Posted by: Pastor Bob Sugden | June 29, 2010

Of The Best Laid Plans of Mice & Men

How many of you made plans for today?  (I did.)  How many of you are seeing your plans come to fruition?  (I’m not.)  😦

I have been trying to find the time to finish a project that was started last summer by the Work & Witness team.  What is the project?  I’m glad you asked.  I’m installing a planter box/retaining wall in front of the parsonage.  Last year the W&W team installed the retaining wall.   I am now trying to finish the planter box.  I spent many back-breaking hours yesterday digging the trench to install the concrete blocks that make up the wall.  (The blocks are the diamond-shaped kind that lock together at the back.)  I finished the trench last night and planned to lay the pea gravel and the blocks today.  Then, finally, I would be able to prepare the soil in the planter and, by the end of the summer, fill the planter with low-maintenance plants that are natural to the Interior of Alaska.  (It’s called xero-scaping.  It’s a type of gardening that provides beauty without a lot of maintenance/watering.)

I awoke this morning feeling a little stiff, but motivated to get the planter box completed.  I looked out the window to find that it is raining.  So, now the question arises.  Do I continue with my plans and just work in the rain?  (Actually, it’s a miserable drizzle.)  Or, do I put the work off to another day and choose another project (there are many) that can be done indoors on a rainy day.

Quite honestly, my body is sore and tired.  It welcomes the idea of not going back outside and working on the planter box.  But, that is the easy route.  What’s a little rain?  How will it harm me to work in the rain?  It will make things a little more uncomfortable, but it won’t stop me from accomplishing me planned activity.

As I sit here trying to make my decision, a thought rises–what does this situation have to say about my walk with Christ?  As I am trying to live out my daily life and some rain (minor obstacle) appears on the scene.  What should my response be?  Should I just press on in the direction I was headed?  Should I change my direction?  Should I stop and wait until I see the obstacle removed?

The obvious answer is that I should pray and ask the Lord what His plan/purpose is.  Does He still want me to continue in the path I have been on?  Is the obstacle that has appeared in my path a message from Him to make a change?  Is the obstacle in my path a hindrance placed there by the enemy of my soul?  It would be fool-hardy of me to just press on through/around the obstacle without first seeking the Lord’s guidance.  But, it would be just as fool-hardy to abandon my plans.  Just because an obstacle has appeared before me, it doesn’t mean I have to stop everything I am doing and totally rework my plan.  But, sitting, waiting, and doing nothing while I wait for the obstacle to be removed is just as fool-hardy.  That would be another way the enemy could stop me from accomplishing that which the Father has asked me to do.

So, what should my response be?  What should I do the next time an obstacle appears in my path when I am trying to live out my faith?  I should take time to reflect and seek the Lord’s guidance.  Once I am convinced of His will and purpose, I should press on in the direction He chooses even if it means living with the obstacle for a while.

And, what will I do about the planter box?  Well, as much as my body would rather I do otherwise, I am going out there and getting the job done.  The rain won’t hurt me.  As a matter of fact, it might be nice to not be “hot and sweaty” while I work.

Soli Gloria Deo!

Posted by: Pastor Bob Sugden | June 21, 2010

Land of the Midnight Rainbow

I am seated at my dining room table.  It is 3:30 am.  I awoke a few minutes ago to the sound of birds chirping and flitting about in my backyard.  As I sit here pondering some of my deepest concerns, God has tapped me on the shoulder and reminded me of His faithfulness.  I am looking out the dining room window and seeing a beautiful rainbow.  Did I mention that it is 3:30 am?  3:30 in the morning!?!?!?!

God is reminding me that I serve a God who doesn’t sleep.  Day or night–24/7–365–He is ever present and ever-watching over me.  He has the power to make the sun shine in the middle of the night.  He has the power to cause a rainbow to shine in exactly the right location and at the right time to remind me of His ever watchful care.

Do you know what the rainbow symbolizes?  Check out Genesis 9:8-17.  In this section of Scripture, God established a covenant between Himself and all flesh (man and animals) that even though He has the power of destruction by means of water, He will not use it again.  God will always keep the waters of the earth in check and never again allow a worldwide flood.

He set the rainbow as a reminder that He has ultimate power over us and that He is a God of His word.  When He makes a promise to us, we can take it to the bank!  Are my problems any less significant than they were a few minutes ago?  No.  But, I am reminded that my problems are nothing when compared to the greatness of the God I serve.  He who can hold back the Flood has the power to take care of little ole me.

Thanks, God, for reminding me of Your faithful love and concern for me.  I think I’ll go back to bed now.  (I think I’ll probably dream sweet dreams, too.)

Soli Gloria Deo!

Posted by: Pastor Bob Sugden | May 31, 2010

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes…

I awoke this morning to a “smoke headache”.  For those of you who don’t live in Fairbanks, Alaska, that means the smoke from the wildfires got to me this morning.  But, you know what?  I serve the one true God who is the master of all.  This morning, I had some significant challenges that I needed to overcome.  Before I started to attempt them, I prayed and asked my Lord to work out the problems for me and to smooth out any wrinkles that might get in my way.  And you know?  He did!!!!

I am not surprised.  God has been showing me, lately, that He is a God who I can trust.  When He declares something–it happens.  He is proving to me that I can pray about something–ANYTHING–and He will answer.  What a cool thing!

The enemy of our souls tried to get my day started with the song “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”, but the Light of the World shone through that smoke and revealed His truth.  Now I’m singing, but this is the song in my heart:

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.  I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.  On Christ the Solid Rock I stand.  All other ground is sinking sand.  All other ground is sinking sand.

Soli Gloria Deo!!!!

Posted by: Pastor Bob Sugden | May 28, 2010

Memorial Day Celebration

(I was asked to post this.  This feels so self-serving!)

This Sunday, May 30, immediately following the morning service we will have a light lunch to celebrate both Memorial Day and Pastor Bob’s Birthday.  We will provide a 6ft sub sandwich, birthday cake (carrot his favorite) and homemade ice cream.  If you would like to bring something to add to the lunch you are welcome to bring whatever you’d like.

Posted by: Pastor Bob Sugden | May 6, 2010

Spiritual Gifts?

Somehow, I don’t think that’s what it means to be spiritually gifted! If you would like to know more about your spiritual gifts click on the comic then scroll down and click on the “Spiritual Gifts” logo.

Posted by: Pastor Bob Sugden | May 4, 2010

Today, I Choose Holiness

Proverbs 4:23-27
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right what to the left; keep your foot from evil.”

Holiness is a choice. No one makes me live a life of sin — I choose to. No one forces me to live in a holy and righteous way — I choose to.

God requires that His children “be holy as He is holy”. But, I am not a robot that must follow its programming. God lays before me a choice: life (holiness) or death (sinfulness). The choice is still mine to make.

In this section of Proverbs, the writer instructs his son to “guard his heart.”  He then gives him a laundry list of the ways he can/should guard his heart.  The son must:

— not allow unrighteousness to flow from his mouth

— keep his eyes straight ahead, looking neither to the left or right. In the words of Phineas F. Bresee, “Nothing to the left; nothing to the right; Jesus only!”

— choose the path carefully, ensuring that any obstacles or traps are avoided.

Holiness is a choice. God gives me the tools I need to live the way He wants me to live. He even gives me His ever-present Holy Spirit to guide me along the path of life to live. But, even with all of this at my disposal, the choice is still mine to make. So, today, I choose holiness.

I will do all that I can to guard my heart today. I will be intentional and thoughtful and my conversations. I will (with diligence) keep my eyes on Jesus and the goals He has for me. I will watch out for any hazards that might come along to trip me up or caused me to fall off the path I am to take. Finally, I will trust in the leading of God’s Holy Spirit. As I sense his voice, I will immediately follow.

God, help me today to choose holiness.

Soli Gloria Deo!  Pastor Bob

Posted by: Pastor Bob Sugden | May 3, 2010

The Website Launch Nears…

We are within days of launching our new website! There are just a few “tweaks” that need to be done. This is gonna be a great addition to our church’s ministry.

Posted by: Pastor Bob Sugden | April 30, 2010

Missionary Diwakar Wankhede to Speak Tonight

This is just a reminder that we will join Fairbanks First Church and North Pole Church to hear visiting missionary, Diwakar Wankhede, from India.  The meeting will start at 6:30 pm at Fairbanks First Church.  We will share a pot-luck meal.  After the meal, Dr. Wankhede will speak.

See you there!  (If you want to car-pool, we still have 13 seats available!)

Posted by: Pastor Bob Sugden | April 30, 2010

Two Rivers has gone Techno-Geek (We mean Techno-Chic)

It has FINALLY happened!  The Two Rivers Community Church of the Nazarene has gone techno!!!

This is our first attempt at setting up a website.  We have tried to include all the items that one might want when checking out a website.  However, as this is a work in progress, if you think of something that will enhance/improve the experience of visiting this site, let us know!

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