Thursday, August 28, 2008

Special Thanks

Our "In His Time" building fund has settled a few dollars short of $30,000. The gift CD's are in for those that gave at least $300.

I can help but smile and praise the Lord for one specific giver. I don't know who they are (I never ask), but they are receiving 22 CD's for their offering of over $6000.00. So, if you see someone downtown passing out LBC CD's, or you get one for and thank the Lord for this sacrificial believer.


p.s. You know who you are, thank you for encouraging my heart - :)

Our head in the Sand

Today I was talking with an older warrior of Fundamentalism that remembers the glory days well. I was only a boy when the heros of believer's were Pastors and great Christian men that stood up with backbone and character against the sins of America. I remember hearing the preaching of Bill Rice Sr., Jack Hyles, Hal Webb, Curtis Hutson, Rod Bell, Bob Jones Jr., Lester Roloff, and other great preachers of the faith that were called fighting Fundamentalists because they weren't afraid to take on the Goliaths of our Country. They were not fighting petty issues within the church, they were storming the gates of hell against New Evangelical compromise, Bible Inspiration, Liquor, Communism, the Hippie movement, free sex, etc. "Where is our Battle? Are there no foes to me to face... increase my courage Lord, I'll bear the toil, endure the pain, supported by Thy Word!"

Do we have our head so far in the sand that we are afraid to publicly take on the Homosexual Movement, the Evolutionists, the Atheists, the Abortionists, and others that scoff at God's Word? Have we become so loving that we forget that God hates sin and will destroy men and nations over it? Have we become so politically correct that we will not stand openly and loudly for our Christian Convictions? If you want to know our battle and you are not afraid to engage, I am giving you a web address to the recently formed National Gay Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. There is a boycott presently against McDonalds by many Believers (myself included). It is sad to think that many believers see no reason to give up a Big Mac that funds Sodomite activity. Please go to the website to see other companies that have purposefully committed money and support of the Gay Agenda. It is an abomination against the Almighty God, and we must remain silent as His children no longer. May the Lord give us the courage to stand in the gap in our generation and bring back the glory to Christianity.

Pastor Witmer

Friday, August 22, 2008

Another day dawns

Another day dawns at the Witmer house. We are leaving this morning for WV and my parents 50th Anniversary Celebration. It has been 2 years or so in the planning, and it promises to be the best event 3 preacher's families and a recovering hip-replacement-sister can put out.

These last few weeks have taken me in mind to Jesus' words "....this church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." It is a wonderful time to be at Lighthouse: people are getting saved, assurance, rededicating their lives to Christ, confessing sin, using their gifts, praising the Lord...etc. A man put his arm around me on Wednesday night and thanked me saying it was the first time in 34 years that he had read through the Bible. He had just finished. God is Good!...But the gates are pushing back...

There is no reason to individually rehearse the sorrows of Satan against our folks these last few days. Some of members will not find out about these until this Sunday. Some are private discouragements that bring many tears. Our people are being pot-shotted by powerful Satan who hates to see "thriving Christianity" in our congregation. The words of Martin Luther, the "day-star" of the reformation, bring inspiring truth to our struggle against the "damned one":

..."the prince of darkness grim, we tremble not for him; his rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure: One little word shall fell him. (prev.) "Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He , Lord Sabaoth His name, From age to age the same, and He must win the battle !"

To those hurting right now that have lost precious children, fear for their life, face pending flooding waves, have been attacked by Satan's in Christ, the mighty King of the Lord's Hosts - He has defended your soul at Calvary by His blood, and He will defend you by His power against the gates of hell that threaten to undo you! Look to Christ, Learn Christ, Lean on Christ...find mercy and help in the time of need.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

In His Time Offering

I think we made a good stab at this quarterly offering. As of Sunday night, we were on the edge of $30,000. I am happy at this showing.

I want to transparently share, however, that at this pace, if we were depending on quarterly offerings alone - it would take 5 years of quarterly offerings for us to build....actually, that's not accurate because I did not add inflation of 3-5% costs per year. It would be more like 6 years.

I certainly don't believe it will take us 5 more years, but I want to drive home a point; not to the church, but to you individual reader: Until each of us comes to realize that this is OUR BUILDING, OUR CHILDREN'S BUILDING, OUR GRANDCHILDREN'S BUILDING, we won't sacrifice the necessary dollars to make it happen soon.

Sacrifice is giving what it is not convenient to give. It is not giving extra money, it is giving money that you really want to spend on yourself or your family. I doubt if any good church has ever been built by extra money.

Amy and I struggled a bit with this offering. We were praying for 4 digits to give. I guess I was looking for a suitcase to fall from heaven or something. It did not fall, but God answered. God answered through the realization that we must practice what we preach. God answered through giving what was set aside for other things. Other things that we will miss. I do not tell you this to brag, make you pity, or anything of the like (my God bears witness). I tell you this to challenge you to believe as we do in what God is doing at LBC, and then sacrifice to make it happen in a more useful facility.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."

Talking Slow

"The Holy Spirit talks slowly. We need to be patient and meditate on what He is teaching us in the Word."

This statement above may well be the most important part of Bible Study. In our fast paced society, we want information right now. God's Word is not Google. When we slow down and think through each verse, perhaps reading each verse of a passage a few times, then and usually only then can we understand the meaning of the Lord in writing it. Context and word meanings are incredibly important. Verses pulled out of the context of the recipients, culture, meaning in the passage turn into simply cliche's that most often are not even what our Lord meant.

I encourage you to listen patiently and "slowly" to the Holy Spirit as you the Bible slowly and fully absorbed in the context. Pause periodically; look away and "stew" on what that verse meant. Pray through the passage. Don't be content until you get some nugget of God's Mind for you out of the passage.

"The Holy Spirit talks slowly. Only the patient will understand Him."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Signing Builder Papers

As we announced last night in the service, The Building Team has chosen a builder: Nowland Associates. Check out their website.

Nowland comes highly recommended from fellow area churches, and also provided us with the most trusted "bang for our buck". Jim Nowland has been nothing but gracious, wise, humble, accessible, and understanding of our Vision. Jack and Jim are bound to become close friends. :)

We will sign the contract to build with them by the end of this week. Amen. "So built we the wall for the people had a mind to work."


Thoughts on a Better High Priest

Last Sunday morning in our Hebrews series I preached from Hebrews 5 "A Better High Priest". On one point in the message we zoomed in on v. 7-9 and talked about Jesus denial of His will in the Garden prayer of agony. In that prayer, He submitted Himself to His Father's plan of Salvation through His personal sacrifice of separation from the Godhead, pain, humiliation, etc. That denial allowed Him to "learn" or experience in v.8 the equivalence of what a sinful man must do in repentance: lay down His will and submit to God's Authority. Having experienced this made Jesus "perfect or complete" in v.9 to be the author of eternal salvation to all those that would later submit themselves to Him as Savior. The experiential submission is directly connected to His authorship of your repentance -- He "authored" or wrote salvation first, and then brought many sons to glory after Him. I am no way insinuating that Jesus "needed" personally to repent or was sinful in anyway. I am showing His honorable work as High Priest who truly can understand and have compassion (v.7) because for the only time in history, the Son of God denied himself. This denial begins in the teaching of Philippians 2 and culminates in the Garden prayer. This is Biblical Doctrine from Scripture, it is precious.

After preaching this, John 12:23-28 came into FULL FOCUS. "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die". Jesus died to Himself and then died physically. Because of this great submission, He brings forth much fruit, and the Father can glorify Him. Think of Jesus' denial of His will as you read v.23-28. Linger on v. 28 and realize the hard decision in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus struggled between His personal will and the Father's. Apply it to Salvation Repentance. Apply it to Christian denial of yourself.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wed. Night

Those of you at the Wednesday evening service will enjoy an audio preview of the new CD "In His Time".

In His Time CD

Some have requested a "sneak peak" at the songs included in the Gift CD "In His Time" This CD will be given to one time offerings of $300 or more to this Sunday's IN HIS TIME BUILDING OFFERING.

Here are the individual songs for your perusal. We will offer this CD as a one time offering Gift for only a short while to allow for those giving late or on vacation.

I have been listening to this CD and have been tremendously blessed. It is one thing to hear good music, and quite another to hear the Christian family you love singing it.

To God be the Glory for His living hand on LBC.