The Certainty of His Coming -Final newsletter of the year


   It happened like clockwork: right down to the last minute, the last detail. It may have taken the world by surprise, but it was all part of God's schedule; all part of God's perfect plan. Details of that plan had been popping up here and there throughout the ages—mysteriously hinted at in the strange utterances and unearthly messages of prophets and kings and men of God since the very beginnings of time. 

   From the earliest beginnings of mankind, the promise had been made that He was coming to 'crush" the Enemy, the Tempter. (Gen 3:15). Abraham (1900BC) would discover that the Promised One was to come from his family and be a "blessing to all the peoples of the earth" (Gen. 12:3). Jacob (1100 BC) would learn that He was coming with the "scepter of a King" and that his name would be called "Shiloh"—"the one who brings peace" (Gen 49:10). Even ancient Balaam, the troubled prophet (1500 BC), would be the one to speak of 'a star' that would shine on the day of his coming (Num 24:17). 

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He Will Rescue His Bride


 

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Pray and Don’t Give Up!

      Someone forgot to tell David Urey how to give up; how to stay in his place; how to take ‘no’ for an answer. So, he just kept at it; kept asking and because of that he saved a life and, for a brief span of time anyway, captured the hearts and the attention of Americans everywhere. 

David Urey’s story hit the headlines back when I was a kid; back in the sixties. He wasn’t anybody famous really, just a common ordinary working man who lived in West Virginia; kind of out in the sticks, as a matter of fact. Which was the reason for his problem because there were no adequate medical facilities out in his neck of the woods. 

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Back to Work!


      I love the story of Abraham Davenport, a godly man, a true patriot; one of the forefathers that we should all be imitating. It certainly doesn't look like we are. 

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"Counted Worthy"


 

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"Training Ground"


 

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The Miracle of 1864


     There have been a number of miraculous elections in this dear land of ours, down through the years. Come to think of it, maybe every election is a miracle; certainly, each peaceful transition is. What a gift of God! Let's pray it happens this time too, dear ones. 

     But by far, the most miraculous of them all have been the elections of Abraham Lincoln.
     First of all, he should never have been elected in the first place. He was a hick; a nobody; he was taking a bold stand on a very divisive issue—slavery. And—get this!—did you know that in Lincoln's first election of 1860, his name was not even on the ballots in the Southern States? (Sounds like something California would try).
     Even more astounding than that, however, was the re-election of Abraham Lincoln! In the late Spring of that election year, almost nobody believed it was going to happen. Just consider the factors :
1. Americans were sick and tired of the war.
2. The Civil War looked like a stalemate; the balance had not yet tipped in the North's favor.
3. General Grant lost 55,000 men during his invasion of Virginia and still failed to take Richmond.
4. The casualty lists were deeply disturbing; draft resistance was skyrocketing. Desertions from the Northern army were up 40% from previous years. 5. The Democrats had a very attractive, charismatic candidate—General George B. McClellan.
6. Sizable factions in both parties, and even one from among the Confederates were calling loudly for an end to the war and a return to the precession status quo.
7. The Democratic Party platform that year, with McClellan as its spokesman, called for an "immediate cease-fire", with the states restored to their original union. Oh, that sounded so good! No more sacrificing of our boys! Peace and unity once again! Who wouldn't vote for that?
     Except that the enslaved would still be enslaved; the Emancipation Proclamation would be nullified—McClellan was already vowing to do that—and America would still be stewing in its sin.
     Praise God! Lincoln adamantly opposed all mention of a cease-fire until the south surrendered and slavery was abolished forever.
     Think of it, dear ones! America was one election away from being a "slaving" nation forever; or at least until the next Civil War.
     General McClellan was a real piece of work. He could have ended the Civil War in 1862 after the Battle of Antietam, when he had Robert E. Lee's forces on the run. But he did not pursue. Even when Lincoln commanded him to do so, he did not pursue. He just...let...Lee...go; either because of cowardice, laziness, treachery, or loyalty to a fellow Virginian. I personally vote for all the above. General McClellan himself could have ended this war...and refused!
     Once fired, of course, McClellan proved his real colors by turning against his Commander in Chief and slandering him at every turn (sound familiar?). 
     Even after being fired by the President, McClellan enjoyed a popular following from among the troops. He certainly had the military vote! He was the Democrats' perfect candidate.
     Lincoln was convinced that he was going to lose. The polls were dismal. The mainstream press were all against him (why am I not surprised?) At the end of August, with the election still a few months away, Lincoln sent a memo to this cabinet, with the words: "It seems exceedingly likely that this administration will not be re-elected". The memo went on to direct his staff to get ready "to cooperate with the (new) President-elect" so as to "save the Union" and ensure a smooth transition.
     "Lincoln steeled himself for defeat," writes Fergus Bordewich, in his great article on the subject.1 This thing was over!
     "On election night, Nov 8, Lincoln planted himself in the telegraph room at the War Office as a chill rain pelted the capital's streets. He waited stoically as the returns slowly trickled in from around the country. Only in the early hours of the morning did the outcome begin to take shape: Lincoln had won a sweeping victory, carrying all but three states (New Jersey, Delaware, and Kentucky) and crushing McClellan by 212 electoral votes to 21. Most startling was the military vote: Overall, Lincoln had won 78% of the soldiers' ballots. They wanted the war over but were set on victory, as were most of the people of the North."
     To this day, no one has fully explained how this happened. A few military victories for the North that Fall, perhaps. But was that enough for such a swing? Something had turned the hearts of the American people! Or...should we not say "Someone"? For...
     "The Most High rules in the kingdom of men, He gives it to whomever He chooses." Dan. 4: 25
     Let's all pray dear ones. And vote! The choice this election is simple: Communism or America. I see nothing else! Powerful forces are at work trying to end this nation as we've known it. I praise God that He is in control; but that's all the more reason to do your part!

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His 'Place'...Is Yours!



 

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If We Don't Give Up


 

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The 'Mission' Starts Here!




 

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Your "Last Person on Earth"


 

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The Real Lincoln Bible


 

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Can You 'Read'?


Some people can read the signs, others never will! 

 

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The Exception


 

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"By Doing Good"



 

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Lift One Another Up


     Last Sunday, right after the third service here at OT, I jumped in the car with a couple of our men and we raced up to catch the 1:00 service at Calvary Chapel Godspeak in Thousand Oaks. I somehow thought we'd get there on time, but it's at least a 90-minute drive and we arrived about ten minutes into the sermon. 

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Modeling Christ To Our Children!


And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” (Deut. 6:6–7 NKJV)

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Your Redeemer Lives!



      Far back into the record of my wife's ancestry is the story of a woman who was kidnapped by the Narraganset Indians. Her name was Mary Rowlandson, and she was Sharilyn's great-aunt eleven generations back; I don't even know what to call that except to string eleven 'greats' together.

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Not Without Testimony


Article was written by Pastor Rod Schorr from our July 2001 Messenger Archives

 

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We Will Fight On!


       “You, therefore, must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (2 Tim. 2:3 NKJV)
       October 8, 1918, the soldiers of the United States 328th infantry were witnesses to the most unbelievable sight! They watched as three US Soldiers escorted one hundred and thirty-two German captives into the battalion command post.
       The Batallion command did not want the responsibility of 132 german captives and they instructed Corporal Alvin York to take the surrendered enemy to regimental headquarters. In his own words, York said, "We had such a mess of German soldiers that nobody wanted to take them from us. So we had to hike back quite a far piece ourselves." Upon finally arriving at the regimental headquarters Brigadier General Lindsey came out to greet Corporal York and said, "Well York, I hear you have captured the whole...German army." York replied, "No, I only have 132."
       The events leading up to the capture and surrender of the German enemy are quite marvelous! The allied army was finally outnumbering the German army and pushing forward to break through the Hindenburg line. As the allies were moving forward toward the front in the Argonne forest York recounts in his diary "...we were stumbling over dead horses and dead men and shells were bursting all around me and then it was that I could see the Power of God helped man if he would only trust him. Oh, it was there I could look up and say: O Jesus, the great rock of foundation where on my feet were set with sovereign grace; Through Shells or Death with all their agitation thou will protect me if I will only trust in Thy grace. Bless thy holy name."
      Three days deeper into the woods York's squad was cut down to seven men by entrenched machine gun nests. York wrote, "There must have been over twenty of them (machine guns) and they kept up a continuous fire. Never letting up. Thousands of bullets kicked up the dust all around us. The undergrowth was cut down as though they used a scythe. The air was just plumb full of death."
      While the few remaining soldiers in York's squad were hunkered down trying to survive, York had made his way into a position where he could begin firing on the machine gun nests with his bolt action US Enfield rifle. In order for the enemy to reposition the machine gun to fire at him they had to lift up their heads and in York's words he, "touched them off". For the Kentucky mountain man, it was easier than shooting turkeys back home. This went on and on twenty times until a German Major surrendered, shouting, "English?" York replied, "No". The German commander said, "What then?". York said, "American." "Good Lord!", said the German major, "If you won't shoot any more I will make them give up." Thirty soldiers surrendered themselves to a single man and came out of their machine gun bunkers!
      In order to learn about the surrender of the other 102 soldiers that day you will have to read Sgt. Alvin York's biography. If it had not been for the war, the story is so extraordinary it is almost comical.
      York's life story is so intriguing and inspiring. It is a wonderful story of heroism, conviction, and Christ! York wrote that all the trials, hardships, and battles were only to prepare him for his greatest battle for the future generations of his home town.
      York knew he had to help the future generations of the Kentucky mountains with giving the children an opportunity at education, trade schools, and a Biblical foundation. His greatest fight was for the generations coming behind him! As he was trying to get a good school built he writes, “So I raised about $15,000 myself and the state and the county each put up $50,000. That gave me $115,000 to build new schools. I wanted a modern, up-to-date vocational school, which later on could be a sorter developed into a mountain college. The Board they give me couldn’t see things the way I did. So I have had a most awful hard fight, a much worse one than the one I had with the machine guns in the Argonne. The politicians and the real estate people tried to use me. The small-town bankers tried to get in on it. Jealous factions wanted to get a-hold of it and handle it their way. So it done got held up. And oh, my, I had a terrible time. But I knew I was in the right. So I kept on fighting jes the same.” Eventually, he won the battle and got that school built! Alvin York was a man of strong conviction and when he knew something was right he kept on fighting.
       Barna came out with a troubling survey about church attendance through the pandemic. The survey showed that over 50% of the Millennial generation who was attending church prior to Covid-19 shutdowns have altogether stopped attending church! Make no mistake we are in a fight for the generations to come! We will endure and we will keep fighting!
       The recent battles have been training us. We understand best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our church. As Covid cases increase I want to ask that we all take extra caution for our church. I encourage everyone to have a mask on their person and wear it if you come within six feet of another. Let’s put off handshaking and hugging for the next couple of Sundays. Please be mindful not to congest walkways or exits. I have asked our ushers and security team to remind us of our guidelines if we forget or are unaware. Please do not be offended if they remind you to keep social distance or move a conversation out of a walkway, away from the sound booth, or outside instead of the front pew. God has protected our fellowship and we will continue to “trust in His grace”! The fight is not over and we need to endure for the safety of others. We must keep our church open and our people safe! 

 

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