God's Children Have a Time Zone -
  Divine Standard Time
We Live in This Zone, Not By Circling the Sun But By
Embracing the Son
Redeem the Time for Him
Count Your Days and Make Them Count

"But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, "You are my God." My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!

- Psalm 31:14-15.

Upcoming Events at CLBC

Pastors Letter

When: Sunday, March 22, 2020
Time: 10:00 am
Location: Worship Service

January 25,2021 Dear Church Family, So, you’ve probably been watching the news a bit over the last few months. If so, you’ve noticed that the headlines today read like something out of a bad novel and are anything but encouraging. (By the way, if you haven’t heard the news, you’re in for a few surprises when you come out of your hole!) I don’t want to depress you, but the COVID virus is still among us! And, to make things worse, the political situation with its liberal/socialist agenda, not just in Washington but around the country, is as bad as its ever been (maybe worse). And your personal life? Oh, my! Can things get any worse? Okay. Deep breath. Now, what can we do about all this? OPTION 1: Complain to everyone around you about politics, your life, your problems etc.! Oh yeah, that works! Complaining ALWAYS makes things better! I know when I complain that things always get better and people just LOVE to be around me so they can hear even more of my whining! (NOT!) OPTION 2: Become a recluse, stay home from church, turn off the phone and sing the old song “make the world go away, get it off of my shoulders, say the things you used to say and make the world go away.” (If you were singing the tune as you read the words, you’re as much a redneck as I am!) OPTION 3: Call Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden (notice I put him 5th in line - HA!), or any other of your favorite, most despised, politicians and give them a piece of your mind! I’m sure that your call will make a huge difference! (Careful – don’t give away too many pieces!) OPTION 4: Dig in deeper into all that God says He is and what He says He wants you to be! Hard work? The toughest you’ll ever face! The end results? Far more, and far more positive, than any of the other options listed above! The rapid demise of our country begs the asking of the natural question that Christians everywhere seem to be asking: “what on Earth is happening and what is God going to do about it!” Regarding the first part of the question I probably wouldn’t lay too much blame on God. We’ve done a pretty good job as humans in messing up absolutely everything that God called good at Creation. That’s the way sin is! (James 1:14,15 and James 4:1-4). The lust for recognition, money and power have been beating up this planet for a long, long time! In other words, as much as we like to bellyache and lay blame elsewhere (New York and Washington politicians) when the dust settles, we’re left to lie in the bed we’ve made up for ourselves! Rejecting God’s Word has both immediate as well as long term consequences. In short, we all are the reason things are so bad. As to the second part of the question, there’s some good news! For some odd reason, that I’m sure I don’t even begin to understand, God has an interest in helping Man, the fallen pinnacle of His creative work. From Creation to the Fall to the early stages of Redemption through Israel and up to the death and resurrection of His Son in the New Testament, God shows He cares! And the plan goes on from there! We can read the “rest of the story” in the Book of Revelation as God reveals His plan to fix ol’ planet Earth with its re-creation and restoration. No more sin, no more death, no more political garbage, no more taxes and so much more that will absolutely blow our minds! The key to our personal mental health and to the healing of our land may be found in the personhood of God Himself. In Acts 17, on Mars Hill in Athens, Greece, Paul said that in God we “live and move and have our being.” In the context of the passage Paul was informing his pagan audience that it is God Himself who is the focal point of all that we know and are and Who makes sense of the mystery of the purpose of life. Only God can give us meaning. Armstrong paraphrase? “With Jesus we have a hope of not being screw-ups. Without Him? Not much, not much at all!” Since the key to restoration is in God Himself, it behooves (great Old English, 12th century word!) us to seek Him with as much energy and enthusiasm as we can possibly generate. However, since God has so many different facets to His character (as do we since we are created in His image) I’m only going to expound upon one. In this devotional I want to bring to your attention an element of God’s character that will help us when we ask the hard question “God, when are you going to fix everything?” Let’s look briefly at God’s timing. FIVE OBSERVATIONS ABOUT GOD’S TIMING? GOD’S RESCUE COMES IN HIS TIMING, NOT OURS. “He looked down on the Israelites and felt deep concern for their welfare.” (Exodus 2:25) God had promised to bring the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt (Genesis 15:16; 46:3-4). The people had waited a long time for that promise to be kept (400+ years), but God rescued them when He knew the right time had come. I can only imagine how much whining, complaining and praying went on in the meantime as the Israelites begged God to do something. Be careful. I know it’s easy to say something like “why bother praying if God is going to do what He wants, when He wants, anyway!” Don’t ever misunderstand the relationship between our prayers and God’s actions. I believe that God, many times, only moves when He knows we’re ready for the answer. Our prayers reflect our heart condition, and based on our heart condition, God knows the best time to act. If you feel that God has forgotten you in your troubles, remember that God is waiting for His people to respond and has a time schedule that we can’t see. GOD’S TIMING IS NEVER AFFECTED BY OUR IMPATIENCE. If we read Psalm 74:1-23 we’ll see that the Psalmist felt pretty much like we do today. Listen to his words from nearly 3000 years ago! “How long, O God, will you allow our enemies to mock you? Will you let them dishonor your name forever?” (Psalm 74:10) Sound familiar? From our perspective, God sometimes seems slow to intervene on our behalf. But what might appear slow to us is good timing from God’s perspective. It’s easy to become impatient while waiting for God to act, but we must never give up on Him. When God is silent and you are in deep anguish, follow the method in this psalm. Review the great acts of God throughout biblical history, then review what He has done for you. This will remind you that God is at work, not only in history, but also in your life today. THE NATURE OF GOD’S TIMING REQUIRES THAT WE PRACTICE TRUST. When reading Luke 3:21-23 we can see that Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his public ministry. Until that point, He apparently stayed at home in Nazareth, taking care of His mom and family while working as a carpenter. Imagine the Savior of the world working in a small-town carpenter’s shop until He was thirty years old! It seems incredible that Jesus would have been content to remain in Nazareth all that time, but He patiently trusted the Father’s timing for His life and ministry. By the way, thirty was the prescribed age for priests to begin their ministry (Numbers 4:3). Joseph was thirty years old when he began serving the king of Egypt (Genesis 41:46), and David was thirty when he began to reign over Judah (2 Samuel 5:4). Age thirty, then, was a good time to begin an important task in the Jewish culture. Like Jesus, we need to resist the temptation to jump ahead before receiving the Spirit’s direction. Are you waiting and wondering what your next step should be? Don’t jump ahead-trust God’s timing. GOD’S TIMING IS PERFECT. “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.” (Romans 5:6) The Bible calls us “sheep”, and rightly so. Weak, helpless, prone to irrational panic and not too bright describes sheep very well. We were weak and helpless because we could do nothing on our own to save ourselves. Someone had to come and rescue us. Not only did Christ come at a good time in history; He came at exactly the right time and according to God’s own schedule. God controls all history, and He controlled the timing, methods, and results of Jesus’ death. I often confess to God my “sheepishness” in that I am weak and helpless without Him, that I am often prone to irrational panic and that I am not all that bright! In these confessions lie my greatest hope! When God hears my cries of humility, His grace pours out! Humility brings forth the blessings of Heaven and my heart is restored. In His grace I am established, strengthened and settled. (Read 1 Peter 5:5-11) 5.GOD’S TIMING IS CONTROLLED BY HIS COMPASSION. 2 Peter 3:1-8 says, “You must not forget, dear friends, that a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise to return, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so He is giving more time for everyone to repent.” God may have seemed slow to these believers as they faced Roman persecution every day and longed to be delivered. But God is not slow; He just is not on our timetable (Psalm 90:4). Ponder the reality of Hell with me for a moment. Hell is described in the New Testament as a place of darkness, heat and loneliness, a place of torment and torture. All regrets; no second chances. According to Scripture, Hell, with these horrible conditions, is eternal; a place where neither you nor I would ever want to go but a place, apart from Jesus’ death on the Cross and our acceptance of forgiveness, we would have landed in! Over many years I’ve heard lots of Christians ask a question that goes something like this: “how much longer, Lord, until the Rapture? How long until you get us out of here?!” While I understand the pain and longings in such a question (I ask it too!) really, by posing such a question, we’re being quite shortsighted and selfish. Our goals should always line up with God’s, and God’s main goal right now is not the translation of His Bride into Heaven, but rather to redeem fallen mankind before it’s eternally too late. So, rather than begging God to deliver us from “bondage”, as did the ancient Israelites in Egypt, maybe we should ask God to help us line up with His plan and be the salt and light that we should be in this world’s dying system. So why is God delaying? Jesus is waiting so that more sinners will repent and turn to Him. In response to God’s desire and His timing we must not sit and wait for Christ to return, but we should live with the realization that time is short and that we have important work to do. Be ready to meet Christ any time, even today; yet plan your course of service as though He may not return for many years. Make a positive difference. Yes, we live in a pervasively depressing culture. Historically, we’re not the first, and we’re not the worst! Whine if you want to, but I purpose to keep my chin up and to keep my eyes open for the touch of God and His sweet, gentle grace. As always, I am honored by your faithful support of the church and myself. You folks are amazing! Thank you for your friendship, love and prayers. As always, feel free to call me, text me, e-mail me or snail mail me. I’m still here and praying for each of you by name! Rich blessings to each of you! Pastor John Armstrong

Thank you for your faithfulness and love. Each of you is being prayed for daily. If you need anything call me or one of your deacons. May God bless you, keep you and make His face shine upon you. Much love, Pastor John Armstrong

Annual Business Meeting

When: Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Time: 8:00 pm
Location: Christian Life Baptist Church

Work Day

When: Tuesday, May 4, 2021
Time: 9:00 am
Location: Christian Life Baptist Church

Painting rooms, Installing security system & Organizing and moving decorations to new shed.

Deacons and Trustees Meeting

When: Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Time: 10:00 am
Location: Christian Life Baptist Church

2523 Brown Hollow Road, Corning, NY 14830
Phone: (607) 936-3965    Email: office@ChristianLifeBaptistChurch.org

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