Pastor David's Blog

Mabel Schaefer

posted Apr 18, 2014, 10:36 AM by David Sincock

I was 22 when I met Mabel Schaefer.   She was 94.

It was my first time to speak at the church I would serve in as pastor for ten years.  She called me over to talk to her. Forcefully. She pulled me in close to have all of my attention. Commandingly. She told me she was a Baptist! With conviction. Then she told me what would be on her tombstone and that if I was to be there for the day when it arrived, I would speak on those words at her funeral.

The inscription was to be, “He is not here, He is risen.”

At my age of 22 I thought, “At your age I understand why that is important to you.”  I really didn’t.

I thought she was looking forward to the promise of her resurrection in heaven. She knew that Jesus was the standard; that as he rose to life, so would she.

Yet she realized more. Those words were also about what had passed in her near century of life.

The resurrection of Jesus meant victory. Yes, victory over death but also victory in life. When Jesus rose from the dead he defeated Satan. He defeated sin. He bought our victory over hurt and defeat and temptation. Mabel had experienced a lifetime of her risen Savior.

I spoke about Mabel’s verse a few years later at her funeral. I told this story. I reminded her family and friends that she now had received her hope of being risen. Yet if I had to do it over again, I would preach it differently. I would remind us all as much about her victory in life as her victory in death.

He is not here, he is risen!

Untitled Post

posted Apr 14, 2014, 10:00 AM by David Sincock


Three Wishes

posted Mar 28, 2014, 7:18 AM by David Sincock   [ updated Mar 28, 2014, 12:49 PM ]

Imagine you are walking on a beautiful, warm, sunny beach. In the sand you notice an ancient lamp. You pick it up and begin to brush off the sand and debris. Of course, out pops a magic genie. True to form he offers you a reward for his deliverance.

His offer has nearly unlimited potential. Immediately your mind races to how this could change your life. The possibilities! Dozens of ideas stream through your thoughts. But there is a condition attached. He only allows three wishes.

This changes things. Your thoughts now arrange themselves more around the question of ‘How can I be wise in using this opportunity to my greatest advantage?’ I dare not waste this.

Now God is no genie. He is a personal, loving and omnipotent being who has chosen to have a relationship with us. Yet in the middle of this relationship he has also made us an offer, “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” And with no limitation.

But the danger is that with an open invitation to bring our requests before God, the petty can replace the profound. We are not pressed into asking how we can be wise in using this great opportunity and so we squander it.

Our prayer centers around pleasures, conveniences, successes, happiness, things and other temporary stuff. And the great purposes and needs of our lives go ignored. We forget to think hard about what are the best things we could ask God for. What is eternal? What is really valuable? What is miraculous? What glorifies Him? How should we live?

If God were to give you only three items to pray for...

             What would they be?



Peeking Behind the Curtain

posted Feb 7, 2014, 12:41 PM by David Sincock

In 1939 Dorothy and her friends stood in the hall of the Great Wizard of Oz. The smoke billowed, the lighting flashed, the sound thundered, and the Great Oz appeared in the middle of it all. Lion stood cowering, Tin Man quivered and rattled while Scrarecrow shed his straw.

After traveling many miles and encountering severe difficulties they had finally reached their goal. They had accomplished their task of dispensing with the Wicked Witch. Yet this moment was the greatest fear they had experienced. No one really knew what to expect when they reach the Wizard.

Then in the midst of the audience Toto sneaks away from the group to investigate. He looks behind the curtain. Then he pulls back the curtain and reveals what is on the other side. And everything changes. The Truth of Oz is revealed.

This life is our Yellow Brick Road. Our Wicked Witch is no fantasy but rather a very real Devil. The task we are given is to live lives of holiness, love, and obedience. The promise we have been given is Eternity.

Yet Eternity seems to be the most terrifying step of the entire journey. Eternity is inevitable for all of us. It is the ultimate goal of our lives and it remains mysterious and daunting. The uncertainty and unknown of Eternity is fearful and dreadful.

But the curtain has been pulled back. God has revealed to us extensive knowledge about what Eternity is, how we will live, and what to expect. And this changes everything. Most remarkably, knowing the future of Eternity not only changes Eternity, it changes how we live today.

Caution

posted Nov 8, 2013, 9:35 AM by David Sincock

Caution is a good thing. Normally.

It grows on us. As time goes by we think before we leap much more often. Partly because we have leapt a few times and realized the price we pay for our recklessness.

We live more safely. Tentative at times. Gone are the rash days of youth. “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” has been replaced with “Is there caffeine in that?”

We live better because of caution. Fewer pains. Easier paths. Less risk.

And then again, not.

Caution shuts us down. It always sees the negative. Caution says no. Caution is fear. Caution can make us miss things that perhaps we should have reveled in.

Caution is not always the better.

Caution would not have built an Ark. It would not have asked out that cute girl. It might not have gone so far away for college. Caution would not have challenged Jezebel. It always orders plain vanilla. It avoids the hard conversation.

Caution never steps out to battle Goliath.

Caution never leaves safety behind to do and become something GREAT for God.

Maybe we still need some rash and reckless.

India Trip Update - Sept. 30, 2013

posted Oct 4, 2013, 2:48 PM by Adam Olson   [ updated Oct 4, 2013, 2:55 PM ]

Penny and I flew out of Chicago at 2:00pm on Monday, 9/30. We then flew from Newark, NJ at 8:30pm for the 14 hour flight and arrived in Delhi at 10:30am on Tuesday 10/01, which is 8:30pm India. India is 10½ hours ahead of Racine. 

The first thing we see after getting off the plane is a Harley Davidson motorcycle and display (Just like home). Tuesday night we stayed in Delhi at a hotel.

Wednesday morning we flew East from Dehli to Imphal. The Dehli airport is less than two years old and very nice. The food court offered KFC, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, a Starbucks knockoff and other very familiar eating places.

We arrived at Imphal at 11:30am and were picked up by the Assoc. Pastor and a gentleman called “Ha Ha” because of his laughter. And true to his name, he would break out into loud and prolonged laughter for no apparent reason. I liked him immediately!

The 45 mile ride South to Churachandpur took 2 hours. Ha Ha drove. Oh wow! Ryan Belton would have lost his lunch out the window of the Suburu in about 15 minutes. The two lane road at times held bicycles, cows, motorcycles, trucks, dogs, cars, and people. The general rule seems to be that ‘if you can fit you can pass’. If you force the other person onto the side of the road, not a big issue. The washboard pavement constantly kept you lifted off your seat. The most important part of the vehicle is the horn which is being blown about 40% of the time. Penny will never complain about my driving in Chicago ever again!!!

We arrived to Churachandpur in time to get settled in the afternoon and then have supper. It is completely dark here by 5:30pm so the morning activities seem to begin early.

The ministry here is best described as compound or campus life. On this side of the road in a city block sized area is the original ministry offices bldg. the church which also houses College classrooms in the basement, Brother Stephen’s home, (which is partially completed and occupied while more construction continues) . Also in this block, the central square houses a well and then the college boys housing.

Across the street is another campus which houses the k-10th school, the orphanage homes for boys and girls, the college girls dorm and a football (soccer) field.

This weekend is the 50th anniversary of the work here in this area. It is of much greater importance to them than I realized when I agreed to come. I am very concerned that I am able to fulfill their expectations.

I am told that Saturday will begin with the killing and butchering of two bovine animals. I am not sure from the descriptions I have received if they are buffalo, cows, or oxen. All I know is that they will have horns. Also I understand that there are a couple pigs to be butchered as well. Then these animals will be cooked outside all day for the celebration banquet that evening.

Pastor David

Sit Patiently

posted Sep 27, 2013, 10:21 AM by David Sincock

Every Mom has said it to their child. “Sit there patiently.”

Do mothers really think that any 5 year old has the ability to sit patiently on the outside while a hurricane is raging on the inside? The Kindergarten Mind is electric with energy. It wants to taste and feel everything. It lives on movement and anticipation. Patience NEVER happens!

Then we grow up. And Jesus invites us to be at peace.



Just like the 5 year old version of ourselves, even when our outside is at rest our inside is still in turmoil. We do little tricks to imitate peace. We entertain ourselves to distract our thoughts for a while. We medicate ourselves. We think to ourselves, “If only exhaustion could count as peace.” Most often we just endure the tumult, anxiety, worry, fear, and stress that live inside us.

But Jesus offered peace. He has provided for us true internal, heart calming, life changing peace. He said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” I believe him.

It is not that imiatation peace. “Not as the world gives do I give to you.” It is not a naïve peace that hopes everything around us will become calm. “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

The task is to learn how to find genuine Peace. It sits and waits for us. In the lesson entitled surprisingly enough "Sit Patiently", we will attempt learn about what will give us peace and just exactly how to find it.

Then maybe those Sunday afternoon naps we take will be from peace not exhaustion.

The Red Lantern

posted Sep 6, 2013, 1:04 PM by David Sincock   [ updated Sep 6, 2013, 1:21 PM ]

In 173 days on March 1st the famous Iditarod Dog Sled race will begin. The course runs 975 miles from Nome to Anchorage. It run from North to South one year and the opposite direction the next. The first 30 winners will share $600,000 in prize money.

The last person to complete the course also gets an award. It is the Red Lantern. In most sports finishing last is not something to be rewarded or be proud of. Yet to simply finish the Iditarod is something to be celebrated.

We live in such a competitive world that unless we finish at the front of the pack (no pun intended) our effort does not count. But life does not work like that. God does not view us like that.

Living a life that is Faithful to the end is what God says counts:

Loving our mate till death do us part. Serving God and never going into Spiritual retirement. Keeping the love fire alive with Jesus when the newness has worn off. Doing the right thing when people are no longer watching or cheering.

Remember what Jesus said in Revelation 2:10 “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

Run for the cash money, but make sure you at least get the Red Lantern!

That Looks Good On You

posted Aug 23, 2013, 2:37 PM by David Sincock

There are moments when someone walks into your presence and they look good. And you know you can never wear the same thing. The haircut, their glasses, those pants are just perfect on them. We try them on in the store and we look like an awkward sixth grade version of ourselves. Sometimes what makes someone else look good just isn’t for us.

Yet other times when we see something modeled, we realize that it would really look good on us. That color or fabric or style is just perfect. We had never grasped how good it might be until we see it live.

Generally speaking most of us do not see helping others as being attractive. We see it as demeaning, demanding, humbling, and not at all beautiful. Maybe even unattractive. It can be dirty, sweaty, tiring. None of which we want to be.

So when opportunity to volunteer and serve is presented, we decide not to try it on.

But have you looked around at the most beautiful people. They are not the ones with the high cheek bones, latest fashions, and the perfect abs.

The most lovely people I know are helping. They look a little tired. They may have baby spit on them. Crazy teenager are hanging around them. But they look GOOD. They have a twinkle in their eye and satisfaction in their face. There is a smile on their lips and a purpose in their steps. What you see is joy and fulfillment.

Serving makes you beautiful. Don’t miss your opportunity to volunteer this next year. Visit our Ministry Fair with a plan to put on a ministry that will look good on you. Serving is an accessory that looks good on you.

Reading for Hebrews 9:27

posted Aug 15, 2013, 12:33 PM by David Sincock

Hebrews.  John MacArthur, Moody Press.

“At the end of that eventful Passover week when Jesus was finishing his ministry, the Romans had prepared three crosses for three criminals. On two of the crosses, thieves were to hang. The third cross was for an insurrectionist named Barabbas, who had been found guilty of treason against the empire. But Barabbas never made it to the cross. He was guilty and condemned, but he was not executed - because someone took his place. On the middle cross that day hung not a violent, profane rebel, but the sinless Son of God. Barabbas went free not because he was innocent, but because Jesus took his place. Jesus was crucified not because He was guilty, but so that He could take Barabbas’s place - and the place of every other sinner.”

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