“My Passion”, Pastor Doug’s Newsletter, August 28, 2013

LFF Screen ShotMy Passion“, Pastor Doug’s Newsletter for August 28, 2013 can be downloaded here or read below. This newsletter can be received each week via email by contacting him at dgshada@gmail.com. His daily word of encouragement can be read by connecting with his Facebook page each day. Please join us for worship at Living Faith Fellowship each Sunday at 10:00 a.m. at the Merryman Performing Arts Center in Kearney. Sunday School for all ages begins at 9:00 a.m.

My Passion
I hesitate to write this note out as it might offend some, which is not my intention at all, please understand that as you read.

I had the privilege from 1971 until 2001 to sit in Memorial Stadium each home game Saturday and watch Husker Football.  Arguably some of the finest college football of all time was played during that era. with the 1995 National Champion Huskers being voted one of the top, if not the top college football team of all time, of course being a Nebraska fan, I would say “the top.” 

I still enjoy that phone call that first home game (which will happen again this Saturday) from a family member who gets to still attend most of the home games, and it will go something like this….”Uncle Doug—–Big Red is in town!”  Yes, and I still get chills, tears and a good level of excitement goes through this ole man’s football loving system when the band goes strutting down the Tom Osborne field playing, “There is no place like Nebraska.”

What would happen in our sphere of influence, friends, if we got as excited about sharing the gospel, disciplining believers, giving to a ministry financially that is seeing life change take place in miraculous and powerful ways, being in worship with fellow believers, knowing His Word and hiding it in our hearts as I/we do about a passion like football?????  Well, you say, that’s comparing apples to oranges Shada…..  Is it really?  One wisely said, “what a man is passionate about is what you see them get excited about,” you know, what they use their time, talents and treasures to pursue.

Now, understand, I will still be watching Saturday at 7 PM the Big 10 network, and yes, I will still go to at least one home game, but…….balancing my priorities so as to give my life to what makes an eternal difference in people’s lives is where I want my true passions to be. 

The Apostle Paul’s words ring loud for me, “I have fought the good fight, I have kept the faith, I have finished the course,” may each of us live in light of what is truly important while enjoying the things around us, yes, like Husker football.

Have a great day friends, and of course, “Go Big Red!”

“Hope So”, Pastor Doug’s Newsletter, August 22, 2013

LFF Screen ShotPastor Doug’s weekly newsletter can be downloaded here, or read below. His newsletter can be received each week via email by contacting him at dgshada@gmail.com. His daily word of encouragement can be read by connecting with him on Facebook. Please join us for worship at Living Faith Fellowship each Sunday, beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the Merryman Performing Arts Center. Sunday School for all ages begins at 9:00 a.m.

“Hope So”

Dear Friends,

How often do we catch ourselves saying things with somewhere in our sentence we say, “I hope so…”  You know, things like, “I believe the Huskers will win, 10 games this year, or “hope” they do…”  Or, I am going to play another round of golf and “hope” to improve my score (that’s a stretch for me by the way..)  or… I heard this today from some one that needed a new car, “I “hope” to win the lottery soon to get the kind of car I want…..

Friends, true Christian “hope” is more than “hope so” faith.  It is the confident assurance of future glory and blessing!  That’s powerful to think on.  In 1 Peter 1:3 we read, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” 

When we come to saving faith in Jesus Christ we are given a “Living Hope.”  The confident “Hope” that one day we will be in glory (Heaven) for all eternity!  I hear the shouts of “Amen,” as I type this.  What a wonderful promise of future blessing, that we can depend on because the author of this “HOPE” is none other than Jesus Christ the “anchor of our soul, a hope that is both sure and steadfast and the one that entered within the veil of the temple with His blood as the sacrifice for our sin (Heb. 6:19)!” 

Not only do we have this “HOPE” for future glory and blessing, we have the “Holy Spirit” of the living God dwelling within each of us who know Christ as our Savior which brings a little “HOPE” and “glory” in the present, regardless of what the world is going through or the hard things we may be going through or might be facing in the days ahead!

What a deep and significant “joy” that can be ours as we grow in His grace and knowledge.  The “hope so” that is prevalent in our world is replaced by, “I am confident beyond doubt of the “HOPE” He is given us as His followers, by grace through faith in Him alone!

“Hope” is ours Christian friends! 

Have a great day,

Doug

Baptism Service, Living Faith Fellowship

LFF Screen ShotLiving Faith Fellowship attenders experienced worship and a baptism service at the homes of Dave and Pat Nelson and Bob and Carrie Soucie on July 14th. After the church service, seven individuals experienced baptism at Summer Haven Lake, next to the Soucie and Nelson homes. A pot luck lunch following the service provided a great time of fellowship.

“How Firm A Foundation,” Pastor Doug’s Sermon Notes, August 18, 2013

LFF Screen ShotPastor Doug’s sermon notes for Sunday, August 18, 2013, can be downloaded here. Based on the test, 1 Peter 1:1, this sermon begins a series from First and Second Peter. Please join us for worship each Sunday at 10:00 a.m. at the Merryman Performing Arts Center in Kearney. Sunday School for all ages begins at 9:00 a.m.

Sunday, August 18th, is also “Brunch Sunday” following church. Church attenders are invited to bring their favorite brunch item to share, which generates a great opportunity for fellowship and discussion. If you are unable to prepare any food, please join us anyway.

Japan Mission Trip, Beau Andrews

LFF Screen ShotThe following is Beau Andrews’ summary of his Summer, 2013 Mission Trip to Japan. Living Faith Fellowship was excited to support Beau’s effort and time in Japan. This summary can also be downloaded here. Pictures taken by Beau can be viewed <a href="

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It is hard to believe that it has almost been a month since I have been back home from Japan. I am glad to be back and ready for the next year of college, yet still miss all my friends back in Japan. I want to thank everyone for all your support and prayers. I could not have had this experience without your help.
Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. Philippians 4:17
The following is the summary of the experience I gained from this summer.
If may ask one more prayer request. Please pray for the missionaries in Japan and for the students that I have created friendships with. That we will remain in contact and that they will come to know Jesus as their personal Savior.

Where should one begin when telling a life-changing journey? How does one answer the repetitive question relating to how the trip transpired. After deep contemplation I was still unable to fully develop a way to encompass my trip. No matter what I communicate or how delicately I choose my words. There is purely no way to effectively communicate the experience that I gained from this trip.  Therefore, the only way to attempt to answer any questions in regards to my trip is with the most influential and memorable moments. Until arriving in Japan and being submerged in the mission work that was being done there I was operating on unanswered assumptions. No matter how the message was relayed I could not fully fathom how preeminent the need was for missionaries and how desperately there is a need for the gospel in Japan. There was no delay on being fully embraced in the culture and seeing how alone I was even though everywhere I was people were present. Even though I had minor moments of anxiety the adrenaline of pure excitement rushing through my vanes was too much to bare. Every time I met a student there the look on their face when I met them for the first time is one I will never forget. I feel that each student was more anxious and excited then I was. Day by day I was able to interact with students. Which allowed for seemingly unending opportunities to allow Christ to show His love through my life. It is such an honor and joy to be able to have that impact in someone’s life. Until the first time we had bible discussion I did not know really what was going on or how this trip was even considered a missions trip. Shortly after beginning bible discussion my eyes were opened and my heart began to break. As time progressed the opportunities I had to read and discuss the bible became more and more bittersweet. The more my heart broke yet the more I saw Gods work at hand. I would at times want to just cry for the dear friends of mine who have, until that summer, never read the bible. I wrestled with how do you reach the lost who have no idea they are even lost? I recalled the famous saying actions speak louder than words. I knew that by the life I lived was the most effective way to preach the gospel. However, the challenge to live a god honoring life continually is a challenge man has faced since creation. The struggles I wrestled with became more prominent. The life I didn’t want to live seemed easier and the life I wanted to live seemed unattainable.  I earnestly prayed from Psalms 51 for God to renew my heart and give me strength. After a few days of praying God showed me that I was lacking in constantly showing genuine love. I knew that to begin to live a God honoring life one needs to have unending love. ‘Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:7 ESV) Love is the strongest and most powerful emotion an individual can show. For out of a loving heart comes humility, thanksgiving, joy, hope, peace, and the list goes on. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love never ends.’  (1 Corinthians 13:4-6, 8a ESV)
I am so grateful for how God changed me. How he took me to a foreign country to deepen my relationship with Him. However, there was still a problem I was facing and even a bigger problem I was going to encounter. My friends still did not know Jesus as their personal savior. The second problem was I had created a home in Japan and was wondering how I could leave this place. My thoughts were, what if I go to another region of the world would I be torn to leave from there as well? Then I recalled how our citizenship is in heaven. ‘But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,’ (Philippians 3:20 ESV) Therefore, the same God who brought me to Japan is the same God who will be with me when I return. It was not I who provided the money for the trip, it was not I who created the opportunities to share the gospel. Nor was it I who would make them fully understand the gospel. All things good are provided by God to glorify God. I am thankful God chose to use me as a stepping stone to share the gospel. This trip was not merely a two month journey that would end after I returned. However, this was merely another stepping stone for me to continue in growing in my walk with Christ. Becoming the man of god that I was created to be. Now it is onto the next stage and to continue this abundant growth. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.’ (John 15:1, 2, 4, 5 ESV) We are called to bear fruit. No matter where we go in life we are to fully rely on Christ and fulfill the great commission while living a life honoring to Him. ‘Thus says the Lord : “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:5-8 ESV) I again cannot express the amazement of how great our God is. The God of Jacob, the God of Moses, is the same God then, today and forever. ‘And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.” (1 Kings 18:39 ESV) ‘God said to Moses, ” I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ” I am has sent me to you.” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, “The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.” This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. (Exodus 3:14, 15 ESV) 
This summer had convictions and realizations. The combination allowed for growth and maturity. The outcome is a desire to continually serve Christ in everything I do. ‘And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.’ (Colossians 3:17 ESV). If I may encourage you to take one thing away from my experience is to never loose faith in God the Father and our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus.
‘if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.’ (2 Timothy 2:13 ESV)
May the grace of God be with you.
Your brother in Christ,

Beau