Saturday, October 31, 2009


Bible Verse:
People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Mark 10:13-15 (NIV)

In this story children are not blessed for their virtues but for what they lack: they come only as they are — small, powerless, without sophistication, as the overlooked and dispossessed of society. To receive the kingdom of God as a child is to receive it as one who has no credits, no clout, and no claims. A little child has absolutely nothing to bring, and whatever a child receives, he or she receives by grace on the basis of sheer neediness rather than by any merit inherent in him- or herself. Little children are paradigmatic disciples, for only empty hands can be filled. (Explanation from the Pillar New Testament Commentary)

I like the prayer and reminder for us from the hymn “Rock of Ages:” Jesus, I humble myself before You. Today as a child with “nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling, naked come to Thee for dress, helpless, look to Thee for grace.” May the reality of these truths allow me to rest in You today.
Pray for the children of our church — Jesus, add to our number daily children who are being saved at Northwest Bible Church. Help us to be people who bring children to You. Help us bring them faithfully as we serve our own families. Help us bring them patiently as we care for the children of our church.

Written by Neil Tomba, our senior pastor. Neil and Vela have attended Northwest for 13 years. They have three children: Sheree (22), Natalie (20) and Stephanie (18).

Friday, October 30, 2009


Bible Verse:
…to train Christians in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, the church, until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.
Ephesians 4:12,13 (TM)

As I watched the video of the proposed new buildings at Northwest, I was struck by how streamlined and organically functional the new building will be. How effective and smooth-running all the children’s arrangements will be; how they will work together, in harmony, to build up the next generation in Christ.

As I ponder the relationship of this huge undertaking to our body here at Northwest, the parallels strike me. As we pray “Jesus, we want what You want” throughout this year, we are asking to be made into a new and streamlined, efficiently functioning, united body of believers for the sake of bringing in God’s Kingdom here on earth, here and now. The Message describes what we hope to become: “fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.”

So then I ask myself, “How can I co-operate with Jesus as He seeks, by His Spirit, to make me more like Him today?” He tells me to come to Him and take His yoke upon me, for He is humble and gentle in heart and He will give me rest. He tells me that if I love Him, I will obey His commands. His commands are to abide in Him; to love God with all of me; to love others as He loves me, and to go out and tell others around me of His love for them and His power to save them and give them eternal life.

I realize that I cannot hope to obey His commands without abiding in Him and coming to Him to take His yoke and follow the way with Him. I need to put my hand in His each day and check frequently to see if my hand is still in His. I realize also that as each of His children does this, each keeping his/her eyes on Jesus, we will be built into a great unity and we will become the streamlined, functional body of Christ that He seeks in us.

As we undertake to build the outward buildings into an efficiently functioning unit, will we also take our own part in uniting ourselves to Jesus Christ and to each other to become the efficient and grace-full body of Christ of which Paul speaks in this verse?

Thank our Father for making you a part of His family forever and ever, for uniting you with His Son, Jesus. Ask Him to work powerfully in you by His Spirit to make you more like Jesus every day. Ask Him to help you to put 100% of your trust in Him, for He is worthy of all of your trust, so that you will allow Him to do the work He needs to do in you to make you more like Jesus, no matter what it takes. Ask Him to forgive you for your self-centeredness in seeking daily to please yourself and go your own way and do your own thing because it is pleasing to you. It is not pleasing to Him.
“Jesus, I want what You want!” Pray that God will make this to be true in you. Write this prayer out on a Post-it® note and fix it to your mirror. Every time you see it, lift it up to God and pray it again.

Written by Rosemary Graidage. Rosemary and Colin have attended Northwest for 16 years.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Bible Verse:
Benaiah son of Jehoiada was a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, who performed great exploits…He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion.
2 Samuel 23:20 (NIV)

Wow! I love this nested story of Benaiah and his courage. It reminds me to take risks for the kingdom of God.

This great warrior must have seen this ferocious beast with his peripheral vision on that cold, winter morning. And despite the freezing temperature, the snow, the slick surface, the dark cave, and all odds collaborating against him, Benaiah went in to fight the lion!

Oftentimes as a Christian, I’m tempted to gauge my walk based on all the things I’m not doing wrong (Didn’t lie today — check. Didn’t kill anyone — check. Didn’t rob a bank — check). However, the Christian walk is more than just a checklist of “what not to do.” Benaiah challenges me to “want to do” something for the kingdom.

I don’t know about you, but if I were in Benaiah’s shoes and I saw a big scary lion, I would run away as fast as I could! And I wonder in my life, how many lions am I hiding from? I wonder how many times I see God at work, inviting me to join Him, and I ignore His call. Maybe it’s His call to serve at Hidalgo and read with under-privileged Hispanic children, or take my dog to the retirement home with Paws for Care and visit the elderly, or witness to my co-worker, or go on a foreign mission trip. We all have lions that we can take by the mane and defeat, knowing that it’s not by our might and not by our power, but by God’s sweet Spirit that we will have victory.

I’m so proud to be a member of a church that is fighting a lion and constructing a new building despite all the odds! And I look forward to the prize of following God’s calling! Benaiah was appointed head of King David’s bodyguard for his bravery, and I know that there is a sweet blessing and great reward that awaits us individually and corporately as we chase and conquer the lions God calls us to destroy!

Take a moment and reflect on where you have seen God working. Ask Him what lions He wants you to defeat in your life. Pray for the grace and courage and victory as He works miracles in your life for His glory! Ask Him how you can join with our church body as we work to reach a lost and dying world through this building project.

Written by Suzanne McDuffie. Suzanne has attended Northwest for one year.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Bible Verse:
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.
Isaiah 40:28-31 (NASB)

A well-known and well-loved verse like this can become too familiar and the meaning ceases to soak in. But because God’s living and active Word is timeless, He can use the same verse at different times to minister in His intended ways. Several years ago, one morning, the word ‘wait’ LEAPED off the page at me. It was about waiting for something specific — a desired outcome.

This is the New American Standard version of the verse. In other versions, the word ‘wait’ is replaced with ‘hope’ or ‘trust.’ His promise was that I needed to wait on Him to do the work that was to be done — to trust Him for the outcome however long it took and whatever form it would take.

However, through the years the hope for desired outcomes has turned into something different. It is now like a ‘waiting with the Lord.’ In waiting with Him, He sustains us — our strength is renewed, we are able to spiritually soar, we run and do not become weary, we can keep walking without fainting — because He is with us.

E. M. Bounds, in his classic book “On Prayer,” says “But there is a point at which faith is relieved of its burden, so to speak, and trust comes along and says, ‘You have done your part. The rest is mine!’” Pressing in and waiting/hoping/trusting the Lord gives the assurance that He is there, our times are in His hands. And on the days when I don’t feel like soaring, running, or even continuing to walk, I can only rest in the rock-solid truth of His word that says to wait on Him.

Ask the Lord to reveal to you if you are waiting for something to happen, or if you are in the process of waiting with Him and trusting Him for the outcome. What impact does this have in your life and your relationship with the Lord? Pray for His strength to spiritually soar with Him, run to Him, and keep walking on the path where He has you. Praise Him for His faithfulness to His word.

Written by Janie Hoy. Janie and Mark have attended Northwest for 20 years. They have two children: Evan (12) and Libby (10).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Bible Verse:
From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. Acts 17:26-27 (NIV)

I often argue with God. Yes, I’ll admit it. I don’t always like His plans and His ways are certainly not my ways. To this day, I still argue with God about why I was born into “my family.” When I look at the possible families He could’ve given to me, I wonder what life would’ve been like if my family was less perfectionistic, or had more wealth — or even if we just had a dog. What if I had been born to the family next door and life was different? Could I have been the first female, ethnically Indian president?

On the other hand, I have to also consider the reality of being born to the family next door. Since I was born in India, that could’ve meant never learning to read or write, suffering from malnutrition or, as a girl, being sold for adoption.

When I look at God’s placement of my life, that He set this time and this place for me to live — that He gave me to a family that moved to America, I am educated and have food to eat every day — I have to humbly admit that I don’t always know what would’ve been best for my life then, or even what’s best for my life tomorrow. God’s sovereignty remains a complete mystery to me. I try to explain it with analogies or little diagrams, but I’m not sure I will ever understand just how He works such things out. What little I am sure of includes knowing He had a plan to do what was necessary so that I would seek Him and come to know Him. Today, He is still busy doing just that — arranging everything in my life so that I will seek and know Him more.

I may argue with the methods from time to time, but I must admit that He does a have wonderful purpose in His plans.

Recall a time or event in your life where you have seen God’s plan at work, and give thanks. Consider where you are today - do you question God’s timing and placement? Consider why you are unwilling to accept God’s plans in this area and what needs are revealed by your questioning of His plan. For example, why do you seek a different job with a bigger salary? Does it reveal disbelief in knowing you will always be provided for? Or why do you seek a spouse? Does it reveal the need to believe you are loved and accepted unconditionally by someone?
Take some time to reflect on the differences or similarities between where you have seen God work before you in your life and with this area you question today. What is He saying to your heart? Is there something He’s asking of you today?

Written by Dipa H. Hart. Dipa and Nathan have attended Northwest for four years.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Bible Verse:
O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Psalm 63:1 (NIV)

Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.
Psalm 63:7 (NIV)

As usual, life in Dallas runs at a drop-dead pace, constantly looking to squeeze more into each day in a land filled with eye candy that tells us what more we need to have, to do, or to be. I’m certainly not immune. It is easy for me to identify my dry and weary land that is filled with obligations, a job with more “to do’s” than can actually fit on my schedule. Everything is ‘priority’, taking care of all of that and myself too. It is the “I have to take care of it all” that makes me weary. What do I long for? Respite with my Lord where He is my refuge and my refreshment, so I start my day with Him. During the day I close my eyes, take a breath, and realize He is already there, filling my mind with a praise song, reminding me that as He promised, He is already there.

As a child I attended a thriving church that believed in training up its children. I am grateful for that. My longing for Him began there. As an adult I want to attend a church whose people earnestly seek Him. Children see that and can experience that for themselves. So in my time with Him I ask, “What is it You would have me do?”

Ask God to show you what it means to seek Him earnestly. Be grateful for those church fathers and saints that have brought us this far. Ask God what it is He would have you do. Pray that He will put those words in your heart and mind. Take time to sit in silence to listen for His answer.

Written by Deborah Herring. Deborah has attended Northwest for 21 years.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Bible Verse:
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. ”
John 17: 20-23 (NIV)

A man couldn’t wait to get to church every week. The pastor’s teaching inspired him, while the friendliness of the people drew him into the life of the church. Although he was just a new believer, he understood the importance of gleaning everything possible from his pastor and other spiritually mature people around him. Less than a year later, this man’s spiritual world fell apart. One Sunday the pastor announced his resignation, explaining that he and the church leadership couldn’t agree on the direction in which they wanted the church to go. Disillusioned that the men he trusted and admired as spiritual mentors couldn’t get along, the man never again entered a church.

Isn’t it interesting that Jesus spent some of His final hours on earth praying that His remaining followers would be known for their love for each other and their relationships would resemble the kind of unity He shared with His heavenly Father?

God the Father glorified Jesus because He loved the Son. In return, Jesus made the love of the Father known to everyone. Together they enjoyed a mutually loving and self-sacrificing relationship.

Of course, only God can answer prayer. But when it comes to unity in the church, we can take some practical steps toward being a part of the answer to Jesus’ prayer. We can start by praying for unity for Northwest Bible Church and the leadership. We can also encourage and promote understanding when we see Christians getting caught up in unhealthy disagreements. Further, we can pursue love and practice self-sacrifice in our own relationships.

When the body of Christ doesn’t work to build unity, the world sees a sick and weakly church. But when we join together in unity, the world sees the power and glory of Jesus shining through us.

Spend time in solitude (silence) listening for the still voice of God speaking to you about His love. Spend time praising Him for the freedom you have in knowing you are a child of the King. Confess any sin that may hinder you from listening and responding to Jesus. Thank Him for forgiving your sin and delivering you from guilt. Ask God to infuse in you the desire to pursue unity in the body of Christ. Pray for believers to love one another, and seek forgiveness for the sake of the kingdom. Pray that Dallas and the world will see the power and glory of Jesus shining through us. Amen.

Written by Brian Radabaugh, our men’s minister. Brian and Jennifer have attended Northwest for two years. They have three children: Nicole (12), Kylie (10) and Connor (5).

Friday, October 23, 2009


Bible Verse:
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not of your own doing, it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:8-10 (ESV)

The world is broken. Dallas-Fort Worth is broken. You are broken. I am broken. Everything is broken. And there is nothing we can do to fix it. Nothing. In our essence as men and women we are fractured, and no amount of self-help or education or money is going to fix that.

The greatest problem in the universe is sin. It is our sin that makes us broken. And no matter how many Max Lucado or Beth Moore books you read, no matter much you volunteer at Northwest, no matter how many R-rated movies you avoid, you can’t save yourself from your sin. You can’t do it. Jesus Christ is the only one who can fix that brokenness. In order to be agents of the gospel we have to know the gospel. God saved us in His sovereign grace. Paul says, “This is not of your own doing, this is not a result of works so that nobody can boast.” Because if it was our works that saved us, then we would just boast in ourselves and how we accomplished this or that goal.

As we build a new building or do anything as a body, it is vital to never forget the radical beauty of the gospel and its implications. I pray we would never become indifferent or apathetic to the gospel because we “get it” or because we have heard it so many times. We must praise God for His grace, for the cross, for Jesus every single day. We must not simply be hearers of the gospel, but must do the hard work of the gospel. Paul says we were created in Jesus ‘FOR good works’, not saved by them but created to walk in them, to do them after we have been saved. So we are saved FROM but also saved FOR! This is how we push back what is dark in this world, by serving our city and our world with the love and grace by which we were saved — tearing down all the walls that humanity puts up to divide.

Everyone is broken. So let’s not just be passionate at memorizing Scripture and doctrine, but let’s be passionate about serving the least of these — the oppressed, the forgotten, the poor — that those far from God would come near.

May we be people who constantly come before the cross of Jesus Christ and cry out, “God, be merciful to me a sinner.” The Gospel calls us to humility, to an understanding that God has saved us out of the overflow of His mercy and love to mission. May we be people who both receive the Gospel and live out the Gospel in a broken world. Let’s pray for the beautiful depth of the Gospel to constantly challenge, confront, and expose our arrogance, our idols, and our works-righteousness. Let us also pray to be agents of the Gospel, to have Christ show us ways to be His hands and feet in the city of Dallas and the world.
John Newton said, “I am a great sinner, but Christ is a great Saviour.” May this truth be written in our hearts and lived out with our lives for the glory of God.

Written by R.D. McClenagan. R.D. has attended Northwest for one year.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Bible Verse:
“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From whence shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD who made heaven and earth.”
Psalm 121:1-2 (NASV)

We left the Texas heat recently and traveled up to the Canadian Rockies, where we viewed the majestic creation of our God. I found myself asking, “Who but God could form these mountains, each so individual in design, or create glaciers that color the lakes so brilliantly blue?” Only a great and mighty God!

Yet, in reality, my mind was having trouble grasping how God will lead our church body in raising the funds for our projected building project, especially in the midst of a recession. God had an answer for me during our travels!

Our trip began with rain and thick clouds which covered the mountaintops and dulled the color of the lakes. Even with these obstacles, we saw God’s handprint in His awesome creation. The third morning we had plans to visit the famous Lake Louise, and in prayer the evening before, we asked that God would grant us a little sunshine to behold His creation at its best.

Though we arrived to cloud cover and no sun, again we were awestruck at the beautiful setting of the two mountains coming together over the lake. A man in alpine costume was playing “Amazing Grace” on a very long-necked horn (used to call in mountain goats and sheep), and we were amazed at his selection in a mixed crowd of tourists, but listened as it carried over the lake beautifully. We happily joined his invitation to sing along when he replayed it, but it was quickly apparent we were the only ones singing. We continued to the end and clapped a deserved applause to musician and to our Creator. We then walked over to the next viewing area, and looking back toward the mountains, we were silenced!

There was a perfect oval opening in the clouds and the sun was beaming down through them, causing a perfect reflection of the scene on the lake. How personal is our God, to answer such a simple prayer with magnificence! Now I look forward to a mighty work of God as He supplies through His body, the church, the new campus to serve future generations.

I am one step closer to my decision because of my special moment with God; but each of us can receive our own personal answer if we seek Him in prayer to know what He wants us to do. One day in the future we will all stand to dedicate this proposed structure to the One who built it, our great God Almighty. Praise His name today, for He is able!

Holy God, You have cast the vision before our elders. Help me to know my part in this endeavor, great or small, and to walk with You in obedience to Your instruction.

Written by Val Cox. Val and Jack have attended Northwest for six years.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Bible Verse:
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought aromatic spices so that they might go and anoint Him. And very early on the first day of the week, at sunrise, they went to the tomb. They had been asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?”
Mark 16:1-3 (NET Bible)

The one true God acts in a faithful manner; the Lord’s promise is reliable; He is a shield to all who take shelter in Him.
Psalm 18:30 (NET Bible)

So much of life is problem-solving. We look at the world around us — we examine the workload, then we carefully plot a course to get the job done. The women who came to the tomb to attend to Jesus’ body after His death were no different, asking themselves what could be done about the huge stone covering the entrance. Could they move the rock on their own? Should they have enlisted the help of friends? Would they be risking injury by trying to move this big thing? And what about unforeseen problems? What about the Roman guards keeping watch? Was this too dangerous after all? Come to think of it, why did these friends of Jesus go to the tomb amid such uncertainty? Could it be that God had a special purpose in mind for them? Could it be that He had brought them there?

Certainly it was the women’s love for Jesus that compelled them to embark on their journey from the start. We know that by the time the women reached the tomb, all of their difficulties had strangely vanished — the stone and the Roman guards. And their complete access to the tomb once they arrived is a hopeful picture of how God works through His people and for His church.

In looking to the future of family ministry here at Northwest, I want to trust the work that God is doing in our midst, both seen and unseen. I want to come to Him confidently and ask Him to help me trust Him for the vision He is casting in His church. I want to know that He is superintending this new building project because He, Himself, has brought us to this place, a place that is well established and fully grounded in Him. Psalm 18:30 says, “What a God! His road stretches straight and smooth. Every God-direction is road-tested. Everyone who runs toward Him makes it.” May it be that the friends of Jesus at Northwest Bible Church trust His vision as well. May we own this journey together as set apart for us by no less than God Himself.

Ask the Holy Spirit to release you to trust Him gladly through this fund-raising and construction endeavor. Commit yourself daily to a view of God the Father as Sovereign. Imagine what life in this church would be like if Jesus Himself was our expectation. Rehearse this truth on a regular basis in a community of people you trust. And pray: “Good Father, show us Your glory! Would You teach our hearts to know Your presence?”

Written by Jonathan Habashy. Jonathan and Kris have attended Northwest for 13 years. They have three children: Jeb (6), Gareth (3) and Ruthie (2).

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Bible Verse:
The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:15-16 (ESV)

Read 1 Corinthians 2:14-3:3. Paul mentions three types of people in this passage.

In 2:14, he describes the “Natural” man who does not accept the things of God. In other words, this person is not a believer in Christ.

In 2:15-16, we find the description of the “Spiritual” man who has the mind of Christ. This is a person who is in good fellowship with the Father through a close walk with Jesus.

The third person Paul addresses is of great interest. The “Carnal”, or “Fleshly” man is described as an infant in Christ. This person is a believer in Christ, his eternal security is set as a result, but he is obviously not experiencing the benefit of being closely connected to the Father.

Which of these three most resemble each other?
Which of these three best describes me?

I believe that the vast majority of Christians are struggling as “Carnal” men and women. This happens over time from not meeting daily with the Lord, an absence of prayer, lack of fellowship, and rare times of confession. This is not how we were designed to live. God has given us His Spirit to live in us and to guide us through our lives as we seek to reflect the image of Christ. We have access to the Spirit of the Almighty Creator, who with a word set the universe into motion and breathed life into the nostrils of man. Why do we not take advantage of this incredible gift, but instead often choose to trudge through life on our own very limited power?

Take a few minutes to sit in silence before the Lord and then confess your sins to Him. The prayer below is an example of what you can pray in order to again more resemble who you truly are… a Spirit-filled believer in Christ.

Lord, by faith I ask You to fill me with Your Holy Spirit so that I may live my life in close fellowship with You like the spiritual man, rather than in frustration and confusion like the carnal man of this passage.

Written by Ken Fifer, our outreach minister. Ken and Amy have attended Northwest for 6 months. They have two children: Megan (7) and Samuel (5).

Monday, October 19, 2009


Bible Verse:
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Acts 2:42-47 (NIV)

Life in community can be powerful and life-changing. As I meditate on this passage, I am humbled. These verses can seem overwhelming and even idealistic to live out in today’s culture. I often ask what it would look like if we lived this way — devoted to prayer, giving constantly, putting other’s needs first, sharing life together, praising God, and seeing the “Lord add to our number daily those who were being saved.” Amazing and awesome are words that come to mind.

Luke describes in this passage the impact God had made in the lives of those in the early church, as the Holy Spirit gave them unity of heart and mind as they assembled each day. This unity was obviously attractive to others, as this early church grew rapidly.

So how does this apply to us today? How do we achieve this unity that was such a powerful witness to others? I wonder if the formula of this early church might provide some clues: prayer, selfless giving, living life together, praising God…sound good? Are you currently living this out?

A place to start might be determining the needs of our body of believers at Northwest. Among other things, there are some tangible realities that we are looking to address through our facilities initiative. These needs are significant and can seem overwhelming. Of all the priorities we encounter, however, I wonder why God has us on this trajectory. Besides the obvious issues of space and the need to be good stewards of our property, could it be that we are being asked to help meet the needs of the believers and unbelievers in our community? Could it be to help us be devoted to Him through prayer? To live life more intentionally with others? Might it have something to do with our church unity, as we trust in the Lord for something greater than what we can do in our own strength? My answer is a resounding “yes”! But how about you? Can this “fellowship” become a reality at Northwest? Will the Lord add to our number daily those who are being saved? I’m banking on it.

Lord, I pray that we may be a people devoted to You and to prayer. I pray that Northwest can be a community of believers that serves one another as well as those around us. I pray that as we share life together in the unity You desire, that You would bless us with the opportunity to invest in future generations and reach the lost. I pray, Father, that You would add to our number daily those who are being saved. Thank You, Lord, for what You are going to do through the body of believers at Northwest Bible Church.

Written by Jeff Holck, our community minister. Jeff and Amy have attended Northwest for two years. They have two children: Evan (3) and Abigail (3 months).

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Bible Verse:
But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
Luke 18:16 (NIV)

It should be no surprise to any of us that the ministry to children is the most important and fruitful ministry in the church. Eighty-five percent of believers trust Christ before they’re 14. Why? What makes it easier for a child to believe than an adult? The reason is that children have qualities that make believing in Jesus easier than it is for an adult.

First, children are humble. One of the big hindrances to faith for adults is pride and an unwillingness to admit they are sinners. Children are dependent on their parents. They trust their parents to care for them, so it’s not difficult to transfer that dependence to a heavenly Father. Children have more faith naturally than adults. They can believe in what is invisible without difficulty. Children respond to authority, so obeying God is often easier for them. Children are able to memorize without always understanding what they learn, so the Word of God can be planted in their minds and when their understanding catches up, it will be there as a firm foundation.

How can we love and welcome children as Jesus did? We plan our children’s programs as more than entertainment or baby-sitting. We recognize these important characteristics and use them to teach children God’s Word and lead them to a personal decision to trust their Savior.

We don’t simply teach children how to behave like good “Christians” when they are not believers at all, imposing a set of rules that can lead to a joyless legalism. We tell them that when they trust Him, Jesus comes to live within them by His Spirit and He will give them a new “want-to,” a “want-to” that desires to please their loving Savior instead of themselves.

This is a ministry where we all can have a part. Some of us can be right there with them teaching, helping, and loving them. All of us can pray for them. I’m very glad that our church plans to make the children’s ministry a priority and will support whatever is necessary to make it effective and fruitful.

Lord, please help me to value children as You do. May I take the opportunity to work with them, showing them Christ’s love and acceptance and their need to trust Him. Keep me faithful in prayer for them and for those who serve them in our church. Amen.

Written by Vickie Kraft. Vicki has attended Northwest for 24 years.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Bible Verse:
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
1Peter 4:10 (NIV)

It’s 5th grade. Recess. Time for another epic game of kickball! The two loudest and usually oldest kids play a quick game of “rock, paper, scissors” to see who gets to pick first. The first few picks are exhilarating. High fives are flying. Not so with the last few picks … who gets stuck with Petey? Who has to deal with Alice?

Have you ever been picked last? Or have you ever felt like you had nothing to offer? Ultimately we all tend to gravitate toward things we do well, and, fortunately for most of us, kickball skills don’t mean much in the grand scheme of life.

But how do you feel about the way you fit in the church? Are you tempted to slip into the role of spectator? Or do you believe that God has created you with unique gifts and a special place in the body of Christ?

Think about some of the simple phrases in Peter’s encouragement: “Each one” — we all have a role, “should use” — we need to participate, “whatever gift he has received” — we contribute in unique ways, “to serve others” — it’s not about me, it’s about others.

By God’s grace we can all play a part in connecting with future generations. Of course we can all give financially, but let that be the starting point, not the end. How has God gifted you? What are you going to do about it?

Take a moment to quiet your mind and become aware of God’s presence. Ask Him to reveal to you how you can use your gifts to participate in connecting with future generations. Ask Him to show you a “next step” and commit in your heart to take it. Begin to pray for others in the church and ask God to reveal to them how He wants to use their gifts. Ask Him to show you how you might encourage others in their gifting.

Written by Travis Jones, our worship minister. Travis and Danielle have attended Northwest for six years. They have four children: Annabelle (13), Caleb (11), Madeleine (9) and Sabrina (7).

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Bible Verse:
Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Matthew 6:10 (NASB

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught his followers to pray for God’s kingdom to come. What does that mean practically? For me it involves praying for the day when Jesus returns and ushers in a new kind of world — full of peace, justice, unselfishness, and forgiveness, rather than hatred, injustice, and broken relationships. However, this prayer is more than simply about the future; it means that I also pray that the kingdom comes in me today as a Christ-follower.

That can be a tough prayer because it calls for me to actually do something about it! I have to spend time listening to God to know what He wants from me; I have to act on what He shows me to do; and I have to live out the life of Jesus through the power He gives me. Only then can I touch others in my own little world and give them a taste of His kingdom.

This month is a good time to evaluate my own life to see how well God’s kingdom has come in me. Do I love my neighbor or am I living to please myself? Do I seek peace and reconciliation even when I don’t feel like doing so? Is there someone I need to forgive? Do I need to apologize to anyone? Do I see my time, gifts, and material goods as wholly God’s or somewhat as my own? Do I seek God and his kingdom more than anything else in life — influence, success, money, fun, security, popularity, recognition, etc.?

I must admit that I prefer to avoid loving others sacrificially as Jesus did. I don’t really want to be involved when life is messy and problem-filled. Let me have my space filled with happy people who require little of me! I want to give to God’s kingdom, but mostly when it touches me personally. With great sorrow, I have to admit that far too often God’s kingdom is absent from my attitudes and my actions.

This time of introspection at Northwest is not really about a building; it is about expanding the kingdom of God first and foremost in our hearts and lives and then in the world around us. May Thy kingdom come in me!

Submit to God’s rule in your own heart. Sit quietly before Him, asking Him to show you what steps you need to take to bring His kingdom into your life in a practical way. Ask Him for the grace and power to do that. Talk to Him about what He would have you give to His kingdom work in the world around you, with both time and money. Silently listen for His answer today and every day.

Written by Kay Daigle, our women’s minister. Kay and Gary have attended Northwest for six years.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Bible Verse:
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)

As a mother of two preschool children, I find myself actively encouraging my little ones to try new things, to explore the world around them, and even to get back up when they fall down. Just being by their side is likely the greatest source of their comfort and confidence at this point in their lives. When you are two, I imagine there are not many constants, so I can easily see the importance of reassuring them that I’m here for them, and I’ll always be cheering them on. This perspective encourages me to remember God’s active presence in my life. In all that I do, in all that I am, God goes before me and is present with me.

When I read the words first spoken to Joshua by Moses, I wonder how his perspective was being shaped in knowing the Lord would go before him. Joshua was stepping into a rather significant role and faced a daunting leadership task. “Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. The Lord himself will go before you and He won’t leave you.” Joshua would hear this same message again, directly from the Lord, and leave for us an example of how the Lord was indeed going before him and remained faithfully with Joshua as he led the nation of Israel across the Jordan into the Promised Land.

As we step into unknown territory, whether in a campaign to expand our physical church or taking a step of faith to trust the Lord with an intimate area of our life, we must trust that God goes before us. As we face the struggles of this world, God goes before us. As we stumble and fall, perhaps for a second or third time, God quietly says, “Do not be discouraged, for I am with you.”

Lord, thank You for Your presence in my life. As I face today, I pray I would face it with the confidence that only You provide. Lord, let my confidence in You be an encouragement to others and embolden me to be faithful to You. Oh, how fortunate I am to be Your child. Would You steer me to lean on You as I depend on Your presence. Show me the things that I fear so that I might turn them over to You. Show me how to follow the way You provide. Knowing that You go before me, I want to faithfully follow.

Written by Misty Persefield. Misty and John have attended Northwest for 11 years. They have two children: Holden (3) and Madeleine (2).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Bible Verse:
“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Mark 10:15 (NIV)

“Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” Ephesians 5:15-17 (NIV)

Many of you have read a Chuck Swindoll book called “Killing Giants, Pulling Thorns” and I think that this is a good description of how we go about spiritual formation.

Giants are the beasts that come to us — so big, so terrorizing that they block out our reason and leave us shaking and despondent. Thorns are the smaller obstacles that must be overcome regularly in our everyday living. There have been questions raised as to why we would consider undertaking a $12 million construction program, with the world and economic conditions being what they are today. A real “Giant” to overcome!

In my opinion the main issue in our facilities expansion is the construction of the children’s ministry areas. Children are not peripheral to His kingdom, but vital to it. Christ told us of the importance of children to His kingdom in Mark 10:14-15.

How do we overcome our “Giants”?

When I first became aware of the urgency of the needs of the facilities that we have for our children’s ministry, I was greatly burdened. I was burdened about the lack of space for them, the inadequacy of it, and the state of the economy. Each issue was a “Giant.”

Ephesians 5:15-17 reveals to us God’s message as to how to deal with these things. God has given the elders the courage to take the first step of following His will by proceeding with the master plan for our facilities, as well as incorporating schematic plans for the immediate improvement of our children ministry facilities. As we take the next steps, I believe He will reveal His on-going will related to His providing the funds and other means to undertake the construction program. God has the answer to overcome. He will guide us if we but listen to Him and seek His will. What a joy it will be to see Him lead us to accomplish the work set before us!

Lord, sometimes I face challenges that leave me feeling inadequate and afraid. When I am fearful, let me see Your strength. When I am anxious, give me faith. Keep me mindful, Lord, that You are my God. With You by my side, I have nothing to fear. With You, I can overcome the giants that come into my life. Without You, I can do nothing. Lead me in the paths of good stewardship of those things You have entrusted to me. Show me Your will for my life and for the plans You have for me and Your church. Help me to be Your courageous servant this day and every day. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Written by Doug Williams. Doug and Nancy have attended Northwest for 27 years.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Bible Verse:
Listen, O my people, to my instruction; incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not conceal them from their children, but tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments.
Psalm 78.1-7 (NASV)

In Psalm 78, Asaph encourages folks from his generation to continue the tradition of passing on the story of God’s marvelous works of old to the next generation. What better encouragement for us today, as we seek God as we embark on a project impacting not only the current generation of believers, but many generations to come!

I want to highlight a couple of things from this passage. First, in order to have something to pass on to future generations, you yourself have to know “the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.” In ancient Israel, this often referred to His deliverance of the Israelites from the land of Egypt and through 40 years of wilderness wandering, to His bringing them into the land and rescuing them from their enemies.

As a New Testament believer, we can look to His great love for us demonstrated through the sacrifice of His one and only son Jesus, so that we could have a relationship with Him. Those are the broader, faith-community things. But along the way, God did wondrous things for individuals like Ruth and Hannah and Samuel and David and a host of others throughout salvation history. What are the wondrous things that God has done for you? For your family? For our church? It starts with sharing the amazing story of how God rescued you from the kingdom of darkness and transferred you to the kingdom of light. Who have you told?

Second, Asaph’s encouragement applies not only to the faith community at large, but it also applies to us as individuals within that faith community. How will I as a father tell my sons about the wondrous things that God has done? How will you as a grandparent pass the faith on to your grandchildren? How will you as a single person praise God to your friends? Your co-workers?

Spend some time today meditating on what wonderful things God has done in your life. If you are one who likes to journal, write them down. Tell a friend. Consider how you will be a part of proclaiming the praises of the Lord to the next generation.

Written by Matt Dumas, our equipping minister. Matt and Wendy have attended Northwest for seven years. They have three children: Life (11), Jack (8) and Luke (4).

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Bible Verse:
…From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. (NIV)
Luke 12:48

Jesus challenges us throughout Scripture to be careful stewards of those things God has entrusted to us. That includes our time, our talents, and our money. What better opportunity could we have than serving the next generation by constructing a facility that will house children from birth through fifth grade.

As I have journeyed this year to India and Guatemala, I have been struck once again by how “rich” we are. In addition to the material “stuff” that we have, we have also been given the gift of time. How we use our “stuff “ and how we use our time is something upon which Christ challenges us. Rebeccah and I are convinced that Northwest Bible Church and, in particular, the construction of this children’s building, is a wonderful stewardship opportunity. We pray that our response to that opportunity would be pleasing to Him.

Ask God what He would have you do to support this new children’s building. Thank Him for how richly He has blessed you. Ask for His clear direction for you, and ask Him for ears to hear His voice in the “quiet whisper.”

Written by Douglas Sullivan. Doug and Rebeccah have attended Northwest for 22 years.

Friday, October 09, 2009


This is one of my regular blog posts, not a Connect with Future Generations journal entry. I have been home sick the last couple days. With a huge library of bibles and commentaries on my computer and internet access, sick days have become a real blessing and extended time with the Lord of study, prayer, and meditation. I feel like the past two days were like one long quiet time with a lot of coughing and blowing my nose in between. So here are some thoughts from this morning.

Romans 9:6-8; 14-16
6For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7Nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 8In other words, it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. 14What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”16It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.

How does your spiritual pride raise its ugly head? One of the most obvious ways for me is the metaphorical shaking of my head at others when it appears to me that they are refusing the gift of Jesus and creating damage in their own life and the world around them.

Romans 9:1-21 sent a chill down my spine as well as created questions. It creates in me the very questions that Paul knew it would create. Is God unjust? How can God blame anyone for not running to Jesus? What about people I love that seem to be rejecting Christ? I’ll throw up the white flag on this one and go with Paul and say that the clay doesn’t talk back to the hands that shape it.

But about this chill down my spine that I am sure is not related to my illness…as I read this I began to think about direct descendents of Abraham (those Paul himself was distraught over) not being “children of promise.” We are talking about people uniquely valued, blessed, prized by God. Yet, we are told He has mercy on whom He will have mercy. The Potter has the right to make what He wants with the clay. The bigger question this spiked in me was, “Who am I?” Think about of all the people that have ever lived. According to the International Programs Center, U.S. Census Bureau, the total population of the World, projected to 10/09/09 at 15:29 GMT (EST+5) is 6,789,393,995. Who am I? God has mercy on whom He chooses. The chill down my spine is a Holy fear that pulls my arrogant head down in humility rather than letting me raise it up to shake it at someone. It is a holy fear that swallows my self-righteous pride and anger, at least for a moment.

So here is my question for all of us who claim to have been beneficiaries of the mercy of God in Christ today, “Are we a people characterized by holy fear or spiritual pride?”

Let’s pray together:
Father, thank You that salvation does not depend on man’s desire or effort but on Your mercy. I have seen the pain and disconnections my own woeful desires and efforts have brought apart from Christ. Forgive me for approaching the lost outwardly or inwardly as an arrogant punk. Help me to violently and regularly throw my spiritual pride on the ground and stomp it until I can stomp no more. May I exhibit Your great patience and forgiveness toward the lost of this world.


Bible Verse:
For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
Romans 12:4-5 (NASB)

Romans 12 launches us into Paul’s explanation of how the gospel transforms a person’s life. A Jesus follower sacrifices himself to God (vv1-2), an offering that places him in a new community (vv3-21). This community, enthralled with Jesus, is one unified body, composed of many diverse members (vv4-5).

We have no choice in the matter. That’s right — we as American, rebellious, diplomatic, individuals have no choice in the matter. When we trust in Jesus, we are placed into a unified body that demands we each serve the whole. We are His body. Paul’s words emphasize this unity: “one body… one body in Christ… members one of another.” Where does individualism rule in your life? When our self-interest or pride overrules the unified movement of Jesus’ body, we act as though the gospel has not radically changed our lives, adopting us into His body. Do your thoughts, words, and actions reflect unity in the movement of our body to connect with future generations?

Though we are His body, we are each a diverse part grafted together to form Jesus’ presence here on earth. Notice Paul’s emphasis on diversity: “we have many members… all the members do not have the same function… individually members of one another.” We all have differing amounts of time, treasure, and talents. God, thank God, has made us differently and purposefully. Our task is to come before Him to ask, “How have You built me to serve You in this body?” As God answers, which He often does through others, we must act. What time has He gifted you with? Might you arrange it to serve His body in this movement? What treasure has He given you? Might you expend it for His work in this mission? What talents has He given you? Might you use them uniquely to advance this project?

Jesus has placed a grand purpose before our body, that each member would fully invest their unique gifts for the advancement of His gospel in this city. What part will you play?

Confess any individualism or pride that might be keeping you from living as a member of His one body. Praise Him for the opportunity to live as a part of a greater movement which is carried out by His body here on earth. Reflect on your time, treasure, and talents; how has He made you? Ask God what part you are to play in His body as He reaches future generations through us.

Written by Matt Klingler, our singles minister. Matt and Courtney have attended Northwest for six years. They have three children: Jacob (3), Eden (2) and Camryn (6 months).

Thursday, October 08, 2009


Bible Verse:
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ — to the glory and praise of God.
Philippians 1:9-11 (NIV)

Paul prayed that the Philippians would be a community of believers who were increasingly characterized by love. Paul knew that the Philippians possessed love because he had been a recipient of their love, but he also recognized that there was still room for their love to grow. An ever-increasing love, which was guided by knowledge and insight, would enable them to recognize and act upon the most important issues in life. They would become spiritually mature people who were morally pure, not causing others to stumble, and allowing Christ to produce good fruit in their lives. As a result, God would be glorified and praised among them.

What was true for the Philippians is also true for us today, both as individuals and as a body of believers. As we read through the New Testament, we cannot help but see that love is a characteristic which is near and dear to the heart of Christ. As I examine my own life, I ask myself several questions: Is my life characterized by an ever-increasing love that has no limit to its growth? Does my love look like a drippy faucet or Niagara Falls? When making decisions, am I motivated by my own self-interests or do I consider the interests of others? Do I promote reconciliation and unity? Is my attitude one of humility or pride? Are my choices hindering the spiritual growth of others and myself? Are my words and actions beneficial to others?

During this time of prayer at Northwest Bible Church, let us look beyond a building program and ask the Lord to use this period of time in our lives to increase our love. Of course, we have love — but like the Philippians, there is still room for our love to grow! May Northwest Bible Church be known as a community of believers characterized by love.

As you meditate on Paul’s prayer, ask the Lord to reveal to you areas where He wants your love to increase toward family, friends, strangers, and even your enemies. Ask the Lord to teach you to love. To God be all praise and glory.

Written by Laurie Ledbetter. Laurie and Terry have attended Northwest for 19 years.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

What do I know about the Holy Spirit?

This is one of my regular blog posts, not a Connect with Future Generations journal entry.

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike, “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! Romans 8:15-17 (The Message)

In my time with God today, I was reading Romans 8:1-17. Three hours later I am still praying, thinking, meditating, and reading what others have said. It seems like every time I come across verses that reference the Holy Spirit I have more questions than answers. Do you ever feel like that?

I think there are several reasons. One, I assume that I can figure out God but I can’t. His ways are not my ways, His thoughts are not my thoughts. You think I would have learned that in four years of seminary. Two, I don’t want to be disappointed. When I first came to Christ, my theology of the Holy Spirit could be summarized in these words, “A Supernatural Zap.” Too often, I didn’t get a zap to keep me from sinning or give me great boldness in telling the world about Jesus. Three, there is clearly a subjective nature to the role and working of the Spirit of Jesus that people who like control (i.e. me) are not always comfortable with. Yet, I know I have experienced this at times. I still cannot explain it. Four, I have read too many differing opinions about the nature and role of the Spirit of Jesus today. The people pleasing part of me takes over here so that I want to find a comfortable middle ground that is more about pleasing others than pursuing the living, holy God. Bummer.

Today while praying, I was impressed to just make a list of what is true from Romans 8:1-17. Don’t try to figure it out. Don’t ask, “How do I do it?” Just rest in what is true. So here it is straight from my journal:
The Spirit of Jesus lives in me!
The Spirit of Jesus guarantees I will not be condemned to death!
The Spirit of Jesus fulfills the requirements of the law for me!
The Spirit of Jesus sets my mind on the things of the Spirit!
The Spirit of Jesus is working in me to produce life and peace!
The Spirit of Jesus gives me a direct connection with the resurrection life of Christ!
The Spirit of Jesus enables me to put to death the deeds of the body!
The Spirit of Jesus leads me!
The Spirit of Jesus declares me a child of God!
The Spirit of Jesus in me is diametrically opposed to feeling of enslavement and fear!
The Spirit of Jesus is the spirit of adoption encouraging me to call God—Father!
The Spirit of Jesus declares to me that I am a child of God!
The Spirit of Jesus guarantees that I am an heir of God and a fellow heir with Christ!

I am not sure how all this works out in my life as a believer, husband, father, and pastor. However, I am thankful and believing that the Spirit of Jesus is moving, blowing, and working in my life, your life and the world right now. For now I think I will keep it simple and follow Jesus. (And I only do that because the Spirit enables me!)

PRAYER: Father, fill us with the knowledge of Your will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding so that we might more fully understand You and Your ways, that we might produce the fruit for which you called us, and that we might please You in all that we think, say and do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I would sure like to hear your thoughts on this one.


Bible Verse:
Caleb interrupted, called for silence before Moses and said, “Let’s go up and take the land — now. We can do it.” Numbers 13:30 (TM)

I watched as my three-year-old and two-year-old granddaughters ran around the playground. Predictably, the older attacked the slide, the swings and the monkey bars, as the younger stood and watched. After much coaxing, Morgan joined her sister reluctantly on the slide. Frozen at the top, she turned to come down but couldn’t; another child was right behind her. Crying, she slid down and found the ride was fun! With new courage she climbed back up and did it again, experiencing the rush of the slide. Morgan is fortunate to have an “in house” encourager, someone to stretch her comfort zone, to push her beyond her fears, to help her experience more of life.

In the middle of the night, the children of Israel hurriedly left their Egyptian captors for freedom in the Promised Land. However, like Morgan, they “froze” in fear at the entrance because of the challenges ahead. Their focus was on the obstacles, not the power of the God they worshipped. The minority voice that called them to stretch to their future was vehemently refused, resulting in a 40-year detour. I wonder what they missed during those wasted years?

We have an opportunity now to be stretched to our future. How will we respond? I found it interesting to discover, while talking to those who have been here longer than I, that over 20 years ago, in the midst of a financial downturn, our church stretched to build the current Christian Life Center. There were moments along that journey that proved impossible unless God showed up. Isn’t that just where God shows us our faith — it is not in ourselves or the surrounding circumstances, but in Him and His power to do exceeding beyond what we ask or think? In fact, if you look at the history of this church from the beginning, faithful men and women have been stretched to the future we now enjoy. It is now our turn. How will you respond?

As you answer that question you might pray: Lord, stretch us. Give us the measure of faith and confidence we need to trust You to provide for our future as Your church on this corner. Lord, show me where I need to stop looking at the circumstances and instead allow You to stretch me. For Your Glory. Amen.

Written by Dianne Miller. Dianna and Brad have attended Northwest for 10 years.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Bible Verse:
Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. But the time is coming — indeed it’s here now — when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
John 4:21-24 (NLT)

When I think about the new building project, I think about spiders. No, it’s not because of all the creepy, crawly inhabitants of our current buildings. It’s because of the example of my friend John. About six years ago John’s life was changed forever by a venomous spider bite. It took John two years to discover that the spider caused his symptoms — debilitating, chronic pain and muscle spasms — and several more years of experimental treatments to learn that there would be no cure for him in this lifetime. Yet, if you were to talk to John or read his letters, you would clearly hear, “It’s not about the spider!” And he would go on and on about God’s abundant love, and how the Lord has used this very painful and difficult circumstance to draw John and his family into a deeper love relationship with Him than they ever would have imagined. As I read John’s letters, I see a family worshipping God in spirit and in truth despite their circumstances.
So, when I think about the new building project, I realize that it’s going to be a long, difficult, inconvenient and even painful process. I know it will require sacrifice on my part. But as a parent of three children who are scattered throughout various places all over campus on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights, I’m very excited about the vision for a more welcoming, efficient and secure building plan. I also know that our circumstances could change, my husband’s job could transfer him, and we may not be here to see the final results of our investment.
But the thing is, it’s really not about the building. It’s about worshiping God in spirit and in truth wherever and with whomever I am. By nature, I’m a goal-oriented, rather than a process-oriented, person. But I’m learning that God cares more about my heart towards Him and my attitude and actions towards others throughout the process than He does about the end product. Recently I have found that sincerely praying, “Jesus, I want what You want,” helps my attitude a lot in this respect.

Reflect on your worship of God. Is God truly preeminent in your heart, or is there something or someone else that holds that place instead? Have you invested the time to get to know the one you worship, or are you like the Samaritans who “know very little about the one you worship”? Ask the Father to help you know Him better so you can worship Him fully in spirit and in truth. Ask Him to use the circumstances in your life today to draw you into a deeper relationship with Him.

Written by Kay Halligan. Kay and Kevin have attended Northwest for 20 years. They have three children: Emily (11), Erin (8) and Elissa (5).

Monday, October 05, 2009


Bible Verse:
For through Jesus we (Jews and Gentiles) both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Ephesians 2:18-21 (NIV)

What a great passage about building! It gives wise instructions — to build on a strong foundation. To measure it against the perfect cornerstone. To join each part together as the building rises to become a dwelling place. If you’re like me, you envision bulldozers and cranes, with construction workers laying steel beams and surrounding it with concrete. I can’t help but look ahead to the excitement as the dirt flies and our new children’s building is constructed.
But that’s not what this passage is about. Paul writes to non-Jewish believers and reminds them that everyone has access to God because of Christ’s death on our behalf. God’s household is made up of people. That is us — you and me. We are the dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
As we pray about a physical building project for our church, let’s remember first that the church is not made up of bricks and mortar. The building materials are God’s people. We must align our lives and our plans against Jesus Christ as the cornerstone. Otherwise, whatever we do will be crooked. And that’s no way to build.
Finally, we need to seek unity in this decision, so that we are joined together as the building rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.

Father, thank you for the gift of Jesus — through Him we have access to You. Help us remember this building project is about much more than square footage. It is about creating a place where Your people can grow. Help us to align our desires with Your plan. We pray for unity as we move forward. God, if we move forward with this project, may it always be about You and Your glory — the building up of Your people into a holy temple where You live by Your Spirit. Amen.

Written by Paul DeHaven, our children’s minister. Paul and Jill have attended Northwest for two months. They have two children: Johanna (18) and Kari (16).

Thursday, October 01, 2009

The Victory Belongs to the Lord

The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
But victory belongs to the LORD. Proverbs 21:31

I just finished my one month of praying through the names of people at Northwest Bible church in view of Connect with Future Generations. It has been a great month of extended prayer for you. On Sunday you will be receiving a devotional guide so that all of us can pray daily together this October.

A missionary friend of mine sent Proverbs 21:31 with some comments to me this week. I have adapted some of his comments and added a few of my own. I was encouraged and challenged by this verse as I thought how it applies to Connect with Future Generations. It would be foolish or presumptuous for God's people NOT to prepare for battle! To have an army equipped and trained (prepared) is essential.

The main point of the proverb is the truth that even though the horse is prepared, the victory comes only from God! It reminds me that we’re dead wrong if we think success in Connect with Future Generations or any breakthroughs in our ministry are a result of our own efforts or preparedness. God is the one who works in the heart of man. God must get all credit.

What’s more, we’re dead wrong to think that lack of success in Connect with Future Generations is a result of our own efforts or preparedness. Certainly, we can’t have un-confessed sins and expect God to bless. But the main point is that the church is God’s business from start to finish.

So we communicate, communicate, communicate. Plan, plan, plan. We ask questions. We answer questions. We seek understanding. We challenge and we ask people to give. But all the while we pray and pray, asking God to work in people’s hearts. We pray asking God to provide supernaturally though his people, trusting Him to work in His own way in His own time. When the success (however, we define it, comes) He gets all the glory.

Please join the elders and me in prayer this month. Let's pray first, pray hard, pray together, and pray a lot for Connect with Future Generations.