Works of God

We are thankful that God is always at work causing team members to look more like Jesus. We desire to testify of the grace of God in our lives, and that through the working of Christ in us, you will be encouraged in your relationship with Jesus.

Learning to Trust

jonwoglearningtotrustI know I’m God’s child, but I sure struggle sometimes. Will often says that every Godward motion is met by opposition from the flesh. I find this to be all too true in my life! God is in the process of lovingly showing me areas in my life that reflect a heart not completely given to it's master. My independent, “Let me think about that before I say ‘yes’,” spirit is indicative of a person who doubts the goodness of God. In essence, I suspect God of not having my best interest in mind.

So where do I go from here? The Gospel. Philippians 2 portrays a Christ who set aside rank and became servant, glory and became man, authority and became obedient, that he might glorify His Father by redeeming mankind. And not just mankind in general, but me. Meditating on these truths, my suspicious heart is set at ease, but more than that, it’s panged with conviction over ever doubting my God’s goodness.

I am so thankful that I have a God whose love for me is far greater than mine is for Him. His mercy forgives, His grace restores, and His gospel assures that His way is best.

“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” – Jude 1:24-25

-Jonathan Jarrett


Grace Through Suffering

1056850220_iGFK8-X3This past week our team arrived at Corinth Baptist Church in Corinth, Maine. All ready to go for another week of meetings the Lord allowed something in my life that was quite unexpected. The day after we arrived, I got word that my grandmother had passed away that morning. I had no idea that she would be gone so quickly, but despite my shocked and grieving heart the Lord gave grace. I knew that my grandmother was with the Lord.

That afternoon I had lunch with the pastor and his wife. They were so encouraging and offered to even take me to the airport the next morning to be with my family for the funeral. That night I was told by a number of people at the church that they were praying for me. There is just something wonderful about Christians that we share and that is Jesus Christ.

His love was displayed so much here from the church and also from the team. Many of the team members, including the kids, prayed with me and let me know how much they loved me. Most importantly, I was reminded of God's never-ending love. The night before I left, one of them reminded me of Psalm 23 which states that "even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil." Another team member also reminded me of Romans 8:18 which says, "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

Even going back to that very morning that I received the news of my grandmother, God reminded me of eternal life in John 6 in my devotions. I know that she is in Heaven and I will see her again. It just amazes me when God shows us His love and kindness through His word and other believers.

-Sarah Roe


Redeemed from Current Sin

mattarticlecropThis semester has been full of blessings, challenges, times of struggle, times of joy, and all kinds of different experiences. I’m so grateful for the opportunity that God has given me to travel with Will and the Galkin family. They have been such a special part of being on the road.

However, part of traveling for the Galkin family is living in a fifth-wheel trailer. Part of living in a fifth-wheel is having sewage to dump every week. Part of being on the team is getting to help Will with this not-so-great-smelling task each week when we get to dump that sewage :) It’s an unpleasant thing, but the holding tank must be emptied!

Usually, when we empty the tank, it’s a fairly quick, simple process that just involves putting a hose over a sewage receptacle with fairly minimal seeing and smelling of the sewage. However, last week was not one of those weeks! Will decided that the sewage needed to be emptied since we were headed further into Maine and Canada where we didn’t know exactly the next time we would be able to empty the tank. The complication was that the sewage line was on the opposite side of the church from where Will had parked the fifth wheel. So, I got to participate with the other guys in one of the grossest things yet in my life…carrying sewage in buckets to the spot where it needed to be dumped. Who knew that this would be in my job description?!? I look back on this experience now and laugh, but God brought something to mind in the process of this less-than-pleasant task.

There’s a part of me that is as foul and disgusting as the sewage we dealt with last week. And, if we’re honest with each other, it’s something that we have in common. You and I, and really everyone in this entire world—we’re all sinners. We all have broken God’s laws many, many times, and our sins stink. They are disgusting! We have actually in our own mind exalted ourselves to a place that only God should have in our lives. We have all decided that we are more capable to call the shots in our lives than the One who created us! Some people even think that maybe they can cover up some of this revolting sin in their lives by doing good things. However, the Bible tells us in Isaiah 64:6 that even our own righteousness is like filthy rags—literally rags that were used to clean up bodily fluids. God is very clear and strong in His language here. There is absolutely nothing that we can do apart from God that is worth anything for eternity. Our sins and good deeds alike are filthy before God.

I’m so glad that the story doesn’t stop there, though. Because “while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God.” (Romans 5:6-9 ) I’m so thankful that God loved me so much that He gave His only Son as a sacrifice for my disgusting, wicked sin. I actually now have Christ’s own righteousness on my account, because God “made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 ) I can enjoy the benefits of a restored relationship with God.

Now as I am daily reminded of my sinfulness, I can rest in the fact that when God sees me, He does not see my filthy sin. He sees Jesus and His righteousness. Also, I know that I do not have to sin any longer because Christ conquered the power of sin over me. I know that if I am walking in the Spirit every day, I don’t have to give in to sins that are gross before a holy God. I’m thankful for this reminder God gave me through some sewage. Any and all sin stinks, but what a comfort to know that when our sin abounded, grace did much more abound! Praise the Lord for His graciousness to us in the gospel.

-Matt Reid



joshwogMany times throughout the day I am reminded of my selfish heart. From the moment I wake up – I want. For starters, I usually want more sleep. My feelings start to work against me, telling me I need more sleep and that if only I could sleep for another 15 minutes I would be refreshed. Then it’s the shower – there had better be hot water and a lot of it. From there it’s my clothes, my food, my… the list could go on and on. Nothing yet has triggered any real visible signs of selfishness. I could potentially go most of the day without anyone really recognizing my selfishness, until I meet someone else who is also selfish. Now begins the problem.

He just took the last bit of creamer and now there is none left for me. The coffee was not made exactly how I like it. She wants the heat on while I am sweating in the driver’s seat. I have lots of work to do, and my wife wants to go out for coffee. Someone wants to talk. I am trying to work at my desk, but someone else is listening to music from their computer really loudly. Questions! People keep asking questions and I want to just get on with my day and my responsibilities. Actually, I’d rather not be responsible; I’d rather just play all day. Now I have to go check on people and make sure they are getting their stuff done, the stuff that they should have already had done. The cycle is endless…. I could go from minute to minute exclaiming how things mess my life up, my schedule gets thrown off, or more work is given to me.

Now, the only person on this earth who knows how unselfish I am is my wife. I say that completely joking!! My wife knows how selfish I can be. She gets the brunt of most of my selfishness. She is the one who sees the disgusted looks on my face when something is not the way I like it. She is the one who I get snippy with first, when my morning has not gone how I like it. We even had a discussion of how the toothpaste is squeezed. If I took note of every time a selfish thought or feeling crept into my heart through the course of the day, it would fill multiple pages.

I would be the most impossible person to live with if I was enslaved to my selfish desires. I am so thankful for Jesus Christ, who makes it possible for me to overcome my love of self, with a love for other people. The reality is: the very people that entice my selfish desires are each gifts from God to reveal my sinful heart and to show me my need of Jesus every moment. Jesus Christ has loved me so perfectly, and has given me new life; a life free from the dominating power of selfishness. I can love other people because God loves me. Jesus freed me, so that I can now live the rest of my days “not for human passions, but for the will of God.” (1 Peter 4:2 ) I can now live not looking out for my own interests, “But also for the interest of others.” (Phil. 2:4 )

-Josh Roland


What is Love?

rebawhatisloveI’ve grown up in a world that teaches me I deserve to be loved. I deserve to be taken care of, appreciated, cherished. Most people spend their whole life in pursuit of being loved and wanted. I grew up with these same expectations. I want to be loved and to have people like me. These desires aren’t wrong, but when not first rooted in the love of Christ, the desires become misplaced.

This past year I did a study on 1 John 4 . It was through this study that I began to see what true love looks like.1 John 4:7 says, “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” Love originates from God. 1 John 4:10 says, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” God displayed His love through sending Jesus to die on the cross for my sins. I wanted to see more of this love and try to understand what it looks like. If God showed His love through the gospel, then I would go to the gospels to see more of His love. I began a study of Christ – specifically looking at how He displayed love. I saw a life that was filled with giving. Jesus constantly gave of His time to others. His whole purpose for living was to give His life for us. Every thought and deed was motivated by love. Jesus was a humble, loving Servant.

So, what does God’s love look like? It’s totally opposite of the world’s love! Rather than a serve yourself love, it’s a serve others love! While discovering what this love really looks like, I realized I was filled with a lot of fear. Because I looked for love in people, people were controlling me. I was constantly living in the fear of being rejected. This fear was causing some of my relationships God has given me to break down and struggle. God showed me these relational earthly struggles were also reflective on my view of God’s love for me. I realized I believed I could lose God’s love! I believed I was capable of doing something that could cause Him to reject me. God showed me if I could not be confident in His love for me, I would never be able to love others God has placed in my life. So, instead of looking to others for love, I have purposed to fix my mind on God’s love for me. Praise the Lord that while I was yet a sinner Christ died for me! How much more as His child does He love me now? With a growing understanding of God’s love for me has come peace and rest. God’s love is driving out my fears. I don’t have to fear what others think of me because God loves me. Knowing God will not reject me, gives me a freedom in my love for others. I want God’s love to flow out of me and be like Christ in a love that serves. My prayer for this fall is to live an Ephesians 5:1,2 life which says, “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”

-Reba Snyder


The Story of the Site

Jon, Beth and Karis KoppThis new website has been a huge work of the Lord in my own life. I’ve been frustrated, I’ve been overly excited, I’ve been pushed to keep on going, and now it’s finally here.

This project was first started in December of 2009. We knew it was time for a new look and we knew it fit perfectly with future ministry plans, we just needed a few ideas and a helping hand. The Lord provided Jon Kopp, a good friend of the ministry, to work with us again on this updated website.

Pastor Jon Kopp is not just the assistant pastor at Oak Ridge Baptist Church, he’s not just a father and husband to Karis and Beth, he also balances the role of designer and web developer, and he has been an example to me of patience and perseverance through his commiment to the gospel during the launch of this website.

Jon, Will, and I met in February of this year to discuss the designing and developing of this current site. I remember Jon getting very excited in one of the meetings as he coded a piece of this large puzzle. Jon’s spirit and hard work are what kept me going on my end of the project. There were times when I wanted to quit because my task was taking longer than expected, or I got hung up on something I didn’t understand, but Jon always got me out of any pit I created and kept pushing me on to finish the task.

I can’t thank him enough for all his incredible work, but I hope that by this article our viewers will know that Jon Kopp is a work of God in my life and GEM through his example of commitment to the gospel.

-Laura Kennedy



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