Tag Archive : Church Updates

Pastors Corner: Turn to Christ Jesus or leftist and evil?

Pastors Corner

Turn to Christ Jesus or leftist and evil?

In this Pastors Corner segment, I wanted to bring up the fact that we are coming to a point of decision in this nation: USA… Will we turn to Christ Jesus or leftist and evil? On November 4th, 20 cities will be protesting against our president, and I am sure there will be violence against anyone speaking for the present president.

They have vowed to continue to protest until President Trump is impeached. I am praying that there would be a unity in our nation for righteousness. But I know that the Lord will protect those who are godly. There some in this nation that wants to strip it of all freedom of religion and the freedom of speech. They also want to divide this nation and destroy it.

But we as Christians cannot sit by idolly and pray, and not live our Christianity. Let’s be like Daniel who prayed every day for the people of God, and for having a nation that will do what is right.

Daily Devotional: People Of The Second Chance

Devotional Overview:

We’ve all been crippled by failure, hurt, disappointment, loss, or opposition at some time. But Mike Foster shows us that God offers every one of us a second chance through his love. The feelings of insecurity, fear, shame, not measuring up, and judgment. That. Stops. Today.

Key Scriptures:

  • Luke 15:11-24

Devotional:

“It’s Party Time!”

“Heavy” is the nickname of a musclebound giant of a man with tats inked all over his body. He is thirty-seven years old and currently lives in a halfway house for parolees, having finished serving a thirteen-year sentence for armed robbery.

The road Heavy faces to becoming a productive and self-sustaining member of society is steep. Statistically, the chances of Heavy ending up back in jail are high. So we at People of the Second Chance wanted to change the script for him. We decided to take a page from the prodigal son story and throw a party for Heavy.

We invited our friends to come. We reached out to officials from the justice system and ex-cons who had turned their lives around. Heavy’s pastor showed up, and so did one of Heavy’s cousins, whom Heavy was trying to keep from making the same mistakes he had made.

I’m telling you, it was the greatest time! We had cake and gifts. I asked Heavy to share his dreams with everyone.

After he had finished sharing, he pulled me aside and said, “You know what, Mike? That was the first time in my life that I felt like anybody has actually ever listened to me.”

That night we celebrated a felon who needed a party. We watched an ex-con find hope. Fellow prodigals shared their own stories to help Heavy be not so heavy.

The story of the kingdom is found in a raging fiesta for someone who doesn’t deserve one. The father says, “We had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again” (Luke 15:32, niv). The theology of grace is in the party.

The gospel is in the balloons and piñatas, which is made possible only by death and resurrection—the death and resurrection of Jesus and our own death and second-chance resurrection. So let’s party, celebrating our own acceptance by God and spreading the party to others who need it.

How can you bring more celebration into your own life and others’ lives?

[Content Provided By Bible.com]

Daily Devotional: People Of The Second Chance

Devotional Overview:

We’ve all been crippled by failure, hurt, disappointment, loss, or opposition at some time. But Mike Foster shows us that God offers every one of us a second chance through his love. The feelings of insecurity, fear, shame, not measuring up, and judgment. That. Stops. Today.

Key Scriptures:

  • Matthew 22:34-40

Devotional:

“Channels of God’s Love”

I want us to give the same passage we looked at yesterday a “second chance” to teach us something today. Because, you see, one of the lessons I am learning about God and how he shapes my heart is that God does his shaping through the people I love. Through the lives of the other beloved. It’s clear to me that when compassion and kindness are brought into my life, God is moving on my behalf. He is loving me through others.

I know many people have amazing experiences where they feel the love of God firsthand in their hearts. They go off alone and feel his presence, approval, and acceptance in a special and direct way. Maybe you’ve had one of those moments. I hope you have. I hope everyone does.

Still, I like to think that God’s love is always on, is constant. It’s not there only when we feel it and think about it or have a really spiritual moment. It’s always residing in us. His love, acceptance, and delight in us are ever present. And the key to experiencing even more of this love is to give it away. To let it flow out so we can be filled even more.

I guess God could just rain his love on us. He could set up a direct flow into each person’s heart. But that’s now how he set up the love exchange. We are not just reservoirs of his love and grace. We are channels. We are rivers meant to flow.

You can see the brilliance of this strategy. The more we love others, the more his love spreads out into the world. Maybe that’s why Jesus’s bottom line on living a powerful life came down to a two-pronged commandment: Love God and love others. It wasn’t just a commandment; it was a description of how life works. The more we love others, the more we experience the love of God.

This is also a clever way to dismantle the beautiful lies of judgment and labels. God has appointed the outsider, the misfit, the other as the primary mechanism for expanding the love inside our hearts. Loving the other is how we get more of him. More life. More of all we were meant for.

How can you give and receive God’s love through others today?

[Content Provided By Bible.com]

Daily Devotional: People Of The Second Chance

Devotional Overview:

We’ve all been crippled by failure, hurt, disappointment, loss, or opposition at some time. But Mike Foster shows us that God offers every one of us a second chance through his love. The feelings of insecurity, fear, shame, not measuring up, and judgment. That. Stops. Today.

Key Scriptures:

  • Matthew 22:34-40

Devotional:

“Love Yourself”

Before I accepted my identity as God’s beloved, I was never enough. What I accomplished was never enough. And whatever good was there in front of me was impossible for me to take pleasure in, because I was trying so hard to be good that I could never just embrace the good.

I was always bringing a false self to God, but God can’t love a false self. So I was unable to experience God’s love. I had no idea who I was. And in that confusion a light dawned, dim but sure.

I knew I needed to love myself again. The real me. I needed to present my real self, with all its flaws, all its mistakes, all its failures, and all its cowardice and cruelty, to God. I needed to feel my heavenly Father wrap his arms around the real me and say he loved and accepted me by his grace.

It can sound a little selfish and touchy-feely to say that self-love is the answer to our deepest needs. Isn’t this just more positive psychology hoo-ha? Nope. We see the principle right there in the words of Jesus.

When Jesus was asked to pick the greatest commandment, he actually offered up two commandments from two Old Testament scriptures and then fused them together into a one-two punch of how to live a powerful life. He said, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:37-39).

I’m no Bible scholar, but I can’t help but notice those last two words: “as yourself.” In one statement Jesus links the ideas of loving God, loving your neighbor, and loving yourself. In my experience, this rings true. All three of those loves tend to rise and fall together. The more you love one, the more you love the others. People who never learn to love their true selves are often also limited in their love for God and others.

What if the person who you need to be kindest to is yourself? What if the enemy you need to forgive or the prisoner you need to release is your true self? That is why God redeemed you.

How can you begin to love yourself better today?

[Content Provided By Bible.com]

Daily Devotional: People Of The Second Chance

Devotional Overview:

We’ve all been crippled by failure, hurt, disappointment, loss, or opposition at some time. But Mike Foster shows us that God offers every one of us a second chance through his love. The feelings of insecurity, fear, shame, not measuring up, and judgment. That. Stops. Today.

Key Scriptures:

  •  Ezekiel 37:1-14

Devotional:

“Dispelling the Beautiful Lie”

Today I want to begin with a harsh truth. You see, most if not all of us believe what I call the beautiful lie.

The lie says this is what really counts: to be wealthy, powerful, influential, attractive, admired, talented, popular, and, above all, valuable. We must make a life that is worth something to others. Worth more than others. The world screams at us to hurry up and matter. Our lives become a reaction to this lie.

According to the lie, we must not be nothings. To be good for nothing is to be as good as dead. And death is what we fear most. The death that says our lives have no value.

So we thrash about in a pool of comparison and one-upmanship. Our lives become burdened by the heaviness of getting it right. Our joy becomes brittle, and our hearts slowly break. The only possible outcome of this hurry-up-and-matter hustle is the slow crushing of our souls.

But God offers real life, where our brokenness is redeemed. He says we can abandon society’s beautiful lie and allow him to breathe new life into us, his beloved.

I think of the passage in Ezekiel where the Lord leads the prophet through a valley. Ezekiel wrote: “God’s Spirit took me up and set me down in the middle of an open plain strewn with bones. He led me around and among them—a lot of bones! There were bone all over the plain—dry bones, bleached by the sun” (37:1-2, msg). That’s our condition. We’re like dead, dry bones.

And yet God tells Ezekiel to prophesy—to reveal something by divine inspiration—over these bleached and broken things. The prophet does. And in the story the bones come alive. Broken things are made beautiful.

Here’s the point: God breathes life into our dead and imperfect things. So if we feel that we don’t measure up, that doesn’t mean we have to climb onto the build-your-worth treadmill. We already have worth. In God’s eyes. By his doing. And our worth is permanent, lasting far longer than any worldly attempt to uphold the beautiful lie could ever last.

Are you seeking your self-worth through redemption in Christ or through striving to gain others’ approval?

[Content Provided By Bible.com]

Food Bank - Feeding America San Bernardino | Riverside

Believers Chapel Food Bank News:

Believers Chapel Food Bank just got their “On Site” position with Feeding America in Riverside!

What does this mean?

We get food that other non-profit organizations don’t so that we can make a hot meal for anyone that shows up to our food bank on Thursdays.

As most of you know, we have already been doing this for some time now, but this gives us “first choice” of meats and other fresh items. I appreciate God’s favor. We have seen people who don’t get food but come only to get their only hot meal for the week.

Also, I would mention that there are many restaurants that have excess food that they can’t use but the food is still good. We could help feed people with this food and would be willing to pick it up. You can contact us at our church number 909-866-2552. You can also make a donation via our easyTithe page here.

We are also accepting winter clothing donations for the homeless up here in the mountain communities. You can drop your donations off at the food bank on Thursday(s), or call the number above and schedule a time to drop it off.

We are excited about this, and we know that God is going to continue to provide every need we have so that we can make sure that EVERY single last person in this valley has at least one hot meal a week, and plenty of food to help them throughout the week.

Daily Devotional: People Of The Second Chance

Devotional Overview:

We’ve all been crippled by failure, hurt, disappointment, loss, or opposition at some time. But Mike Foster shows us that God offers every one of us a second chance through his love. The feelings of insecurity, fear, shame, not measuring up, and judgment. That. Stops. Today.

Key Scriptures:

  • Romans 9:25-26

Devotional:

“His Beloved”

One of the fundamental questions we ask in life is: Who am I?

My simplistic answer to this question is this: My truest, purest, nonnegotiable identity is the beloved. And in spite of my checkered past, my fabulous flops, my painful history, my deepest flaws, my boneheaded screw-ups, and, yes, even beyond my own beliefs about myself, I am God’s beloved. This is my foundational identity and the foundational identity of every human being.

This is important because identity is the engine that drives the relationship not only with ourselves but also with God and others. If your identity is broken, your life is broken. If you define it incorrectly, you will carry that wrong definition into your story. If all you see are your limitations, you will miss out on the stunning possibilities God is creating in front of you.

When I am working with hurting people, probably the most tragic thing I witness is when they have accepted the lie that whatever ugly, can’t-talk-about-it, embarrassing thing has happened in their stories is beyond the grace of God. That his mercy doesn’t reach far enough. That his hand of grace is just beyond…

  • the quiet addiction to painkillers;
  • the shame of an unexpected divorce;
  • someone’s sexuality and what it all means;
  • the betrayal of a family member;
  • the fear of growing old and being alone;
  • a secret abortion and the sorrows of miscarriages;
  • the depression, the sadness, and the eating disorder;
  • the drinking and the bad choices;
  • hidden regrets that you chose your career instead of your kids.

Yet God is reaching out in all these painful moments and whispers, Just reach back to me, my beloved! I am here. Please, I beg you. Just reach back.

As you start your five days of devotions on the subject of second chances, listen to God’s call of love to you. Believe in his grace and loving-kindness toward you. As Brennan Manning said, “Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.”

What is your answer to the question “Who am I?” Can you see yourself as God’s beloved?

[Content Provided By Bible.com]

Daily Devotional: Epic Fails

Daily Devotional Overview:

This 14-day reading plan explores the stories of men and women of the Bible who messed up big time, but people that God still chose to use for His purposes. Learn from some of the Bible’s heaviest hitters while being encouraged in your own walk with God.Daily Devotional: Epic Fails – Day 3

Key Scriptures:

  • 1 Corinthians 10:1-13

Devotional:

We close the reading plan by briefly looking at perhaps the entity prone to epic fails most: the nation of Israel. Time and again, over many years, they struggled to hold firm to their faith in God.

God delivers them from the hands of the Egyptians and rescues them from slavery, yet they complain and lack faith all throughout their journey to the Promised Land. Israel commits idolatry more than I’d like to count. Sexual immorality was a problem, as we read in today’s passage. God is constantly correcting the nation, His people, even though He is always showing them how good He is to them. It’s why they wandered 40 years in the desert. It’s why they were constantly overtaken by their enemies and even exiled to Babylon.

Israel was prone to wander, but then again, so are we. Truth is, if God can still have patience, grace, and love for His people over thousands of years, He has it for you and me. There may be times of correction, but it’s because God loves us He does these things, like any good parent.

If there is one thing you take away from this plan, it’s that I hope you see your past doesn’t define you or your future. If these men and women messed up big time and God still used them for great purposes, won’t He use you as well? He is the same for you as He was for them; God’s guaranteed to never change. Trust in that and put your hope in Him. All you need is a repentant heart and commitment to follow Him. You’re not promised an easy life, but you are promised that He will always be with you.

[Content Provided By Bible.com]

Daily Devotional: Epic Fails

Daily Devotional Overview:

This 14-day reading plan explores the stories of men and women of the Bible who messed up big time, but people that God still chose to use for His purposes. Learn from some of the Bible’s heaviest hitters while being encouraged in your own walk with God.Daily Devotional: Epic Fails – Day 3

Key Scriptures:

  • Acts 7:54-60

Devotional:

There was once a young man zealous in his religion. Born in Tarsus, a hotbed for Roman activity, he had the privilege of studying in Jerusalem with the ranking rabbi of the era. A well-to-do family, comfortable lifestyle, and top-notch education afforded the man a pathway to prominence. He stewarded his opportunity with fervor and boldness, rising so quickly that at the age of 30 he already had a role on the Sanhedrin and was becoming one of the most promising young Pharisees in the country.

He began to lead a charge against Christians, persecuting them even to death. He believed these people were blasphemous and had to be dealt with severely. One day a disciple of Jesus, Stephen, began to preach the Gospel which infuriated the Sanhedrin. Witnesses took off their robes and laid them at the feet of this young Pharisee, and as they picked up their stones to brutally kill the apostle, the man watched on approvingly. The disciple was killed and the man set off to further crush the budding Christian community.

This man was Saul, but we now know him as Paul. The great Paul who became the first missionary, who preached the Gospel boldly, and who wrote most of the New Testament. This man went from a rising star among the Pharisees and persecuting the early church to one of the biggest proponents of the Gospel. What an incredible transformation!

What encourages me the most from his story, and it’s really quite simple, is that if Paul can be redeemed and used, anyone can! The guy murdered Christians and God saved him to be used to spread the Gospel more than most. It goes to show that even if you think you’re too far gone or you’ve done too much harm to be of any use to God, you’re mistaken. If God can use someone who murdered His people, He can and WANTS to use you for His purposes.

Paul’s story is full of great testimonies and practical lessons, but that would take a book to explore. Today I want to leave you with the simple message that you are not too far gone. You have not committed so much sin that you are no longer of any use to God. I’ve been there and struggled with these very feelings, but talking from personal experience, I know God redeems!

If you’re struggling to let go of baggage or shame, take a look at Paul’s life. Over the many years he was in ministry, he did look back a time or two and comment on his failure. But Paul never allowed those failures to dictate how God used him. He never allowed them to become a weight that interfered with his purpose.

Remember this: your past will never trump God’s vision of who you are or where you are going.

[Content Provided By Bible.com]

Daily Devotional: Epic Fails

Daily Devotional Overview:

This 14-day reading plan explores the stories of men and women of the Bible who messed up big time, but people that God still chose to use for His purposes. Learn from some of the Bible’s heaviest hitters while being encouraged in your own walk with God.Daily Devotional: Epic Fails – Day 3

Key Scriptures:

  • John 8:1-11

Devotional:

In John 8 we find an incredible story about a woman caught in adultery who encounters Jesus. We don’t know much about her, other than she was married and she was caught in the act of adultery. At that time, the punishment for such sin was death by stoning. Therefore, the Pharisees bring her to such judgment while at the same time attempting to test Jesus.

They bring the woman before Jesus while in the temple, where no doubt he had a large audience to observe the entrapment. They ask him what should be done, thinking that he’ll either obey that law to stone her and perhaps seem harsh, or not obey the law and therefore they would be able to bring a charge against him for disobeying the law. But in true Jesus fashion, and I love this, he responds in a way they don’t see coming at all!

Jesus tells them that whoever hasn’t sinned can cast the stone. As we all know, everyone has sinned. And I mean everyone, except Jesus. He could have, but he didn’t. The Pharisees had obviously all sinned so how could they judge her. One by one they peel off until it’s just her and Jesus. This woman who had recently been caught in adultery–no doubt carrying shame and guilt–is now left alone with the holy Son of God.

I can only imagine the sheer awe, humility, and again shame she must have felt. I’ve felt something so similar in my own sin. In fact, in that place of knowing I’ve failed God, all I want to do is be as far from Him as possible, not because I want to be away from Him (in fact, I want to be so near to Him), but because I feel ashamed and unworthy of His grace. Have you felt that before? If so, perhaps you can understand in some way what this woman may have been experiencing.

This woman had a life-changing experience with Jesus on the precipice of death. When she thought she would receive a stoning she instead received grace. This story is echoed time and again in the New Testament; sinners experiencing an encounter with Jesus that would forever change their life.

Jesus wants to do the same for you today. If you’re battling a temptation or find yourself caught in a lifestyle of sin, Jesus is right there for you like he was for the woman in John 8. And just like then he wants to extend incredible grace to you now. Will you receive as the woman did and watch Jesus use your life in profound ways?

[Content Provided By Bible.com]