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Kathleen Nielson: Second Preview

April 17 2014 at 5:00 pm 0 Comments


I hope this second excerpt above will give you another small taste of Kathleen Nielson’s teaching.

I also have a testimony to share with you from Elise Finch who has benefited from Kathleen’s ministry. Here is what she has to say:

I have read the Bible as part of my daily devotional practice since I was a child. However, over the last 5-7 years I began to look at different methods of study, seeking to better grasp God’s Word in my own life.

During this search, I heard about Kathleen Nielson and read her book Bible Study: Following the Ways of the Word. In the book she talks about seeing the Bible as literature written to be understood by all of us, including those of us who would never be fluent in Greek or Hebrew or complete a seminary course. I read a quote at the beginning of chapter 3, “If we affirm meaning in the text, meaning intended by God who breathed it out, then it follows that God means for us to receive this meaning. He gave us words that he means for us to understand.” God means for ME to understand his word! That’s encouraging, but it’s also sobering because if he means for me to understand it, that also implies he means for me to give it some sober-minded attention.

Reading Kathleen’s book and now having the opportunity to learn more through several of her studies has been profoundly helpful. I’ve learned how to look at the various genres within the Bible and read them with an eye towards how God meant to use their form to illuminate his truth. I’ve spent less time pondering my own opinions or jumping to personal application prior to finding out what each author’s intent was for their original audience. This approach makes sense. Although I will never “arrive”, Kathleen’s methods have provided a useful map which is helping me to better navigate the road of reading God’s word.

I am so excited for this time to learn from Kathleen again and am looking forward to being freshly spurred on as we study the Psalms.

I hope you can join us on May 9-10! You can visit the conference website for more information and to register. To view a video of a complete message by Kathleen, please visit the Christian Conventions website.

Valori Maresco
Women’s Ministry Director

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Special Sunday Song from Erin Hill

December 17 2013 at 8:53 am 4 Comments

This past Sunday, Erin Hill, a member who serves on our Music and Worship Team, shared a song that fit perfectly with Joshua’s message on The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant from Matthew 18:21-35. We asked Erin if she could tell us how the song came about and also provide the lyrics:

“One day last week I came across some pictures of old friends that took me straight back to a difficult season of pain, disloyalty and dissolved friendships. If you had asked me prior to seeing the photographs I would have told you that I had forgiven these particular people of what they had done against me and my family; I thought I did! But the truth was, I hadn’t yet done that completely. The Lord desired to bring me to a place of further healing and true forgiveness. He opened my eyes to see that I was still holding debts against these people and it was affecting my current relationships, but most importantly, it was a hindrance in my relationship with the Lord.

After seeing the pictures I was able to take some time to sit down at the piano and receive this simple song from the Lord (mind you, I was pretty angry when I first started singing!). As the lyrics and the music started coming I was seeing how this was a sweet gift from Him for my aching soul. I don’t know how it all transpired but an unexpected healing took place while I was being honest with the Lord in that moment.

While I was still writing, I had the thought that this song might not only be for my benefit but possibly a song the Lord might use for his church. I contacted Josh to see what the text for Sunday was going to be…I couldn’t help but to laugh out loud when he shared that he was teaching on the passage of the unforgiving servant!

I truly feel that the burden of bitterness, anger and unforgiveness has been lifted from me and I sense a freedom that I haven’t felt in almost five years! Praise God!”


When I see Jesus face to face
I won’t think about the pain I feel right now
One day when I put my hand to his
I won’t think about the hands that hurt me here

But right now it seems much easier
To hate my enemies
Than to forgive and rest within your peace

So I need you, Jesus
My anger’s held me captive for too long
I need you, just you
Replace this bitterness with your love

I had a debt I could not pay
And you showed me your mercy

Erin Hill photo

Thank you, Erin, for serving the Lord and our church with your voice and your songs. Let us know if you are able to get the song recorded!

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Hearing from New Members

June 30 2012 at 8:40 pm 0 Comments

We were blessed to get to speak with several new members and create a brief video of their remarks for New Members Sunday, June 24.  We hope you’ll be encouraged by hearing how Christ is at work in each of their lives.

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A Word of Encouragement for Members 50 and Older

March 21 2012 at 8:57 pm 2 Comments

In church a few weeks ago, Peter Giglio shared the following words to encourage the church. We asked Peter if we could post them here for everyone’s edification.

Psalm 92:12-14 – “The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon.  They are planted in the house of the Lord, they flourish in the courts or our God.  They still bear fruit in old age, they are ever full of sap and green.”

I believe there are many here today who heard Robin’s [Boisvert] prayer last week and were wondering if that was for you. You are entering a time in your life where you have more time on your hands and less demands. The children are older and have moved out.  Your career has leveled out and you are beginning to think about retirement.  You have stabilized financially and have extra money to spend or give. You are wondering what to do at this time of your life. You are wondering if it’s time to just wind down and let the next generation take over.

I believe God would want to redirect you.  I believe He would want you to know that He has been investing in you all your life and wants a return on his investment.  He has placed gifts and talents in you that he has been developing all your life, and now is the time to use them for His kingdom and his purposes.  Now is the time of fruitfulness.  This should be the best time of your life.  As a result of experiencing Gods faithfulness all your life, it would be fitting that the middle age and older folks be the ones that are the most passionate in worship, the most zealous for good works, the most generous in giving, the most evangelistic, have an increasing burden for the lost, have a desire to be senders or goers in missions, are the most outward-focused, and are the most forward thinking in the growth, health and mission of the church.  This is a call for all those around 50 and older to go, do and be all that God wants you to be at this time in your life.


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“Bible Stories” - Part 2

January 14 2012 at 9:50 am 2 Comments

Here are more thoughts from church members in connection with our “Reading the Bible For All Its Worth” series, currently in progress. We asked people to send in brief stories describing how they have been affected through Bible reading, study, meditation and/or memorization. They are shared by permission. The first installment ran earlier this week.

... I’m currently 17 years old. As a church kid, I’ve heard the gospel a million times but never really gotten into the Bible. To be honest, it seemed kind of boring. My parents encouraged me to read the Bible every day, so I could spend time with God to know him better. I obeyed my parents, and as I read the Bible my attitude toward God’s Word gradually began to change. I had so many questions and prayed to God to show me those answers that I could find by myself. I wanted to know the Bible more, so my parents encouraged me to go to Bible classes. God began filling me with the Holy Spirit, and reading the Bible didn’t seem boring—it was awesome! The more I read the Bible, the more of my questions started to be answered. Never take God’s Word for granted, or treat it like a chore to check off your list. It will bless your life if you continue to read it carefully. Thank you. —Andrew Payne

I was brought up in a non-Bible believing church that dismissed much of Scripture as allegory. Even though I didn’t accept what the church said, there was so much of the Bible that I didn’t understand. It seemed like such a big book and it wasn’t written in a simple, orderly manner. I found it confusing and overwhelming. I was also discouraged by my walk with the Lord – up and joyous one minute and down and disappointed the next. I knew that something was very wrong, that something had to change, but didn’t know what or how. As I desperately cried out to the Lord for help, God began to speak to me and told me that my problem was that I didn’t know His whole counsel. He said I was picking and choosing various Scriptures that I liked and trying to live my life by them. I thought, “Wow, can anyone know the whole counsel of God?” God let me know that He wrote it all out in His Word and He wanted me to read the whole Bible. He later brought across my path a reading through the Bible plan that takes three years—this has been an AMAZING thing in my life, and I am now on the 10th cycle of this plan. Because I read such a small amount each day, I have time to meditate on it, look up words I don’t know, or even read a commentary. I am not rushed and know that I am literally spending time with Him. I can now see that the whole Bible is His love letter to His people, and we have the most awesome God and the brightest future.
—Marge Merryman

I am currently going through a program to read through the Bible in a year. I am proud to say I’m almost done – but I started the program almost three years ago. There have been many mornings where I’ve told my wife I’m going to spend lunch time fasting and reading God’s word, and she has found me in the kitchen around noon sitting down to a big late of food and reading the newspaper. At times I get discouraged thinking about how I’ve failed to hold up my end of the bargain when it comes to my relationship with God. But in those moments I’ll read something like Romans 3 that reminds me that my righteousness and acceptance with God has nothing to do with my performance! One of the biggest benefits I’ve found in my interaction with God’s living Word has been through my prayer life, as I’ve learned to do more listening and less talking. —Jim Lutz



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“Bible Stories” - Part 1

January 10 2012 at 4:05 pm 1 Comments

In connection with our “Reading the Bible For All Its Worth” series, we asked church members to send in brief stories describing how they have been affected through Bible reading, study, meditation and/or memorization. Here are the first few, shared by permission. We hope you find them encouraging.

In the spring of 2011, I studied 1 and 2 Peter with a group of women, with a focus on suffering and trials. Prior to this study, I had experienced some difficulties in life, but never anything I would consider a “BIG trial” that could shake my faith. Then I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in July, 2011. After undergoing a thyroidectomy, I sustained damaged vocal cords and couldn’t speak. This was a pivotal moment for me to continue to trust God when I felt my world was shaking. I could continue to trust Him or respond in anger and bitterness. I chose to trust. God proved his faithfulness through the prayers and acts of practical help by many people, and answered prayers for my vocal healing after seven weeks with no voice. Throughout this experience, the Holy Spirit often brought to my mind different Bible verses that comforted and strengthened me, verses that I had studied and meditated on in the past. I am so thankful for the time I had spent in the past studying His word and how it spoke to me during my most difficult trial so far. —Pamela Ward

I had a hard time joining the church. As someone from an ethnic minority, it was very hard at first to look at people that go to our church as my brothers and sisters when I had nothing in common with them. When I was asked to choose my care group, I prayed that God would pick them for me and found myself with people I would have normally avoided or not befriended. Reading and studying the Bible at that time I was dealing with this, I started to pray and accept them as God does, to believe that church unity is stronger than blood ties. Reading the Bible has helped me overcome and not label people that are not like me. And after a while, by reading Scripture, I started to look at eight beautiful people as brothers and sisters. —Brigette Nichols

I am reminded afresh of God’s faithfulness as I look back on the last 40 years of my life. I can still remember certain verses that sustained me in each season of life. As a young person looking for work and direction, it was Psalm 25. When the children were young and finances were tight, it was Psalm 37:25. During bouts of depression, it was Psalm 40. These last 6 years, it has been Romans 12:12. I could go on and on recounting the Lord’s favor and mercy in my life and family through sickness, trials and joys. His word does not return void as we wait for the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. —Mary Baker


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