Friday, May 30, 2008


Nehemiah chapter 3 gives us the account of the work that was done in the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. It is significant that the Sheep Gate is prominent in the account: it is the first and last gate mentioned, it was repaired by the priests, it was consecrated once it was repaired. It was prominent because it had to do with sacrifice, and sacrifice for sin is a prominent theme in the Scriptures.

The third chapter of the Scriptures tell us how an animal was sacrificed to provide garments of skin for Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21). The last chapter of the Bible speaks of heaven and tells us that "the Lamb shall be in it." (Revelation 22:3). It is noteworthy that the Lord Jesus is referred to as the Lamb of God some 27 times in the book of Revelation. His work on the cross in redeeming lost sinners is the matter of highest priority and is to the praise of the glory of His grace (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14).

The message concerning Jesus’ sacrifice is the gospel--the glorious gospel (1 Timothy 1:11). It is fair to say, that with respect to the modern church, the Sheep Gate is broken down. The gospel has been downplayed, dressed up, distorted, and distrusted to the extent that it is hardly recognizable in some churches anymore. If the church is to fulfill its God-given mission the Sheep Gate must be rebuilt and consecrated. The gospel message must be faithfully proclaimed and defended as the first priority of the church. The preaching of the gospel was Paul’s first priority: "For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2). He delivered it to the Corinthians as the matter "of first importance" (1 Corinthians 15:3). He believed in it "as the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16). In our concern for the welfare and effectiveness of our churches lets make sure the Sheep Gate is repaired and consecrated as a matter of first priority. If it isn’t our first priority, we might as well forget the rest of the wall.

Pastor Jerry

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Construction work on the church has resumed! Though we are still waiting for the engineer to finish his engineering plans for the majority of the repairs, there are some things that can be done. The insurance company has given the contractor the okay to get started with these repairs and they started today. These repairs include: removal of the chimney; removal of additional sheet rock from the north and south walls; the installation of additional temporary support members in the Sanctuary.

Pastor Jerry


"If you were accused of being a Christian, would there be any evidence with which to convict you?" I raised this question in a recent sermon. It is a Biblical and legitimate question. There ought to be a difference in the lives of those who claim to be Christians. Christians should act Christianly. As Jesus declared, "You will know them by their fruits" (Matt. 7:16). And how should they act? The Scriptures speak to many things that should be different about us, but perhaps the difference is best summarized in 1 John 3:10, "By this the children of God and the children of the devil are OBVIOUS: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother." Amongst other virtues, righteousness and love, are distinguishing characteristics of our Lord Jesus Christ. They are likewise distinguishing characteristics of His followers. Are Christlike righteousness (1 John 2:29) and Christlike love (1 John 3:16; 1 Cor. 13:4-7) apparent in your life--to the extent that your identity as a child of God is obvious? Sobering question! Lord help us by your grace, as we walk in the Spirit, to be "lights in the world" in the "midst of a crooked and perverse generation" (Phil. 2:15).

Pastor Jerry

Friday, May 23, 2008


I'm a part of the REDUCE UNDERAGE DRINKING TASK FORCE for Clatsop County. Here is a letter by me that was published in Wednesday's Daily Astorian.

Letter: Timely presentation

"Kudos to Kelly Pierce and Andrea Frantz for volunteering their time to do the presentation on alcohol and drug use at Astoria High School recently, mentioned in The Daily Astorian May 8 article, "'Scared straight' approach is wake-up call for AHS students." The article included some sobering survey results, "Of 39 students, only two had never drank alcohol. Almost half admitted consuming five or more alcoholic drinks in a single setting. Two girls said they drank until they passed out." Classroom teacher Dena Marsch made an important observation, "The sad thing is it's out there, it's easy to get, and unfortunately, they're out there using it, and a lot of parents think it's OK."

Like Pierce, most of us have been impacted in some way by this problem. Her grandmother was killed by a drunk driver. Our family has experienced both death of loved ones and theft of property in situations that can be traced back to underage drinking. A part of the tragic consequences associated with underage drinking is, of course, what happens to the teens themselves. Teens who drink are more prone to alcoholism, future marital problems, job loss and other difficulties. Instead of appropriating life skills that will help them to deal with life's challenges, they attempt to escape them with drugs or alcohol, only to find that their problems then multiply instead. I believe that teens want to succeed apart from drugs and alcohol. Far too often, we doubt their abilities and predispose them to failure by our attitudes.

There are many people in this community, like these two volunteers, who are doing all that they can to confront this issue. A Reduce Underage Drinking Task Force meets monthly to address Clatsop County's underage drinking problem. The Commission on Children and Families has identified alcohol and drug abuse as one of the most serious concerns in our county. Teachers, police officers, juvenile correction employees, drug and alcohol counselors and health care workers are doing all that they can.

But Marsch's comment, "and a lot of parents think it's OK," gets to the heart of the problem. As long as parents dismiss the problem as "a rite of passage," there can be no long-term solution. Parents have a God-given obligation to protect their children from harm. Underage drinking is against the law, but more than that, it is a plague in our community that leads to much harm. There have always been teens who drink. And I'm not so naive to believe that they are all going to stop. But parents should not be the ones who are encouraging them or even buying their alcohol. With graduation drawing near, the presentation by Pierce and Frantz couldn't be timelier.

Pastor Jerry L. Conklin
Lewis & Clark Bible Church

Monday, May 19, 2008


Several people asked me for a copy of the questions that I referred to at the end of my Sermon on Sunday. These were questions that the members of the Holy Club, to which John Wesley belonged, asked themselves each day as a part of their daily devotions:

1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I really am?
2. Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?
3. Do I confidentially pass on to another what was told to me in confidence?
4. Can I be trusted?
5. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work or habits?
6. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
7. Did the Bible live in me today?
8. Do I give it time to speak to me every day?
9. Am I enjoying prayer?
10. When did I last speak to someone else about my faith?
11. Do I pray about the money I spend?
12. Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?
13. Do I disobey God in anything?
14. Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?
15. Am I defeated in any part of my life?
16. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy, or distrustful?
17. How do I spend my spare time?
18. Am I proud?
19. Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisees who despised the publican?
20. Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold a resentment toward or disregard?
21. Do I grumble or complain constantly?
22. Is Christ real to me?


Greg Engebretson has published several great items for this blog. He has now created his own blog which can be reached at: You can also reach Greg's blog from the links section of this blog.

Pastor Jerry


I'm reading Gary Gilley's book, "This Little Church Stayed Home." This quote is from the preface:"

"Whatever else the church of God does, it must excel at undergirding and proclaiming the truth. I believe a local church can fail at many things, but it must not fail at holding forth the truth of the living God. To fail at this is to fail at the primary mission given to the church. The church is not free to create truth, to supplement truth, to alter truth, or to selectively obey truth. The church is "to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict" (Titus 1:9). The church is to "contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3). The church is "to preach the word; be ready, in season, and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction" (2 Tim. 4:2). To not accept these commands as a sacred trust is to totally miss the most important reason for the church's existence. But as we will see in the chapters that follow, the twenty-first century, engulfed as it is in postmodernism, is not an environment in which truth can easily flourish."

Pastor Jerry

Sunday, May 18, 2008


We had a great discussion on prayer in our Men's prayer time last Saturday. This excerpt, a quote from J. Sidlow Baxter from "Disciplines of a Godly Man," by R. Kent Hughes, is relevant to our discussion.

"As never before, my will and I stood face to face. I asked my will the straight question, "Will, are you ready for an hour of prayer?" Will answered, "Here I am, and I'm quite ready, if you are." So Will and I linked arms and turned to go for our time of prayer. At once all the emotions began pulling the other way and protesting, "We're not coming." I saw Will stagger just a bit, so I asked, "Can you stick it out Will?" and Will replied, "Yes, if you can." So Will went, and we got down to prayer, dragging those wriggling, obstreperous emotions with us. It was a stuggle all the way through. At one point, when Will and I were in the middle of an earnest intercession, I suddenly found one of those traitorous emotions had snared my imagination and had run off to the golf course; and it was all I could do to drag the wicked rascal back. A bit later I found another of the emotions had sneaked away with some off-guard thoughts and was in the pulpit, two days ahead of schedule, preaching a sermon that I had not yet finished preparing!

"At the end of that hour, if you had asked me, "Have you had a 'good time'?" I would have had to reply, "No, it has been a wearying wrestle with contrary emotions and a truant imagination from beginning to end." What is more, that battle with the emotions continued for between two and three weeks, and if you had asked me at the end of that period, "Have you had a 'good time' in your daily praying?" I would have had to confess, "No, at times it has seemed as though the heavens were brass, and God too distant to hear, and the Lord Jesus strangely aloof, and prayer accomplishing nothing."

"Yet something was happening. For one thing, Will and I really taught the emotions that we were completely independent of them. Also, one morning, about two weeks after the contest began, just when Will and I were going for another time of prayer, I overheard one of the emotions whisper to the other, "Come on, you guys, it's no use wasting any more time resisting: they'll go just the same." That morning, for the first time, even though the emotions were still suddenly uncooperative, they were at least quiescent, which allowed Will and me to get on with prayer undistractedly.

"Then, another couple of weeks later, what do you think happened? During one of our prayer times, when Will and I were no more thinking of the emotions than of the man in the moon, one of the most vigourous of the emotions unexpectedly sprang up and shouted, "Hallelujah!" at which all the other emotions exclaimed, "Amen!" And for the first time the whole of my being--intellect, will, and emotions--was united in one coordinated prayer-operation."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I was encouraged by this from Charles Bridges in "The Christian Ministry: With an Inquiry into the Causes of its Inefficiency." I would highly recommend this book for all Pastors and Elders!

"Who is sufficient for these things?" (2 Cor. 2:16). Who, whether man or angel "is sufficient" to open "the wisdom of God in a mystery"--to speak what in its full extent is "unspeakable"--to make known that which "passeth knowledge"--to bear the fearful weight of the care of souls? Who hath skill and strength proportionate? Who has a mind and temper to direct and sustain so vast a work? If our Great Master had not himself answered these appalling questions by a promise--"My grace is sufficient for thee" (2 Cor. 12:9): and if the experience of faith did not demonstratably prove, that "our sufficiency is of God" (2 Cor. 3:5); who, with an enlightened apprehension, could enter upon such an awful service, or, if entered, continue in it?"

Monday, May 12, 2008


Dear Pastor Jerry and Laura

Your letter was such a blessing to us – to see how God is repairing the church, building your church family, and seeing God meet your every need – including the blessing of your children – we rejoice and praise God with you – we know all of these things have been such a tremendous blessing to your hearts. Thanks for sharing these blessings with us. Ahead of time we say, HAPPY 25th; so glad you can make that Alaska cruise – we pray it will be a time of refreshment for you.

Joyfully, Monty and Kathie Rasmussen


Dear Pastor Jerry;

Thanks for your informative letter, giving us an update on your family, your ministry, and the church property.

You are in our prayers regularly. We are glad to hear that you will finally be able to do the repairs needed to correct the damage done on the church building. We trust God will use it to be a testimony in your community. It is so good the hear that your insurance is taking care of the parsonage roof and the demolition of the old building. We will pray with you that God will provide the $10,000 needed to cover the additional expenses you have. Our God is able.

It is so good to see your children responding to spiritual things. It does a parent's heart good. Our children and grandchildren continue to be a blessing to us as we see them responding to God's work in their lives. It is so encouraging to see our grandchildren teaching our great grandchildren the things of Christ in the home.

We trust God will bless the outreach ministries the church has planned for the summer. Congratulations on your 25th wedding anniversary. I am sure you will enjoy your cruise to Alaska. Although we have not experienced it, we have heard it is a beautiful cruise.

We are currently being blessed with the presence of Joseph Kavuli, the CEF director from Kenya, who is in charge of 11 countries in Central and Eastern Africa. We have been able to arrange several meetings for him while he has been in the states. Last year, he shared his burden for starting CEF in Djibouti. Now, he sharing how God opened the door for him to go to Djibouti in October, and made contact with a person whom he will train to start the work there. Also, he is praying that God will open doors for him to go to Eritrea and Somalia, which are totally Muslim, to start CEF chapters in those countries.

Because of Calvary;
David and Sylvia De Jong



Wow, you all really got clobbered! I'm excited to see how God is providing for you!

Thanks too for your loving care for the Bogles. I had a very good visit with them earlier this spring. I'm encouraged with the growth I see in both Ben and Jennifer. I believe they are poised for a much more productive ministry in the years ahead -- but there certainly are no end of challenges!!

Thanks again for your partnership!! If I can answer any questions you might have, please feel free to drop me a line.

Blessings. . .

David Muchmore
Crossworld International Director for Asia

Friday, May 9, 2008


I heard the sad news today that Keith Foster had died in a car accident on April 27th, 2008. He was reportedly on his way to sing at a church in Stockton, California. Keith was 59 years of age. Please pray for his wife and their children. Over the last few years he has spoken of other accidents and a series of health problems that had brought him close to heaven. The Lord has now embraced him.

Most people who knew Keith knew him from his years of traveling the country, performing concerts, singing about our glorious Savior. I believe he had a heart for the small churches and considered it a privilege to minister to them. He will be missed, as it should be for those who have been “useful for service”. Pray that God will raise up others to fill the void.

I first heard Keith sing many years ago and know that God used him in my life to take a closer look at the Savior through some of the songs that he sang. The Touch of the Master’s Hand, Via Dolorosa, Watch the Lamb and He’s Alive were my favorites. Several weeks ago he ministered in song at Lewis and Clark Bible Church and we spoke briefly following the service. He knew my favorites included the above and told me that he would try to do one or more of them the next time he came. There will be no next time now, but that is OK. He has now touched the Master’s hand. He has seen the marks from His walk down the Via Dolorosa. He is experiencing the unexplainable joy of watching the Lamb. And he has seen firsthand the great truth and hope of our faith, indeed, He is alive!

Keith Foster fought the good fight and has finished his course. Praise the Lord for his and our hope in Christ!

Greg Engebretson

Follow this link to read more about Keith Foster or to play some of his songs:


As chaplain of the Lewis and Clark Fire Department I was called to the scene of the fire yesterday morning. A home, located near Del's OK Tire, was destroyed along with most of its contents. Fortunately everyone was safe, though a dog and a cat were lost. The family was obviously burdened by the loss. A county crisis intervention volunteer, an American Red Cross worker, and myself were there to talk to the family.

American Red Cross provides vouchers to help families in situations like this. But there was an immediate need for clothing for the children. After making a couple of calls, I called Bob and Diane West to see if they could help with the need. Bob has stewardship of the Deacon's Fund, and Bob and Diane have always been ready and willing to help others in need.

While I was talking to Diane on the phone I got a call on call-waiting. The lady who called was thinking about attending our church, for the first time, on Mother's Day. In our conversation she found out about the fire and the need and expressed her desire to knit blankets for the children.

Bob and Diane spent the day yesterday (all day) shopping at thrift stores in Astoria and Warrenton to find 3 or 4 sets of clothes for each of the three children. These included underwear, pajamas, shoes, socks, and a stuffed toy. They got a few things at Fred Meyer's on clearance. When the lady at the checkout counter found out who the clothes were for, she gave Diane an additional savings.

Bob and Diane then took the clothes and some cash to this family. They were delighted to receive the clothes and the cash and expressed interest in attending church this upcoming Sunday. Bob and Diane prayed with them, expressed love and concern for them, and ultimately showed to them the love of Christ. What a tremendous example of what it means to be an ambassador for Christ.

Praise God for servant-minded people like Bob and Diane. How beautiful is the body of Christ!

Pastor Jerry


(Some information in this email has beed deleted or modified)


Yesterday was another "Street Kid Day" at the Clinic. Please continue to pray for these children. They are, most of them, still CHILDREN. We are heart broken at the state some of these kids are in. Riddled with TB, Syphilis, (and all manner of other STDs). Thankfully there haven't been many HIV positives so far (but ANY is too much). Some of them are so far gone from sniffing Aibon (a contact cement used for construction work) that they don't realize (or even care) that they are dying. It makes us want to scream to watch these CHILDREN waste away to nothing--without hope, without Christ! Please pray for these kids and for us as we try to help them in some way. Pray also for the National Christians who are working to help their own people. There are two safe houses going up here. The Evil One has been trying to stop them in so many ways. One of the men, recently had to kick out several older girls who had been living with his family because they were teaching the younger girls how to prostitute. Thank you for praying for this huge request.

Dr. KD and family are getting ready to return to the field, probably the beginning of July. They are still waiting for some paperwork to go through. Please pray for the Lord's perfect timing for this and that they will be ready to "jump in" when they get here. We have surely missed them.

On that note, they are going to be bringing some books (home school and medical) for us. They are in California right now. (near Fresno). I, after living in tax-free Oregon for so long, don't want to pay California sales tax on my book orders. If you know of someone who would be driving from Oregon to California, and would be willing to carry these books to them, would you please drop us a line? Thanks so much.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


When I thought about a title for this article, I knew that whoever found themselves reading it would probably have some different ideas come to their mind. I thought that some might even think that it could be a light hearted piece. In this particular case, nothing could be farther from the truth.

I attend, what some might call, a small country church in Northwest Oregon. The church is located a few miles outside of town and is adjacent to a working dairy farm. The sounds, and yes, the smells of the dairy farm often welcome the believers who gather together for edification and fellowship here. Welcome is probably not the correct word to use in this case, as it is often the smell of the dairy farm that can be present at our various meeting times.

Our church has a men’s group that meets Saturday mornings for prayer and bible study. I believe the hour or so that we spend together is often one of the best times shared in the word for the men as they look to the “wonderful words of life”. I had been thinking of a particular topic to write about all week but I have struggled with putting it into words. That topic will now wait until a later date, in part because I heard a dairy cow lowing in the field today.

We have been studying in the book of 1st Timothy and this morning our pastor was leading us in a study of the 6th chapter, verses 14-16 which reads as follows; “that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and the Lord of lords; who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.” Our study and discussion was focused on His sovereignty and His Kingship, His Lordship and His possession of immortality. We rejoiced together in our position and hope that we find in Him!

As our bible study time together had come to an end, our pastor led us into a time of closing prayer. As we prayed together there was a quietness to the morning. The voices of the men who chose to pray were the only sounds I heard as we sat around an arrangement of tables praying. And then I heard the lowing cow and my mind began to think of the Sovereign One we had been considering during our time of study. I became mindful that He could hear the lowing cow also. When I would later leave the church and drive back home, He would still be able to hear the cow when I could not.

I was quickly reminded that the Lord could hear and see so much more. He is omnipresent and omniscient. I began to sense a burden for the other things that He was aware of as we sat praying with little to distract us but ourselves and a lowing cow. He could hear the cries of the children around the world who were hurting and hungry this morning. He could see the terrified look on the faces of men, women and children around the world who live in fear of their lives or the lives of those they love. He could see the multitude of broken hearts and He was keenly aware of the feelings of emptiness and despair of so many millions. For me the lowing cow was a reminder to pray for others.

I am not suggesting a “different” or a “social” gospel because there is only one message of hope. The message of the cross, Christ and Him crucified, is the good news that we have been entrusted with. I am suggesting that sometimes we need to be reminded to pray for others. As Paul wrote to Timothy in 1st Timothy 2:1, “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men”.

Heavenly Father, thank you for using your word and even a lowing cow to speak to my heart. Help me; help us, to remember and pray for others. Help us to be good stewards of the gospel. Use us to tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love; a love that was demonstrated on Calvary for the whole world to see. Thank you for being “the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and the Lord of lords; who alone possesses immortality”.

Greg Engebretson

Thursday, May 1, 2008