Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Should we be "Seeker Friendly?"

I have become alarmed at the modern trend of the "seeker friendly" church. One quote I ran across recently went so far as to say "We should be a church that always exists more for the people who are not yet saved than for the people who are.” (Mark Driscoll). The person who said this is no doubt a well-intentioned and godly man who has a burden for the lost. But we must be careful at all times not to pull Scriptural truth out of balance.

The Church universal does not exist for Christians or non-Christians, but rather for God. Christ "gave himself for it." (Eph. 5:25). He desires that it be “a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (v. 27). Every mention of the church in Scripture refers to those who are saved. God gives differing gifts to each member of the church primarily for the “perfecting of the Saints.” (Eph. 4:12) People are only added to the church after they are saved. “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:47)

I would like to briefly discuss two dangers which I believe a seeker friendly church is exposed to. The first one is the temptation to water down the truth of Scripture. One prominent speaker (who I will not name) spends a lot of his time talking about the love of Christ. In a sense, this is great. There is perhaps no greater truth than the understanding that the God of the universe wants to have a personal, vibrant relationship with us his creation. But he gives sin and judgment only a passing glance.

It is impossible to fully understand and embrace the love of God without first understanding the judgment of God. Consider the following passage:

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23-24)

You can't truly appreciate verse 24 unless you understand the implications of verse 23. We need to make sure that we consistently share the truth in love that "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9). Once this truth is understood the message of God's love and forgiveness will be more fully appreciated, understood, and ultimately applied.

We must realize that it is not we who are responsible to save souls but the Spirit of God. While it is true that God gives us new and exciting ways to minister (i.e. film, multimedia etc.) we must realize that sharing the truth is more important than making someone comfortable. There really is nothing comforting about knowing that we are guilty sinners, but it is only through the understanding and admission of such that we have peace with God. Only "godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation” (2 Cor. 7:10)

The second danger is that those who are already believers will have difficulty growing in their faith because the line between being "seeker friendly" and "seeker focused" can be very thin. It is God's desire that we would progress from the "milk" of the word to “strong meat [which] belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Heb. 5:14). This will increase our ability to reach our world with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ!

In conclusion, although we are called to reach out to those who do not yet believe we must make sure that we do not neglect the truth. To do so is to forget the whole point of our outreach. We must realize that only as strong believers can the church maximize its impact in the world. It is also worth noting that in any area of life in which we wish to excel, the best way is to spend time with those who are at a more advanced stage than we are. The Christian life is no exception!

Andrew Gommesen

Monday, August 30, 2010

Pray, Pray, Pray!

Dear Friends,

I want to thank you for reading this blog. I know I haven’t written in awhile. I would like to say it is just because I have gotten busy but it is more related to discouragement. So rather than trying to expound some great truth, I simply want to ask for prayer. I feel like I’ve been though the ringer lately. I often wonder why God would allow me to go through so much, but perhaps the correct question should be “Why not?

I would ask that you would pray that I would continue steadfast with this blog and other aspects of this ministry. Please pray that God provide me with funds and/or a job to continue this ministry, as well as the perseverance to continue even in the absence of visible fruit.

Please also join me in praying for a helpmeet. I know she is out there somewhere. Pray that I will prepare adequately for this adventure! If you have input on any aspect of my ministry, please feel free to share it with me…

Lord willing my regular blogposts will continue next week.


Andrew Gommesen

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Man I Need to Be!

The Man I Need To Be
By Andrew Gommesen

I want to thank the Lord for the dad he gave to me,
The man God chose to show me the man I need to be.
My Dad he isn’t perfect, he never claimed to be,
But he set a good example for my siblings and for me.

My Father taught me many things to get me through this life,
How to raise a family, and how to love a wife.
But most of all he told me of the Man of Galilee,
Who is the best example of the man I need to be.

He loved the little children, treated women with respect,
And still today He’s faithful, never guilty of neglect.
He walked with purpose toward the cross, he face set like a flint,
Never did he waver, not a single hint.

Still today He prays for us at the Father’s hand,
His the only Merit by which we now can stand.
He gives us everything we need and a great deal beside,
There is great joy for those who in Him now abide.

My father’s learned a lot from this Man of Galilee,
And I’m so glad that with great care, he passed it on to me.
Because of his example, and the One Who died for me,
I know one day that I will be the man I need to be!



Saturday, May 08, 2010

Peter IV

“Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.” (John 19:41-42)

The next three days seemed to pass as slowly as the previous three years. The events of those years and the miracles I had witnessed ran though my mind in vivid color. I couldn’t believe that after all I’d seen—all Jesus had done for me—I had denied even knowing Him!

That Sunday morning, I was up early. I hadn’t been sleeping well. I asked forgiveness more times then I could count. I felt so hopeless and full of despair. I couldn’t shake the memory of those tender eyes looking into my soul.

Then Mary came with the news that was alive. John and I ran to the tomb to check it out. Sure enough, He wasn’t there, but I don’t think I believed he was alive until I saw him in the upper room. I can remember being both excited and fearful when I saw Him.

He put my fears to rest when he said “Peace be unto you.” Later, Jesus gave me the opportunity to affirm my love for him three times, the same number of times I had previously denied him. From that point on with the help of the Holy Spirit, I have preached the Gospel boldly. I still make mistakes, but our Lord is faithful.

I write to you from a dark jail cell. Tomorrow I will put off this earthly tent for the sake of the Gospel. Be encouraged, for our Master once said “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 10:39)

Keep Serving the Best of Masters,

Brother Peter
Andrew Gommesen

Monday, April 05, 2010

Peter Part III...

“Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16)

I will never forget that day. Jesus asked “Whom do men say that I am.” We talked about Elijah and the prophets. Then he said “What about you?” Jesus was good at that. He didn’t want us to focus on what others thought; He wanted us to focus on what we thought. What we do with Jesus is a decision we all need to make for ourselves. I answered that He was the Christ.

Life is full of high points and low points. I still wonder at how I could have gone from such a high point to having Jesus say to me “Get thee behind me Satan.” If only I had understood what was going to transpire in the next few days—or more importantly—why. Thanks be to God that I understand now and that Jesus was patient with me until I did!

Remember earlier when I talked about Jonah? Well, at one point Jesus said to the Pharisees “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” As we approached Jerusalem, we still didn’t understand all that that Passover week would hold.

The week started with Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. We as his disciples got excited at that. When he cast the money changers from the temple, it only added fuel to our fire! We enjoyed Passover together until Jesus started talk about leaving us again. He said things like “Where I go, you cannot come…But I will come again.” I told him I would go with him to death. He told me I would deny him three times.

It’s sad that I was so brash at super, because in the Garden—in my Master’s greatest hour of need—He repeatedly found me wiping sleep from my eyes. The events in that Garden passed in a blur. Judas’s betrayal, Jesus arrested, me cutting of Malchus’s ear, Jesus healing him.

I remember following behind Jesus with John to the court yard of the temple. What happened there I will never forget. Three questions—three answers—the tender eyes of my Master. Those things are stuck in my mind like they happened yesterday.

Then saith the damsel that kept the door Art not thou also one of this man's disciples? I am not.”
“Art not thou also one of his disciples? I am not.”
“Did not I see thee in the garden with him? No!”

After Jesus looked at me, I went out and wept bitterly. While He was beaten, I hid. While he died I wept and wept some more. All my hope was gone!

But Sunday was coming!...

To Be Continued…

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Peter...Part II

“And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.”(Luke 6:13-16)

Yes Jesus put together quite the group of fellows. Some I knew well, others I did not. We all had two things in common. We were all pretty average, not a stellar education among the lot. I often wondered what Jesus saw in us, but I guess that’s one of my favorite things about the Master. He looks at us on the basis of what we CAN be through Him rather then what we ARE.

No one is more thankful for this than I am. It seemed I was always saying something wrong. In those early days, I definitely leaned too far to my own understanding. Without the love and mercy of our Lord, I would be lost in more ways than one.

I just want to tell you about a few experiences I had with the Master. I could never run out of stories to share, but my time is short. I will soon see my Lord face to face once again!

I’ll never forget the day Jesus healed my mother-in-law. She was so feverish she couldn’t even lift her head off of the pillow. For someone as given to hospitality as she is, this was very difficult. As a matter of fact, Matthew recorded in his Gospel “And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.” She got up and cooked us a delicious meal! The food and the fact that she was able to cook it were both amazing!

One day we got in a boat and head to the other side of the lake while Jesus stayed behind to pray. A huge storm came up and we were very afraid. Jesus came to us on the water and said “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” I (ever the impulsive one) asked Jesus to let me come to him. He bid me come, so I did! Before I knew it, I was walking on the water! Then I looked down and started to sink. He grabbed my hand, pulled me to safety and once again challenged me with his words "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” The storm ceased, and we worshiped Him for we knew He was (and is) the Son of God!

To Be Continued…
Andrew Gommesen

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Peter...Part I

“One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.” (John 1:40-41)
My name is Simon son of Jonah. I never did quite figure out if we were related to God’s great prophet, but growing up I liked to think so. I never ceased to enjoy hearing my Father tell the story of how this man of God (whose name he shared) ran away from God and His plan, and God used a storm and a whale to bring him back to his senses. Interesting isn’t it, how one can find mercy even in the whales belly.

I don’t mean to ramble. I am getting to a point. As a young lad, I had no idea the impact this story would have on me—and all mankind. I was simply focused on becoming the best fishermen I could be so that I could take over the family business. I was bold and brash. I carried myself in a way that told everyone I was in control. Until one day, a Jewish Carpenter changed everything…

I remember the day I met Jesus like it was yesterday. I can still see Andrew running toward me, the sand on the Galilean shoreline leaving great clouds of dust in his wake “Simon,” he said breathlessly, “We have found the Messiah!”

What could I say to that? I didn’t want to dampen his enthusiasm, but we had been waiting for God’s Chosen One for centuries. How could he be so sure? I’ve always been the practical one in the family, so I followed Andrew. I had to see for myself.

Two things spring to mind about my early days with the Master. First, he knew me immediately. He said to me “Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas.” If you’ve read the Gospels, you know me as Peter. He called me a rock. Though that probably makes sense to you now, it didn’t to me at the time. I was just a simple fisherman trying to make a living.

That leads me to my second observation. One day when Jesus was preaching he asked to use my boat. I did, but I felt uncomfortable the whole time. Usually when meeting someone new it is a human tendency for us to put our best foot forward and hide our flaws. With Jesus, I instinctively knew this was impossible. One look in His eyes, and I knew he could tell me more about me than even I knew—and that was bad enough.

He knew about the argument I had with my wife that morning…
He knew the pride in my heart…
He even knew my inner thoughts which often strayed to things unspeakable
He knew everything about me!

Perhaps that’s why I momentarily resisted Jesus’ call to follow Him! I’ll never forget the miracle catch of fish that day or my words to the Master “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Far more significant, were Jesus words to me “Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.” Little did I know where those words would lead me…

To Be Continued…
Andrew Gommesen

Saturday, March 13, 2010


“Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him:…” (Psalm 37:7)

I really don’t like waiting. Even when I seek after patience I want it now. Whether it’s in my ministry or other aspects of my life, it is a very difficult discipline to master. It is good to know though that we are not alone in this struggle.
The main Scriptural example that springs to mind for me at this point in time is that of the disciples of our Lord.
• As Jews, they were waiting for the Messiah. I can almost feel Andrew’s excitement as he said to Peter “We have found the Messiah,” (John 1:41)
• As his followers they were waiting for his kingdom. Unfortunately, they (not unlike us) sometimes missed the point “Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.” (Luke 9:46)
• After Jesus died, the three days before his resurrection had to be the longest of their lives. They must have been overjoyed to see Jesus! “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” (John 20:19)
• They waited for the Holy Spirit. “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.” (Acts 1:4)
All their waiting makes me feel better about the things I’m waiting for. Oh, I’m still excited about the future (and some things I’m waiting for have me on pins and needles), but I know that God has things under control. And think of this. The most exciting thing of all is that Jesus is coming back! “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13)

Jesus is quickly coming;
’Twill not be very long
Ere we shall hail our Bridegroom
With all the bright, angelic throng.
Coming, coming, Coming again for me;
Soon I shall see my Savior, Like Him I then shall be.
--Thoro Harris

Andrew Gommesen

Monday, March 08, 2010

Spring is just around the corner!

"No man need stay the way he is."
Harry Emerson Fosdick

Every year it happens. I always hope it doesn’t, but every year without fail it does. Somewhere around early November (give or take a few weeks, I live Michigan after all) the first winds of winter begin to blow across the Great Lakes and straight into my bones. I do my best to deny it, but it does no good. Soon winter is here with all its fury. Snow covers everything, and you wonder (if only for brief moment) whether God will ever turn up the thermostat again.

I know I should be grateful for all things, but for a guy who has never found a running shoe to his liking and couldn’t do a jumping jack to save his life, (not to mention driving down a busy street in the street because he almost got stuck on the sidewalk) winter can be a challenge! I enjoy hot chocolate, candy corn, (not mint or chocolate) and Christmas or New Years gatherings with family and friends. For the most part though, the best part of winter is that spring is around the corner!

Isn’t that a great promise? Spring follows winter every time. Go ahead, think back, you won’t be able to remember a single time when this didn’t happen. Why? Because God is faithful! The same God who said to Thomas, “Be not faithless, but believing” says to you today “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24)

Consider also these words “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 No matter what struggles you are facing God is faithful! Believe me I know struggles. Some days wheelchairs are a pain, and cold feet that don’t work are well…cold feet that don’t work. 

On days like that, I try to remember that that spring is right around the corner—not just in this life, but also in the next! “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21:1, 4)
Friends, I’m in a win-win situation. No matter where I am, spring is right around the corner! Someday I’ll throw my wheelchair away and be ready to run! My running shoes are on order. Will you be there when I try them on? I hope so. I’m going to need some competition!

Let us then be true and faithful,
Trusting, serving every day;
Just one glimpse of Him in glory
Will the toils of life repay.

When we all get to Heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We’ll sing and shout the victory!

Onward to the prize before us!
Soon His beauty we’ll behold;
Soon the pearly gates will open;
We shall tread the streets of gold.
--Eliza Hewitt
Andrew Gommesen

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Grace and Mercy

“Jonathan son of Saul had a son who was lame in both feet…His name was Mephibosheth.” (2 Samuel 4:4)

Mephibosheth…The name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue does it? Last time I checked, it has never made the top ten baby names. I’ve had friends half-jokingly suggest they would give that name to their son, but I have yet to meet someone who followed through.

Perhaps it is because the name itself is strange. I mean how many people have first names that have four syllables and seem to contain the whole alphabet? It’s a good thing they didn’t have last names in bible times or they would have run out of parchment for the birth certificate! Yet for all of it’s peculiarity that name (and the story God laid out about the man who wore it) proclaim loudly two things every believer receives freely and would be lost without—the grace and mercy of God.

I would encourage you to read the story for yourself but let me just give you a brief synopsis. Jonathon and David were best friends, despite the fact that God had removed his blessing from Saul’s royal line. David would be king. Saul was very angry and tried to kill David because logically Jonathon should be the next king.

Jonathon feared God and accepted His Will. Jonathon and David made an oath before God that they would care for each others families no matter what happened. When Jonathon died, David set out to keep His promise. “And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet.” (2 Samuel 9:3)

That son was Mephibosheth. As he was brought before the king, Mephibosheth had at least two strikes against him. First he was lame in both feet. In that day, the lame could do little more then beg. Second, as a relative of Saul, David would have been justified (at least culturally) in killing him. The exchange that follows shows that Mephibosheth was all too aware of this. It is a wonderful picture grace and mercy.

“And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?” (2 Samuel 9:7-8)

David could have killed him, yet he spared his life and gave him all the land of his grandfather. No only that, but since he was lame, David sent his servants to take care of the land! Amazing! Not only did he spare him from what he did deserve, he also gave him what he didn’t deserve!

Jesus offers us an ever greater gift—eternal life when we deserve death. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) We are all sinners. After all, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) In some ways this should be enough, but it’s only the beginning of the blessings God offers us.

He also:
• Calls us His sons and daughters (John 1:12)
• Gives us an advocate (I John 2:1-2)
• Gives us richly all things to enjoy (2 Timothy 6:17)
• Wants an intimate relationship with each of us! (Revelation 3:20)

As I close I just want to encourage you! God loves you. He has a place for you at his table, so if you haven’t come to Him yet, make today the day! If you have, spend time with Him! When we think of all He has done for us, how can we do any less?

“No one knew how alone I was feeling,
And the emptiness I tried so hard to hide.
Though I laugh and said my life was fine without you.
I was covering up the secret tears I cried.
Then one day someone told me of your mercies,
And the love you showed on a Hill called Calvary.
There you died and purchased my redemption,
When you broke in spite and set my spirit free.

I'm amazed that you love me I'm amazed how you care
Through Your precious blood I've found pardon
And my sins are washed they're all washed away
All my sins are washed away

Yes there've been days when I've failed you.
Lord you know the many times I've gone astray.
Lord I've learned your love is stronger than my weakness,
And your ear is open every time I pray.
No one else has ever cared for me like you Lord.
Other friends could never be as close to me.
I'm not afraid to face the problems of tomorrow,
Knowing you are everything I'll ever need.

I'm amazed that you love me I'm amazed how you care
Through your precious blood I've found pardon
And my sins are washed they're all washed away
All my sins are washed away

I'm amazed that you love me I'm amazed how you care
Through your precious blood I've found pardon
And my sins are washed they're all washed away
All my sins are washed away

I'm amazed that you love me I'm amazed how you care
Through your precious blood I've found pardon
And my sins are washed they're all washed away
All my sins are washed away”

—Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir


Andrew Gommesen

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Love of God!

"The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us; just as the roof of a sunhouse does not attract the sun because it is bright, but becomes bright because the son shines on it." C.S. Lewis

Tomorrow is Valentines Day! I hope that each of us will take the time to express thanks to God for the people that we love. GOD has been so good to us! He knows how to give good gifts! This is especially evident when we consider that we are not even worthy of our next breath

“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.” (Lamentations 3:21-25)

Be encouraged friend! God has given us so much! We deserved death, he gave us life. We deserved Judgment and damnation. He gave us life and took our Judgment upon himself! “For he hath 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)

As if that were not enough, God gave us many earthly blessings. One of the greatest gifts he ever gave to men is women. They are precious and we as men (whether married or single) have a duty to protect and defend them. Remember that a godly woman has a price that is far above rubies (Proverbs 31:1) For those who are married, love your wives as Christ loved the church. Give yourself for her on a daily basis. If you are not married, take seriously this time God has given you to prepare!

Ladies, be patient with us. We are not perfect. We realize that we have a long way to go, but we also know that we are works in progress! The good news is that HE is faithful to complete his work! (Philippians 1:6)

“Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.” Martin Luther

Andrew Gommesen

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Once and For All!

"Knowing that Christ being raised
from the dead dieth no more;
death hath no more dominion over him.
For in that he died, he died unto sin once:
but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God."
(Romans 6:9-10)
It's here...Superbowl weekend!! The single biggest weekend in American Sport. Well, at least one of the biggest (I'm not an expert, and I don't play one on TV), but it's pretty big.
  • Sports radio hosts have been at the site of the big event for the past two weeks talking it up.
  • Commercials during the game fetch multi-million dollars even for 30 second spots. (which begs the question "Why are they most of them so stupid?)
  • The whole world watches, and the day after the Super Bowl is one of the biggest "sick days" in the calender year.

Yet for all of the hoopla and fanfare (especially among the fans in the cities represented) the excitement and sense of accomplishment is fleeting. Before the fireworks burn out, and the confetti drops the question on everyone's lips for the winners is "Can you repeat." Sometimes it's even asked during the trophy presentation! All that hard work, and all anyone really cares about is what you can do next!

I am so glad it's not that way with God! When Jesus died on that cruel cross and uttered those glorious words "It is finished," it really was! No one need ask, "Can you repeat." It's done. The Resurrection was God's stamp of approval on the redemption process. He died once for all!

"But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. " (Hebrews 9:11-12)

Rejoice today! Gods gift of Salvation is secure for all time. No one can take it away. So let's rest in him, serve him out of love, and share him with others. Unlike many gifts, there is plenty to go around!

"Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!"

Charitie de Cheney Lees Smith Bancroft 1841-1923


Andrew Gommesen

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Preach Always!

"Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words."
Francis of Assisi

I am a preacher of the Gospel. It's what I was born to do. I love to share the Words of eternal life! The obvious reason is:
"How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Romans 10:14-15)

I have been thinking a lot about preaching in these first few months of my formal ministry. It's easy to think about preaching simply in the terms outlined in the passage above. After all, what could be a greater thrill than standing before a crowd and boldly testifying of God's grace? I can tell you nothing gives me a greater thrill!
Last night however, something struck me afresh. We are all to preach the Gospel. Not only that, but some of the most powerful sermons are not preached anywhere near a pulpit.

Consider the following examples:

  • The homeschool mom who in addition to teaching English, reading, and math, preaches love and compassion to her little boy as she wipes his tears and bandages his scraped knee.
  • The loving granddaughter who waits with her grandfather in the hospital waiting room and joyfully listens to his stories. She keeps his mind (at least somewhat) off grandma's surgery. She gives him one of her most precious resources--her time.
  • The Dad who works hard all week then comes home and takes his girls to an all-day rabbit show, so that his wife can fly across the country to care for her granddaughter--and the grandmother who takes great delight in simply holding her sleeping granddaughter.

I am a preacher so I certainly don't want to take away from any who have been called to this work. In fact, I encourage you to do it with all your might! But we would do well to remember that while some may fall asleep during our sermons (I've had it happen to me, and I must admit, I've done it to others) those we know and love would be hard-pressed to forget the sermons of "love in action" we can all preach daily!

"Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works." (James 4:17-18)

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and preach! Your "congregation" is waiting!

"The preaching that this world needs most is the sermons in shoes that are walking with Jesus Christ."

D.L. Moody



Saturday, January 23, 2010

50,000,000...a big number!

50,000,000 is big number. Consider the following facts:
  • 50,000,000 days =137,000 years
  • 50,000,000 feet=9,450 miles
  • 50,000,000 people=roughly 5 times the population of Michigan (10,045,697)
  • 50,000,000=the number of babies aborted since January 22, 1973 when Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in all fifty states, at any time, for any reason!

For the last 37 years we've been killing our future! Who knows how much good all these babies could be doing today? How many expert lawyers, genius doctors, or other revolutionary minds has our society forfeited benefiting from because they didn't have a choice to live? We'll never know...

I know that this a broad issue and I won't try to touch on everything, but I want to talk for a moment on when a baby becomes a baby. Some people try to make the argument that a baby becomes a baby when (or shortly before) the baby is born.

The next question becomes what does "shortly" mean? Is it at 8 months? Seven? Well, I was born at six months along and I was "100%" baby!

The Bible says:

"Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee." (Jeremiah 1:5)

"I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." (Psalm 139:14)

God ordained life, and we should support life and be willing reach out to women in crises and to share life affirming solutions. For more info go to

"Abraham Lincoln recognized that we could not survive as a free land when some men could decide that others were not fit to be free and should therefore be slaves. Likewise, we cannot survive as a free nation when some men decide that others are not fit to live and should be abandoned to abortion or infanticide."
~ Ronald Reagan – Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation ~


Andrew Gommesen

Saturday, January 16, 2010

God's Man

"And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour." Judges 6:12

What comes to mind when you read these words? Maybe you picture a big burly man armed to the teeth and dressed for battle. He is the oldest in his family and his family is part of the society elite. He is chomping at the bit to undertake whatever it is God may ask. Sounds good, doesn't it? I mean that's the kind of man to whom I would give the above comendation.

A closer look at the passage paints quite a differant picture "And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites." Judges 6:12

This is the story of Gideon. He was in Israel at the time of the Judges. He was hiding in a winepress thrashing wheat so the enemy would not see him and take it--or his life. He knew he wasn't much. "And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house." (v. 15)

God had other plans. He said "Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man." (v. 16) What a promise! To sum up the rest of the story, Gideon and his 300 men defeated the powerful Midionite Army by the hand of the Lord!

This story gives me hope. I am grateful that God looks past what we are to what we can be if we trust Him. When God called Gideon a mighty man a valor, he was anything but. God knew his potential and commended him on that basis.

I am nothing special. I've spent most of my live in a wheelchair. I've never run the mile or bench pressed anything. I'll probably never be rich or famous and beyond my family and friends I won't be remembered after my death. But I cling to the truth of the following passages:

"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." (John 15:5)

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13)

I may never do anything the world considers noteworthy, but if I can love and serve The Lord Jesus Christ and raise a family to do the same, I will be a "mighty man of valor" in God's eyes.

~~God is not looking for brilliant men, is not depending upon eloquent men, is not shut up to the use of talented men in sending His gospel out in the world. God is looking for broken men who have judged themselves in the light of the cross of Christ. When He wants anything done, He takes up men who have come to the end of themselves, whose confidence is not in themselves, but in God. ~~H. A. Ironside


Andrew Gommesen