Sunday, May 26, 2013


Bobservations Column
by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

  I was talking with a person the other day, and found it was hard to get a word in edge-wise. I cannot call it a conversation because it was very one-sided, and conversations are supposed to be two-way. The other person was talking. I was just listening.

  Our prayers should be similarly constructed. Entering into communication with God should be made up of talking  to Him, and listening to Him. If it ever becomes a one sided conversation, then we should be on the listening end paying attention, and taking notes, if possible!

    God’s wisdom trumps all knowledge that we ourselves have, so it is vital that we accept that as a “given” from the onset. If He can create the universe and everything in it, then He must know some stuff that we don’t. And, when we find out about our shortcomings, He is there to teach us gently towards growth and overcoming our difficulties. Quite often He prods us in the direction of the truth, and then nurtures us until we discover it for ourselves. Then we can thank Him for revealing His truth to us.

    As knowledge and education may lead an archaeologist to an area where artifacts may be found, it’s the digging that reveals the treasures buried there. Like a buried artifact, the truth has always been in place. Our problem is that we usually pick a place to dig where there is no treasure. Follow Jesus’ leading, and we’ll likely trip over it when we come upon it.

    Our Lord Jesus is a patient teacher. We choose our paths, and He directs our steps. And in choosing our own paths, it is Him who leads us to righteousness. With the Lord, we are in a win-win situation, but without Him we can do nothing. He leads us to buried treasure in the Bible, but He must like to see our enthusiasm in the digging, for it is a revelation of Himself that we will discover.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto
treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath
found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and
selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.”
><>   Matt. 13:44  <><

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Bobservations Column
by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

    Family picnics are regular events for my wife’s family. Everybody brings a dish to pass, two cans of frozen lemonade, and a dessert of some kind for the afternoon meal. There is always a staggering amount of food. Favorite recipes are shared, and anyone who brings a new recipe is hunted down and interrogated for the ingredients. And you just know that when Cousin Agatha makes it for the next picnic, it will  never be the same. 

    In the Old Testament, there were Believers, and there were the heathen: Jews and Gentiles. It was clearly a world-view of “them” and “us” where separation was a dictate of God. That was the recipe for living in God’s belief system. But as the Jews went in to take the  Promised Land, they often did that which was right in their own eyes. They changed the recipe, and intermingled with the pagan Gentiles. Those that worshiped the one true God learned of other gods, and the flavor of worship changed; it was no longer the same one they had when they first began. “Less of this,” and “more of that” altered the whole society. Families were changed, and bloodlines were defiled. But God’s promise of a Redeemer still held, and the Covenants of God also stood without change for them.
    The New Testament and the life of Jesus Christ, reveals that the Jews are the chosen people through whom Messiah would come. Beyond that, Messiah’s Salvation was meant for all, Jew and Gentile alike. Many among the Jews disliked the new “flavor of faith” and they rejected the One who brought it.
    Think of Kentucky Fried Chicken for a moment. Their Original Recipe is terrific. Extra Crispy is good too. But now, there is a new variety… It’s the new boneless recipe.
    There’s a new recipe for the church, too. It’s politically correct. It’s all-inclusive. Its flavor has changed, it’s spineless, and unable to discern truth from false teachings. Secular marketing techniques are used and sin is exalted to give the congregants what they want, instead of what their spiritual diet requires. The Church is destined to be on a salt-free diet because as everyone knows, salt isn’t good for human consumption. Yet salt is an essential part of the recipe for the Church.
“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, 
wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under the foot of men.”   Matthew 5:13
 The Church will never be the Original Recipe,
it’s OK to be a little  different, but don’t delete the salt!

Sunday, May 12, 2013


Bobservations Column
by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

Happy Mother's Day!

   After Eve, the second mother we meet in the Old Testament is Noah’s wife. Only four verses in Genesis 7 and 8 mention her at all, and never by name. What little we know about Mrs. Noah is testimony of her willingness to let Noah be the head of the house. Their household must have been orderly, because in Genesis 6:8, the Bible tells us that in spite of so much corruption and disobedience in the world, “… Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”
    There are dozens of other mothers in the Bible, from Eve, to several Mary’s in the New Testament. Was the woman in Proverbs 31 modeled after Mrs. Noah’s example? Her husband certainly would have been known in the gates of the city, for Noah’s reputation was probably well known throughout the land. He was that eccentric guy who was building a boat so big that it could only be described as “overkill.” Yet the mother of his sons toiled quietly in the background, supporting her husband in the work God called him to do.
    In the midst of the work, their three sons, and their wives, joined them in the effort. Shem, Ham, and Japeth must have been taught well in the fear of the Lord. Though perfection escaped them all, humbly working in their calling was reason enough for God’s grace to be bestowed on them in the time of rain. During the great flood, it was only this family of eight that survived.
    The fear of the Lord, coupled with obedience and humility will always be what lifts us up before God’s throne to find grace to help in time of need. In the case of Noah’s family, it lifted them up above the total devastation and annihilation of the human race.
    Maybe you know of a family that is struggling in their relationships with one another, or in any other relationship for that matter. We are to remember that “pride goeth before a fall” and “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.” The mothers that do well, are of that precise mindset; Obedience to God, respect towards their husband, and nurturing love towards her children, for God has established order.
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God,
that He may exalt you in due time”  
1 Peter 5:6

Sunday, May 5, 2013


Bobservations Column
by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

     From Psalm 19:1 we learn that “The heavens declare the glory of God: and the firmament showeth His handiwork.”

    The stars in the night sky change with each season, and the constellations we see in winter move to new locations in our summer sky. The entire star system is referred to in scripture as “the mazzaroth” in Job 38:31-33. As the stars arc through the sky, we see some of God’s glory and intricate planning.

    A clear star-lit night can get us to think of God’s vastness and millions of stars are blotted out by the next day’s bright sun. They are still in place, only to be revealed again with each sun set. When we look among us, we can see people who are bright and star-like, and others who are not so. When God’s Son returns, it will be the brightness of His coming that will blind us to everything, but Him. His glory will obliterate even the beauty of His creation here on Earth.

    We think of a day as being followed by night, but God states in Genesis 1:5 that “the evening and the day were the first day.” As you think about this difference in thinking, you will find one of God’s truths: periods of darkness give way to light, and there is found hope in Jesus’ first advent, and in His coming again. As the sun brightens our dark horizons, the Son can brighten the darkened minds of men, if they would just open the blinds.

    This week, we mark Ascension Thursday, 40 days after Resurrection Day. After His crucifixion and glorious resurrection, Jesus continued to teach and reveal more of Himself and the Father to His Disciples. And upon ascending into heaven, His promise was to send the Holy Spirit to be with us until He comes again. It is His Spirit that comforts and remains in us as an advocate while we await His  glorious return.

Acts 1:9
“And when (Jesus) had spoken these things while they beheld,
He was   taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight.”

Acts 1:11
“This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven,
shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go
into heaven.”

John 14:3
“…I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that
where I am, there you may be also.”

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