By: Pastor Scott Brodd
I can hear the words in my head over and over again, the words I often recited with the rest of the congregation on Sunday morning in response to the pastor's cue. He would start out the chorus by declaring, "God is good..." then we would respond, "All the time!" Then, to solidify that truth in our heads, he would then reverse the wording by repeating the congregation's words, "All the time..." then we would respond with the original promise, "God is good!"
As I sit here holding our 3-month-old daughter, the baby who the odds were stacked against because of a high-risk pregnancy due to a rare pregnancy-related condition Kaitlin (my wife) suffered from, the same baby who the head of the OB/GYN department at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital said, "all we can do is pray," I can't help but repeat over and over again my pastor's promise...
GOD is GOOD
What a great promise that is! Our God is morally, perfectly, supremely, eternally good in all of His ways. His Word is saturated with reminders of this refrain: "You [God] are good and do good..." (Ps. 119:68 ESV), "Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good..." (Ps. 107:1 ESV), "The LORD is good to all..." (Ps. 145:9 ESV), "Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!" (Ps. 34:8 ESV). There is no doubt about it... God is in fact good, and "[He] is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Heb. 13:8 ESV).
However, when is it that we most often joyfully recount this three-word promise of God's goodness? What posts or tweets are worthy enough to merit the hashtag #Godisgood or even a short comment from friends, "God is good!"? Usually, those events/posts that are deemed worthy concern something joyous or favorable happening in our lives. If you do a quick search on Facebook or twitter of the hashtag "#GodIsGood," you will discover a vast array of exciting and positive events in the lives of your friends (or even your own) that have been tagged with this very promise. For example, "I have an interview for a new job with better pay and benefits... #Godisgood," "Thankful that we were able to spend our Thanksgiving together with family this year... #Godisgood," "We're moving into our new house today...#Godisgood," "Our baby was brought into this world alive and well, despite a deadly pregnancy-related condition...#Godisgood," Now, of course, God is good and everything good that happens in our lives is because of His handiwork, from new jobs to new babies, all because of that amazing truth. To not attribute "every good and perfect gift" (James 1:17 ESV) as coming from God's goodness would be sin.
By: Pastor Scott Brodd
Adapted from his message When Sinners Collide
Let’s suppose that, all of a sudden, I got the urge to start fighting in the UFC, where almost anything goes. I think I could handle myself pretty well, though my wife would say otherwise! Now, what do you think would happen if I were to immediately sign up for a fight and jump in the ring? No prior training, no strategy, just cold turkey fighting... I would probably fail miserably. I wouldn’t know how to spar, how to escape, how to pin, or even how to land a good punch. But all of this could be remedied if I had gone into the fight with the proper training. I can only have success in the ring when I’ve taken the time to train myself outside of the ring. In the same way, we can only have success in our fights with our spouses when we've taken the time to train ourselves before stepping into the ring.
Now for many of you, you’re thinking, “yea lets train so I can win the fight; I want to come out on top.” Let me stop you there; there is a huge difference between fighting in a boxing match and fighting with your spouse. In a boxing match, you aim to win the fight; in your marriage, you aim to win your spouse. Did you catch that?
I’ll explain that a bit more in a few minutes, but to preface all of this, of course we want to do everything we can to avoid entering into the fighting ring as best we can. We ought to kill our own sin, destroy any temptations that raise their heads... we do everything we can to keep the peace.
1 Cor. 1:10 - “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment."
However, because each of us have the potential for war lurking in us because we have sin still dwelling in our bodies, we must know what we’re doing when we find ourselves standing in the fighting ring with our spouse. Therefore, we have to think rightly about our fights before we can know how to handle ourselves during the fight. So, when there are unmet expectations, or conflict, we must first have...
There are three that I think we all need to keep in mind.
By: Bradford Myers
Let It Be Love Date Night started as a question and a desire in January 2015. Pastor Scott had just finished preaching a series with the same title based on 1 Corinthians 13:1-7. We had been challenged to love deeper personally, and we were about to step into a challenge to “Let It Be Love” to so many more.
It is safe to say that a two week sermon series and a desire for us to live with the most purposeful kind of love turned into so much more. After that first Date Night we were urged by many throughout 2015 to do it again. Those requests, along with much teamwork and blessings from God in so many ways brought us another banner night on Valentine’s Day 2016.
I’m a grateful Youth Director because of all that this event has come to represent and mean to our group and me. It is a night for our group to lovingly serve those who come out to what is so much more than a meal. Both years they have stepped up to the challenge of serving before, during, and after the event with setup/cleanup, decorations, meal prep, wait staff, and childcare in a most professional way. The Great Commandment calls us to love God and one another, and that is what they have done. No complaints, no pushbacks, no backing down from the challenge! I guess that makes me grateful and proud!
Our thanks for the coordination, preparation, and amazing evening cannot be expressed enough to the following:
Ryne and Megan Spaulding, Pastor Scott Brodd, Lori Glossenger, Jamie Myers, Angela Britton, Kaitlin Brodd, Cindy Sue Barnes, Vera Shields, Ken and Helene Chappell, Marissa Fasshauer, Jet Britton, Skip Gable, Denise Gable, Sean and Megan Reager, Tammy Jensen
Our very generous donors:
The Alpine Wurst & Meathouse Dave’s Super Duper
Grimm Construction, Inc. Calkins Creamery
Creamworks Creamery Woodloch Pines
These donors give our self-funded group (along with special gifting from you) an unmatched way to grow our account. Their generosity is appreciated in ways that we cannot express completely. This money boosts our account to allow us to attend camps/conferences, disciple teens, and have a great time in so many other ways.
Our “Let It Be Love” Date Night Couples
It wouldn’t be much of an event if you didn’t trust us to give you a way to celebrate your love for one another. We know that there are other ways to celebrate and many other restaurants to do so. Like I said at Date Night, your ticket price does not only give you a very high quality dining experience. Please know that this is more than a meal. Your kindness and financial contribution is such a gift to us! Our hope is that you desire to make it an annual tradition.
Our Loving Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
On Valentine’s morning Alice Kennedy opened our service with 1 John 4:10. It reads, “We love because He first loved us.” Wow, those seven words tell us all we should ever need to know! He really is the only real reason why we hold the Let It Be Love Date Night. The sacrificial hearts that I mentioned were only because of Him. Everything that matters is “only” because of Him! I am leaving you with a song by “The City Harmonic” that I recently found titled "Oh, What Love". It expresses my thoughts and hopefully yours about this most perfect way to “Let It Be Love”. There is only one thing left to do. SHARE IT!
“Nothing can separate us from Your love
No mountain high, no valley low
How high, how deep, how wide
The love of God
More love than I have ever known”