Our walk in this series began with Palm Sunday, when Jesus rode into Jerusalem and everyone is thinking he`s coming to kick out the Romans and bring freedom to the Jews, so they lay down Palm branches and shout, "Hosanna " King of the Jews." You can understand why they are so excited because for centuries they have been oppressed and conquered by everybody - the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans - they`re 0 and 5 and their season is not improving.

However, they are so excited because finally they think Jesus is going to give them a political victory, but that`s not what Jesus came to do. He didn't come to Jerusalem to kick the Romans out; He came to die in order to take the punishment that we all deserve on himself. That is not what they expected or wanted. Palm Sunday represents all the times that we get really excited about Jesus because of what we think He can do for us rather than about who He really is and what he really offers. Palm Sunday represents all those times we get excited about Jesus because we think He`s going to give us the job we want or the health we want or the friends we want. 

This leads directly into the second major day of Holy Week - Passover. This is the night that Jesus celebrates the last supper with his disciples. It`s also the night that Judas betrays him, and the gospels imply that the reason Judas betrays Jesus is because he`s exasperated that Jesus seems more concerned about saving souls than about starting a revolution. So because Jesus doesn't follow the script, Judas turns his back on him.    

Here again we can relate because this sometimes happens to us. We get disappointed with God because he doesn`t do what we want him to do. We just ignore Him or do our own thing or maybe come to church, but don`t really give our lives to him. Like Frank Sinatra we do it "our way" and follow our own path. Passover is about all the ways we turn our back on Jesus, as everyone does that first Lord’s Supper night 2,000 years ago. It`s the most sordid night in human history. The disciples fall asleep instead of praying with Jesus; the chief priests put Jesus on trial in secret at night. Then the priests get afraid and pass him off to Pilate, who passes him off to Herod, who passes him back to Pilate. Pilate finally caves in like a house of cards to the angry crowds, who just a few days before were praising Jesus but now demand his death. 

Passover is about all the ways that human beings fail God, but here again Jesus surprises us. You would expect him to give up on such a sorry lot, but that is not what He does. Instead He keeps pursuing us and chasing us, and as much as we run away from him, He never gives up on us. Do you know who held the seat of honor at the Last Supper? Judas - because God never gives up on us. And do you know what Jesus does BEFORE the Last Supper? He washes his disciples` feet. Think about it -- in a culture where people walk everywhere in dirt and dust, no water to take a bath, nothing but leather sandals absorbing all those odors, and what does the son of God do? He kneels down and washes those dirty feet. Thursday of Holy Week is about how Jesus loves us in spite of our dirty feet, in spite of our failures, fears, and weaknesses. It`s about how he cleans us up and makes us whole. 

I’m going to tell you much more about Passover tomorrow when we gather together.  I can’t wait to see you.  Come expecting an unforgettable encounter with the Risen Christ!

Humbled by Him,

Pastor D



There’s a very intriguing passage found in Mark 11 that focus’s on Jesus authority.  Jesus had become a burr underneath the saddle of the religious leaders of His day, simply because He was messing up their system.  In verses 27-33 there is an exchange between this group of religious leaders and Jesus while He is at the Temple.

The people challenging Jesus were identified back in chapter 8: “the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes.”

The reason that Jesus is approached by these elite religious men is because they are concerned with what just happened at the Temple… He came unleashed on the abusers of the people who were coming to the Temple, turning their tables over and putting some serious “bass” in His voice reminding everyone within ear shot that, “My Father’s house will be a House of prayer for all Nations.” This really got their attention.  So, they begin to question Him about His authority, AKA, “Just WHO do you think you are?”

It appears that the purpose of the question posed to Jesus was that the authorities were hoping to trap him. If he claimed that his authority came directly from God they might be able to accuse him of blasphemy;  if he claimed that the authority came from himself, they might be able to ridicule him and make him appear foolish.

During these days, some rabbis were simply "Torah teachers", meaning they only had the "authority" to teach the "common Torah understanding" of the community.  Those rabbis generally lived in one community and taught at the local synagogue.  There was however, another "class" of rabbis, those with "sm'kha", (authority), to teach Torah as it was revealed to them from God.  Jesus was a sm'kha rabbi, and these rabbis generally traveled, had disciples (talmidim) and were held in the highest standing.  Jesus demonstrated his sm'kha when in his teachings, he would begin by saying, "you have heard it said......., but I say........".  He was presenting his "yoke", his teaching.  In Matt 11:29, when he say "take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart....", he was teaching "different torah interpretation", and obviously the Chief Priests were at least "initially" interested in who Jesus was, and then became threatened as Jesus would soon oppose the way the temple and sacrificial systems were being forced upon the people. As they question Jesus, they are questioning, “Where did you get your sm’kha?” 

Jesus chooses to answer their question with a question. Rabbinic dialogue frequently was composed of answering questions with questions, because oftentimes, "the answer to the question was a question"!  Jesus often employed this technique where he refused to "play" by the pharisees groundrules, and thereby, turned the tables on them.

I’ll tell you much more about this chapter in Mark 11 tomorrow and we continue out “WALK THROUGH HOLY WEEK.”


1.      It was Jesus who said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me…”


 Can’t wait to see you tomorrow!

All For Jesus,

Pastor D






It was really just a few years ago that they opened up a new dig in the Galilee area of Israel.  What they found was the ancient fishing village of Migdol.  This was the place that Mary lived.  Which Mary? Mary of Midgol – AKA: Mary Magdalene. She is definitely one of the most well-known female characters of the New Testament.  She has been popularized in dozens of films, stories, and once in the popular rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar. In almost all popular presentations, she is portrayed as a former prostitute who comes to Jesus in the spirit of true repentance. In the controversial movie, The DaVinci Code, it tells of Mary becoming the wife of Jesus and having a family. While the gospels are known for their graciousness towards persons with moral failings (both men and women), in our interpretation of the Bible I believe we have misrepresented the person we call Mary Magdalene.

I’ve had the chance to walk among the ruins of that small community several times over recent trips to Israel.  It’s always thought provoking.  You can stand in the midst of the dig, look to the West, and see the canyon from which Jesus and His disciples would walk through to go from Nazareth to the Galilee.  The very first place you come to when you get to the Sea of Galilee is Migdol.

It’s in this place that Jesus encountered a demon possessed woman that had no idea what was laying ahead of her regarding her future. She shows up no less than 12 times in the Gospels, which is more than most of the Apostles. Mary is one of the most prominent people in the crucifixion narrative. Then, she is also present two days later immediately following the Sabbath, and becomes the first person to testify to the resurrection of Jesus. And, even though she plays such an important role in the life of Christ, we know so little about her.

This much we do know. When Christ set her free, he liberated her from the evil impulses that had kept her chained figuratively and perhaps literally.  She is living proof that those who the Son sets free, are free indeed. And the transformation of her life resulted in her determination to follow him from that moment on, “I love him for what he did for me.  I will follow him wherever he goes,” and that determination took her to the Cross.

It must have been gut wrenching for her to watch her Messiah tortured and put to death.  Death is never easy to deal with.  Most of the time we can avoid it or postpone it or keep it far removed from us, but there are those times when death stares us in the face and we don’t know what to do or how to respond. And that’s why Mary was standing alone at the Garden Tomb early on that first Resurrection Sunday.

There is so much more I want to tell you about her.  We’ll be taking a deeper and intriguing look at her in our series that beings this Sunday, A WALK THROUGH HOLY WEEK – an in-depth look at the last week of Jesus life.  This is going to be one of the most amazing glimpses into what is really happening that you’ve ever heard.  You’re not going to want to miss any of it.  It will cover all of the Sunday’s of March, as well as the GOOD FRIDAY service, and even the Passover Seder.

I’ll tell you more about it this Sunday when we get to be together.  I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU!

All for Jesus,

Pastor D

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Hello Deer Flat Family,

Jer and I had the privilege today of walking where Jesus walked.  We walked the Palm Sunday Path down the Mt. of Olives, over to the City of Jerusalem.  Once again it was unforgettable. Today you can still follow the footsteps of Jesus in Jerusalem. There’s no shortage of places in the city that testify to His being there.

At the foot of the Mount of Olives is an ancient Olive Garden.  The Gospels tell us that Jesus used to visit a wonderful, quiet place there in Jerusalem called, “Gethsemane -the place of the pressing.” It was there that Jesus prayed in great agony about God’s plan of salvation.  What set this place apart is that it was an orchard of Olive Trees, and in that place there was an olive press.  Think about the process used to make olives and gathering the olive oil.

The trees would be beaten to knock the olives to the ground, collected and then put in the olive press.  A heavy stone would be rolled over them so that their outside skin would be broken, allowing the olive oil to ooze out.

The next step would be to gather up the olives in gunny sacks and stack them in a location where they can be pressed and the oil can be collected.  Heavy weights would be placed on the stack of olives so that the pressure would squeeze the oil out.  Then, it was collected in containers and served a variety of important purposes, including cooking, creating light, soap and especially the giving of a tithe to the Temple.

This is exactly what was happening to Jesus on the night of His betrayal.  He was so weighted down with the weight of the sin of the world, the gospels tell us that he, “sweat as it were drops of blood.”  In fact, it goes on to say that the Angels from heaven ministered to him there in order to strengthen him for the hours that lay ahead.

In just over a week we will be taking an in-depth look at the last week of Jesus life.  We’ll walk with Him through Passion week – His arrest, betrayal, trial, crucifixion.  We’ll consider his Disciples, His mother Mary, and the other Mary’s, and the people of His day.  I have much to show you in God’s amazing Word. March is going to be an outstanding month, and I can’t wait to see all of you. In the meantime, Jer and I have carried you in our heart, lifted you in our prayers, and thought about you throughout our time away.  We have thanked God 1,000 times for our Deer Flat Family.

Continue to pray for us.  It’s the greatest thing you’ll ever do for us.  I LOVE MY CHURCH!

From Jerusalem,

Pastor D



Why the Treasure Valley Needs Deer Flat


“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You” – Dr. Seuss

I don’t think we can call this statement by Dr. Seuss, complex, but I definitely would call it profound.  This year will be the 110th birthday for Deer Flat Church, that’s a whole lot of years! As I reflect upon why that’s significant, my mind takes me to the classic Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, in which an angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.  I then began to ponder what if that angel came and showed us what life would have been like if Deer Flat never existed?  Had Deer Flat never existed, would our valley be any different?


Since I didn’t get that encounter with an angel, I can only speak to the countless men and women who have shared with me their testimony of how God has used Deer Flat to impact their lives in such profound ways.  So, for today, I’d like to look forward to the future, and apply Dr. Seuss’s statement to Deer Flat personally.


Today Deer Flat is Deer Flat, that is truer than true. There is no church alive who is Deer Flatier than Deer Flat.  We don’t plan to let the past 110 years of Deer Flat just be history we ride on, we are committed to seeing God do even greater things.  I’d like to propose 3 things this statement means for Deer Flat’s present and moving forward:


  1. We can be ourselves – We are unique. We are part of the Kingdom of God and still uniquely ourselves. We will look different by not conforming to the patterns of this world. We are a church off the beaten path, holy (set apart), a refuge in the middle of a beet field.
  2. We can make a difference – Part of making a difference means being different. Different from the world, a place where our community will find grace and truth. We will be the hands and feet of Christ to our valley. We will represent what it really means to love God and love people.
  3. We can be a lighthouse – In a world that looks very grey, we will be black and white, a contrast to culture.  We will be a place that people will see from far away.  We will be a strong tower helping weary travelers to navigate through the storms of life. We will point everyone to Jesus! 


Author Vinoth Ramachandra wrote, “Christian salvation lies not in an escape from this world but in the transformation of this world.”  More than ever our community needs us to continue partnering with Christ in seeing lives transformed.  Today Deer Flat is Deer Flat, that is truer than true. There is no church alive who is Deer Flatier than Deer Flat.

In conclusion, the Treasure Valley needs Deer Flat… Let’s do this!
Pastor Ryan

A couple of other things


·         This Sunday, following each service, you will have opportunity to enter the new building and write prayers, scripture, your name, etc. on the studs and walls.   Please be giving thought to what you would like write.  You will enter through the door on the temporary wall in the lobby. 


·         Please pray and consider contacting our Canyon County Senators regarding Senate Bill 1243.  It is soon to be voted on by the entire Senate.  This bill would make it mandatory to give out information to every woman in Idaho having a chemical abortion. If she has only taken the first abortion pill and changes her mind, there is a way to reverse the process and save the life of her baby.


E-mail info and phone numbers to contact our Senators can be found at www.legislature.idaho.gov/senate/membership.

Our Canyon County Senators are:

Jeff Agenbroad - District 13

Todd Lakey - Dist 12

Abby Lee - Dist 9

Patti Anne Lodge - Dist 11

Jim Rice - Dist 10




When our current worship center was built, in 1997, the hope and plan was to have a phase 2.  A year and half ago we voted and made plans to continue that vision and now 20 years later it is becoming reality.

Here is a brief update of where we are.  Our roof system has been completed, framing is about 95% complete, electricians and plumbers are on site, HVAC is being installed, the fire sprinkler system is progressing, our vestibule doors are being installed, windows will be going into fabrication, interior door frames are being installed and sidewalks are being poured.  By the first part of March we should be insulating, hanging sheet rock, and installing brick on the front entry and most of the concrete work should be done.

This reality is only possible because of your prayers, help and financial sacrifice.  Although we were hit with an unexpected cost of $140,000 to add sprinklers to the old portion of the building, we still hope to hold the total cost as close to the original $3.0 million as possible.  To date we have received over $1.0 million of the $1.7 million pledged in cash!  Our hope remains to be debt free by the end of 2020.

Thank you to all who have donated meals, snacks and beverages for the workers.  They have been extremely grateful and an impact is being made on them about who we are as a church!

More changes are yet to come.  Next week we will build a temporary wall in the lobby which will allow us to do the necessary demolition on the wall between the new and old.  This will remain throughout the balance of the project, so be patient with us.  As the weather allows we will begin to do some work on the parking lot and there may be sections unavailable at times.

This Sunday, Julie will lead her kids through the new building and they will be writing their names on the interior siding and frame work.  Next Sunday, February 18th, you will have an opportunity, following each service, to go out and write a prayer or scripture for these children and/or the future of our children’s ministry.  This will literally cover the project in prayer.
A few more unrelated items:

  • We would like to update our Business Directory.  If you are a regular attender of Deer Flat and own or operate a business, please consider providing your information at the link below to be added.  This can be a helpful resource to our Deer Flat family as well as potentially bring you new business.  BUSINESS DIRECTORY FORM
  • As our church family grows, we would love to have your input for classes, studies, events or activities that are of interest to you.  Please complete this survey and when things that are relative to your responses occur we can notify you. SURVEY
  • Finally there was some confusion last week concerning the printed directory we talked about.  Beginning sometime in March, we will make printed directories “with pictures” available upon request.  Although our emphasis will be on the online directory, we understand that not everyone has that ability or desire.  More info will come on this later.

Thank you for being “the Church” in every way!
Rick Day
Executive Administrator


In a dusty spot along the ancient King’s Highway in Jordan lies a cultural oasis: King’s Academy. Modeled after New England’s fabled Deerfield Academy, the academy was founded by King Abdullah II to train up a new generation of Arabs to lead the Middle East into a multicultural future. The academy itself embodies the diversity it envisions: actual princes and paupers from all religious and cultural backgrounds live, study, and play alongside one another.

King’s Academy states that its vision is to welcome talented students from all backgrounds, religions and social classes, the Academy aims to foster empathy, tolerance and harmony. A philosophy teacher at the academy once boasted of the academy’s own commitment to pluralism (merging faiths) and told of Buddhist students observing Ramadan, Muslim students observing Easter, and Christian students practicing transcendental meditation—all in a show of solidarity with one another. He was later asked how these merging practices might disrupt a student’s commitment to his or her own faith. “That’s the price of pluralism,” he replied.

Let’s be honest, we are living in some bizarre times! I’m sure like me, you’ve seen the COEXIST bumper sticker (using the major world religions symbols). This push was much more than just an effort to say can we all share planet earth together, it’s actually a statement of saying all religions are equally valid.  This sounds good, but can it really be true? Can all religions be valid/true?  Since religions make competing claims on objective truth, we can’t say they are all equally true without invalidating truth itself.

If the claim that Jesus was raised bodily from the dead is untrue, then the central tenet of Christian faith is untrue. Where different religions make conflicting claims about historical events—as they do—they simply can’t all be right. However hard it may be to prove what happened in the distant past, if we abandon the concept of historical truth, we abandon truth itself and reality unravels.

But like it or not, this is our culture today. We are living in the days of what philosopher’s call, Moral Relativism, giving permission for truth and right/wrong to be different for each person.  This makes “the person”, the standard.  We may not agree with this world view, but it’s becoming more and more apparent that culture is having its influence within the church.  More than ever we are seeing a divide within the church.  Some insist we must become more open-minded and relevant, but there is still a great number who hold to God’s Word as never changing and always relevant.

In the face of mounting cultural opposition, Christians can be tempted to place their hopes in political candidates, boycotts, programs, and other human solutions. While these solutions have value, placing our hope in anything but Christ betrays lack of trust in his Kingship. At such a time as this, the primary strength of Good Faith is its urgent reminder that “Christians” are called not to determine the outcome but to be faithful.

This next month, we will begin a series called, Counterculture.  Our goal (Eph. 5:11) is to identify ways culture is working tirelessly to invade our church, homes and personal faith in Jesus Christ. And once we expose cultures schemes, we can steer clear of them.  I believe the best way to make a difference is to be different.  This month is going to be so empowering and uplifting to your faith.  You won’t want to miss one week, and you’ll be really happy you invited your neighbors!


Pastor Ryan


On May 6, 1965, The Rolling Stones played to about 3,000 people at Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater, Florida while on their first US tour. According to an article in the St. Petersburg Times, about 200 young fans got in an altercation with a line of police officers at the show, and The Stones made it through just four songs as chaos ensued. That night, Keith Richards woke up in his hotel room with the guitar riff and lyric "Can't get no satisfaction" in his head. He recorded it on a portable tape deck, went back to sleep, and brought it to the studio that week.

It was Mick Jagger who went on to write the remaining lyrics except the line “Can’t get no satisfaction.” (Ironically the phrase, "I Can't Get No Satisfaction," is grammatically incorrect. It's a double negative and really means, "I Can Get Satisfaction.") The lyrics deal with what Jagger saw as the two sides of America, the real and phony. He sang about a man looking for authenticity but not being able to find it. Jagger experienced the vast commercialism of America in a big way on their tours, and later learned to exploit it, as The Rolling Stones made truckloads of money through sponsorship and merchandising in the US.

Interestingly enough, nearly 5,000 years before The Rolling Stones, the wisest man to ever live, Solomon, came to a similar conclusion that “Everything is meaningless” (Ecc. 1:1).  Fast forward to the present, we live in a world where marketing companies spend millions to promise happiness, but what they are really selling is dissatisfaction. Our entire economy is predicated upon this! If we could truly be satisfied, we would no longer need the products and services that they are selling. If we were really satisfied, we’d have no need to eat again once our bellies have been filled and we’d have no need move again once our homes have been identified.

What is it about us that we can’t be satisfied?  Lewis Caroll once said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”  The biggest problem with this dilemma is that if you don’t know where you’re going, and you take “any” road, you won’t actually know when you get “there”! But what if… what if everyone actually had a universal longing/pull in the same direction?  Solomon suggested that we do share a common longing, for God has put eternity in our hearts (Ecc. 3:11).  What we long for may not be things, but relationship with our maker.  He went on to conclude that the meaninglessness and dissatisfaction can ultimately be found in our maker: The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecc. 12:13)

Solomon took one for the team and pointed the spotlight on himself to show that our world’s pursuits lead us down a dead end when done apart from God. This can sound like a sobering message, but it’s encouraging when we realize that it points us back to God as our provider and the one who guides our lives.  We’ve had an amazing month of Sundays where we discussed what it means to live wisely.  But if we failed to miss Solomon’s point, each of these awesome sermons (need for wisdom, finances and marriage) would fall short. 

So, if we want the tune of our lives to be different than “Can’t get no satisfaction”, let’s ensure we keep Jesus at the center of it all, especially living wisely! 

I’d like to share a song that has been capturing my heart lately, it’s really simple but it’s been helping to keep my thoughts fixed on Jesus – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6JYHnMsqp0

Jesus at the center of all,

Pastor Ryan


Perhaps most of you know that this weekend is a very significant one when it comes to speaking out for the unborn.  This issue has ripped our Nation apart every since the Roe vs Wade decision was handed down by the Supreme Court back in 1973.  As you know, it is very emotionally charged.  At the center of this issue is whether or not what is in the womb of a woman is considered life or not.  Is it simply tissue or is it someone who has been created in the image of God?  If it’s not considered life, then it appears to be no “biggie.”

For centuries, the western world has operated on what we could call a “sanctity of life ethic.”  That is to say, a person had a right to life simply because he was human and was considered human because he was alive.  But there has been a shift in recent years toward a quality of life ethic rather than a sanctity of life ethic.  This new ethic basically says a person doesn’t have a right to live simply because he’s human.  A person only has a right to live if he meets certain criteria, certain qualities.

According to that new modern viewpoint, a person has no rights simply because he is alive.  Even if he is physically alive, he must meet some additional criteria for being fully human.  If he fails to meet the criteria, he doesn’t have the rights of a human, including the right to live.  The unborn must meet some kind of a vague standard of genetic worthiness, or they must have a life worth living, or they must be wanted by society, or they must meet the mother’s personal criteria to be considered human.

You may remember, it wasn’t very long ago that Planned Parenthood, the biggest advocate for abortion, was making news due to the fact that they were “selling” body parts from aborted babies.  It created quite an uproar, and rightly so.  Here was their thinking and rationale: If the baby were just tissue and just a part of the woman’s body, then why should selling those remains for medical research provoke disgust and outrage?

This is one of the blatant examples of what the belief in evolution results in.  A person has to push past their conscience, which the bible calls “a seared conscience”, and reduce life down to nothing more than another animal, having no more value than a dolphin. And that’s what pushes this issue from legality to morality. 

Legality and morality are NOT the same thing.  Look at both the Holocaust and slavery, both legal in their time, approved by political action and the courts. Ultimately for the problem to be solved, in the final analysis, hearts MUST BE CHANGED, which is where the role of the Church must remain strong.  And though morality can’t be legislated, behavior can be regulated. The law can’t change a heart, but it can restrain the heartless.

Back in 1979 Jer and I were expecting our THIRD child.  Because of some serious complications with the birth of our SECOND child, and after reading through the medical chart and comments of the delivering physician, our new doctor in our new town advised us to abort this baby.  He recommended a clinic in Sun Valley.  Jer and I were, needless to say, dumbfounded.

With the help of God, we found an OB doc in Twin Falls.  After having a chance to read through the report, sit and visit with us, check Jer out, he sat down with us and said, “I don’t see a problem here.  I know exactly what happened, we will be more than ready should that be an issue, but I think you’re going to do great!”  Here’s the end result…

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There is a March For Life taking place tomorrow in Boise.  Why not check it out.  Location & Information: The Idaho March for Life will leave the Gene Harris Bandshell at Julia Davis Park (150 N Capitol Blvd. Boise, ID) at 1:00 pm on Saturday, January 20, 2018, and arrive at the steps of the Idaho State Capitol building (700 W Jefferson St. Boise, ID) for a rally for life.

I’m glad to tell you, Deer Flat Church supports Lifeline Pregnancy Center as a part of our annual budget.  Thank you for your heart for the unborn!  Thank you for your generosity financially towards the ministries of Deer Flat.  Pray for the unborn. Don’t underestimate the difference and impact you can make in this arena.  I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU ON SUNDAY!

All For Jesus,
Pastor D



Friends, I love this challenge that I came across.  I hope you do to!

As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God (Psalm 42:1, ESV).

Happy 2018! What does the new year hold for you? Are you longing for something new, better, different? Are you tired of flipping pages on the calendar and going through the motions of your life? Want to make a choice that will transform 2018 from dead to lively, from flat to full, from just another year to your best year yet?

Spend time with God in His Word.

This isn’t just another task or meeting. This is an invitation to spend time with the King of the universe, listening to His voice in the pages of the only Book on the planet that will transform your soul. This isn’t a book club. It’s not an appointment with a personal trainer who might help you marginally reshape your body. This is God, who spoke the universe into existence, and who will speak to you personally if you open the Word and listen.

How’s that work? Simply and methodically. Open your Bible, and follow these three steps.

Step 1: Discipline

Here’s the spiritual workout plan: I challenge you in Jesus’ name to discipline yourself to spend thirty minutes in God’s Word every day for a month. During those thirty days, set aside the first half hour of every day—before you shower, before you dress for work, before you drink a cup of coffee (or while you drink it). Commit to this: “I will not do anything else until I get thirty minutes with the Lord in His Word.”

At first, it’s going to feel like hard work, but it won’t stay that way for long. It’s like when you start working out on a treadmill with no fitness base—grueling at first, but over time it grows easier and eventually becomes addictive. Get up in the morning, and make yourself do it. Get a friend to hold you accountable. Check in with each other. Go after this choice that will change your life forever: thirty minutes for thirty days. It starts with discipline.

Step 2: Desire

Over time, God’s Word will become your desire. This step involves another thirty days. No longer will reading the Bible just feel like a discipline. You will find that you look forward to it, that you can’t wait to spend time with the Lord. Like David, you’ll say, “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God” (Psalm 42:1). You’ll wonder how you lived without it. You’ll recognize how famished and impoverished your soul was and how difficult the Christian life felt on empty. No longer will it feel like a burden or obligation.

After thirty days of discipline and thirty days of growing desire, you’ll conclude, “I want it. I desire it. I hunger for it.” After these sixty days, you’ll say, “I chose God’s Word as my authority, and my life has been changed forever.” And then you get to move on to step 3, which will blow your mind.

Step 3: Delight

In the third, thirty-day step, you will begin to experience what David observed about the blessed person, whose “delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:2). David didn’t tolerate God’s Word, the way we do brussels sprouts. He didn’t gut it out, the way we do dental cleanings. He loved God’s Word. “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day” (Psalm 119:97). And we can get to that place too.

When you begin to delight in God’s Word, time spent in His Book will become your favorite time of your day, the best part of your week, the most treasured moments of your life—alone with God, digging into His Word, being fed by His Spirit. And the effects will seep into every part of your day so that you will find God’s Word running in the background of your thoughts constantly.

King David experienced this delight. So did the prophet Jeremiah, who wrote, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts” (Jeremiah 15:16). So did the disciples, who “said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures’” (Luke 24:32)?

So can you. Choose God’s Word. Start with discipline, and watch as discipline gives way to desire and grows into full-blown delight. This can be the defining choice of 2018 for you.

I dare you.


                         What are your hopes, dreams, and goals for 2018? In what ways would you like to change and grow?

                         Which steps have you experienced on the continuum of discipline, desire, and delight? Describe.


Lord God, what do You see for me as You look ahead to this new year? I don’t long to do more; I long to be more, by Your grace. And I know that the key catalyst for my soul change is time alone with You in Your Word. You don’t force me, but You do invite me, and I choose today, this year, to accept Your invitation. May I learn to delight in Your Word. Would You teach me, speak to me, and make me more like Your Son, Jesus, in whose name I pray, amen.

 Let’s be “sons and daughters of Isaachar who understand our times and know what to do.”

 Pastor D

 BTW – We’re in our series “LIVING WISELY IN THE MIDST OF FOOLISH TIMES”.  Don’t miss this one.

-       There is a great Bible App – The One Year Bible – that will get you through the whole bible in one year.  The plan is totally mapped out and all you have to do is follow the reading portion each day.  Go For It!



Hello Deer Flat Family!

 I can’t tell you how many time this year I’ve paused to wonder, “Where has the time gone?”  I feel like that right now as I sit down to scratch out this note to you. I can hardly believe that we have arrived at the second half of December.  But, WOW has it been a great month at Deer Flat.  I have had more fun meeting so many of your friends, neighbors and family than you can imagine.  You guys have some of the greatest friends and family, for sure!

The Sunday’s of December have been full of celebration, worship and great reminders of what Christmas is all about.  Our GREAT VOLUNTEERS have done a tremendous job in every area!  From the outside greeters all the way through the people who pick up the sanctuary at the end of the day, and everything in between, we have the best people who give of themselves to help make Deer Flat, Deer Flat.  Our Nursery crew who care for the babies and little ones, all the way through the Children’s Ministry workers and teachers, as well as the Student Ministry workers – all combine to make a tremendous investment of love and truth in all of those ages that have been entrusted to us.  Then, there’s all of those who help make the worship ministry happen week after week.  What dedication.  One of the big areas that has increased in its role has been the Tech side of things.  The audio/video and lighting is no small thing.  The quality of DVD’s and video online is really outstanding.  And the team that works in this area week after week makes a significant contribution.  THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR AMAZING VOLUNTEERS!  By the way, we can’t forget all of those who make the coffee each week and work the coffee bar!  We would all be in a terrible mood without that.

As we had toward the finish line of 2017, I am so full of gratitude for God’s relentless faithfulness to Deer Flat Church.  There has been growth in every area!  We continue to meet new people every week.  The Children’s Ministry Center project continues to move forward week after week.  And the Lord has blessed us with enough dry weather that I think we’re going to be able to get the project totally enclosed so that we can work inside of it throughout the winter.  God continues to bless in abundance!  I feel spoiled when I look at all that He’s done for us.  How fortunate we are.  Let’s not miss WHO it is that’s doing it! And, He’s doing much of it through you!


            Your Faithfulness

            Your Financial Generosity

            Your Time

            Your Prayers

            Your Heart for God

            Your Love for Worship

            Your Hunger for God’s Word

            Your Servant Heart

The final month of our fiscal year is pretty aggressive.  We are over half way there with 2 Sunday’s to go.  And, this giving is separate from our building fund, which continues to grow.  Let’s close this year out strong.  Let’s give God our best!

The final two Sunday’s of December have ONE SINGLE MORNING SERVICE AT 10:30 A.M.

 Christmas Eve Sunday also includes A 5 PM CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE, including a LIVE NATIVITY!

 This is one of those great times to invite someone to enjoy a great time at Deer Flat Church.

Jer and I, along with the entire Pastoral Staff, truly feel so fortunate that God would allow us the privilege of serving at Deer Flat with the host of tremendous people – the best you’ll find anywhere.  We wish all of you a heart felt “MERRY CHRISTMAS!”

We hold you in our hearts, our thoughts, and our prayers!

Can’t wait to see you Sunday.  “O COME LET US ADORE HIM” is what I’ll be talking about Sunday morning. 

All For Jesus!

Pastor D


Most of the time when we hear about Hanukkah, we think it’s a “Jewish Thing.” However, you may be surprised when you hear a bit more about it. A couple of days ago, on Tuesday, December 12th,  the eight-day Jewish festival of Hanukkah began. Many Christians are familiar with the eight-day festival of Hanukkah because of its proximity to Christmas. It is commemorated on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, and falls sometime in late November or December.


Although a celebration of Christmas is nowhere to be found in the New Testament, Hanukkah finds its way into the Gospels and serves as an important backdrop in the ministry of Jesus in John 10. To understand the significance of this aspect of His ministry, however, it is necessary to understand Hanukkah.

In 167 B.C., the Syro-Greek king Antiochus IV Epiphanes began to persecute the Jewish people. Antiochus IV Greek forbade circumcision, burned Jewish Scriptures, forced Jews to eat unclean swine’s flesh, and desecrated the Temple in Jerusalem by commanding an un-kosher sacrifice of swine on the Temple’s altar.


Horrified by the sacrilege of Antiochus, an elderly priest, Mattathias and his son Judah Maccabaeus (AKA: “the Hammer”) formed a militia and waged guerilla warfare against the occupying Greek forces. Almost three years later the revolution succeeded and the Temple was rededicated in 164 B.C. on the twenty-fifth day of Kislev. The festival commemorating the event is called Hanukkah, which means “Dedication.”


The feast of Hanukkah lasts eight days because Judas Maccabaeus wanted to imitate the original dedication of the Temple by King Solomon, which lasted eight days. Judas Maccabaeus decreed that a new eight-day festival on the twenty-fifth day of the Jewish month of Kislev.


The Jewish Talmud offers another tradition to explain the eight days of Hanukkah. When the Jews recaptured Jerusalem from the abusive Greeks, the Jewish priests did not have enough oil to keep the Temple’s menorah lit. There was only enough sacred oil to burn for one day and it would take at least a week to mix a fresh supply of holy oil. The miracle of Hanukkah was that the one-day supply of holy oil lasted for eight days. For this reason, Jews light the menorah during the eight days of the festival.


Most of my Christian friends are unaware of these connections. As a result, they miss the important “Hanukkah message” of Christ in John’s Gospel. The presence of Christ at the Temple during Hanukkah is important because Hanukkah recalled how the Maccabees dedicated the Temple after the Greeks had defiled it. However, the presence of God’s glory did not manifest itself at the re-dedication of the Maccabees and fill the Temple as it did in the days of King Solomon. Since the time of the Maccabees, God had not inhabited the Temple as He had before the Jews’ Babylonian exile. The presence of Christ in the Temple at Hanukkah shows that God’s presence had once again entered the Temple.

It was the feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter and Jesus was walking in the Temple, in the portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered round him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us openly” (Jn 10:22-24).

It was during Hanukkah that Christ answered them by boldly proclaiming: “I and the Father are one” (Jn 10: 30). Christ entered into the Temple at the feast of Hanukkah and presented himself as the God of Israel. His enemies immediately understood His claim in light of Hanukkah’s significance. We know this because they took up stones to stone him and said “we stone you for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself to be God” (Jn 10:31-33). Hence, the festival of Hanukkah serves as a sign of Christ’s fulfillment of the Temple and the entire Old Covenant. Jesus was not only a gifted rabbi from Nazareth—He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

In John 10.22, almost two hundred years later, mention is made of the Feast of Dedication. At that time, one part of the festival included the reading of a portion of Scripture that reminded the people of the unfaithful rulers of the past and the God who would watch over His people. The passage that was read came from the prophet Ezekiel:

“The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: `This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them. “‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them. “`For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them’” (34:1-11)This, then, is the context for the incredible statements that Jesus made during the Feast of Dedication during His final winter on earth.

Against this backdrop Jesus declares, “I am the good shepherd; and I know My own, and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. . . . My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (Jn 10.14-15, 27-29).

Jesus contrasted Himself with the unfaithful, corrupt shepherds of Israel’s past and declared Himself to be the True Shepherd of God’s people. In so doing, He established the standard for all subsequent shepherds of the people of God and described the responsibilities of leadership: to take care of the flock, to strengthen the weak, heal the sick, bind up the injured, bring back the strays, search for the lost; to rule gently and kindly, and to keep them from scattering and becoming vulnerable to the enemy.

Our Rabbi, Jesus the Christ, remains the Light of the world!  Happy Hanukkah!

Pastor D

PS: We’re going to investigate THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM this Sunday.  Fascinating and inspiring.  Can’t wait to see you!


PPS: Hey Deer Flat, we now have some additional parking available in the back! We have tried to lay it out as best we can. Enjoy!  Also, don't forget about our unique Sunday Schedule the next couple weeks.
December 17th- Normal 9:30 and 11:00 services
Decemer 24th- Family service at 10:30am, and Christmas Eve service at 5:00pm
December 31st- Family service at 10:30am



Hello Deer Flat Family,

Since the major announcement by President Trump regarding Jerusalem, and the post I sent out on Tuesday, I have been asked by many of our flock if I will be speaking about this on Sunday and giving a bit more information.  I am planning to speaking about it a bit before we move into the scriptures for the message.  THIS WILL ONLY HAPPEN IN FIRST HOUR AS WE HAVE THE CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS PRESENTATION IN SECOND HOUR.

I can’t wait to see you!

Pastor D


Dear Church Family,

I’m writing this out in a hurry as I just received what I think is worthy information.  I am awaiting a conference call with President Trump this morning to hear his briefing, however, let me share with you what the most recent decisions and information is regarding President Trump declaring Jerusalem the Capital of Israel.  This has HUGE ramifications.  I’ll give you those later. 

Here is the piece I received as a part of the briefing, as is from the press conference last night.  I think you’ll find it very informative.

Remember: 3,000 years ago, Jerusalem was built as the capital of Israel.  It has been attacked 52 times, besieged 23 times, ransacked 39 times, destroyed and rebuilt 3 times and captured and recaptured 44 times.  3,000 year later, it remains the Capital of Israel.

Rak Chasak Amatz…

 What a time to be alive!

 Pastor D



Office of the Press Secretary


Embargoed For Release Until 9:00 P.M. EST December 5, 2017




James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

5:34 P.M. EST

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  All right.  Reiterate the ground rules -- this is off camera, on background.  We are three senior administration officials. 

     We are here to talk about the President's announcement tomorrow he will make regarding U.S. policy on Jerusalem.  I think there's two core components.

     First, the President will recognize, or he will say that the United States government recognizes that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.  He views this and we view this as a recognition of reality, both historic reality that Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people, the Jewish faith since ancient times; and modern reality that it has been the seat of government of all important -- not all, but nearly all of the Israeli government -- it's government ministries, its legislature, its supreme court, et cetera since the foundation of Israel in 1948.

     And the second announcement that the President will make is he will direct the State Department to begin a process of moving the United States embassy from its current location in Tel Aviv to a site in Jerusalem. 

That does not mean the embassy will move tomorrow; it is a practicable impossibility to move the embassy tomorrow.  There are about 1,000 personnel in the embassy in Tel Aviv.  There is no facility they can move into in Jerusalem, as of today.  It will take some time to find a site, address security concerns, design a new facility, fund a new facility -- working with Congress, obviously -- and build it.  So this is not an instantaneous process. 

     Therefore, the other question I think is probably all on your minds is what's going to happen with the waiver.  The President will sign the waiver in order to avoid fairly significant cuts to State Department's funding that the law requires as a consequence.

     So I think that's pretty much the broad contours of the announcement, but if my colleagues have --

     Q    Can you give us a timetable for moving it?

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  He's not going to specify a timetable.  But we are trying to set expectations and let people know that --

Q    And what are those expectations?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  -- this will be a matter of some years.  It won't be immediate, it won't be months, it won't be quick.  It's going to take time to do all of the things that I outlined.  And I'm sure my colleague can give you more detail.  My colleague knows a lot more about about building embassies than I do.

     But, you know, for instance, the United States was looking at moving out of Grosvenor Square in London for a long, long time.  And I think that took something like eight years to get done and will be done in early 2018. 

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  So thanks.  I'll just go through some of the details in addition to what my colleague said and just reiterate those.

     So tomorrow, on December 6, 2017, President Trump will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  In taking this action, President Trump fulfills a major campaign promise that had been made by a number of previous presidential candidates. 

     President Trump's action enjoys broad, bipartisan support in Congress, which has voted the Jerusalem Recognition Act into law in 10 successive congresses, including a 90 to 0 vote in the Senate last summer after the last waiver. 

     As my colleague noted, the President has instructed the State Department to develop a plan to relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, with the minimum additional burden on American taxpayers.

     While President Trump recognizes that the status of Jerusalem is a highly-sensitive issue, he does not think it will be resolved by ignoring the simple truth that Jerusalem is home to Israel's legislature, its supreme court, the prime minister, and, as such, is the capital of Israel. 

     President Trump remains committed to achieving a lasting peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and is optimistic that peace can be achieved.  Delaying the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has done nothing to achieve peace for more than two decades.

     President Trump is prepared to support a two-state solution to the dispute between the Israelis and Palestinians if agreed to by the two parties. 

     President Trump also recognizes that the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations of such an agreement.

     President Trump reaffirms U.S. support for the status quo at the Temple Mount Haram al-Sharif. 

     There has been a thorough, productive interagency process on this issue that has included the Cabinet and department principals and the President.  The Trump administration is fully coordinated in supporting this historic action by the President and has engaged broadly with both our congressional and international partners on this issue.

     Departments and agencies have developed and implemented a robust security plan to ensure the safety of our citizens and assets in the greater Middle East. 

     With that, I'll ask my colleague if he has any additional comments. 

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  No, I think we'll take your questions, which will probably be more useful.


     Q    Two things.  Will the embassy be built in West Jerusalem, or have you decided yet?

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  We have not.  A part of the directive the President has given the State Department is to find an appropriate site, so we don't have any sites to announce at this time. 

     Q    And then there was some widespread alarm expressed today in the Middle East.  How concerned are you about that?  How concerned are you about the possibility of unrest and violence over this decision?

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  We're obviously concerned about the protection of U.S. citizens, U.S. officials anywhere in the world, including the Middle East.

     All the appropriate agencies, the U.S. government, including security agencies, have been involved in this decision, have provided their assessment of the situation.  We'll act appropriately on those assessments to provide the degree of protection we believe necessary.


     Q    Thank you, guys.  Thanks for doing the briefing.  What is President's message tomorrow to the Palestinians, particularly in regard to their aspirations to have their own capital in East Jerusalem?

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  I think his message tomorrow is the same as his message has been to the Palestinians since he took office, in his meetings with President Abbas here at the White House, with President Abbas in Jerusalem in May -- or sorry, in -- overseas in May.  I don't remember exactly when that meeting took place, now that you mention it.

And on a phone call today, he very strongly reiterated his absolute commitment to the United States facilitating a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and his belief that such a deal is within reach and can be achieved.

     He couldn't have been clearer or more forthright, and he has confidence in the team he has put together to work toward a peace agreement, and is optimistic.

     Q    But on the other question of the capital, though.  What's his position?

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Well, as we have said, this announcement doesn't changes U.S. policy over the specific borders, dimensions, or any of that.  All of that is going to be subject a final status agreement.


Q    In terms of East Jerusalem, the United States has said that it's occupied Palestinian territories for decades.  Does the United States still believe that East Jerusalem has occupied Palestinian territory?

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  The decision the President will announce does not change anything with respect to those juridical issues. 

     Q    Nadia Bilbassy, with Al Arabiya.  You've been dealing with this issue since the Bush Administration, and you know that Jerusalem is a final status --

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  You're being kind, with the Bush administration.  (Laughter.)

Q    So since Jerusalem is a final status issue, how can the Palestinians and the Arab states, who the President talked to today, believe that (inaudible) can be an honest broker in the peace process?  And how can this not jeopardize the final status, considering the Palestinians already called for three days of rage starting from tomorrow?  

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Look, the Palestinian Authority, like any other government, is going to have to take its own decisions, make its own announcements.  But what we can speak to is what the President is doing. 

The President is affirming a reality.  A historic and current reality.  He is not taking a decision that affects any of the boundaries of sovereignty.  Those issues will have to be discussed during permanent status negotiations.

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Just let me add one thing.  You used the phrase "honest broker."  I mean, when we say acknowledging reality, that's fundamentally what the President is doing.  The United States policy is going to be honest about the fact -- which is now, in the terms of modern Israel, a seven-decade-old fact -- that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.  And also, bringing U.S. policy fundamentally in line with the will of the American people as expressed by the U.S. Congress. 

     Q    Thanks.  So, the President has heard this, you know, disagreement from allies in the region, and warnings from allies in the region, and from the President of France -- I don't want to name all of them -- but there are a lot of world leaders who have warned against this.

     How does this decision fundamentally advance U.S. foreign policy interests, and how does it advance the peace process rather than stymie it as these other world leaders have warned?

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  The President believes this is a recognition of reality, and that this issue, which does not touch on any of those boundaries -- aspects of sovereignty, which do have to be resolved in the final status negotiations -- are not affected.  But it makes clear we affirm a reality. 

     Q    That doesn't answer the question.  How does that advance U.S. foreign policy interests, and how does it advance the peace process?

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  I think we can answer that in two ways.  One is what my colleague just said, which I would just reiterate.  Going forward on the basis of a truth that is undeniable -- it's just a fact. 

And to state it differently, a little bit closer to what I said earlier:  For a long time, the United States position held that ambiguity or lack of acknowledgement or somehow would advance the prospect of peace. 

That view might have been reasonable at certain circumstances, at certain times, but it's certainly been tried.  It's been tried now -- I think the Embassy Act was passed in 1995.  So we're 22 years in, and it seems clear now that the physical location of the American embassy is not material to a peace deal.  It's just not -- it's not an impediment to peace fundamentally, and it's not a facilitator of peace. 

     So, after having tried this for 22 years, an acknowledgement of reality seems like an important change.

Yes, Major.

Q    Related to that, I mean, obviously you're flipping the script because this had been, historically, on a bipartisan basis, reserved as a final status issue.

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Well, wait, historically on a bipartisan basis since 1995, the bipartisan majority of the U.S. Congress has said United States policy should be --

     Q    Well, but, administrations from the White House have taken that symbolic vote from Congress but also applied it in a sense to say we're going to hold this to the end.  You're clearly flipping that script.

     Related to the answer you just gave, do you believe this will create a new reality, a new understanding of this administration’s approach and that will jar things loose or accelerate a peace process?  I mean, you clearly believe there will be some advantage to this, setting this in motion -- this clarity, this reality.  What is it?

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  The President and his peace team have had many, many discussions with all of the players in the Middle East, not just the parties directly concerned with this peace process, but with Arab states, regional states, international partners.

     The President came to the judgement that this was both the right time and the right step to take, specifically with respect to his hopes that a peace can be achieved.

     Q    On that point, if I could.  Publicly, we're hearing protestations from the Saudis and from the Jordanians and from Macron and other people like that.  But we hear that quietly, through diplomatic channels, particularly with the Saudis, you're hearing very different things.  What are you hearing through the diplomatic channels?

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  John, you know the answer on this.  We will refer you to the Saudi or other foreign government to describe their position.  But the President has had very detailed discussions with all of the leaders in question.

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  I would say, yes, he’s heard out everyone’s views.  But he’s also gone out of his way to express to America’s Arab allies and partners in the region that they have a vital role to play, and that he hopes and expects -- and has been encouraged to large extent by many of their actions and statements -- that they're going to work alongside us as facilitators toward peace.

     Q    What does the pending ascendance of Mohammed bin Salman to the throne in Saudi Arabia have to do with the timing?

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  It is not related to this issue.

     Q    Is this the last waiver the President is going to sign?  Or can we expect him to sign it in --

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  I think he will have to sign the waiver for as long as the law remains on the books, and we cannot physically move the U.S. embassy.  Otherwise, the State Department would suffer a loss of funding.

     Q    So it might be years then?

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  He’s also asked us to work with Congress to try to modify the law so that there’s not a waiver requirement in the meantime -- but until that changes.

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  To flip the answer, if there isn’t a congressional change that mandates a six-month waiver, the current text of the law requires a waiver every six months until the embassy is opened.  And that is a problem we think of years rather than of a shorter period.

     Q    So again, has anyone said that they are going to walk away in the extensive discussions you've had with the leaders -- Palestinians, other Arab authorities, and Israel?  Has anyone said, hey, look, this is a deal-breaker, we're walking away?

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  I think it's fair to say all parties with whom the President spoke wish to remain engaged on a peace process on the quest for a regional peace.

     Q    Has anyone said that it is going to factor into their decision in the future in how they present themselves in the peace process?

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Let me just answer that this way:  I think it’s fair -- I can speak for all of us when I say we don't necessarily see an upside for any party or any facilitators, like our Arab and Muslim partners, who aren’t directly parties from walking away.  Walking away doesn't advance the cause of peace.  So if everybody wants peace, and we think everybody wants peace, everybody wants an agreement, the way to achieve it is to remain engaged.

     Q    Okay, so you mentioned that you think it will probably be a case of years not just, say, months, and that this will have to be signed again and again.  Now, the question comes --

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Absent a change to the law, yes.

     Q    But you're saying, you're going to move the embassy, but that it will take probably years, correct? 


Q    Right.  So how are you going to inform us of updates as to the progress on doing that?  And as far as years, say -- President Trump has a four-year term.  So if it’s not moved within that four-year term, it could all be reversed with the next administration, right?  So do you think it will happen at least within that term?

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  As a practical matter, no embassy is constructed today anywhere in the world in shorter than three to four years -- no embassy.  And that's to meet the necessary requirements for security, resiliency, safety, and simple accommodation of the staff.  And that's going to be the case here as well.  It is, in my experience, a commonality that once an embassy begins the process of building that process moves through to completion. 

     Q    All right, so you don't see this getting changed if it takes beyond, say --

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:   This is the initiation of the construction of an embassy.  Once it begins, the course is set. 

     Q    And then for part of the question were, how are you doing to update us, as to the progress of that?

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Typically, we do provide updates on the contracting process, on how construction is moving ahead.  We get many queries on embassies around the world.  Some of our bigger projects -- the embassy in Baghdad, the embassy in Beijing, more recently the embassy in London, which will open in January.  All of these things, our office of building operations speaks to when inquired. 


     Q    Thanks for doing this, first of all.  Can you talk a little bit more about the impact of the decision -- the timing of the decision?  Because you said, that the President believes this is the right time.  If it is the right time, why is it the right time, right now?  And what is the -- does it give U.S. interests an advantage to get any closer to getting these two parties back together?  Does it play into a strategy?

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  You know, I think -- repeating myself a bit here -- but he believed that moving forward on the basis of any acknowledged truth and acknowledged reality would, is a change, a policy of ambiguity, which hasn't worked in 22 years.  

And that, he has said too that he thinks, in a sense, not making this acknowledgement reality one of the central issues, a sort of taking it out so we can work on the core issues of the deal, will help advance peace. 

I think that's fundamentally where his opinion has been on this subject all along, including before he became President. 

And he's encouraged by the progress that his peace team has made so far.  I know a lot of progress isn't visible.  I think one of the things that I know he believes, and I know the peace team believes, it's partly because that progress is not visible that they've been able to make so much progress.  But that there are things happening that the parties, the people directly in the talks, know about.  A lot of the rest don't -- people around the world don't know about, that will become known when the time is right.  And that's one of the reasons why the President is still very optimistic. 

     Q    So is that why it's now?  Is it --

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Just remember, it's a calendar date.  December 4 was the requirement date for this.

     Q    Kind of acknowledging how this is likely have you received, I'm wondering if the President is going to say or announce anything tomorrow that could be seen as sort of a concession either to the Palestinians or Jordanians, or boarder Arab world -- something to, sort of, soften the blow of this? 

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  I think he's trying to keep the give-and-take between the parties -- and whatever concessions are made, whatever provisions are made -- private, for the reasons I just said. 

     Q    So there are ones, but you're not going to share them? 

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Well, we're not really going it no -- like I said, we're not going into the details of what they're talking about.  Specifically, because -- yeah, because I think he does believe that the successful confidentiality of the talks thus far have been a major reason why they've progressed as well as they have.  

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  We talked to you before.  Nothing in this decision speaks to a final status resolution of the boundaries of sovereignty issues here.  That's point one.  That addresses a whole galaxy of concerns.  Same answer:  It doesn't speak to those issues.  Those are final status discussions, as they have been, as they will remain in the President's view.

     Secondly, the President very much wants to see a success in this peace process.  The President understands Palestinian aspirations.  He's heard it directly; his peace team has heard that directly.  He knows what it is the Palestinians want.  He's trying to reach out and find a way to achieve those goals. 

     With respect to this, we are trying to make clear what this decision does, recognition of reality, current and historical, simple affirmation of that.  But secondly: Where we are on sensitive issues.  This doesn't change the status quo with respect to the holy sites in Jerusalem.  It's a very sensitive issue, as all of you who follow the events of this summer know.  Doesn't touch on that, at all.  

     So we are leaving space for the Palestinians, for this peace process to move forward.  We're not touching on that. 

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:    So if I could add to that though.  Just, as I mentioned -- I'll just reiterate it.  That President Trump prepared to support a two-state solution to dispute between the Israelis and the Palestinians, if agreed to by the two parties.  I think you're likely to hear an acknowledgement of that.

     And then, as I noted about the Temple Mount Haram al-Sharif, that the status quo there will be preserved and maintained.  So nothing's going to change with those sites.  So I think you'll see those, and those are intended to reassure some of the people that are listening carefully to that.

     Q    Tara McKelvey, BBC.  Can you tell us anything about how the announcement will be made tomorrow?  Even the timing or the setting?

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  I think Sarah already clarified that earlier.  But if she didn't, we're tracking a 1 p.m. speech by the President. 

     Yeah, I think we got to go, so last question.

     Q    Two quick questions.  One is that this idea of signing the waiver because of the construction concerns -- experts said that you can just place a sign on the existing American consulate and call it an embassy.  Why not just do that?

     And the second is, I just want to confirm:  If you're saying that this is getting rid of this, this is just acknowledging reality, does Jared Kushner and his peace team agree that this helps with what they've been working on for the past year?

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  This decision is taken with the full support of the President's peace team.  That's the second part of your question.

     The first part is, today's world -- whether we're dealing with the Americas, Africa, Asia, Middle East -- we don't just put a plaque on a door and open a mission.  There are major security, structural concerns and very, very strict guidelines anywhere in the world that have to be followed before that flag goes up or that plaque goes on.  Jerusalem is no exception to those rules.

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Okay, this will really, truly be the last one.  Yeah.

     Q    Michael Shure, with i24NEWS.  Two quick ones.  Secretary Tillerson, has he weighed in on this in the past few days? 

And secondly, the State Department security arm was told to prepare for violent protests -- or possibly violent protests.  What sort of preparations are put in place?  How did that impact these discussions?

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  I think they've already said the secretary's entire team, the principals involved in this decision all had an opportunity to discuss and were consulted on this decision.  This was a collaborative U.S. government position.

     Secondly, we've also noted all of the security agencies of the U.S. government, including Diplomatic Security at State, are of course consulted on any decision like this and take appropriate actions, as they believe necessary, to protect both American officials and American citizens abroad. 


Hello Deer Flat Family!

We’re just hours away from the first of a variety of wonderful events happening at Deer Flat.  I just want to make sure that you are aware of the MAJOR TIME CHANGE THIS SUNDAY…  ONE SERVICE AT 10 A.M.

 The weekend Christmas Musical is taking place 3 TIMES:

            FRIDAY EVENING AT 7


            SUNDAY MORNING AT 10 am

 Invite, Invite, Invite.

 One of the things that I love about the flock at Deer Flat is that you always do such a great job reaching out and inviting people to check us out!  I have met so many of your friends and family across the many months and it’s one of the greatest things I look forward to every weekend.  December is stacking up to be an OUTSTANDING month.  Lots of great things to enjoy, and lots of reasons to include friends and neighbors.

Go bold!  Risk inviting the server at the restaurant, a co worker, the person you least expect would respond.  You never know what God has been doing in the lives of these people, getting them ready for an invitation to something life changing.

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO!  I’m so humbled and so proud to be the shepherd at Deer Flat Church.   I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU THIS WEEKEND!

Rak Chazak Amatz,

Pastor Dave

PS – There’s an outstanding video piece that you might like to check out.  BEWARE – WATCHING IT WILL BE LIKE PUMPING ROCKET FUEL INTO YOUR SOUL!



When is the last time you received an invitation to something that actually drew you in?  I’ve been pondering this as I find myself headed into the Holiday season.  Believe it or not, invitations mean a great deal to people whether they are young or old. There is something about being invited to an event that makes you feel special and accepted. For instance, when we were in school you could determine very quickly if you belonged to a particular group IF they invited you to their birthdays or get togethers. I know sometimes some kids cross their fingers hoping that they will be invited to the cool kids party and if that happens then that person will jump for joy at the invitation. There are certainly other examples of this, such as how a young lady feels when a great young guy invites on her on a date or how a person feels when then boss invites them out to dinner.

There is something about an invitation...

   a. An invitation makes us feel special

   b. An invitation makes us feel wanted and accepted

An invitation is a powerful way to reach out to others...

   a. A man invites a lady out for a date

   b. A business person invites a client out for lunch

   c. A housewife invites a friend over for coffee

   d. A family invites another family to supper

Of course many more examples could be given, but we can certainly see that giving and receiving invitations are powerful in our society.  The Bible is filled with many instances of people giving and receiving an invitation.  But, by far, the greatest invitation was the invitation we’ve all been extended to be the children of God, citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, joint heirs with Christ!

In just a week from now, we will be in the month of December.  This is a month that is loaded with lots of opportunities to invite someone to experience Deer Flat.  They will have a chance to hear an invitation to step into the Kingdom of God.  Don’t under estimate the power of your invitation to someone.  You’ll find that they are more open during this season than they are most of the months of the year.  Here’s a look at some invite opportunities:

FOUR TICKETS TO CHRISTMAS – This years Christmas Musical

                        Friday December 1 at 7 pm

                        Saturday December 2 at 2 pm

                        Sunday December 3 at 10 am

  IT HAPPENED IN THE COUNTRY - Children’s Christmas Program

 Sunday December 10 at 11 am

 THE SUNDAY’S OF DECEMBER – A Deer Flat Christmas

Sunday’s at 9:30 and 11 am

 I can’t wait to see you this Sunday!  We’re wrapping up our series, “David’s Mighty Men.”  I can promise you, it’s going to be an outstanding morning at Deer Flat.  Go Bold and invite that friend, family member, or neighbor.  And, then give me a chance to meet them!

All For Jesus,




With the recent tragedy that took place last Sunday in Southern Springs, Texas, it poses a very important question: Are we prepared for this same possibility at Deer Flat? Probably like me, you sat and wondered, “How does something like that happen?  And, How could it ever happen here?  I think you agree with me that the Church should be a place of safety.  Safety isn’t something that just happens.  It happens because intentional measures have been taken to provide a real place of safety.  We have been very intentional about this issue at Deer Flat Church.  This has also been heavily factored in to the current building project.  Let me give you a bit of an overview about the plan and function of the Security team at Deer Flat.

About 5 years ago we began to take a hard look at the policies and procedures we had in place in regards to safety and security.  Although we had made many changes up to that point, we fell short in many areas.  We had been fortunate to not have any serious incidents, but with our growing size, location and a changing world we determined it was time for action.

We begin to identify and analyze our weaknesses, voids and opportunities.  We determined that we needed several things including:

1.       A better check-in system for our children

2.       Improved and broadened background check requirements for child/youth workers

3.       A more secure facility

4.       A safety/security team

5.       An emergency plan

As a result we begin to implement changes almost immediately and have made the following changes:

1.       Installed electronic check-in for children/youth with security name tags

2.       Installed 16 video cameras to monitor facility

3.       Limited entry points into building

4.       Installed locks and safety glass on all classroom doors

5.       Created a security team

          a.       Church divided into zones

          b.       Person at control center and monitors

          c.       Ongoing training

          d.       Radio communications

6.       Created a medical team

7.       Developed a complete emergency plan

Our new children’s wing will have additional cameras, inaccessible windows, intercoms and only one entry point to maintain a safe and secure area for our children.

There are many camps of thought on church security from very casual to militant.  We have chosen to take a position of prevention and preparedness.  Our primary goals are to make sure we have not “left the front door open”, be a visual presence to our people as well as any that might intend harm and have a plan if something happens.  We will continue to make improvements, grow our teams and do relevant training to ensure your safety and security.

We have some great, dedicated people on our team and I am very grateful for them all.  If you have an interest in being a part of the security or medical team, please contact me at rickday@deerflat.org or 208-459-3845.



Ever since the Avengers swooped into theaters and helped rescue Hollywood's year with a gargantuan $1.39 billion haul, the prospect of further superhero ensemble movies has been pretty inevitable. Warner Bros has rolled out their Justice League movie starring Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, followed by their Wonder Woman movie. Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, Captain America and others are not only on the Big Screen, but now they’re on cereal boxes, T shirts, advertisements, books, and more.  Why is that?  Why all the hype?  Why all the draw?

It’s an interesting thing to look at. Stan Lee has defined a superhero as: a person who does heroic deeds and has the ability to do them in a way that a normal person couldn’t. So in order to be a superhero, you need a power that is more exceptional than any power a normal human being could possess, and you need to use that power to accomplish good deeds.

 Do you see what I see in that statement?  There is a longing for a supernatural power that is used for good.  A power that sets the person apart.  A power that draws attention.  Look at what one of my favorite theologians says about this:  

"All men kinda think of themselves like low-level super-heroes in their own world.  I'm not even supposed to be telling you this.  But when men are growing up and are reading about Batman, Spiderman, Superman... these aren't fantasies.  These are options.  This is the deep inner secret truth of the male mind." - Jerry Seinfeld

Not long ago I came across an article by Joe Thomas, entitled “The 5 Reasons We Love Super Hero’s”  In that article he lists some very interesting reasons, but it was the last one he listed that really caught my attention.  Take a look at it…

“The most important one, and I think one of the reasons superheroes exist. To give hope.” (Do you see that?)” To give hope that no matter what the odds are, people are inherently good. That one person can make a difference. That even with no superhuman powers, one person can make a difference. That having powers doesn't automatically make you better than anyone. The fact is, that's why I love them. Because I get inspired by them, they give me hope. To never give up, even when the task seems daunting. In the end, that's what we all want right? The hope that anything can happen. That maybe one day a ship from another planet crashes carrying a child from another world.” (Did you hear that?)  “That we can work together and make the world, hell anywhere, a better place. Superheroes aren't a pipe dream, a waste of time. They are so much more. They are a constantly evolving heartbeat, something we and I, hold so dear to us, because it allows us to believe again.”

A professor from BYU who has been studying this phenomenon says,

 “Superheroes represent hope and we are, for the most part, hopeful people.  They explain mystery.  They model behavior.  They inspire.  They make mistakes and they learn from them.  They are life lessons.”

 So, where am I going with this?  Just a couple of quick things.

1)      There really is a longing in people’s hearts for the power of the supernatural to be at work bringing about good, defeating the kingdom of darkness, wickedness and evil.  You can see this in the few quotes that I’ve shared.  From eon’s of time back, man has been intrigued with mythological figures like Hercules, Zeus, Achillies, and others.  Who do you think put this longing in people’s hearts?

2)     There is no shortage of “super hero’s” listed in the Bible.  The Bible includes some amazing facts and stories about “hybrid” beings, men of renown, including DAVID’S MIGHTY MEN.  The greatest superhero of all is none other than Jesus.  He shows up in the story of David in some amazing ways.

Beginning this Sunday, and for the next 5 weeks, we’ll be taking a look at David and his Mighty Men.  We’ll also be meeting some modern Mighty Men and Women.  This is definitely a series you’ll not want to miss.  I’ve never done a study like this one.  This is one of those times you’re going to want to invite someone to come with you!  I can’t wait to see you! Come expecting an unforgettable day at Deer Flat.

Still Gripped By Jesus,

Pastor D


Time Magazine published an article back in May of 2014.  The Caption read, “HOW GENEALOGY BECAME ALMOST AS POPULAR AS PORN.”  Here’s what it said, “genealogy is the second most popular hobby in the U.S. after gardening, according to ABC News, and the second most visited category of websites, after pornography. It’s a billion-dollar industry that has spawned profitable websites, television shows, scores of books and — with the advent of over-the-counter genetic test kits — a cottage industry in DNA ancestry testing.

Maybe you are one of those people who has found much joy as you have learned about your ancestors.  It’s amazing who we are related to, what amazing things they did, and some of the surprising contributions they made.  One of the major ancestors that’s part of my own roots is Victor Hugo, writer of “Les Miserables” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

But, have you ever thought about your (our) spiritual roots?  Have you ever considered the Jewish Roots of our Christianity?  They are nothing short of amazing.  Unfortunately most people have no idea about them.  This is what Christianity was birthed out of.  We know it as Judaism.  It’s the religion of the Jews.  It was the practice of our own Messiah.  The simplest description is that the Jews, including Jesus, were Torah observant.  They followed the admonitions of the Torah – the first 5 Books of the Bible.  According to the Jewish calendar, the Jews just finished up the Fall Feasts and Festivals.

The final holy day is called, Simchot Torah, meaning “rejoicing in the Torah.”  It’s the time when the year long reading through the first five books of the Bible concludes, and the reading cycle of Genesis begins again.  On that day, they take the great Torah Scrolls from the cabinets of the synagogues.  The scroll (The Word of God) is robed in royal blue, it is crowned as though it were a king, it is held close, hugged, kissed, danced with, and read.  There is great rejoicing.  

I’m reminded of John’s words in his Gospel.  “In the beginning was the Word.  The Word was with God, and the Word was God…The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”  Jn. 1

So, you can imagine the picture of The Word – Jesus – robed, crowned, hugged, kissed, danced with and rejoiced over.  This is a glimpse of our Jewish roots. If you haven’t realized it yet, Jesus is all over the Old Testament.  What an outstanding picture.  And, the Hebrew Scriptures are full of them.

I can’t wait to show you some amazing and mind blowing things as we begin a NEW SERIES, a week from this Sunday.  It’s a series about David’s Mighty Men – the other Band of Brothers!  Get ready for an amazing look at this season in the life of a guy that we’ve all come to love.  And, don’t forget, we were birthed out of all of this.  Isn’t God good!

One last thing… Jer has reminded me to be sure to let ALL THE WOMEN  know that she would love to have a coffee with them TOMORROW MORNING AT 9 A.M. IN THE LOBBY AT DEER FLAT.  I can promise you, it will be an outstanding time.  She will love on you and speak some amazing things into your lives.

Can’t wait to see you Sunday!  Come expecting an outstanding day.

Loving You and Him,

Pastor D


Tomorrow evening begins our HOPE FOR HURTING PEOPLE weekend.  You’ll definitely not want to miss Friday evening.  Ted and Gayle Haggard are our special guests for the conference.  Their story is both heart wrenching and powerful.  It was eleven years ago now that their world was forever changed.  In an instant they found themselves living in horrendous change.

They will speak both Friday evening and Saturday morning. THERE IS NO COST FOR FRIDAY EVENING – 7 PM. This would be one of those times that you should invite someone to come with you.  They will tell the story of how God brought amazing restoration out of their disaster.  It wasn’t without help.  God brought great people and resources into their lives and they both contributed heavily.  Add to that God’s redemptive heart and His willingness to get into our messes, and it makes for a very miraculous equation.

Because of the workshops taking place on Saturday, there is a cost of $25, but this is where you can tap into some tremendous people and resources.  Everything starts at 9 AM and will be wrapped up by 2:30 PM.  Lunch is included in the cost.  You can check it all out at www.deerflat.org.

Sunday – another great day at Deer Flat.  We continue in our series: CORE, where we get a chance to consider the core value of EQUIPPING.  I can’t wait to see you this weekend.  Don’t underestimate the power and influence of an invitation.  Remember, you are a difference maker!

All For Jesus,

Pastor D