March 2018  
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New Year's Messages from Our Pastors

From Pastor Rex Longshore -

New Year’s resolutions are probably the least reliable promises. They turn out to be half-hearted, expressing more wish than resolution. Odd, that promises to ourselves should have so little credibility.   
Promises are often made in times of distress, duress, desperation, or simply to gain some advantage for oneself. And usually these promises turn out to be unreliable, too. And when reminded of them, one feigns a lapse of memory (“I did?”) or just denies having ever made them (“No way!”).  
At times we try to wring promises from others. Somehow getting the promise lends us a bit of reassurance. If nothing else, one can hold the promise over the other’s head, a constant reminder that “You promised!”   But, alas, wrung promises guarantee nothing. This side of death, we cannot guarantee our promises. Death itself may prevent our keeping them
Yet promises carry meaning for us. Broken promises can be devastating to a marriage or a friendship. And promises made with the best of intentions may go unkept, causing anything from mild disappointment to total outrage. Still, there are times when a promise kept restores one’s faith in another or simply confirms the confidence one has.
Human beings make promises great and small not always knowing whether they can deliver on them, however much we may desire. We want to be able to count on others, and promises raise the possibility that we can. 
What differentiates us from God is that we can trust him to keep his promises. Adam and Eve discovered to their dismay that the consequence of disobedience was indeed death, as promised. God followed that with a second promise to crush the serpent that colluded with them, leading to their death. 
Adam and Eve did not live to see the second promise fulfilled. Many succeeding generations were born and died without seeing it. But in the fullness of time Jesus Christ came, taking on our first parents’ death and the death of all succeeding generations, summing up in himself all humanity, leaving out none of us. So in the death of Jesus all mankind died, and his resurrection put the world right before God. That is the good news we are invited to believe.   That good news accepted in faith continues to work out the new order of Christ in our lives.
God’s promise in Christ spans the life remaining of this world; it gives hope each day that he who began his new work in us will bring it to completion at the time of our Lord’s return.   Happy New Year and a blessed lifetime!
                                                                        - Rex


From Pastor Miguel Luna. . .                                      Translated by Pam Bridgehouse
The Gift from God
John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
    Christmas and New Year’s are celebrations in which families give and receive gifts. It’s a joy to finish one year and receive another new one. Mom and Dad worry about whether it will be possible for them to give a gift to their children and the children to their parents. Yes, parents are busy about giving their children a gift and making them feel good during these holidays and on their birthdays. God, too, has not been sitting idle, but has given us the very best gift. Maybe it’s not exactly what we wanted, but it was what we really needed – Jesus Christ – who has brought a great change into our life that was being destroyed by sin.
     The gift from God is Jesus Christ who brings peace and pardon to our life, joy and happiness in moments when we thought all was lost.
     He has given us not only Jesus Christ, but also the chance to begin another new year, 2010, thus giving us the opportunity to carry out our projects we have on our agenda.
     My beloved brother, don’t forget to put God on your agenda of activities. Remember that he is our Father and he wants to keep on guarding and protecting you as his child.
Thank you God for this marvelous gift that you give in these holidays of Christmas and New Year’s. Amen.
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