Meeting in the Dows Presbyterian Church Building, Dows, Iowa. Service Times on Sunday:
Sunday School - 10:00am
Worship - 11:00am
Weekly Potluck at noon following our worship service.
Operating as usual
Copy/pasting from Pastor Doug Holmes page, as for some reason the sharing button is missing for me.
My thoughts....A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Patrick Henry declared “Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death!” Such sentiment filled the hearts of our founding Fathers as they prepared for the difficult and far from certain quest to wrest liberty from the hands of King George! They vowed to pursue this course at the cost of their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honors....and for many of them this is exactly the cost they paid! Our more recent grandfathers stormed the beaches of Normandy, Iwo Jima and other heavily fortified areas in the midst of a conflict against a more recent tyranny. They did not know they would die but they were willing to....and many did! Such is the price of liberty!
But today, America seems populated by a different sort of people. Today's “patriot” says “Give me SAFETY, or give me Death!” Why are today's American's so afraid of liberty? Probably because it's so risky! After all, liberty places the responsibility for our safety upon ourselves....and we might make a mistake! It's more safe to leave it in the hands of the experts. That's what the Germans thought in the 30's! In our taking responsibility for ourselves we may indeed die...but at least we will have lived!
Today's Americans are also afraid that real liberty will mean a curtailment of all the goodies we get from our governmental overlords who love us so much and are only interested in our individual happiness....or is it instead to keep us complacent and under control!
There are also powers at work in our society desirous of removing real liberty from our land. They are at work in government, health care, media, education and most every other social institution. They believe that those they serve don't know enough to take care of themselves without putting everyone else at risk. They also believe that they do and that is exactly where they are most in error! Only God knows with that kind of knowledge and He is the one truly necessary foundation for a true and robust freedom. But our society has kicked God to the curb and so, in His love for us, He is allowing that decision to bear “fruit”!
Do you believe that Liberty is worth dying for? If it is, then stop the insanity.....turn off the news (which is blatant propaganda), take off your masks (unless you think they actually work and that what they work for is actually a threat); don't shame others for the “sin” of disagreeing with you; open your business; don't enforce unlawful “mandates”; don't apologize for something you didn't do (which is really lying); and live this adventure called LIFE! Get together with family and friends, enjoy a barbeque, be a close-talker and stand a foot away from your neighbor (anything closer is intimate)! Quit worrying about the very minute chance you are going to die if you catch a coronavirus, or that you're going to give it to some one else without even knowing your sick!
In order for society to open up you will have to open yourself up. Don't wait for permission....free people don't require permission! If liberty is worth fighting for it is surely worth living for! Have a Happy Independence Day! Hopefully, there will be another!
Join us Sunday June 14th at 11:00 for the 3rd part of this series on Romans 13.
Sermon #2 Civil Limitations
Last week we began a short series on the nature of biblical submission to civil government. We saw that it is not just citizens that are responsible to submi...
Letter from Pastor Doug Holmes
Don't know what to think about the kneeling.
Like any other symbolic gesture it can be easily misunderstood. In my naivete' when I first witnessed football players kneeling during the national anthem, I thought they were conveying respect for their country or a more basic submission to God. I realize now that it was really a symbolic protest concerning a perceived lack of concern and even denigration of the lives of black people on the part of civil authorities. Now, with the recent killing of a black man by a white police officer in the great state to the north protests and serious riots have spontaneously sprung up in many other cities throughout the country. The police and civil leaders seem largely petrified in their responses and some of them are actually seeking to honor them by kneeling before them. I think the meaning of this gesture is not yet “set”. In some cases, where the kneeling is mutual, I believe the symbol can be of joint contrition for the divisive racial issues that are dividing our culture today. That would to be a good thing. But in others it seems to symbolize weakness and shame! I saw a short clip of a young woman who was approached by a representative of Black Lives Matter and told to kneel before him and vocalize an apology for her “white privilege.” She complied, but seemed confused and gave every indication of doing it from fear rather than real contrition. What to do....what to do!? What to think....what to think?!
No one seems to have entertained the idea that maybe we should all be kneeling before Jesus. If I thought that kneeling before a group of black people, or white people, or Democrats, or Republicans or even Methodists would eradicate all sin, murder, strife, anger, lust, shame, envy, pride, arrogance, prejudice and general foolishness I would hope that I would surely do so. But it won't! And I know it won't! Only Jesus is able to take away this list of fallen fleshly characteristics....and He will only do so if we let Him....and we let Him by kneeling before Him & turning our lives (i.e., our actions, our thinking, our feelings, our theologies, our assumptions, our sins, our kids, our churches, our prejudices, our vices and our virtues, the good and the bad, etc etc) over to Him & letting Him change us from the inside out. Such kneeling doesn't bring shame or guilt or defeat.....it brings power...& that of a kind that liberates the self from itself as well as making the lame walk, the blind see, and turning enemies into friends.
But to the point at hand, I would not have knelt before the gentleman from Black Lives Matter. Hopefully not because of any pride in my so called “white privilege” or because I am a friend of racism & prejudice. Rather it would be because it would clearly not be the loving thing to do. It would give him the false impression that I think he is right when I think he is wrong, or that I fear him when I do not. I rather pity him because he does not realize the supreme value he has, not by being black or white or a representative of Black Lives Matter but by being created in the image of the most gracious, joyful, just and loving Person of the entire universe and by refusing His gracious invitation to join Him in that most amazing & eternal Triune fellowship.
World War I ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. I propose that on the 7th hour of the 7th day of the 7th month of 2020 everyone in America stop what they are doing and make a heartfelt appeal to Jesus...to give up on “our way” of doing things and for Him to directly intervene in our present insanity. Not because He has to but because we so desperately need Him to! To help us remember that we do not conquer sin (be it racism or arrogance or whatever) by focusing on the sin or on pay-back for the sin....but on the Solution! And Jesus is the solution! He took all our sin on Himself....and killed them! If we remain in bo***ge to our sin it is because we want to be. If we are to live to Him....then we must die to us! So I'll see your kneel...and raise you Jesus! Do you want pay- back? Or do you want Freedom?!
Doug Holmes, pastor SGC, Dows, Ia
What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus Christ in a world filled with anger, uncertainty, and violence? What does a "transformed life" look like?
The Dallas Willard Daily Devotional draws on the very best inspirational writing of beloved author and theologian Dallas Willard. Each morning, you'll have the opportunity to learn what it means to actively and joyfully follow the Good Shepherd in a confused world.
biblegateway.com What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus Christ in a world filled with anger, uncertainty, and violence? What does a "transformed life" look like?
Please join us Sunday, June 7, for part 2 of 3 parts on Romans 13
Regular Service starts 11am.
This morning we will begin a short break from our study of Matthew. In light of the current confusion, worry, fear and anger over the past few months surroun...
Sermon by guest presenter Clayton Black May 24, 2020
Matthew continued...May 10, 2020 sermon "Where's the Bread?"
Having once again engaged the Pharisees and Sadducees and experiencing their hostility and close-mindedness towards Him and His kingdom, Jesus leaves and cro...
The Fog of Fear
We have just seen in the last couple of chapters how Jesus is now doing something unexpected for the major Hebrew players of His day. He has expanded His min...
Sovereign Grace Church's cover photo
First YouTube video. The sound quality will get better. Study guide will be available at our website soon.
The Israelites in Jesus' day were a covenant people. They were in covenant with their Creator God and along with that relationship came certain privileges. T...
faithlife.com A free reformed Church of Jesus Christ
Watch this space for info on live streamed service April 5th.
Postponed. More research needed and a stable internet connection. We plan on at least getting the sermon posted on YouTube.
Let us look at our lives in the light of this experience [in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10] and see whether we gladly glory in weakness, whether we take pleasure, as Paul did, in injuries, in necessities, in distresses. Yes, let us ask whether we have learned to regard a reproof, just or unjust, a reproach from friend or enemy, an injury, or trouble, or difficulty into which others bring us, as above all an opportunity of proving how Jesus is all to us, how our own pleasure or honor are nothing, and how humiliation is in very truth what we take pleasure in. It is indeed blessed, the deep happiness of heaven, to be so free from self that whatever is said of us or done to us is lost and swallowed up in the thought that Jesus is all.
Jesus produced mainly three effects: hatred, terror, adoration. There was no trace of people expressing mild approval.
- C.S. Lewis
Our local deity is not Jesus. He goes by the name Jesus. But in reality, our local deity is Jesus Jr. Our little Jesus is popular because he is useful. He makes us feel better while conveniently fitting into the margins of our busy lives. But he is not terrifying or compelling or thrilling. When we hear the gospel of Jesus Jr., our casual response is “Yeah, that’s what I believe.” Jesus Jr. does not confront us, surprise us, stun us. He looks down on us with a benign, all-approving grin. He tells us how wonderful we really are, how entitled we really are, how wounded we really are, and it feels good. Jesus Jr. appeals to the flesh. He does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him. He is not able to understand them, much less impart them, because Jesus Jr. is the magnification of Self, the idealization of Self, the absolutization of Self turning around and validating Self, flattering Self, reinforcing Self. Jesus Jr. does not change us, because he is a projection of us.
When you're in the intersection between the promises of God and the details of your situation, what you do with your mind is very important. In this intersection, God will never ask you to deny reality. Abraham did not deny reality. Romans 4 says that he "considered the deadness of Sarah's womb." Faith doesn't deny reality. No, it is a God-focused way of considering reality.
Paul David Tripp
Just as water seeks to fill the lowest places, so God fills you with His glory and power when He finds you empty and abased.
Instead of trying to find loopholes in God's commandment or trying to convince ourselves that our spouse is not a Christian or is at least not behaving as one and therefore divorceable, we ought to be shouting the holiness of marriage from the housetops. It is better to endure much personal unhappiness than to treat as expendable the solemn vows of the wedding service.
James M. Boice
[12/18/16] Due to the forecasted temperatures, the worship services are cancelled for tomorrow.
“Does Capital Punishment Favor Life?” 08/28/2016
(Text: Exodus 20:13)
[08/28/16] Unless we are willing to pay the price, and sacrifice time and attention and what appear legitimate or necessary duties, for the sake of the heavenly gifts we need not look for a large experience of the power of the heavenly world in our work. - Andrew Murray
“Who are the Priests?” 08/21/2016
(Text: Hebrews 9:11-15)
“A Better Covenant” 07/17/2016
(Text: Hebrews 8:7-13)
sgcdows.com "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths. For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem." Isaiah 2:3
[07/31/16] Services here at SGC have been cancelled for today. Have a blessed Sabbath and hope to see you next week!
“Abraham & our Certain Hope” 05/15/2016
(Text: Hebrews 6:13-20) http://www.sgcdows.com/sermons_files/SGC%20Sermon%2005152016.mp3
Mortification from a self-strength, carried on by ways of self-invention, unto the end of a self-righteousness is the soul and substance of all false religion… The Spirit alone is sufficient for this work. All ways and means without Him are useless. He is the great efficient. He is the One who gives life and strength to our efforts.
“The Peril of Rejecting Faith” 04/17/2016
(Text: Hebrews 6:4-8)
Jesus said that we will know the truth about Himself only if we are willing to do His will, that is, if we allow ourselves to be changed by the truths we find in Scripture. He said, "If any man's will is to do his will (that is, if he determines to do it), he shall know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority" (John 7:17). We must not assume that we will be able fully to understand any passage of Scripture unless we are willing to be changed by it.
James M. Boice
[04/03/16] In some respects, Jesus’ priesthood is vastly different for that of Aaron and his successors. He does not merely assist sinful human beings in securing forgiveness from God; He Himself forgives sins (Mt. 9:1-8). The Jewish high priest had to “offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people;” Jesus, the sinless One, addressed the sins of others exclusively (Heb. 5:3; 7:26-28; 4:14-16). Moreover, He saves His people from their sins, not by slaying goats, calves and lambs, but by sacrificing Himself and pouring out His own blood (Mt. 1:21; 20:28; 26:26-28). -Knox Chamblin
There is a false boldness for Christ that only comes from pride. A man may rashly expose himself to the world’s dislike and even deliberately provoke its displeasure, and yet do so out of pride… True boldness for Christ transcends all; it is indifferent to the displeasure of either friends or foes. Boldness enables Christians to forsake all rather than Christ, and to prefer to offend all rather than to offend Him.
Few things are sapping the strength of the church of Jesus Christ more than the unreconciled state of so many believers. So many have matters deeply imbedded in their craws, like iron wedges forced between themselves and other Christians. They can’t walk together because they do not agree. When they should be marching side by side through this world taking men captive for Jesus Christ, they are acting instead like an army that has been routed and scattered and whose troops in their confusion have begun fighting among themselves. Nothing is sapping the church of Christ of her strength so much as these unresolved problems, these loose ends among believing Christians that have never been tied up. There is no excuse for this sad condition, for the Bible does not allow for loose ends. God wants no loose ends.
The MISSION of First Lutheran Church is to fulfill God’s purposes in the world by proclaiming His promises, sharing His unconditional love and serving the needs of our neighbors.