Sunday, July 26, 2009


Do you remember the song, "How can you mend a broken heart?" The song asks a good question, but doesn't give an answer. I presided over a Memorial service yesterday--for a 30 year old man who took his own life. There were some broken hearts in the congregation. The young man’s grandfather was in the hospital recovering from open heart surgery when the family got the news of the death. The doctors had used their training and skills to mend his "broken" heart, but that’s not the kind of broken heart the Bee Gees sung about. That kind of broken heart is much harder to mend.

The question is not so much HOW can you mend a broken heart, but rather WHO can mend a broken heart. There is only one who is qualified to do that--our Lord Jesus Christ. He came for that very purpose. All "broken-heartedness" is the result of sin. It can be traced back to the sin of Adam and Eve. And wrong sinful choices in our lives, and the lives of others, leads to much "broken-heartedness." The Lord Jesus was sent from heaven to heal broken hearts. He experienced a broken heart himself. He "who knew no sin" was made "to be sin" on our behalf (2 Cor. 5:21). And He cried out from the cross, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Matt. 27:46).

But He rose victorious over sin and death. He grants eternal life to those who place their trust in Him. They experience His forgiveness and are made to be new creatures in Christ. His indwelling presence brings peace, and joy, and hope to their hearts. And He begins His heart mending process. Its a life long work. Sin is forgiven, freedom from sin progresses, until one day, in His presence--sin is no more. Praise God that there is someone to whom we can go who understands all that we go through, and has answers for the trials and sorrows that we face.

Hebrews 4:15-16, "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need."

Pastor Jerry

Friday, July 24, 2009


July 24, 2009

In 1958, when Harriet began playing the piano for Lewis & Clark Bible Church, Eisenhower was president, gas cost 30 cents a gallon, and the US launched its first satellite into space. Since those days many things have changed, but for fifty years at LCBC one thing remained the same--Harriet Pollard played the piano. when the old seed barn was torn down, and a new building took its place, Harriet played on. When pastors came and went, Harriet played on. When her dear friend and accompaniest on the organ, Helen Leigh, preceded her in death, Harriet played on. Even when severe arthritis made it difficult for her to get to the piano, let alone play, Harriet played on. I'm 53 years old, and Harriet was playing the piano for LCBC for most of the years of my life.

Lest we underestimate the significance of this, consider: "How rare is it for a person to serve in one particular manner in one place for that long?" I have no doubt that there were, in her life, many occasions when it would have been easier for her to quit. No doubt there were difficult relationships and musical disagreements and such. She once remarked to me, as she was struggling to get up the front steps, how she used to laugh at the old ladies who struggled to climb the steps into the church. Her health problems near the end of her life would have been reason enough to step down.

Her dedication to playing the piano was a reflection of her life. She faced many challenges in her life. She lived through the great Astoria fire, the great depression, and many wars. She faced many personal challenges as well. But she persevered by God's grace and kept that encouraging smile on her face through it all.

She loved music. God had given her a gift, and she loved to serve God with her gift. She was a good steward of that which God gave to her. 1 Cor. 4:2 says, "In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy." She was trustworthy, and served the Lord in countless ways in our church. She meant a lot to us. Her encouraging presence is interwoven through the history of LCBC. We were all better off in Christ because of knowing her. She will be sorely missed. But we rejoice that she is now with the Lord Jesus Christ and we look forward to the day when we will be reunited with her in heaven (1 Thess. 4:17)!

Pastor Jerry

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Harriet was the treasurer when I came to the church about 19 years ago. She had been doing the job for some time. She had been at the church through many a Pastor, and she had kept the books through some pretty difficult times. When I came the church was pretty small. The budget was small also. Our first month's budget was about $600.00. Out of that amount we had to pay for all the utilities and then pay the Pastor's salary. Obviously, there was not enough. I worked for a time to make ends meet. Harriet and I would get together at least once a month to figure out how we could take care of the bills. I looked forward to our visits. She would share stories about the past. I had many a visit with Harriet in those days. She was always an encouragement to me.

Pastor Jerry

Saturday, July 18, 2009


As a tribute to Harriet Pollard I intend to post on my blog some memories of Harriet over the next few days. She was an exceptional woman, and she was a blessing to so many of us. I wrote this post last year as we were preparing for LCBC's 50th anniversary. I called Harriet and talked to her about the circumstances by which our church was ultimately founded on this site. Harriet and Helen were both a part of that process...

"It was 50 years or so ago. Harriet Pollard remembers because her son who is now 52, was only about 2 when it happened. Harriet and Helen Seppa Leigh (now in heaven with Jesus) were on a walk. As they passed by the seed barn Helen said, "Can't you just see this as a church?" They went inside and looked around. Helen remarked, "The pulpit would go over here." And so the seed of a thought of a building for the newly formed church was planted.It was just an ordinary seed barn used to store the grass seed that was harvested from the nearby fields. It was dirty and unfinished. It hardly looked like a church! But Helen saw past the externals to what could be and what it would be. How often do we pass by what is "ordinary" without thinking about what could be or what should be? Ordinary lost people are much like seed barns. Dirty, unfinished, not much to look at. Paul said to a group of believers--"Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of God" (1 Corinthians 6:11).It is a good thing that God has looked upon us as Helen looked upon that old seed barn. He looked past what we were to what we could be and what we would be in Christ. He chose us, predestined us, adopted us, redeemed us, forgave us, enlightened us, enriched us, and sealed us--all that we might be holy and blameless before Him (Ephesians 1:1-14)."He took us as we were--dirty and ordinary in sin, and is now transforming us into a holy temple in the Lord (Ephesians 2:21). Thank God for His ability by His grace to transform ordinary lost sinners into saints and true worshippers!

I talked to John Pollard yesterday. He remembers the time after the church moved into the old seed barn. He was only about 5 or so, but every week Harriet would take the boys to church to clean up. They would clean the floors in preparation for the Sunday services. One can only imagine how needful that would have been! It was a duty that Harriet took on with the same faithful determination that was evident in all of the facets of her life.

Pastor Jerry

Friday, July 17, 2009


HOLINESS by J. C. Ryle

1. Read 1 Peter 3:18. What is the main thought of the verse? What are we being commanded to do?
2. Why is the question, "Do we grow?" of special importance in the present day?
3. To what is the author not referring to when he speaks of "growth in grace" (p.2; Col. 2:10)? To what is he referring?
4. Read the following verses: 2 Thess. 1:3; 1 Thess. 4:10; Col. 1:10; 2 Cor. 10:15; 1 Thess. 3:12; Eph. 4:15; Phil. 1:9; 1 Thess. 4:1; 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18. What do these verses have to say about the need for us to grow (p.2)?
5. What are five spiritual benefits of growth in grace (p. 3-4)?
6. What are the marks by which we can ascertain whether we are growing in grace or not (p.4-5)? What are some of the challenges associated with evaluating our own spiritual growth (Jer. 17:9; 2 Cor. 12:10; Heb. 4:12)?
7. How are we to resolve the tension between the truths that: 1) spiritual growth is by God’s grace, and 2) we are repeatedly commanded to apply ourselves to spiritual growth (p.6)?
8. What are the means of spiritual growth (p.6-8)?
9. What is included in the "private means of grace?" Why are these "private means" of utmost priority with regards to spiritual growth (p.6)?
10. What must we be careful to remember with regards to the use of the "public means of grace" (p.7)?
11. Why is watchfulness in the little matters of everyday life important (p.7)?
12. What caution must we observe about the company we keep and the friendships we form (p.7)?
13. How important is having a regular and habitual communion with the Lord Jesus (p.7-8)?
14. What advice does the author give to those who don’t apply themselves to the matter of spiritual growth (p.8)? To those who have reached a standstill in their spiritual growth (p.9)? To those who are growing but who are not aware of it (p.9-10)?

"Holiness" by J.C. Ryle: Chapter Six

Here's a link to the latest chapter for our Men's Bible study.

Pastor Jerry

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Today, July 16th, our beloved sister in Christ, Harriet Pollard, has left behind her earthly tent (2 Cor. 5:1), and has departed to be with the Lord ("which is very much better"--Phil. 1:23). Her encouraging presence has been a blessing to us all! Her example of faithful service through good times and bad is interwoven through the history of our church. She was here from the beginning of LCBC. I personally have been blessed by her in countless ways. We will miss her much.

I want to express my appreciation to all who have prayed for her, visited her, and comforted her through her final days. Your demonstration of Christlike love was precious to her and testified to the source from which it has come--our Lord Jesus Himself.

Her son, David, was at her side when she passed away early this morning. Pray for him, and his brothers and family, for Betty, and for all of us as we are saddened by her passing.

But we are abundantly thankful that she is now in a place of no more death, no more mourning, no more crying, or pain (Rev. 21:4). Indeed in the presence of our Lord she is now experiencing "all that God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Cor. 2:9). We will miss her, but eagerly anticipate the day when we "shall be caught up together" with her "in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air" (2 Thess. 4:17).

Pastor Jerry

Friday, July 10, 2009


This video shares some startling statistics regarding the growth of the Islamic population in Europe, Canada, and the US.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Fortune, fun, and fame--Michael Jackson seemingly had it all.

In the last 25 years, it is estimated that he made more than $700 million. His spending topped his income, by 1998 he was earning $11 million a year, but spending $31 million.

He had his own theme park, his 2500 acre Neverland ranch had a zoo, an amusement park, a movie theatre, and a minature train system. It cost him $5 million a year to staff and maintain.

He had fame. Boy did he have fame! The legendary "King of Pop" sold incredible numbers of recordings and videos. His 3 hour memorial service had just over 31.1 million viewers. Only Ronald Reagan and Princess Diana had more.

He seemingly had it all, but did he really? It is readily apparent that he was not a very happy man. The circumstances leading up to his death suggest a life filled with both disappointment and regret. In Michael Jackson's case the American Dream morphed into an American Nightmare.

Apparently the "King of Pop" discovered the same thing that another "King" learned centuries ago. King Solomon also experienced fortune, fun and fame. His own testimony was, "And all that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure..." (Eccl. 2:10). The wealthy King Solomon had incredible wealth, experienced varied and pleasurable pursuits, and had worldwide fame--but in those things he was not fulfilled. His testimony? "Vanity of vanities! All is vanity." (Eccl. 1:2). His conclusion? Life has no meaning apart from faith in God (Eccl. 12:13).

God has not designed us to be happy and fulfilled in life apart from relationship with Him (Eccl. 3:11). St. Augustine put it this way: "Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in Thee." Fortune, fun, and fame amount to nothing more than "broken cisterns which can hold no water" (Jer. 2:13). God offers instead, in Himself, the "fountain of living waters."

What does Michael's experience teach us? You can have all of the wealth and fame in the world, but if you don't have a relationship with God you don't have a thing. Jesus came that we, through faith in Him, "might have life, and might have it abundantly" (John 10:10). True contentment in Christ is possible regardless of one's circumstances (Phil. 4:12-13). How pertinent are Paul's instructions to Timothy: "Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed" (1 Tim. 6:17-19). Life indeed is something far better than mere fortune, fun, and fame.

Pastor Jerry

Monday, July 6, 2009


Harriet Pollard is 93 years old today. We were able to visit with her for a few minutes today. Jason Jones had taken some video of some folks from church who expressed their birthday greetings to her. She was delighted to see the videos. We also delivered some birthday cards that had been signed from members of the congregation. Soon after we arrived, her sons stopped by to visit. They've been spending much time with Harriet.

Harriet is a remarkable woman. She lived through the depression and a couple of World Wars. She remembers the great Astoria fire. Before her medical problems prevented her from attending, she faithfully attended LCBC and played the piano for fifty years. She played when her hands were so arthritic that it was difficult to play. But she didn't want to stop playing, she enjoyed it too much.

I remember back to when I first came to the church. There were few folks in attendance. And times had been pretty tough for the church. Harriet herself had seen a lot of Pastors come and go. She told me once that she had had a dream that the church was full of people and they were all smiling. I remember how we used to meet regularly--she was the treasurer--so that we could figure out how we could pay the bills with the limited funds the church had at the time.

She told me once that when she was a little girl she used to laugh to herself at the old women who struggled to make it up the steps to church. But then the same thing happened to her--but she wasn't angry about it, she thought it was funny.

She has suffered through many trials and troubles, having once nearly lost her life to medical problems--but she has never complained. She is a woman of tremendous character. Thank God for Harriet Pollard. We, her friends, have been blessed by her example of faithfulness in service to the Lord. Happy Birthday Harriet!

Pastor Jerry

Friday, July 3, 2009


"You deserve a break today."

"You deserve brighter eyes."

"The change you deserve."

"You deserve better."

"You deserve..."--Ad campaigns love that phrase. It speaks to where people are at, but the thought behind it is far removed from the truth. My how narcissitic we have become! What innate quality or virtue makes any of us deserving of all these things the advertisers offer? Why do I deserve a break today?

In his book, "Humility: True Greatness," C. J. Mahaney speaks of how he responds to the typical greeting, "How are you doing?" Instead of the typical response, "fine," he says, "Better than I deserve." That, of course, leads to a conversation about spiritual things, but it also speaks the truth--we are all doing better than we deserve.

What do we deserve? "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). "The wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23). We all came into this world as children of wrath and God would have been both fair and just in condemning us all to eternal damnation. That is what we deserved.

But God so loved the world that He gave HIs only begotten Son. He made Him who deserved no condemnation to take on the condemnation I deserved so that I might become the righteousness of God in Him (thus receiving that which I did not deserve).

His great love is displayed in His rich mercy and abundant grace. God's mercy is God not giving to us what we do deserve (condemnation). God's grace is God giving to us what we don't deserve (blessings we have received in Christ).

If you hear one of those "You deserve" advertisements, think instead of what you really did deserve and of what God has given to you instead in Christ. That's a better way to think about it.

Pastor Jerry

Thursday, July 2, 2009


J. C. Ryle on the centrality of the cross:

The cross is the foundation of a Church's prosperity. No Church will ever be honoured in which Christ crucified is not continually lifted up : nothing whatever can make up for the want of the cross. Without it all things may be done decently and in order; without it there may he splendid ceremonies, beautiful music, gorgeous churches, learned ministers, crowded communion tables, huge collections for the poor but without the cross no good will be done; dark hearts will not be enlightened, proud hearts will not be humbled, mourning hearts will not be comforted, fainting hearts will not be cheered. Sermons about the Catholic Church and an apostolic ministry,—sermons about baptism and the Lord's supper,—sermons about unity and schism,—sermons about fasts and communion,—sermons about fathers and saints,—such sermons will never make up for the absence of sermons about the cross of Christ. They may amuse some: they will feed none. A gorgeous banqueting room, and splendid gold plate on the table, will never make up to a hungry man for the want of food. Christ crucified is God's grand ordinance for good to men. Whenever a Church keeps back Christ crucified, or puts anything whatever in that foremost place which Christ crucified should always have, from that moment a Church ceases to be useful. Without Christ crucified in her pulpits, a Church is little better than a cumberer of the ground, a dead carcase, a well without water, a barren fig tree, a sleeping watchman, a silent trumpet, a dumb witness, an ambassador without terms of peace, a messenger without tidings, a lighthouse without fire, a stumbling-block to weak believers, a comfort to infidels, a hot-bed for formalism, a joy to the devil, and an offence to God.