Encouragement from your Shepherds

Creator, Ordainer, Rock, Redeemer, Help...

Dear Rochester church family,

At different times yesterday, Chris and I both visited with Pete Moody over the phone. During my discussion with Pete of all the chaos and changes going on, he encouraged me by pointing out several verses from Psalm 139.

Below are passages Pete shared to meditate on that will give encouragement and assurance on the HUGENESS of our God and our faith response.

God is good all the time.
Steve & Chris

7- “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?

8- If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
9- If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
10- Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
11- If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,”
12- Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.
13- For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14- I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 

Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.
15- My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16- Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
17- How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
18- If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You...

23- Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
24- And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.”

Encouragement from your Shepherds

Dear Rochester church family,

Here are passages of Scripture to meditate on —think about, memorize —that will give comfort and encouragement during these challenging times. God is good all the time.
Steve & Chris

Psalm 46:1-3,10a

1- God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.

2- Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea,

3- Though its waters roar and foam, Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah

Be Still and know that I am God

"I Believe, Help My Unbelief"

​“During my junior year in college, I took a butter knife from my mother’s kitchen and scraped the Christian fish decal off the back bumper of the Plymouth hatchback I’d inherited from my older brother. Stripping off that sticker foreshadowed the day, a few years later, that I would walk out of church.”


She was only six weeks old when she was mistakingly mistreated for a minor eye inflammation that left her blind the rest of her life.  Without any eyesight, you and I might have grown up bitter, but not her.  At the age of eight, she wrote the following 2 stanza poem:


What surprised you most in 2016?

  • Was it the National Presidential Election?

  • Was it the number of God-seekers that came our way to worship with us?

  • Was it having 8 nations represented in many of our Sunday morning services?

  • Was it the appointing of both shepherds and deacons...


  • What is the most expensive item you’ve ever owned?

  • Who is the most important person you’ve ever known?

  • What is most precious to you -- your greatest treasure?


         When I was 14 years old I got my first pair of new shoes.  I’d had shoes before but they were usually hand-me-downs from my brother or from the children’s home storeroom. 


    What if you majored in adhering to law where “an eye for an eye” literally meant “AN EYE FOR AN EYE!”? What if you didn’t believe in angels or spirits?  What if you didn’t believe in the resurrection – either Jesus’ or you own?


    Six years ago, I shut my front door and realized too late that I had just locked myself out of my own house!  That very morning, I had been studying one of Paul’s exhortations to the church at Thessalonica: “In everything give thanks.”  Since this passage was so fresh on my mind, I just started thanking God for having a house I could lock myself out! 


    I was a student at Harding College from 1972-1975.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Harding and have many amazing memories.  One of those memories was of a student who continually ministered and intentionally connected with blind students on campus.  I’d see him walking side-by-side with them to classes, assisting them in the cafeteria, library, chapel, etc.   I have to tell you I was convicted and impressed.  


    Fast-forward 15 years. 


    In February, 2014, I drove to Lincoln, Nebraska, to be with my oldest son to watch the University of Nebraska men’s basketball team play the Indiana Hoosiers. Before the game, a highly reputable Indiana cardiologist, Dr. Larry Rink (who has now been IU’s team doctor for the past 39 years) walked by my seat. I instantly said, “Dr. Rink, thank you for helping save my brother-in-law’s life.” 


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