Evaluating Your Choices
~Notes from the Pew by Nancy Helmick
Have you chosen life or are going with the default which is death? 1 John 5:9-13.

Eternal life has been made possible by the sacrifice of the innocent lamb. Jesus is that innocent lamb who took our sins and died as the required sacrifice.

If we choose to walk in Jesus Christ, to follow Him, obey Him, love Him, we need not fear death.  Jesus is ours and we are His.  We have a relationship with Him. We have eternal life. 

The sin in our life will cause us to doubt we have this wonderful eternal life. How can we be sure?

(1)        Answered prayer. If we have accepted Jesus as our Lord, we will have answered prayers. As obedient children we ask “what is your will for my life”? The more we pray, the more closely we align ourselves with His will.

(2)        Care for others. John 5:16. We should care for the redemption and restoration of those who have fallen.

(3)        Sin’s influence over us is a sign of assurance. We are not sinless. But we should sinning LESS. We should be winning the victory over sin.

(4)        Our desire to worship is another sign of eternal life. God is more than worthy of our worship. In addition to thanking Him for what He does, we should thank Him for who He is. Think about the difference. God is ________. How do you fill in the blank?

Choose life every single day. Live life every single day. Take inventory. Has God revealed His will for your life? What is the status of the 4 previously mentioned aspects in your life? Is God answering your prayers? Yes or No.

Do you care for others? Yes or No.

Does sin have an ever decreasing effect on your life? Yes or No.

Is worshiping God becoming real and the desire ever increasing in your life? Yes or No.

If you weren’t able to honestly answer yes to all if the questions, then you should take time to evaluate your spiritual life, and ask God for help as you determine to grow closer to Him by strengthening your relationship with Him.

I encourage you at least once a day to simply say ” I love you, God”.  Say it if you mean it. And say it with your heart.

The Right Mind-Set: Don’t Be Like Jonah

~Notes from the Pew by Nancy Helmick


Earlier in July, pastor Dan delivered a message on the familiar story of Jonah. We were encouraged to not be like Jonah. God clearly told Jonah what He wanted Jonah to do, but Jonah didn’t want to do it.

Have you ever been given clear direction from God, but felt you knew better and refused to follow His directive? How did that work out for you? Most likely you weren’t swallowed by a fish. The results of your disobedience might not have been so dramatic! I can say, with confidence, that the outcome of your disobedience was not the best that God had in mind for you. Often when we disobey God others are impacted. Have you experienced this? Our decisions and actions affect others around us.

When Jonah realized his foolishness, he repented. He turned back to God and he vowed to follow God. Just think of all that God did for Jonah to put him back on the right path!  God gives us more than one chance to do what He has called us to do. He loves us! And in His Mercy, He continually redirects us towards our true Destiny. Pursue the Lord’s calling in your life. Be the Jonah we read about at the end of the story.

The Jonah story is a great companion to Pastor Dan’s new teachings on “Choices: Surrender or Control” and “Choices: Discipline or Regret”. Definition: discipline is choosing between what you want NOW and what you want MOST. We are going to experience pain in this world.

In full disclosure, I must admit I am not very disciplined. A friend of mine often says “why do today what you can do tomorrow”. This might bring a smile to your face, but obviously this is not good advice. You might find self-discipline to be painful. But you can be confident the pain of regret is much worse.

As imperfect humans, we often make less than desirable choices, even bad choices. Refer to Romans 7:15-25. Ask Jesus for help. He can enable us to do what we really want to do. On Sunday morning, do you stay home because getting extra sleep will feel good or do you get up and go to church because you want to grow closer to God, and hearing the teaching will get you closer to what you want? 

Think about what you want and make the choices that move you closer to your goals and your destiny. Write down your goal, write down the steps that will lead you to that goal. Read it out loud, maybe even share it with someone you trust. Then act on it. Be disciplined to do what you need to do to get to what you want.


The Right Mind-Set:  Tempted to Think the Right Thoughts Philippians 2:5

~Notes from the Pew by Nancy Helmick

What is the Right Mind-Set?

Your attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus. “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.

Disciples of Jesus are to have the same attitude as Jesus. Serve like Jesus served. We are to think like Jesus and to act like Jesus. If we get our minds right, then our acts will follow, our hearts will follow, we will serve like Jesus served.

We are not perfect in our thoughts and actions. However, IT IS POSSIBLE TO HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST. Having the mind of Christ is more than having a positive attitude. It is being spiritually minded and living as God calls us to live. We are to think of God first.

If you are not saved, you cannot have the mind of Jesus. From the time of our natural birth, we are focused on ourselves. We want attention. “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”

When we are born again, we come into a real relationship with Jesus. Our focus changes from “me” to God and to His purpose for our lives.

Having the Mind-Set of Jesus, we are willing to abandon our own will and ego. We put the needs of others ahead of our own. We are willing and able to make personal sacrifices. We think and live differently.

…and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.” 

Being renewed and becoming like Christ is all that matters, and He lives in all who have a relationship with Him. We need to acknowledge that Christ is all that matters, every aspect of our lives needs to be centered on Jesus. We are saved, forgiven, and free from the penalty of sin. Live a life that reflects this.  Get to know Jesus and become like Him. Christ is first. We are to live for God. We are not to give up and we are not to quit.

We won’t be perfect until He calls us from this earthly place. Even while we are living on this earth, we still need to strive to have the mind of Christ. We are to love like He loves, serve like he serves. What does it mean to have the mindset of Christ?

Love like He loved while on earth and as He continues to love us, be compassionate and have the attitude like Christ, have a humble heart like Christ, serve and not be served.

Jesus is the perfect example of what it means to be humble. He who was God became a man, wholly human, so He could serve others. He gave up his place in heaven to become a man for the purpose of teaching us how to love and serve others. Our minds should not be based on circumstances.

How Christ like are you in your daily life? Are there areas where you have the mind of Christ and areas where you do not?

Obedience to God, with the help of the Holy Spirit makes your mind in line with Jesus. You must live the life He saved you to have. Live like Christ wants you to live. ” Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.” (Corinthians 4:1-2 NIV)

God’s purpose for us is to have the mind of Christ, not to be tempted by the things of this earth which will fade away. But thinking on those things that will last for eternity. Our Eternal Destiny is secure, live like you believe it! Will you ask the Lord to help you have the humility of Jesus, to serve like Jesus served? Ask God to help you have the mindset of Christ. This is an essential part of living the life God has called you to live. We are to have the same attitude of Christ Jesus. He gave up his Divine privileges. He was born as a human, humbled himself, died a criminal’s death on a cross.  We are to take on the position of humility, to die to ourselves every day. God elevated Jesus to the place of all honor that every knee should bow in heaven, on earth and under the earth. God did that for Jesus because Jesus was willing to die. God wants to elevate us to the highest place. God is saying think like my Son thinks, love like my Son loves, serve like my Son serves, I have in store for you a blessing you cannot imagine. When you wake each day, ask the Holy Spirit to help you have the mind-set of Jesus.

Therefore, if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”