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March 5, 2016, 9:22 PM

From Your Pastor's Heart - March 6, 2016


Good Morning!

            The Lord is so incredibly faithful to do His part in building and sustaining the local church.  And His part is, well, most of it.  Our part is to be faithful and to be sensitive to His leading and prompting of what our next moves are to be at all times.  This can be a challenge, but I believe this challenge must drive us to more fervent prayer.

            I know in my life, as your pastor, it is easy to fall back on “what I’ve done before” in ministry endeavors or to grab on to the latest “big program” thing in church growth circles.  I have found in the last ten years that the formulas are not successful everywhere and that God is not interested in formulas that man concocts anyhow.

            Over the course of the next month, several groups are going to be meeting as we look at where we are and where we believe God to be leading us as a family here at FBCCF.  These reflections and actions will enhance how we function internally and how we minister externally to our community, our country, and our world.

            Be in prayer for these groups:  Church Council, By-Laws Review Ad-hoc, Missions, and Long Range Planning.  There is so much work to be done it can be mind boggling.  However, I would rather be overwhelmed, than for us to see the work of this church as a maintenance ministry.  We could easily sit back and glide along and maintain, but there is too much at stake.

            Weekly, we see God moving in individual’s lives.  He is drawing people to Himself.  He is showing Himself to be active and wants us to be on the front lines of the battle for souls.  That is not just flowery language or rhetoric.  I really believe that and I know you do, too.  That is what makes what we are doing and where we are going so exciting and challenging.  I love nothing better than working alongside so many of you who see God moving as well. 

            Yes, there are times when we can get discouraged, but not for long, for we see the bigger picture of why this church is here in this community at this time; and with that vision we can encourage one another through the power of the Holy Spirit working within us all. 

             As always, my prayer is that we would all, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.”         II Timothy 2:15      

Humbly Yours,

Bro Steve

Dr. Steven Gann

Your Shepherd




February 27, 2016, 8:24 AM

From Your Pastor's Heart - February 28, 2016


Good Morning!

This morning, we will be enjoying some special moments together as the family of God. Of course, it is always a meaningful time when we gather around the Lord’s Table. As we look at an Old Testament story today in the message, I pray it helps us to see our unworthiness to even be at the table of the Lord at all. It is only through the righteousness of Christ and His mercy that we can come. At FBCCF, we will never take the commemoration of the Lord’s Supper in a light fashion; but always focus on the sacrifice of the Lord and His grace extended toward us.

Also today, we will share in our first Parent/Child/Church Family Dedication Service together. Over the years, these times have been favorites of mine. Especially, when you see the follow up to the commitments made. That really is the important part, you know. The actions that follow spiritual commitments by parents and the church family are what bring meaning to the words spoken in a service.

Whether today you are a parent of one of the children being dedicated to the Lord or a part of the church family, this is a time when we all renew our commitment to the Lord first and ask for His continued empowerment through the Holy Spirit to be leaders in our homes, families and community. He will honor that prayer as we kneel in subjection to His will and His ways.

If there is one thing that this church values, it is children. We learned that so quickly about you upon our arrival two years ago. (The two years seem like ten, don’t they?) The Scriptures tell us that "children are a treasure from the Lord". The children that the Lord gives you to treasure do not have to be yours only.

It is evident that the hearts in this church family are broken over the plight of the many children in our community. That brokenness has continued to push our development of ministries to children and families and we patiently move ahead in what we know to do until the Lord makes His next specific move for FBCCF evident. We pray to have the heart of Jesus for children.

As always, my prayer is that we would all, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth." II Timothy 2:15

Humbly Yours,

Bro. Steve

Dr. Steven Gann

Your Shepherd




February 20, 2016, 6:15 PM

From Your Pastor's Heart - February 21, 2014


Goooooooood Morning!

            Welcome to Missouri, the “all weather state”.  It is so true that if you aren’t enjoying the weather here, then stick around for a day or two and there will be something for everyone.  As I write this, it is 72 degrees on Saturday afternoon before we go to print this week.  I am in my office at home, working on my sermon, this letter, and enjoying open windows!  It is a far cry from last Saturday and Sunday, for certain.

            Spring is just around the corner and we will see more and more stretches of warm weather.  The new growth and warmer temps get your blood flowing and help us to be ready to tackle the year ahead.

            We moved into the parsonage and became a part of this family two years and 3 days ago this Sunday.   I am looking so forward to all the Lord has in store for us as the family of God at FBCCF in 2016.  The road behind us these past two years has been a lot of hard work and the road ahead looks the same; which is awesome!  We do not want a maintenance ministry mentality at all. 

            The list of what we need to accomplish this year as a church is staggering, when thinking about it in the flesh.  But, in the power of the Lord, nothing shall be beyond limit.  Progress can seem slow, at times though.  I was counseled long ago in my thirties by an older pastor that I was too impulsive in the way I approached ministry.  I did not agree at the time.  But, as the years have rolled on, I see exactly where he was coming from. 

            That statement has always stuck with me and so I do not become as bothered by progress slower than I believe it should be happening.  Change and revitalization of our ministry here must be sure and steady, not quick and “willy-nilly” just for the sake of change.  We must be very thoughtful and prayerful, yet at the same time keep taking steps forward, never stopping along the way. 

            I am not certain why I focused on that in my letter today, possibly for me; yet possibly for someone else here as well.  On to my sign off below...

             As always, my prayer is that we would all, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.”         II Timothy 2:15           

Humbly Yours,

Bro. Steve

Dr. Steven Gann

Your Shepherd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




February 17, 2016, 10:23 AM

From Your Pastor's Heart - February 14, 2016


Happy Valentine’s Day!

            “The first Valentine was posted around 1806. Almost one billion Valentine's Day cards are sent each year on or near February 14th with females purchasing 85% of the cards. This is second only to the number of Christmas cards sent. The history is somewhat murky as to how Valentine's Day has come to be what we now know and celebrate. Valentine was a Christian leader in third-century Rome. Emperor Claudius decided that single men made better soldiers. Therefore, Claudius banned soldiers from being married.

            One version of the story is that Valentine continued to perform the weddings of young soldiers who were in love, and Claudius had Valentine imprisoned. While imprisoned, Valentine reportedly fell in love with the jailer's daughter. Valentine sent her a card and signed it, "Love, your Valentine”.  Another version is that Valentine defied Claudius by helping Christians escape the torture of Claudius.  Valentine died in approximately A.D. 270.

            The first Valentine sent in the United States was in the 1840's by Esther Howgald. Most of us enjoy "spoiling" a loved one on Valentine's Day. Sending gifts and cards conveys love, affection, and friendship.”

            Whatever the real story is, I believe it is very appropriate to set aside a day to celebrate our love for one another.  In addition to that, we as God’s family must set aside every day to demonstrate our love for one another.  We truly love you all more than we could ever tell you.  The camaraderie and sense of family together with you is overwhelming to us and we thank the Lord and constantly lift you in our prayers.   We are truly brothers and sisters.

            Today, make sure to spread some love to our dear Bro. Dale as he brings God’s Word to you!  We are so thankful for Dale and Judy!  And thanks to you as our church family for allowing us to be away today to celebrate a milestone in the life of our son.  Be back tomorrow! 

             As always, my prayer is that we would all, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.”         II Timothy 2:15           

Humbly Yours,

Bro Steve

Dr. Steven Gann

Your Shepherd




February 5, 2016, 7:12 PM

From Your Pastor's Heart - February 7, 2016


Good Morning Family!

            The two words that describe God in my mind all week have been the words “grace and mercy”.

            We serve a merciful God that is not merciful because He wants to lord it over our heads, but His mercy is driven by His grace extended to all.  Although He is just and completely righteous and holy, His grace demonstrates His patient mercy with us.

            Where were you when you came to Christ and threw yourself upon His mercy in order to be saved by His grace?  You were in the same place that everyone all throughout history has been: flat on your back or falling on your face.  It does not matter what your life has been like.  It does not matter what you have done with your life to that point.  We have all, every one of us willfully chosen to disobey the Holy One and are all, equally in need of a Savior.

            No one stands at the foot of the cross and looks upon the suffering of the Lord Jesus, understanding how He was bearing their sin and yet remains on their feet.  The only person that remains on their feet is the one who remains apathetic toward the wonderful gift of salvation.  The Scriptures give us a wonderful picture of the grace and mercy of God being extended to all even there at the cross. 

            Seeing the two different responses of the two crucified and dying men on either side of Jesus reminds us that there are really two different kinds of people.  Seeing Christ extend salvation to the one who acknowledged his need for Jesus and his trust in Christ shows us it is never really too late at all.  In light of eternity, our life is a vapor here; and that man with literally just a few hours left in his life was granted forgiveness for his sin and was given the promise from Jesus himself, that the man would be with Him forever.  That man is just as much a beloved child of God as the one who has faithfully served Christ for decades.  What an incredible God of mercy and grace we serve!

            How can anyone stand at the foot of the cross and remain standing?

             As always, my prayer is that we would all, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.”   II Timothy 2:15

Humbly Yours,

Bro Steve

Dr. Steven Gann

Your Shepherd


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