Sunday, February 23, 2014


Bobservations Column
by Pastor Bob Lawrenz
We have all heard the story of the man trapped on his rooftop during the springtime flood of a nearby river. As the waters were cresting the highway, a Rescue Squad came by to help him evacuate. “No, I’ll trust the Lord,” the man said. The waters rose still higher and a neighbor in a boat came up to him as he was hanging out the second floor window of his now flooded house. “No thanks, I am trusting the Lord to save me,” he said to his neighbor, as the neighbor shook his head and navigated away. The waters continued to rise, and he was now stranded on his home’s roof. A police helicopter spotted him and offered to pull him to safety as they hovered over him. “The Lord is going to save me, I’ll wait for Him,” and the man waved them off.

The flood waters rose further still and were filled with mud, trees, and debris. The surging water was eventually too much and house collapsed under the man, and he drowned. Standing before the Lord, the man’s disappointment was evident. “I waited for you to save me from those floodwaters; why didn’t you come?” the man asked God.

And God answered the man, “What more did you want? I sent you a Rescue Squad, a boat, and a helicopter. And you refused all that I had done for you.”

People often overlook the obvious when it comes to God’s salvation. Many of the unsaved think, “It can’t possibly be that easy.” They minimize God’s mercy and grace, and think something so easy may not be worth it. Or perhaps you have prayed long and hard about something, and didn’t see the answer when it was right in front of you the whole time?

Has Jesus ever answered a prayer for you in an unexpected way? We might be expecting a miraculous, earth shattering, bell ringing, sky rockets bursting type answer from Him, but in His mercy and His humility, He does not turn answers to prayer into spectacles.

Such is Asaph’s message to us today. God speaks in parables and “dark sayings” to those that have a mind, and a heart to understand what Jesus wants to teach us. Have you an ear for God’s teachings and His Word?

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me;…”

~ John 10:27 ~

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Bobservations Column
by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

That Jesus answers prayers is a foregone conclusion to Believers. It is one of the great blessings that make us cherish our relationship with the Lord. We might sometimes doubt it, but all it takes is a review of our weekly prayer lists, and we can attest to God answering dozens of prayers over the years.

We have also heard it said from the lips of professing Believers, “God never answers my prayers.” What a sad statement! To think that our loving Father in Heaven would withhold anything good from His children should give us pause for some heart searching. But those same professors will quote to us, “He shall give thee the desires of thine heart,” from Psalm 37:4.

Wow! It sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? It sounds like we might rely on God for anything that our little ole heart desires! I did notice, however, that none of us have perfect health; none of us have our loving families surrounding us, functioning to perfection; many among us are widowed; no one here seems to have a job earning them six figures a year; and I didn’t even see any Mercedes Benzes in the church parking lot this morning.

Is God’s Word untrue? Is our precious Lord Jesus trying to put one over on us? No. It’s neither of those things. God’s Word is always true… So, then what did we miss?

“He shall give thee the desires of thine heart” is preceded by the first half of the verse: “Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” When we delight in the Lord, then will we find ourselves wanting more of Him. Jesus has left His Holy Spirit to dwell with us: “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, the He may abide with you forever.” John 14:16. Make Jesus your delight, and your heart’s desires shall be granted.

“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? ” Luke 11:13

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” Luke 12:34

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Bobservations Column
by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

In Psalm 74, Asaph was crying out wondering why Israel had seemingly been abandoned by Jehovah God; in Psalm 75 he was singing thanks unto our God. And today as we study Psalm 76, we find the progress he is making as his heart processes all that has happened, all that God has done, and all that God has yet promised to do.

From worry and doubt, men and women of faith follow this same pattern in processing the emotion of despair.  And unless we deal spiritually with the fleshly emotion, it’s easy to respond in a fleshly way.  Believers know in heart that God is at the center of every situation of their lives. He is there in blessings, in protection, and in all provision for us. He is even there in the admonishing. When we finally throw our arms up in the air and stop fighting, the Lord blesses us. Victory comes in “the giving up,” as we cease struggling with God.

It is then that we will see a bit through God’s eyes; we’ll see the spiritual battle going on as God fights for us to correct whatever needs to be corrected. Our enemies become His (like they were all along) and God proceeds to victory.

There is something about being a Believer that is both comforting and troubling.  Comfort comes in knowing our end, and having a relationship with the living Jesus. But it’s troubling to see Believers trying to fight God’s battles in our strength.  Do we not see the futility in using human strength for spiritual battles?  What an exercise in frustration!

Spiritual warfare is all around us, and Paul warns us of it in Ephesians 6.  With all Satan’s experience though, he still uses the same tactics he used on Eve in the Garden of Eden.  As he lied to her; as he twisted God’s word; as he told her half-truths, so also does he begin with us.  Be discerning. Compare everything you hear with God’s Word. Nothing says we have to listen to Satan’s lies.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth…” Ephesians 6:14a

The truth is always our first and best defense. And Jesus teaches us that He is THE way, THE truth, and THE life. Call upon Him, cling to Him, trust in Him.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


Bobservations Column
by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

At the Last Supper, we read of Jesus washing the feet of the Apostles in John 13. It is hard for us to imagine that a Guest of Honor, or the head of any Corporate Group would be allowed to take on such a role. The menial task of washing the dust off the feet of those who were there because of Jesus, is beyond any social standard the world has ever seen. But, the act has two purposes: it cleansed the dirt of the street off before tracking it into a house, and secondly, it refreshed the guest coming in. It protects the house from outside defilement, and it refreshed those who are now in fellowship with one another inside the house.

Oddly enough, we do this with our own homes: A door mat is usually provided to clean off our feet at the door, and a refreshment is almost always offered. In the case of Jesus, the honored guest became the host. The Exalted One took on the role of the servant, and left us that example to follow.

On Sunday mornings, the church has usually been swept, the shelving dusted, the rugs vacuumed, and the bathrooms scrubbed,. The coffee has been made, and usually home-made baked goods are brought in. The music has been chosen and practiced. The lyrics and the bulletins have been printed, and someone else has folded them ahead of time for you. And on Communion days, someone has broken the matzos into bite-size pieces, and poured the wine into dozens of tiny cups for you. The mail has been picked up, the lights are on, and the heat is up to a comfortable level.

As a congregation, we are blessed to have many servants who perform all these tasks regularly, and they receive the blessings of fellowship while doing them. Yesterday, as we resumed our bi-monthly workdays after the holidays, we were blessed to have nine people come in to take on these tasks, and two were not even from this congregation! Much was accomplished shoulder-to-shoulder, and the lunch meal was shared around a true table of fellowship.

Among the Twelve Apostles, no one even thought to serve Jesus, or each other; Jesus willingly took on the role, AFTER the supper; He saw a “teachable moment.” Just as you have been welcomed into the House of the Lord this morning, think of ways that the Lord can use you to welcome others, and the serve them every day, all during the week. Freely we have received; freely we give.

“For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” ~ John 13:15 ~

Saturday, February 1, 2014


Bobservations Column
by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

A king who did not believe in the goodness of God, had a slave who, in all circumstances would always say “My king, do not be discouraged, because everything God does is perfect. He makes no mistakes!” One day they went hunting and along the way a wild animal attacked the king. His slave managed to kill the animal, but could not prevent his majesty from losing a finger.

Furious and without showing his gratitude for being saved, the nobleman asked “Is God good? If He was good, I would not have been attacked and lost my finger.” The slave replied: “My king, despite all these things, I can only tell you that God is good, and he knows why these things happened. What God does is perfect. He is never wrong!”

Outraged by the response, the king ordered the arrest of his slave. Later, the King left for another hunt, this time alone. He was captured by savages who engaged in human sacrifices. On the altar and ready to sacrifice the nobleman, the savages discovered that their victim did not have one of his fingers. According to them, only a whole person with all his/her parts intact could be offered to the gods. The King without a finger was deemed an abominable sacrifice for their gods. So they released the King.

Upon his return to the palace, the King authorized the release of his slave. He received the slave affectionately. He asked his slave, “God was really good to me! I was almost killed by the wild men, but for lack of a single finger, I was let go! But I have a question: if God is so good, why did he allow me to put you in jail?”

The slave answered, “My King, if I had gone with you on this hunt, I would have been sacrificed instead because I have no missing finger. Remember everything God does is perfect. He is never wrong. He made you keep me in jail so I would not be with you on the hunt.”

Often we complain about life, and negative things that happen to us, forgetting that nothing is random and that everything has a purpose. Every morning, offer your day to God, don’t be in a rush. Ask God to inspire your thoughts, guide your actions, and ease your feelings. And do not be afraid. God is never wrong!

Do you know why this message is for you? I do not know, but God knows, because He never makes mistakes… “To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 ~ Now, compare this with Genesis 50 : 20

Our faithful Lord is the Silver Lining of every cloud.

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