Pastor’s Desk 2017-05-16

Good Morning SCCC Family,
                                                                                               
* Temperature is wonderful outside – just slightly above room temp most days, a few clouds in the morning, but looks good for another week. When I hear about or read some of your facebook posts about recent weather conditions in your travels (ie – Bob Mettlewsky), I’m wondering if the month of May might not be better spent in SC? Just a thought! And its not only the great country of Canada, but Earl Harris was still shoveling snow a few weeks ago in Colorado. Now he’s dealing with wild life – bears, deer, mountain lions and foxes. Sheesh, why don’t you people stay in SC where its safe? The only other “relatively secure” place seems to be Alaska where Sam and Rhonda are already picking fresh cucumbers from their garden. Its always great to hear what’s going on at your summer homes.  
 
* Met a young man named Ben from Washington on Sunday. He and his wife Allison, have two young children and are spending a month in San Carlos. He gave me permission to share their story with you. They have wrestled with having more children and one of them wanted to adopt a little one and they had been tossed to and fro as to whether they should or shouldn’t, especially with all the related wait times and legal issues, etc. Well part of their journey was to set aside this month in San Carlos to pray that God would give them direction and to help them be on the same page in deciding what to do. The previous Sunday at SCCC, they stopped by the “wee” ones class. And Allison picked up one of those little ones and as she held her and as they talked with Jenny, their decision was made and Ben, shared with me – with tears in his eyes, they are now totally on the same page. They are both excitedly looking forward to their return home to pursue the adoption process in their home state. He was so grateful that their time in San Carlos and their time in our church had resulted in God’s clear direction in their lives. Praise the Lord for stories of God’s affirmation like this.
 
* Many requests on the church Prayer Wall. Thanks for praying so faithfully.
            Chuck and Nancy – Chuck will begin radiation & chemo shortly.
            Harold and Irene Cherry – Harold has been diagnosed with cancer.
 
* a Brand New “VBS” link can be found on the church’s website. Have a look at this new feature and see how you can either register your children or be involved with the VBS. Mayra and team have some great plans in place for mid July.
 
* Sermon Series: We’re taking some time away from 1 Peter for a short parenthetical series on the spiritual realm. Peter warns us to be aware of our enemy in I Peter 5. He also tells us to resist the devil and he will flee from you. In I Peter 4, we saw how pursuing God diminishes our desire for the enticements of the world. But the enemy is subtle in drawing us away from our pursuit of God. So last Sunday, we looked at the tactics and schemes of the enemy in enticing Adam & Eve to think there was something greater than their God given garden and  their time with the Creator in that incredible environment. Many of these same schemes and tactics continue today and often with the same results. Next week, we will continue to look at how to deal with the temptations that come our way. We will return to 1 Peter after we complete this short series.
 
* Another Thom Rainer article follows for your reading pleasure this morning. Rainer’s research reveals some interesting thoughts about the church and certainly reveals how subtle the enemy is and has been, in causing once solidly evangelical churches to lose sight of their mission.
 
Have a great week serving Jesus,
Pastor Glenn y Jeannine

Five Imminent Dangers in Churches (Thom Rainer)

It’s one of my favorite danger signs.
It was presumably next to wires with high electrical voltage, and it profoundly read:

Danger — Do Not Touch
Not Only Will This Kill You,
It Will Hurt the Whole Time You Are Dying.

There are five imminent danger signs in churches today. I am not speaking of just those churches that have abandoned core doctrines; I am also speaking of churches that are supposedly solidly evangelical. Here are five of those dangers:

  1. Doubts about the exclusivity of salvation through Christ. John 14:6 is undoubtedly clear. Jesus Himself said He is the only way of salvation. While few in evangelical churches are explicitly denying this cardinal doctrine of the faith, some are quietly rationalizing forms of pluralism or inclusivism. Both of those doctrines deny John 14:6.
  2. Waning efforts at evangelism. While this danger is obviously connected to the first danger, there is more at work here. Some churchgoers just don’t see the need or have the burden to share the gospel. Any theological system or human rationale that minimizes evangelism is clearly contrary to Scripture.
  3. Making doctrine and works either/or. Some evangelical churches have a superficial theology and focus on pragmatism. Some other evangelical churches have a deep theology that does not result in evangelism and ministry. The former is works without faith; and the latter is faith without works.
  4. Forgetting Jerusalem. Jesus told us our witness would begin in Jerusalem and then extend beyond. He was clearly telling our churches we are to have a passion for evangelism and ministry in the community where our church is located. Too many churches have become so inwardly focused that they have no real presence in the community God has placed them. Other churches limit their missionary efforts to offerings, essentially paying others to do the Great Commission for them.
  5. Fighting rather than going and doing. A church without unity is a church headed for decline and death. We have plenty of critics, second-guessers, and bullies in many of our churches. But we have few believers who are excited to talk about Jesus (Acts 4:20). This danger reveals itself when the former outweighs, outlasts, and overshadows the latter.

Though I cannot presume to know all the schemes of the Enemy, I can only imagine he loves to see churches succumbing to one or more of these dangers.

These dangers are truly so great they will ultimately lead churches to dying and death.