Music Ministry Update

With Spring right around the corner our thoughts turn to Easter – a time when we remember the crucifixion and celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior.  The choir had a time of fellowship as we listened to Easter music is preparation to lead in worship.

They will begin sharing Easter specials in a few weeks as we prepare our hearts for Easter.

Sunday School Class HIGHLIGHT

It’s never too early to teach the love of God. In Proverbs 22:6 it says

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” 

       It’s been said that it takes a village to raise children. And with the family and community surrounded by faith and fixed upon God it’s the best village you can find. In our Sunday school class, we explore God’s love through music and reading books and it is such a joy to see smiling faces while we fellowship with one another. 

The Babies and Toddlers Sunday School Class

A Word From Sunday – February 26th

Wow! Praise God for Kevin’s faithful proclamation of His Word! Praise God for His faithfulness in reminding me of my need for personal repentance; for “broken-heartedness” over a fallen world; for convicting me of my commitment to “actively live out” the faith I have in the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise God for ENABLING me, by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, to be bold in proclaiming His invitation to the LOST to receive forgiveness and begin a faith-journey through a relationship with Christ. Praise God for reminding me (and the SAVED) to move through Brokenness into the area of Building whatever He assigns to me in Kingdom service… trusting Him to enable SUCCESS in the tasks. These are some of what God conveyed to me about applying today’s message in my personal life-circumstances. Praise God for being AMAZING… and letting me (us) in on it!! Philippians 1:6…
In Him, Walter

Sunday School Class Highlight

The Ruth Class is a group of ladies who strive to serve the LORD.
We know that prayer works and sending a card lifts spirits.

Our recent study has been in the first eleven chapters of John’s
gospel.  We will continue in John through the spring studying
chapters 12 through 21.  John writes that the last months of Jesus’
ministry tell the complete story of the price paid for our salvation.

If you are a woman thinking about joining a Bible study, consider
the Ruth Class.  We start at 9:30 on Sunday mornings.

Nehemiah – Chaos and Brokenness

The date was February 12, 2021. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a day that changed my life forever. It started out with a phone call from my Dad. He told me that my Mom had passed out, that she was in a coma, and was being rushed to the hospital. The news stunned me. My heart sank and immediately I wept. I had a bad feeling that the end was near for my Mom in this world. She did not pass away on that day. On that day we saw many miracles happen. The doctors said that she would not make it through the day. She did. God kept my mom alive for almost another month. She passed away on March 5 of 2021. It was the weeks leading up to her death that I will remember forever. The weeks between when she first went into her coma and her death were chaos. It was that chaos that led me to brokenness. It was that brokenness that led me before a sovereign God, weeping, crying out to the Father, pleading that he would heal my mother and let her live. During that time I had never felt more helpless in my life. But it was also during that time that I had never felt closer to God. Up until that point I was just living my life. I was seeing God move in my ministry. I had several speaking opportunities that I was excited about. I was very focused on me. I was focused on building my ministry kingdom. How do I make much of me? When my Mom went into her coma all of that changed. I wasn’t focused on any of that. My focus, my heart shifted from myself to God. It was the chaos of what happened to my Mom and the brokenness that came from that, that led me to refocus my vision and my heart from myself to God. It was the chaos in my life that broke me. And it was that brokenness that led me to put my focus on God.

Chaos leads to brokenness. That has been my thought as I study through Nehemiah again. Last week in my blog post I talked about how Nehemiah was off living his life, doing his own thing until a wake up call in the form of Hanani came and he told Nehemiah about the chaos that was going on in Jerusalem. We will see in verse 4 of chapter 1 of Nehemiah that it was the chaos of Jerusalem that led Nehemiah to being broken before God. Let’s check the verse out.

“As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.” Nehemiah 1:4

I can relate to those words all too well. On February 12 of 2021, as soon as I heard my Dad’s words, I wept. I mourned. I prayed. I think that you can relate to those words as well. There is something about chaos and brokenness that will either bring people together or it will divide them. Brokenness will lead you to do one of two things. It will lead you to grow bitter. How many times has that happened in a believer’s life? Chaos happens. Someone in their family dies. Or someone hurts them so bad that they can’t get over it. Whatever it is, that chaos leads them to being broken. But instead of that brokenness leading them to God. It leads them to bitterness. Bitterness is one of the worst things that could ever infect a human being. Bitterness has been around since Cain and Abel. It has destroyed many. Hebrews 12:5 says this about bitterness. “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness’ springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.” Bitterness destroys. Don’t let your brokenness lead to bitterness. And if your heart grows bitter, go to God with worship. The second thing that brokenness will lead you to do is worship. This is a sign of a mature Christian. Whenever chaos ensues. When the rain is pouring. When life delivers an unfair blow. The mature Christian doesn’t grow in bitterness, they turn to God and worship. They know that the chaos that they find themselves in hurts. It has broken them. But they refuse to let that brokenness destroy their faith. They use that brokenness as a chance to worship God.

This is exactly what Nehemiah did. As soon as he heard about the chaos of Jerusalem, it led him to being broken and that brokenness led to worship. Nehemiah didn’t deny the fact that the chaos in Jerusalem didn’t hurt him. It did. It hurt him so much that it says that as soon as he heard these words he sat down and wept. Hanani’s words hit him like a brick wall. But what I love about Nehemiah is that he did not grow bitter. He worshipped. In fact in verse 5 he tells God how great and awesome God is. In some translations it says “awe inspiring.’’ When is the last time that you can say that your brokenness led you to being in awe of God?

The chaos of Jerusalem woke Nehemiah up. The chaos of Jerusalem broke Nehemiah. The chaos of Jerusalem led Nehemiah to worship. The chaos of Jerusalem led Nehemiah to get to work. The coma and the death of my mom led me to brokenness. But from that brokenness it led me to a heart fully focused on God. What is the chaos in your life leading you to? Is it leading you to worship or bitterness? Is it leading you to get to work for God’s glory or is it leading you to pout and to go into hiding? In the words of a former Pastor of mine, “As always its your choice. choose wisely.”

-Pastor Kevin

Sunday School Class Highlight

The CO-ED II class is a group of approximately 20 believers who are prayer warriors. We are connected by daily scripture and prayer concerns, both for our class and our church family. Love for each other is the best way to describe this class as we try to live out the command of our Lord Jesus Christ when he told us in John 10:27.

“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and your strength and all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.”

Some examples of putting action to our faith are that all of us are active in MANY ministries throughout the church. We are active in our community during the year as we adopt a family during the Christmas season and we prepare/deliver meals to the sick and homebound as these needs come to our attention.

For our Bible studies on Sunday morning, we are currently in a course of study called “How to Discern the Voice of God” and we would love to have you come and check us out!!

Fellowship. Food. & Fast Cars.

The Grand Prix event was a night to remember for our youth.  Around 60 people gathered in the Fellowship Hall to witness the children and adults, who are involved in our Awana program, race their pinewood derby cars. The night began with the race against the Awana leaders. Ethan S., a member of our Student Ministry, walked away with the Leader Championship Trophy for the second year in a row. For our main racing event, it was time for the children to race against one another and the families were more than ready to cheer them on! The race was a close call leaving two children tied for first place. To settle the tie we had one final race of the night between Marley M. and Jerlin S. 

Our final winners for the night were: 

1st Place – Marley M.

2nd Place – Jerlin S.

3rd Place – Silas R.

After the races were over, we enjoyed having fellowship with one another and a hot dog supper provided by the amazing hospitality team. It was a great evening here at Clear Spring being surrounded by such a wonderful church family. 

– Anna Kate Taylor

A Word From Sunday – February 5th

God created within us emotions, and He warns us not to trust them. Rather than being confused and controlled by our feelings, we strive to heed God’s word with maturity and grace.  We find the blessings of love, happiness, surprise and interest. Our emotions season our lives and help us embrace life, but what about the emotions that bring us pain?   We live in a sinful world therefore, anger, fear, shame, and sadness come into our lives. In God’s wisdom He gave them all to us, and truthfully we are blessed by our feelings.  God also experiences emotions and He doesn’t leave us without direction in dealing with our emotions.

On Sunday, February 5, 2023 Pastor David brought a timely message concerning grief.  Many in our congregation have lost loved ones recently, and many more have dealt with grief over time.  The sermon gave six ways God helps us through our grief.

  1. God draws us close to Himself (Psalm 34:18)
  2. God grieves with us (Isaiah 53:3)
  3. God gives us a church family for support (Romans  12:10-15)
  4. God uses our grief to help us grow (James 1:2-3)
  5. God gives us hope of Heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:13)
  6. God uses our pain to help others (2 Corinthians 1:4)

At the close of the message many participated in an opportunity to show our love and support for one another with a time of prayer. Please continue to obey God by sharing other’s burdens, reading the Bible, worshiping with fellow Christians, and always praying for others as we each navigate life with emotions.

Angela Shiflet

Share His Love

Thanks to those who shared their God given talents last night as we shared the love of Jesus through music.

And thanks to those who were there to worship with us.

Singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:19-20

Nehemiah – It’s time to wake up!

It is Monday morning as I write this. The sound of the dreaded Monday morning alarm still rings in my ear. As I wake and stumble around I think to myself how much I hate that alarm clock. Oh to be able to press that snooze button one more time and go back into my slumber. The alarm clock is both a blessing and sometimes I consider it a curse. The blessing is that it wakes me up. It says to me as I sleep that it’s time to wake up! God has ordained for you a new day. A new day to make much of Him. A new day to accomplish the tasks that He has planned for me. A new day to make an impact in this world and in God’s kingdom. A new day. Isn’t that so sweet to hear? A new day. Think about it. The God of the universe has chosen to give us a new day. And yet we so often look at the alarm clock with a sense of dread. We have a dread of waking up. We have a dread to face whatever Monday and a new week, and in a few days a new month will bring us. A lot of times the alarm clock fills us with dread instead of a sense of expectation and instead of rising with excitement that we have a new day, we hit the snooze button. Or at least I do. I think that this is what the American church has done for far too long. Instead of rising to face a new day and embrace the new challenges that we face as a church, we instead hit the snooze button and go back to sleep because we would rather stay asleep where its safe and we can pretend that the world is alright, that the American church isn’t in chaos. We would rather do that than to admit that everything is not alright. We would rather sleep and dream, than to wake up and fight the good fight that God has called us to fight.

Church it is time to wake up!

My favorite book in the Bible is Nehemiah. I believe that Nehemiah is one of the greatest leaders that has ever lived. Over the next few weeks I am going to write articles about Nehemiah because I believe we can learn so much from him. One thing that I have noticed about Nehemiah, is that he; like the American Church was once asleep. He was asleep to the reality that everything was not ok. He was asleep until he had an alarm to wake him up. This is the wake up call that Nehemiah got in chapter 1: 1-3

“The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah.” Now it happened in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Susa the Citadel, that Hanani, one of my brothers, came with certain men from Judah. And I asked them concerning the Jews who escaped, who had survived the exile and concerning Jerusalem. And they said to me, “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down. And its gates are destroyed by fire.”

Nehemiah had a high office job in Susa the Citadel working for King Artaxerxes. Nehemiah was off living his life doing his own thing until an alarm clock in the form of Hanani came to wake him up. I have said in the past as I have studied this book that I believe this wasn’t new information for Nehemiah. I believe that he knew what was going on in Jerusalem. I just believe that like the American church he was asleep until God chose to wake him up through Hanani. If it wasn’t for Hanani and the other men from Judah, Nehemiah would have remained asleep and Jerusalem would have remained in chaos. After Nehemiah got this wake up call he had two options. He could have hit the snooze button. He could have ignored the problem and hoped that someone else took charge. Or he could take charge, not back down, and go do what God was calling him to do. We will see in the following chapters that Nehemiah took the wake up call seriously and he took action. Here is a spoiler alert if you are not familiar with Nehemiah. The walls of Jerusalem were in ruins for upwards of 141 years. Nehemiah and his team rebuilt the walls in 52 days. All because Nehemiah woke up and faced the facts that all was not alright in the world.

Nehemiah needed Hanani to wake him up. What will be our Hanani? Perhaps Hanani has already showed up and we just choose to hit the snooze button and sleep. America is broken. The American Church is broken. Everywhere we look there are problems that need to be addressed. There are people that are hurting. There is a gospel that needs to be preached. And there is a darkness in this world that is getting even darker. It is time for us as the Church to stop hitting the snooze button. It is time for us to stop pretending that things are ok. It is time for us to be the light in this world that Jesus has called us to be. It is time for us to wake up!

-Pastor Kevin