Thursday, September 28, 2023

The Giving Crisis by Andrew McNair

Dear Church Family,

I recently confessed to you that I had not done a good job of discipling the church in the area of finances. I’d like to change that, and for more reasons than what is probably coming to your mind right now.

As I was reading a book in my office on the subject of generosity, I came across this excerpt. I thought it was worth sharing. It came from Andrew McNair’s The Giving Crisis. I pray it speaks to your heart…

Some Christians hold the mistaken belief that the Bible is silent on giving. Nothing could be further from the truth. One count tallies 2,350 versus about money. One-fifth of Jesus’ parables involve money. According to Forbes, money and material possessions is the second most referenced topic in the Bible, appearing more than 800 times. Money - collecting it, giving it, paying the government, and the dangers of money - is quite present in the Bible.

What about tithing, specifically?

Some dismiss tithing as an outdated Levitical law - but is that the case? It’s amazing how many people become overnight biblical researchers when defending their current spending habits.

Tithing has a broader foundation than Levitical code. We can trace tithing all the way back to the first book of the Bible: Genesis. In Genesis we encounter the story of Abraham, called by God as the Father of many nations. Abraham’s story is the beginning of the story of the people of God, the Jews. Chapter 14 describes his quest to rescue his nephew, Lot, from his captors. When he returns successfully, he gives 10 percent of his spoils to the priest-king Melchizedek. The author of Hebrews, a book in the New Testament, affirms Abraham’s tithe.

Later in Genesis, Jacob, grandson of Abraham, vows to give 10% of everything to God.

You might be asking, “What about grace” It’s true. We must remember that because of the New Covenant, we Christians are now covered with a layer of grace that wasn’t known in the Old Testament. Grace never lowers the bar for living Godly lives.

In fact, we learn from the Sermon on the Mount that grace raises the bar. The law was only the beginning. It was a starting point. It set the standard for us to follow. The Law reveals to us our own reluctance to give; it reveals our selfishness. As New Testament Christians, we are challenged to give even more. As we grow in spiritual maturity, the tithe becomes something we feel eager to give, not a check we feel obligated to write. The 10% required by Law becomes a baseline for our giving - not the maximum amount.

See you Sunday!

Pastor Lane

Psalms - The Bible's "songbook"

Many people love the book of Psalms. The Bible’s “songbook” shows us how to deal with real life. Eugene Peterson writes that the Psalms are a place where we “find the experience of being human before God exposed and sharpened.” The Psalms are incredibly honest, embracing the realities of life and singing through them.

Over a third of the Psalms can be categorized as laments. Over and over again these songs face up to the sharpest of pains, the deepest of struggles, and the loneliest of moments. This is where many of us are as we gather together on a Sunday. There are times when we come to sing with a heaviness of heart. None of us comes with everything figured out. We need to sing songs that recognize these realities without leaving us to despair of those realities, because they bring us to the Rock that is higher than us.

The Psalms tell us to sing when we’re happy. We have freedom to dance, to shout, to sing and play music, and to celebrate our victories. But we must not only sing songs that help us when we’re happy. We can also sing because we’re sad, and we must also sing of Christ when we’re sad. We have freedom to weep, to pour out our souls to a God who hears and who acts. We sing for our brothers and sisters in those moments or seasons when they cannot.

We sing, as the Psalms train us, to help us bring all of our lives, failures, successes, losses, gains, dreams, and ambitions into gospel perspective. Our singing can prepare us for every season of life, and sustain us through every season of life. We don’t need a musical escape from our lives; we need to gaze on the Savior of our lives – our refuge and help and comfort.

(from “Sing!” by Keith and Kristyn Getty)

PraiSing Him!


Growing Things Change

It’s been about one month since Awana started back this year, and I am excited to be experiencing something I’ve known to be true:

Healthy things grow, and growing things change.

Two years ago we chose Awana as part of our discipleship strategy for the next generation. I am so proud of all of our volunteers who continue to make Awana better and better every week. In addition to adding a high school Bible study on Wednesday nights, we also launched a middle school component to Awana. We currently serve around 40 students each week, including many families that are new just in the past month!

As Awana continues to grow, we’ll continue to change to accommodate that growth. There are some key volunteer spots we need to fill, including lining up substitute leaders to fill in when someone is out of pocket. We are trusting God to provide those volunteers, and maybe he is leading you to step out and jump into one of those roles.

We continue to look forward to an amazing year sharing the love of Jesus with the next generation. We look forward to continued growth in the future, and we know that with God’s help, we’ll be ready when it comes!

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Still Small Voice

There was a time in my life when I was hiding. I was scared, unsure of what to do, or where to go. I felt like I was out of options. As my husband likes to say I buried my head in the sand. These verses make me think of that even though I was hiding from bad decisions and mistakes. Elijah was hiding because he had done what God asked him to do and people were angry at him. Two different reasons to hide, but God still showed up, even for me. 

I was sitting outside one day doing my Bible Study. I have no idea what that was or what scripture it involved. I do know I was sitting outside and it was a calm day, no wind or rain just a stillness. I started praying, the kind of prayer that ends with nothing but tears and crying. I can remember this so clearly even though it has been about 16 years. Suddenly a gentle breeze blew through my yard. It felt like a gentle caress on my cheek and I could hear God telling me deep within - "It's going to be ok. I will be with you as you walk through this." That day was a new beginning for me! 

Are you hiding from something? No matter what your reason for hiding, God will walk with you through it. Call out to Him! If you would like us to pray for you, fill out the form on the left. We would love to pray for you!


1 Kings 19:11-13

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Clay Jars

Dear church family,

One year at Thanksgiving several people had dinner with missionaries in Thailand. In the center of the dinner table was a large, beautiful orchid. That prize flower was the topic of conversation throughout the meal. Shortly after leaving the house, a missionary asked the rest of the group what kind of vase the hostess had used for the centerpiece. Not one of his traveling companions could even remember seeing it. All they remembered was that beautiful orchid. The man made his point, “If we are the kind of earthen vessels or containers we ought to be, nobody will even notice us. They will only see Jesus.”

The apostle Paul wrote, “We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves” 2 Corinthians 4:7 (NLT).

In this world of self-centeredness, it is easy to fall into the trap of drawing attention to ourselves. We as Christians, though, should constantly seek to draw attention to Jesus Christ and to Him alone.

Brian Sternberg was a sophomore at the University of Washington when he won the national championship on the trampoline with a flawless triple somersault. He also won the pole vault championship and set a world record. Sternberg had one fatal flaw – pride. He was self-centered and independent; he wanted help from no one. Practicing by himself at the university gym one night, he attempted his triple somersault. Sternberg landed on the edge of the trampoline and almost severed his spinal cord at the base of his neck. Instantly he became a quadriplegic.

Sternburg went from 190 pounds of muscle to a mere 87 pounds of skin, bone, and cartilage. As the weeks lapsed into months, he became bitter. While he was in the hospital, a young lady visited him every day and shared about the love of Christ. After years of putting himself in the center of his life, he accepted Christ as his Lord and proclaimed, “Although I’m crippled, I feel like a winner for the first time in my life.”

And sharing his testimony at an international conference, Sternberg closed with, “Oh, I pray to God that what has happened to me will never happen to one of you. I pray that you’ll never know the humiliation, the shame, of not being able to perform one human act. Oh, I pray to God you will never know the pain that I live with daily. It is my hope and my prayer that what has happened to me would never happen to one of you – unless, my friends, that’s what it takes for you to put God in the center of your life.”

So my friends, don’t focus attention on yourself nor seek the attention of others. Instead, focus on Jesus, and live your life in such a way that others must do the same.

See you Sunday!

Pastor Lane


If you are a Star Trek fan like me, you are no doubt familiar with Spock’s maxim that, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few…or the one.” It illustrates his sacrificial love for his friends. But that’s a spiritual metaphor for another day.

Spock’s maxim reminds me of a useful phrase about ministry, albeit somewhat inverted: “Do for some what you wish you could do for many.” It’s an important reminder for us today.

When ministry begins to make positive differences in people’s lives, it feels natural for us to want more.

More time.

More volunteers.

More resources.

We become confident that we could effectively serve “the many” if we simply had more.

And maybe we could.

But the reality is that God has already provided us with what he knows we need for today, even if it’s not our definition of more. Faithfulness to God is serving him with what we do have. It might not be as much as we want, but like the apostle Paul writes in Philippians 4:11-13, we can learn to be content in this circumstance. We might want more, but God has given us enough for today.

Using what we have today, we do for some what we wish we could do for many.

5 Surprising Things About The Choir

If you have never been a member of a church choir, you might be surprised about some things.


Many choir members do not read music.

They learn the music by ear, since new songs are rehearsed for several weeks. There are usually demo

recordings available to help them outside of rehearsals.


Most choir members do not consider themselves to be soloists, but every voice is important in contributing to the sound of the choir.


Our choir rehearsals usually consist of some type of warm up--usually some of our congregational music

for the week, followed by working on a number of songs. There will be occasional instructions about how to improve the sound of the choir. No one is singled out. No one is forced to sing by themselves in front of the choir. It is a relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere.


We always spend time during our rehearsals to share praises, prayer requests, and lift our requests up in

prayer. Some weeks there will be a devotion related to one of the songs we are singing. Usually there is a lot of laughter and smiling. We simply share life together.


Being a part of a church choir means joining a family of folks who love the Lord and love to praise Him

through their singing. It is more than notes, rests, rhythms, dynamics, etc. It is an opportunity to minister on a regular basis.

I would encourage you to consider giving church choir a try. It just might be a truly life-changing


PraiSing Him!


The Giving Crisis by Andrew McNair

Dear Church Family, I recently confessed to you that I had not done a good job of discipling the church in the area of  finances. I’d like t...