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Monthly Archive for February 2018


So What Da Problem Is?

If you just wanted to live a well-adjusted life down here, and act like that would be enough of a “life,” I could suggest the works of Aristotle or other philosophers who could guide you into a good moral life. Or you could go to the self-help section of your book store. ( I went into my book store once, and ask where the self-help section was, but got no help from the clerk because she said that would defeat the purpose!)

The problem is that not a one of my suggestions would satisfy anyone completely.

There is a gnawing of the soul, that we all had, when we were unbelievers, that cannot be healed with tips and techniques on how to live a better life. Imagine, if you will, falling off a cruise- liner. You do not know how to swim. At least you will not make it back to the boat or to the shore. It is just too far; it is just too, too far.

The crowd gathers about on the railing shouting, ” Move your arms and legs, start swimming!” All this while your panic level has reached terrifying proportions. You know you are helpless. Others have punched up Youtube tutorial videos; calling out instructions.

In the same way , the problem of life is not that we do not have enough good advice to live right; the problem is having the power to do good for very long and for the right reasons.

Christ throws out a life-preserver to us by His grace ( which means you do not deserve the help). A grace that saves us from eternal drowning based on what He has already done for us through His death on the cross, and verified by His resurrection. (He did something for you that you could not do for yourself.)

Then, with what He accomplished, we begin to live a very different and wonderful life. No longer trying to live life on our own, and then hoping to present that to God as “good enough.” But rather doing the good because He is alive in us, giving us power to do true goodness, reflecting His life and motives in us; through us.

Sunday we begin the book of Romans. Paul’s letter to the Romans is more systematic that his other letters. He sets out to prove that the gospel is no new innovation, but God’s plan from eternity past.

Here is a man who said he excelled far above all his contemporaries in righteous living; being a good man, and yet was still a prisoner to sin, and miserably lost and separated from God! (Romans 7). As far as “comparative righteousness” goes, there was none better than Paul. He could swim better than all others, but could never reach the safety of the shore. He knew the right thing to do, but it did not provide the power to really be a transformed person.

We are never judged for eternity based on how well we did compared to others. Hey, that was going to be my story ( before I reached out for that life-preserver who is Christ Himself) as I imagined standing before God and saying, ” Well I did my share of wrong, but I can show you many others who lived a worst life than me!” Talk about a statement that will melt faster than a snowball in hell!

The book of Romans has a lot of wonderful, applicable things to say. Please be with us for this study. I cannot stress enough how this study will clear up your thinking, and give you power to deal with many of your most pressing concerns.

And most importantly, you find out how much love this Savior has for you; how He has known you before you were ever born; how deeply He can transform you; and how worthy He is of all your praise! You find out that He is not a means to an end; He is the end and fullness of the meaning of this temporal/eternal life. When you are in love with the Savior, you do many good works; not to get saved or keep saved, but because you are saved already. JWP 2/23/18

Jim Petty in Post on February 23 2018 » 0 comments

Are You Scared Of God?

Exodus 20: 19 ” All the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it , they trembled and stood at a distance. Then they said to Moses, ‘Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die.”

Let me stop at this point and say this; if you expect me to now try to calm this all down and make God into Mr. Rogers, just forget about it! We have every reason to fear the God whom we have ignored! There are good reasons, however, that God starts this way in relationship to his fallen, self-absorbed creation. You have to appreciate, yes, even dreadfully fear, what God’s powerful character is, before you really understand God’s grace.

While Proverbs gives the most detailed explanations of what the “fear of the Lord” is; I find this one in Exodus most instructive. Let us read the rest.

Exodus 20:20 ” Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.”

So think about that ; ‘don’t be afraid (of this powerful God; His character is good; it does not change with the wind, like that of men), ‘so that the fear of Him may remain with you.’ In one verse we are told “not to fear,” and then, in the same verse, “to fear.”

Do you see why? At least every parent knows why this has to be this way. Kids have to learn to be afraid of the consequences coming from you very early. If you can be disrespected at the very start, in your raising them, expect them, in the end, to be ruined. You are not there to be a friend but a parent, at that stage. If you do this right, when the kids grow up they have this deep respect for you ; which all started with a good fear.

How is the present day parenting methods working out; trying the indulgent way with kids? Are there those who are still puzzled about the state of society? Are they completely blind? Yes they are, but it started with, “No fear of God before their eyes.” Psalms 36:1.

Deuteronomy 8:1-20 gives the clearest reason to fear the Lord and even shows why we should be more concerned about His commands and instructions than the slavish fear we have of shallow and selfish men and their commands; that is, those not lined up with the will of God.

“In the wilderness, He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end.” Deuteronomy 8:16.

I think we can totally trust God with everything we are, everything we hope for, with everything He has given us.
I know it goes well, “in the end.” There is such a thing then as a good kind of fear.

Proverbs 1:7/ 8:13/ 10:27/ 14:26/ 15:16/ 19:23/ 22:4

Now you might appreciate this song you have sung so many times:
” Twas grace that taught my heart to fear; and grace my fears relieved” Amazing Grace- John Newton- 1779

JWP 2/20/18

Jim Petty in Post on February 20 2018 » 0 comments

TBC Sermon for February 11, 2018

Please join us in today’s word. And let us know what you think….either in our comment section or in person at our next service. Join us every Sunday at our new worship times–9:30am for Sunday School and at 10:45am for Worship Service. We’d love to see you here!

Jason Kerr in Post on February 11 2018 » 0 comments

The Might God, Of The Mighty Columbia

The Mighty Columbia
My first trip to the NW, to see about my first pastoring job, included a visit of the Columbia Gorge. We traveled about 40 miles east of the Pacific Ocean, down the Columbia river. Its headwaters begins in Canada. The majority of its flow runs the length of Washington State, making the Washington/Oregon border. Its total length is 1,243 miles.
Forty percent of all wheat exported from America is at one time or another barged down the Columbia. Its deep gorges are unbelievable in depth and beauty. The only place I know where you can windsurf in both directions, on the same day. Simply pick a side and you are off!
I was 28 at the time. Three men from the Puget Sound Baptist Association were with me. We stop at the outlook featured in the picture above. We also stayed a while at Multnomah Falls.
On the return trip, the oldest man in the car that day, related how he had spent over 40 years in the NW, preaching the gospel. He had been bi-vocational, and had worked as a barber all those years. His wife had been a school teacher. They had come from another region of the country. Knew nobody here when they came.
My adventure was about to begin in 6-weeks. I was coming in; and he was retiring because of illness. I was in the front seat. He leaned up and laid his shaky hand on me and said, “God is faithful, my wife and I wondered what we would do as we got close to retirement, not by choice, but because our bodies could not bear the heavy load of pastoring any longer. We had very little savings,,,,( a man in the car interrupts saying, ‘Yea, because he gives a lot away to needy people’).
He continues, ” We did not know what we were going to do, we decided to sell everything and hope that lasted till we were gone from this earth. The very night of that decision an old friend of mine called and said he knew we had to be close to retiring. He said he had enough money for us to retire in great comfort for over 20 years, and more if needed.”
An all- stop moment, all of us cry, all of us laugh, a few biblical jokes, perhaps a guy thing. I don’t know, but I do know that was a moment I needed.
So, while cruising down the Mighty Columbia, I hear of this Mighty God, faithful to the very end to one of his servants. So whether you are 28 or 100 plus or regions in between, remember the faithfulness of God. Don’t fret.

Psalms 37:23-26 “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way. When he falls he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand. I have been young and now I am old. Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging for bread. All day long he is gracious and lends, and his descendants are a blessing.” 2/8/18 JWP

Jim Petty in Post on February 08 2018 » 0 comments


( A youth group fun game; Adults don’t do much better at it)


Each person is given a turn. Each has about 10.00 worth of various coins. Not that I don’t trust you, but you will be searched, fingerprinted, and checked with a metal detector if I don’t get my coins back. Lol. You find yourself in one of the situations below which will be read to you.
After the situation is described to you, pause for a moment, then lay down a coin that would represent how much emotion that would draw from you.

25 cents = Major events

10 cents = Less major events

5 cents = Slightly important

1 cent = Trivial


I don’t like the way I look, of course, but my friend had lypo and cosmetic surgery and now looks like the Taco Bell dog. Explain how much emotion that drew from you and why?

Car rides my bumper all the way to Mexia.

Car won’t start.

Somebody made fun of me, but did not know I overheard.

News broadcast said a mom made her 7- year- old shoplift items from a store, then child gets caught and mom abandons child and escapes. (true story)

Your future son or daughter gets married under ideal conditions.

My future child lied to me.

My future child admitted to me that they cheated (even though not caught, they confessed anyway); now he/she will not be on the team for a while.

Got speeding ticket.

I did not get the promotion.

I did get the promotion.

My future kid struck out each time at bat ,,,last 4 ballgames.

A close family member may be terminally ill.

Someone close died, as I receive the news, my future kids are looking to see how I react. How much emotion do you spend on that situation, at that moment.

A friend of my future kid comes over to play, and cleans my kid’s room.

My friend actually does what he says he is going to do.

I find myself, more and more, thinking about how I can make life a little better for others.

If you could spend more time with your future kids, but will have to make a lot less money to do so, would you do it? How much emotional energy do you give that one in deciding this?

( All the youth said whatever it takes to be with the kid; do that!) Many adults I gave this to were undecided for a long time! Sad.)

Jim Petty in Post on February 05 2018 » 0 comments

TBC Sermon for February 4, 2018

Please join us in today’s word. And let us know what you think….either in our comment section or in person at our next service. Join us every Sunday at our new worship times–9:30am for Sunday School and at 10:45am for Worship Service. We’d love to see you here!

Jason Kerr in Post on February 05 2018 » 0 comments

TBC Sermon for January 28, 2018

Please join us in today’s word. And let us know what you think….either in our comment section or in person at our next service. Join us every Sunday at our new worship times–9:30am for Sunday School and at 10:45am for Worship Service. We’d love to see you here!

Jason Kerr in Post on February 04 2018 » 0 comments