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Alpha Ministries, Inc

Church in the Woods at ....

Freedom Ranch


Dear Saints,

All of us are confronted with a multitude of choices to make daily. Many of them seem small and almost inconsequential while others seem overwhelming and life threatening. What makes life so complicated and hard is not just the choices we make but often it seems we really have no choice at all. Much of our confusion and frustration in life comes from the fact that we are not sure what choices we have, if we even have a choice, and exactly what choice we should make in any given situation. Welcome to the world of a control freak!

Seeking to control the people and circumstances in our life comes from a deep need to make ourselves secure in an insecure world. There is no guarantee that we will be unconditionally loved, accepted, and forgiven in this dog-eat-dog and often hostile world. In fact, chances are that we will be neglected, abandoned, or even abused. Likewise, unless we can control the people and circumstances in the chaos of this world it is impossible to find a real sense of importance, purpose, and competence. Wrong or bad choices seem naturally to lead to a meaningless and unsatisfying life.

Underlying all other choices we must make is the most important and basic choice. It is the choice the Bible urges us to make daily and describes it in a variety of terms. Jesus invites us to take his “yoke” upon us (Matthew 11: 28-30). Paul urges us to “present our bodies as living sacrifices unto God” (Romans 12: 1-2). James tells us to ask for wisdom from above (James 1: 5). Peter calls on us to “humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God” (1 Peter 5: 6). All these directives (and many more) have one thing in common…surrender. We give up trying to make it happen and let God do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.

In the AA program of recovery the 3rd step describes this kind of surrender as deciding to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God. Making the choice to surrender all our decisions as well as our very lives to the control and care of God is the foundation and start of a new and satisfying lifestyle of grace in which God, through his indwelling Spirit, leads us, guides us into all truth, comforts us in our choices, reminds us who we are, and produces the very character of Christ in us. As Paul instructed the Philippians 2: 12-13, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have obeyed, not in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which works in you both to will and do of his good pleasure. “

The fundamental choice we all must make each day is whether we want to let God control our lives. It is really a no-brainer since he is the sovereign creator and sustainer of the universe and loves us so much he gave his life for us. For me it boils down to one simple prayer each morning, “Lord please remind me of who you made me to be in your son and guide me in how you want me to love others around me today”. I really do not have any other choice that makes sense.





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Dear Saints;


Once again our nation asks “why” as we mourn the recent mass murder of students at school. Such a senseless act of brutality has become almost “routine” in our culture and everyone from the authorities to the general public wants to know why. How could such cold and calculating evil take place in our nation? What could possibly motivate this kind of “random violence” in schools among our innocents? Until we can answer this question it seems as though we are powerless to prevent it.


I do not pretend to know all of the answers to such tragedy. Neither do I have a sure plan of prevention for future events of this nature. But I am aware of the spiritual war we are engaged in and do understand we are not just “wrestling with flesh and blood”. It is clear to me that the moral fabric of our society has been and continues to be unraveling at an alarming rate. The Cultural Revolution beginning with my generation in the late sixties has produced a society that has lost its moral compass. What used to be wrong is now acceptable while the biblical values that once guided our nation have become irrelevant. I fear we have “sown a whirlwind and are reaping a tornado” in our modern society.


Does this mean we have no hope? Are we to simply throw in the towel and give up? Not at all! Especially as believers! Christianity was founded in a culture very similar to our own. The Roman Empire was every bit as decadent as ours, if not more so. Yet in that darkness the Light of the world revealed a loving Heavenly Father to all who believe, and won the victory over all evil through his sacrifice on the cross. That same Jesus whom the world denied and crucified was raised from the tomb by the glory of the Father and is alive today making intercession for us. No matter what this present darkness has in store for us, believers are guaranteed the victory as he has promised to work all things for good to them who love God and are called according to his purpose.


But what about those Christian students who were murdered because they confessed their faith in Jesus? It looks like they lost didn’t they? From our natural perspective in time, yes it does; but from God’s perspective in eternity they have been made more than conquerors. As the martyrs of history give witness, there is no amount of suffering generated by the evil in this world that the Comforter, the Spirit of God, cannot overcome with joy unspeakable and abounding grace. In fact, believers are assured that the sufferings of this present age are not even worthy to be compared with the rejoicing and glory which shall be revealed in us.


The skeptic may ask, “Where is God in this evil tragedy?” But the believer knows that God is in the middle of all our sufferings. His Spirit is in us as we face the suffering to make intercession for us with groanings we cannot even utter. With the suffering comes the grace to endure according to the sovereign will of a loving heavenly Father. So real is that grace that survivors are able to supernaturally love others like Christ in the very midst of their agony. Their own testimony proves that the grace of God is sufficient as his strength is made perfect in our weakness and they experience the peace that surpasses all knowledge and understanding. It is this supernatural ability of God to insulate his children in their suffering that gives us all the courage of hope in the darkness.


In this present world of evil bad things happen to good people. Evil is created when the creature exercises his God-given freedom of choice against God and was initiated in the both the angelic realm through the rebellion of Lucifer and in humanity through the rebellion of Adam. Believers are assured of the final victory over all evil in the work of our Savior as he completes our redemption in eternity. Until then we have a joyful, confident expectation of our future regardless of the suffering we must endure. This hope is a personal “anchor of our soul” that is available to all who believe.




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