I am older than dirt and things have changed quite a bit since I was a kid.  Back then we didn’t have BFF’s.  At least that wasn’t what we called them.  We had best friends or besties.  These friendships often changed over time as we grew older. As we progressed in school our classmates changed and we developed new friendships along with the old.

A very few of these friends we wanted to be even closer to us.  We wanted to bind our relationships together.  We wanted the other person to understand that this particular friendship was going to last forever.  We were sure that this person was closer to us than anyone in our own family.  So we made a pact.  We promised one another to be best friends forever (BFF’s) and then we sealed the deal.  We became blood brothers.  (Even if we were becoming sisters.)  This wasn’t just a phrase we used.  We cut our hands or wrists and pressed them together!  In our 12 year old world this was one of the most serious commitments of our lives. 

In the adult world this is known as a blood covenant.  In ancient times animals were usually used to “cut” the deal.  They were literally cut into halves.  People would walk between the halves or stand between them to swear their oaths.  Part of their oath would include words to indicate that if they broke their promise, they would die.  These oaths were taken between individuals as well as larger groups.  A blood covenant was the most serious commitment possible. 

Pastor Ann is going to speak with us about blood covenants with God this Sunday. Think for a moment about how serious a promise like this would be.

We are excited to be moving indoors again.  We will be having 2 services.  The 9:00 a.m. service still has seating available, but we are nearing capacity for the 10:40 service.  If you would like to visit us, please consider the earlier service time.  We are asking everyone to wear masks and maintain social distancing.  We will be livestreaming the 10:40 at 11:00 a.m. on Facebook as well as posting it later in the day on YouTube, just in case you are not ready for re-entry into society yet.

We look forward to connecting with you soon.  If you have any questions or comments, please reach out via phone, Facebook or on our website and we will do our best to respond quickly!


“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” —Psalm 139:23

A couple of years ago, I was using the library at the Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City. I had spent a great deal of time there as a grad student and was fairly familiar with the area. After I had finished my research, I got into my car, told my GPS my next location, and headed on my way to MidAmerica Nazarene University. I drove carefree as I loudly sang, enjoyed the scenery, and continually pushed aside this little feeling that kept creeping up telling me I was going the wrong direction. Whether it was my distracted thoughts or the overly-trusting part of me that never argued with the little GPS voice, I don’t know; I simply kept driving.

As I drove, I passed by sights like Worlds of Fun, and I still remember thinking to myself, “Wow! I didn’t realize this place was so close to Olathe!” At this point, if you are familiar with the Kansas City area, you know that I am driving in the absolute wrong direction.

After I had been driving for about 25 minutes, I heard the familiar voice of my GPS informing me I would arrive at MNU in less than five minutes. Five minutes later, I learned the fun fact that MNU has a campus in Liberty, Missouri. I had inadvertently driven 40 miles in the opposite direction from where I was trying to go. I laughed about it then, and I still laugh about it now.

However, more than being just another experience that reconfirms the fact that I am horrendous with directions, it has also become one of my favorite Holy Spirit teaching moments in my life. You see, as I listened to the GPS with every turn, I followed mindlessly and lacked intention. I aimlessly traveled and was shocked when I ended up in a place that was far from my original goal. What did I expect would happen?

The same is true with our lives. When we are distracted and listen to whichever voice is currently the loudest, we arrive at places in life we never intended. The psalmist’s cry to have God search every part of his being is a cry that is dripping with intention. This cry reveals a person who desires such closeness with the Father and who knows this only occurs in a relationship marked with intentionality and humility.

I wonder if there is an area in your current reality that is characterized by complacency.

If there is, what would it look like to cry out to the Father, to the One who delighted in you as you were being formed in the womb, and ask Him to bring new awareness and growth to your life?

Prayer for the week: Father, You know every detail of Your children’s lives. Would You search us and transform us so that we can grow closer to You and be the people You’ve called us to be.

Sarah Fredricks is Associate Pastor at Living Hope Church of the Nazarene in Olathe, Kansas, USA.

Written for Coffee Break.


The purpose of Pentecost

by Board of General Superintendents | 29 May 2020 Image

BGS pentecost letter

We have been on a journey from Easter to Pentecost. The first Pentecost following the resurrection and ascension of Jesus is the birthday of the church. The events of that day are vividly described in Acts chapter 2 and reveal the purpose of Pentecost through the powerful images of wind, fire, and tongues.

Wind is descriptive of power. Fire is descriptive of purity. However, it was not power for the sake of power or purity for the sake of purity—it was power and purity given to do something. That purpose is revealed in the image of tongues: “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability” (Acts 2:4).

The last words Jesus said to His first disciples are known as the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you”  (Matthew 28:19-20). Yet, how were they going to do that? They did not have the power, courage, or passion for that assignment. They needed something they did not have to fulfill the missionary mandate given by Jesus: they needed a gift. Therefore, Jesus gave them this promise: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

It is interesting that in all three of these Pentecost images, there is a reference to speaking or hearing. They “heard” the sound. They were given the gift of language to proclaim. Even the flames of fire looked like tongues. This is no accident. The Church was born to give witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit gives the Church a voice to share the gospel to every generation, even to the ends of the earth. 

God does not pour out His Spirit to make us a holy huddle—God moves on His Church to make us a mighty army. Pentecost gives us the passion to care, the power to speak, and the boldness to move out. Pentecost is what purifies us, sets our hearts on fire, and enables us to communicate the unquenchable love of God and the restoration of all things through Jesus, who is making all things new. 

Not even a global pandemic can prevent the purpose of Pentecost from being fulfilled. Let us be a church on mission, empowered by the promise of the Father, purified by the sanctifying Spirit, and boldly proclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord. 

–Board of General Superintendents

To view a video devotional of this message, click here.


Today is the 48th day that we have been counting the omer.

God called to the children of Israel at Mt Sinai saying, “I will take you as my people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am Yehovah your God, who freed you from the forced labor of the Egyptians.” (Exodus 6:7 CJB) Many years later, Jeremiah prophesied that Yehovah would someday put His Torah (instructions) within the people and write it on their hearts. Again Yehovah said, “I will be their God and they will be My people.”

The first covenant was made between God and the children of Israel at Mt Sinai. Unfortunately, the children of Israel did not remain faithful to the covenant. The fault was not with the covenant but with the people. According to the footnotes in my Complete Jewish Study Bible, “the only ‘fault’ in the first covenant, if one should even call it that, is that it does not contain in itself the power to keep the people faithful.” (p 1739)

Yehovah was looking forward in time to the Shavuot following Jesus’ ascension when He would pour out His Spirit upon all mankind who would love Him, and He would put His “Torah in their minds and write it on their hearts, and I will be their God and they will be My people.” (Jeremiah 31:33 & Hebrews 8:10) Then the prophet Joel, quoting Yehovah proclaimed, “I will pour out my Spirit on all humanity” (Joel 2:28). Peter quoted this same portion in Acts 2:17 on the Day of Pentecost/Shavuot.

God pours out His Spirit on Shavuot in part to provide the power the people need to remain faithful. If the children of Israel could be drawn away very quickly in a time when life was much less complicated, how much more do we need His Holy Spirit to be on the thrones of our hearts in these times of technological advances that allow each of us to carry in the palms of our hands computers called ‘smart phones’, giving us access to everything in the world and viewing anything we desire with one tap on “go”? John was not wrong. We are like the Israelites and are drawn away from God by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. (1 John 2:16). Therefore it is imperative that we ask the Father to send His Holy Spirit, not only to cover us but also to reign in us, teaching and empowering us to be His people so that we may continually live according to His commands.

I encourage us all to eagerly implore Yehovah to pour out His Spirit once again and baptize us as He did on the Day of Pentecost almost 2000 years ago!

Pastor Ann

May 29, 2020


Today is the 45th day that we have been counting the omer.

God fed the children of Israel for more than forty years during their trip from Egypt to the Promised Land. In Deuteronomy 8:3, Moses said, “He humbled you, allowing you to become hungry, and then fed you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to make you understand that a person does not live on food alone but on everything that comes from the mouth of Yehovah.” (CJB) God allowed the people to come to the place that they were not able to provide for themselves. They could not figure out a way to provide the food needed to keep themselves alive. It was at that point that God did something for them that they could not do for themselves. He provided manna.

Do you remember the story of Jesus being tempted after His baptism? Jesus had fasted for forty days. He had to be very hungry! It was then that Satan came and tempted Him, telling Him that if He really was the Son of God, He could turn the stones into bread. Jesus replied, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of Yehovah.” (Matthew 4:4)

Although the trend in our world today is that the government will provide for us, traditionally, we have been taught that we can only rely upon ourselves. If we refuse to acknowledge that God is the One who provides, we will ultimately end up worshiping ourselves or the government instead of God. If we choose to use our own abilities to provide, we should not be surprised if God humbles us as He did Israel.

Our challenge today is to depend upon Him at the deepest level of our lives. Those deep levels are where we develop intimacy with Him, as we chew and meditate upon His word. The closer we draw to Him, the more our lives are filled with His Presence, and we realize that everything we need in all aspects of life comes from Him.

What do you need today? What are you hungry for? God wants to provide for you what you cannot provide for yourself. The more you know Him, the more you want Him and the more you will receive from Him.

Pastor Ann

May 26, 2020