The Butterfly and the Flower

“So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it

will be yours.”   Mark 11:24

Like many of you, I have been using this time to clean out things that have been collecting for a long time.  While going through some old papers, I found this hand written message.  I have no idea who gave it to me, but it spoke to me and I would like to share it with you.

The Butterfly and the Flower

“Once there was a man who asked God for a butterfly and a flower.  But instead God gave him a cactus and a caterpillar.  The man was sad.  He didn’t understand why his request was mistaken.  He thought – oh well, God has too many people to care for…..and decided not to question.

After some time, the man went to check up on his request that he had left forgotten.  To his surprise, from the thorny and ugly cactus a beautiful flower had grown and the unsightly caterpillar had been transformed into the most beautiful butterfly!

God always does things RIGHT.  His way is always the best way even though to us it may seem all wrong.  If you asked God for one thing and received another you can be sure that He will always give you what you need at the appropriate time.  What you want is not always what you need.  God never fails to grant our petitions so keep on going to Him without doubting.

Today’s thorn is tomorrow’s flower; today’s caterpillar is tomorrow’s butterfly.  God gives the very best to those who leave the choices up to Him!”

During this season of Lent most of us are looking more closely at our prayer life.  Pastor Bill repeatedly tells us that God ALWAYS answers our prayers, but that they are not always answered in our time, but in God’s time!


Barbara Sollers

Small Beginnings

Small Beginnings

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…

-Zechariah 4:10

Well, it seems Spring may finally be on its way. Still, Baltimore is notorious for its finicky weather, so I expect some more unpleasant weather before the tulips bloom. March always feels like Winter’s last, desperate fight for control, but we know Spring will win in the end.

I love the feeling of newness that Spring brings – that wonderful sense of rebirth and growth.  The first day of Spring is the Persian New Year, so I am usually thinking of that side of the family’s culture, but this year, I’ve been thinking of mine — the Celtic side.  St. Patrick was also big on new beginnings, although not always ones he planned.  Snake myths aside, I do know that in the end this religious slave and orphan ended up bringing the hope of Christ to the entire island of Ireland.  I wish all my beginnings were so profitable! Nevertheless, I have learned to regard even the smallest things in a new way.  First of all, worth is measured differently by God and the world.  The world values status, money and possessions, whereas God values your relationships — with Him and with others.  How you care for others counts.  Also, even the tiniest seeds can sprout and grow into something great.  Billy Graham didn’t start out trying to evangelize the world, although he has, and St. Patrick didn’t intend to convert an entire island of pagans, but that’s what God had planned for him.

So, in this season of beginnings, I am happy to trust that God is moving me to the place I need to be.  I encourage you to also spend this Lenten season seeking Him out and prayerfully considering what He has planned for you.  Fast, meditate, spend some time alone, read the Bible and let that breakthrough happen!  If you are like me, our 40 Days of Prayer study may have given you new insights, inspiration or a promise. Nurture that tiny seed of faith or promise from God. Who can imagine what it might grow into?  I pray that it will blossom like the crocuses and tulips (and shamrocks!)


Lord, our Lord, you are so awesome, and your creation is so wonderful.  Thank you for being a Good Shepherd who leads His flock by still water and green pastures.  Help us to turn our eyes to You this Lent, to seek you and listen to your ‘still, small voice’.  Show us the path you have prepared for us and help us to avoid the temptations of affluence and indolence, because You know what is best for us.  Amen.

Stay blessed,

Jen Jahromi

Love Broke Through


There are some moments that are anticipated and upon entering and passing through them, they disappoint instead of meet our expectations.

I grew up with this little bit of wisdom thrown in from my mom. Don’t anticipate too much and then you won’t be disappointed when it isn’t as great an event as you thought it would be.

God gave me a fairly easygoing nature, so this bit of wisdom made sense to me. Take it as it comes. And in most cases I do.

My daddy often told me not to wear my feelings on my sleeve; I confess, I never learned that one.

And then, there are moments that not only meet, but also exceed our expectations. I could list some but I’m sure you can fill in several in your own life.

Usually these times are astounding. Almost too great for explanation, these appear too wonderful to be true.

Science even tells us hope and anticipation can help divert sadness and depression for years, in rare cases centuries.

The Israelites knew this kind of anticipation. They understood that Jehovah would send a Messiah to rescue them from the evil of the world. Every so often as the years passed a God sighting would rejuvenate these Israelites. They would breathe deeply as they experienced God’s presence in some way; and once again begin their journey with eyes of anticipation toward the future that would bring their Messiah, known as the One. This Messiah would come to save and rescue them into an era of peace and justice. This Messiah would conquer their enemies.

When Jesus Christ was born to the Virgin Mary and her betrothed Joseph, the Holy Spirit pricked the awareness of those that were seeking. Those gently listening souls traveled from near and far around the known world and kneeled bringing gifts. However, the rest of the world failed to recognize. Their anticipations had distorted the Messiah’s coming. They rose against Jesus continuing to expect chariots and wars to arrive bringing the Jewish nation into power and control.

Jesus Christ entered the world with angels attending but few had eyes to see. He lived his daily life as a child, teen, and young adult. There is little written or known about these years. Until the age of thirty He lived a fairly innocuous life. We don’t hear about Him making waves, or causing a raucous. He lived his quiet life with his family.

Until, he didn’t.

When the rumors began to swirl around Jesus Christ possibly being the Messiah, those that had determined what that would look like were disappointed. They kept waiting for those chariots to arrive with those armies to come and destroy any person, nation, even cultures against the Jews.

Yet, Jesus Christ rippled gently across the world as he grew in recognition instead of ripping it open. He came calmly, and gently.

He came as a Lamb.

There were no crashing swords, no chariots screeching, and no cries of attack.

And as the Lamb of God was taken to slaughter, he quietly accepted the cross. His job on earth was to come and show us Yahweh.

Jehovah’s compassion was brought to Golgotha. Those who had eyes to see and ears to hear were pricked to something changing.

Could they describe it? Probably not. But they knew something was happening. Through the passage of Via Dolorosa to the Hill of Golgotha, hanging in shame on a cross, and giving up his Spirit as he entered the depths of darkness to battle Satan for us and our redemption. In the depths of darkness we could not observe, the Messiah warred against Lucifer and his demons and conquered them with the Righteous Sinless Blood of the Lamb of God.

And when LOVE BROKE THROUGH and Jesus walked out of that tomb the world would never be the same.

Those of us that know Him as our personal Savior,

Redeemer and Friend anticipate His return.

We don’t know what that will look like, or when it will be. Yet, we anticipate.

When the world rumbles we get busy trimming our lanterns. We discuss it, get excited about it, wonder if this is the time and remind ourselves, probably not, because He promised no one would know and it would be a total surprise.

With that said, if you don’t know Him in this way, please ask Him for the salvation, and redemption he is anxious to give you. Be adopted into his family. He will never let you go, he fought for you, he is waiting in anticipation for you to receive his free gift of everlasting life with him.

Please don’t be caught unaware. Please receive the Lamb Slain and Risen as your Savior.

For when the LION of JUDAH returns riding on His white horse, on the clouds, in the skies it will way exceed our expectations!

We wait in anticipation to celebrate this day.

Because HE IS the I AM, i am,

Robyn Rochelle Cox

©RR&BC, LLC 2021

Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou My Vision

“Where there is no vision from God, the people run wild,

but those who adhere to God’s instruction know genuine happiness.”

Proverbs 29:18 (VOICE)

I read two things this week that inspired me. The first said that who we are is based on our dominant thoughts and desires. The second is a quote by Kevin Eikenberry: “We move toward our future one day at a time. But where we move depends entirely on our vision.” For me, these thoughts directly tie in to our two church-wide studies. In “40 Days of Purpose” we learned that each of us has a unique combination of talents, and that God has a purpose to use these talents to serve others. In “40 Days of Prayer” we are learning how to communicate with God, and that it is through prayer and studying the Word, that we understand God’s will for us. The goal of both studies is to encourage us in our faith journey and assist us in maturing as Christians.

So we need to be honest with ourselves. Who are we today? What consumes our thoughts, and what do our hearts desire? If we say we are Kingdom seekers, but are not pursuing Kingdom goals, we may need to refocus our priorities. Likewise, if our vision is not aligned with God’s plans, we may need to spend more time talking with the Father and discerning a clear direction. The good news is it’s never too late to get it right. God can use our missteps for his good, but we need to do our part. We need to communicate with God through prayer and submit to his will, trusting that our heavenly Father has only good plans for us.

It is believed that the words to today’s hymn could date back as far as the 8th century. Mary Byrne (1880-1931) translated the old Irish text into English in 1905. It was then put into verses in 1912 by Eleanor Hull (1860-1935) and published in her “Poem Book of the Gael.” In 1919, it was published in “The Irish Church Hymnal,” and paired with the hymn tune SLANE. SLANE was written by an unknown composer in honor of St. Patrick. On Easter Sunday in 433, an Irish king, in observation of a Druid festival, prohibited people from lighting fires. St. Patrick climbed Slane Hill and lit a fire, in direct defiance of the king’s decree, to show people that God’s light shines through the darkness. ( and

Be Thou My Vision (UMH #451)

Words: Ancient Irish; trans. By Mary E. Byrne, 1905

Music: Trad. Irish Melody (SLANE)


Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;

Naught be all else to me, save that thou art.

Thou my best thought, by day or by night,

Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.


Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word;

I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord;

Thou and thou only, first in my heart,

Great God of heaven, my treasure thou art.


Great God of heaven, my victory won,

May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Sun!

Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,

Still be my vision, O ruler of all.

We should all be asking ourselves two questions: “Who am I?” and “Where am I going?” We want to be sure we are focused on God, allowing him to show us his vision for our lives, and following the path he sets before us. Are you walking with the Father daily? If you have gotten off track or have lost your way, stop and turn to God, and He will show you the way.

Have a blessed week,

Julie Morgan



This week in our “40 Days of Prayer,” we are continuing to discover the richness and depth of using “The Lord’s Prayer” as a model for our prayers. Jesus gave it to us not so much as to show us what specific words to pray, but more as an example of “how” to pray. Using this model prayer, Jesus shows us the various components that will enrich our personal prayer life. Jesus introduced “The Lord’s Prayer” by saying, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.9 This, then, is how you should pray…” Matthew 6:7-9

Two nights ago, in our Wednesday Night Gathering, we spent much of our time sharing about confessing our sins to God asking for His forgiveness (“forgive us our sins”), and forgiving others who have hurt and offended us (“as we forgive those who sin against us”).

In his video teaching for this week, Pastor Rick made a powerful observation as to how God forgives us. He said, “God forgives us instantly, freely, completely and permanently.” If you think of each of these 4 truths, we begin to understand that God’s forgiveness is truly stunning! It stands in stark contrast in a world that knows so little about forgiveness. Even among Christians who regularly pray “The Lord’s Prayer,” we find a fragile and malnourished concept and practice of forgiveness. We pray asking God to forgive our sins, while we choose to hold on to past hurts, offenses that others have done to us. (Re-read Melissa’s poignant devotional sent to you yesterday!)

How do we break the stronghold in our hearts of unforgiveness and walls we’ve built around us as the result of our holding on to past hurts reliving them again and again? God gives us the key in Ephesians 4:32 – “Be kind and tenderhearted to on another; and forgive one another as God has forgiven you through Christ!” To break free, we must forgive others the same way that God has forgiven us! We might recoil at the thought. Some of our hurts are severe and from our perspective, seem humanly impossible to forgive. Pastor Rick reminded us, “You will never have to forgive anyone more than God has already forgiven you!” 

The key to releasing the hurts and sins of others against us, no matter how severe and traumatizing, is to fully comprehend – not only with our intellect but our hearts, too – just how much God has forgiven us. I know that if God kept a record of all my sins, just how endless and long that list would be! But God, in His unfathomable grace and the work of Jesus on the cross, has chosen to forgive me when I ask instantly, freely, completely and permanently! God, in His great love, refuses to keep a record of our sins (1 Cor. 13:5) and chooses not to remember them as some of us do to each other. Not only that, God tells us that His steadfast love never ceases, and that His mercies never come to end – they are new every morning! (Lamentations 3:22-23)

On June 12th, 1987, President Ronald Reagan stood at the Berlin Wall that separated East and West Berlin. That wall represented a barrier between freedom and oppression. The wall kept those in tyranny from experiencing liberty. Sternly and passionately, President Reagan addressed the Soviet Premier and world demanding “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

In our life’s quest to be more like Jesus each day, and to experience true liberty from guilt, shame, remorse and regrets, let us answer the passionate cry of the Holy Spirit to each one of us, “Tear down this wall!” Let’s partner with God and tear down our walls of unforgiveness towards others built by holding on to and reliving all our hurts and pains – and release them to God by forgiving others as God has forgiven us!


Pastor Bill

From Broken Pieces to a Kaleidoscope of Beauty…

From Broken Pieces to a Kaleidoscope of Glorious Beauty…

In life, each of us carry an abundant memory bank full of breathtaking and treasured moments.  Priceless times with those we love and cherish and yet there are also the moments we would rather soon forget. Memories of words spoken in the heat of anger, moments of betrayal where we were the betrayed and in other instances, we were the betrayer.   Then there is the sin.  Forgoing our conscience, knowing something is wrong and yet, choosing to do it anyway.  And like the apostle Paul, we can often wonder, “why in life, we sometimes do exactly what we don’t want to do.”

Romans 7:15: “I do not understand what I do.  For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate, I do.”

Have you ever done that?  You knew it was wrong and yet, you went ahead and did it anyway?

Maybe it was taking credit for an idea or job which was not yours to begin with.  Maybe it was keeping silent about an issue when you knew you should speak up.  Maybe, it was finishing off the bottle instead of stopping after 1 glass or maybe it was giving that person a second glance and then a third.

And with this large album of painful memories, comes the shame.  The awful regret, the overwhelming remorse, the suffocating guilt which can torment us day in and day out, during our waking hours and even in the dark of night, invading our dreams like a thief, stealing our peace, robbing us of our joy.

Afraid of what others may say or think, we push the shambled heap out of sight, constructing an outward wall of strength and beauty for all to see in spite of the ugliness we secretly live with.  Trying to keep our mess hidden from the view of others, we choose to believe the lie, “out of sight, out of mind.”  And when we do this, we become a slave to the sin, a captive to the shame, a prisoner of war – the war that’s waging inside of us.

And yet, the moment we get real and stop pretending we have it all together, the moment we confess our mess before the Lord Almighty, bringing our secret sin out from the shadowy darkness and into His light – in that moment and in that confession, walls come down and chains are broken. God steps in, washes us clean in the blood of His Son, then takes our broken pieces in His hands, turns them about and like a kaleidoscope, and transforms our brokenness into a masterpiece of beauty.

Proverbs 28:13; “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”

There is no sin too great, no broken piece beyond God’s repair. And with Him, He promises to make all things new. 

I’m thankful for a merciful God who isn’t shaking His head in disappointment every time I mess up but, instead whispers, “give it to me, I can use that too.

Revelation 21:5

Then He who sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”  And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”


Melissa Daniels

The Blessings of Relationship

The Blessings of Relationship

“‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” ~Luke 10:27

Relationship.  At its core, that is what Christianity is all about: an outpouring of love toward your fellow man born from the overflow of love toward God.  Other religions claim that God or the gods demand(s) obedience, but there must be more to it than that, or else why would we have free will?  He could have formed us as obedient servants, but instead he allowed us a choice.  Yes, God wants us to obey, but more than that, He wants our love and adoration.  And even our obedience to His laws is for our own good.  He wants what is best for us.  And what could be better than a loving relationship with a God who knows us intimately?  And when we can get our head around the Truth of the All-Powerful God wanting a personal, intimate relationship with us, it leads to an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and humility which we should then pass on to our neighbors. 

It seems to me that relationship is a key ingredient to sharing the Gospel message, too.  Jesus demonstrated love toward people by healing them, feeding them, dining with them, etc. before he shared the message about the kingdom of God.  And nothing can open the door to someone’s heart like kindness and caring.  I think that the fact that it is such a challenge to love our neighbor shows that it is the right thing to do.  It is easy to love a puppy, but hard to love a challenging co-worker.  It is easy to be kind to a stray cat, but harder to be kind to our own family.  Nevertheless, the relationships we create here on earth are a glimpse into the relationship God wants to have with us: trusting, kind, intimate, personal, loyal, encouraging and so much more.

Every day we have the choice to be a blessing. I love that there are so many Irish blessings. I love that you can buy them and hang them around the house or embroider them on pillows as reminders of God’s goodness. But blessings are not just for us. We are blessed to BE a blessing. Pass those blessings on to others. They need that encouragement. They need that reminder of God’s goodness. They need to know there is goodness and compassion in the world. They need a favor, or some help, or a random act of kindness.

Even in this dark time of pandemic and social upheaval we can bring hope and reconciliation. With this in mind, say a prayer for the people of the world who are wholly relying on the compassionate love of others to help them through their tragedy – whether war, illness, political strife, natural disaster or financial crisis. And pray that that compassionate love will point them toward God so that they might find peace in His abundant love.

Stay Blessed,

Jen Jahromi

Thick Places

Thick Places

Recently, I shared information about Thin Places to seek out and find in our surroundings. Those thin places that lend themselves to getting close to God. A chair, a closet, a corner, or as the Wesley brothers experienced with their own mother, Susanna Wesley, an apron to throw over our heads. On any given day between 1700 and 1720, Susanna would quickly throw her apron up over her head with ten children running around, learning their facts, how to read, how to cook. She would find her thin place right amongst the little ones. It reminds me to reassure young parents homeschooling their children in this pandemic, you are not alone, your situation will not damage your children, in fact, as they see you lean on the Lord, they will learn themselves to lean into Him. Just look at John and Charles Wesley.

However, that brings me to the Thick Places we are all encountering today. Are these places harder for us than our ancestors? No. Are these places difficult to maneuver? Yes. Our ancestors had to learn to maneuver through them and we have to do the same. Every generation has endured hardship. These are the thick places I am referring to.

Some of the thick places that we are attempting to manage and live joyfully through are not just out of our control, but downright depressing. We have the Pandemic right now. Thank God we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel — yet, we are not out of the woods. We have the political positions of not just our country, but also other countries. We have the ugliness of murder and mayhem, the shame of sexual attack and dysfunction. We have children being exposed to inappropriate behavior and some stuck in homes with disheartened or angry parents. The thick places multiply.

How do we live a Kingdom driven life with so much energy being spent on picking our feet up and pulling them out of these thick places one-step at a time?

Continual prayer. It is the only way we are able to climb into bed at the end of our days finding the peace that passes all understanding. Allowing our minds and hearts to usher into our thin places with God the Almighty; the Three-in-one God as we are continually hit with another barrage of thick places is the ultimate challenge. Do we give up? No. We remember that even Christ asked for the cup of the cross to be taken away from him. Where did He look? Where did His help come from? It came from Abba, His Father. We have been given guidance by Jesus himself, “Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Give us this moment LORD. Get us through this with Your strength, Your knowledge, Your love. Give us the courage it takes to live expecting miracles from your hand, let us be brave enough to ask for what we wish in your name. Remind us that when we asked you into our hearts you came in and now reside in us and we are able to ask you to give us wisdom in every situation, in all the thick places we walk into all day long.

Let us fall to sleep every night knowing that you are in this place with us. You were in these places in the past with our ancestors and with all of the struggles they had to forge forward through, and you are already in the future where we are going.

As a believer of God, Lord and Savior,

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13


Because He IS the I AM, I am

Robyn Rochelle Cox

©RR&BC, LLC 2021

Prayer is the Soul’s Sincerest Desire

“For where your treasure is, there your heart [your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers] will be also.”

Matthew 6:21 (AMP)

Several interesting articles hit my inbox this week. The common theme running through these articles is that you have to practice your “craft” – whatever it is – if it’s important to you. And if you aren’t regularly practicing your craft, it’s not important. Can you call yourself a painter if you never paint, or a builder if you never build, or a teacher if you never teach? If you aren’t spending time doing whatever your thing is, why not? Maybe it was part of your past, something you used to enjoy, but outgrew. Or maybe it’s something you still like doing, but don’t make the time to do. The Bible tells us in both Matthew and Luke that where our treasure is, that is where our heart is. How we invest our time is important, and it says a lot about who we are.

It made me think about our “40 Days of Prayer” study. We are learning about prayer. We are learning how to pray. We are learning how to be a praying Church. Many of us are learning how to make prayer a priority. It’s important. If we don’t spend time talking to God, how can we say we want a relationship with Him? We have a wonderful, merciful, and loving Father who just wants to spend time with us, and he’s given us direct access to Him through prayer.

James Montgomery (1771-1854) wrote “Prayer Is the Soul’s Sincere Desire” in 1818.  His poem originally had eight verses, and was used in Sunday School classes before he published it in “The Christian Psalmist” in 1825. This hymn is considered by some to be the greatest hymn on the subject of prayer. Montgomery wrote over 400 hymns, six of which are included in our hymnal, including “Hail to the Lord’s Annointed” (UMH #203), “Angels from the Realms of Glory” (UMH #220), “Go to Dark Gethsemane” (UMH #290), and “Stand Up and Bless the Lord” (UMH #662).

Prayer Is the Soul’s Sincere Desire (UMH #492)

Words: James Montgomery, 1818

Music: USA campmeeting melody


Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire, unuttered or expressed,

The notion of a hidden fire that trembles in the breast.


Prayer is the burden of a sigh, the falling of a tear,

The upward glancing of an eye, when none but God is near.


Prayer is the simplest form of speech that infant lips can try;

Prayer the sublimest strains that reach the Majesty on high.


Prayer is the contrite sinner’s voice, returning from their way,

While angels in their songs rejoice and cry, “Behold, they pray!”


Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath, the Christian’s native air;

Their watchword at the gates of death; they enter heaven with prayer.


O  Thou, by whom we come to God, the Life, the Truth, the Way:

The path of prayer thy self hast trod; Lord, teach us how to pray!


As we continue to learn about prayer, let’s also continue to build the habit of praying. Let’s make being in relationship with God, communicating with Him, our priority. Being able to talk with Him is a privilege and a blessing. Our heavenly Father is eagerly waiting to hear from us.

Have a blessed week,

Julie Morgan

What Is God Really Like?

What is God Really Like?

Have you ever asked people, “What’s God like? Not your “church” definition, but for you personally, what is God like?” You’ll get some surprising answers. Some people think God is like an angry parent. Nothing you do ever measures up and quick to scold you for failing to meet expectations. You never know whether you’ll get a hug or a spanking!

Some people view God as the “cosmic cop” waiting for you to cross the line, to violate the law, and come down hard to punish you!  Others see God as a cosmic “Santa Claus” who keeps a list of who’s naughty or nice – and checking it twice!  Others see God as a “genie in a bottle” obligated to grant your every wish and desire. Still others view God as the creator who threw this world together, then vacated the premises to live trillions of light years away. Disinterested, uninvolved, He watches your life unwind from a distance.

Here’s the deal. It really doesn’t matter what we think God is like or how we view God. What matters is who God really is, and what He is really like. We can be very sincere in our view of God, and be sincerely wrong.

During this Lenten season we’ve been studying Rick Warren’s “40 Days of Prayer.” One of the things Pastor Rick points out is this difference between what we think God is like, and what God is really like. And in this study, Pastor Rick presents 5 amazing truths that we can know about God because God has revealed these truths about Himself in His Word, the Bible. I found these truths to be so helpful and powerful, that I shared them two days ago when I spoke at a funeral of a young man who was one of my son’s best friends through High School and thus, part of our family. I shared these truths because of the comfort and encouragement they bring. I also used them to share with the readers of the Carroll County Times newspaper in my religious column for this month.

First, God is our Father. God desires an intimate, up-close personal relationship with Him. Jesus said, “Pray this way, “Our Father…” The Greek word for “Father” is “Abba.” It translates as a term of endearment known around the world by every culture: “Daddy” or “Papa.”  Through faith in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross forgiving our sins, we can know the eternal God of the universe as our “Father!” That’s the relationship God desires with us!

Second, God is a caring Father! The Bible says we can cast every care, worry and burden upon God for He cares for us! (1 Peter 5:7) God wants us to experience His care in every area of our lives. Pastor Rick said, “If it’s big enough to worry about, then it’s big enough to pray about!” God is a caring Father. He is always sympathetic to our needs and cares enough to get involved.

Third, God is a consistent Father. His love for us is constant and unchanging. God’s love for us is not based on our performance, but on His character – which is love! God never breaks His promises and we can always count on Him to see us through.

Fourth, God is a close Father. God is not distant, absent or unavailable when you need Him. You never get a “busy signal” from God. He is always with us, each and every step of our lives. He never stops thinking about us, as we are always on His mind. Psalm 34:18 “God is close to the brokenhearted…” and Jesus said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

Fifth, God is a competent Father. God can handle every problem and situation we bring to Him because nothing is impossible for God. (Luke 1:37) God can do it all!

There are still several weeks left before Easter. If you are not participating in our 40 Day journey, why not finish this Lenten season studying who God is and what He is like – not from people’s views or opinions, but from God’s Word? Such a study will motivate you to not just to learn about God – but to really know Him and build a relationship with Him as your Heavenly Father. There’s a world of difference between knowing about God and knowing God. The deep desire of God’s heart is that we know Him as our Father who is caring, close, consistent and competent. And He took the first steps by coming to the earth He created as Jesus Christ, dying on a cross for our sins, and rising from the dead. Our step is to believe – to trust in the work of Jesus and make Him our Lord and Savior. It’s a simple prayer of faith that profoundly changes your life both in the “here and now” and for all eternity!


Pastor Bill