August 18, 2019

Regarding recent prominent evangelical leaders who have walked away from the faith, Christian rock musician John Cooper said the following:

    It is time for the church to rediscover the preeminence of the Word. And to value the teaching of the Word. We need to value truth over feeling. Truth over emotion. And what we are seeing now is the result of the church raising up influencers who did not supremely value truth who have led a generation who also do not believe in the supremacy of truth. And now those disavowed leaders are proudly still leading and influencing boldly AWAY from the truth.

    Is it any wonder that some of our disavowed Christian leaders are letting go of the absolute truth of the Bible and subsequently their lives are falling apart? Further and further they are sinking in the sea all the while shouting “now I’ve found the truth! Follow me!!” Brothers and sisters in the faith all around the world, pastors, teachers, worship leaders, influencers…I implore you, please, please in your search for relevancy for the gospel, let us NOT find creative ways to shape God’s word into the image of our culture by stifling inconvenient truths. But rather let us hold on even tighter to the anchor of the living Word of God. For He changes NOT. “The grass withers and the flowers fade away, but the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8)

August 11, 2019

  I get asked frequently to recommend resources to help people grow in their faith. One resource that I’ve found to be particularly helpful, and have recommended to many people, is New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp. 

Tripp does an excellent job of providing deep spiritual food for the soul in a way that isn’t intimidating and can be understood by anyone. This year-long devotional will lead you into rich, Gospel-focused devotional times that are sometimes missing in many popular devotional options out there. 

Pick up a copy and let me know what you think! — Pastor Scott

August 4, 2019

    4 Surely He took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered Him punished by God, stricken by Him, and afflicted. 5 But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.  Isaiah 53:4-6

    When we hear this popular Holy Week passage, we typically think only of Christ being punished as our substitute for our sin. And that certainly is the primary message of Isaiah’s prophecy. However, there is something else profound here. 

    On the cross, Jesus bore not only our sin and wickedness but also our pain and suffering. Jesus’ blood was shed for these inevitable by-products of sin that so ravage our world. 

    We live with resurrection hope because Jesus knows our affliction (Rev. 2:9), died for our pain and suffering (Isaiah 53:4), and will make all things new (Rev. 21:5)!

July 28th, 2019

Here are a few things to remember when you're not in Dickinson over the weekend:

  • Our weekly sermons are typically available on the website by Tuesday. They are also accessible through the Podcasts app on your Apple or Android device.

  • Our weekly bulletin is on the website on Thursday (before the service), allowing you to stay up-to-date on all announcements and upcoming events!

  • Our online calendar contains just about any event happening, as well as weekly volunteer schedules for our Sunday services.

  • Have you considered setting up recurring giving? Our online giving system allows for secure donation processing of both one-time and recurring gifts. Check it out and make giving back to God's work part of your monthly budget!

  • Finally, don't forget that our worship services will be at 9:30 a.m. each week until our fall ministry kickoff (Sept. 8th)! Come early for Coffee Connection at 9:00 a.m.

July 21, 2019

    The practice of letter writing has all but vanished from modern culture. When was the last time that you received a personal letter from a friend or loved one? 

    Today we begin a sermon series in which we will examine seven letters from Jesus (through the Apostle John) written to churches in what is modern-day Turkey. 

    As the Lutheran Study Bible notes: Every letter conforms to a similar pattern: (1) Jesus addresses the congregation; (2) Jesus introduces Himself as the speaker and is identified with significant titles; (3) Jesus affirms what is good and right with that church; (4) Jesus rebukes the congregants for what they lack; (5) Jesus issues a call to repentance; (6) Jesus promises blessing to “the one who conquers”; (7) Jesus gives an exhortation to “hear what the Spirit says.”

    These letters are incredibly relevant for the modern church and individual Christian. Through these letters, the Savior calls us to repentance. My prayer is that we take this opportunity to examine ourselves and our congregation, and then live in the promise of forgiveness and eternal hope for all who trust in Christ!

July 14th, 2019

     As individual parts of Christ's Church, we find ourselves living in the tension between rest and urgency. 

    We rest in the Gospel. We place all of our hope in God's promise that our standing before him is based entirely on what HE has done, not on what we do. We trust when God says that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone, as we know that He is always true to His Word.

    And yet…

    We live with a strong and compelling sense of urgency. We know that things aren't as they should be. When we trust in Christ, we know that the same sin of which I've graciously been forgiven is blinding, drowning, and killing our friends, neighbors, and loved ones. We feel a sense of urgency because we know that these are serious matters of eternal consequence. As people who know the beautiful redemption found at the cross of Christ, we long for all people, whether in Dickinson or in Chad, Africa, to know the hope of eternity and promise of a Good Shepherd who loves us. 

    So we rest in the Gospel. And we act urgently because those around us need to be rescued from sin.

    Rest. Pray. Invite. Love. Give. That's what the church does. 

July 7th, 2019

    On this weekend in which we celebrate the independence of our nation from foreign rule, it is popular to hear talk about the great freedom and fundamental principles of personal autonomy that have long made our country great. In fact, the Declaration of Independence itself states that we are “endowed by [our] Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Now there has been much debate about whether or not that is true in a Biblical sense, or if it just sounds nice and created a solid foundation upon which to build the case for revolution. After all, God sent His son into a region ruled by a dictator without any attempt to overthrow said dictator. However, all agree that a nation in which personal liberty is protected is preferable to one in which it is absent. 

    However, as Christians, we have to be well aware of the dangers of a liberty-driven society. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” And yet, He died that “those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him….”

    As Christians, our freedom is never for our gain or glory. Christ gives us freedom so that we can live for Him. In God’s providence, you were born into a society built on a foundation of personal freedom, but it’s not freedom for your glory or gain. In a very real sense, we have been entrusted with the gift of freedom, and the wealth and comfort that accompanies it. What will you do with that which has been entrusted to you? Give yourself away for God’s kingdom. Nothing else will last. 

June 30, 2019

    This side of Heaven, happiness will always remain fragmentary, fractured, and fleeting. In the shadow of the Cross, we are never afforded more than glimpses of the "good life." Yet it is precisely here at the Cross that all human pursuits, including the pursuit of happiness, are brought to an end; where we become the "pursued" rather than the "pursuer." And it is here that we discover that the ultimate joy is not ours at all, but His (Hebrews 12:2): "Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the JOY set before Him, endured the Cross, scorning it's shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

    For the joy set before Him, Christ pursued us to death. And it is in Christ alone—our Sabbath—that true rest from our endless quest for happiness lies.

    Or, in the enduring words of St Augustine: “This is the happy life, and this alone: to rejoice in you, about you and because of you, Lord. This is the life of happiness, and it is not to be found anywhere else.”

Excerpt from “The Secret to Happiness” by Rev. Luke Kjolhaug. Read more at www.christholdfast.org/blog/the-secret-to-happiness