Sunday, April 11, 2021

HOW TO BE A FRIEND OF GOD - THE LOG CHURCH SERMON, APRIL 11

Last week I brought up what the Apostle Paul said about being “slaves to righteousness.” He mentioned that it was not actually appropriate to use the term “slave” in describing our relationship to righteousness, but he said that he was using it because he had to speak in “human terms,” meaning there was no other word in the human tongue that would make the point he was explaining.

By using that word, he meant that instead of serving sin, as we did when we remained unredeemed by Jesus, now by the grace of God, we would serve righteousness—we would become slaves to righteousness.

His point was well taken. However, I would now like to introduce another subject concerning our relationship to God. These words I take from what Jesus told his disciples:

“No longer do I call you slaves, or servants (the two terms are actually the same word in Greek), for a slave does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because everything I have learned from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).

“A Friend of God”

I am certain that all of us present here would like to be called a friend of God. Very few people in the Bible have had a relationship so intimate with God that they actually were called “the friend of God.”

THE LOG CHURCH BULLETIN - APRIL 11

The Log Church Bulletin

April 11, 2021

Opening Song

Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place,

I can feel His mighty power and his grace.

I can hear the brush of angel’s wings; I see glory on each face.

Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.

Call to Worship

Shortly before He was arrested on the day of his crucifixion, Jesus told his disciples, “I have called you my friends.”

We often hear about obeying God and following His will in our lives, but what does it mean to be a friend of God? Do you consider yourself to be His friend? Perhaps more importantly, does He consider you to be His friend?

We gather this morning to worship and to praise our Lord, and we also gather as the household of faith. We gather as friends of one another, and we also gather as friends of God. He is our Lord and Master, and He is our Friend.

Invocation Prayer

Dear Father in heaven, today we come to you as ones who seek to know you. In this short hour that we have together, help us to learn to advance beyond that of acquaintances in our relationship with you. Help us to learn how to know you as a friend. Amen.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

EASTER SUNDAY AT THE LOG CHURCH OF KENYA

 Weekly Report from Pastor Joel

Dear beloved Dad, Mum, Church and Friends,

Greetings from Kenya family, our prayers are with you all. We humbled for the Easter holiday, God has been teaching us more as we were sharing on the teaching on the work of the cross and its benefits.

Thanks for your prayers and help for the churches in Kenya. Despite the challenges we are in this covid 19, yesterday (Sunday) we met together our two churches Nyakembene and Matagaro church to celebrate Resurrection Sunday and partake the  Holy communion. 

We were not able to meet in the building as the rules of Covid-19 we were under trees to maintain social distance.

We have not able to pick the help you sent for it has been holidays till today and also tomorrow the financial manager will not be available so we will pick on Wednesday. On this day we have been having no food we have been using them in fasting and prayers, but other days we received some help from our two churches from those fasting during Easter. Some of the food will sustain the kids till tomorrow, and now we will be able to buy food on Wednesday as withdrawal the money. See picture of the church gathering we had yesterday as were taking holy communion.

On the project of garden we will update you as we have help to complete the phase that has remained. May God bless you and the church in Kenya for prayers and help for the children under our care in Log orphanage Kenya.

Thanks we are praying for you all and trust that we see you coming to Kenya in the future with Overseer Donald and Mum Vivian. Welcome Kenya, may might God provide for your needs and for Kenya church/Orphanage. Thanks.

We are glad for the trust you have for the weekly report which is posted on blog by Pastor Don. May God bless you all. Thanks for your regular help. Thanks. Greetings from the children and churches leaders as we met together.

Thanks.

Yours Son Joel and Log Church/Leadership

********************

If you would like to help the children of the Log Church Orphanage of Kisii, Kenya, you may make your check out to “The Log Church” and write “Orphans” on the memo line.

Send it to:

The Log Church

PO  Box 68

Tripoli Wisconsin 54564

We now need to pay a wire transfer fee with every payment, which amounts to $50 each

time, but other than that, your donated money will be used only for purchasing food, clothing, schooling, and other necessities of living. We wait until we have $4000-$5000 before we make the bank transfer to make each transfer more economical. Nothing is held back or diverted for any other purpose. Thanks!

****************************

Sunday, April 4, 2021

HOW TO LIVE - THE LOG CHURCH SERMON, EASTER SUNDAY 2021

(This post is actually part 3 of one very long sermon. To read it in its entirety, scroll down and read (1) ABIDE IN ME. (2) HOW TO DIE, and (3) HOW TO LIVE)

It Takes Death to Learn How to Live 

Good Friday was all about death. Holy Saturday was all about the grave. But Sunday is about life
. Today is Resurrection Sunday. It is the day when all that is victorious enough to have power over death comes to life.

One of the first things that the Apostle John wrote about Jesus was that “In Him was life, and that life was the light of men” (John 1:4).

This is the Light that arose in a dark world. Despite the fact that the darkness thought it had extinguished it, in the end, the Light returned and shone with ever brighter brilliancy.

This was the Life that even death and the grave could not hold.

Jesus said of himself, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me will live, even though he dies. And everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die” (John 11:25-26)

The Apostle Paul writes, “When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come to pass: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?’ ” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55)

In the book of Revelation, when the Apostle John saw Jesus, he described a man so astounding and even formidable in appearance that the apostle said, “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man!”

Everything about this appearance of the resurrected Jesus had the attribute of brilliant light. Even His face was “like the sun shining at its brightest.”

But Jesus placed His right hand on John and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last, the Living One. I was dead, and behold, now I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of Death and of Hades” (Revelation 1:17-18)

Friday was all about death. Saturday was all about the grave. But today is all about the life. It is about the resurrected life.

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.”

The Log Church Bulletin

Happy Resurrection Day!

April 4, 2021

Opening Song

Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place,

I can feel His mighty power and his grace.

I can hear the brush of angel’s wings, I see glory on each face.

Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.

Call to Worship

On Good Friday we talked about the crucifixion of Jesus. But it was not only about His crucifixion. It was also about our own crucifixion. “We have been crucified with Christ.”

Yesterday, on Holy Saturday, we were instructed to leave that which we crucified in the grave, just as Jesus lay dead on that day.

But today is Sunday. It is Resurrection Sunday. He is risen!

Amen! He is risen indeed!

Song of Worship        #137 – Christ the Lord Is Risen Today

Invocation Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for the fact of the resurrection of Jesus. Though His life, we know that we can also live. On this day, let us rejoice! We need no longer be slaves to sin. We have been given the freedom to live in grace. Thank you Jesus! Amen.

Friday, April 2, 2021

HOW TO DIE - THE LOG CHURCH GOOD FRIDAY SERVICE

“For everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven…A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance,”

Good Friday in the Log Church is not a gathering in which we laugh. It is not a service when we dance. Sunday will be that day. That is Resurrection Sunday. On that day there will be joy. There will be laughter and dancing. That will be the season to rejoice.

In this service however—on Good Friday, we are commemorating the death of Jesus. This is not the season of laughter and dancing. These things simply are not appropriate on this day. Rather, this day is the season of weeping. It is the season in which mourn.

In addition, on this particular Good Friday service, we are going to be thinking about another aspect of that death. We will be considering how the death of Jesus affects even our own death.

In the words of the Apostle Paul:

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me. (Galatians 2:20)

On Sunday last, I asked you to read this verse every day this past week—to memorize it and to meditate on it. Today is Friday. You have had five days to meditate on these words.

But of course today is not just any Friday, it is Good Friday. It is the day when we consider the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Considering what took place on this day long ago, in some ways it may seem insensitive that we call this Friday “Good,” but in other ways it is completely appropriate.

We are speaking about the crucifixion of our Lord and Savior. What the people did to him on that day was evil. But because Jesus submitted himself to the crucifixion, the good that came from that is that he took upon himself the punishment for our rebellion that rightly should have been required of us. Through his death, he paid the penalty for our transgression. We have been given the opportunity for life.

The Sale is Final, but what about the Service Plan?

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

REPORT FROM PASTOR JOEL - MARCH 30

Below is this week’s report from Pastor Joel. He writes of how God has blessed in the past years. We began this orphanage in final months of 2016, and it is wonderful to review all that the Lord has brought to pass in the time since then. I might add to the list that Joel made, that the children also now have a family in the people of the church. The kids feel blessed to be able to be there.

As far as the water/irrigation system, the concrete of the tower is curing and will soon be ready to have the water tank placed. We thank the Lord that later this week it looks like we will be able to send another bank transfer so that they will be able to purchase the pump and remaining piping.

We are beginning with sprinklers for irrigation. The hydroponic system will be a later development, and you will see in Joel’s letter that there is difficulty in getting the equipment for a drip system. It’s another one of those situations where I’d like to be there, because I would like to do some experiments with a simplified system.

Maybe along with my own hydroponic plot in my own garden this summer, perhaps I will add a drip irrigation as well.

We’ll see. It all takes time.

Joel’s letter below:

Sunday, March 28, 2021

ABIDE IN ME - THE LOG CHURCH SERMON, MARCH 28

It Can Take a Lifetime of Living to Learn How to Die

Last week, as we talked about the words of Jesus to his disciples as they were leaving the upper room, we saw that he compared the life of his followers to a branch of a grape vine. He told his disciples this:

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. (John 15:1-3 NAS)

We are not told if Jesus and the disciples were sitting for a few moments someplace when he spoke these words to them, or perhaps talking as they were walking on their way to Gethsemane. I picture them walking, and actually passing through a vineyard. Jesus was using the vines and the grapes as a teaching tool. 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

KISII REPORT - WORK ON THE IRRIGATION TANK

As you can see by the photos, construction is being done on the elevated water tank. They are pouring the bases for the pillars and forming up the pillars.

We also see in Pastor Joel’s letter below that there are still some costs in completing the irrigation system for the garden. Included in the prices is the cost of sprinklers. Sprinklers are the common way of irrigating there, but they add another $400 to the total cost for the completed system.

On Monday, Joel is going into Kisii town to do some asking about a drip irrigation option. A drip system would use less water and I believe it would be less expensive to set up, but there are additional factors that may make sprinklers a good way to begin.

I expect by next week the elevated tank will be in place. The children have a month holiday from school in April, so it will work out good that the garden can begin at this time. Please continue to pray that the rest of the infrastructure can be completed.

As for me, of course I am not in Kenya. It is at times like this that I know it would be good, but God has not opened that possibility for me at this time. However, I plan on conducting my own experiment with hydroponics this summer in our garden in Wisconsin. I will see how it goes to grow kale by this system.

You know I am dedicated to this task, since kale is probably the last thing that I would grow. But it is a staple green at the orphanage, so it would be the most helpful to use this as the experiment. I think our son Levi is also planning on doing this at this place. Joel's letter:

*************************************

Dear Beloved Dad, Mum, Church and friends,

Greetings in Jesus name, we hope you are well under the grace of God. Our prayers as
leadership and of the children are with you. Receive our love from Log Churches of Kenya and the orphanage.

We from the heart we are praying and saying thanks for the love. We say thanks to all who have given and willing heart to help the children under the care of Log orphanage Kenya. Really your help through God moving in your heart through reading Pastor Don and Vivian blog, we pray that God to answer also your prayers.

Welcome to Kenya to see the work you are helping and supporting. The door is open doors for you to come two church here in Kenya. Our prayers to reach more souls for the Kingdom. Thank all who have donated kindly we request that you keep praying for us  to have garden, school, be able to clear the church building debts we have and pray for the children God to provide for them.

We are working  on the tower for the garden, we are trusting God that all the steps of garden will be completed as God will provide.

Below are what we have not met for the garden to start working and operate.

The force pump Ksh. 50,000

Sprinklers Ksh. 40,000

Connecting pipes to sprinklers Ksh. 30,000


Skilled/plumbing labor cost Ksh. 30, 000

Thanks see some picture from the orphanage children, washing, reading the word of God and others. Our prayers are with you all. Thanks God

Bless you all, we are praying for you all daily and we pray that God will supply for your needs also and provide for these children here with us, our prayers to God who made heaven and earth who is our help and provider, kindly join us in prayers for the breakthrough for the children to have their needs met.

God bless you all, we request your help and support for these children, kindly stretch your hand of help to Kenya. Thank. God bless you all, we look forward hearing from you beloved. Thanks.

Yours Son Joel and church/orphanage Leadership-Kenya

********************

If you would like to help the children of the Log Church Orphanage of Kisii, Kenya, you may make your check out to “The Log Church” and write “Orphans” on the memo line.

Send it to:

The Log Church

PO  Box 68

Tripoli Wisconsin 54564

We now need to pay a wire transfer fee with every payment, which amounts to $50 each time, but other than that, your donated money will be used only for purchasing food, clothing, schooling, and other necessities of living. We wait until we have $4000-$5000 before we make the bank transfer to make each transfer more economical. Nothing is held back or diverted for any other purpose. Thanks!

****************************


Sunday, March 21, 2021

JOY COMES IN THE MORNING - THE LOG CHURCH SERMON, MARCH 21

"Even my close friend whom I trusted, the one who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me." (Psalm 51:9) 

The person who betrayed Jesus and handed him over to those who would crucify him was a close friend of Jesus, even one of the twelve disciples. That one, as we know, was Judas Iscariot. We know this because we have recorded for us the moment when Judas left to notify the authorities that Jesus would later be found in the Garden of Gethsemane. We also have written for us what happened after the events of the upper room, including the actual act of betrayal.

But even without those facts that are given to us, and simply by reading what happened in the upper room and by the words of Jesus, it seems obvious to us that the betrayer is Judas. As we read and synchronize the four gospel accounts, these are the events of the evening where Judas is included:

The Upper Room Conversation

As Jesus and all twelve of the disciples were at the table after the foot washing, Jesus refers to a scripture from the Psalms when he says, “The one who shares My bread has lifted up his heel against Me. I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it comes to pass, you will believe that I am He.”

Then, with a troubled look he adds, “Truly, truly, I tell you, one of you will betray Me.” (John 13:18-21)

This in turn greatly troubles the disciples. They look around at each other, wondering who it could be who would do such a thing.

One by one, they began asking Jesus, “Surely not I?”

Even Judas asks him this question. “Surely not I, Rabbi?”

Jesus answered, “You have said it yourself.” (Matthew 26:22-25)

The disciple sitting next to Jesus (assumed to be John), asks him, “Lord, who is it?”

In response to this question, Jesus answers, “It is the one to whom I give this morsel after I have dipped it.”

Jesus then dipped the morsel and gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot.  

Then Jesus said to Judas, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” (John 26:26-27).

At this, Judas got up from the table and hurried off into the night.

It seems astounding; the rest of the disciples heard Jesus send Judas away, telling him to do what he had to do, but they did not know what Jesus was referring to. They assumed that Judas was sent to buy something for the feast, or perhaps to give some money to the poor, since he was the one who was in charge of the money, (John 13:29).

How could they have missed all that was said? Did they not see the morsel of bread given to Judas? It is difficult to understand, but I think it has something to do with what I spoke on last week. The disciples at this time were in heavy discussion about who of them was the greatest. They were preoccupied with themselves, and did not notice or completely pay attention to the words and actions of Jesus.

When Events Begin to Unfold

In the hours before the crucifixion of Jesus, events were moving very rapidly. Jesus knew that they would, which is why he arranged for a few quiet moments with his disciples in the upper room before they were all occupied by the flurry of the events of the evening.

The disciples seemed unaware that Judas had left to set these events in motion, even after Jesus told them most plainly. We might be inclined to criticize the lack of understanding on the part of the disciples. Sitting where we are 2000 years after the fact and with all of the information given to us as what happened subsequentially with Jesus and the disciples, it may seem almost shocking to us that they could not see this. However, if we are honest with ourselves, we see that we are no different than they.

As we near the events of the very last days of this age and of this present earth, we will also see the events in the final days move very rapidly. The disciples may have been told beforehand of the betrayal of Jesus, and about his death and resurrection, but we have also been told many things about the end of the age. We have been given many signs and many predictions.

How many of us will be like the disciples—so preoccupied with ourselves and trying to secure our own place in the world, that much of what is happening will go unnoticed by us? Will we be aware of what we have been told and understand the events as they begin to unfold? We have much information about the coming of the final days—more than the disciples had of the events of their own day. Are we so busy with our own lives and our own greatness that we will not see these things?

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

REPORT ON THE TWO LOG CHURCHES OF KENYA

Below is a letter from Pastor Joel along with the accounting of the bank transfer that we sent last week.

I have asked him how the two churches are going, and if they are now allowed to meet without restrictions. They now apparently meet again, but of course still with the regular social distancing and masks, etc.

However, it does not appear that all people have returned. The situation seems to be something like it is here in many churches, at least that is how it is in our own Log Church.

The government in Kenya is also talking about a “second wave” of infections. Joel has not mentioned any severe problems with covid in the churches, nor whether or not there is vaccine available for the people. I suspect the vaccine has not yet reached that area, as Kenya as a whole has only recently began receiving any vaccine.

Nevertheless, it is good that the churches can meet. For a time, many people could not come because they did not have a mask and could not afford to buy one. When one brother from our church learned about that, he gave me a check and told me to use it for buying masks for all the people who needed them.

You need to understand that the people of the churches and the entire area is extremely poor. No one from the two churches has a regular job. They are all day laborers, working when they can find work on farms or plantations. If the wages have not changed from when I was last there, these laborers earn about $1.00 to $1.50/day.

Nevertheless, as you will see in Joel’s letter, when the orphanage ran out of food during this past week and before the bank transfer came through, the church people managed to send some food for the children. This is a bigger sacrifice than you might suspect, since most or all of these people also pass through days without food from time to time.

None of the money that we send goes to the churches unless the giver specifically designates it for some purpose. When the Lord called me to this task, it was specifically to begin the orphanage and provide for the children that he had rescued out of the world.

But as you might suppose, I am also greatly burdened for the two churches. They are doing a great work and bringing the news of Jesus Christ to many people of those areas. Please pray for them as they have a debt to pay for the tin sheets of metal that cover the church in Matagaro. They also rent the chairs, so this is another expense.

You will see that on the finance report for this latest bank transfer, they bought the smaller tank that will be put on a little tower for the irrigation, and have paid for the materials for the tower, so I expect that perhaps by next week sometime we will have news of that.

Here is Joel’s letter:

******************

Dear Beloved Dad, Mum, Church and friends,

Greetings in Jesus name. We thank God for the provision received sent through the friends and readers of the blog post of Pastor Don and Vivian. We are humbled once again for the care you have cared for the Log Orphanage Kenya.

We request your prayers for the children God to keep caring and providing for them. We thank the church here in Kenya for sending their food for 2 days. We have lacked  food only 1 day since the food was over from store, so for 2 days the church was able send some help of bananas, beans and some vegetables to sustain the children. May God bless you all for your help.

We Thank God for your love and concern for the children in Kenya. Keep praying for the churches in Kenya. We will update with pictures of Nyakembene and Matagaro church. The children say thanks for your donation.

Thanks to Pastor Don, Vivian, Church, and Friends and also to Kenya Churches for the support may God answer your needs. Thanks.

Received Ksh. 500, 000

Below breakdown of items

Tank, tower and labor cost:Ksh.60,000

Food bought: Ksh. 340,000

School fees cleared: paid Ksh.100, 000

Food report

Maize corns =Ksh 109, 000 1kg =Ksh.280 =389kgs.

   Cooking oil =Ksh. 20, 300 1litre =Ksh.300 bought =68 litres

    Sugar =Ksh. 27000 1kg =Ksh. 200 bought =135kgs

  Rice = Ksh.87, 000 1Kg =180 Bought 483kgs

  Beans =Ksh.65, 000 1kgs =Ksh.350 bought 186kgs.

   Vegetables=Ksh.25000 1kg =Ksh.190 bought 132 kgs.

    Transport Ksh. 6700

Schools fees report.

We paid as follows:

Rianyakwara Primary Paid Ksh. Ksh.25, 200  

Kimai DEB Primary paid Ksh.24, 000

Matagaro Secondary Paid Ksh. Ksh.50, 800.

(To see the receipts for all the items, scroll down and press the "Read More" button)

We thank God for the provision, now daily consumption of 63 children and workers
Ksh.22364.Now total money spent to buy food ÷day consumption (breakfast, lunch and supper)=number of days. 340,000 ÷ Ksh. 22364 =

Food purchased will last as from Friday 12 March to 26 Friday March 2021. We thank God for each day, provision, our prayers are with you, we trust God will provide for the needs of this children, kindly we request prayers do not grow weary in well doing in due season shall reap. We pray as God meets the needs in Kenya family also Yours to be made automatically in Jesus might name. Amen. Thanks, we call you blessed.

Yours Son Joel and Log Church Leadership Kenya.

********************

If you would like to help the children of the Log Church Orphanage of Kisii, Kenya, you may make your check out to “The Log Church” and write “Orphans” on the memo line.

Send it to:

The Log Church

PO  Box 68

Tripoli Wisconsin 54564

We now need to pay a wire transfer fee with every payment, which amounts to $50 each

time, but other than that, your donated money will be used only for purchasing food, clothing, schooling, and other necessities of living. We wait until we have $4000-$5000 before we make the bank transfer to make each transfer more economical. Nothing is held back or diverted for any other purpose. Thanks!

****************************

Sunday, March 14, 2021

LESSON FROM THE UPPER ROOM - PART 1

The Tall Poppy Syndrome

 On the night that Jesus was betrayed, he had arranged for a final meal with his disciples to take place at the home of a man in Jerusalem who had a large upper room in his house. It was there where Jesus gave his disciples some of his most extensive and important teachings. These were his parting lessons for those who had followed him and had learned from him over the previous three years. The teachings that Jesus gave to his closest disciples in that upper room on that night are important for all disciples of Jesus to understand, including you and me.

All four gospel writers record the events of that evening. One of the important events of the night and the one which we today usually mention is the institution of the Lord’s Supper. It is when Jesus gave the teaching of eating the bread in remembrance of his body slain for us and drinking the wine in commemoration of his blood shed for us.

But there were also other very significant teachings that evening, one of which is recounted by the apostle John. This teaching involved an action by Jesus which was totally unexpected by the disciples.