I am come that they might have life...Abundant Life


Youth Winter Retreat 2017

Youth Winter Retreat 2017

Tubing by Mt.Washington Auto Road, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic Licenseby Mt.Washington Auto Road

Announcing our second annual Youth Winter Retreat! Join us January 27-29, 2017 at Inspiration Point camp in Clitherall, MN for devotions, preaching, worship services, activities and winter fun.

Click for more information and to register.

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Thank you for making our Harvest Party a success!

Abundant Life would like to thank everyone who attended our annual Harvest Party this year. It was a wonderful time of fellowship and fun together. Below are some pictures from the event:

Thank You!
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In addition, we would like to thank all of the businesses which so generously donated supplies and prizes. Your support means so much.

A&W
Arby’s
Big Daddy’s Mufflers
Chilly Billy’s
Cold Fusion Miller Hill
Culver’s
Domino’s
Dunkin’ Donuts
Grandma’s
Grizzly’s
Incline Station
KFC
McDonald’s
Old World Meats
Papa Murphy’s
Perkins
Qdoba
Shorty’s
Taco John’s
World of Wheels
Wendy’s
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Help Us Grow

Abundant Life is growing, and I’m excited to announce that Abundant Life has started a church facilities fundraiser on Indiegogo. Please pray for us during this campaign. For more information, or if you would like to partner with us, please visit our Indiegogo campaign page.

You can also help us out by spreading the word. Click on the buttons below to share this page:

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Block Party 2016

We had a great time at our block party this weekend! Thank you to everyone who visited as well as everyone who helped out. Here’s a short video of the fun:

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VBS is Coming!

Cave Quest

I’m excited to announce that our annual Vacation Bible School is coming June 8-12! Our theme this year is Cave Quest and we will be learn about following Jesus, the Light of the World. If you have a child between the ages of 3 and 11 who would like to attend, please visit our VBS page for more information and to register.

 

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Youth Winter Retreat

Youth Winter Retreat

Tubing by Mt.Washington Auto Road, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License by Mt.Washington Auto Road

Announcing our first ever Youth Winter Retreat! Join us January 29-31, 2016 at Inspiration Point camp in Clitherall, MN for devotions, preaching, worship services, activities and winter fun.

Click for more information and to register.

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To Be Silly or Smart…It’s Up To You!

 

ten lamps_wide_t_nv

To Be Silly or Smart, It’s Up to You!

Pastor John Soshea

Matt 25:1 “God’s kingdom is like ten young virgins who took oil lamps and went out to greet the bridegroom. 2 Five were silly and five were smart. (the KJV says five were wise and five were foolish…) 3 The silly virgins took lamps, but no extra oil. 4 The smart virgins took jars of oil to feed their lamps. 5The bridegroom didn’t show up when they expected him, and they all fell asleep. 6 “In the middle of the night someone yelled out, ‘He’s here! The bridegroom’s here! Go out and greet him!’ 7 “The ten virgins got up and got their lamps ready. 8 The silly virgins said to the smart ones, ‘Our lamps are going out; lend us some of your oil.’ 9 “They answered, ‘There might not be enough to go around; go buy your own.’ 10 “They did, but while they were out buying oil, the bridegroom arrived. When everyone who was there to greet him had gone into the wedding feast, the door was locked. 11 “Much later, the other virgins, the silly ones, showed up and knocked on the door, saying, ‘Master, we’re here. Let us in.’ 12 “He answered, ‘Do I know you? I don’t think I know you.’ (from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)

The parable of the ten virgins is a powerful reminder to us of how we too need to be kingdom minded…It is a testimony to the importance of watching and waiting for the return of our Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ who promises to come again for those who watch and wait…for those who have prepared themselves for His return.

The virgins (representing purity of heart, mind and body) are likened unto we who are called to be a part of the Bride of Christ.   Just as we are told to watch and wait for the coming of the bridegroom, Jesus Christ, each of them was waiting for their bridegroom to return as well.  At the beginning of the story, each of the virgins looks beautiful and is prepared for his coming…they had their wedding garments on, they had the lamps in their hands, and there was a flame within those lamps…The question I would ask of us is, are we ready?  Is there a flame in your lamp…but beyond that, do you have enough oil (an allegory for the spirit) for tomorrow?

Had the bridegroom come at the beginning of our story, all of the ten could have entered joyfully into the wedding feast, but the wise bridegroom chooses to wait.  Because of that, it is easy to see who are the wise and who are the foolish, who are the silly and who are the smart, both among these virgins from the story in Matthew, and amongst those of us who are invited to the wedding feast (an allegory to being in the eternal presence of the Lord), to be a part of the bride of Christ today.  The five of the virgins who were called wise and the five who were called foolish both had the opportunity to make their choice.  Their response to that choice is the reason for the distinction between them.  It is the same as the difference between some of the people who are called Christians today…some have prepared for tomorrow, they have their spiritual houses in order, seeking the Lord with their whole heart, mind, soul and strength, but there are others who live only for today.  The decision to live according to the former or the latter is one that each of us must make every day as well.  

So will I be wise or will I be foolish, will I be silly, or will I be smart…The answer to that is found in whether or not you make the spiritual preparations to have your house in order…Friend, what are your desires, what is your attitude, what is your choice today?  Will you be wise or foolish?

 

Message Synopsis by Sue Keller and edited by Pastor John Soshea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What is in Your Hand?

What is in your hand

What is in Your Hand?

Pastor John Soshea

April 6th, 2014
“What Is That in Your Hand?’

Key Verses:
Exodus 3:9-12 4:1-5
2 Corinthians 12:9
Revelation 12:11

Moses was like so many of us, in so many ways.  Like some of us Moses had abandoned the faith of his youth and sought to live out his life serving only his own wants and needs.  He was not quite ready for what God had in mind for him.  It was from the fires of the burning bush that Jehovah was calling Moses out of the obscurity of his life on the back side of the deserts of Midian.  But Moses didn’t believe that he had the ability to fulfill the calling of God by bringing deliverance to the Hebrew people.  He, like so many of us, was filled with insecurity, not realizing that with the power and leading of the Lord all things are possible.  

God showed Moses that even the simple things that were in his hand could be used to bring glory to the Lord.  It was at this encounter that the Almighty told him to throw down the staff that was in his hand, and the Lord transformed it into a giant serpent…the Lord then told him to grab the serpent by the tail and once again it became an ordinary staff.  This simple tool in Moses hand when submitted unto the Lord was a mighty tool of deliverance to help to lead the Jews into the promised land.  Moses, like so many of us, had his “…but God…”moments, but the truth is that the Lord is ever patient with us and always has the answers.

We need to realize that God can use what is in our hands to accomplish His will..but He can also use an empty hand and an open heart to accomplish his plan.  We may not have a staff that the Lord asks us to put to use for him…but you may have the power of the pen to write wonderful words of testimony for the delivering power of Jesus Christ.  You may have an incredible story of the power of the Lord’s deliverance that has brought hope into your life.  The point is that no matter who you are, or what you have… your life can bring glory to the Lord for His love and goodness.

Jesus will use us no matter what we are, or what we have…no matter what our talents or abilities, and He will use it for His kingdom’s sake…Regardless of our wealth, the lack of it, our level of education or our place in life, Christ can still use us…

Let’s get past the point of questioning the will of God for our lives…because he knows us even better than we know ourselves.  Like Moses, I would suggest that you step out of your desert today, and into the will of God for your life.

Because of the fact that Moses allowed the Lord to use what was in his hand, he went on to win battles, get water from the rock and to part the Red Sea so that God’s people could be free.

In this same vein, greater things than Jesus did, we shall do..not because our ability is greater than His, but because there are multitudes of us now to do the works of the Kingdom. He has allowed us to have access to His power and to do His will according to the power of His Spirit.

Some of you may feel that you have NOTHING to offer to the Lord..no talent..no gifts, no special abilities that you know of that can be used of God to do His will… But, a heart of faith is all it takes to step out and to do the Will of God. 

In our weakness, He is made strong..in spite of our failures, He brings victory. It all starts with us trusting HIm and answering the call of God…Let’s trust in God to be used for His glory today…

 

Message Synopsis by Sue Keller and edited by Pastor John Soshea 

 

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Superhero Faith! 3/23/14

Superhero PIC
John 6:1 After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. 2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. 3 And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. 4 And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.
5 When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? 6 And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.
7 Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him, 9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? 10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.
11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. 12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. 13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.  KJV
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“Superhero Faith”
The story of the “Feeding of Five Thousand” teaches us many things. The message today deals with this story of faith from the viewpoint of the little boy whose lunch Jesus used to feed the multitudes.  This boy, (*Let’s call him Nathan) wanted to be near Jesus as most people wanted to be near Him.  They loved to see Jesus perform His miracles, signs and wonders that he used to bless those unto whom he ministered.  It is notable in the Word of God that children are mentioned often because of the fact that faith comes naturally unto them.
Jesus gave to *Nathan something that he and every little child so desperately wants and needs…He got down on his level and paid attention to him.  How do I know that?  Because *Nathan was so impressed with the Lord that he offered unto Him his lunch.  Jesus knew that he could make an impact upon this young  life, and that he could teach him how what others would consider a small sacrifice was great in the eyes of God.  Jesus saw the willingness of this young heart and his great faith and He used it to perform the incredible feat of feeding this great multitude.  Nathan may have been small in size, but had “Superhero Faith!”
Instead of trying to make children like us, we should actually be trying to be more like them in our faith.  The scriptures call us to have the faith of a little child, and in so doing we too will begin to see the miracles, signs and wonders of Christ.  One of the subtle things that we must assume from our verses is that *Nathan must have been persistent.  Is there a parent reading this that can identify with “are we there yet?”  At times that is an awesome quality that no matter what an adult says to try to silence them, that when they become inspired, they must be heard.
*Nathan must have persisted with the apostles that his lunch could be shared with the crowd.  The disciples however, could not see how five loaves and two fish could be stretched into a meal for thousands…..But Jesus knew…and *Nathan knew too…because he had “Superhero Faith!”  Jesus wants us too, to have that same kind of faith that can be stretched to meet any need.  It is when we have this “Superhero Faith” that miracles can and do happen.
The crowds were fed…and there was food left over..12 basketfulls…all because of a little boy with “Superhero Faith” and what he had offered unto the Lord….One thing to remember is that in the presence of doubt, miracles don’t happen, but in the atmosphere of faith the miraculous can be accomplished.
The blessing of this miracle is that *Nathan’s offering was multiplied enough for there to be leftovers. It’s amazing when we partake with faith…and we have something to give away…That is the way that we too should live our lives…in “Superhero Faith.”
Message Synopsis by Sue Keller and edited by Pastor John Soshea

 

 *A fictitious name being used to personalize the story of the little boy whose lunch was used in the feeding of the multitude in John 6.

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From Rejected to Respected 3/2014

Bible

Josh 2:1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot’s house, named Rahab, and lodged there.2And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to night of the children of Israel to search out the country.3And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country.4And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were:5And it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them.6But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof.KJV

Josh 2:7 And the men pursued after them the way to Jordan unto the fords: and as soon as they which pursued after them were gone out, they shut the gate.8 And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof;9 And she said unto the men, I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.10 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.11 And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.12 Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the Lord, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father’s house, and give me a true token:13 And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.14 And the men answered her, Our life for yours, if ye utter not this our business. And it shall be, when the Lord hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee.15 Then she let them down by a cord through the window: for her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall.16 And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way.17 And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear.18 Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household, home unto thee.19 And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we will be guiltless: and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand be upon him.20 And if thou utter this our business, then we will be quit of thine oath which thou hast made us to swear.21 And she said, According unto your words, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed: and she bound the scarlet line in the window.22 And they went, and came unto the mountain, and abode there three days, until the pursuers were returned: and the pursuers sought them throughout all the way, but found them not.23 So the two men returned, and descended from the mountain, and passed over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all things that befell them:24 And they said unto Joshua, Truly the Lord hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us. KJV

Josh 6:17 And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the Lord : only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.KJV

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From Rejected to Respected
The story of Rahab reminds me so much of the fact that no matter how far a person is from God, the Lord can take their lives and turn them around so that they may become a shining testimony of His grace.
As we go about our lives it is amazing to me the way that we pass judgements upon others. Even though they are souls who can go on to be used of God in a mighty way. We need to realize that our judgmental attitudes can hinder then from what the Lord wants to do in and through them…Because, God can take the mess we have made of our lives and make us new.  He can see the big picture.
Rahab was a prostitute, or to use an old and less offensive term, “a lady of the evening”…
Even so, the Lord shows us in the Word that Gods plan is certainly not what our plan would be. We wouldn’t have trusted her, or used her to protect the spies so that Gods plan to bring the walls of Jericho down was accomplished, but He did…
Rahab knew the right thing to do was to hide the spies that Joshua sent into Jericho.  She sent the pursuers on a wild goose chase and harbored the spies to protect them from the king.  She only asked that the people of the Lord would show her and her house favor…or as she wonderfully put it “Save Our Souls From Death”….
As she swore the oath of truth..and they swore an oath of protection, Rahab knew she couldn’t go back to her old life, in fact I don’t believe that she even wanted it.  She knew that there were two ways her life could go..back to that old life that she knew or on to the new life that God had laid before her. She understood that there were risks in being a servant in His Kingdom and yet she chose that day to walk in a new direction.
As the story unfolds, Rahab’s family was protected from death as the Isrealites won the battle and took the city of Jericho… 
This is proof  positive that it is a wonderful thing to be under the covering of the Lords covenant.
Matthew 1:5 shows us how that the Lord can take a life ravaged by sin and will turn it around and make that life a blessing to the souls in their world…Rahab was a prostitute no more, and became the grandmother of King David and so found herself in the lineage of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Everyone needs to know that if your life today is a tangled mess – the Lord has a plan for you…
Give the pieces of the puzzle of your life to Jesus, and He will put it together for His purpose and to bring the blessings of God unto your life…
Synopsis by Sue Keller and edited by Pastor John Soshea

 

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