Favorite Verses

1. John 3:16

 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

2. John 14:6

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

3. Ephesians 2:8

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God...

4. 2nd Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousnes...

5. Matthew 11:28

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

 

 

 

Wednesday
Apr262017

May

From the Pastor's Desk:

Rev. Matthew D. Froeschle
“Born into Darkness”
Scripture: John 9: 1-41

All of us are born into on darkness. Ever since the fall, we have been prey to sinful urges and a lack of healthy vision. Not all of us are physically impaired, but none of us see things as they truly are. We deceive ourselves and others through appearances. But, whether we like to admit it or not, we cannot get by on our own because we don’t know where we’re going.
In this passage from John's gospel, we read the story of Jesus and the man born blind. Notice that as the blind man makes his case before the Pharisees after the healing has taken place, he is not boasting about his own ingenuity or worthiness. Rather, he is testifying boldly about Jesus Christ.
There is quite a contrast between the man who had been blind and the Pharisees. The man who had been blind is simply telling the truth; grateful for the miracle that Jesus performed. The Pharisees, on the other hand, criticize the man, and assert their own authority. “YOU were steeped in sin at birth! How dare YOU lecture US!”
Of course, by human standards, the Pharisees are right. They are the religious leaders, they are the teachers of Israel. They have the credentials, and this formerly blind man doesn’t. It looks like supreme arrogance to tell such learned men that they’re wrong. But God knows, they were.
A humble heart recognizes its dependence on God, and understands that only God can give us back proper vision. Jesus makes the point clearly. “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.”
The truth is, all of us are a mess without Him. We tend to be ugly towards others, we tend to focus on ourselves, and are often consumed by our own quest for power and satisfaction. There is not one of us who deserves the love of God. As Saint Paul said in his letter to the Romans, “there is no one righteous, not one.”
If we somehow deserved mercy, it would not truly be mercy, would it? If we could somehow prove that we were completely innocent, free from guilt, pardon would be a simple matter of justice. But, as Jesus reminds us today, all are blind. The saving grace is that some realize they are helpless and therefore can be healed.  Like that blind man long ago.  And like us.
Yours in Christ,
Matthew

 

 

Saturday
Apr012017

April

From the Pastor's Desk:

“Our Easter Story”

A while ago, while at home playing proud father to Zachary, I took the opportunity to catch up on some leadership training DVDs that had been collecting dust in my office. The title of the DVD series was “Unleashed for the Gospel,” and its theme was how a deeper appreciation for the good news of Jesus Christ naturally results in spiritual maturity.
We don’t grow more and more into the likeness of Christ by human effort alone (somehow willing ourselves to change). In fact, to attempt to keep the Law of God through manipulation or fear or sheer force of will generally leads to exhaustion and despair. We could hear (or I could preach) thousands of sermons about morality without finding our souls or churches becoming much different.
However, what does seem to result in genuine change is allowing one’s mind and soul to be saturated by the immeasurable love of God, and the astonishing grace on display at the cross. Consider the character of God, and let Him inspire You.  Don’t merely despair under the requirements of the Law and be overwhelmed. The gospel was preached not just to unbelievers, but was to be continually proclaimed to believers as well. Why? Because unless we hear it and really let it soak in, we will end up with a legalistic form of Christianity that is just another burden to endure. Rather than being water that brings life, it will feel like one more impossible task on the “to do” list.
So, hear it anew: Not based on anything we have done, but because He is good and He loves us perfectly, Jesus has become our righteousness. He took the filth from us, and gave us His perfect life so that we can stand before God without fear of punishment. Believe that God loves you that much - trust that Jesus is in fact all you need - and you shall live!
Let that sink in, because it’s true. You may not always feel loved, but you definitely are. You may not see Jesus now, but you will. And though He has much to say and good lessons to teach, with each utterance comes His earnest whisper, “I love you.” That’s the essence of the gospel. That’s our Easter story.
-Rev. Matthew D. Froeschle

Wednesday
Feb222017

March

From the Pastor's Desk

“God Is Our Refuge” - Rev. Matthew D. Froeschle
Suggested Scripture Reading: Luke 10: 38-42

The mistake Martha makes is such a subtle one - and we are so susceptible to it as well-intentioned believers.  We get busy doing the things we think we should be doing for God, and neglect the art of actually listening to him.  As a result, we may end up becoming more impressed by our service than by his goodness.  We may fall back into legalistic attitudes rather than joyfully living in grace.
 
There are times when we will be called to act.  We are reminded many times throughout the Scriptures that faith without actions is dead.  But if it is our intention to serve Jesus, we do well to stop and slow down long enough to hear him.
 
Psalm 46 opens by referring to God as a refuge.  God goes on in this Psalm to say to his people, “Be still and know that I am God.”
 
When Jesus called out to people, he said that he would provide them with rest - that his burden was light.  He was going to show them a new way - the way of grace - so different from the way of law that they were living by.
 
Some time ago, I remember reading a short reflection by a Christian woman who related a time in her life when she could sense that God was near, and she was certain he wanted something from her, and so she kept putting him off.  After all, she knew herself to be a sinner, and doubtless God wanted to correct her or tell her something that she should be doing but wasn’t.
 
The days and weeks went on and her awareness of God did not diminish.  Finally she could ignore God no longer.  Exasperated, she came to him in prayer and asked what he wanted.  What he wanted was to give her something - she instantly felt his love and peace and was reminded of his grace.
 
I can relate to her experience.  Sometimes when I have been neglecting my relationship with Jesus, I get to feeling guilty and overwhelmed by the feeling I’m letting God down.  That makes me less willing to spend time with him.  But when we return to Him in prayer, when we hear the gospel again, we are reminded that our God is a refuge, not a labor camp.  He is the source of our strength.
 
It was Mary, not Martha, who was becoming stronger in service that day to our Lord.  Jesus had to remind Martha that only one thing is necessary for life - and that is our connection with God - with Jesus.
In His Grip,
Matthew

Monday
Jan232017

February

From the Pastor's Desk:

“SO CLOSE AND YET SO FAR”
-Rev. Matthew D. Froeschle

From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” -Matthew 4:17 (NIV)
Where is “The Kingdom of Heaven”? Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven has come near, but my vision must be poor, because most days I’m not seeing it. Instead, what I see around me is the kingdom I expect to see - the same kingdom I saw yesterday. It’s a kingdom that runs on gasoline and wealth and power and popularity. It’s a kingdom of noise and busyness and anxiety. It can be happy and filled with pleasures, but it can also be dreary, weary, and sad. Here in America, we find our kingdom filled with stuff, but somehow more stuff doesn’t bring more peace.
Maybe Jesus was telling the people that He [Jesus] was near - and where Jesus is, there is the kingdom of heaven. I could go with that, because I have never known peace like the peace that comes when I’m being intentionally present to Jesus. When you have a dear friend with you throughout the day, it makes things brighter. But I can’t see Jesus. And as to feeling Jesus’ presence - well, sometimes I do, but more often than not I don’t. I’m usually under the illusion that I am alone (despite the fact that I’m surrounded by the miracle that is life).
Perhaps some things are hard to see - not because they’re far away - but because they’re so incredibly close. How often do you see your nose during the day - when not looking in a mirror? Is it possible that we can’t see the kingdom of God because there is NO distance whatsoever between us and God? That divide has been conquered - Christ and His Kingdom are literally at hand.
If you feel far from God - if you have a hard time seeing or feeling God’s kingdom and presence - you’re not alone. But Jesus doesn’t strike me as a liar. His voice has always sounded like the voice of a true king, calling us to turn from the insanity that constitutes so much of our “visible” kingdom.
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Sunday
Jan012017

January

From the Pastor's Desk:

“Everything New”
-Rev. Matthew D. Froeschle


He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
-Revelation 21:5 (NIV)
Some days it’s really hard to get out of bed. In the winter, we can be especially reluctant to leave behind the soft warmth of pillows and comforters and rest in order to put our feet on the cold floor and get going.
Now, you have probably had a day or two when you wake up like a child on Christmas morning. But those other days? You wake up and are met by a weight of stress or fear or regret. You have to face the grind again. You have responsibilities and people who are depending on you. Or perhaps you don’t, and you struggle to find a reason to get out of bed at all.
Have you ever fantasized about waking up as a brand new person, with a brand new life? Have you ever fantasized about being able to leave behind the baggage that is at the foot of the bed as soon as that morn-ing alarm goes off?
Well, that is actually what Jesus wants for you, too. I know it’s hard for us to wrap our poor broken minds around this fact, but Jesus is utterly in love with us, and wants to free us from that baggage and make us new. That’s what the cross is all about. At the cross, Jesus invited all of our sin to be unloaded on Him, so that He could do away with it and give us a new start.
In Christ, we are completely forgiven, and the process of sanctification begins. Though our debt has been cancelled by Christ, we don’t miraculously change overnight and wake up without the scars and the habits and the mess. Sanctification (being made new) is a process, and it requires some faith on our part.
So, when we get up in the morning, and it’s really hard to get out of bed, where does our mind go? All too often, I start thinking about myself - my shortcomings - the things I have to do. It’s all Matthew. It’s surviv-al. I am my own boss, and my boss is terrible.
But right at hand is the Shepherd, and His words are life and peace and helpful. The Shepherd is not like me - not an anxious little manager, but an incredibly loving visionary who will accomplish his goal of making all things new - of making things the way they were always meant to be. And all too often I ignore Him, and let the boss dominate the conversation.
Hush! Listen! Jesus says “I am making all things new.” Jesus is not going to demolish the building, He’s going to restore it to its original luster and design. That’s you. You’re the One God wants to make new. He’s not going to turn you into someone else, He’s not going to remove you from this world altogether (at least, not yet). That’s what He wants to do, at least, if you’re willing to trust Him to do it.
So - will we give Jesus the first Word in the morning, and the last Word at night, and hear Him throughout the day? His voice is much more pleasant, healing, and helpful than the static I usually listen to. And, no matter what I may feel like, I can trust that God is at work behind the scenes keeping His promises - and renovating us.

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