Judge Ye Not

9-15-2021
J. Fields
 
Have you ever come to a stop sign in a busy intersection of town and saw a homeless person holding a sign that expressed that they were in need of money? Have you ever been walking down a sidewalk and witnessed someone sleeping right along the edge of the walk? The other day I was in Nashville, Tennessee for a work trip and witnessed many homeless people holding signs, playing music, and sleeping along the sidewalk, my heart was aching. I have no idea about each of their stories, I’m sure that some have made bad decisions throughout life while others may have just had a bad upbringing but regardless who am I to judge their story.
 
The things I saw in Nashville made me think about how many times I have walked past a homeless person and quickly turned the other cheek so I wouldn’t “lock eyes” with them. If I spoke with them what would happen if someone else saw me talking with them? I can’t imagine how bad they may smell, I’m sure they haven’t showered for days. If I give them money will they actually buy something nutritious or will they spend it on something bad? I know I’m probably the only one with these concerns but at the end of the day, who am I to think I am better than anyone else regardless if they are homeless or not?
 
God doesn’t call us to judge others. Rather, He calls us to love others. Love comes only through a relationship with Christ. How can you say that you love God but then you judge others? Love doesn’t say “I love you but…or I love you if…” 1 John 4:7 “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you have to show “tough love”, but you can show it in a Godly way.
 
Life is sometimes crazy, just because I’m a pastor doesn’t mean I don’t face the same troubles like everyone else. It is refreshing to know that God is full of grace, mercy, and love. Even when I fail, He’s there. Even when I have questions, He’s there. When I need that pick me up, He’s there to say I love you. We all leak, we all make mistakes, and we all make decisions we wish we could take back. Instead of being like the world, let’s choose to be like Jesus. John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
 
Blessings,
 
Pastor Jason

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A Dignified Transfer

C.Hayden
9-1-2021
 
As I begin writing the first few words of this blog, I hold back tears as I watch the return home of the 11 of the 13 U.S. service members who gave their lives in service to a mostly grateful nation. I am in such awe as fellow brothers and sisters in arms, march in total lock step carrying our fallen heroes respectfully and honorably from the Dover bound military aircraft to the ongoing transport in what is called a “dignified transfer” of fallen soldiers. As I gaze on this ceremony, honoring our fallen men and women, several emotions begin to overwhelm me. The first couple of emotions include anger and sadness as I contemplate the unnecessary loss of our brave men and women and the heartache of families. They must be feeling a pain unimaginable to most of us. We all lose loved ones that we must say goodbye to but most of us do not suffer the loss or sacrifice of those so young who give so much for our freedom, especially when a few common-sense measures could have kept them safe. 
 
Yet, there are emotions that rise above the others. That is those feelings of extreme pride and gratitude. I feel so blessed to be a part of a nation filled with so many courageous individuals who are willing to give so much for the cause of bringing freedom and protection to the world. It reminds me of the great sacrifice our Lord made for us. He was not given such a “dignified transfer” as He left this world, but Jesus’ entrance when joining the right hand of the Father as He took occupation of His throne must have been one glorious ceremony. Hebrews 10:12 says, “But this Man (Jesus), after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sad down at the right hand of God.” Jesus had His dignified transfer after on the 3rd day, rising from the grave. Someday we will receive our dignified transfer. He offers it to all who would put their trust in Him. One day, when our Savior appears in the clouds and He calls us home, we will leave this planet in a great celebratory transfer to the Kingdom of our God.
 
And it will be glorious. 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 says, “So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ O Death, where is you sting? O Hades, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
 
Be Blessed Even More!
 
Pastor Chris

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God’s Grace / Human Grace

J. Fields
8/15/2021
 
As humans, life will many times throw us for a loop. Have you ever had someone say or do something to you that really hurt? Have you ever felt betrayed or just “stabbed in the back”? Have you ever just felt so angry for what someone did to you that you can’t seem to forgive them? If you have felt any of these things then you are human. However, we are called to be Christ-like which means we must learn how to forgive.
 
Recently I ran into a situation where I had someone get incredibly upset at me, this person got upset with me more out of their own personal frustration and not something that was wrong with me. I was called names that would be very disrespectful for me to relay in this letter. In my past, I would have “pushed back” however, by the grace of God, I am learning how to turn the other cheek, forgive, and move on. As I stopped and reflected, I felt God telling me to forgive, forget and move forward. While I was highly disappointed in this guy, we did end up talking, he apologized and was embarrassed for his actions. I graciously accepted his apology and we have both moved forward.
 
I would be lying if I said there weren’t times throughout my life when I held onto a hurt or grudge much longer than I should have. Holding onto a grudge or hurt will hold you back from what God wants to do in your life. Scripture tells us that we are to forgive, enven when someone may hurt you hundreds of times, you must learn to dig deep within your heart and forgive them (Matthew 18:22). Unforgiveness will put a grip on you that will squeeze the life out of your soul. Matthew 6:14-15 states that if you can’t forgive someone for what they’ve done, how can your Heavenly Father forgive you? True forgiveness will set you free, it will release the yoke that is holding you back.
 
Don’t allow the enemy to have victory over you today. Don’t fall into the trap and voices that may be speaking lies into you. Ife there is someone who you need to forgive, whatever that hurt or pain is when you forgive you will be set free. If there’s something that’s holding you back from forgiveness, pray for God to help you release the grudge. Just think about the difference we as Christians could make if we just follow the life of Jesus and forgive those who have done wrong to us. Forgiveness = True Godly Love. The world is watching us as believers very closely, allow the love of Jesus to flow out of you and into them by the way we live. 
 
Blessings,
Pastor Jason

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Revival, Yes or No?

C. Hayden
8-1-2021
 
The last couple of Sunday messages, and the next couple of Sunday messages, have and will touch on this idea of revival. Pastor Jason Fields has shared the historical context of the revivals of the Reformation period and those of the 20th century where God transformed and changed the landscape of several ecumenical Church movements in Europe and the United States. He also laid the foundation for our need for revival even at this very hour of our nation’s history in light of the trials and troubles we are living through today. My 8 year old grandson was even listening to Pastor Jason as Reid actually made me a paper airplane with the phrase “A Vision for Revival” written on both sides. If revival is such a good thing, and surely God desires revival in His Church and the world, why are we not seeing it in mass as we have in the past? Here are some thoughts. 
 
In the 2nd chapter of the book of Acts, the Scriptures state, “When the Day of Pentecost had finally come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a sound of rushing mighty wind, and if filled the whole house where they were sitting.” It was the first recorded revival that took place after Jesus went to heaven after the crucifixion. The revival continued for in the next chapter of Acts we see the Apostle Peter preach one sermon and over 3,000 people get saved and brought into the Church. Now that was revival! Why is that such a rarity today?
 
For one reason, at that time, the whole Church was in unity. They all wanted God’s presence. They all wanted God to change and transform them, they wanted to know God intensely, and there was nothing in their personal lives they were not willing to relinquish. Unfortunately, I believe that most of the Church, or at least a good portion, does not desire revival. We get comfortable in our lives, we get comfortable in our faith, we get comfortable with our things, and the last thing we want is for someone to disrupt our peaceful existence. Revival is messy!
 
When the Spirit of God brings revival, things get shaken up and “business as usual” is no longer satisfactory. My hypothesis, often we do not want revival and we do not hunger for revival, so we do not see revival except in individual hearts were being a “Christian as usual” is no longer enough. We need to pray for a hunger for the Holy Spirit to bring us a Holy dissatisfaction for comfortable, and a Holy hunger for more of God in our midst. Psalm 81:10 — “I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of Egypt: often thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.”
 
Be blessed and pray for a Spiritual hunger for more,
 
Pastor Chris

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Yes Lord, Yes!

J. Fields
7-15-2021
 
In just a few short weeks the Third Anniversary of my father’s death will be upon us, wow where does the time go! There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about the memories of my dad. While I absolutely love Summer, when I think about life a few years ago with the illness of my dad it brings back some crazy rollercoaster days. Let me explain a little about the hard days but also the joy that came from this adventure.
 
Life can sometimes throw us a curveball, that’s exactly what happened a few years ago when my dad lost his battle with Leukemia. There are many days that I’m out on a run and go through the cemetery where my dad’s body is and wonder why things turned out the way they did especially with how much faith my dad had. I’ll never forget when my dad was in the hospital and he was having a really rough night, I just asked him if he was scared of what could happen, I’ll never forget when he said “no, I am not scared when it’s my time I will be in glory”, wow what a powerful statement!
 
Let me ask you this question. Do you know someone who needs to say “Yes” to Jesus? None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. Is there someone who you would love to see in the church? In the blink of an eye, our life could be done, we will spend eternity in one of two places, don’t you or someone who you care about want to see them spend that “forever” in the glory of Jesus?
 
You may ask why I am so passionate about preaching about salvation, it’s because I want to see everyone spend eternity with Jesus. John 14:6 says “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'” Today is the perfect day to say Yes Lord, Yes. None of us are guaranteed another breath.
 
Blessings,
 
Pastor Jason

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