The Rule of Four

It’s a brand new year and with the start of a new year a lot of people think starting a regular Bible Reading program. 

Hebrews 4:4 says that the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edge sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

It has been amazing to me to see how the Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to give me just what I need at just the right time. 

The Center of Bible Engagement polled 40,000 people to see the impact of reading the Bible has on a person’s life.  What they found shocked them.   They discovered something that has been called THE RULE OF FOUR.

Here’s what they found.

If you read/hear God’s Word in your life:

  • ONE DAY a week, there was little to no effect on key areas of your life. 
  • TWO DAYS a week, little to no effect.
  • THREE DAYS a week, little to no effect.
  • FOUR DAYS?  The results literally spiked off the charts!

Loneliness dropped 30%
Anger issues dropped 32%
Relational issues dropped 40%
Alcoholism dropped 57%
Feeling spiritually stagnant dropped 60%
Viewing Pornography dropped 61%
Sharing your faith rose 200%
Discipling others rose 230%

Can you imagine having God’s Word in your life EVERY DAY?   I’ve found that one of the best Bible Reading Programs in an app called YouVERSION.   It is the number one Bible App in the world.  Under the tab PLANS you can search for whatever reading program fits your schedule.  Depending on what translation you use, it will even READ it to you which might come in handy when you get to the Book of Numbers filled with names you can’t pronounce. 

Some guidelines.  Don’t be religious or legalistic about it.  You will miss some days.  Give yourself some grace and catch up when you can.  Also, as you read seek to have at least one takeaway that you can think and apply that day.  Most of all, remember the purpose of reading God’s Word is not to master the Scriptures, but to allow God to master YOU through them. 

I’m excited about starting a new year with you.

Pastor Bill
Medina Community Church

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Christmas Nugget: Wise Men Still Seek Him

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Reason for the Season!

I read this week of a man who took his whole family around the neighborhood to sing Christmas carols. He was a resident of Hillsboro, California. As his family gathered together in the front of the first house, he knocked at the door and a woman came to the door, distraught and said, “Look, fella, I’m too busy, The plumbing went out, I can’t get anyone to fix it, and there’s a mob coming over for dinner tonight. If you really feel like singing Christmas carols, can you come back at 9:00, OK?”  And the man politely said, “Yes, ma’am.”

The man’s name? Bing Crosby.  That Lady missed out on a serenade by the entire Crosby family because she was too busy to really take time to think about the significance of the season.

Sometimes that’s easy to do, isn’t it? Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in one of the busiest seasons of the year. With festivities to plan and parties to throw and presents to buy, sometimes it’s easy to lose the real joy of the season.  It really involves a conscious, continuous effort not to let the reason for the season to slip by. This Christmas don’t let the busyness of the season rob you of the joy of the season. Let’s remember that Christmas is about God entering this world as a little child to save us. My deepest prayer for all of us is that we will allow this Christ Child to be born within our lives in new ways this year.

Merry Christmas,


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Dayenu: It would’ve been enough!

Psalm 107:1 (NKJV)
1 Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

The Jews have a word DAYENU that means, “It would’ve been enough,” that they sing during Passover. As they remember the FAITHFULNESS of God they sing,

“If God had delivered us out of Egypt, but had not parted the Red Sea… DAYENU.”

“If God had parted the Red Sea, but had not fed us manna in the wilderness… DAYENU.”

“If God had fed us manna in the wilderness, but had not led us to Sinai… DAYENU.”

“If God had led us to Sinai, but did not give us the Tora… DAYENU.”

“If God have us the Tora, but did not give us the Promise Land… DAYENU.”

“If God gave us the Promise Land, but did not give us the Temple… DAYENU.”

… and I would add, “If God gave us His Son to die for our sins and give us His righteousness… DAYENU (It would’ve been enough!!) Yet God continues to pour out His blessings and we should be THANKFUL~

Let us give thanks to the Lord for He is Good. His LOVE endures FOREVER!

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Teach Us To Number Our Days

Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” In looking back on the days of 2022 these are some things I’ve learned or relearned in my life…

1. Above all guard your HEART (Proverbs 4:23)

2. It’s not about me.

3. God’s grace still amazes me.

4. The more grace I show, the more I understand it.

5. I pastor the best church in the world!

6. You grow more when times are bad than when times are good.

7. No matter how you try to protect your children, they will eventually get hurt.

8. There really is a SPIRITUAL BATTLE going on!

9. The greater the battle, the greater the spoils.

10. God NEVER wastes a hurt.

11. Your greatest ministry is most likely to come out of your greatest hurt.

12. God can use my mistakes.

13. The only mistake is a mistake in which nothing is learned.

14. Just because I can’t understand God’s love doesn’t mean it’s not real!

15. Greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world.

16. You can run, but you can’t hide from God.

17. God often has more faith me than I have in myself.

18. There’s no sin that’s too big for God not to forgive if we simply take it to Him through Jesus.

19. You don’t have to clean up your act before you come to God; you come to Him so that He can clean it up.

20. Priorities is often a matter of distinguishing what is best from what is good.

21. God is BIGGER than my ability to figure Him out.

22. That when I step into heaven, I’m going to have a HUGE red mark in the center of my forehead from me hitting it with my palm and going, “OH, NOW I get it now!”

23. That I’m not a Calvinist or an Armenian, but a CALMINIAN.

24. Time is too short, and hell is too hot to argue about little things.

25. It’s a lot easier to react than to think.

26. Fasting isn’t something you do, it’s something that happens to you.

27. You can’t make someone love you.

28. Love isn’t something you feel; it’s something you DO!

29. I HATE religion, but love JESUS.

30. There is no such thing as a little sin.

31. I need more COWBELL.

32. Faith is daring the soul to go beyond what the eyes can see.

33. Faith is found when it’s tested.

34. God is not enough; He’s TOO MUCH!

35. You can’t really embrace the Good News until you come to grips with the Bad News.

36. You really can read God like a Book.

37. I don’t have to know all the answers, it’s more important to know the One who as ALL the answers.

38. All men die, but few men really LIVE.

39. If you’re going to be stupid, you better be tough.

40. I can never out give God.

41. It’s easier to forgive others that to forgive yourself.

42. There are some things I really don’t want to know!

43. God helps those who cannot help themselves.

44. God’s not done with me yet.

45. It’s Friday, but Sunday is a comin!

46. Don’t follow the Crowd.

May God bless you and keep you; may He make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you; may the Lord lift up your countenance and give you peace in 2023

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You Don’t Have to be HOME ALONE… 

A favorite Christmas movie is the kid’s move, “Home Alone.”  It’s a comedy about a little boy named, “Kevin,” who, as part of a big family, is accidentally left behind when his family leaves for a European vacation.  The comedy occurs as this little boy repeatedly messes up the plans of a couple of bumbling burglars by setting up all these wild traps. 

What captured my attention was what happened on Christmas Eve as Kevin is all alone.  He goes to church and meets an older man who is unhappy about family problems.  As the two talk, Kevin admits feeling guilty because right before his family left he told his mom in a fit of anger, “I wish you would just go away!”  and now he was missing her terribly.

The old man then said, “You’re in church now and this is the place to come when you’re feeling bad about yourself.”

He was right, wasn’t he?   The church is the body of Christ and it would have never come into existence if it wasn’t for Christmas.  It’s the place to come when we need comfort; when we need forgiveness; when we need strength; when we need direction; when we need a new start. 

In 1939 a man named Robert May worked in the publicity department for Montgomery Ward stores. He was asked to come up with a new story for Christmas so he mixed two stories… the story of Santa Claus and the story of the Ugly Duckling and came up with a new story called, “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

You know why we like the Rudolph story so much, don’t you? Not just because it’s a cute story that was made into a catchy tune. No, we like this story because it’s about rising above defeat. It’s about turning a defeat into a victory.  Rudolph was teased and taunted because of his red nose… but then in the end, he becomes the hero.

Jesus came into the world as a baby.  He came into a world in which people felt down and out without any hope.  But Christ came to give us hope and confidence that with Him nothing is impossible.  He showed us from the manger to the cross that His love is the most POWERFUL and REDEEMING THING IN THE UNIVERSE… and that if we would simply believe and trust Him; nothing can defeat us. 

This Christmas I invite you to come and let us adore the one who is able to give us abundantly beyond anything we can think or imagine (Eph 3:20) and in His presence let us receive the ultimate healing that comes from His grace. 

Merry Christmas,

Pastor Bill

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Praying as a Couple

I believe one of the most powerful prayer teams is when a HUSBAND and WIFE pray together as One Flesh. I think this is one of many reasons why the enemy tries to destroy marriages. He realizes their potential in Christ. I know many Christian couples that PRAY on a regular basis, but not together.

Jesus says in Matthew 18:20 that where two or three are gathered together in His Name, that He is there in a powerful way. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says that a cord of three strands is not easily broken. There is POWER when a couple comes together for PRAYER.

When I think of praying together I think of Gary Thomas’ book SACRED MARRIAGE. I love the subtitle of that book: What if God designed marriage to make us HOLY more than to make us HAPPY. I think of a quote out of that book, “We truly do not know how selfish and sinful we are until we live with someone in marriage,” and he goes on to write, “Our spouses to do not change us as much as they REVEAL US.”  Wow.  That is so TRUE.  Personally, I have found MARRIAGE to be the single greatest tool God has used to expose my own SELFISHNESS and NOTHING brings that out than PRAYING with my wife. Praying with my wife has also been one of the most INTIMATE things I have ever done.

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It’s Done..

Medina Community Church Family,

On Tuesday, September 6th at 7 PM, Medina UMC had its official Church Conference vote to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church under paragraph 2553 of the UMC Book of Discipline. There were 95 people in attendance (surprising, being it was the day after Labor Day). The vote was unanimous to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Conference.

The reasons for disaffiliation were that we, as a church body, could no longer in good conscience be in a denomination that ignored or in some cases celebrated the practice of homosexuality. I want to make one thing clear: we grieve the fact that the United Methodist Church forced us to take such action. We love the homosexual, but we will not be a part of celebrating sin. I could give multiple examples at every level of United Methodism where such disobedience is taking place, but I am tired of fighting over this issue.

I do not intend to comment on the subject of disaffiliation again. I am ready to shake the dust off my feet and move forward. I think of Paul’s words in Philippians 3:13-14, “Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” I encourage you to join me with that upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

The good news is that a great deal of the hard work is done. There is bureaucratic paperwork that still needs to be done; however, now we feel free to pursue our mission of “Knowing Christ and Making Him Known” with all our hearts.

I encourage you to keep Medina Community Church in your prayers, asking God to give us visions and dreams of all the things He has for us to do. May we give Him all the praise and all the glory.

Your Pastor,

Bill Stegemueller Pastor, Medina Community Church

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Clown’s preaching to Goats

A time will come when instead of shepherds feeding the sheep, the church will have clowns entertaining the goats. – Charles Spurgeon

The picture is Ms. Penny Cost (a play on Pentecost). Ms. Penny Cost is reportedly the first Drag Queen in the world to become a Certified Candidate for Ordination within the United Methodist Church. As a member of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference of the UMC, he works as the Associate Pastor at Hope United Methodist Church.

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How to Fight

The Eagle does not fight the snake on the ground. It picks it up into the sky and changes the battleground, and then it releases the snake into the sky.

The snake has no stamina, no power and no balance in the air. It is useless, weak and vulnerable unlike on the ground where it is powerful wise and deadly.

Take your fight into the spiritual realm by praying and when you are in the spiritual realm God takes over your battles.

Don’t fight the enemy in his comfort zone, change the battlegrounds like the Eagle and let God take charge through your earnest prayer.

You’ll be assured of clean victory.

Pray without ceasing.

“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” -Exodus 14:14

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