Hope Overflowing

At the 2002 Winter Olympics American Apolo Ohno hoped to win his second gold medal in the men’s 5,000-meter short track speed-skating relay. During one of the turns, an American skater fell but quickly got back into the race. While the fall and recovery only took a few seconds, it essentially put the American team out of the race. What was interesting was that the American team began to skate slower and slower, eventually being lapped by the gold-medal Canadians.

Why did they slow down? The hope of doing well was gone.

I get so much hope from the amazing Bible passage from Lamentations 3:21-26


But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:  22  The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;  his mercies never come to an end;  23  they are new every morning;  great is your faithfulness.  24  “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,  “therefore I will hope in him.”  25  The Lord is good to those who wait for him,  to the soul who seeks him.  26  It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”


Our emotions are so up and down as different circumstances crowd into our lives.  One moment we are so encouraged, and the next, all we can see is darkness.  So the discipline of calling to mind the over abundant instances of God’s love for us will help us to be spiritually oriented rather than emotionally oriented.  As Solomon meditated on God’s love and mercy toward him, he shouted out, “Great is your faithfulness”.


When we can honestly say that “the Lord is my portion”, we are making spiritual progress.  We are putting the love of the world behind us.  We are setting our affections on the things above.  “Abounding in hope” would be the fruit of our waiting on our Heavenly Father.  That hope becomes such an energy giving attitude.  We will find ourselves thinking of others and doing all we can to take Christ to others.


Pastor York

The power of Joy

Dear church family, Brenda and I were watching four of our grandchildren for a morning this week. We like to read a brief passage of scripture together when we are blessed to have our grandchildren with us. The passage we read was as follows: Philippians 4:4-7: “4 Rejoice in the…

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Coming to Faith in Christ

Here is a relatively brief testimony by Lee Strobel on how he slowly over a two year period moved from being an atheist to coming to faith in Christ. There is a lot of hope for our atheist and agnostic friends and family. Enjoy the read.


by Lee Strobel

Author, The Case for Christ and The Case for the Real Jesus

Skepticism is part of my DNA. That’s probably why I ended up combining the study of law and journalism to become the legal editor of The Chicago Tribune—a career in which I relentlessly pursued hard facts in my investigations. And that’s undoubtedly why I was later attracted to a thorough examination of the evidence—whether it proved to be positive or negative—as a way to probe the legitimacy of the Christian faith.
A spiritual cynic, I became an atheist in high school. To me the mere concept of an all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the universe was so absurd on the surface that it didn’t even warrant serious consideration. I believed that God didn’t create people, but that people created God out of their fear of death and their desire to live forever in a utopia they called heaven.
I married an agnostic named Leslie. Several years later she came to me with the worst news I thought I could ever get: She had decided to become a follower of Jesus. My initial thought was that she was going to turn into an irrational holy roller who would waste all of her time serving the poor in a soup kitchen somewhere. Divorce, I figured, was inevitable.
Then something amazing occurred. During the ensuing months, I began to see positive changes in her character, her values, and the way she related to me and to the children. The transformation was winsome and attractive. So one day when she invited me to go to church with her, I decided to comply.
The pastor gave a talk called “Basic Christianity” in which he clearly spelled out the essentials of the faith. Did he shake me out of my atheism that day? No, not by a long shot. Still, I concluded that if what he was saying was true, it would have huge implications for my life.
That’s when I decided to apply my experience as a journalist to investigating whether there is any credibility to Christianity or any other faith system. I resolved to keep an open mind and follow the evidence wherever it pointed—even if it took me to some uncomfortable conclusions. In a sense, I was checking out the biggest story of my career.
At first, I thought my investigation would be short-lived. In my opinion, having “faith” meant you believed something even though you knew in your heart that it couldn’t be true. I anticipated that I would very quickly uncover facts that would devastate Christianity. Yet as I devoured books by atheists and Christians, interviewed scientists and theologians, and studied archaeology, ancient history, and world religions, I was stunned to find that Christianity’s factual foundation was a lot firmer than I had once believed.
Much of my investigation focused on science, where more recent discoveries have only further cemented the conclusions that I drew in those studies. For instance, cosmologists now agree that the universe and time itself came into existence at some point in the finite past. The logic is inexorable: Whatever begins to exist has a cause, the universe began to exist, and therefore the universe has a cause. It makes sense that this cause must be immaterial, timeless, powerful, and intelligent.
What’s more, physicists have discovered over the last 50 years that many of the laws and constants of the universe—such as the force of gravity and the cosmological constant—are finely tuned to an incomprehensible precision in order for life to exist. This exactitude is so incredible that it defies the explanation of mere chance.
The existence of biological information in DNA also points toward a Creator. Each of our cells contains the precise assembly instructions for every protein out of which our bodies are made, all spelled out in a four-letter chemical alphabet. Nature can produce patterns, but whenever we see information—whether it’s in a book or a computer program—we know there’s intelligence behind it. Furthermore, scientists are finding complex biological machines on the cellular level that defy a Darwinian explanation and instead are better explained as the work of an Intelligent Designer.
To my great astonishment, I became convinced by the evidence that science supports the belief in a Creator who looks suspiciously like the God of the Bible. Spurred on by my discoveries, I then turned my attention to history.
I found that Jesus, and Jesus alone, fulfilled ancient messianic prophecies against all mathematical odds. I concluded that the New Testament is rooted in eyewitness testimony and that it passes the tests that historians routinely use to determine reliability. I learned that the Bible has been passed down through the ages with remarkable fidelity.
However, the pivotal issue for me was the resurrection of Jesus. Anyone can claim to be the Son of God, as Jesus clearly did. The question was whether Jesus could back up that assertion by miraculously returning from the dead.
One by one, the facts built a convincing and compelling case. Jesus’ death by crucifixion is as certain as anything in the ancient world. The accounts of His resurrection are too early to be the product of legendary development. Even the enemies of Jesus conceded that His tomb was empty on Easter morning. And the eyewitness encounters with the risen Jesus cannot be explained away as mere hallucinations or wishful thinking.
All of this just scratches the surface of what I uncovered in my nearly two-year investigation. Frankly, I was completely surprised by the depth and breadth of the case for Christianity. And as someone trained in journalism and law, I felt I had no choice but to respond to the facts.
So on November 8, 1981, I took a step of faith in the same direction that the evidence was pointing—which is utterly rational to do—and became a follower of Jesus. And just like the experience of my wife, over time my character, values, and priorities began to change—for the good.
For me, apologetics proved to be the turning point of my life and eternity. I’m thankful for the scholars who so passionately and effectively defend the truth of Christianity—and today my life’s goal is to do my part in helping others get answers to the questions that are blocking them in their spiritual journey toward Christ.

Strobel, L. (2007). How Apologetics Changed My Life! In T. Cabal, C. O. Brand, E. R. Clendenen, P. Copan, & J. P. Moreland (Eds.), The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith (pp. xxvi–xxvii). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

A Fruit Inspector

Jesus’ sermon began with what I have called America’s favorite verse, Luke 6:37a “Do not judge, and you will not be judged”. Often misused to put off others’ criticisms or concerns, this statement lifted from its context does great harm. If one can make no moral judgments, there can be no…

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Calling The Curious

Before coming to Christ everyone has a spiritual need, though some have a greater awareness than others of the effects of sin in their lives. Sometimes the sense of need develops as we encounter difficult straits in our life— once-held morals fall, unhealthy appetites dominate us, our marriage falters, our family suffers, or our career sours. Guilt begins to choke us. Equilibrium, well-being, and…

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The attraction of Christ

CHRIST’S AUTHORITY AND POWER HAD A REAL AFFECT ON THOSE CLOSEST TO HIM (LUKE 4:38, 39) Jesus was invited to the home of his soon-to-be-disciple Simon Peter: “Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to…

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Protected by Peace

Philippians 4:2-5 Women had played a prominent role in the founding of the churches in Philippi where Lydia, a seller of purple, became Paul’s first convert on European soil, and a young slave girl became the first to be delivered from an evil spirit (Acts 16:14–18). At present the little church in Philippi was graced by…

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The Need for Resolve

WHAT IS PAUL’S CONFESSION AND RESOLVE (Phil 3:12)? The mere statement of Paul’s overwhelming desire places the apostle in a stratosphere by himself. And we lesser mortals might imagine that Paul attained it over the amazing years of his epic life. What is Paul’s Confession? But Paul was quick to…

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Unlimited Resources in Christ

How does God want us to respond to problems? James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking…

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Humility brings happiness

Humility brings happiness is one of the insights I got out of our passage (Philippians 2:5-9) this past Sunday. The Apostle Matthew reports that toward the end of Jesus’ ministry an ugly, competitive spirit developed among the apostles when James and John and their mother attempted to get Jesus to…

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