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The Source of the Flame

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Bridge of Faith was planted at the height of a state wide ballot issue of Casino riverboat gambling. The town thought we were sent there by the Herschend family to stop riverboat gambling.
In 1913 Bull Shoals dam was competed on the raging White River. This created one of the first warm water lakes in the Ozarks known as Lake Taneycomo.
The Merriam family came down from Kansas city and started building our small resort town. Two hotels were built. The Brown hotel and the White hotel. Bob Barker Mr. Price is Right worked at the Brown Hotel in the summer while he was a college student.
1913 to 1958 Rockaway Beach was a thriving resort town. Jack and Pete Herschend, owners of Silver Dollar City, arrived first with their parents out of Chicago to Rockaway Beach on vacation. They then leased Marvel Cave and then in the early days they marketed Silver Dollar City to Rockaway Beach tourist and it was Rockaway that sustained them in the early years of their business.
1958 Table Rock dam was built and Lake Taneycomo went from a warm water lake to a cold water lake. The resorts survived the early years after this because of them building their own pools.
1965 The Rockaway Beach riot takes place. Two drunk College students one on the shoulders of the other riding a motorcycle down the strip. That day about 20 college students get arrested and taken to Taney county jail. The prosecuting attorney picked up the phone and calls the governor and he alerts the state police.
Rockaway was featured on the front page of the Kansas City start along with some other large city riots that year. The resort owners stop booking college students because they didn’t want that reputation and families stop coming to Rockaway.
Many of the resorts sell out by the early 1980’s to new owners.
2005 Some of the current owners had bought into some of these resorts believing that Rockaway would come back to it’s hay day. This was their retirement plan. Many of them were not believers.
These people believe they have a plan to gain back their money or even double or triple the money they have invested.
What do they believe will do this? Their idol that was going to save them was in the form of a Riverboat Casino
In 2005, this was a statewide ballot issue. In 2005 Bridge of Faith Community Church was planted in Rockaway Beach.
The town believed that we were there for one purpose and that was to defeat Casino River Boat Gambling.
Rockaway Beach was not interested in a new church in their town.
In the early days, the mayor told the police chief that he was not allowed to step foot on our property because we were the problem in town. When we would try to push things forward, the city leaders were acting corruptly to stop us from growing.

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I can tell you first hand that when you start eliminating idols and seeking Jesus as Lord the idols don’t like it nor do those who follow the idols like it.
I

The Source of the Flame

Baseball! This summer something clicked for me thanks to my wife. I thought I knew way more than her about the game of baseball but she taught me something this summerShe said Jonathan you do understand that during the game of baseball that for some of the kids you are putting on the field the only time they get their name called is for something they have done wrong. Sometimes when others talk about them it is not for positive reasons.She said you put the kid on the ball field and they have some success and suddenly all the parents are cheering for them to do well and to help the team for some of these kids they have never experienced anything like this.
Joshua 14:6–15 HCSB
6 The descendants of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know what the Lord promised Moses the man of God at Kadesh-barnea about you and me. 7 I was 40 years old when Moses the Lord’s servant sent me from Kadesh-barnea to scout the land, and I brought back an honest report. 8 My brothers who went with me caused the people’s hearts to melt with fear, but I remained loyal to the Lord my God. 9 On that day Moses promised me: ‘The land where you have set foot will be an inheritance for you and your descendants forever, because you have remained loyal to the Lord my God.’ 10 “As you see, the Lord has kept me alive these 45 years as He promised, since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel was journeying in the wilderness. Here I am today, 85 years old. 11 I am still as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me out. My strength for battle and for daily tasks is now as it was then. 12 Now give me this hill country the Lord promised me on that day, because you heard then that the Anakim are there, as well as large fortified cities. Perhaps the Lord will be with me and I will drive them out as the Lord promised.” 13 Then Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as an inheritance. 14 Therefore, Hebron belongs to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite as an inheritance to this day, because he remained loyal to the Lord, the God of Israel. 15 Hebron’s name used to be Kiriath-arba; Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim. After this, the land had rest from war.
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The History

Numbers 13:1–2 HCSB
1 The Lord spoke to Moses: 2 “Send men to scout out the land of Canaan I am giving to the Israelites. Send one man who is a leader among them from each of their ancestral tribes.”
HCSB1 The Lord spoke to Moses: 2 “Send men to scout out the land of Canaan I am giving to the Israelites. Send one man who is a leader among them from each of their ancestral tribes.”
Notice the the Lord says to scout the land of Canaan
What follows this?
The Lord says the land that I am giving to the Israelites. God says scout out the land that I am giving to you. God promises the Israelites that he will give them the land.
Numbers 13:26–33 HCSB
26 The men went back to Moses, Aaron, and the entire Israelite community in the Wilderness of Paran at Kadesh. They brought back a report for them and the whole community, and they showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They reported to Moses: “We went into the land where you sent us. Indeed it is flowing with milk and honey, and here is some of its fruit. 28 However, the people living in the land are strong, and the cities are large and fortified. We also saw the descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites are living in the land of the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live by the sea and along the Jordan.” 30 Then Caleb quieted the people in the presence of Moses and said, “We must go up and take possession of the land because we can certainly conquer it!” 31 But the men who had gone up with him responded, “We can’t go up against the people because they are stronger than we are!” 32 So they gave a negative report to the Israelites about the land they had scouted: “The land we passed through to explore is one that devours its inhabitants, and all the people we saw in it are men of great size. 33 We even saw the Nephilim there—the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim! To ourselves we seemed like grasshoppers, and we must have seemed the same to them.”
Numbers 13
The men scout out the land and they come back and give a report. The land was indeed was flowing with milk and honey. Earlier in the chapter it says that the cluster of grapes in the land was so big that it took two people to carry the grapes!
I will never forget when we as a church were meeting in our 1926 school building for church. I was preaching and we started to notice the drip of a substance coming down from the ceiling.
The substance was sticky and I did not know what it was. One day my father in law was in town and so we decided to investigate it. We went upstairs and cut a whole in the floor.
What we found was an old bee hive with honey. What was dripping from the ceiling was honey. I told the church that if I show up one Sunday and milk cow is tied to the front door we will know that we have entered into the land flowing with milk and honey.
In 2005, the vote of the casino did not take place in that building. The reason it did not take place was because of bees but some thought that they only said bees and it was because they were voting on a casino.
The men scout the land and see that it really is good.
BUT
Numbers 13:29 HCSB
29 The Amalekites are living in the land of the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live by the sea and along the Jordan.”
We came up against the Amalekites
Remember God had promised them the land but they started looking at their enemies rather than focusing on the promises of the Lord.
Notice Caleb’s response
Numbers 13:30 HCSB
30 Then Caleb quieted the people in the presence of Moses and said, “We must go up and take possession of the land because we can certainly conquer it!”
God made a promise but notice the men’s response to the promise of God.
Numbers 13:31–33 HCSB
31 But the men who had gone up with him responded, “We can’t go up against the people because they are stronger than we are!” 32 So they gave a negative report to the Israelites about the land they had scouted: “The land we passed through to explore is one that devours its inhabitants, and all the people we saw in it are men of great size. 33 We even saw the Nephilim there—the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim! To ourselves we seemed like grasshoppers, and we must have seemed the same to them.”
Numbers 13:31-
Even the Nephilim are there!
Who are the Nephilim?
They are the descendants of Anak. Note this as it will come up in just a bit.
Numbers 14:1–4 HCSB
1 Then the whole community broke into loud cries, and the people wept that night. 2 All the Israelites complained about Moses and Aaron, and the whole community told them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us into this land to die by the sword? Our wives and little children will become plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 So they said to one another, “Let’s appoint a leader and go back to Egypt.”
HCSB1 Then the whole community broke into loud cries, and the people wept that night. 2 All the Israelites complained about Moses and Aaron, and the whole community told them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us into this land to die by the sword? Our wives and little children will become plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 So they said to one another, “Let’s appoint a leader and go back to Egypt.”
The Lord over 12 years ago began to shape a vision in my heart, the heart of my wife and the small group of people that were here.We would welcome children in the name of Jesus and in doing so we would welcome Christ himself into our church.By doing this we believed we would transform generations that transform communities.
The Lord over 12 years ago began to shape a vision in my heart, the heart of my wife and the small group of people that were here.We would welcome children in the name of Jesus and in doing so we would welcome Christ himself into our church.By doing this we believed we would transform generations that transform communities.Before Bridge of Faith was planted families dropped kids off in the park to stay for the weekend.The next door pool and property was vandalized by kids here on the weekends. They threw rocks in the pool and burnt down their shed.Kids were skinny and hungryThe only meal kids would get was gas station chicken or roman noodlesI remember the night a family of 9 showed up and between them all there was not a pair of shoes that matched on themNow if kids come and have clothing issues we run to the thrift store. We didn’t have that option back then nor did families have that option to buy clothes at a low rate.Kids were hungryEducation was not valued at all. Kids were made fun of if they succeeded in school. Kids could not count change.I would watch people walk up to the counter at the gas station and keep throwing change on the counter until they got to an acceptable amount.Kids did not have a source of income or even think about working.
As we started sharing the Gospel in our community, the Lord opened our eyes. We learned that in our community kids were selling drugs to provide and feed their families. I remember one student shared with me that at the age of 6 he had his first drink of Alcohol and by the age of 9 he smoked marijuana. This student said he would by marijuana in our community for $10 and walk it a mile to a different community and sell it for $20. He said that if he did this 10 times he could make $100. Students would come to church and we would take drugs from them and they would say you have to give that back my dad said I have to deliver this to school tomorrow.
We were sharing the Gospel and students were desiring to follow Jesus but we were not doing much to show them how God wanted to provide for them through work.
Kids were skinny and hungry The only meal kids would get was gas station chicken or roman noodlesI remember the night a family of 9 showed up and between them all there was not a pair of shoes that matched on them.
Kids were hungry Education was not valued at all. Kids were made fun of if they succeeded in school. Kids and some adults could not count change. I would watch people walk up to the counter at the gas station and keep throwing change on the counter until they got to an acceptable amount. Kids did not have a source of income or even think about working.

Unpopular Decisions

Joshua 14:6–8 HCSB
6 The descendants of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know what the Lord promised Moses the man of God at Kadesh-barnea about you and me. 7 I was 40 years old when Moses the Lord’s servant sent me from Kadesh-barnea to scout the land, and I brought back an honest report. 8 My brothers who went with me caused the people’s hearts to melt with fear, but I remained loyal to the Lord my God.
HCSB6 The descendants of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know what the Lord promised Moses the man of God at Kadesh-barnea about you and me. 7 I was 40 years old when Moses the Lord’s servant sent me from Kadesh-barnea to scout the land, and I brought back an honest report. 8 My brothers who went with me caused the people’s hearts to melt with fear, but I remained loyal to the Lord my God.
This was not popular. All of the Israelites rejected what the Lord had for them except Caleb and Joshua.
Loyal: wholeheartedly, completely, formally, fill, i.e., do something with an attitude or feeling of great and earnest dedicationSwanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
Verse 8 says The things that these brothers saw made the peoples hearts melt with fear.
The word fear here..
Joshua: An Introduction and Commentary i. Caleb’s Allotment, Part 1 (14:6–15)They made the hearts of the people melt with fear.
This theme is used of the enemies of God whose hearts melt when they learn of the mighty works of divine redemption done on behalf of Israel.
You can see this usage in
Joshua 2:23–24 HCSB
23 Then the men returned, came down from the hill country, and crossed the Jordan. They went to Joshua son of Nun and reported everything that had happened to them. 24 They told Joshua, “The Lord has handed over the entire land to us. Everyone who lives in the land is also panicking because of us.”
HCSB23 Then the men returned, came down from the hill country, and crossed the Jordan. They went to Joshua son of Nun and reported everything that had happened to them. 24 They told Joshua, “The Lord has handed over the entire land to us. Everyone who lives in the land is also panicking because of us.”
It is very interesting that some came back and told them what was going on and the response was that it made the people hearts to melt with fear.
This happens when our hearts drift away from the promise of God. Remember that God had promised to give them the land. They start to focus on everything else but the Lord and his promise.
The report caused the people’s hearts to melt with fear. When we fail to surrender and remain loyal to our Lord and Savior the risk is that it could potentially instill fear much like the fear the enemies had for what God was going to do.
Rather than being on the same team with the Lord you create a negative image of God and start to believe all that he has happened to you is his fault.
Caleb says I remained Loyal.
Joshua 14:9 HCSB
9 On that day Moses promised me: ‘The land where you have set foot will be an inheritance for you and your descendants forever, because you have remained loyal to the Lord my God.’
HCSB9 On that day Moses promised me: ‘The land where you have set foot will be an inheritance for you and your descendants forever, because you have remained loyal to the Lord my God.’
The Land where you have set foot will be an inheritance because you have remained loyal loyal to the Lord my God.
In Rockaway, the Lord called us to some very unique things as a church. I was introduced to Christian community development. In 2013, we were looking for a place to put our thrift store because the building we were in was being sold and we were not allowed to purchase it. For 2 months, we searched for a new location. I then found out that the resort property next to the church was going in to foreclosure. We showed up at the foreclosure sale and it did not sale. We purchased 3 acres with 11 buildings and a 2600 sq. ft. house for $85,000.
This property has one of our two thrift stores, the Paxton home a Pastor’s retreat home, a For profit Coffee shop, The Lodge a 32 bed facility for mission groups, baseball field, community garden, greenhouse, soon to be basketball court and counseling center.
Another interesting thing about Rockaway is that every time we acquired more land in Rockaway some in the city said we were stealing land.
Let me tell you how this happened. People would have abandon property and every time we got a new city council the first thing they would do is send out letters to these property owners and threaten them to clean up the property. The owners would then call the church and donate that property to us.
What God has done in Rockaway is not what a normal church does. God called us and we have worked to remain loyal to him.
Joshua 14:10–15 HCSB
10 “As you see, the Lord has kept me alive these 45 years as He promised, since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel was journeying in the wilderness. Here I am today, 85 years old. 11 I am still as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me out. My strength for battle and for daily tasks is now as it was then. 12 Now give me this hill country the Lord promised me on that day, because you heard then that the Anakim are there, as well as large fortified cities. Perhaps the Lord will be with me and I will drive them out as the Lord promised.” 13 Then Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as an inheritance. 14 Therefore, Hebron belongs to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite as an inheritance to this day, because he remained loyal to the Lord, the God of Israel. 15 Hebron’s name used to be Kiriath-arba; Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim. After this, the land had rest from war.
HCSB10 “As you see, the Lord has kept me alive these 45 years as He promised, since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel was journeying in the wilderness. Here I am today, 85 years old. 11 I am still as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me out. My strength for battle and for daily tasks is now as it was then. 12 Now give me this hill country the Lord promised me on that day, because you heard then that the Anakim are there, as well as large fortified cities. Perhaps the Lord will be with me and I will drive them out as the Lord promised.” 13 Then Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as an inheritance. 14 Therefore, Hebron belongs to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite as an inheritance to this day, because he remained loyal to the Lord, the God of Israel. 15 Hebron’s name used to be Kiriath-arba; Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim. After this, the land had rest from war.
Caleb inherits the land of Hebron
Hebron’s name used to Kiriath-arba; Arba was the name of the greatest man among the Anakim.
If you recall
Joshua: An Introduction and Commentary i. Caleb’s Allotment, Part 1 (14:6–15)Thus Caleb’s words are shown to be true and the reader is reminded how a faithful servant of God can have success against the greatest of enemies.
Numbers 13:33 HCSB
33 We even saw the Nephilim there—the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim! To ourselves we seemed like grasshoppers, and we must have seemed the same to them.”
Caleb is faithful and he inherits the land of Israel’s greatest enemy.
Joshua: An Introduction and Commentary i. Caleb’s Allotment, Part 1 (14:6–15)Thus Caleb’s words are shown to be true and the reader is reminded how a faithful servant of God can have success against the greatest of enemies.
Step 1 of Repentance: God I’m wrong
Step 2: God I am sorry
Step 3: God forgive me
Much of this passage we see the faithfulness of Caleb and want to make a shift and turn your attention to God.
Remember -2
Numbers 13:1–2 HCSB
1 The Lord spoke to Moses: 2 “Send men to scout out the land of Canaan I am giving to the Israelites. Send one man who is a leader among them from each of their ancestral tribes.”
The Lord is faithful. Did Israel deserve to inherit this land?
Joshua and Caleb were faithful but we see them complaining against the Lord. We see them creating false idols.
The Israelites are shifting, but God remains faithful!
Psalm 136 HCSB
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love is eternal. 2 Give thanks to the God of gods. His love is eternal. 3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords. His love is eternal. 4 He alone does great wonders. His love is eternal. 5 He made the heavens skillfully. His love is eternal. 6 He spread the land on the waters. His love is eternal. 7 He made the great lights: His love is eternal. 8 the sun to rule by day, His love is eternal. 9 the moon and stars to rule by night. His love is eternal. 10 He struck the firstborn of the Egyptians His love is eternal. 11 and brought Israel out from among them His love is eternal. 12 with a strong hand and outstretched arm. His love is eternal. 13 He divided the Red Sea His love is eternal. 14 and led Israel through, His love is eternal. 15 but hurled Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea. His love is eternal. 16 He led His people in the wilderness. His love is eternal. 17 He struck down great kings His love is eternal. 18 and slaughtered famous kings— His love is eternal. 19 Sihon king of the Amorites His love is eternal. 20 and Og king of Bashan— His love is eternal. 21 and gave their land as an inheritance, His love is eternal. 22 an inheritance to Israel His servant. His love is eternal. 23 He remembered us in our humiliation His love is eternal. 24 and rescued us from our foes. His love is eternal. 25 He gives food to every creature. His love is eternal. 26 Give thanks to the God of heaven! His love is eternal.
Psalm 134 HCSB
A song of ascents. 1 Now praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who stand in the Lord’s house at night! 2 Lift up your hands in the holy place and praise the Lord! 3 May the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth, bless you from Zion.
His Love is Eternal
The word love here is Hesed
Love:
חֶסֶד (ḥě·sěḏ): n.masc.; ≡ Str 2617; TWOT 698a—1. LN 25.33–25.58 loyal love unfailing kindness, devotion, i.e., a love or affection that is steadfast based on a prio relationship
God is faithful
God is loyal to us. We don’t deserve his love and yet he continues to love us
Dayle has been working on this coffee cup. It was painted nice but then it was broken.
Here is what God does. He is loyal and faithful to us. He the creator takes His creation and through Jesus death on the cross our creator puts us back together!
1 John 1:9 HCSB
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
When we ask God to forgive us our sin, we know that he does because of . I put my hope in this verse. I don’t put my hope in my words or the prayer that I pray or strive to do something for God to make up for it.
I confess and says that if I confess then he is faithful and just to cleanse me from all unrighteousness.
I don’t deserve this but he God is faithful and loyal to me.
Recognize the Source of the Flame and understand his loyal love for you. Bank on his promises and trust him alone.
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