Category Archives: Life Helps

Reality Check: Not Feeling Rich Today?

This afternoon, I read the Time.com post in which; “4, out of 10 Millionaires Do Not Feel Rich,”

I became stupified by the idea of having asset’s, revenue’s,,, (whatever they were using to show that they had a proposed net worth of at least a million dollars) and feeling as though I did not qualify as being rich!

Do you get how they could feel that way?

I had an instant flashback to my college years when I had the wonderfully humiliating experience of being almost out of gas in my car, nothing in the fridge at my apartment, a whopping .05 cents in my bank account, and another week and a half to go before my next paycheck from the grocery store that I was working at part time! Talk about Broke!!! I was seriously broke!

I remember very vividly, how I felt when I finally got my paycheck in my hand, (there was no direct deposit back then) and how I felt empowered! Rich enough to catch up my rent for the month, put gas in my tank and even take my girl out to a movie! I knew I wasn’t rich,,, but it wasn’t gonna take much to get me there!

It’s amazing how, looking back on those feelings from 25 years ago seems odd now, when comparing how little it took to give me the feeling of being rich then, to now;

  • having 3 children,
  • a mortgage
  • car loans
  • home/car/life and health insurance
  • utilities
  • education
  • vehicle and property maintenance
  • clothing
  • gas
  • groceries and
  • 2 pages of ancillary budget items (you get the point)

The amount that it would take to create that fuzzy feeling for me now, is at least 400-500 times greater, and even then, the feeling would be heavily influenced by the balance of my savings account.

This, sadly,,, is one of the primary reasons we as Americans are so driven to work more than 10-12 hours a day, spend very little time with our families and most importantly, invest little, or nothing into the Kingdom of God.
This is the reason why Paul, the Apostle of Christ wrote in an Epistle to the Hebrews (12) nearly 2,000 years ago, that we should cast off all of the weights that weigh us down, because they will eliminate our ability to “run the Christian race.” It’s why he referred to all of these things in Matthew (6) as “things that will be destroyed by rust and moth’s, or stolen by thieves and if these things are our treasure, it is where our heart will be as well.
To further complicate our pursuit of riches,,, history and scripture both provide a large number of examples where mankind, and his thirst for wealth, prestige, power, possessions, land, etc. are never satisfied,,, no matter how much we acquire.
Could this be part of the reason why these individuals who have so much, feel as though they do not have enough?
Even I do not even show up on the radar of being a millionaire, I am thankful everyday that I do not need to be a Millionaire in order to “feel rich,” because I am intimately familiar with life’s most fulfilling promises and even though I do not “feel wealthy with stuff,” I still “FEEL RICH” every day of my life with all of the blessings that I have received from God!
Most importantly, knowing that I have been saved from the consequences of sin,,, Yeah, I AM UBER RICH!

“Do you believe that Jesus is worth abandoning everything for?”

What is Jesus Worth to You?

In his recently published book entitled: “Radical David Platt invites us to encounter what Jesus actually said about being his disciple, and then obey what we’ve heard. He challenges us to consider with an open heart how we have manipulated a God-centered gospel to fit our human-centered preferences. (ouch)

Platt calls into question a host of comfortable notions that are common among followers of Christ in modern culture, then he proposes a radical response, in that we live the gospel in ways that are true, filled with promise, and ultimately world changing.

I love the idea, but how achievable really is this? How many people do you know that are willing to Abandon Everything for Jesus?

What part of the Gospel is optional?

It’s easy for American Christians to forget how Jesus said his followers would actually live, what their new lifestyle would actually look like. They would, he said, leave behind security, money, convenience, even family for him. They would abandon everything for the gospel. They would take up their crosses daily… But who do you know who lives like that? Do you?

Do you understand the scripture to suggest that we should be ready to give everything up?
Would You?

“AVOIDING sATAN’S TURF”

DID YOU HEAR?:
Newspapers reported on the story of a 5 ft tall, 90 lb fortune teller who had escaped from jail. The headline of the article was:
“SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE” Get it?… LOL

At a recent meeting of the International Association of Fortune Tellers, we’ve heard they began the meeting by reading the minutes of next year’s meeting. :o)

As you know, we launched this particular Blog series, entitled: “HOT TOPIX!” several months ago, as an opportunity to address issues that in many cases, have become very difficult for people to deal with and may even find embarrassing,

By the way: This information was compiled from the Pastor’s notes on the recently concluded Message Series entitled: “Hot Topics” as it was taught by Mid Lakes Christian Church Senior Pastor; Doug Dykstra. See what you have been missing? Let’s begin with HOT TOPIX #6,

“AVOIDING SATAN’S TURF!”

SATAN WILL DO WHAT EVER IT TAKES TO ENTICE YOU.

It’s true, he has a vast arsenal of attractions to draw you into his grasp. In addition to the whole range of sinful opportunities he places before us every day, there is the world of temptation called the “occult.”
The word “occult” comes from the Latin word “occultus” which means “hidden.” So, it’s all about seeking to know things that haven’t been revealed yet.
Initially, occult activities seem to be harmless, and even many Christians often see no wrong with them, yet, one thing leads to another and people become addicted to seeking knowledge by godless means, not to mention, occult activities are forbidden by God, and are therefore, sin, and must be purged from the Christian’s life.

CURIOSITIES

The danger of even talking about this stuff is that it may awaken the curiosity of some, and may intrigue people into seeking out more on the occult. Still, it is vital for the Christian to be informed about these things because satanic practices are common in our society, and we need to know the approaches that satan will use to destroy us and those around us.

Paul wants Christians to be alert to satan’s methods and deceptions: “In order that satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” (II Cor 2:11) Paul is emphasizing that we are being stalked by a wise adversary, who schemes against us.

SOME OF sATAN’S SCHEMES:

Billy Sunday, an exuberant revival preacher from the early 1900’s used to say: “I know there is a devil for 2 reasons:
#1 The Bible says so
#2 I’ve done business with Him

I’ll bet that 99% of us have done business with him. Let’s see…..
HERE’S A LIST OF SOME OF THE OCCULT ACTIVITIES:

  • Séances
  • Table tilting, or levitation
  • Necromancy – (consulting the dead)
  • Ouija Boards
  • Consulting Mediums, palm readers, fortune tellers, or crystal balls
  • Reading Tarot cards
  • Psychic Hotline
  • Astrology, horoscopes
  • Psychics and prophets
  • Clairvoyance, and E. S. P.
  • White and black witchcraft

…..And a host of other things!

Christians must approach occult practices with the same dread as we would approach satan, himself, for in practicing these things, we are shaking the devil’s hand!
• Yet, most of these things seem so innocent…..and this is what makes the devil’s trap so effective.
• Will any trap be effective if it looks dangerous to the prey?
• satan’s success at entrapping people with these temptations is shown by the millions who read their horoscopes faithfully every morning, or consult their psychics through the numerous “psychic hotlines.”

satan can be very clever,,, he lures people through gradual methods, because he knows that if he pushes people too fast into the occult, he’ll only scare them away. So, he “gradualizes” people into the occult by starting them out with seemingly innocent activities that only serve to whet their appetite.
Sadly, those who have become accustomed to these practices move deeper and deeper into the activities which once would have frightened them off. They become attracted to an imaginary sense of knowledge and power that are now available to them.

OUIJA BOARDS – A GATEWAY TO THE OCCULT

A survey was done of 1,700 high school kids…

  1. 416 admitted to having involvement with Ouija boards. This is a slippery slide that could easily plunge a person into the realm of the underworld!
  2. 321 admitted to having some involvement with astrology/horoscopes, which was part of the Tower of Babel disaster
  3. 192 of them admitted to involvement with palm readers or psychics to tell future events…the ultimate insult to our God Whom we are supposed to trust with our future
  4. What’s more disconcerting about these figures is that this survey was done in a Christian School!

A few years back, Ben Alexander was at a CIY rally in Oklahoma, and he asked how many of the 2,500 kids had played with an Ouija board. 2,000 of them raised their hand.

Ouija boards: “Ouija” = oui, (French) – ja (Dutch/german) words for “yes”
I can tell you from personal experience that the thing really works. In my younger, dumber days, I didn’t realize this was anything but a childish toy. When it worked, I knew this was not of God, and I dropped it like a hot potato.
Using the Ouija board is practicing a form of divination—it is an attempt to obtain secret information from spirit world.

THE MEDIA MAKES THE OCCULT LOOK SO HARMLESS, with movies like “The Wizard of Oz” with funky looking, harmless witches. The old “Bewitched” TV show makes it appear harmless, or better yet, good. Then there’s “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

The Pagan federation credits these shows with a rapidly growing interest in witchcraft among children. In response to the increased interest of kids, they appointed their first youth officer in September of 2000.

ALSO, I’M VERY CONCERED ABOUT THE HARRY POTTER SERIES that has made it into so many homes. It is obvious that the Harry Potter series is fun to read – but it is based on occult practices. This is a serious threat to our kids.

  • Author, J. K. Rowling admits that the potions, curses, and spells that she writes about are authentic, and that she obtained them by research from books that promote witchcraft
  • Harry Potter books promote witchcraft, Necromancy (talking with the dead), and reincarnation – all heathen, pagan concepts
  • Book six of her series earned The Guiness World Records award for being the fastest selling book ever, selling more copies in 24-hours than The Da Vinci Code sold in a year. 300 million copies of her books have been sold worldwide, and 4 have been made into movies
  • Now, Universal in Orlando has opened up a Harry Potter attraction and now we have children who are attracted to the occult – or at the very least, they believe that the occult is fun. That’s like saying Cocaine is fun – only cocaine only kills the body, not the soul

I know some are saying that this is a really good thing because it’s getting their kids to read. Do you see the fallacy in the thinking here??? With that kind of thinking is this? We may as well get our boys some smutty magazines, – I guarantee they’ll read that,,, every page! They’ll become great readers!

SO, WHAT IS THE ATTRACTION OF THE OCCULT?

* FOR SOME, IT’S POWER – We must not forget that for some, the power of Satan means voodoo, hexes, and all manner of “black magic.” And we should not assume that such people are fakes!
* FOR OTHERS, IT’S REBELLION – For them, it’s all about rebellion against God. There are people who, if God tells them to turn right will go left every time.
* BUT FOR MOST, IT’S ALL ABOUT FORBIDDEN KNOWLEDGE – We all eagerly desire to know the future. We feel that if we know the future, maybe there is some way we can control it.
But, it doesn’t work like that!
Like Jay Leno says: “If these psychics know so much, why aren’t we reading headlines like: “Psychic wins lottery!”

KNOWING THE FUTURE IS GOD’S TURF
He tells us as much of the future as He wants us to know, and expects us to trust Him for what has not been revealed. That is what “faith” is all about, and God expects nothing less from us. “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” (Deut 29:29)
Therefore, our passion to know our future is evidence of an absence of faith and without faith it is impossible to please him. (Hebrews 11:6)
If we really trusted His power, we wouldn’t feel such a great need to know the future.

WHAT DOES GOD HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THE OCCULT?

MOSES LISTS 8 OCCULT PRACTICES – Deuteronomy 18:9 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. (Deut 18:9-12)

GOD CALLS THOSE WHO DO THESE THINGS DETESTABLE – do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. (Deut 18:9 & 12)

GOD FORBIDS THESE ACTIVITIES – Do not practice divination or sorcery. Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God. (Lev 19:26, 31)

OCCULT ACTIVITIES WERE PUNISHABLE BY DEATH
1. Do not allow a sorceress to live. (Deut 22:18)
2. Saul died because he was unfaithful to the LORD; he did not keep the word of
the LORD and even consulted a medium for guidance, (I Chron 10:13)

Do you read your horoscope? If so, pay attention!
GOD MOCKS ASTROLOGERS

Horoscopes are very popular – they have become part of our everyday language

Disaster = dis (bad) aster (star, as in asteroid) = The sense is astrological, of a calamity blamed on an unfavorable position of a planet.

French King, Louis XI (11th) was a devout believer in astrology, but he had come to doubt his astrologer’s true skill. So he summoned the astrologer to his palace, and told his servants on a given signal to throw him out the window.

The King said to the royal astrologer: “You claim to understand astrology and to know the fate of others. So tell me what your fate will be and how long you have to live.”
Astrologer: “I shall die just 3 days before your Majesty.” The shaken king cancelled his plans to kill the astrologer, just in case the astrologer was right….

In Isa 47:11-14, God is telling the pagan city of Babylon that they shall fall; 11 Disaster will come upon you, and you will not know how to conjure it away. A calamity will fall upon you that you cannot ward off with a ransom; a catastrophe you cannot foresee will suddenly come upon you.
12 “Keep on, then, with your magic spells and with your many sorceries, which you have labored at since childhood. Perhaps you will succeed, perhaps you will cause terror.
13 All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you. 14 Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame. Here are no coals to warm anyone; here is no fire to sit by. (Isa 47:11-14)

If People ask what “sign” you were born under, tell them it said: “Maternity Ward.” Say, “I was born under a maternity ward sign and born again under the sign of the cross – and I don’t need astrology.”

It’s important to remember that…. OCCULT PRACTICES WILL KEEP US OUT OF HEAVEN

In the O.T., it had spiritual consequences; “I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people.” (Lev 20:6)
It has consequences for the N.T. age, too; “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Rev 21:8)

MANY TODAY THINK OF ASTROLOGERS AND PSYCHICS AS QUAINT, BUT GOD DOESN’T

How can we tell a real prophet? In contrast to the astrologers, palm readers, fortune tellers, etc…..
GOD’S STANDARD FOR PROPHECY IS PERFECTION!!! – (20) “But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death.” (21) You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?” (22) If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.” (Deut 18:20-22)

PERFECTION
God’s not into making an occasional hit. His self-imposed standard: a home run every time up to bat! In fact, if a man claims to speak for God and makes inaccurate prophecies, he was to be stoned- – -for he claimed to represent God, and was lying. But, God’s prophecies are so accurate —and so specific— that the Bible’s critics used to claim that the prophecies were written AFTER the events actually took place!

WHAT SHOULD OUR RESPONSE TO THE OCCULT BE?
A. TAKE IT SERIOUSLY
satan’s prophets can only guess at the future, so they can sometimes look foolish, but there is power there, and it’s controlled by demons.
The worst part of this is…
Getting into these occult practices is like shaking hands with the devil, so we should approach the occult as though we were approaching satan himself… DON’T!
There is a ton of evidence to show that demon possession results from these
activities.

B. AVOID AN UNHOLY FASCINATION
People get curious about these things, start dabbling in them, and get hooked, it’s a curiosity killed the cat sort of thing. “When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. (Deut 18:9) The proper attitude is to be repulsed by it….

C. REMOVE ALL OCCULT MATERIALS FROM YOUR LIFE AND YOUR HOME
Your family has a right to a clean house, in Acts 19, Occultists who became Christians burned their Occult books, worth a fortune because they knew that, allowing Satanic things into your home is parental malpractice. 2 Kings 23:24, “Furthermore, Josiah got rid of the mediums and spiritists, the household gods, the idols and all the other detestable things seen in Judah and Jerusalem. This he did to fulfill the requirements of the law written in the book that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the temple of the Lord.” Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. Utterly abhor and detest it, for it is set apart for destruction. (Deut 7:26)

D. Watch your kids
Closely monitor their friends – who they visit – what they’re doing
Watch for signs that indicate they may be dabbling in:
1. Séances 3. Movies
2. Ouija 4. Rock stars

E. WE MUST TRUST GOD FOR OUR FUTURE
Isaiah 8:19, “When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?” (Isa 8:19)

GOD CONSIDERS IT A BETRAYAL IF WE CONSULT THE ULTIMATE ENEMY ABOUT OUR FUTURE

Life Groups

Have you ever noticed how many people there are that are getting divorced, or just splitting up? How about the number of people that are struggling with their employer, their company, or just plain old life?

Life Decisions

Here at Mid-Lakes we place a high priority on growing relationships that will help us to deal with LIFE a whole lot more successfully, by focusing on both our relationship with God as well as our relationships with others. This is one of the reasons why we have organized a wide variety of “Life Groups” for adults to choose from.

We have something for everyone and a topic that will address your needs where you are and what you’re facing right now. We would encourage you to look through the different Life Groups that we have available.

We have Life Groups meeting nearly every day of the week. For the current subject matter that each Life Group is studying please call the office at 352.343.9020, or email Brent Elliott at brent@mid-lakes.org.

WEDNESDAY @ 6:30 PM

Dig Deeper
This is a class that is open to all adults with a desire to grow in their knowledge of God’s word and how it applies to our life. This is a continual class that is offered on Wednesdays and is taught by our preaching minister, Doug Dykstra.
This class will challenge you with an in-depth approach to studying God’s word. Questions are encouraged during this class to enhance the total learning experience. This class meets in the auditorium from 6:30-7:30 PM.

Adult Elective Life Groups
Every Wednesday night we offer Adult Electives that allow you to choose which class best meets your needs at the current time. Our Adult Electives run for 6-9 weeks and then we rotate them. We generally have five Adult Electives running at all times, so there is certainly something for everyone. Here is a list of Elective topics that we offer at various times throughout the year.

Take Your Best Shot
Boundaries
Christian Evidences
God is Closer Than You Think
Portrait of Marriage
Effective Parenting in a Defective World
Walk Thru the Bible
Journey with Jesus
30 Ways to Tame Your Tongue
30 Ways to Tame Your Stress
Lord, Change My Attitude
For Bitter or Better
Breakaway
The Life You’ve Always Wanted
In the Dust of the Rabbi
Reasonable Doubt
Where Faith and Culture Meet
Harmony Voice Class
Transforming Your Financial Future
Take it to the Limit
Becoming the Parent You Want To Be
Crash Course on the Old Testament
Becoming a Contagious Christian
10 Most Common Objections to Christianity
Go Fish
Life with Jesus
Life of Joshua

SATURDAY NIGHT @ 6:00 PM

Solid Rock Class
The Saturday night Solid Rock Class, taught by Doug Dykstra, is a class for adults that want to take their faith to the next level. Through this class you will learn to take Gods timeless truths and implement them into your lives. This class meets in the chapel (room #22) and runs until 6:45 PM.

Young Adult Classes
Our Young Adult classes are a place where adults, married or single, can learn Biblical principles that will assist them in their lives. We meet in a relaxed atmosphere where there are a variety of components to our class time. We always have several topics and classes to choose from. To find out what classes are currently running on Saturday nights for Young Adults please contact Brent Elliott at 343-9020 or at brent@mid-lakes.org.
We want people to be able to connect with God while building relationships with others. Come and check it out; you won’t be disappointed.

SUNDAY MORNING @ 8:00, 9:30 & 10:30

The Bereans – Wyburn Osborn
Wyburn Osborn is leading an adult study using popular adult lesson series that are geared toward maturity in our Christian lives. Such topics include: Faith Under Fire, Faith Under Pressure, The Word of God, A Call to Prayer, Praise Under Pressure, and Take Comfort. This class meets in the Chapel (#22). Since this is a topical study, the class is always filled with lots of discussion. Each member is encouraged to speak; however, they are not obligated to do so.

Journey – Brian Palmer
This is a class where open discussion is encouraged while applying biblical truths to your life. Everyone is on a journey and it is our hope that you will partner with God along this journey in order to arrive at the proper destination. This class meets in the Fireside Room.

9:30 AM

Crossroads – Brent Elliott
Crossroads is a class where we want your life and faith to intersect. It is a place where young adults, married or single, can learn Biblical principles that will help them mature in Christ and put their faith into action. Our class is designed to help young adults see every aspect of their lives through the eyes of faith. Our class is run in a discussion format where we value people’s insight and experience. It is our desire for young adults to experience God in a way that will make a tremendous impact on their lives. This class meets in classroom #27.

10:30 AM

Encouragers – Evelyn Whalen
The Encouragers class is located in classroom #31. This class examines a wide variety of topics. This class will encourage you to deepen your relationship with God and others and promises to be a blessing to all those attending.

The Bereans – Dick Mills
Dick Mills is leading an adult study using popular adult lesson series that are geared toward maturity in our Christian lives. Such topics include: Faith Under Fire, Faith Under Pressure, The Word of God, A Call to Prayer, Praise Under Pressure, and Take Comfort. This class meets in the Fireside Room. Since this is a topical study, the class is always filled with lots of discussion. Each member is encouraged to speak; however, they are not obligated to do so.

J.O.Y. – Mark Dale
The Sunday morning J.O.Y. taught by Mark Dale is a class for adults that want to take their faith to the next level. Through this class you will learn to take Gods timeless truths and implement them into your lives. This class meets in Classroom #27.

Outside of class time, the group enjoys fellowship socials several times each year in a more relaxed atmosphere by going out to eat, or over to a member’s house.

Come see what you’re missing!