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This simple word is found throughout the story of God’s people. In Genesis 12:1 Abraham’s story begins when God tells him to go from his country to the land God will show him. It is a journey of miles, but it is also a journey of faith. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” These words in Matthew 28:19 are often called the Great Commission. After his resurrection, Jesus sent his followers to share his message and continue his ministry. In Mark 16:15 Jesus said, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news.” It is important to remember that “go” is an imperative and a call to action. Going requires movement, doesn’t it? We cannot follow Jesus and stay put. Pray for God’s guidance and trust that God will lead you. Our Lord calls us to go in peace and in faith. May God bless your week! Diane Cooke, Pastor, Presbyterian Churches, Willow Springs and Mtn. View. more
In the first part of our study, we discussed the foreknowledge & omniscience of God. Now, in Psalms 139, let us examine God's omnipresence.  more
Many years ago, I read best-selling author John Maxwell’s fascinating book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. Maxwell told a dramatic story about businessman Roberto Goizueta, the former CEO of Coca-Cola. In 1997, only a few months before his death, Goizueta delivered a brilliant speech to the Executives’ Club of Chicago in which he shared the passion which motivated him to get up each day. He said, “…A billion minutes ago, Christianity emerged. A billion seconds ago the Beetles performed on the Ed Sullivan show. A billion Coca-Colas ago was… yesterday morning. And the question we are asking ourselves now is, ‘What must we do to make a bil-lion Coca-Colas ago this morning?’” more
I have talked with other Christians concerning being disheartened about life, circumstances or just simply feelings disconnected from God. Even as a pastor myself, there have been times that I have struggled with these thoughts and feelings. more
I have felt impressed of late to talk about the idea of being of righteousness. As Christians who are actual believers, this is something that is not merely wrapped up in our works but is wrapped up in our identity. more
Many of us recognize these words as John 11:35, the shortest verse in the Bible. It is also a very powerful statement. Jesus went to the home of his friends, Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. Lazarus had died and his sisters were grieving. Jesus was deeply moved by their grief, and as they approached the tomb, “Jesus wept.” We have a God who understands our sorrow and tears. Jesus meets us in our despair and pain. This does not answer all our questions or erase our heartbreak, but the scriptures provide a promise---that God understands our grief and wants to comfort us. Revelation 21 offers hope in this description of God’s kingdom at the end of time. “Look, God’s home in now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Revelation 21:3-4) Words of hope to sustain us now. May God bless your week! Diane Cooke, Pastor, Presbyterian Churches, Willow Springs and Mtn. View. more
In the heart of West Plains, the First Presbyterian Church renews its commitment to providing disaster relief by organizing its notable "disaster relief buckets". These buckets, destined for the John Calvin Presbytery Disaster Assistance (JCPDA), serve as a beacon of hope for communities grappling with crises and catastrophic events. The initiative mirrors the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s vision of showcasing Christ's healing love through community care. more
Eagle Heights Independent Baptist Church, located at 1078 CR 8570, West Plains, MO 65775, is excited to announce its upcoming Prophecy Conference and Revival. This spiritually enriching event will be led by Bro. Tom Sooter and is set to take place from October 22nd to October 25th. more
Larry Davies and I are friends though we have never met nor spoken by phone. We have read each other’s devotionals for years and he wrote the introduction for my first book. Larry recently emailed asking me to write something to promote his coming de-votional books. I agreed and today am sharing one of his stories. more
In the bustling digital era where global connections are merely a click away, and cultural, social, and moral landscapes ever-evolving, the ancient parable of the prodigal son provides an intriguing lens through which to view the complexities and dilemmas of contemporary human experiences and relationships. Rooted in the biblical Gospel of Luke, this narrative has transcended epochs, offering a timeless exploration of themes such as forgiveness, repentance, and unconditional love. But in our present-day context, how do the intricate layers of the prodigal son story unfold, and what new perspectives emerge in the light of 21st-century paradigms? more
Do you recall a time when someone encouraged you? Perhaps you were frustrated or overburdened. Encouragement is a blessing to us in difficult times. You have the opportunity to encourage others and give them support just by writing them a note or offering to listen to their frustrations. You can help them see their strengths, remind them of God’s presence, and then look for ways you can lighten their burden. Giving advice isn’t always helpful, so just listen and show you care. When the Holy Spirit is at work in us, we show kindness and caring to others, and we can “encourage one another and build each other up.” (I Thessalonians 5:11). The Good News Translation of Ephesians 4:9 says, “Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you.” May God bless your week! Diane Cooke, Pastor, Presbyterian Churches, Willow Springs and Mtn. View. more
Genesis 4:3 And it was so after some time that Cain brought of the fruits of the earth a sacrifice to the Lord. (Septuagint) more
With cascading, auburn locks, pale skin, and an almost ethereal light surrounding Him, the image of Jesus Christ, as it is widely recognized in the United States and in numerous parts of the Western world, has long been entrenched in the collective conscience of societies. However, historians, theologians, and archeologists often posit a starkly contrasting portrait of the Savior. more
Jimmy Abbott was born September 19, 1967, without a right hand. When he started school his classmates teased him mercilessly. Despite his disability he developed a love for baseball. When he began playing catch with his dad he soon threw away his chunky prosthesis and eventually became so good at tucking his glove between his arm and body and throwing with his left hand that he could field as well as any player. more
I once heard a pastor say that the answer to every need and solution to every spiritual that we have as believers has been purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the cross. more
Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” Psalm 86:11 reads, “Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name.” The word “heart” is used over 700 times in the Bible. Today we think of a person’s heart as a vital organ, the muscle which pumps blood throughout the body, and it is. In ancient times, the heart was considered to be the center of a person’s thinking, feeling, and doing. When we read the Bible, it is important to remember this. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flows the springs of life.” Let us learn God’s Word by heart, trust and love God with all our heart, and remember Jesus’ words, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” (John 14:1) May God bless your week! Diane Cooke, Pastor, Presbyterian Churches, Willow Springs and Mtn. View. more
Hosea 2:14  But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there. more
Celebrating the divine in all of God's creatures, St. Paul Lutheran Church in West Plains has extended an open invitation to the community for a special 'Blessing of the Animals' ceremony. The event is set to take place at 10 a.m. on Oct. 14, in the church's parking lot, located at 291 N. Kentucky Avenue. more
As autumn paints the Ozarks with its vibrant hues, the community of West Plains is in for a spiritual rejuvenation. Eagle Heights Independent Baptist Church proudly presents the much-anticipated Fall Revival from October 22-25. more
Pastor Keith Braswell of LifePoint of West Plains is elated to share the milestone of acquiring a new home for the church. The expansive new property, boasting a grand 13,608 square foot brick edifice and 9 lush acres, is conveniently located just a mile from the West Plains city limits on County Road 8660. This strategic acquisition, which was finalized in February 2023, underscores the church's dedication to expanding its footprint and nurturing its growing community. more
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