THE 2018 CHALLENGE

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.

Journal

                         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.

Pray

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!

BELIEVE IT OR NOT - SUNDAY IS CHRISTMAS EVE

BELIEVE IT OR NOT - SUNDAY IS CHRISTMAS EVE

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!

THANK YOU CHURCH FAMILY FOR…

            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

WHY SHOULD CHRISTIANS KNOW ABOUT HANUKKAH?

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

-Rick

A FOLLOW-UP FROM PREVIOUS WHITE HOUSE BLOG

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

BREAKING NEWS: A SIGNIFICANT AND MIRACULOUS MOVE IN OUR TIME

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

 

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

_________________________________________________________________

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

BACKGROUND BRIEFING

BY SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS

ON JERUSALEM

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.

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Steve.

     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.

     Olivier.

     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.

     Yes. 

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? 

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  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. 

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Jessica. 

     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. 

IT'S A HUGE WEEKEND AT DEER FLAT

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

            SATURDAY AFTERNOON AT 2

            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!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ei54yiRV3Lo

THE POWER OF A SIMPLE INVITATION

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,

PD

 

WHY SECURITY SHOULD BE ON EVERY CHURCH'S RADAR

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.

WHY IS EVERYONE SO CAUGHT UP IN THE AVENGERS?

WHY IS EVERYONE SO CAUGHT UP IN THE AVENGERS?

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

WHY IS THERE SUCH A HUGE INTEREST IN FINDING OUR ANCESTORS?

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

WEEKEND UPDATE

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

SOME INFORMATION I THINK YOU'D LIKE TO KNOW

LIVING WITHOUT HOPE   I spend most every week of my life with people.  People are fantastic.  However, they can be challenging and frustrating. How can we help people who don’t want help? There’s nothing more fulfilling than feeling like you’ve been able to help  someone.  Nothing beats feeling like you’re making a difference with your life.  You encounter someone, begin to care, and find yourself moved to do something about the issue you just learned about.  Perhaps like me, you’ve listened to story after story of people who could do no less that get involved in the heartbreaking tragedies that happen.  The stories of people helping people are gripping, inspirational, and emotional.  Whether it’s Houston, Florida, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Las Vegas or the Treasure Valley, you see needs, hear heartache and want to do something about it.  Many times we can’t help people because they’re stubborn.  But there are other times that people just don’t have any hope things will ever change.

The amount of people living without hope is no small thing. Here’s what happens more times than we care to admit. You experience devastating defeats, a persistent situation that you couldn't change, or experienced a terrifying situation that you could not control your exposure to, then you may have lost hope for your ability to change your life or to change painful situations. Sometimes an ongoing mood disorder can lead to feelings of hopelessness.

Apathy or hopelessness may be puzzling to those around you. Why wouldn't you try to get a job, make friends, eat healthier, or leave someone who is abusive? When you have no hope, you see any efforts to change your life as futile. You may blame yourself. You might say that you cannot manage life, cannot make friends and cannot succeed in getting a job. You accept whatever happens as beyond your control. You may begin to despair. 

When you don’t have hope, you have no energy or motivation for therapy or for any effort to change your situation. What's the use in reaching out to meet people?  You are sure you will be rejected.  Why bother exercising or cleaning your home or volunteering--it won't really make a difference. You know you will always be lonely, depressed, anxious, unemployed, or stuck in the same situation that is making you miserable. You don't want to risk the pain of further disappointment by even trying.  Unfortunately, this painful despair and resignation sets up a self-fulfilling prophecy.

HOWEVER, this is where God does His best work.  One of God’s favorite hangouts is “Wits End.” God is still moved with compassion over His creation. So gripped over mankind’s situations that He writes Himself into His story of redemption.  He declares loudly,  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jer. 29:11

If you resonate with any of this, if you wish you could make a more significant difference in helping people, if you are living with hopelessness, then why not consider tapping into the HOPE FOR HURTING PEOPLE weekend?  Let me tell you about it.  October 13-14

Next Friday evening an outstanding couple who have experienced HUGE devastation and found themselves in a hopeless situation, will be sharing about how God raised them up and restored their lives and their future.  Ted and Gayle Haggard will share their story and the hope they found in the midst of their journey.  FRIDAY EVENING’S SESSION IS FREE!  On Saturday morning, they will speak again, and following the opening session there will be 12 different workshops available to take advantage of.

These workshops cover a wide spectrum of very important issues and situations.  The cost of Saturday is $25 per person, which includes lunch. You can find all of the information, and get signed up for the workshops at www.deerflat.org. This can be a life changing weekend for you, or for any of the friends, co-workers, neighbors, family members that you know are living with little or no hope.  Take the risk and reach out to them.  Share with them about this opportunity.  All of the workshops will be led by quality, seasoned experts in their field.  Resources will be available.  Hope will be dispensed.  Don’t miss this chance to help make a difference in someone’s life.

CORE VALUES – During the month of October, we’re taking the time to really look at the core values of Deer Flat.  We’re considering why they are important, what role they play in the church and its future, and what that means for us individually.  Last Sunday, we zeroed in on WORSHIP.  This Sunday we’ll be investigating CONNECTING. This will be really insightful and inspiring.  You’ll get a chance to see how important this is to Deer Flat.  An amazing Lord’s Day awaits you this Sunday.  I can’t wait to see you!

LOTS OF CONCRETE – While you’ve been away this week, there’s lots of concrete that has been put in its place.  Over 25,000 sq. ft. of cement is being put down to become the floor of the new addition.  The steel is scheduled to be delivered this coming week, and soon you’ll see the structure taking place.  THANK YOU FOR YOUR ONGOING FINANCIAL SUPPORT OF THIS BUILDING PROJECT!  You guys are amazing!  I’m so fortunate to be the pastor of such a tremendous congregation!

All For Jesus,

Pastor D

IT'S THE MOST HOLIEST DAY OF THE YEAR!

Yom Kippur begins this evening at sundown.  This is the holiest day of the year!  Get this, Leviticus 16:29-30  This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: On the tenth day of the seventh month you must deny yourselves and not do any work—whether native-born or a foreigner residing among youbecause on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. Then, before the Lord, you will be clean from all your sins.  Did you hear what you just read?

For nearly twenty-six hours—the Jews will eat no food and have no drink.  They will not wash or attire their bodies with anything nothing but simple – no lotions, cologne’s, or make up. There is to be no work.  The Israeli Airport will be shut down with no flights into or out of Israel. Their time will be spent at synagogue and in prayer to God.   Why? Because God said, “This is to be a lasting ordinance/observance.”

Every year on Yom Kippur, the High Priest would perform a special ceremony to purge the defilement of the Temple as well as from the people of Israel.  On this special day, he would bring a bull and two goats as a special offering, and the bull would be sacrificed to purge the temple from the defilements caused by the sins and misdeeds of the priests and their families.  He would sprinkle the blood of the bull inside the veil of the Holy of Holies on the “Mercy Seat”, which sat on the top of the Ark of the Covenant.  Then, he would cast lots and select one for the two goats to be a sin offering on behalf of the people of Israel.  He would next re-enter the Holy of Holies, sprinkle the blood of the goat upon the Mercy Seat the second time.

Finally, the High Priest would step back outside of the Temple, lay both of his hands on the head of the second goat, known as the Scape Goat, and start confessing all of the sins and transgressions of the people.  Once he was done covering the entire inventory of sins, and offending the people because of reminding them of what they were guilty of, the goat was lead out into the wilderness, with all of the iniquities, and pushed over a cliff, where it could never return back to the people again.

According to the Jewish Talmud, a scarlet cord was tied around the neck of the scapegoat that was reported to have turned white at the point that God accepted the blood offering, poured out in the Holy of Holies, marking the forgiveness of sins for the people.  It’s reported that after the death of Yeshua the Messiah, the scarlet cord failed to change color.

One of the roles of our blessed Master is the role of the High Priest, who offered the atonement for our sins by offering His own blood in the Holy of Holies – made without hands.  Hebrews 3 tells us, “Therefore brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house.”

Jesus redeemed us, paid the ransom, provided the gift of salvation.  The Bible says, :without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin.” Heb. 9:22  The importance of blood sacrifice can’t be overstated.  God says in Leviticus 17:11, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to atone for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life.” God required the blood sacrifice.

So, why should this matter to us?  Because all of the Jewish feasts and holy days are pictures – portraits of none other than Jesus.  That’s why. And, following the death of Christ, the scarlet ribbon tied to the Scape Goat, never turned white again. The work was done.  The blood offering, once and for all, was paid.  Isn’t God good!

Let me close with just a few items for you to be aware of…

Don’t forget, let’s really be intentional when we are crossing paths or are aware of those who are hurting, to encourage them to get into the HOPE FOR HURTING PEOPLE weekend October 13-14.  All info is available at www.deerflat.org

A NEW class starts this Sunday morning for all in that College and Career season.  It begins at 10 am at Deer Flat Church.  Know anyone in this group?  Pass the word to them!  They are going to love it.

We begin a NEW SERIES this Sunday – THE CORE.  Don’t miss it.

A TREMENDOUS DAY AWAITS YOU THIS SUNDAY AT DEER FLAT!  I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU!

Loving You and Loving Him,

Pastor D

AN OUTSTANDING FALL SEASON AWAITS YOU AT DEER FLAT

Believe it or not, Fall is in the air.  You know what that means: football, those spectacular fall colors, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin everything, caramel apples, some rain, crisp air, and a hot beverage.  But it also means an outstanding season at Deer Flat Church.  Let me get you caught up on what’s happening.

#1 THE BUILDING PROJECT UPDATE:  It has taken a lot of time and work to get this project going, but things are now moving at a great pace.  This week we have foundations being dug and poured, plumbers laying underground work, and a new 135’x35’x15’ seepage bed and drain system put in place (you may have seen the mountain of dirt to the south!).  Our building should begin to arrive on site in the next week or two.  Once the underground work is done, the concrete floor will be poured.  It then has to cure for about 10 days before we can begin to erect the building.  We hope to begin erection 2nd or 3rd week of October.  There will continue to be some space used in the northwest parking lot over the next few weeks, so parking will continue to be a bit challenging.  Please continue to pray for the overall project and specifically that we are able to get the various contractors on the job as needed to keep the job moving at a steady pace.  Thanks for your ongoing support of this project!

-Rick

#2 EXPLORERER BOB CORNUKE – THIS SUNDAY: Bob is always a fantastic guest at Deer Flat.  Bob is a former police investigator and SWAT team member, but he’s also a biblical investigator, international explorer and author of nine books. He has participated in over fifty expeditions around the world searching for lost locations described in the Bible. These journeys include searching for Mount Sinai in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, looking for the remains of Noah's Ark in Turkey with astronaut Jim Irwin (the eighth man to walk on the moon) and researching ancient Assyrian and Babylonian flood accounts in Iran.

He has followed ancient accounts of the Ark of the Covenant from Israel to Egypt and across Ethiopian highlands, and, most recently, his research team found the probable location of Paul's shipwreck off the coast of Malta. This find has resulted in the accounting of what many are saying are all four anchors, as described in Acts: 27. His most recent adventure is sparking international controversy. Chronicled in his new book "Temple", Bob makes the assertion that the Temples of Solomon and Herod were located in the City of David and not on the traditional temple mount platform.

This Sunday morning he will be speaking about THE SEARCH FOR THE LOST ARK OF THE COVENANT, and at 5 pm he will speaking about his most recent discoveries in the City of David.  Don’t miss the chance to invite a friend to this unforgettable morning at Deer Flat.

#3 FIRST HOUR PRESCHOOL TEACHERS AND VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: We are moving to a monthly rotation of teachers for preschool during 1st hour starting in October. We need individuals, parent/child teams, or teams of spouses. Child helpers need to be 5th grade or older. We could also use some teachers who would commit for one month at a time, or more if you’d like.

We need 4 teachers each month. Classes are 3yr, 4/5yr, pre-k, and Kindergarten.  Lessons and classrooms are all put together and ready to go. The teacher facilitates the class, and loves on the kids. WHAT AN ANSWER TO PRAYER YOU WOULD BE! If you would like more information or would like to sign up to help please contact Myia Day at (208) 409-8479 or seanandmyiaday@gmail.com

#4 BAPTISM SUNDAY IS QUICKLY APPROACHING – JUMP IN:  Have you gone public with your faith?  Have you taken that “next step” since you invited Christ into your life?  Why not join with some others who are getting ready to be baptized.  It’s not only a great next step, but it is a big step of obedience.  If you ever wondered if you could put a smile on God’s face, this will do it.  There is a class taking place this Sunday morning at 9:30 and baptism will happen on September 24th.  This is always a HUGE celebration for the Deer Flat Family.  It’s time, you know it, and you know who you are…

 #5 COFFEE WITH JER – THIS SATURDAY MORNING AT 9 A.M.-  All ladies are invited to have a coffee with Jerri this Saturday morning in the lobby.  One of the things that Jer and I both enjoy greatly is a chance to be with the people and to get acquainted with those who may be new to Deer Flat.  Each month, Jer has a coffee for any and all of the women of Deer Flat, where she has a chance to throw some love on you, share her heart, inspire and encourage you.

I can’t wait to see you this Sunday!  Let’s make this the best Fall season ever at Deer Flat!

Loving You and Loving Him,

Pastor D

PS. Don’t forget:  Voice of the Martyrs Conf. Sept 23, Love Caldwell Sept 23,  Hope For Hurting People Oct. 13-14

PRAY AND STAY INFORMED

I’m sure that you’ve been paying attention to the natural disasters that are happening in our Nation.  Some 80 fires burning out of control, Hurricane Harvey‘s continuing to disrupt lives at an enormous level, and millions of people in Florida and the East Coast working diligently to avoid Irma.  Wow.  If you let it, this can feel very overwhelming.  The levels of these disasters remind us how enormously powerful nature can be, and at the same time expose how helpless it can make a person feel.

We are so fortunate to have such tremendous people who make up our Nation.  The willingness of people to drop what they are doing, roll up their sleeves and risk their own lives to help save people is no small thing.  There is something to be said about the human spirit and love of your neighbor.  The stories that arise out of disasters are nothing short of impacting and touching.  Such is the saga of Harvey.  People who have driven for miles delivering supplies, and bringing love.  Others have thrown caution to the wind, counted the cost and decided they can do nothing less, giving everything they have to help make a difference.  Millions more have reached into their pockets and given generously. 

Thank you to all of you who gave last Sunday to help those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.  Over $5000 was given.  God will turn that money into changed lives and changed situations.  He is at work, using countless churches, organizations, ministries, people of faith and people of good will, to bring good out of tragedy.

With the Northwest seemingly burning up, have you found yourself praying for rain?  I want to encourage you to pray and intercede, asking God to watch over people, add His favor to the enormous efforts being put forth to extinguish the fires, and to reroute the storms.  Pray that God will put His hand of protection on our Nation.

North Korea is planning another ICBM missile test on Saturday – pray.  The threats continue and we need a divine intervention in this situation.  Nikki Haley said it so well last weekend speaking about the leader of N. Korea, “Enough is enough. Kim Jong Un is begging for war.”  Who knows, it may well be that God will use these times and situations to bring our nation together.  We certainly need to be unified.  So, pray.  Stay informed, then pray some more.  By the way, I invite you to stop by Room 13 each Sunday morning between 8:30-9:30 and spend some time praying.  It will definitely make a difference.

A few other items of interest:

SATURDAY –

            9 a.m.  Israel Trip Information Meeting in the Lobby.  Jer and I would love to have you travel with us on the next trip scheduled for February of ‘18

            College of Idaho pre game tail gate - As many of you remember, we had a number of football players from the College of Idaho join us at church a few weeks ago. Their first home game is Saturday, September 9th and we are going to do a Tailgate Party to show our support for them. We have one of our own who plays on the team and would love to encourage other players to attend Deer Flat!Set up starts at 9 am and have food ready to go at 11 am. The game begins at 1 pm. You are welcome to purchase tickets and attend the game or stay at the Tailgate and listen to it on the radio.

WHAT TO BRING:Deer Flat will be providing pulled pork sliders.

Bring your chairs, water or sodas (no alcohol) and a side to share with others.  We will be in spots E4 and E6 - come and join us!

SEPTEMBER 17 – Special Guest Bob Cornuke.  It’s always a great time when explorer Bob Cornuke comes to Deer Flat.  Bob will be speaking Sunday morning about THE SEARCH FOR THE LOST ARK OF THE COVENANT and then at 5 p.m. POTENTIAL PROOF OF THE LOCATION OF GOLGOTHA ANDTHE CRUCIFIXION.  This is one of those times to really invite your friends and neighbors to experience Deer Flat.

SEPTEMBER 23 – VOICE OF THE MARTYERS CONFERENCE AND LOVE CALDWELL – Two great events are happening.  Both are difference making.  Plan to get involved in one or the other and I promise, you’ll truly receive a HUGE blessing.

OCTOBER 13-14 – HOPE FOR HURING PEOPLE.  You’ll be hearing much more about this in the coming weeks, but we all know people who are hurting.  This is designed to be a big asset to those who are looking for hope and have been striking out.  Gifted professionals will be hosting 12 workshops.  Ted and Gail Haggard will speak Friday evening, workshops and closing session on Saturday.  All of the information and a chance to sign up can happen by simply going to www.deerflat.org/events

I can’t wait to see you this Sunday.  Until then, pray and stay informed!

All For Jesus,

Pastor D

IMPORTANT NEWS AND UPDATES

It’s Friday… and Sunday’s coming!  If you’ve got a few minutes I’ll get you caught up on some things that I think you’ll want to know…

HURRICANE HARVEY DISASTER RESPONSE – I’m sure that all of you have had the same feelings that Jer and I have had as we watch and listen to the reports of devastation coming out of Texas.  There is something that awakens in us that makes us want to do something.  It’s such a helpless feeling.  This Sunday we will be receiving an offering for the people of Texas.  Here’s what’s really great about this – 100% of what is given will be routed directly into the areas of greatest need.  We have a chance to help make a difference.  Let’s come prepared to be generous.  This is an extension of God’s heart towards people.  Your prayers make difference!

ONE SERVICE THIS LABOR DAY SUNDAY AT 10:30 – This will be a great Lord’s Day at Deer Flat.  We’ll be kicking off a new 2 part series:  A View From The Edge of Eternity. A meaningful morning awaits you.  Why not invite someone to experience Deer Flat with you?

A CHANCE TO HELP OUR SISTER CHURCH –OUT POST CHURCH -SEPTEMBER 10th – Many of you are familiar with our sister church in Boise called, NEW HEIGHTS.  New Heights is getting ready to launch a brand new effort in a brand new location, with a brand new name.  Its new name:  OUT POST.  Its new location: MERIDIAN.  Its Grand Opening: SEPTEMBER 10TH.  Their service for the next number of weeks will be at 6 pm.  We have a chance to help them get off to a strong start by attending their first service.  A couple of important things you may not be aware of:  Jeff and Amia Auw, former staff members at Deer Flat Church, are leading this flock.  We could give them a HUGE HUG by jumping in on September 10 and support their efforts.  Because the church services are in the evening, there may be some of you who could attend for several weeks and really help make this a strong launch.  Jeff and Amia will be with us this Sunday at Deer Flat, and we’ll get a chance to hear more about this.

HOPE FOR HURTING PEOPLE – You probably know a variety of people who are living with challenging situations, many of which seem to be hopeless.  I have never seen a time when so many people are hurting.  In spite of living in a time with such modern breakthrough’s, technology the helps make living easier, and many resources available to be a blessing, we continue to have large numbers of hurting people.  On October 13-14 “HOPE FOR HURTING PEOPLE” will be an opportunity to help hurting people in some very tangible ways.  There will be 12 different workshops with gifted and professional people who will be speaking into the many situations equipping, encouraging and resourcing people who attend.  Special Guest speakers will be TED AND GAIL HAGGARD.  Brochures are available this Sunday with a list of all the workshops addressing key issues and needs.  The Cost for the weekend is $25, but you’ll get a wealth of information and help.  I hope you’ll help us spread the word to those who could use some hope and some help!

VOICE OF THE MARTYERS CONFERENCE AND LOVE CALDWELL – SEPTEMBER 23 – Two outstanding opportunities await you in just a few weeks.

What a privilege for Deer Flat to host the Voice of the Martyrs conference.  Great speakers, great information, and a chance to really understand the level of persecution of Christians happening in our modern world.  I encourage you to take advantage of this awesome opportunity.

LOVE CALDWELL – The annual effort to care for and provide service for the marginalized of our city, will be happening at Canyon Springs High School, 516 N 211th St from 8am-3pm on September 23rd as well. Many of you are familiar with this effort.  Medical and Dental services will be provided.  Many different services will be provided.  Lots of volunteers help make a HUGE difference.  If you can volunteer or even avail yourself for a couple of hours, why not help lift the load.

By the way, you guys made a tremendous impact on our two US Senators when you turned out to the Town Hall.  It really spoke to them.  I’ll tell you a bit more about it on Sunday. I can’t wait to see you this Sunday.  I LOVE MY CHURCH!!

All For Jesus,

Pastor D

HAVE YOU WITNESSED ANY OF LIFE’S TRIALS THIS WEEK?

Probably like me, you watched the heartbreaking and tragic attack on a group of people in Spain.  Sheer Terrorism!  As I sat watching, a variety of thoughts went through my mind:

            Why does stuff like this happen?

            Why does it happen to good people?

            Will these kind of attacks never stop?

            Why is life so full of trials and heartaches?

Fortunately, the Bible contains some important helps when it comes to what it means to live in a fallen world. Having the right kind of knowledge on why bad things happen to people in this life will not only help you understand why these events happen to everyone in the first place, but this kind of knowledge will also help you to be able to weather these types of storms and eventually get through them when they come your way in this life.  There are a variety of reasons trials and tragedies happen, but consider just this one:  THE CURSE OF ADAM AND EVE.

The #1 main reason why we all experience a certain amount of turmoil, conflict, and adversity in this life is a result of the curse that Adam and Eve brought down upon this earth as a result of both of them disobeying a direct command from the Lord not to eat any fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve represented all of mankind that would come after them when they were first tested in the Garden of Eden.

And when the both of them did not obey God’s direct command to stay off this one tree, they and everyone since them, would all have to be born into a journey through this cursed and fallen world before we can make it into heaven.

As a result of the earth now becoming cursed, we now have all kinds of bad things that can happen to anyone of us at any time. Our physical bodies are now subject to the death process. Sooner or later, every single one us will have to physically die before we can cross over to be with our Lord in heaven. And not only will our physical bodies eventually deteriorate, corrupt, and pass on, but they will also be subject to diseases and illnesses in this life.

Another consequence that we all have to put up with as a result of this curse is all of the natural disasters that can occur at a moment’s notice. Earthquakes, thunderstorms, lightning strikes, tornadoes, hurricanes, forest fires, and volcanic eruptions and more can strike anywhere at anytime impacting thousands of people at a moment’s notice. And on top of all of the different natural disasters that can occur in this life, we also have to deal with just natural accidents that can occur such as house fires and car wrecks.

So, we have to put up with a certain amount of people who will break some of God’s laws in order to get what they want – crime.  There will be a certain amount of people in this life who will always be choosing to live life on the dark side, causing us to have local police departments to provide us with protection, and each Nation to have their own military in order to protect them from harm and take over.

Though we have all been created equal in the eyes of our Lord, not everyone will get equal dealings in this life. Some people end up making a lot of money in this life, others will live in poverty. Some people will go through this life without experiencing much sickness or disease, while other people will fight one sickness and disease after another.

Some people will become victims of some type of crime and abuse, and others will go through this life and not have a hair on their head ever be touched or harmed. Some people will die and depart from this life at a very young age, and others will live to a ripe old age.

As a result of this curse from Adam, we don’t know what will happen to us two minutes from now, much less what will happen to us two weeks from now.  So get this: Though we are now new creations in Christ as a result of being transformed by Him, and though we have the person of the Holy Spirit dwelling on the inside to help empower and lead us through this crazy life, none of this will remove the curse factor that is still in full operation on this earth.

So, what can we do?  Great question!  I’ll tell you about it this Sunday when we look at the subject of Trials and why we hate them.  If you’ve got a friend going through some deep water, be sure to invite them to join us this week at Deer Flat.  It’s going to be a great Lord’s Day.  Between now and then, let’s keep the good people of Spain in our prayers, along with so many in our own nation and family.

All For Jesus

Pastor D

PS:  WHY NOT DROP BY ROOM 13 SOMETIME BETWEEN 8:30-9:30 THIS SUNDAY AND SPEND SOME TIME IN PRAYER.  IT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

PPS: It's that time again to extend our invitation to you and your family to help Camp Cascade put summer away and prepare for fall and winter. This is our second and final Family Work Weekend for this year. We are so thankful that we can count on all of you to keep the camp looking it's best throughout the year! We look forward to seeing you soon. For more information, contact Cindy at 208-325-3048 or cindy@campcascade.org.  You can register online at deerflat.org/events

LIVING WISELY IN CONCERNING TIMES

Dear Church Family,

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read my thoughts today as we find ourselves in the midst of some very concerning times.  If you’ve been watching the news of what is happening in our world, especially with North Korea, this seems to be the continual message:

“The situation is getting more dangerous and shows no signs of improving”

We live in a day where wisdom is most needed, but very often neglected. Because of the complexities of daily life, we need lots of wisdom to make good decisions. The Book of Proverbs is filled with God’s wisdom. The 900 proverbs cover most of life’s situations. Learning from Proverbs and praying through this incredible book leads to wisdom and character transformation. Walking with stability in a shaking world is going to become a necessity as the days become more evil. God’s wisdom and knowledge keeps us stable and secure with a heart at rest. He is our shield and guards our path.

“For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding…He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the path of justice” – Prov. 2:6-8

God is enabling us through His Word to walk in a new level of wisdom and to model to others how to live in troubled times. Walking in God’s wisdom can keep us from so much heartache and loss. We don’t have to waste our lives consumed with fear and uncertainty, but we can accomplish great things for God! What a great gift that God has given to us - An entire book of Wisdom. A great exercise for us to practice is to pray a Proverb or a chapter of Proverbs every day. It results in us receiving wisdom and living it out during a time when people are really longing for some significant understanding.  What if we determined to learn the art of living wisely everyday by praying through the Proverbs?

In light of this, there is a noticeable increase of sabre rattling, which creates concern and questions about potential war and the future.  So, I will give you my thoughts briefly.

War is never good, but it is sometimes necessary. Why? Because sin is an ever present reality that has to be dealt with. James 4:1-2 says, “What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you?  Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder.”

At the forefront of much war and conflict is an idolatry that says, “I want more. I want what you have.”  And so there are wars and rumors of war. Much of it is rooted in human sin.  Evil is ultimately rooted in every human heart. This is why we need the transforming work of Christ. This is what changes people’s thinking, people’s ways, and people’s decisions.

To navigate successfully through life, making decisions that honor God, requires that we seek the Source of all wisdom. As James exhorts, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you” Jms. 1:5   Yes, we can call out to God; He alone can give you the wisdom to live wisely for Him.

We have a chance to engage in some intercessory prayer on behalf of our Nation and our President, and even for our enemies. I invite you and encourage you to stop by room 13 from 8:30 – 9:30 and pray for our leaders, for wisdom, and for God’s intervention in our times and the tension with North Korea.  It will make a difference!

 This Sunday we will wrap up our series on Hosea. It’s a fascinating and insightful epilogue about the Redeeming Heart of God.  I can’t wait to see you this Sunday!

Pastor D

GOD'S "ILLOGICAL" WAYS ARE DEFINITELY BETTER THAN OURS

Hey Deer Flat Family, have you ever noticed that many of God’s greatest recorded activities are attached to logic and reasoning that makes no sense to us.  Consider these:

1    Give me those 5 loaves and 2 fish … I need to feed 5,000 people

2    Pick the boy with no armor and only a sling, he’ll go kill the giant

3    Noah, build a massive ark, even though it has never rained

4    Walk around the walls of Jericho for 7 days … then they’ll just fall down

5    We need wine for the wedding, so fill the pots with water

Another “illogical” idea of God is found in Luke 5.  The account finds the disciples fixing their nets after a long and unsuccessful night of fishing.  Jesus steps onto the scene and asks the disciples to go back out into the deep water and, once again, cast out their nets.  Take a moment to look at this from the disciple’s point of view.  They are the pros in the fishing business – not Jesus.  They didn’t even know who Jesus was at this time.  They were tired, had worked all night, had exhausted every means to catch fish and had just put away all their gear.  So the request of Jesus to get all their things and go out to deep water and cast their nets seemed not only illogical, but extremely inconvenient.   You can hear the underlying fatigue in Peter’s reply, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything …

 The disciples had a number of valid excuses to deny or delay the request of Jesus, but listen to the response of Peter: “because You say so, I will let down the nets.”  Although there was no logical reason to go back out fishing, in faith they followed the request of Jesus and the results were overwhelming … they caught more fish than what their two boats could hold!

Looking at this story, I can’t help but think about the many biblical commands or internal promptings of God to do things that don’t always make sense to us, like:

1. Loving my enemy. 

2. Giving when I have little to give. 

3.  Serving when my schedule is full. 

4. Sharing my faith with someone I don’t know. 

5. Stepping out on a limb to do something for God that I’ve never done before. 

Totally irrational! But this is how God loves to work. What if we locked in with Him so that the next time He asks us to do something illogical, we will, “Just because He says so”, knowing that He’ll take care of the rest.  Just remember “God’s ‘illogical” ideas and ways are infinitely better than our most brilliant ones.”  I’ll be talking about this more when we get together this Sunday and open up Hosea once again.  I can’t wait to see you.

Speaking of Illogical, I’ll close with this.

 The Paradoxical Commandments - Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.   See you Sunday!

All For Jesus!

Pastor D

SOME SIGNIFICANT UPDATES YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS

Hello To My Deer Flat Family!  I’ll get right to it…

Deer Flat Church was birthed 109 years ago. Most churches haven’t had the history and blessings that we’ve had.  God has certainly been gracious to us.  Since our birth in the field, we have seen Christ continue to build this church in more ways than the congregations ever asked or imagined.  Deer Flat has consistently been used by God to reach the lost and raise up high impact, low maintenance followers.  We remain committed to make heaven more crowded by being the front porch looking for prodigals who want to come home.

Together we have been committed to work hard to make Deer Flat a church where God gets both the credit and the glory.  We’re not about to change that!  But what I love so much about my church is the faithful dedication of a whole host of people who are unified in their passions to see this local church reach its full God given potential.  And it’s being done week after week.  Let me give you a glimpse with some updates and a look at the future.

College of Idaho Update – I couldn’t have been more proud of the Deer Flat gang that I was last Sunday. WOW!  You really came with you’re “A” game.  So many of you wore purple.  You outdid yourselves in throwing some serious love on all of the Football players!  Your warmth, love, greetings, and hospitality were all used to impact the lives of some 40 young men.  I had so many comments shared with me by these young athletes.  One of them said, “I had the most meaningful and amazing morning here.  I didn’t know what to expect.  This is the first time I’ve ever been to church in my life.”  THANK YOU DEER FLAT PEOPLE FOR BEING JESUS!  It was powerful and beautiful!  We will see a variety of these young men come back through our door.  There are some things we can do for these students throughout the coming school year.  Let me share a couple of thoughts from Coach Moroski that we can really get ahold of:

·         Rally your congregation around the Yotes by doing any of the following: Host them for a meal.  Attend a game.  Sponsor a
Tail Gate Party at the College a couple of hours before a home game. Continue to hire any of these players to do some work for you as the season comes to a close.

·         Help me rally some of the others churches to do what you at Deer Flat have been doing.

·         Let me know how I can be a help to your congregation

Building Expansion – Great News from Rick Day: “I just received notice that we should have a permit by end of next week!  We have also been given a green light to start excavation.  The excavator plans to be onsite on or before 8/7.”

Important People, Events and Dates:

·         August 22:  Senators Risch and Crapo will hold a Town Hall Meeting from 4:30-5:30 pm with Q&A to follow.  THIS IS A ONE ISSUE TOWN HALL.  IT CENTERS ON ISRAEL/US RELATIONS.  NO OTHER ISSUES WILL BE ENTERTAINED AT THIS PARTICULAR EVENT. Would each of you help us get this invite and information out t1o your email and social media lists?  Let’s pack the place out on August 22

·         August 22 – 7 pm: CUFI Event with special guest: Kasim Hafeez.  You will be deeply impacted as he shares his story of be a radicalized Muslim that was forever changed by his personal visit to Israel. 

·         September 17th: Bob Cornuke – Explorer and modern day Indiana Jones, will be speaking a both morning services and doing a second topic at 5 pm.

·         September 23 - Voice Of The Martyrs Conference at Deer Flat Church.  This will be an unforgettable day of hearing from great speakers about the realities of what is going on in the persecution of Christians in the 21st century.

·         October 13-14: Hope For Hurting People.  A weekend workshop that will be filled with hope and help for those who are hurting.  This will be a tremendous resource for those looking for people who specialize in dispensing real hope.  Key Note Speakers:  Ted and Gail Haggard

·         October 15 Special Guest Speakers: Ted and Gail Haggard for both morning services

 So, we continue to be a church full of Life!  These are great days for us at Deer Flat and as you can see, the future is very intriguing and exciting.  I can’t wait to see you tomorrow.  A GREAT LORD’S DAY AWAITS YOU AT DEER FLAT

 All For Jesus!

Pastor D