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 Pastor's Pen 
Saturday, February 25 2017
God's way is best

It is difficult to express the depth of my disappointment as I rolled into the dorm parking lot from Christmas break during my freshman year of college.

I had allowed a friend to use my '57 Chevy for a three day ministry trip into a neighboring state while I rode with other friends home to Florida for a surprise visit. A penny a mile was just too cheap to pass up. And after all, wasn't the '57 just a ministry tool anyway? I had rationalized as I had unwisely given my key to the other student. 

My beautiful black and yellow pride and joy was nowhere to be found. 

I soon found the borrower and discovered to my horror he had let yet another student take my car on some pretext of a family emergency to New York City! Shortly, I found someone who knew how to contact that second borrower. I called and amazingly reached him. I was not comforted to know the phone was in a bar. Barely controlling my anger, I informed him he had just 24 hours to have my car back to me or the police would be coming for him. Little did I realize he had already wrecked it. My beautiful '57 Chevy was dropped off in the middle of the night with a smashed grill, a sagging and broken bumper and a motor that had been run out of oil. My flashy chrome hub caps had been sold to buy fuel for the return trip. My nearly new tires were gone and had been replaced with almost worn out used tires. 

I was livid until the Holy Spirit reminded me of the thought He had dropped into my mind about a year earlier when He had reaffirmed my call into the ministry. So sweetly He had asked if I would be willing to give up the life I lived in order to pursue Him. My answer had been quick and positive in the holiness and sanctity of the moment. In the span of that brief instant I had been made aware my decision to follow Christ would cost me my career in Banking, the girl to whom I was engaged and beautiful '57 Chevy. 

In short order the dominoes fell and I had resigned the Bank, my girl had broken up with me...but at least I still had my car. Since it was paid for, I thought I must have been mistaken that night in prayer when God had asked if I would be willing to give it ALL up. 

It was only as I surveyed the wreckage of my dream that the still small Voice of God whispered peace into my damaged emotions. 

In the ensuing years, the Lord has always provided reliable transportation, adequate income, a fulfilling career spanning decades of service to the Communities where I have served Him, and a loving wife who has been my constant companion and dearest friend for more than 50 years. 

God's way truly is the wisest way!

Still trusting Him...

Richard Orrell, pastor

Posted by: Pastor Rich Orrell AT 01:05 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, February 18 2017
Grace changes everything

His Grace is sufficient!

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)

9 “Each time He said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. "

In this world we WILL have trials and tribulations.  The Bible tells us this, but it also says be of good cheer, for He has overcome the world.   That said, we do not, and should not, try to fight these battles alone.   Today’s Scripture states that His power works best in weakness; that’s talking about us my friends.  

When we are weak, HE is strong.   I am so thankful that we’re not in this battle alone.  We have a Comforter, Advocate and Great Warrior on our side.  Rather, we’re on His side.  The battle is not ours, but the Lord’s. In Him we are more than conquerors: 

Thank you Jesus for Your Grace to us.

   Love ya, Pastor Phil      

Posted by: Pastor Phil Illum AT 08:43 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, February 11 2017
First Impressions

There is no dirtier, more sweaty work on the planet than sandblasting; especially in the extreme heat and humidity of South Florida.

Friends of our family had just completed sandblasting yet another large building and had converted much of their final pay into cash. Their old car was on its last legs and he had promised his wife a new one. She reminded him that she had her heart set on a Cadillac. And on a whim that very afternoon they stopped at the large local dealership just as they were; dusty, dirty, sweaty, but with pockets full of money.

They entered the posh showroom and quickly discovered that some do judge a book by its cover. Awkwardness prevailed as they politely waited for one of the several unengaged sales staff to notice them. Finally, one of the younger staff ventured to ask what they wanted. He could hardly believe his ears when my friend said they were there to buy a car. The salesman attempted to redirect them to the used lot just down the street but they were adamant, they wanted a new one. He inquired if they realized the price range of new Cadillacs. They assured him they had their facts researched and their minds made up. He reluctantly agreed to show them the cars available. And of course, the one they really liked was blocked in by several others. All of them had to be moved to get their choice out so they could drive it.

I don't think the salesman was very happy right then.

He would not allow them to drive the car by themselves even though that was customary in those days. He tagged along, thankful that one's nose burns out quickly!

They drove it several miles, then made their way back to the dealership. My friend having seen the window sticker asked the famous "bottom line" question.

The salesman quoted the figure he knew to be the lowest he could go and then with a smirk asked, "...and how did you intend to pay?"

Imagine his shock when my friend answered with an innocent grin, "Why, cash, of course!"

Suddenly, the dealership caught a whiff of hard-earned money. The very ones who had shown little interest in them were now their best friends.

I remember riding in that gorgeous yellow Coupe DeVille snuggled into those delightful cream colored leather seats with a brand new appreciation for the fact that you really dare not attempt to judge any book by its cover. A little interaction with the unfamiliar might just reveal a treasure trove of friendship and loyalty. Sterling qualities of hard work and honesty may be hidden. Godliness and purity could be lurking just beneath the surface of a façade carefully crafted to protect a tender heart.

And aren't we glad God takes time to see our hearts, so hungry for Him?

Have a blessed week as we celebrate God's love and the love He has put into our lives.


Richard Orrell, Lead Pastor

Posted by: Pastor Rich Orrell AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, February 04 2017
Let not your heart be troubled

John 14:1 (NLT)

14 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.”

WOW!  The media has been bombarding us with so much disinformation since the election. Many are confused and frightened.

Here’s a word from the Lord for us today.   The Scripture tells us that God is NOT the author of confusion and that He has come to bring us peace and assurance that all is going to be alright.

So my friends “Take a Chill Pill”, don’t trust the media, but put your trust in the Lord! 

He has this!

Love ya, 

Pastor Phil      

Posted by: Pastor Phil Illum AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
    Battlefield Assembly of God
    5154 S. State HWY FF  | Battlefield, MO 65619 | PH: (417) 882-1116  |