Victory over Worry

Do we trust God, or do we worry and fill our life with anxiety?

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus shares with us how we are to handle life’s issues. “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25 NLT). Jesus is talking about being preoccupied with the material possessions of life, being so wrapped up in securing things that we become anxious, disturbed, and sleepless. When we become overly concerned and entangled with the affairs of this world, we forget eternity. Material things can only make a person comfortable, look good, taste good, and feel good, but this is all they can do. They are external.

Worry reveals many things about a person. It shows a faulty understanding of God. It indicates you don’t fully trust God’s promises. And unfortunately, it reveals your circumstances may master you. The need you sense within is not to be externally comfortable but inwardly and spiritually satisfied! Jesus described the discipline for victory over worry and anxiety, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need”(Matthew 6:33 NLT).

The apostle Paul blesses us with practical application to overcome anxiety and worry, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 ESV).

Generosity Miracle

The first person to reach the status of a billionaire was a man who knew how to set goals. He tailored every decision he made, attitude, and relationship to create his power and wealth. At the age of 23, he had become a millionaire and, by age 50, a billionaire. But three years later, at 53, he became ill. His entire body became racked with pain, and he lost all of his hair. In complete agony, the world’s only billionaire could buy anything he wanted, but he could only digest milk and crackers. An associate wrote, “He could not sleep, would not smile, and nothing in life meant anything to him.” His personal, highly skilled physicians predicted he would die within a year.

The year passed agonizingly slow. As he approached death, he awoke one morning with vague remembrances of a dream but knew it had to do with not being able to take any of his successes with him into the next world. The man who could control the business world suddenly realized he was not in control of his own life. He called for his attorneys, accountants, and managers and announced that he wanted to channel his assets to hospitals, research, and Christian missionary work. 

On that day, John D. Rockefeller established his foundation. The list of findings resulting from his newfound charitable focus is striking. His new direction eventually led to the discovery of penicillin, cures for current strains of malaria, tuberculosis, and diphtheria. Perhaps the most fantastic part of Rockefeller’s story is when he began to give back a portion of all he had earned; his body began to heal! He was told he would die at the age of 53, but when he started the quest of generosity, he lived a long life of 98.

Rockefeller learned and experienced the blessing and miracle-working biblical principle, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” (Malachi is 3:10-12 NLT).

Obedience to God leads to biblical blessings!


Dr. Steven M. Lennertz


Eagle Ridge Church

Responding To Critical Events

What happened yesterday at the Capitol building in Washington DC demonstrates the malady of the divisiveness and of the brokenness witnessed in our Nation for sometime. The unfortunate death and injury in the Capitol is a tragedy. For ten months the world has watched our cities torched, businesses ruined, lives devastated, and a never-ending slow-the-curve pandemic reek havoc on society.

We’ve listened to pundits, politicians, and pastors express passionate pleas to their cause and narratives. The political parties chime-in, all while within their ranks, division and chaos are brewing. Adding to all this is the news media and social media spewing assumptions and disinformation, perpetuating uncertainty and civil unrest.

Emotions are running high right now. Whether you feel cheated out of an election or feel an unequable reaction concerning race and racism, it’s essential to know; God is a God of justice. Jesus demonstrated this to us at the beginning of His ministry . . . preach good news, proclaim freedom, deliver the oppressed (Luke 4:17-22). It is right to speak against injustices—most effective through the lens of Scripture and modeling godliness. So, what do we do, and where do we go from here? First, stop and pause. Don’t give your opinion about everything right away! Pause, pray, take a breath, pause again, pray, reflect, research, and wait until you have reasonable facts (this may take some time and may never happen at all). 

Look what Solomon, the wisest man in the world, had to say, “He who answers a matter before he hears the facts—it is folly and shame to him” (Proverbs 18:13). Acquire the needed facts, ask the Lord how He can use you to bring about healing and encouragement. Dr. John Maxwell said, “When there is a fire (problem), a leader has two buckets, one with water and one with gasoline. Your actions can extinguish the fire, or make it a bigger problem.”

The media shouldn’t dictate and drive a narrative for us to embrace, and it certainly shouldn’t convince us of our conclusions. Unless, of course, the decision is to shut it off! Our attitude, philosophy, and narrative must derive from the Word of God. The apostle Paul stated the purpose and what we should do as we approach our world:

14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:14-21 ESV)

The answer to “where do we go from here?” is the ministry and message of reconciliation. The Gospel—Good News of Jesus is what our world needs so desperately right now. Pray constantly for the offending and offender to experience the message of reconciliation.

God is in Control.

Dr. Steven M. Lennertz

Founder/PastorEagle Ridge Church

The Faithfulness of a Dog

In 1858, a man named John Gray was buried in old Greyfriars Churchyard, Edinburgh, Scotland. His grave leveled by the hand of time, and unmarked by any stone, became scarcely discernible; although no human interest seemed to attach to it, the sacred spot was not disregarded and forgotten.
For fourteen years, the dead man’s faithful dog kept constant watch and guarded the grave until his own death in 1872. James Brown, the old curator of the burial ground, remembers Gray’s funeral, and the dog, a Skye terrier called “Bobby”, was, he says, one of the most conspicuous of the mourners. The grave was closed in as usual, and next morning “Bobby”, was found, lying on the newly-made mound.
This was something which old James could not permit. There was an order at the gate stating in the most intelligible characters that dogs were not admitted. “Bobby” was accordingly driven out, but next morning he was there again and was discharged for the second time.
The third morning was cold and wet, and when the old man saw the faithful animal, despite all chastisement, still lying shivering on the grave, he took pity on him, and gave him some food. This recognition of his devotion gave “Bobby” the right to make the churchyard his home, and from that time until his own death he never spent a night away from his master’s tomb.
Often in bad weather, attempts were made to keep him inside the chapel, but by dismal howls, he succeeded in making it known that this interference was not agreeable to him, and he was always allowed to have his way. At almost any time during the day he could be seen in or about the churchyard, and no matter how rough the night, nothing could induce him to forsake that hallowed spot, whose identity he so faithfully preserved.
This story illustrates the faithfulness of a dog. Can you imagine what our world would be like if people would demonstrate and live out this level of devotion toward Christ? The Apostle Paul, encouraging the church, expresses the characteristic of faithfulness as one of the fruits of the spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23 ESV).
Certainly, faithfulness and the other fruits of the spirit lived out in our day-to-day lives would make this world a better place, and God would be glorified.
Soaring Together,
Dr. Steven M. Lennertz
Eagle Ridge Church

Houses of Worship are Essential

First of all, I wanted to thank the Eagle Ridge Church family for providing your valuable input in the survey found in my weekly newsletter. God’s guidance, your involvement in the survey, and the remarkable events over the last 24 hours influenced this announcement.

Friday, May 22, President Trump declared, “Houses of worship are essential.” I certainly agree with this statement. He went on to say, “churches can open, and I will override any governor who attempts not to allow it” (myparaphrase).

The negative impact of COVID-19 on the world is tragic. Loss of life, job loss, and economic turmoil are all real travesties. As we begin to re-open and recover, wisdom in the process of doing so is essential. Through much prayer and guidance from the Lord, I believe God is moving me to start the process for physical gathering once again.

Currently, Eagle Ridge Church provides online worship services. These include 8:30, 10, 11:30 AM services broadcasted on Facebook every Sunday morning (PDT), posted on our website home page, and the Eagle Ridge Church App every Sunday morning. We will continue to offer these options. God blessed us tremendously through this avenue of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ, and as a result, thousands will continue to hear about God’s love.

On Sunday, June 7th, we will begin again, gathering at 10:00 AM with one service. Social distancing protocols will be in place, including hand sanitizing stations, no-touch thermometers used, no handshaking, and face masks suggested (bring your own). Sanctuary seating spaced out for proper distancing, and additional outdoor seating available in the courtyard for those who prefer to be outside. There will be no children’s ministry this first Sunday back (children can sit with you). We will add additional services as the need arises.

On Sunday, May 31st, at 10:00 AM, there is going to be a service for staff and volunteer leaders only (not open for the general public), for preparation and to get the system I want to implement in place, so we are ready the following week for the congregation and guest.

If you are sick or have compromised health conditions, please stay home and watch our service online. If your not comfortable or ready to attend physically, I understand. As you can see, you have options for worshiping with your church family at Eagle Ridge.

Please pray for churches and pastors right now. Please pray for me. Undoubtedly, we are unable to please everyone as we proceed forward in our ministries, and I’m sure mistakes will certainly take place, but know your pastors are doing their best to move forward in God-honoring ways.

Pastor Steve

Making Room For Christmas

It is through these humble beginnings that a Savior was born . . . 

“And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

King Jesus, Savior for ALL mankind—God’s Son, God’s only Son. Come to save the world from sin and death—to save us from the SUFFOCATING CLUTCHES of Satan’s hold on our lives.

A king ought to arrive in splendor, in the ease of comfort and niceties. Bethlehem should have prepared, honored, respected the arrival of such a king, and reserved the best seat, bed-and-breakfast, five-star inn the city had to offer. But there was no room for Mary and Joseph. There was no room for Mary to give birth in the city of Bethlehem. So Jesus was born in a manger—a stable. It was a barn for stock animals,  cows, chickens, and the like. Mary, as any mother would do, wrapped her newborn baby to warm Him, keep him safe, then she laid she laid her newborn infant in a trough, not a bassinet, or a crib, but a trough that farm animals ate from. All because, Bethlehem would not, could not make room for the Savior of the world!

This is an amazing story that leaves us faced with sobering questions, “Have you prepared for the coming of the King, the Lord Jesus Christ? Have you made room for Jesus in your City, your home, and your hearts?

The Right Kind of Fear

Step Out and Do It!

Live Purpose