3 Ways to Love

sunset-hands-love-woman.jpg

It’s Valentine’s Day 2018, and love is in the air.  As the couples enjoy their chocolates, cards and dinner dates, let’s also remember the kind of biblical love that should fill the life of each follower of Christ.

Here is a passage of the Bible that teaches several different ways that love takes shape in the Christian life.  It’s from Romans 12, a section of the Scripture teaching the transformation of life by the renewing of the mind.  It’s a word to the Christian community.   From it we can learn three ways to love…

Continue reading

Advertisements
Posted in Jeff Saltzmann | Tagged , | Leave a comment

10 Reasons to Bring Your Child to Sunday School

While sleeping late can be nice, have you considered the benefits of Sunday School attendance for your child? Here are 10 reasons to make it a priority in your family.

1. Age Targeted Teaching: Where else can your kids get Biblical instruction that’s focused toward their developmental abilities?
2. Friends: In Sunday School, your child will build positive friendships with their peers by discovering God’s Word together. Continue reading

Posted in Lisa Smeaton, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Devotional Resources for Parents

As 2018 begins, it’s fun to start new habits. Many of us at Bethel Grace are reading through the Bible together and it got me thinking about the children of our church and how they can grow in grace and truth. Continue reading

Posted in Lisa Smeaton, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Reformation: Luther’s Two Struggles

MartinLuther-workshopCranachElderOn Sunday, October 29th, Bethel Grace will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. I pray it will be a day of heart lifting worship and joy as we celebrate salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

As we look forward to the celebration of Reformation Day, I want to recognize that this recovery of the Gospel was born out of a deep sense of struggle within a particular man’s heart.       Martin Luther carried two heavy burdens, the second perhaps more weighty than the first.  The Reformation took flight as the Lord helped Luther resolve these struggles. On the Lord’s Day, we will learn about these two matters, one during a combined 9 a.m. Sunday school gathering, the second during our 10:30 a.m. worship service.

Continue reading

Posted in Jeff Saltzmann | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Light of the World

 

Solar Eclipse

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God. John 3:19-21

I totally forgot about the recent solar eclipse until like 3:00 p.m. on August 21st. I was busy at work and it just didn’t come to mind. It was great that so many people got to see it and recorded it, so I did get to see video and pictures after the fact. Lord willing, I’ll be around for the next one in North America in the year 2024, wear those fun glasses and see it! One thing that was interesting after the eclipse was the radio interviews that I heard from people who had seen it. They talked about the awe and feeling very small in comparison to the magnificence of what they saw.

The eclipse made me think about the verse above in John Chapter 3, particularly in verse 19 about people loving the darkness rather than the light. I was 25 when God saved me from the darkness I had been in. I lived my teen and young adult years knee deep in profanity, immorality, excessive spending, and frequent intoxication of various kinds.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17

Although both these passages state serious things about the sinfulness of mankind, there is also such hope! Who doesn’t need hope? If we come into the Light of Christ we will be saved through the work of God in our lives. We don’t have to stay in the dark!

Several years ago on a family vacation we visited Marvel Cave in Branson, Missouri. It’s a magnificent National Landmark with vast rooms and waterfalls. The lowest room is 505 feet underground. (50 stories down!) It took me several trips to the Silver Dollar City amusement park, where the cave is located, to be brave enough to go into the cave. It was amazing and I’m so very glad that I did! During the tour the guide turned off the lights for a minute. It was incredible how total the darkness is when you’re that far underground. When the lights were turned back on, it was so wonderful to have light again! God’s light through Jesus is just like that and is the ONLY thing that can take away the darkness of my sin. I am thankful to Him for taking it away!

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 9:9-13

 

 

Posted in Lisa Smeaton, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Craving Control

Unraveling and prayer

I recently finished a book that was so practical and inspiring that I wanted to blog about it! It’s entitled Control Girl- Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control from Seven Women in the Bible by Shannon Popkin. The author shares both her personal struggle with being controlling and gives examples and lessons from several Old Testament women for us to learn from.

The book really lends itself to being studied together in a small group so I contacted a friend who suggested some others and our book group was formed. The book, along with the Bible verses and discussion questions made it an easy format to lead the group. More than that though was the deep personal application that all of us were able to come away with through studying it. I thought I’d share some of it with you in hopes that there are a few other “control girls” out there that may benefit from it.

What is a “Control Girl” anyway?  Well, instead of trusting in and surrendering to God, control girls respond with anger or anxiety along with controlling behaviors and words. The author asks these questions for us to consider: “What do I crave having control over? What do I fear losing control of?” (Anxiety) and “What am I trying to control? Am I angry because I’ve lost control of something?” (Anger)

For me, my response is mostly that of anxiety. I crave control over circumstances that feel out of control and I also tend to care WAY too much what others think of me. I’m the queen of “What if…?” What if I fail? What if they get mad at me? What if I don’t get the job? What if I make a mistake? What if I get cancer? What if they reject me? I crave control over people’s opinions of me, perfection in myself, and a life filled with ease and happiness.

Continue reading

Posted in Lisa Smeaton | Leave a comment

The Five Emotional Stages of a VBS Worker

https://fightoffaithblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/the-five-emotional-stages-of-a-vbs-worker/

As I am swimming in our upcoming “Ocean Commotion” VBS prep right now, Pastor Jeff recommended reposting Doug Eaton’s excellent blog post. Enjoy!!
Lisa Smeaton
Children’s Director

Posted in Lisa Smeaton, Uncategorized | Leave a comment