Morning Bible Study
As most of you know, our landlords “Friends in Christ” merged with “Searchlight
Ministries” on December 1. The new church is now known as “Searchlight”, and I
will be referring to the combined entity as “Searchlight”.
We have been making some changes to accommodate the combined Searchlight,
and the biggest change to date is the relocation of our Nursery. Starting today,
our Nursery has been relocated to “Room 1”, which is the room located next to
our office. Sarah has worked overtime to get this done. Take a peek at it and
be sure to thank her. The Pre-K room
will remain in the same location. The classes that have been using Room 1 will
be relocating to this building in Room 4 (in the back corner behind our
Now for the larger news ...
On Wednesday morning I was informed that Searchlight has received an offer
from the home builder “K.B. Homes”. This is the second time K.B. Homes has
offered to purchase the property, the first offer was a few months ago. Searchlight
is now trying to decide if this is something that God is wanting them to do. The
overall deal values at $9million and involves the purchase of an existing
church property near Imperial and Bastanchury for $4.5million, and relocating
Searchlight. Searchlight will then have something near $4million to put in the
The deal is not decided. Searchlight
is merely considering the offer.
If Searchlight approves the concept of selling the property, we will have a
short window in which to put our own bid on the property, but unless we come up
with $9million, our offer probably won’t be accepted.
We are not included in the move to Yorba Linda. If the deal goes through,
we would have between 12-18 months to find a new home.
Pastor Larry does want you to know that this is not the old “Searchlight”
church’s doing. Larry was the one with the original contact from K.B. Homes,
and he has been the one pursing this.
On Thursday night I was talking about how God has shown His faithfulness to
us over the years, and told the story of the miracle of how He got us to this
property 13 years ago.
Some of you were around and saw how God moved in an amazing way.
You who are here now will have the same opportunity to have a front row
seat in seeing what God is going to do.
Our part is to pray and seek God’s direction.
Thursday Night: Come to Israel with us!
We will taking you to Israel by way of the pictures from our trip last
And since its almost Christmas, we’ll be sure to take you to Bethlehem…
The book of Proverbs is all about wisdom.
Wisdom is not about knowing facts.
Wisdom is about knowing what to do with what you know.
Wisdom is knowing when to do it.
Wisdom is knowing how to do it.
Proverbs are sayings, typically short, that give wisdom and insight into
They are intended to help you lead a better life.
They are not absolute promises, as in “if you do x,y, then z will always
happen and your life will be perfect”.
They are general principles – that if you do them your life will be
generally better than if you didn’t do them.
:1 Better is a dry morsel with quietness, Than a house full of
feasting with strife.
:1 Better is a dry morsel with quietness
The Rich Family
It’s funny the different ideas we have about being “rich”, or perhaps
actually about being truly “happy” or “blessed”.
The Rich Family in Our Church by
I’ll never forget Easter, 1946. I was 14, my little sister Ocy 12, and my
older sister Darlene 16. We lived at home with our mother, and the four of us
knew what it was to do without many things. My dad had died 5 years before,
leaving Mom with seven school kids to raise and no money. By 1946 my older
sisters were married, and my brothers had left home.
A month before Easter, the pastor of our church announced that a special Easter
offering would be taken to help a poor family. He asked everyone to save and
give sacrificially. When we got home, we talked about what we could do. We
decided to buy 50 pounds of potatoes and live on them for a month. This would
allow us to save $20 of our grocery money for the offering.
When we thought that if we kept our electric lights turned out as much as
possible and didn’t listen to the radio, we’d save money on that month’s
electric bill. Darlene got as many house and yard cleaning jobs as possible,
and both of us babysat for everyone we could. For 15 cents, we could buy enough
cotton loops to make three pot holders to sell for $1. We made $20 on pot
That month was one of the best of our lives. Every day we counted the money
to see how much we had saved. At night we’d sit in the dark and talk about how
the poor family was going to enjoy having the money the church would give them.
We had about 80 people in church, so we figured that whatever amount of money
we had to give, the offering would surely be 20 times that much. After all,
every Sunday the pastor had reminded everyone to save for the sacrificial
The day before Easter, Ocy and I walked to the grocery store and got the manager
to give us three crisp $20 bills and one $10 bill for all our change. We ran
all the way home to show Mom and Darlene. We had never had so much money
before. That night we were so excited we could hardly sleep. We didn’t care
that we wouldn’t have new clothes for Easter; we had $70 for the sacrificial
offering. We could hardly wait to get to church!
On Sunday morning, rain was pouring. We didn’t own an umbrella, and the church
was over a mile from our home, but it didn’t seem to matter how wet we got. Darlene
had cardboard in her shoes to fill the holes. The cardboard came apart, and her
feet got wet. But we sat in church proudly. I heard some teenagers talking
about the Smith girls having on their old dresses. I looked at them in their
new clothes, and I felt so rich.
When the sacrificial offering was taken, we were sitting on the second row
from the front. Mom put in the $10 bill, and each of us girls put in a $20. As
we walked home after church, we sang all the way. At lunch Mom had a surprise
for us. She had bought a dozen eggs, and we had boiled Easter eggs with our
Late that afternoon the minister drove up in his car. Mom went to the door,
talked with him for a moment, and then came back with an envelope in her hand. We
asked what it was, but she didn’t say a word. She opened the envelope and out
fell a bunch of money. There were three crisp $20 bills, one $10 bill and
seventeen $1 bills. Mom put the money back in the envelope. We didn’t talk,
just sat and stared at the floor. We had gone from feeling like millionaires to
feeling like poor white trash.
We kids had had such a happy life that we felt sorry for anyone who didn’t
have our mom and dad for parents and a house full of brothers and sisters and
other kids visiting constantly. We thought it was fun to share silverware and
see whether we got the fork or the spoon that night. We had two knives which we
passed around to whoever needed them.
I knew we didn’t have a lot of things that other people had, but I’d never
thought we were poor. That Easter Day I found out we were. The minister had
brought us the money for the poor family, so we must be poor. I didn’t like
being poor. I looked at my dress and worn-out shoes and felt so ashamed that I
didn’t want to go back to church. Everyone there probably already knew we were
poor! I thought about school. I was in the ninth grade and at the top of my
class of over 100 students. I wondered if the kids at school knew we were poor.
I decided I could quit school since I had finished the eighth grade. That was
all the law required at that time.
We sat in silence for a long time. Then it got dark, and we went to bed.
All that week, we girls went to school and came home, and no one talked much. Finally
on Saturday, Mom asked us what we wanted to do with the money. What did poor
people do with money? We didn’t know. We’d never known we were poor. We didn’t
want to go to church on Sunday, but Mom said we had to. Although it was a sunny
day, we didn’t talk on the way. Mom started to sing, but no one joined in and
she only sang one verse. At church we had a missionary speaker. He talked about
how churches in Africa made buildings out of sun-dried bricks, but they need
money to buy roofs. He said $100 would put a roof on a church. The minister
said, “Can’t we all sacrifice to help these poor people?”
We looked at each other and smiled for the first time in a week. Mom reached
into her purse and pulled out the envelope. She passed it to Darlene. Darlene
gave it to me, and I handed it to Ocy. Ocy put it in the offering. When the
offering was counted, the minister announced that it was a little over $100. The
missionary was excited. He hadn’t expected such a large offering from our small
church. He said, “You must have some rich people in this church.”
Suddenly it struck us! We had given $87 of that “little over $100.” We were
the rich family in the church! Hadn’t the missionary said so? From that day on
I’ve never been poor again. I’ve always remembered how rich I am because I have
Be careful about how you define to yourself what “happiness” is all about,
or what true riches are.
:2 A wise servant will rule over a son who causes shame, And will share an
inheritance among the brothers.
:3 The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the Lord tests the hearts.
:3 the Lord tests the
The “refining pot” is a crucible where gold is melted down and refined.
In ancient days, the refiner’s pot, or crucible, accomplished two things,
just as this verse shows two related things happening.
The crucible was a test of whether the material was genuine or not.
It might look like a solid bar of gold, but once it’s
melted down you’d be able to tell what it was really made of.
As in the video, the crucible also refined the material in the fire.
The goldsmith uses a crucible to get rid of the “slag” or
“dross” so all that’s left is pure gold.
Peter describes the crucible at work on our faith.
Peter 1:6–7 NKJV) —6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need
be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being
much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be
found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
Our faith is “refined” by the difficult times we go
through. What’s left is the gold of
praise, honor, glory, when Jesus comes back.
Are you going through a “fire” right now?
I know I am.
God may be testing our faith to show us just how genuine it is.
The people around us are watching to see how genuine our
faith is as well.
God may also be working to refine our faith, to make it stronger and purer.
Don’t be quick to jump out of the fire.
:4 An evildoer gives heed to false lips; A liar listens eagerly to a
(Proverbs 17:4 The
Message) Evil people relish malicious conversation; the ears of
liars itch for dirty gossip.
The story is told of three pastors who went fishing together in the
northern wilderness of Canada.
While they were there they became quite cordial with one another and began
to talk about their innermost thoughts. One confessed that he had been guilty
of certain sins. He named them, then he urged the other two to confess their
weaknesses. The second pastor confessed that he too, had certain weaknesses and
recounted them in detail.
The third pastor remained silent for a long time. Finally when pressed by
his fellow pastors to reveal his weaknesses, he said, “Brethren, I don’t think
you want to know my weaknesses, but since you insist, I am going to tell you. I
just love to gossip, and I can hardly wait to get home.”
:5 He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; He who is glad at calamity
will not go unpunished.
:6 Children’s children are the crown of old men, And the glory of
children is their father.
:6 Children’s children are the crown of old men
(Proverbs 17:6 NLT)
are the crowning glory of the aged…
This is why us grandparents want to show you so many pictures of our
You wouldn’t mind would you if I show you a few pictures of Ruthie??
:7 Excellent speech is not becoming to a fool, Much less lying lips to a
:8 A present is a precious stone in the eyes of its possessor;
Wherever he turns, he prospers.
(Proverbs 17:8 NLT)
bribe is like a lucky charm; whoever gives one will prosper!
Solomon isn’t saying a bribe is good, just that it is effective.
:9 He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter
(Proverbs 17:9 NLT)
prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.
:10 Rebuke is more effective for a wise man Than a hundred blows on
:11 An evil man seeks only rebellion; Therefore a cruel messenger
will be sent against him.
:12 Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, Rather than a fool in his
(Proverbs 17:12 The
Message) Better to meet a grizzly robbed of her cubs than a fool
hell-bent on folly.
Have you ever tried to confront someone who has absolutely no intention of
doing the right thing?
:13 Whoever rewards evil for good, Evil will not depart from his house.
:14 The beginning of strife is like releasing water; Therefore stop
contention before a quarrel starts.
NLT) Starting a quarrel is like opening a floodgate, so stop before a
dispute breaks out.
:15 He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, Both of them
alike are an abomination to the Lord.
:16 Why is there in the hand of a fool the purchase price of wisdom,
Since he has no heart for it?
NLT) It is senseless to pay to educate a fool, since he has no heart for
:17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.
(Proverbs 17:17 The
Message) Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families
stick together in all kinds of trouble.
When you go through difficult times, you will find out who your true
:18 A man devoid of understanding shakes hands in a pledge, And
becomes surety for his friend.
(Proverbs 17:18 The
Message) It’s stupid to try to get something for nothing, or run up
huge bills you can never pay.
:19 He who loves transgression loves strife, And he who exalts his gate
:20 He who has a deceitful heart finds no good, And he who has a perverse
tongue falls into evil.
:21 He who begets a scoffer does so to his sorrow, And the father of
a fool has no joy.
:22 A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit
dries the bones.
:22 A merry heart does good, like medicine
merry – sameach – joyful,
NLT) A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a
call it “laughter therapy” or “humor therapy”.
After evaluating participants before and after a humorous
event (i.e., a comedy video), studies have revealed that episodes of laughter
helped to reduce pain, decrease stress-related hormones and boost the immune
system in participants.
I think one of the funniest people ever is Tim Conway. Here’s one of his classic skits where he
plays a dentist with his very first ever patient…
Video: Tim Conway – The Dentist
Enhance oxygen intake
Stimulate the heart and lungs
Relax muscles throughout the body
Trigger the release of endorphins (the body’s
Ease digestion/soothe stomach aches
Balance blood pressure
Improve mental functions (i.e., alertness,
There’s another source of a “merry heart” than just comedy. David uses a Hebrew
word related to “merry” when he writes,
(Psalm 16:11 NKJV) You will
show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your
right hand are pleasures forevermore.
It’s in God’s presence we find the greatest joy.
The Hebrew word for “presence” is at times also translated
“face” or “countenance”, like what we read here:
6:24–26 NKJV) —24 “The Lord bless you
and keep you; 25
Lord make His face shine upon
you, And be
gracious to you;
26 The Lord lift up His
countenance upon you, And give you peace.”
Look at all the amazing things that come from being in His
presence: Joy. Grace.
Doesn’t that make you want to spend some time with God?
:23 A wicked man accepts a bribe behind the back To pervert the ways
:24 Wisdom is in the sight of him who has understanding, But the
eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
NLT) Sensible people keep their eyes glued on wisdom, but a fool’s eyes
wander to the ends of the earth.
:25 A foolish son is a grief to his father, And bitterness to her
who bore him.
:26 Also, to punish the righteous is not good, Nor to strike
princes for their uprightness.
:27 He who has knowledge spares his words, And a man of
understanding is of a calm spirit.
:27 He who has knowledge spares his words
I recall years ago when I was a very young youth pastor, sitting in on
staff meetings at the Baptist Church.
I recall being in those meetings when issues or questions would come up,
and I’d always be so quick to answer the question, only to later regret that I
even spoke up because I’d realize that I didn’t truly understand what was being
I grew to appreciate one of the guys who was maybe 5 or 6 years older than
I, a pastor named Dave Burns. Dave was
rarely the first one to speak, and when he spoke he didn’t often have long
explanations, but when he spoke, he spoke wisdom, and people listened.
:28 Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he
shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.
And so, in hopes that you might think that I’m wiser than I really am, I
will end this study by holding my peace.