Southside of Heaven

The ministry at Southside has been extraordinary! This past month we watched God captivate and draw three people to a personal relationship with Him, AWESOME! It’s been quite a journey this past year and a half. We have watched God change so many lives.

There is a great sense and excitement within our group of people coming. I hear stories every week from my friends there about how God has used the Southside to change their lives. I get pretty overwhelmed with emotion when I hear their stories of how they now understand that God loves them regardless of their past or current struggles.

People are finding their identity in God’s grace rather than past failures or successes. I love that people are getting clean from addictions and allowing God to change the atmosphere of their lives.

We have been discussing a lot about choices this past season. Coming to the crossroads and either moving forward into the unknown while God leads us or turn and go back down the road we just came and try to do it different. The reason we want to go back down the familiar road is that we understand it, we can control it and we can predict it; the difficult thing is we almost always fall back into the struggles. That’s why it’s so important for God to change the culture of our lives. It comes down to trust, Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

We must trust and allow God to lead us, guide us, speak to us and change us… If you are interested in the ministry at Southside please contact me!

 

In His Grip

Pastor Jeffry

Anger

Can we have a frank conversation about anger?

Well, it may be somewhat one-sided since this is in print but bear with me. Anger. It’s there in each of us, like a shadow that hangs around in the background.

It seems to lurk there waiting for a moment to spring to life suddenly or slowly creep on the scene poisoning everything around us. However it manifests itself the fact is that it’s there.

I think it’s disingenuous for us to either teach or make room for the idea that Christians won’t battle with anger. We are not all going to smile and laugh at everything that happens. We are not failures as followers of Christ if we battle anger at what we see happening around us. Even Scripture says:

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. (Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV)

WHEN you are angry don’t sin…don’t let your anger last through the night. Yes we get angry but how we handle ourselves when we are angry is what counts. There is plenty in this world to rage against and we can find anger as our go to standard. Anger will not change anything, reach anyone or produce an ounce of life.

It is when we are angry and we choose to turn to God for his help and perspective that we find life in the midst of the anger. It is when we humble ourselves in our anger before the King we find his perspective and his view. It is where the anger becomes kindling to ignite a passionate fire for the Lord to work or where he breaks our heart for what had moments ago enraged us.

While being angry is going to happen it should not be the place we live. It must not become our resting place or our default position.

Today allow The Lord room to bring peace to an angry heart, calm to an angry mind. Today allow the Lord to take that anger and bring life in its place!

Pastor David

Living in the Strength and Power of Jesus

Life’s greatest experience is to live now in the strength and power of Jesus, the resurrected Son of God.  God’s revealed Word of truth makes clear that “living in the strength of another,” Jesus Christ, is accomplished but one way.  It is written in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “And He (Christ) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

After being beaten, tortured and hung on a cross to bear upon Himself the sins of the entire world; Jesus hardly looked strong, powerful or in control.  What He did that dark “first Good Friday,” was demonstrate for us what a “fully surrendered to God life” actually looks like.  And amidst His dying act of sacrifice and love atop Calvary’s hill, Jesus stepped into the very Words of truth He would later announce to the Apostle Paul.  “God’s strength was made perfect in Christ’s weakness!”  His dead body lowered from the cross and laid in a tomb could not be seen as anything less than weakness to the point of death, but…

Our Savior’s obedient trust in the Father resulted in a Mighty outpouring of God’s Resurrection Power coming upon Jesus, as He rose from the grave on the third day!  Defeat, weakness, distress and infirmities beyond our imagining were overthrown that Easter morning when our Champion and  Savior and King burst the bonds of death!

In the same way, He want me and you to remember that no matter what we must face or go through, He already has planned a means by which we shall share in His Resurrection Power.  He simply says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” He then goes on to invite this to be our response, “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me!”

Today can be “in Christ” a day of spiritual victory even more than a day when all goes well.  Beloved Evangelist Vance Havner once wrote, “Our biggest “business in this life” is to be conformed to the image of God’s Son.  God works in mysterious ways to make me and you like Jesus.  You may gain more ground in adversity than success.”

Life’s greatest experience is to live now in the strength and power of Jesus, the resurrected Son of God!  That’s my prayer for us this Easter Sunday.  In His Eternal Love,

Pastor Ted

You Are Here

Years ago when the first hand held GPS devices came out everyone wanted one! Never again will I get lost in the woods many thought! Now I can go somewhere I have never been before and dive off in to some unexplored canyon never thinking about where I am, because my trusty GPS will be there to guide me. I’m sure many search and rescue calls happened because of that thinking. It’s not that the GPS didn’t show where someone was that was the problem. It’s that many times the operator forgot to set a start point. Meaning that they had a map and they were lost somewhere in the middle of it! What was missing was a view point…a proper perspective on the surroundings. Without having perspective we may know where we are but not know what that means in relationship to the larger picture!

As we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus we may find ourselves much like this story. Thinking we know where we are but not having perspective on the bigger picture. Easter shines light on what that bigger picture is. Because the real question is not if I’m happy, wealthy, healthy, content or even feeling blessed. When we pan the screen back we have to see where we truly are in light of the bigger picture of a Savior that went to the cross for us, who beat death and was raised again to life! Who right now offers salvation, forgiveness and wholeness! Who has a way to walk out this life and promises to walk with us through it! Easter offers a perspective on where we really are.

 

Where are you today? I’m not asking for a location, or a run down of how well or not well things are going. But if a sign read, “You Are Here” where would here be in relationship to Jesus? Is He there close by, two pages over or not even on the map? Today, on this resurrection Sunday…where do you find yourself?

Pastor David

Reminders On Following

“Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” (Numbers 13:30-33 NIV)

I’ve read this scripture many times and even though I know what is coming I find myself rooting for the Israelites to not do what I know they are going to do! It is a sad place in Scripture because the Israelites are on the brink of crossing in to the land God had promised them. On the brink walking into the inheritance God had for them when he delivered them from Israel. It is here that they explore this Promised Land in front of them and after spying it out determine, on their own, they cannot take the land. Well, all but two of them anyway. The people in this new land are too many and too big! They forget Gods promise and for a destructive moment abandon following Him, instead relying on their own strength and vision.

It costs them…big time. They are denied entrance and for forty years they wander in a desert until the time comes again for them to cross over into what God has promised. This scripture is a powerful reminder of Gods faithfulness and our call to follow as he leads. I was reminded of a few things as I read this section afresh:

1. Look for the voice of Caleb in the midst of the trial, someone who in the middle of the noise speaks truly about God and His purposes. We all need a Caleb in our life!

2. Fear often leads us to see things incorrectly. Fear warps our view of people and circumstances.

3. When our view produces an enemy bigger than we think God can overcome we need to realize it’s time for perspective shift!

4. Our view of ourselves can often be just that, our view…not Gods. It’s impossible to step in to Gods promises unless we see who God is and who he says we are.

5. Our ability does not dictate Gods faithfulness.

If you are looking forward and find yourself daunted by what lies in front of you remember today that God is truly faithful. If the enemy is overwhelming you today and fear seems to be ruling in your life remember that God will fight this battle! Today is a day of victory and overcoming power in the Lord!

Pastor David

Worship – The Journey

I remember many years ago when I was first hired at Faith Center to be the Worship Pastor. I was a tad younger (no gray hair) full of energy (a little less fat) and my focus was solely on worship. I was bringing in new songs every week, building teams and spending every last moment praying and seeking God for direction concerning our worship services.

The exciting thing was people fully embraced the new direction and allowed me to dream, make mistakes, grow and enjoy every moment of worship. Some songs and ideas were fantastic and some were just awful (hahaha). All that to say lets flash forward 12 years.

I have been very excited about the changes we have made in worship the past few months. We have watched God bring freshness to our vision, new people on our teams and a ton of new songs that speak to the heartbeat of who we are. My passion has been reignited and it made me think of my younger years.

One of the biggest changes was bringing Chong on board to be a worship leader. This was hours of prayer and discussion with our staff and elders. I met Chong when I began giving him music lessons when he was a teenager. We have been playing music together with Narm for many years. Chong’s passion, talent, excitement, vision and desire reminded me of a younger me (just less pretty, ha-ha). His heart and love for Jesus is contagious, alive and a blessing to our church and me. Our church family has embraced him as a leader and a friend. You have given him room to dream, make mistakes, grow and find his own path that God is leading him on. There is no question among our Pastoral staff and Elders that Chong was called, anointed and released to lead us.

I am still the Worship Pastor; I don’t want people to get confused. You’re all stuck with me for a while J. Bringing Chong in has allowed me to focus more time at Southside and step into other ministries.

Thank you church family for allowing Chong and I the freedom, honor and joy to lead you in worship and chase the dreams God has given us.

In His Grip

Pastor Jeffry

Fun During Spring Break

Parents, mark your calendars. Wednesday March 25th from 1-3 pm your elementary age children are invited to come to Faith Center for an incredible time filled with creativity and fun. Our High school Youth Group will be serving our children by making some amazing creations with them including mini marshmallow shooters that will be used in an afternoon full of games and fun.

Easter Sunday is April 5th. This year our Children’s Ministry Department will be offering classes at all three of our Sunday morning Services: 7:30 am, 9:00 am, and 11:00 am. If you would like to serve our visitors and church family on this special day at one of these times please let Pastor Will know.

City Week

This spring, we have a unique and exciting opportunity for high school age students. Each of the four days will bring service activities, meals, and a whole lot of fun as we take a mission trip to our city. The goal is to not only serve our community but to also build a team of servant hearted individuals. We will start each day at 10AM with breakfast and a small group discussion lead by a guest speaker. Then we will take part in a service activity with a different and unique purpose each afternoon.  We will have group devotion before dinner. After dinner we will take part in a fun group activity to continue to build and refresh our team. Each evening we will return home to recharge and prepare for the following day. The last night, however, we will be staying at the Foursquare Church of Baker City and partnering with them in a service activity.

 

Prior to Spring Break, the team will meet every Tuesday of March before youth group at 5:30-6:30. This will allow us to gather before serving and grow together as a team. The cost of the week is $60 to cover meals, transportation, and evening activities. If you have any questions or would like to be involved and/or help with meal preparation (we have roughly 12 meals to plan for) please contact Pastor Cameron at 541.963.8063.

Women’s Retreat

Flourishing in the Flames – Cost is $78

Discover and deepen relationships with your sisters in the faith. Rekindle your passion for the Holy Spirit through worship and testimony. Experience Jesus one-on-one in the quiet of our “Soaking Room.” Relax and refresh with the hot tubs, historic displays or spa services.

Registration forms and more information are located in the information station in the office. Register early as space is limited. Check in is Friday, April 10th at 2pm or later. Your registration fee includes: overnight accommodations, dinner, snack, breakfast and lunch, admission to the History Center, Gallery and historical displays around the grounds, access to the soaking tubs. Check out is Saturday, April 11th at 1:00 pm. Please make checks payable to Faith Center and write “Women’s Retreat” on the memo line.

Registration and fee must be received by March 31, 2015. Questions? Contact Carol Rudolph 541.963.0441.

April 10-11 @ Hot Lake Springs

Click Here for the Registration Form

Rooted

I remember as a teenager working at a local ranch and doing ‘whatever was needed’ was the job description.

 

One warm summer day found me helping to remove a very large tree from the ground. Actually it was the very large stump as the rest of the tree had already been cut away. It seemed that no matter how much I dug there seemed to be more roots. There were some large ones that had to be cut with a saw and little ones that seemed to go every which direction. We did finally get that stump out of the ground and in its place a huge hole was left. It wasn’t easy, those roots went deep and we’re really holding that whole tree in place.

 

Roots are like that. Meant to go deep and keep the tree healthy, keep it growing and keep it sturdy and strong. It works the same in the life of the believer. We are called to have roots that grow deep. Meaning we are to have a life giving, growing strengthening relationship with Jesus. A relationship that, like those roots, nourishes us and keeps us strong.

 

Our theme for 2015 here at Faith Center is “Rooted.” A year spent looking at what it means to be rooted in Christ. A year to learn, grow and thrive together. As we head into this year I encourage you to look at the following questions and take some time to answer them. You don’t have to share them, they are for you personally. Look back on them to see the growth God is bringing this year!

 

  • Do I see myself as someone rooted in Christ?

 

  • Where does that show in my daily living?

 

  • What areas do I need to see growth in this year?

 

  • What is my biggest barrier to that growth?

 

I look forward to a year of growing deeper together as a family of believers here at Faith Center!

Pastor David