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💎Dave’s Diamonds: “Your Turn”💎

The season of Lent began yesterday with the observation of Ash Wednesday. Lent is the 40 day period of spiritual preparation and practice in the days leading up to Easter. I hope you will use this time to work on one spiritual practice. All too often we try to do many things, instead of concentrating on just one thing well. Maybe you want to work on your patience; perhaps you want to hone your habit of daily Bible reading; or you might want to strengthen your service muscle by doing things for others. There are lots of possibilities in this season and I invite you to choose something in particular. Last night at our Ash Wednesday service I shared the story of Jesus washing his disciples feet in John 13. After Jesus washes their feet, he says to them, “Now that I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13:14-15). I hear Jesus saying to us, “Your turn!” Now it is up to you to do something, to make improvements, to hone your skills to serve, and grow closer to the Lord. What a great example Jesus gives and what a great way that he empowers us to serve. It’s your turn! –Pastor Dave


💎Dave’s Diamonds: “Seated”💎

Everywhere you look in the Bible, God seems to be sitting around. Did you know that there are over 100 verses in the Bible that talk about God seated…seated on the judgment seat, seated at the banquet table, and seated on the Great White Throne? That’s a lot of sitting! I’m not one who likes to sit still too long and I think that those who sit around are a bit lazy. Does all of this sitting suggest that God is lazy? Vicki shared with me a post she found recently about God sitting. It read, “Our King is seated. He’s not frantically pacing. He’s not anxious or nervous. He’s not unsettled or scared. He is seated, steady, secure” (author unknown). This quote resonates with me as it reassures me of the steady and steadfast presence of God. We may fly off the handle; we may allow stress to get the best of us; we may let worry creep into our lives, but God is steady and secure. The prophet Jeremiah writes in Lamentations 3:22-23, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” What a great promise and trust to rest upon. God is seated, steady, secure, and steadfast. In the craziness that sometimes life can bring, this is reassuring news. Know of God’s hope and promise for you!  –Pastor Dave

💎Dave’s Diamonds: “Just For One”💎

Arthur and Liezl Pienaar were with us this week on several occasions to share about their incredible and life-changing mission work in Zambia, Africa. Arthur made a statement on Tuesday afternoon that stuck with me. He said that their mission team would be willing to go into the remotest of all villages of Africa for the sake of one person hearing the message about Jesus Christ. Imagine the planning and expense to rally a group of missionaries for the sake of just one person in a far reaching village of Zambia. Jesus valued the ministry to the sole person. Most of Jesus’ teachings were to either individuals or a small group of people. In Luke 15, Jesus shares a parable about a shepherd who leaves the 99 sheep behind for the sake of finding the one lost sheep. In this parable, Jesus asks, “Doesn’t the shepherd leave the ninety-nine in the open country to go after the lost sheep until he finds it?” (Luke 15:4). The shepherd is willing to risk the 99 for the sake of the one. Jesus values the person and Jesus values you. You may feel rejected by others or pushed away by family. You may be feeling that your skills are outdated or your age has you questioning your value or worth. You may be wondering how God would know you as one person among the 7.88 billion around the globe. But as Arthur shared about going into the remotest of all places just for one person, so would Jesus. You are valuable; you matter to the Lord; your life was redeemed on the cross. I hope you will know this truth and live into it. –Pastor Dave


💎Dave’s Diamonds: “Many Members”💎
As many of you know, we have been dealing with some issues with our heating system at the church. I am happy to announce that the issues seems to be resolved, thanks to some xperts from a local industrial heating company. This issue has been going on for several weeks as we have had intermittent heat throughout the building. Many of you can attest to that as it was 54 degrees in the sanctuary a week ago last Sunday. It brings a whole new meaning to us Presbyterians as being the Frozen Chosen people of God. 😊  I am grateful for people in my life who know a lot more than me. I was at a loss when it came to fixing our heating issues and am happy that there are those in our community who are trained and equipped to get the job done. We are fortunate to be surrounded by doctors, therapists, mechanics, pharmacists, arborists, teachers, coaches, accountants, musicians, nurses, computer technicians, and others who are trained in specific areas of expertise. The Bible reminds us that “the body does not consist of one member, but of many” (1 Corinthians 12:14). You many not be an expert in heating or technology, but you have a gift and your gift is important to the larger body of Christ. On Sunday, at our annual meeting, we will celebrate a congregation who contributes to the larger body, using our gifts for the greater good in the kingdom of God. I appreciate you and the ways you contribute to the Lord’s work. -Dave

💎Dave’s Diamonds: “Departure”💎

My alarm sounded yesterday morning at 4:45am. I usually don’t get up that early, but yesterday was different. I had to run a friend to the airport to catch a departing flight for Florida. I admit that there was a bit of envy in my bones and I said goodbye to him, knowing that he was headed to a place of warmer weather, palm trees, and sandy beaches. Departure is a word that crosses my mind every now and then, especially when I think about flying. Departure means “the action of leaving, especially to start a journey.” I find it both interesting and comforting that when the apostle Paul is nearing death, he uses the word departure to talk about his future. He writes, “The time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:6-7). He doesn’t say the time for my death is near or the time for my demise is close, but rather he uses the word departure. When we transition to eternal life, we start a new journey, a new adventure. What hope there is for those of us who believe, as we anticipate a place where there is no more pain or suffering. This place is even better than Florida, it’s heaven. May we live with confidence in the future and look forward to what awaits us in our final departure. -Dave


💎Dave’s Diamonds: “Unforced”💎
I was on a ride along with the Billings Police Department several years ago when officers responded to a call of domestic violence. Yelling and shouting could be heard inside the house, but no one came to answer the door. The officer I was with suggested that unless the residents come and open the door, the officers will have to force their way in. It was a highly volatile situation and am glad that it was resolved without injury.  I’m grateful that Jesus doesn’t force himself upon us. Our relationship with him is not coerced, mandated, or obligatory. There is a neat exchange between Jesus and two of his disciples and they approach the small town of Emmaus after Jesus’ resurrection. Luke writes, “As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, ‘Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.’ So he went in to stay with them” (Luke 24:28-30).  Jesus acted like he was going further, waiting for them to invite him in. So it is with us. Jesus is one who stands at the door and knocks and waits for us to open the door. No forced entry. It is my prayer for you in this new year that you will open the door and allow Jesus in. He is ready and waiting and if you open the door and allow him in your life will never be the same. -Dave

💎Dave’s Diamonds: “Resolutions”💎

Are you one who makes a New Year’s resolution? Many resolve to lose weight, eat healthier, spend less, save more, change a bad habit, spend more time with family, be more patient, be less anxious, and the list goes on and on. It’s been said that a New Year’s resolution is simply a “to do list” for the first two weeks of the new year. Even though many resolve to make changes in the new year, about 75% of all resolutions fail to take effect. Do you know why? Because change is hard! Whether you are Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran, atheist, or agnostic we have a hard time changing our ways. We become set in routines, personality styles, driving habits, and eating preferences. Trying to make lasting changes to our lives is almost impossible. But it is in the impossible where God comes in. We are told in scripture that “All things are possible with God” (Matthew 19:26). This is a bold and profound statement. All things, not some things or a few things, but all things. Our God is a God of possibilities, potential, and promises.

I invite you to invite God into your new year, allowing God to come into your life to help you make lasting changes. Be specific in asking God to help with you certain things and seek to make those changes. God is there to help lead, guide, and encourage you into this new year. I look forward to what the Lord has in store for us! –Pastor Dave


💎Dave’s Diamonds: “Recognition”💎

Vicki and I attended the year end awards and recognition banquet for Erin’s Skyview volleyball team on Tuesday evening. The freshmen through varsity teams were recognized and players were awarded for the abilities and contributions to their respective teams. Awards included Most Valuable Player, Offensive Player of the Year, and Defensive Player of the Year. Engraved plaques and calligraphized certificates were distributed. It was a special night to celebrate the accomplishments and successes of the high school volleyball season.

As I was sitting there listening to the coaches talk about their players, I couldn’t help but think about how little recognition Jesus received at his birth. No one of special importance was present. There was no fanfare, no bright lights, no parade, or accolades. Even the place where Jesus was born was of little significance. Long before Jesus’ birth, the prophet Micah shared these words about what was to come of this small town. “But you, Bethlehem, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” (Micah 5:2). This small, insignificant, unimportant hamlet becomes front and center for the incredible gift of God’s incarnation through Jesus.

We live in a world where we want to be noticed, recognized, and acknowledged. Some base their approval ratings on the number of “likes” they get from a Facebook post or an Instagram message. However, Jesus’ entrance into our world gives us an example how we should live—as one who takes on a supporting role, as one who needs not be the center of attention, as one who deflects glory and accolades to someone else. If we are able to do this, we will begin to live as Jesus lived. Stay strong and encouraged in your faith. Dave

💎Dave’s Diamonds: “In All Circumstances”💎
It’s easy to give thanks when things are going well. It’s easy to be grateful when our health is good, the stock market is up, and the weather is nice. But life doesn’t always give us a fair shake. We have setbacks, injuries, medical issues, and problems. Relationships with family and friends can be messy and Murphy can come knocking anytime. When life takes a negative turn, when the storm front approaches, and when the diagnoses comes back positive, our emotions can get the best of us. Yet, we have this invitation from the apostle Paul to the church in Thessalonica, “Give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). I invite you to read this sentence several times and let the words sink in. Give thanks in all circumstances. Read these words again a bit slower, Give…thanks…in…all…circumstances.  Now let’s concentrate on a few words in this sentence. The word “in” suggests that we are to give thanks during or in the middle of the circumstance. The word “all” suggests that we are to have a thankful heart amid a wide and encompassing range of conditions: good, bad, and ugly. As Thanksgiving approaches next week, let’s try to take this approach. Instead of becoming bitter, let’s strive for better. Instead of dwelling on the negative, let’s look for the positive. Instead of seeing what is wrong with our situation, remember to thank God for what is right. And as we learn at the end of this verse, this is the will of God for our lives. Stay strong and encouraged in your faith. –Dave

💎Dave’s Diamonds: “Cheerful”💎
Property tax statements, mill levy requests, and church stewardship appeals all seem to have arrived at the same time. Everyone seems to want a piece of your pie. If you are like me, my first response to all of these requests for money is not positive. I can easily go into the scarcity mode of thinking: Will we have enough? How much can I give? What if the stock market crashes? What if an emergency comes our way? These things all cause me to want to pull back on the reins and clinch my hands a little tighter. I am a natural saver and have to work at giving. But here is what I have discovered over the years. The more generous I am, the happier I am; the more I open my hands to others, the better I sleep at night; and the better attitude I have about giving, the better I feel about myself. The apostle Paul has discovered the very same truths. He writes in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, “Remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” There is a truth at work in our generosity: the more we give the greater we are blessed, and the more we open our hands the greater God fills our lives with abundance. Let us give with a generous and cheerful heart. Stay strong and encouraged in your faith. –Dave


💎Dave’s Diamonds: “The Right Tools”💎
Have you ever found yourself with the wrong tool for the job? Several weeks back I got a flat tire on the trailer we use for lawn mowing. The lug wrench in the pickup was not the right size for the lug nuts on the trailer. My 13/16” lug wrench would not work the 7/8” trailer nuts. I tried to jimmy the wrench onto the nuts, just needing 1/16” more room. But to no avail, it didn’t work. I tried my next best option, my favorite tool in my tool box: the Channel-Lock plyers. The nuts were on too tight to free them with the plyers. I went to the next best option: vise grips.  They too were of no help. I dug through my limited tools remaining in my box, searching for a crescent wrench or socket set. The right tools I needed, I did not have. I unhooked the trailer, drove home, and picked up the correct lug wrench and returned to the trailer and changed the tire.  We are told in James 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above.” God equips us with good tools… like patience, kindness, and self-control. God’s tools are helpful, useful, and practical as we navigate through life. I am grateful for God who gives us the best tools, culminating in Jesus Christ, the perfect gift for all of us. May we tap into God’s resources as we grow in our faith and to help others. Stay strong and encouraged. –Dave



💎Dave’s Diamonds: “Temporary”💎

Several year ago I was experiencing sharp pain from an infected tooth. I tried to stave off the deep discomfort with a healthy dose of Aleve, but after several days I called my dentist and made an appointment. After a few x-rays were taken, Dr. Murdock came in and put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Dave, we will take care of this. The pain you are experiencing is only temporary.” In that moment, the word temporary became my favorite word in the English language. Temporary, by definition, means “not permanent” or “only lasting for a limited period of time.”  Isn’t it good to remember that what we are going through is only temporary: the sickness, the relational issue, the family dysfunction, the recovery from injury, the disease, the addiction, or whatever mess or discomfort we find ourselves in? The apostle Paul, writing to a very messed up church in Corinth, says, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). I thank the Lord for temporary afflictions, setbacks, problems, and pains. I thank the Lord for temporary troubles, struggles, tussles, and toothaches. I thank God that these things are only temporary and that these things won’t last forever or follow us into eternity. Stay strong and encouraged in your faith. –Dave


💎 Dave’s Diamonds: “100 Years!”💎

Today we will celebrate a very special occasion—Ruth Ewen’s 100th birthday. A hundred years is a long time, more than most of us have been around. A lot has changed in 100 years. A hundred years ago, back in 1923, the average household income was $3,270; the average new house cost $6,296; a brand new Chevy coupe sold for $550; a gallon of milk was 45 cents; a gallon of gas was 30 cents; and the average cost of a wedding was $400. (I told Vicki that we should have had kids 100 years ago!) Lots of changes have occurred in 100 years, including technology, travel, and space exploration. But there is one thing that hasn’t changed…God’s word. The same Bible that was around in 1923 is still around today. And it contains the same encouragement, advice, council, hope, and power as it did when Ruth was born. God’s word is a lamp and a light (Psalm 119:105), it provides correction and education (2 Timothy 3:16), and it gives direction to eternal life (John 14:6). May we hold onto God’s unchanging word. Happy 100th to Ruth on this very momentous occasion! Stay strong and encouraged in your faith. --Dave


💎Dave’s Diamonds: “New”💎

I like the smell of a new car, the innocence of a new baby, and the feel of a new t-shirt. There is a special quality to something

that is new. A new recipe entices my taste buds. A new friend request on social media makes me feel special; and there is nothing better than a new set of sheets on the bed. There is a wonderful verse in Lamentations 3:23 that reminds us that God’s mercies come new every morning. Imagine beginning each day with a clean slate, fresh start, and renewed energy for what the day will bring. I love how the Lord recharges our batteries and provides us much needed grace and mercy for each day.

The book of Lamentations was written by Jeremiah, known as the weeping prophet. He lived during a very dark period in the history of Israel when there wasn’t much to smile about. The city of Jerusalem had been destroyed by the Babylonians, the Temple demolished, and many of his friends had been taken captive. But he recognized God’s mercy which came in a new way each morning, much like a sunrise greets us at the start of each day. God’s gift of mercy gave him both hope and energy. May we continue to tap into this power of God’s compassion, grace, and mercy. Stay strong and encouraged in your faith. --Dave


💎Dave’s Diamonds: “The Mercy Rule”💎
There is a rule in youth sports called the mercy rule and by definition it “ends a two-competitor sports competition earlier thanscheduled if one competitor has a very large and insurmountable scoring lead over the other.” In football and basketball the insurmountable lead is determined at 40 points where the clock runs without stoppage until the game is over. I can remember vividly this rule coming into effect while coaching John’s sixth grade Little Guy Football team back in 2011. We were playing the Steelers, a team stacked with all kinds of talent, including Gabe Sulser. (Gabe went on to play for the Montana Grizzlies and Texas Longhorns). Right off of the opening kick they stuck it to us, running up the score at an unbelievable rate. Early in the second half, the mercy rule took effect and we couldn’t wait for that clock to strike 0 and the game to end.  The mercy rule grants pity to the team that is getting thumped, trying to preserve some sense of decency when overwhelmed by the opponent. Compassion, sympathy, clemency are all granted with mercy. Jesus said to the religious leaders, “Go and learn what it means, I desire mercy, not sacrifice” (Matthew 9:13). Sacrifice is given out of a sense of obligation, whereby mercy is given through a heart of compassion. God has a heart for the underdog, the down and out, those who are facing insurmountable deficits. May we take Jesus’ lead and seek to extend mercy and grace to others. Stay strong and encouraged in your faith. --Dave


💎Dave’s Diamonds: “Ask Anything”💎

I don’t want to ask a dumb question. I don’t want to look stupid in front of the class. I don’t want to embarrass myself by asking something I should keep to myself. There are many things that hold us back from asking questions. My kids will often say to me in an embarrassing tone, “Dad, you ask way too many questions.” Whether it is my curiosity or lack of filter, yes I do like to question things. I’m glad that Jesus is on my side and invites us to seek answers to questions we might have. Jesus says to his disciples in John 14:14, “You many ask me for anything.” I love several things about this invitation. First, I love how approachable Jesus is. Jesus wants us to ask him for help. He is able to help us and desires that we ask him for assistance every step of the way. He never says, I don’t have time, not now, or don’t be a bother. Second, I love how available Jesus is as he invites us to ask him for anything. Did you hear that? A-n-y-t-h-i-n-g! Nothing is too trivial, insignificant, or unimportant for God. Third, I love how accommodating Jesus is. He makes room for us and opens himself to our struggles, setbacks, and sins. Jesus invites us to come to him, bringing our burdens and worries right along with us. Jesus wants to develop a deeper relationship with you and He is there to hear from us and help us. Don’t be afraid to ask! Stay strong and encouraged in your faith. --Dave


💎Dave’s Diamonds: “Good Medicine”💎
How many of you like to have fun, like to smile, like to laugh? A joyful spirit is healthy for the body as we are reminded in Proverbs 17:22 that “a cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” People who laugh tend to live longer, have a healthier immune system, and are less susceptible to chronic illness. Those who have a positive outlook on life are in a much better position to handle adversity when it comes their way. Medical journals and doctors alike would all agree with Proverbs 17. As your pastor, I enjoy having fun and bringing joy to worship and to our lives. Someone recently said to me, “Your church is different.” I asked, “How so?” She replied, “You have fun in church, people laugh, and they enjoy being there.” Church should be a place where we are encouraged in our faith, where we learn how to handle adversity, and where we celebrate the greatest news of all: Christ’s redeeming work on the cross. Whether it is through a children’s message, music, or sermon illustration, we need to remember that a cheerful heart is good medicine. Loosen up, laugh, and live! Stay strong and encouraged in your faith. --Dave

 ðŸ’ŽDave’s Diamonds: “Seeing the Good”💎

It’s easy to dwell on the negative and to point out the shortcomings in others. Did you see what she was wearing? Did you see what he did yesterday at work? Finding fault in others comes so much more naturally and easily that looking at the positive. In the opening chapter of the Bible, as God created the heavens and the earth, God looked out on five different occasions and saw that it was good. God sees the good and invites us to do the same each day. It’s easy to dwell on the smoke that has settled into the Yellowstone Valley; it’s easy to focus on the political tension that separates Democrats and Republicans; it’s easy to concentrate on the rising costs of food and gas; it’s easy to remember the aches and pains of our aging bodies. But when God looked out among creation, God saw that it was good (Genesis 1:25). I want to challenge you to see the good that is in front of you this day. Choose to see the good in people, the good in your family situation, the good in your daily life. Choose to see the good in God’s abundance and blessings; the good in Christ’s work upon the cross; the good in our Savior who loves us unconditionally. By changing your perspective you will change your life. Stay strong and encouraged in your faith. --Dave


💎 Dave’s Diamonds: “In His Hands”💎
I played the violin for about two weeks in the fourth grade before my parents exclaimed, “That’s enough!” and took the instrument back to the music store. The first song I tried to master was Hot Cross Buns, but the way I played it sounded more like a bunch of alley cats in a Friday night scrap. In my hands the violin sounded pathetic and wretched and I might go down in history as the world’s worst violin player.
Itzhak Perlman, born in 1945, is considered one of the greatest violinists of our time. He has performed all over the world including dinners at the White House, presidential inaugurations, and for Queen Elizabeth II. People pay big money to see him perform, while my parents paid big money to see me stop. What’s the difference between me and Itzhak? We both are men, we both played the violin, we both share a passion for music. The difference, however, comes down to ability. In his hands the violin is alive and beautiful and in my hands, well…you know.
The same is true in our relationship with God. There is a great verse in Ephesians 3:20 that says, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory.” We can accomplish so much more when we allow our lives to be placed in God’s hands. Like the violin, the performer makes all the difference. Allow your life to be placed in the hands of the Great Performer and he will allow you to do things so much greater than you can imagine on your own. Stay strong and encouraged in your faith. --Dave


💎 Dave’s Diamonds: “Destruction” Ã°ÂŸÂ’ÂŽ

Have you driven past the downtown Burger King lately? If so, you will not see much as it has been demolished. And not only the Burger King, but the former US Bank drive-thru building that sat adjacent on the corner of North 27th Steet and 6th Avenue. In a matter of just a few days those two properties were leveled, leaving a few piles of stone, concrete, and bricks. What took months to build only took a few days to destroy.

How true is that with our lives? Sin can bring us down in a hurry. Our reputations can be shattered with one bad decision. The powers of darkness through addiction can leave us in a heap of rubble.  Jesus wants to build us up and by following God’s provisions we can stand through all kinds of adversity. Jesus says in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that you may have life and have it to the full.” Jesus is in the business of restoration and building us up. We all have made mistakes and have fallen away from the truth. By seeking God’s forgiveness, living under the umbrella of his grace, and following God’s precepts, we can remain strong and encouraged. –Dave


💎 Dave’s Diamonds: “Words” Ã°ÂŸÂ’ÂŽ

I knew I had made a mistake as soon as the words left my mouth. I tried to take them back and stop them, but by then it was too late. We have all found ourselves in this situation, and for me it was last Sunday. I have often said that our words are like toothpaste—once they leave the tube they are impossible to put back. Our words can hurt, cut, wound, and upset. They can offend, damage, abuse, and insult. The Bible tells us that our words are like the rudder of a ship, small but powerful as a small rudder can steer a large vessel. (James 3:4-6). Proverbs 16:24 reminds us, “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”  I want to do better with my words and use them to build people up and bring health to others. God desire that our words bring sweetness to others and are used to edify those with whom we come in contact. Will you join me in bringing life, health, and joy to those who we will meet on this day? Stay strong and encouraged in your faith. –Dave


💎 Dave’s Diamonds: “Strength” Ã°ÂŸÂ’ÂŽ

When I was younger I had a personal goal of bench pressing 300 pounds. I worked with other weight lifters to help improve my skills and hone my ability to achieve that mark. When we think of strength, we often think only in terms of physical strength. But, strength can be measured in other ways-- mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Strength is manifested by showing resolve in difficult circumstances, mental toughness during challenging times, and spiritual calm during turbulent seasons of life. Some of the strongest people I have known are not weight lifters or body builders, people who are far from achieving a 300 pound bench press.  The strongest postures we can exhibit is when we fall on our knees and pray to God. King David, from a physical point of view was not a physical specimen. He was the youngest of his siblings and was smaller in stature. People laughed when he approached Goliath, the champion fighter of the Philistine army. But David knew that his greatest strength came from the Lord. Writing in Psalm 118:14, David says, “The Lord is my strength and my song and he has become my salvation.”

Our strength will dimmish over time, but God’s strength is unending and unwavering. Trust in the Lord and the strength he provides to help you through whatever challenge you may be facing. Stay strong and encouraged in your faith. –Dave


 Ã°ÂŸÂ’ÂŽ Dave’s Diamonds: “Who Can We Trust?” Ã°ÂŸÂ’ÂŽ

With the recent string of email scams that have been going around, it is hard to know who to trust anymore. Most of us are cautious to answer an unknown phone call; we are advised not to disclose any personal information over the phone or computer; and many of us are leery to stop and offer help to people on the side of the road. Several weeks ago, after being stranded at a rest area near Missoula due to a deer collision, I approached several strangers seeking a ride back to Billings. One man said, “I’m not sure that I can trust you.” After telling him that I am a pastor and a chaplain with the Billings Police Department, he said, “I’m still not comfortable with giving you a ride.” Who can we trust?
I appreciate the trust we can place in the Lord. God is one we can count on, one we can lean into, and rely upon. The Lord’s track record with helping people spans millennia and we know that we can count on the Lord. Psalm 20:7 states, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” Stay strong and encouraged in your faith as we can trust in the Lord. –Dave

💎Dave’s Diamonds: “Stuff”💎

How many of you rent a storage unit? How many of you have so much stuff that you don’t have room in your garage for your vehicle? From looking at all of the storage units going up in our area, most of us would answer in the affirmative to these two questions. We have become a society of stuff whereby one of our greatest concerns in life has become, “who will take all of my stuff when I die?” Our siblings are inundated with stuff, our kids have too much stuff, and we have become overrun by stuff.  Jesus said something very important about possessions in his Sermon on the Mount. He says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).

In these verses, Jesus talks not about possessions, but priorities. The things that we hold on to will someday decay and rust and will not providing lasting satisfaction. The things of this world are only temporary, but the things of God will last forever. I hope that you will find your hope in the Lord and not in the things that we have of this world. Let go of the things around you and grab hold of God, for in him we find something of eternal value. Stay strong and encouraged in your faith. --Dave


💎Dave’s Diamonds: “Fizzle Out”💎

Our family enjoyed the fireworks at MetraPark on Tuesday night. It was quite a show with about 30 minutes of luminary celebration. But as the last round of fireworks went off and fizzed out into the dark sky, people packed up their chairs, tents, and kids and headed for home.

First Presbyterian Church
2420 13th Street West
Billing, MT 59102