Church of Living Savior
Welcome to the Church of the Living Savior in McFarland, CA. 149 5th Street. 661-792-2232
We are an evangelical, Bible-believing church in "the heart of agriculture" in the southern Central Valley of California in north Kern Country.
CHURCH SERVICES CONTINUE AT 11 AM ON SUNDAYS.
July 12th message: "God Does Not Want You to Play it Safe. Instead, He Wants You to Know and Live That
the Safest Place to be is in God's Will!"
Ezekiel 18:16-46; John 11:16; Luke 22:42; other verses
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July 5th Independence Day Happy Birthday America! message: "George Washington's Lifestyle of Prayer"
June 28th message: "We Must Obey God!" Acts 4:19&20 ("the Socratic method") and Acts 5:29 (the dircet method).
June 21st message: "The Importance of Fathers" Ephesians 3:15 and following verses. Other seclected
Outlines: Quotations on Fatherhood/Biological Fathers/ Mentors and Surrogate Fathers/
God the Ultimate Father
June 14th message: "Salvation is Found Only in the Name of Jesus." Acts 4:12.
June 7th message: "God is Your Refuge." Psalms 91 and 46. “To take up a general truth and make it our own by personal faith is the highest wisdom. It is but poor comfort to say, ‘the Lord is a refuge,’ but to say he is my refuge, is the essence of consolation.” Charles Spurgeon on Ps 91:2.
Church service 11 a.m. Sunday May 31st! You are invited to the resumption of the Sunday worship service on May 31st at 11 a.m. While some adjustments have been made, the focus as always will be on worshiping the LORD Jesus Christ. The message will look at Acts chapter 2, Pentecost--the birthday of the Church Universal. We will look at the birthday of the church and the situation in which the Church finds itself today.
Tuesday evening prayer from George Washington. See below for information and sources. Tuesday evening prayer:
"Most gracious God and heavenly father, we cannot cease, but must cry unto thee for mercy, because my sins cry against me for justice. How shall I address myself unto thee, I must with the publican stand and admire at thy great goodness, tender mercy, and long suffering towards me, in that thou hast kept me the past day from being consumed and brought to nought. O Lord, what is man, or the son of man, that thou regardest him; the more days pass over my head, the more sins and iniquities I heap up against thee. If I should cast up the account of my good deeds done this day, how few and small would they be; but if I should reckon my miscarriages, surely they would be many and great. O, blessed father, let thy son's blood wash me from all impurities, and cleanse me from the stains of sin that are upon me. Give me grace to lay hold upon his merits; that they may be my reconciliation and atonement unto thee, -- That I may know my sins are forgiven by his death & passion. Embrace me in the arms of thy mercy; vouchsafe to receive me unto the bosom of thy love, shadow me with thy wings, that I may safely rest under thy suspicion this night; and so into thy hands I commend myself, both soul and body, in the name of thy son, Jesus Christ, beseeching Thee, when this life shall end, I may take my everlasating rest with thee in thy heavenly kingdom. Bless all in authority over us, be merciful to all those afflicted with thy cross or calamity, bless all my friends, forgive my enemies and accept my thanksgiving this evening for all the mercies and favors afforded me; hear and graciously answer these my requests, and whatever else thou see'st needful grant us, for the sake of Jesus Christ in whose blessed name and words I continue to pray, Our Father."
A Monday morning prayer from George Washington on Memorial Day. What better way to commemorate Memorial day than to share a prayer by the Father of our Country. See below post for information and sources. Monday Morning Prayer:
"O eternal and everlasting God, I presume to present myself this morning before thy Divine majesty, beseeching thee to accept of my humble and hearty thanks, that it hath pleased thy great goodness to keep and preserve me the night past from all the dangers poor mortals are subject to, and has given me sweet and pleasant sleep, whereby I find my body refreshed and comforted for performing the duties of this day, in which I beseech thee to defend me from all perils of body and soul.
"Direct my thoughts, words and work. Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the lamb, and purge my heart by thy Holy Spirit, from the dross of my natural corruption, that I may with more freedom of mind and liberty of will serve thee, the ever lasting God, in righteousness and holiness this day, and all the days of my life.
"Increase my faith in the sweet promises of the Gospel. Give me repentance from dead works. Pardon my wanderings, & direct my thoughts unto thyself, the God of my salvation. Teach me how to live in thy fear, labor in thy service, and ever to run in the ways of thy commandments. Make me always watchful over my heart, that neither the terrors of conscience, the loathing of holy duties, the love of sin, nor an unwillingness to depart this life, may cast me into a spiritual slumber. But daily frame me more and more into the likeness of thy son Jesus Christ, that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favor, I may in thy appointed time attain the resurrection of the just unto eternal life. Bless my family, friends & kindred unite us all in praising & glorifying thee in all our works begun, continued, and ended, when we shall come to make our last account before thee blessed Saviour, who hath taught us thus to pray, our Father."
A Sunday morning prayer from George Washington. As a young man, George Washington cultivated a lifestyle of prayer that would serve him and his country well. William J. Johnson's book George Washington, The Christian, provides many of his written prayers in full. The following Sunday morning prayer is long (may our prayers have such depth) and, once we get past the King James Bible Version of his language, very edifying. It is taken from the cbn.com website. Sunday Morning Prayer:
"Almighty God, and most merciful father, who didst command the children of Israel to offer a daily sacrifice to thee, that thereby they might glorify and praise thee for thy protection both night and day, receive, O Lord, my morning sacrifice which I now offer up to thee; I yield thee humble and hearty thanks that thou has preserved me from the danger of the night past, and brought me to the light of the day, and the comforts thereof, a day which is consecrated ot thine own service and for thine own honor. Let my heart, therefore, Gracious God, be so affected with the glory and majesty of it, that I may not do mine own works, but wait on thee, and discharge those weighty duties thou requirest of me, and since thou art a God of pure eyes, and wilt be sanctified in all who draw near unto thee, who doest not regard the sacrifice of fools, nor hear sinners who tread in thy courts, pardon, I beseech thee, my sins, remove them from thy presence, as far as the east is from the west, and accept of me for the merits of thy son Jesus Christ, that when I come into thy temple, and compass thine altar, my prayers may come before thee as incense; and as thou wouldst hear me calling upon thee in my prayers, so give me grace to hear thee calling on me in thy word, that it may be wisdom, righteousness, reconciliation and peace to the saving of the soul in the day of the Lord Jesus. Grant that I may hear it with reverence, receive it with meekness, mingle it with faith, and that it may accomplish in me, Gracious God, the good work for which thou has sent it. Bless my family, kindred, friends and country, be our God & guide this day and for ever for his sake, who lay down in the Grave and arose again for us, Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen."
And now a few words from the President. Perhaps you heard President Trump say today, "I am identifying houses of worship as essential places that perform essential service." You can find the rest of his statement online.
There's power in the blood of Jesus! The book "In His Image" by Yancey and Brand helped me understand and affirm the blood imagery found in the Bible. Like many late 20th century people, the blood emphasis in the Bible (Old and New Testaments) made me squeamish. Plus, I don't like the sight of blood where it doesn't belong! Long before medical science showed the several properties of blood, the Bible told us that blood: gives power and life; cleanses, overcomes, and transfuses. Sound familiar? What an awesome God we worship!
First blood drive a great success! On May 21st, the Church of the Living Savior hosted the Houchin blood drive with its bus and its medical staff receiving much needed blood for the community and county. At the beginning of the day, I knew of two appointments. Soon after I was told there were 6-8! The day ended with 23 registering to give blood! The Houchin coordinator told me he might well bring two buses when they return on July 30th! Praise God!
The longest known quarantine in the Bible. As I was recently reading for my devotional in 2 Kings 15, I realized that a king of Israel was in quarantine for so long, that his son Jothan "had charge of the palace and governed the people of the land." Here it is: "The LORD afflicted the king [Azariah/Uzziah] with leprosy until the day he died, and he lived in a separate house [or, "a house where he was relieved of all responsibilities."]." [the 25th amendment ahead of its time?!]
Joshua 1:6 "Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success[a] wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. "
"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
"The secret to happiness is freedom; and the secret to freedom is courage." Thucydides
June thru August "Daily Bread" devotionals are available in the church conference room Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 am until 1 pm, until Sunday services resume.
Blood drive in church parking lot this Thursday. Between 9 am and 2 pm on Thursday, May 21st, the Houchin Mobile unit will be in the south parking lot of the Church of the Living Savior. If you would like to help your community by donating blood, you may come as a walk in or make an appointment on the Houchin web site under "Blood Drives."
"Praise the Name of Jesus!" In Ephesians 5:19 through 21 Paul commands to "be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in our heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." One spiritual song that comes to mind is Kent Henry's "Praise the Name of Jesus." Here are the lyrics to the first of two similar verses:
"Praise the name of Jesus
Praise the name of Jesus
He's my rock, He's my fortress
He's my deliverer
In Him will I trust
Praise the name of Jesus"
Baby Bottle Change drive for Bakersfield Pregnancy Center. Every year the Church of the Living SAvior provides special baby bottles that people can put in change, bills, and checks. The money from this fundraiser assists the Bakersfield Pregnancy Center and the people it serves.
Wake up, Church! "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." (Preamble to the Declaration of Indepence). "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." Amendment 1, "Bill of Rights." God's Church is "built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone." (Ephesians 2:20) Romans 12:1-- "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." "He watching over Israel, slumbers not nor sleeps." Psalm 121:4 "Awake, awake, put on your strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city." Isaiah 52:1
Happy Mother's Day! This is a mother's day like no other. We can't take our moms to a restaurant. Some of us are not able to visit with her in person. But there still is the phone. I encourage you to cherish the moments. Some reading this post have lost moms this past year or longer before. Cherish the memories. The Bible has many great verses and passages about wives and mothers. For this mother's day, I choose Proverbs 31:28-- "Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her."
"Do you want to be healed?" That is the question Jesus asks a paralyzed man near the pool of Bethesda (John 5:6). Tradition said that when the pool water "stirred" the first one in or several others would be healed when they got when while it was stirring. This might sound like Jesus is out of touch. How dare he ask a physically challenged man such a question. But think about it. The paralyzed man does not answer with a yes but an excuse: "Sir, I have no one to help me into the pool when the wtaer is stirred. While I am trying to get in someone else goes down ahead of me." This man has beeen paralyzed or an "invalid" (NIV) for thirty-eight years. He is near the water that supposedly brings healing. In all those years he couldn't find someone to get him into the water? Who brought him there? It is possible to get comfortable in misery. It's not a great life, but it is what he is used to. Nevertheless, Jesus does heal him to the great consternation of the religious authorities who harumph because Jesus heals the man on the Sabbath when no "work" is supposed to be done. The man does pick up his mat and walk, fully healed. How about you? Is there something in your life that needs to be healed. Do you want to be healed? Perhaps, with all of its frustrations, you have become comfortable with staying at home. As the guidelines ease, what will you do? I know I will eventually need to return to the discipline of preparing messages/sermons. I greatly enjoy doing so, but I have developed a different rythm during these days and I will need to shake out of it. Do you/Do I want to be healed? I close with what Jesus says elsewhere. Luke 5:31-32--Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
"Do not grow weary." As we reach the end of a full month of a very different way of life, you might be growing weary of having to stay home so much. You might be weary of financial stresses and strains. There can be all kinds of reasons to feel weary and be weary. And that is completely understandable. A helpful verse came to mind for you and me: "Let us grow weary in well doing, for in due time we will reap a harvest." [Galatians 6:9] Or, as the New Living Translation puts it: "So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up." If you are feeling weary, I encourage you to release it to God and receive His love and power.
A Bird on the Cross. Recently I arrived at my office in the morning. I looked up and saw a bird on top of the cross on top of the steeple. In addition to thinking of Spring and new life, I thought of how one Man who lived 2000 years ago has made such an impact through the ages that millions of churches have a cross at its highest point. This is because the God-Man Jesus turned the worst day in human history--his death on the cross--into the best day in human history--the ransom and forgiveness He secured for the "many" and "the lost" is of infinite value. It provides abundant life right now and eternal life forever! Jesus' bodily resurrection from the dead affirmed and confirmed His sacrificial death and provides--through the Holy Spirit--resurrection power to every one who has put Jesus in charge of his or her life and is following Him each day.
Uprooted and Replanted. Recently I saw a wonderful documentary of the first Protestant church on Oahu. It used an agricultural metaphor for its outline and parts: "Preparing the Soil"; "Planting the Seeds"; "Growth"; "Uprooted and Replanted"; and "Full Bloom." The plant used for the metaphor is able to be replanted by using just a small part of it. Maybe during April your life and plans have been uprooted. Have you seen God replant you with new and unexpected opportunities for service and ministry? In your relationship with God and those you are close to, have you experienced a positive replanting? If you cannot think of any examples, then I encourage you to go before the LORD in prayer and then act on what you hear and what you read in the Bible.
A Tale of Two Men: Comparing and Contrasting the Rich Young Ruler and Zacchaeus. Recently the thought came to me that while there are some similarities between the two men, the differences are much greater between the rich young ruler (Luke 18:18-34) and Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10). Both men were wealthy. Both men sought out Jesus and spoke with Him. But there the similarities end. The ruler went away sad, while Zacchaues was glad. The ruler was probably respected by many for (outwardly, at least) keeping most of the commandments, while Zaccheus was reviled for being a "chief tax collector," reaping major profits for himself and the occupying Romans at the expense of his own people, the Jews. That puts him in the broad "sinner" category at the time of Jesus. But look what happens. Jesus the all knowing understands that the ruler has made his wealth an idol. It is the only time in the Gospels that Jesus tells an individual to give up everything he has. That is because we need to "put away," get rid of our idols, anything we put ahead of God. So the ruler goes away sad because he wants to serve two masters--money and Jesus--but that is impossible as Jesus says elsewhere. And Jesus tells His disciples afterwards that it is impossible for the wealthy to come into a relationship with God unless God is helping and doing the work. Zacchaeus hears Jesus is on the way. Because he is short, he scrambles up a tree to see Him (do you remember the children's song that begins "Zacchaeus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he...."?). Jesus knowing (again) that someone wants to talk to Him, looks up and invites Himself to hang out at Zacchaeus's home. Zacchaeus is thrilled. We read that "he welcomed Him gladly." That leads to many people muttering, "'He has gone to be the guest of a "sinner."'" Instead of feeling sad, Zacchaeus stands up (Stand up, Zacchaeus. Oh, you are.) and takes action. As part of his repentance on his own initiative he pledges to give half of what he owns to the poor, and says he will make restitution by paying anyone he has cheated four times the amount (can you imagine how people might have taken advantage of him?). That's putting your money where your mouth is. And here's how Jesus responds (I would say He was glad and the angels were rejoicing!) "'Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.'" So, how about you? Are you going to leave Jesus as a sad person because you will not give up your idol(s)? Or, are you glad to stay with Jesus, give up any idols, repent, and make any restitution? Remember that Jesus came to seek and to save you!
Thomas was from Missouri, "the Show Me State." After he was informed that he had missed a resurrection appearance by Jesus, this skeptical follower of Jesus demanded, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe." A week later, when Jesus gave Thomas that very opportunity, Thomas instead worshiped Jesus by saying, "My LORD [Yahweh/Jehovah] and my God [see Deuteronomy 6:4]." (John 20:25) While Jesus accepted the worship of Thomas, He has encouraging words for us when He says, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:29) Peter echoes this in the first chapter of his letter, verses 8&9-- "Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you do believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls."
After Easter you are encouraged to read the resurrection accounts in the last sections of the four Gosopels. In Luke 24:13-35, Jesus comes up unknown to two followers who are literally putting the cross behind them by walking to their home town of Emmaus. He first reveals Himself from the Scriptures (what is now called the Old Testament). "Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself." Wouldn't it have been great to have been there to record everything? How he is THE Prophet of Deuteronomy 18; the Suffering Servant in Isaiah; and the crucivied Savior in Psalm 22. Then Jesus reveals Himself to the two disciples when He breaks bread with them and they see the wounds in His hands. This Eastertide may you dig into the Bible to meet Jesus (there is a "Jesus" Bible that shows every place Jesus is found in each book of the Bible); and be in relationship with Him as He reveals Himself to you!
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Here are some passages for HOLY WEEK:
Thursday, April 9--"Maundy Thursday"/"Brethren Love Feast." Institution of the Lord's Supper:
See Mark 14:22-25. For the foot washing, see John 13:1-17. For the Upper Room Discourse
and the High Priestly Prayer, see John 13-17.
Friday, April 10--"Good Friday"--for Jesus' suffering, death and burial see John 18 and 20
Sunday, April 12--"Easter"/The Bodily Resurrection of Jesus--see John 21 and 22, as well as the
end of the other three Gospels.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE MESSAGES OR DEVOTIONALS YOU HAVE MISSED:
Palm Sunday, April 5th devotional "Jesus Turns the Tables in a Topsy Turvy World" Matthew 21:12&13
SERMON SERIES: "Pray!"
March 22nd, "The Christian Version of the Serenity Prayer," by Rheinhold Niebuhr
March 15th, "The Shield Prayer of Patrick" (one paragraph of)
March 8th, "Pray without Ceasing" 1 Thessalonians 5:17
February 16th, "Pattern of Prayer: The Disciples' Prayer" Matthew 6:9-13
(formerly known as the Lord's Prayer)
February 9th, "Persistent Prayer: Keep Asking, Keep Seeking, Keep Knocking"
February 2nd, "'Every Corner, Every Campus': Reaching Local College Students"
January 26th Message: "Grow Up! How to be a Mature Christian"
For directions, click here.
For a video welcome to our church, click here.