Wisdom

Church Family,

What another great Sunday it was gleaning insight from Proverbs.  The loving instructions the father gives to his son in Proverbs reminds us, as God’s children, how He has and continues to instruct us with love.  Often those instructions come through conditional statements: if this, then this.  These are extremely valuable in moving us towards wisdom and greater maturity.  As we said on Sunday, once we become believers, we do not instantly become wise, so seek and search for it in God himself because he willingly gives it, and it’s worth it.

Returning to Sunday Gathering

Thank you all for your continued prayers for wisdom as we plan when and how we will return to Sunday Gathering.  We will be announcing this coming Sunday the tentative date we plan to return to gathering face to face.  As we have been doing each Sunday, be at our Facebook page at 10 am to hear a few details.  We will be giving many more details in the coming weeks as we get closer to returning to our Sunday Gathering.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Bryan

Two Paths

Church Family,

This past Sunday, we explored the two paths Proverbs puts before us.  It uniquely does this by personifying the choices; Lady Wisdom and Lady Folly.  Lady Wisdom’s speech consumes a large number of verses, while Lady Folly’s speech is short, indicating just how much more Lady Wisdom has to offer.  Proverbs will call us consistently to choose because that is what wisdom does; it makes decisions.  We cannot fill our heads with insight, knowledge, and understanding and not use them in our daily living.  Proverbs seek to help us gain a better skill at life, which requires action.  Two paths will continually emerge before us, and sorry, we cannot take both, so let us stand and ponder each paths’ outcome.

 

Sunday Gathering

The Leadership Team and I are diligently and prayerfully discussing a reopening strategy that will serve us all well and, most importantly, honor the Lord.  As we consider everything, would you help us by filling out the anonymous questionnaire below?  It should only take a few minutes of your time and will be extremely helpful to us.  This questionnaire is designed to gain insight to help us better make wise decisions. None of the suggestions below are guarantees, but a starting point in gauging comfort levels.  Thanks in advance!

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Bryan

 

 

Returning to Sunday Gathering

Vain Is The Net

Church Family,

I do hope you all are well.  We are hopeful that we will be able to gather again soon.  The Leadership Team and I are considering everything to make decisions that will best serve us all and ultimately honor the Lord.  We are, like Proverbs, beginning with what it calls “Fear of the Lord,” which calls for greater trust in Him, surrender to His ways, and humility of understanding our need of Him.  We will keep you posted.

This past Sunday, we looked at Proverbs 1:8-19.  Within that section of scripture, we explored verse 17, For in vain is a net spread in the sight of any bird.  The meaning is rather straight forward if a net is spread out in plain view of the bird, well any sensible bird will see it and avoid the trap.  Easy to understand, but often not practiced.  The sinners of Proverbs 1:8-19, did not avoid the net, though it was plain to see that their actions, desires, and motives were outside of God’s instructions and wisdom.  The son in this text had the advantage of a father giving instructions, and a mother giving him teaching—which in the end is God’s instruction and teaching.  They are giving their child God’s words, God’s wisdom, and it will make him/us wise to the nets that so easily entrap us.  Take time this week and read some Proverbs to gain insight into the ways of sin and your heart tendencies towards easily being enticed.

This Week:

  • Disciple-Makers:  We have two more weeks of Disciple-Makers.  This Wednesday at 6:30 pm, we will discuss scripture and let God’s word encourage, convict, and mature us (link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/501936397).
  • Sunday Gathering:  At this point, you are very familiar with how Sunday works, so just let this be a reminder to be on Facebook at 10 am to participate in our virtual gathering.  You can also view it from our webpage here.
  • Needs:  Please don’t hesitate to let us know about any needs that arise as a result of these uncertain times.  God, in His sovereignty, has put us in a position to be able to help.  If you experience a significant drop in income, you don’t have to bear that burden alone.  Or, if you have a neighbor you’ve been reaching out to that you think we could help with, let us know.

 

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Bryan

Wisdom

Church Family,

I do hope you all are well.  This past Sunday, we began our series in the book of Proverbs.  We discovered the impressive work Proverbs could do in our lives.  It can make us wise, give instructions on life, direct our interactions with each other, and continue to mature us.  All these glorious things–knowledge, wisdom, instructions, justice, fairness, wise dealings, continued development–hinge on one thing; fear of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7, 9:10). Fear of the Lord requires us to remove ourselves from the center of life.  It is an acknowledgment that He, the Lord, knows best.  It is surrendering to Him as the higher authority.  Come to find out; wisdom is a heart issue more than just filling our heads with knowledge.  I look forward to the coming weeks and anticipate the Lord revealing our hearts along the way to bring us towards greater maturity.

This Week:

  • Disciple-Makers:  We will continue looking at scripture and working together to unpack its truths for our life (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/501936397).
  • Prayer Gathering:  This Friday, we will have a prayer gathering using Zoom at 6:30 pm.  This will be a guided prayer time so come prepared to hear how the Lord is directing our attention and to saturate those concerns and praises with prayer (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83004580171).
  • Sunday Gathering:  By this time, we all have down our Sunday rhythm, but as a reminder, go to Facebook at 10 am to watch our Livestream.  You don’t have to use Facebook.  You can view it from our website here. I would encourage everyone who can to use Facebook.  That is the best place for interaction within the comment section.

 

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Bryan

Friendly Reminder

Church Family,

This is just a friendly reminder of our Sunday Virtual Gathering tomorrow at 10 am.  There are several ways to participate:

  1. Facebook – this is the simplest and probably the best way.   All you have to do is go to our Facebook page at 10 am and watch the live video.
  2. Website – if you don’t have a Facebook account, you can view the Livestream from our webpage.  Click here.
  3. Zoom – we will be using Zoom this week again to add a few other people to the Livestream.  If you want, you can use this link (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/93829106917) and view the Livestream that way.
  4. Read – lastly, grab your bible this evening and read Proverbs 1:1-7 to prepare your heart for tomorrow.

See you all tomorrow!

 

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Bryan

Be Watchful

Church Family,

I hope you were as encouraged as I was this past Sunday.  Our journey through the book of 1 Corinthians has been needed and timely.  1 Corinthians 16 was an excellent summary to challenge us as we part ways with this book.  It reminded us of the great truths the book unpacks for us as the people of God, the local gathering.  One such challenge was to “be watchful.”  Brothers and sisters, we must be vigilant in these days to be watchful for our tendencies to doubt, to waiver, to slide down into despair, and to neglect God’s Word.  We must be watchful for one another as well, looking for ways to encourage, to meet needs, to serve, and to be generous.  All of which should be done in love!

Schedule for this week:

  • Disciple-Makers:  We will shift gears and focus solely on unpacking God’s Word together, using the skills and techniques we discussed throughout the semester.  The link is the same (https://zoom.us/j/501936397).  See you at 6:30 pm on Wednesday.
  • Sunday Virtual Gathering:  Last week, we introduced a new element to our 10 am virtual gathering.  It went well, so we intend to use the Zoom webinar again this coming Sunday.  You do not have to use zoom; you can still view it through Facebook or our website.  Speaking of Sunday, see below for our new sermon series we will start this Sunday.  Take some time this week to read the first chapter of Proverbs.

 

Proverbs | Wisdom for Today

A person gripped with love for God and overwhelmed with His grace will never be the same.  His or her life will be marked by an unusual take on life and unfortunate circumstances.  They will desire to live for God’s glory and leverage everything for His purposes.  But, who are we kidding, that is not easy.  Decisions are not as clear cut as we would like them to be, and sometimes an answer can be right in one situation and wrong in another.  This is why we desperately need the wisdom to navigate life’s quick and uncertain turns.  Proverbs has long been that source of wisdom.  It provides insight into what godliness looks like in our day to day affairs.  Join us as we look at the nature of wisdom and what it looks like in our lives.

 

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Bryan

This Sunday 4/19/2020

Church Family,

I do hope you all are well and had an enjoyable week.  I was able to join hundreds of pastor across the country to attend (virtually) a pastor’s conference.  Though it was not a usual way to enjoy and participate in a conference, it still encouraged my soul.  Going with the flow and making adjustments to our old rhythms is the current theme of our lives.  With that said, we are making a slight adjustment to our Sunday Virtual Gathering.  It still will be on Facebook live at 10 am or our website as well.  The tiny change is that we will be using Zoom to broadcast the Livestream to Facebook.  So if you want to use Zoom instead of watching on Facebook, here is the link (https://zoom.us/j/93829106917).  It is not a regular meeting that most of us are familiar with but the webinar feature.  This simply means you will be an attendee and just be viewing the gathering.  The only benefit I can perceive at this point is a better quality video.  We are using this feature because many months ago, I scheduled a dear brother to preach this coming Sunday.  I trust the Lord already knew the unique circumstance we would be in when I asked; so, he is preaching from his home.  Zoom allows for multiple people from different locations to be on the Livestream at once.  We will more than likely continue to make use of this feature in the coming weeks as we wait to meet face to face.

Let me encourage you to prepare your hearts for tomorrow morning.  Many distractions are pulling at your attention as you watch from home.  Take the extra steps to silent your phone, turn off notifications on your computer, and ready yourself to hear God’s Word.

I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow morning.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Bryan