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  • Scripture Isaiah 44:6-12
  • Date Sunday, 19 July 2015
This week, we look at the song, "In Christ Alone," written by Keith Getty (music) & Stuart Townend (words).
It is a more recent song (2001) but one that has become a claissic in its own time. A quick favorite, for the song recounts what God has done for us through Christ Jesus.

It demonstrates God's power and love through the active participation of God in His Creation. From this, humans glean great confidence and assurance. We need not fear death for living isn't over when our time on earth ends. The one saved through the blood of Jesus looks ahead to another time and world -- and permanent place of residence.

To quote the song:
"In Christ alone my hope is found; He is my light, my strength, my song"
Therefore, "No guilt in life, no fear in death — This is the pow'r of Christ in me"

This is a great song of assurance, tracking well with the Word of God.

What does this mean for the one saved by the grace of God?
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.
  • Scripture John 20:1-18
  • Date Sunday, 12 July 2015
Text: John 20:1-18

Title: Experience in the Garden

The author and composer of today's song is C. Austin Miles, a pharmacist & hobby photographer … who has a vision while working in his dark room and immediately writes the words & music to "In the Garden." Miles goes on to work for Hall-Mack Co. as an editor & writer.

This hymn is precious to many people, a common favorite for all purposes. It comes out of a vision by its composer that impacted him so deeply that he wrote the words and music very quickly. The vision was that of John 20 ... the story of Mary coming to the tomb to finish the necessary work performed on the deceased in that day. But, she finds the body missing & goes to tell the disciples. Now, imagine yourself standing back and watching Mary return following Peter & John. Do you see Peter run passed John standing near the entrance and enter the tomb. Then John enters ... they look around and one wondered what thoughts cruise through their heads. Then they leave. Mary is alone -- see her there? Mary is greiving and staying near the empty tomb. Then a voice is heard and Mary turns around and see Jesus. Do you see this happening? Can you feel the emotion and passion?

Oh, that I could stay in the garden with Him ... but He bids me go ... and I go to tell others that I've seen Jesus.

  • Scripture II Chronicles 30:5-9
  • Date Sunday, 05 July 2015
Scripture: II Chronicles 30:5-9
Title: Trusting Jesus

Our song for this Sunday during the Summer Song Series, is "Trusting Jesus." It is appropriate timing as we celebrate the independence of our nation & continued independence of this nation. Edgar Stites wrote a poem which happen to be published, which D.L. Moody happened to see and he gave it to Ira Sankey who put it to music and it is now the hymn du jour!

The neat thing about this song is the point of depending upon and trusting in God everyday, no matter what "storm," regardless of whether good times or bad times ... we lean on and rely on God.

If you haven't caught where this is going yet, let me clear it up.
At a time we celebrate independence, I want us to think about being dependent.
Is that possible? Can we celebrate independence & treasure independence, but still be totally dependent upon God?
  • Scripture Isaiah 64:1-8
  • Date Sunday, 28 June 2015

This Sunday, we will focus on the hymn, "God Moves in a Mysterious Way." Not only does the song have some excellent words with a message, but the author has quite a story, too. Yet, I have to wonder if most of us do not at some time have to admit that we do not have a clue as to what God is doing -- that in fact, He is moving in a mysterious way. We all know how it should go and what it should look like. Life has expectations & hopes. So, why can't life just follow that path and turn out the way we expect?

Boring is what some would consider this. Fearful is what some consider what they have. Why doesn't God just work in the same way for all uf us - period? Think of a puppet on strings. What can that puppet do? Exactly & only what the puppeteer dictates. But, God isn't a puppeteer and we are not puppets. What people really want who say such things is their way. When God doesn't give them their way, they talk about how God isn't fair and how could a "loving God" (my terms of love) do such a thing. Think about it.

So how does God act? Well, in science there is a theory called infinity. It is used often to explain things the human mind cannot conceive. This word works pretty well and serves the purpose. Infinite. The thing is, humans didn't invent the word. God was before we thought of it. We are not infinite. We are the other thing -- finite.

How does God work? In a word, mysteriously.

Jesus said to him, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

John 14:6

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Pleasant Valley Church, Holland, IA

Pleasant Valley Church

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Christ first, the Bible as God's inerrant Word & work, our future is both temporal & eternal. Hell on earth? Wait 'til you get to the "eternal" part!