Loving God, Serving Others
Current Sermon Series:
The Great Launch
Continuing Jesus’ Mission
Notes from Pastor Rob
June 26, 2020
Friends, It’s been a strange year. This is the weekend we would normally have Hoopfest: thousands from all over coming together in Spokane for 3 on 3 basketball. “The world’s largest 3 on 3 tourney.” It’s either cancelled or postponed. If they have it this year, it will be a lot smaller. Public pools are closed. Restaurants are at half occupancy. Masks are required in public places. But God stays the same. I can’t help but think if we are edging closer than we know to the end of the world as we know it. I’ve talked to people around in the 1940s who thought it was the end. WWII had wrapped and Israel became a nation after almost 2000 years. One guy told me he wanted to skip college and get out on the mission field because ‘we had so little time’. And that was 72 years ago. So is what’s going on now in the world another dress rehearsal… or the opening act of “Armageddon on Broadway”?? Time will tell. But Jesus gave us instructions on how to be ready. Speaking of the end of the age, he said, “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:34-36. Now you know. How’s your handle on the anxieties of life?Church News: **Service in the building this Sunday at 10, and online for those at home. **If you men want a good meal, fellowship and a good video, come on down to the building at 5 on Saturday. $10 supports men’s ministry and helps pay for the grub (lasagne, I hear). **Yes, masks are required by the governor when we meet. The greeters will have instructions available as you enter this Sunday. If you can’t keep six feet of distance, you need to wear a mask. This is a suggestion; it will not be enforced. Sit with your family! Distance and sing (mask-lessly) to God! **You’ll want to sing (or at least clap) because this Sunday is Gospel Sunday! Steve Combs leads us with some good ol’ music with a bit of a twang. **We did see a great video last week, but this week we’re back to the series in Acts, a story from chapter 10. It’s a huge change-up for the early church Good News: Isn’t it encouraging to hear about God changing lives and marriages? Read this…
First there was blood on the pillowcase. Second, her husband slept all day, had circles under his eyes, and a persistent bad attitude. Eventually, he lost his job, his car and his dignity.
“I was naive,” Norma Peña says. “I didn’t recognize the signs of drug abuse. Although I came from a dysfunctional home, I didn’t know what addiction was.”
It got so bad, Norma told Tim to move out. Three years of marriage was coming to an end. She felt “numb to him,” she says. “I had no feelings for him anymore.”
Today, Tim Peña has been pastoring a church in Visalia, California, for almost 20 years. It’s a mind-boggling turnaround. And they are still married.
When Norma accepted Jesus into her heart in 1997, the marriage was on a fast train to Splitsville. Her friend, Sandra, who had evangelized her tirelessly for three years, encouraged Norma to contend for restoration of their relationship.
“At first I didn’t believe he could get saved,” Norma says. “He made my life a living hell.”
But there was a grain of sand in the oyster that irritated her thoughts. Her mother was a single mother of four, her grandmother a single mother of six.
At the time, Norma had only one child — but she was worried that she was falling victim to a vicious legacy.
At the constant encouragement of Sandra, Norma prayed for her husband. Things were not going well for him. He was sofa-surfing at friends’ houses. His life was spiraling downward, propelled by cocaine and alcohol.
Then one day, he showed up at the same church Norma attended, the Potter’s House in Indio, California. Tim answered the altar call for salvation.
She watched from the congregation. She thought the conversion was faked.
But her friend urged her to persevere in pray.
“The Bible says you have to pray for your enemies. He was my enemy because he made my life a living hell,” Norma relates. “But he was the father of my daughter, and I wanted him to be a good example to her.”
She did NOT pray for her marriage to be restored however.
“I prayed God would give me a godly man,” she says.
But Tim kept showing up at church. He started dressing up and even putting on a tie. He pitched in with cleaning and started to learn the bass guitar to play in the band. God was doing a wonderful work.
Four months later, God told Norma her husband would preach throughout the world.
“When I prayed that God would give me a godly man, little did I know God would fulfill that prayer in my husband,” Norma explains. “He turned 180 degrees.”
Eventually, she received Tim back home. It’s been 26 years. Tim has preached in Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Mexico.
“God restored my marriage little by little,” she says. “It took a lot of patience and prayer. Timothy says anything is possible in Christ. It was a total miracle.” God is in the miracle business with people, amen?