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Office desk

From Mike’s Desk

What’s Westside doing during the pandemic? That is a good question! Here’s just a few things. (1). Our shepherds put a great deal of thought and prayer on how to best respond as a congregation to the threat of COVID-19 virus. There has been, and continues to be, a tremendous concern on their part for God and His word, for complying with the laws of the land and for the safety of every member of the Westside church. Just as…
Man reaching for a heart to woman.

The God Who Lifts

“Humbly yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:10) There are times all of us need a lift. We all get discouraged, and sometimes we even get depressed. When our hearts have become heavy, like anchors weighing us down and drowning us in a sea of struggles, how thankful we should be for the God who lifts! The psalmist declared, “I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up” (Psa.…
Happy couple surfing on tablet

Don’t Overlook These Opportunities!

What a difference a week can make! There is a fight going on against a new disease spreading through our country, but the old tactics of the devil are still very much at work. Here are a few thoughts that are running through my mind: 1. This is an opportunity to grow closer to God. As the economy takes one hit after another, schools close, restaurants and grocery stores are in a different condition than we have ever seen them,…

The Beauty of Forgiveness 

What a message we’re privileged to proclaim as Christians. God has the power to take away sin (John 1:29). He can remove guilt and cleanse our consciences (Rom. 8:33-34; Heb. 9:14; 10:22). Jesus the “Great Physician” can provide true healing for those who hurt. Surely these are truths we must believe, humbly and lovingly apply, and tell to the whole world!  The Old Testament often beautifully depicts the vividness and power of forgiveness ultimately made possible in Jesus. Consider the…

The Apostles’ Prayers

Consider two prayers that are offered by the apostles of Jesus in the book of Acts and what each has to say about their confidence in God. All prayers of Scripture are worthy of our study and are worthy of our imitation, let’s examine briefly these two prayers.  Acts 1:24-25 – God who knows all hearts.  Judas has betrayed Jesus and the Lord was crucified according to heaven’s plan. The eleven, being gathered together in Jerusalem according to the instructions…

Before Hitting Send 

Tweets, texts, emails, etc. – the amazing thing about social media is that it is so social. At some point, we’ve all probably sent emails and texts to people we never intended. In those messages, there may have been something they considered inappropriate or hurtful. There are others who seem to delight in using social media as an opportunity to blast, bash and tear down others. The blessing of being able to communicate with so many through social media can…
Heart in the hand

Living Out the Great Commandment

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31). Outside of the Lord Himself, perhaps no one exhibited the balance involved in the great commandment more than the apostle Paul. Truly loving God with our all and loving neighbor as self are so…

What Could Happen If . . .?

I guess we’ve all had “close calls” in life. Certainly, David did, and Psalm 124 is a thoughtful meditation full of praise to God for seeing him through them. Psalm 124 could well be called, “A Power Psalm” or “Omnipotence as Our Guardian” because it beautifully focuses on the truth of Romans 8:31, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” There are very troubling occasions in life when we may share the view of Jacob in Genesis…
Holiday gift Valentine's Day. Concept of Love,Happiness ,Romance

Long-Suffering Love 

If you want to know something about love from God’s perspective, read the entirety of Scripture and it flows from every page. In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul gives 15 present-tense verbs that describe for us who love is and is not to behave itself. The foundation of the word ‘agape’ as used throughout this chapter is sacrifice. It is doing what is right and best for others before myself. How important is this? John says, “He who does not love…
wedding bouquet

Through The Years – Thoughts on Marriage

As I write these words, it’s our wedding anniversary. A few years ago (actually, it’s a little more than a few), our gracious God blessed me with the greatest treasure He’s given me outside of Jesus and the salvation to be found in Him. He blessed me with my wife and best friend. I cannot begin to count the innumerable ways her godliness, grace, and thoughtfulness have blessed my life.  Through the years, one of the things I’ve learned is…

The Parable of the Frustrated Parents

Once upon a time, there was a Dad and a Mom who had two children, ages 2 and 5. Those children were loved – but they were a handful! They got up early and stayed up late. They loved to jump on their beds and on the couch. They fussed a lot when they didn’t get their way. And they couldn’t remember to obey what they were told from one moment to the next. At night you could find Dad…

Joy Beyond Measure

We must never lose sight of the joy that is to be ours as the people of God. While Satan and his forces will do everything in their power to rob us of the joy of being in Christ, God’s word gives us a number of remarkable assurances that should ever lift us up when we are down and out. Christians have—  THE JOY OF SALVATION. As we trust and obey God, we do not have to lose the joy…