Table of Blessings 2023

We gathered together on Sunday, November 26, 2023 to thank God for His many blessings.  Seven of our brothers and sisters shared some very specific events in their lives for which they were exceedingly grateful.  Watch as they share how God has seen them through times of hardship and sorrow, triumph and rejoicing.  God is unpredictable as to how He does it, but indeed He works all things for the good of those who love Him and whom He calls to His purpose! (Romans 8:28).
Below is a general outline and description of those who shared with us.  The time references are from the first video with just the sharing…

Host: Pastor Ken Durham


Matt and Emily Hurst (2:08)

Sometimes God brings into our lives things that are difficult to bare.  Change can be challenging, but God is good – and He means ALL FOR GOOD!  Our daughter has cystic fibrosis, we have gone through job changes, substance abuse in the family, and the death of a parent.  We are learning to forgive as we walk with Him.  Matt shared a meaningful quote from a book that he recently read:
They say of some temporal suffering,
“No future bliss can make up for it,”
not knowing that Heaven, once attained,
will work backwards and turn even that agony
into a glory.
– a quote from The Great Divorce (C.S. Lewis)

Deb Winters (15:36)

Deb shared about transitions in life such as retirement.  (Ecclesiastes 3:1)  We must remember God’s faithfulness.  He is with us through it all!  Prayer is so important in life.  When I truly trust God, He brings peace.  I often wondered how I could ever cope with retirement when I am a people-person.  Actually, transitions are nothing new – we experience them throughout life.  (Proverbs 3:5-6) We learn to trust as we keep turning to Him.  I find in retirement that there is more freedom with more time for relationships and for prayer!  I highly recommend retirement!

Tina Durham (26:08)

I, too, have gone through a big job change.  I have learned that God is in control.  It may take time, but He knows what we need.

Misty Watkins (27:57)

Losing a spouse is very difficult.  It takes time to learn how to live without them.  There are many changes that happen along the way, like changing jobs.  I have learned that God wants to be in the job with us.  Trust Him and share Him with others.  Pray!

John and Soozi Davisson (35:15)

(John 2:1-11, Psalm 76)  We are servants.  God chose us.  We want to be available. (2 Corinthians 6:1)  Yes, we too have experienced job change.  We have been considering adoption.  We have also been considering Samaritan’s Purse.  As we read in the book of John, we  learned that the servant’s job was to say, “Yes.”  They were to bring the water.  Jesus is the one who transforms our efforts. (2 Samuel 22:30)  When we are available and say, “Yes” – He provides what is needed!  “With my God, I can!”  We must remember that this is God’s story, not ours.  Consider the power of God’s word in our community.  (Psalm 23:3; Isaiah 55:10-11; Hebrews 10:20-25).  Lastly we would like to share a “pour-over” of God’s word with you… (Psalm 103).

Ken closes with song and prayer  (50:56)

Take the time to be thankful.  For your home, your family and for what God is doing in your life. 

If you would like to watch just the sharing portion of our service, Click HERE.


If you would like to watch the entire service including music, click HERE.



Unity in the Body of Christ!

A Special Message

The Journey to 2030:

Unity in the Body of Christ!

Ephesians 4:1-16


“FBC desires to see communities thriving to the glory of God.”


FBC’s vision is a statement that expresses what we hope to see happen in and through our congregation as we accomplish our mission. Our mission is “FBC exists to transform stories through the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Today, as we prepare to vote on our new bylaws that are designed to empower you as the congregation to fulfill the vision with as little red tape as possible, I invite you to be a part of the Journey to 2030 – to live on mission by actively walking with Jesus Christ as He transforms you through His gospel.


“FBC desires to see communities thriving to the glory of God.”


Thriving is another word for human flourishing, As Christians, this is the promised abundant life or fullness of life that Jesus promised His followers in John 10:10 – “real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of” (The Message). It is the desire of the leaders of FBC to create an atmosphere/culture at FBC that facilitates your journey that experiences a transformation through the gospel of Jesus, which brings about this promise in your life. How can you bring thriving to our communities if you are not first experiencing a closer walk with Jesus Christ, the life of discipleship, for yourself.


We call you to the journey of experiencing the fullness of joy that Jesus promises each one of you, members of His one body. We understand that the Holy Spirit is the One transforming our stories as walk with Jesus; it’s a faithful journey to the destination of Christlikeness. It’s not always a straight journey, and it can be messy, but we must remain focused – eyes on Jesus!


In creating an atmosphere/culture of transformation for your journey, the leaders of FBC desire to, prayerfully (according to Acts 6:4), preach and teach clearly what it means for each of us (individually and collectively) to live as disciples of Jesus Christ so that we each can ensure we are heading in the right direction – intentionally becoming like Him in word and deed.


This will include what we provide, or partner with, for people on Sunday mornings (during Sunday school hour and in service) and Wednesday nights (youth, children, and adult programming available at the church), as well as what is available to you throughout the week in Bible studies and ministry gatherings.


The goal of such teaching is for each of us to have the mind of Christ and to know the will of God according to Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” This transformation is necessary for us to be actively engaged in the mission of God, to which Jesus calls all His followers to participate in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).


Apart from our stories being transformed through the gospel of Jesus Christ we cannot be on the Journey with Jesus. This is a personal journey of discipleship, but it is never private; it is a call to the refreshing work of the Holy Spirit through the great community, called the church. As the leaders of FBC, we desire to empower both the individual and the corporate body, according to the teaching of the Body of Christ in the New Testament (i.e. Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12; and Ephesians 4).


Let’s read Ephesians 4:1-16. I’ll make a few comments, then call you to make some commitments as members of the one body of Christ.


There are two ways the force is structured in the US Army: conventional and unconventional. The conventional force has a heavy top-down approach, where no one moves, from top to bottom, without the top first passing down the order that had to move its way down the chain of command. The assumptions of this model are not complementary to the soldiers or their ability to innovate and adapt on their own. Unfortunately, most of the Army is structured this way.


The church is not intended to look this way! We are more like the unconventional forces of the army’s special forces and special operations communities, who empower every solider as a highly trained team member who can accomplish the mission without a lot of oversight. They are given a mission to accomplish, then entrusted with team leadership, to accomplish it in their specific areas of operation, as they have been chosen, trained, and sent to do. This is how the church is called to function, not only with Jesus, our Commander, giving us the Great Commission, and entrusting every congregation in every community of every nation to spring up and get the mission done in ways that are right and true to their time and location, but this is also true of every congregation, as the pastors and leaders empower the people to get the mission done in ways that are right and true to your household, neighborhood, and workplace.


We must structure ourselves to empower you, the soldiers of Jesus who have been chosen, need to be trained, and are being sent to live your life on mission for Jesus.


  • The Church Cabinet will consist of Pastoral Staff, Elders, Deacons/Deaconesses, Moderator, and Clerk. The Church Cabinet convenes on a regular basis to assure that those in positions of congregational authority are being faithful to the mission, vision, faith statement and core values of the church.
  • The Elders provide spiritual formation and accountability to the pastoral staff of the church. They work together to create a congregational culture that prioritizes the mission and vision of First Baptist Church according to our faith statement and core values.
  • The Deacons/Deaconesses are the servants of the church, leading the work of ministry in First Baptist Church. Deacons are affirmed/appointed to their positions based upon their calling to their area of service.
  • The Moderator chairs the Church Cabinet, conducts Congregational Meetings, and works closely with the lead pastor to liaise between the congregation and staff.


All areas of ministry (and their teams) are directly accountable to a member of the cabinet. The reason we have this structure at FBC is empower you, the priesthood of all believers, to live on mission, the good fruit of your life of discipleship. In the words of Jesus, for you as a good tree to bear good fruit (Matthew 7:15-20). We want to minimize meetings and red tape, so that you can be equipped, encouraged, and empowered to live for Jesus, on mission for God!


Therefore, I call you to the following six membership commitments to ensure the unity of the body of Christ while so that we can function as God intended, sending you out as an unconventional force of elite special forces soldiers. We gather to scatter!


  1. I commit to being a loving member where I see membership as a call to godly living and relationships. I will:
    1. Uphold biblical standards in my own life and in relationship with my brothers and sisters, according to Matthew 18.
    2. Prioritize greater spiritual, emotional, physical, and relational health with God, self, family, and others.


  1. I commit to being a healthy member where I see membership as a part of God’s plan for my life (John 13:35). I will be a source of:
    1. Unity, not division, knowing that none of us, including leadership, are perfect.
    2. Mercy and grace, not gossip and dissension.


  1. I commit to being a praying member where I see prayer as my Christian responsibility to fulfill Jesus’ prayer in John 17. I will discipline my life to pray daily for the body of Christ including:
    1. Pastors and leaders
    2. Ministries & missions
    3. Families & community
    4. The worldwide church throughout all nations


  1. I commit to being a serving member where I see membership as an opportunity to visibly live a life of sacrificial service (Philippians 2:5-11). I will:
    1. Serve the church and its membership.
    2. Actively live a life of ministry and mission through the guidance and power the Holy Spirit in my day-to-day life.


  1. I commit to being a functional member where I see membership according to the Bible’s teaching (1 Corinthians 12 – 14).  I will demonstrate this in the following ways:
    1. Active participation in a discipleship group.
    2. Service in ministry.
    3. Biblical financial partnership.
    4. Witness for Christ to the community.


  1. I will be a committed member where I see membership in the body of Christ as a privilege that comes with responsibilities.  I recognize the church will only be healthy and grow when I am doing my part; therefore, I will:
    1. Learn about and use my spiritual gifts to build the body of Christ (Ephesians 4).
    2. Display the fruit of the Spirit to our community and beyond (Galatians 5:22-23).


I am going to be focusing on discipleship; providing “pathways of grace” for you to grow in godliness (Christlikeness). May your life bear the good fruit of a transformed life through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thriving is more than an understanding of what is God’s best for my life, the church, and surrounding community, it is a call to full participation in that life through our 7 big words, on the banners behind you: gather, follow, rest, belong, love, service, and go. It is seeing our four core values, posted right here on the wall to my left, come alive in you.


We all have very little space on our calendars available, just as we all have more demands on our money, so we want to invite you to choose pathways of grace that will help you thrive and that will bring thriving to our communities through your unique contributions. 


I want to conclude with a thought I read a while back, “Our lives seem too crowded – too busy, we might say, were it not that after long hours of work we let entertainment and various addictions gobble up a good portion of the remaining time – to allow us to give sustained attention to the challenge of discerning the life truly worth living…It’s not just that we don’t know how to live meaningful lives. We don’t even seem to be able to focus for very long on the question” (source unknown).


The leaders of FBC want to help you focus on the abundant life of Jesus Christ; we invite you participate in the work of Jesus Christ to bring about your transformation, but we know that can only happen through your submission to the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in your life. Jesus calls that His “easy yoke” (Matthew 11:28-30).


We invite you to join us on FBC’s Journey to 2030. To get out of the heavy yoke of the world and its definitions of thriving and to get into Jesus’ easy yoke and to walk with Him, in His way. We know it’s going to take a long time, but we are committed to the process of transformation that God will do in us and through us as we learn, step-by-step, to be about our Father’s Work in His Harvest fields.


May Jesus lead us on FBC’s Journey to 2030! To God alone be the Glory!


If you would like to watch Pastor Jerry present this message, Click HERE.


If you would like to watch the entire service including music, click HERE.



On Mission

On Mission


Today is the International Day of Prayer

Video: What is Missions?
Luke 10:2-3
The Heart of Missions is to take the Gospel to those who have never heard it.


Romans 10:8-15

Matthew 28:18-20

John 17:17-18

John 20:21 “I am sending you…”


Charles Spurgeon Quote:


We share the BAD NEWS and the GOOD NEWS:






Video Short: Share Your Testimony – Tim Hawkins


Every testimony is a miracle!

Revelation 12:10-11

It’s all about the one who makes the miracle and makes it powerful!


Testimony: Elijah Abrams













Serving & Meeting Needs

Examples of ways / places you can serve.

They provide great opportunities in which you can share the Gospel.

He may call you to give up of your time, hobbies, rest, home, everything familiar…

He will call you out of your comfort zone.

There is a cost to following Jesus.
When we say yes, He blesses.

Story: John & David who were willing to commit, to give up their freedom in order to share the Gospel with others. They were called. They were passionate for Jesus!

“May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering.”

Jesus is the Lamb that was slain. Our lives are the reward for His suffering.


If you would like to watch Keven present this message, Click HERE.


If you would like to watch the entire service including music, click HERE.



Proclamation, Preparation & Positioning

Proclamation, Preparation & Positioning

Deuteronomy 32:2-4; Ephesians 5:15-19; Philippians 4:5-9




Today is going to be a different type of Sunday. We are starting the service with each point of the message being reinforced with our worship in song. For those taking notes, the three key points are 1) Proclamation; 2) Preparation; and 3) Positioning. These three “P’s” will help us in both our prayers and our praise.


I. PROCLAMATION: Moses told the people of Israel

Deuteronomy 32:2-4:

“Let my teaching fall on you like rain; let my speech settle like dew. Let my words fall like rain on tender grass, like gentle showers on young plants. I will proclaim the name of the Lord; how glorious is our God! He is the Rock; his deeds are perfect. Everything he does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright he is!”


When we proclaim something, we are making it known to those around us. When we pray, we are to proclaim who God is to us. When we sing our praises, we are to lift our voices and proclaim the goodness and the greatness of our God. In Psalm 71:19-19, the psalmist David writes:

O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do. Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me. Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the highest heavens. You have done such wonderful things. Who can compare with you, O God?


He also writes in Psalm 105:1-2:

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.”


And then in Psalm 145:4-7, we are told to:

Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power. I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles. Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue; I will proclaim your greatness. Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy about your righteousness.”


Finally, we are encouraged by John, the beloved disciple in 1 John 1:1-2:

“We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us.”


So, as we prepare to lift our voices in worship, remember we are all to proclaim praise to the One Who was, Who is, and Who always will be.

Worship in Song 1: Living Hope, Goodness of God, Trust in God


II. Preparation: Preparation is important for both heart and mind.


QUOTE: “Proper preparation prevents poor performance.”


A. Preparing the heart.
1. Confession is where it starts.

1 John 1:9:

“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”
2. We have to clean house of the things that affect our heart.

Ephesians 5:15-19: So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.”


*Previous verses warned us not to live like we used to, because we are to live our lives to please God.


B. Preparing the mind: A Call for holy living: 1 Peter 1:13


“So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.”


Currently, mental health has become a hot topic. We need to realize that the battle of the mind is something that has been a part of human struggle for a long time, especially when it comes to spiritual matters. Moses, King David, the prophet Elijah and Ruth’s mother-in-law, Naomi are just a few examples of those who battled some form of mental illness and the Bible records their struggles. As we face issues like work-related stress, seasonal depression or even chemical imbalance, there may be some that requires that require medical assistance. This is not a bad thing! That is why we have the medical professionals to help in these times.


However, we are also told in scriptures to bring everything to Jesus. 1 Peter 5:7 states:

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”


AND…we are to care for one another. Paul wrote to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 12:25:

“This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other.”


This is not an either/or thing, but rather a both/and. We as the church are to be here to help one another as we see Christ transforming people’s lives and their stories. BUT, it is also important that each person take responsibility to turn EVERYTHING over to God by preparing our hearts and our minds.


Worship in Song 2: Lavish, Who You Say I Am


III. Positioning: Surrendering our wants and desires

A. What Christ did for you and me: Philippians 2:6-8:


“Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”
B.What we are to do for Him: 1 Peter 5:6-10
So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.”


“Christ demands first place. There’s no room on the throne of your heart for two gods.”

– Billy Graham
This is something that you must do for yourself, because I cannot. HOWEVER, I can hold you accountable, which is what I am doing today!


Philippians 4:5-7:

“Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”


I want to close out the service with a response time. Coming to the altar is not a sign that you have done something, but rather you making a public demonstration of presenting yourself as a living sacrifice, making sure that your sacrifice is still on the altar! Position yourself with a fresh surrender.


Worship Set 3: Hold On to Me, It is Well with My Soul



If you would like to watch the service in its entirety with the music, click HERE.

If you would like to watch just the message, click HERE.








Missionary: Jim White

Faith (And what it takes to live in Faith)

from Missionaries Jim & Teresa White
Teresa shared, thanking the church for their support during a time of deep loss and for a time of renewal in Newfoundland. Teresa also shared about some changes in their mission outreach into “the hood” of their city in the Dominican Republic.
Jim wanted to share about Faith and what it takes to live in Faith…. For many, when the hard times come, they walk in doubt.
The Bible teaches that we are to be like Jesus when we walk on earth.
1 John 2:6; 4:17; We bring the Gospel of Life with others. You may be the only “Jesus” that others ever see. If we are living like Jesus, then others will meet Jesus. We are the hands and the feet and the love of Jesus on earth!
We should live each day as if it were the last day for us on earth. How would you change your daily life?
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Run is such a way that you will not be disqualified.
We are to run the race with great intent. Our goal is to see Jesus face to face!
Our first thought of the day, our thoughts at work or with others and our final thought of the day – is it Jesus?
Philippians 2 – we are to think of others more than we do ourselves.
God has given us everything we need to be like Jesus. He honors effort. We are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling…
Evil today is rampant. It’s not isolated, it is everywhere! It is not going to get better. From here on out it is going to get worse. Are you prepared? We hear about Christians being in other countries, but it is beginning to happen here. Satan has more freedom in out schools while Christians have to fight for the privilege to do things there!
Evil is expanding across the globe and Christians are beginning to lose faith. They are impatient and don’t want to wait on God.
There is a goal we need to focus on: to see Jesus face to face. We need to be willing to give up everything. To go where God sends us!
We started the mission field dirt poor with rats and cockroaches, and now we are blessed with a nice (although unfinished home), but if He asked us to give it up tomorrow, could we? We need to be ready and willing…
I spent 60 days in a Haitian prison and was accused of being a terrorist. I was cleared by Homeland Security and ATF. I was a political pawn. It was the perfect storm. There were many demonic “coincidences”. 60 days was a miracle. The consulate expected me to be there for at least a year and maybe more. They even told me it was a miracle. And many miracles happened while I was in prison. God does things in our lives like he did for the apostles!
Paul considered himself to the be least of the apostles, yet he did so much more.
We have to be prepared for what’s coming…
Colossians 2:6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
The only way we can be intimate with Jesus is through His word. Not by asking Him for things! Just by showing up and reading His word and talking to Him!
I was never afraid while in prison. Although I was never given a number (which meant they could make me disappear), but God protected me with others who took care of me.
A lady gave him a pamphlet, “How do die in a foreign prison.” He wouldn’t take it because God had already assured him that he wouldn’t.
I don’t need to learn how to die in prison, I need to learn how to die in Christ! The worse thing you can do when faced with death as a Christian, is to beg for your life. Death is the doorway to being with Christ!
Like Paul, I would rather be with the Lord than with you…please don’t take offense at that.
Around the world we see evil being taken as good and good as evil!
We are all given the ministry of reconciliation, not just the pastors! We will all be held accountable for those in our circle of ministry where we live, and for the truth He has given us.
2 Corinthians 5:18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.
Jim shared a story about an event in the jail and the healing of a nonbeliever there and how God used that to lead him to Christ.
Another story was about a man in the prison who was so depressed that just waiting to die. He wouldn’t eat or drink. Jim was sharing with others about how simple it is to receive Christ. Many were saved and began preaching the Gospel. That night this man told Jim that he needed Jesus, but he didn’t know how. Jim told him to just speak to Jesus and tell him of his need. He began to pray and pour out his heart. He changed from being so depressed to being full of joy! The whole cell of men celebrated.
He was still sad because he had murdered someone and would never see his family again. Jim prayed a simple prayer for him. He was released 3 days later. Another miracle. He was asked to pray for many people after that!
Faith is not complicated. Faith is believing that God is who He said He was and that He will do what He said He would do!
We just need to be faithful, no matter what comes your way. He will deliver you!
Death is a door. If we die in Christ, we are delivered. We have no need to fear!
1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.

You can watch the message by clicking HERE.



Ed Bell’s Testimony Sept 10, 2023

Ed Bell, Husband, Father, Farmer and Speaker.


As a youth I had it better than Opie Taylor. I’ve been a farmer most of my life.

Little things make a big impact!

Deb and I were dating and thinking about getting serious. She had a former boyfriend who couldn’t take no for an answer. Deb was a nurse and had moved into an apartment. She invited me over to see it.


My life was changed forever on Sept 5, 1982.

Her boyfriend shot at the apartment and drove off. The police came and told us to stay put. I had driven the farm truck that weekend and I had a 22 rifle and took it into the apartment. Her boyfriend came back and broke all the windows out of the truck. He climbed up to her balcony.

Deb hid in the closet and dialed 911. He kicked at the sliding glass door. He had a trench knife and a large pistol. He dropped the knife as he kicked. The door latch broke and he came in. He said, “Kill me, Ed.” Ed had his rifle and knew he had the right to kill him. Ed wouldn’t kill him. He grabbed Ed’s rifle and Ed heard a “boom”.

They continued to struggle. Ed shot him in the leg and it made him angrier. Ed fell over and he shot Ed point blank while he lay on the floor. Ed tried to shoot him but the rifle jammed. He shot Ed again and hit him in the collar shattering vertebrae paralyzing him. It was a 44 special hollow point. The blood was pouring out of his body (he lost half of his blood supply) and Ed could hear it hitting the floor.

He was passing out and could hardly breath. He was sure he was going to die. He could only think of all of his dreams. He feared for his parents’ reaction. He even wondered if his science teacher was right – there is nothing after death. But he said “NO!, I believe in Jesus”. His sins passed before his eyes. “No, I believe in Jesus! I’ve got nothing but Jesus!” I remembered the song, Jesus Loves Me. The blood stopped!

The next thing he remembered was ER.
The doctors found the holes but couldn’t find the source of the blood. He kept asking, “Am I going to die?” He could hear the guy who shot him screaming in the next room. When the blood stopped in the apartment. He was sure God did it. The first time Ed told Deb he loved her was while he was lying on the floor of her apartment.

He had to learn to do things all over again.

God has called Ed to till the soil and cultivate people whenever he gets the chance.

Ed took the chance to challenge us…

Romans 15:28-29

Matthew 16:24-26

Galatians 2:20

Isaiah 57:11-13

“Get planted where you are, grow, make fruit. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind – and tell the world.

It’s that simple. Do it now. Repentance isn’t you crying. It’s you changing.

Die…let that rot and then sprout new and follow Christ. No matter what the cost…”.

You can watch the message by clicking HERE.



Be A Blessing

Be A Blessing

Romans 12:4-16; 1 Peter 3:8-11



A couple of weeks ago, Pastor Jerry spoke about Gideon and his need for a sign from God. I have to admit, my mind immediately chased a rabbit and went to “What if God used church signs to speak to us?” Let’s look at a few…


“Try these four-letter words: LOVE    PRAY   HOPE”

“If you don’t study the Bible, you won’t get the answer!”

“This too shall pass. It might pass like a kidney stone, but it’s gonna pass.”

“Our church is like fudge – sweet with a few nuts.”

“Forgive your enemies – it messes with their heads.”

“Kind words can be short and sweet, but their echoes are truly endless.”


All too often, we forget that our words carry a lot more weight than we give them credit. When we think of being a blessing, we tend to only think about tangible ways like giving someone money or meeting a need. But what about the blessing that all of us can give with our words? Not something just to pacify them, but to truly speak life over them and into their lives.


We are to be the Body of Christ, which means we have to all work together. That is why we all have been given different gifts. This makes it possible for us to be that Body.


ILLUS: Fold thumb over on both hands. Pick up Bible and turn to Romans 12


Thumbs have been given a bad rap. Have you ever heard “I’m all thumbs”? In the movie “Spy Kids” the Thumbkins were the bumbling henchman. We NEED our thumbs! They are the ones that help us to get a grip on things.  “Okay, Ken, but I don’t feel like I am an important part of the body….I feel like I am the appendix.” Well, at first people thought it was a part that was no longer useful to the body, but now they are finding that it provides “good” bacteria for the intestines to help with digestion and our immune system. * So, while we could live without it, it serves a purpose. This is why every part of the body is important.



READ:      Romans 12:4-16


Paul wrote these words to the people of Galatia and to us to remind us that we are to use our gifts selflessly, never for selfish gains, but in order to honor God and to see His blessings poured out on the whole body!


Peter has some similar words to say as he wrote to the people of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia (which is now modern day Turkey)


READ: 1 Peter 3:8-11


What does that have to do with being a blessing? EVERYTHING!

We are all to be working together to build the kingdom of God for His glory and honor, not just for our own benefit. The late Rev. Dr. Jack Hyles, pastor of First Baptist Church in Hammond, IN once stated: “The greatest blessing in the whole world is being a blessing.” He was known for building one of the nations largest bus ministries that then led to opening schools and training resources to help minister to the needs of the church and community. God used his giftings and those of the people in the church to make a difference for both current and eternal needs.


So today we are going to give you scriptural answers to the following questions:


  • Who is to be a blessing?
  • When are we to be a blessing?
  • How are we to be a blessing?
  • Why are we to be a blessing?


Let us pray….


I. Who is to be a blessing?


1 Peter 3:8:

“Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.”


All of you:
  1. Be of one mind (the body)
  2. Sympathize with each other
  3. Love each other as family
  4. Be tenderhearted with each other
  5. Keep a humble attitude toward each other.


Many of these follow the Five Love Languages, and as a Christian, the world will know that we are His disciples by our love for one another.


They will know that we care when we show that we care.


II. When are we to be a blessing?


Romans 12:12-13:

“Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

  1. Rejoice always
  2. Be patient
  3. Keep praying
  4. Be ready to help
  5. Eager to practice hospitality


I Thessalonians 5:11:
“So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.”
  1. Encourage each other
  2. Build each other up


ILLUS: George Mraz and weightlifting training.


III. How are we to be a blessing?


Romans 12:6-8

“In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.  If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.”


  1. God has given each of us different gifts:
  2. Prophesy, speak the words God has given you.
  3. Serving, then serve others well
  4. Encouragement, then be encouraging
  5. Giving, then give generously
“When God blesses you financially, don’t raise your standard of living. Raise your standard of giving.” (Matt Batterson)
  1. Leadership, then take it seriously
  2. Showing kindness, then do it gladly


Romans 12:9-10:

“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other.”


  1. Can’t fake it till you make it!
  2. Not just for married couples.
  3. Really love and be genuine.
  4. Keep in mind what is good.
  5. Enjoy recognizing that love by honoring each other.


IV. Why are we to be a blessing?


  1. 1 Peter 3:9:


“Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing.”


 Gotta be honest, my default can easily go to sarcasm, which, despite what my M&M mug says, is NOT a love language.


  1. Don’t do what sinful nature leads you to do, but rather allow the Spirit to lead you to pay back with a blessing.
  2. Do what God has called you to do…and you will be blessed.


Colossians 3:23:
“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”
  1. Think about it this way…God did not add another day to your life because you needed it. He did it because someone out there needs you!
  2. When we serve others in love, we are showing our love for God in what we do and say.




        Today, I have given you the scriptural evidence that proves 1) Who is to be a blessing; 2) When we are to be a blessing; 3) How we are to be a blessing; and 4) Why we are to be a blessing. Imagine what our world would be like if we, as Christians, put this into practice as a “norm” for our lives. Peter quoted the Psalmist David in 1 Peter 3:10-11 (repeats Psalm 34:12-14) to give encouragement as to why we should live this way.


For the Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life
and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it.”


So take this as your next challenge to help change the atmosphere of this world in which we live. Live on purpose to be a blessing.


Closing Blessing Prayer:  EPHESIANS 1:16b-19a


“I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.  I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him.”



You can watch the message by clicking HERE.




FBC Church Picnic

Sin, God’s Divine Mercy and Our Answer To It

Speaker: Jacob Davis, Seminary Student

By Grace Through Faith


And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.



Outline of Message:

verses 1-4 You were all dead!
We cannot initiate a return to God on our own.
verses 4-9 WHY? But God, being rich in mercy and love!
verses 6-7 We are spared the death we deserve and are raised up with Him – THIS IS GRACE!
verses 8-9 HOW? By the gift of FAITH.
verse 10 GOOD WORKS? This is the PURPOSE for which we have been saved! We are not to sit idle once we have been saved. We are to be involved in the good works He has prepared for us – to spread His Good News to the world around us!

You can watch just the message by clicking HERE.


You can watch the entire worship service by clicking HERE.



Legacy vs. Notoriety

Legacy vs. Notoriety

Hebrews 11 & Psalm 112:1-7




With all the modern technology that we have today, it is easy to see how a person could become famous overnight. They could easily gain notoriety, but all too often become notorious. They also have a choice to become a legend or leave a legacy.


When you get notoriety, the documentation starts that puts into words the type of person you are. And depending on who is writing the story will depict how much of it is fact or if it is fabrication to make the story more interesting. (Look at all the stories in the tabloids)


The problem with becoming a legend is once again the stories may have been ‘enhanced’ to make them more exciting. The dictionary defines a legend as “a story coming down from the past, especially one popularly regarded as historical although not verifiable.”


Since Pastor Jerry has started this new series based on Hebrews 11, we have seen those in the Bible whom the world would call notorious and legendary. But we know them to be notable for leaving a legacy. A legacy is defined as “something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or from the past.” This Faithful Hall of Fame roster shows us men and women who were by no means perfect, but rather chose to live a life of faithfulness to God, leaving a legacy for us to see today.


Let’s do a quick overview of a few from Hebrews 11:


Noah…. building the Ark, following God’s plan
or the time he got drunk and his sons found him naked?


Abraham & Sarah…. leaving home to follow and obey God,
becoming the “father and mother” of a nation,
or the time they lied to a King about their relationship?


Moses…Used by God to be the Deliverer of Israel out of Egypt
or they time he killed an Egyptian and buried him in the sand.


The list could go on and on from other examples in the Bible, but I want to bring this to how it applies to us today. While our names may not appear in the holy scriptures, we are told multiple times that we are to live out our lives to bring glory to God in all we say and do.



Psalm 112:1-2

Praise the Lord! How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands. Their children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of godly people will be blessed.


We are given the strategy for a life of legacy right here in this Psalm. But this is not something that comes naturally to us. We must put God first in every area of our lives.

That can be accomplished by doing the following:

  • Cultivate the soil of our hearts: by delighting in God’s Word and His commands. (Psalm 1:1-3; Psalm 37:4-5)
  • Sow good seeds into the lives of our families and others: with our testimonies. (Psalm 78:4; Psalm 145:4-7)
  • Care for the crop of our future legacy: with proper instruction and setting the example by serving and blessing others. (Deut. 6:5-7; Philippians 4:9; 1 Peter 4:10)
  • Reap a harvest of blessing: for generations to come. (Psalm 78:6-7)


Legacy building begins when we:


1. Cultivate the soil of our hearts: by delighting in God’s Word and His commands. (Psalm 1:1-3; Psalm 37:4-5)


Psalm 1:1-3

Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.


Meditating on God’s Word day and night.
  • Keep Christian music playing all day.
  • Start and end your day by reading a scripture, maybe even memorizing it.
  • Share with family or someone else how God had encouraged you that day.


Psalm 37:4-5

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.


His desires become our desires when we fully surrender to Him.
  • No longer selfish “what we want”
  • We find new found freedom as we fully trust in the Lord.


2. Sow good seeds into the lives of our families and others: with our testimonies. (Psalm 78:4; Psalm 145:1-7)


Psalm 78:4

We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders.

Share what God has done.
  • Consider keeping a journal for both you and others to read.
  • Send out a text, email or notecard to family and friends of what God had been doing in your life.
  • Give a testimony in church of how God has been transforming your story.


Psalm 145:4-7

Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power. I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles. Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue; I will proclaim your greatness. Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy about your righteousness.


It is everyone’s responsibility, not just the leadership
  • Share the a storykeeper.
  • Sing with joy (testimony in song) and praise Him forever!


3. Care for the crop of our future legacy: with proper instruction and setting the example by serving and blessing others. (Deut. 6:5-7; Philippians 4:9; 1 Peter 4:10)


Deuteronomy 6:5-7

And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.

Proper instruction and commitment
  • Words matter, because they reveal what’s in your heart.
  • Along with teaching the truths of God, you need to use and live these words as well:
  1. I Love You (John 15:9)
  2. I Am Sorry (James 5:16)
  3. I Forgive You (Colossians 3:13)

*Forgiveness is more about freeing yourself that it is about freeing others.


Philippians 4:9

Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.


1 Peter 4:10

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.


Don’t just tell, but show how it is to be done
  • This is the example that Jesus gave us
  1. He told the disciples
  2. He showed the disciples
  3. He had them go out in pairs and practice then come back with a report
  4. He sent them out with the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • We are all to use our gifts to serve others


What is the outcome?

4. Reap a harvest of blessing: for generations to come. (Psalm 78:6-7)


Psalm 78:6-7

So the next generation might know them—even the children not yet born—and they in turn will teach their own children. So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands.





My challenge to you is this. We all know that life is short and that eternity is promised to those who believe that Jesus Christ is their Lord and have accepted Him as their Savior. But we need to remember that it is not about the carbon footprint that we leave behind, but rather a life lived that impacts the lives of others for eternity. That is what your legacy should be all about. For the next thirty days, Cultivate the soil of our hearts; Sow good seeds into the lives of our families and others; Care for the crop of our future legacy; and in the end, we will all Reap a harvest of blessing: for generations to come.


You can watch this message by clicking HERE.




Pentecost Sunday 2023

What is Pentecost?

Mission Moment:  The Espinoza’s in Spain
(This service is a time of worship in song and reading of the Bible.)
Acts 2:1-11     Pastor Jerry shares about the meaning of Pentecost.

1. We are adopted!

The Spirit of Adoption
John 14:16-18
Romans 8:12-16
Brandon reads an excerpt from the Adoption Declaration from the judge as Shiloh became his son legally.
Revelation 3:12         We receive a new name.
Before Shiloh became their son, he was known as “baby”.  After the declaration he became Shiloh legally.
Andrea shared about when she came to know the Lord Jesus.
Galatians 4:4-7
John 3:16-17
John 16:8
The Holy Spirit convicts us that we need salvation and freedom from sin…

2. We are sealed!

Ephesians 1:13-14     The Holy Spirit seals us when we believe.
Ephesians 4:47    The gift Jesus has given us is the Holy Spirit.
2 Corinthians 1:18-22    God has given His Spirit as a guarantee.
Romans 8:9-11
We need to know who we are.  We are adopted.  We are sealed…

3. We are transformed!

Romans 12:1-2    You are transformed by the renewal of your mind…
1 Corinthians 6:19-20    You are now a temple of the Holy Spirit!
2 Corinthians 3:4-18    We are ministers of a new covenant.
Pastor Jerry shares “The Apprentice Prayer”

The Apprentice Prayer

Jesus, I love you! Father, I adore you! Holy Spirit, I rely on you!

Lord Jesus, I seek to live as your apprentice in all that I do today. My life is your school for teaching me. I relinquish my agenda for this day and I submit myself to you and your kingdom purposes. In all situations today I pray, “Your will, your way, your time.”

Dear Father, I ask you to ordain the events of this day and use them to make me more like Jesus. I trust you, Sovereign Lord, that you won’t let anything happen to my family or me today, except that it passes through your loving hands. So no matter what problems, hardships, or injustices I face today help me not to worry or get frustrated, but instead to relax in the yoke of your providence. Yes, today I will rejoice because I am in your eternal kingdom, you love me, and you are teaching me!

My Lord, I devote my whole self to you. I want to be all and only for Jesus! Today, I seek to love you with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, all my strength, and all my relationships.

Today, I depend on you, Holy Spirit, not my own resources. Help me to keep in step with you.

Today, I look to love others as you love me, dear God, blessing everyone I meet, even those who mistreat me.

Today, I’m ready to lead people to follow you, Jesus.


Pastor Ken closes the service.

You can watch this service by clicking HERE.

The Apprentice Prayer is located on this website: