Workers trimmed away overgrown weeds on the edges of the pathways and sidewalks along Pancheri. Scores of cars parked on the roadsides. Preparation is important. People pulled out their lawn chairs. A mother breastfed her baby. Little girls twirled and danced.
This past week, some young people asked me the question,
What is the difference between the two groups?
I can look just like my LDS friends. I like the KJV Bible translation. I wear from time to time white shirts and ties. I enjoy singing hymns. I do not drink alcohol. I am conservative. I strive to be a family man. I eat chocolate at the Deseret bookstore. I hang out at the BYU-Idaho library. I have my internet forays like everybody else in bloggernacle. Seems like I am a good fit for Idaho Falls, Idaho, right?
So are there any differences? This question is asked to me. Hmm . . . would you like to pull up a chair? I am back.
Let me quickly suggest some differences that you might agree with:
- Eternal distinctions between Creator and creature because we did not preexist with God.
- God creates out of nothing.
- Though distinct, the Son is as fully God as the Father and to be worshipped.
- The 66 books of the Bible are canon.
- It must be faith alone in Christ alone to have full access to the Father. To be in the presence of the Father is grace alone. And it is a life changed by God’s power.
- Lives changed by the Lord Jesus comprise Christ’s Church.
- It is only heaven when you are in the presence of the Father, Son, and Spirit. Anything else would be hell.
Late last night, I was reading to my youngest boy from The NKJV Daily Bible. We were in the Psalms portion for September 18, and I came across this verse:
He turns a wilderness into pools of water, and dry land into watersprings (Psalm 107:35).
Beautiful verse for Southern Idaho, isn’t it?
Certainly, that is the inspiration for the local church in Idaho Falls named Watersprings.
“In 1857 there were 30,000 men idle on the streets of New York. Drunkenness was rampant, and the nation was divided by slavery. God raised up a praying businessman, Jeremiah Lanphier. On September 23, 1857 he began a noontime prayer meeting on Fulton Street in the Financial District of Manhattan. Out of a city of 1 million people, six people showed up a half hour late. The group decided to meet the next week and there were 14. The next week there were 23. The following week there were 40. Within weeks there were thousands of business leaders meeting daily. God moved so powerfully that the prayer meeting spread across the nation. It is estimated that nearly 1 million people were converted out of a national population of 35 million, including 10,000 weekly conversions in New York City for a season.”
Men gather every Tuesday at the noon hour in the downtown City of Refuge. Join us. We go to the King and intercede on behalf of our city.
If you haven’t had the chance to read the book, Unveiling Grace (Zondervan, 2013), by Lynn K. Wilder, I would encourage you to do so.
You can check the book out from the Idaho Falls Public Library; the call number is 289.3 WILDER.
It is the story about a family here in the I-15 Corridor being turned completely upside down. On page 187, Lynn recounts the struggle among two of her sons,
About this time, Matt called Micah in Florida to ask, “What in the world are you doing to the family?” The direct question was an older brother’s prerogative. In answer, Micah challenged Matt to read the New Testament as a child, with fresh eyes.
I think that is an excellent word of wisdom for all of us in Idaho Falls – “Read the New Testament as a child, with fresh eyes.”
On pages 206-207, Lynn shares a turning point in her life,
One night in October of 2006, Katie, Mike, and I watched the movie Luther. As I followed the tale of Martin Luther, the Holy Spirit, the one who lead us into all truth, showed me the parallels between the strength Luther’s faith in God gave him and the changes I needed to submit to. The legalism that Luther opposed in the Catholic Church in the sixteenth century had the same root I now needed to oppose in Mormonism. The Scriptures that Luther loved were the Scriptures I believed. The God Luther knew personally was the God I had met. Like Micah in front of his mission president and fellow missionaries, Luther stood before the church leaders and declared, “Unless my errors be proven by Scripture, I cannot and I will not recant. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me.”
I made my decision. I knew from my reading that only a good killing could reap a bountiful harvest. My contented sacred Mormon cow had to be slaughtered. I had to die before new life could begin and bear fruit (John 12:24). I was finally ready. Gathering speed toward the point of no return, I lay facedown on the carpet, arms extended, and cried out to God as Martin Luther had. “I am yours. Save me.” Instantly I was sucked over the event horizon.
Mike and Lynn Wilder will be speaking at Christ Community Church, November 22-23.
Charles Barnes writes today in a “Jesus in Idaho Falls” email for our distribution list:
Yesterday the Bonneville County Heritage Association gave talks at five Idaho Falls Parks. For many decades the city’s garbage dump was located where Freeman Park (originally named Eagle Rock Park) is now. In the late 1950’s thousands of truckloads of dirt were brought in to cover up the remains of the burned garbage. Pray that the religious activity of our city doesn’t simply cover up the garbage and emptiness of our lives, but that our lives and our city are truly transformed by the love and grace and power of God.
I sat across the table from three couples. One by one, I listened to their testimonies of God’s efficacious call upon their lives. They were of different ages, family backgrounds, personalities, and religious exposure, but they all had one theme in common — they were trusting in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation.
Tears, laughter, and solid discussion on Bible themes filled my morning today. It continued as we went to a fast food joint on Hitt Road for a quick bite to eat.
As we were eating, another brother-in-Christ sat down unexpectedly at a table behind us. He talked about Jesus, the Bible being our foundation, and the preciousness of a local church family. He shared. We shared. And the more we talked, the more excited we got. Those sitting at other tables could not help but overhear.
Trophies of God’s grace radiated with joy in Idaho Falls, even at McDonalds.