Pastor’s Blog

The Christmas Presence

 

The Christmas Presence

 

C. Hayden 12-10-19

 

 

 

Brother Lawrence (Nicholas Herman), a 17th century Friar, wrote one of the all time great Christian classic books on the subject of God’s presence in the life of the believer.  Titled “The Practice of the Presence of God,” Brother Lawrence’s work is a collection of letters and teachings examining what it means and ways we may achieve an awareness of God’s tangible presence in everyday life.  The Scriptures are clear that having an awareness of God’s abiding presence should be the norm for Christians and not the exception.

 

 In Mathew 1:21-23 we read about Joseph’s conversation with an Angel, “’She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’ 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means God with us).”

 

That’s right, Immanuel, God is with us.   Jesus confirmed this understanding that we may enjoy his presence when He said this, “’He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.’ 22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, ‘Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?’ 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him’” (John 14:21-23 KJV).

 

This Christmas holiday, may we celebrate Christ our Lord with the understanding that He is with us in the midst of all of the activity and busyness we find ourselves in.  He is Immanuel and we can always recognize His presence if we choose to do so.  Not just in theory, but in the tangible real presence that the Holy Spirit provides.

 

Be blessed even more!!

 

 

 

Pastor Chris         

 


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Contentment – Not A Dirty Word

Contentment – Not a Dirty Word

  1. Hayden 11-24-19

 

In the book of Philippians, the Apostle Paul addresses the church thanking them for the gifts that they had collected on his behalf. He was not necessarily in need of the gift they had given, in fact he goes on to say that very thing to them. But he was thankful for their generosity and the blessing that was attributed to their account for showing Christ’s love in their giving. The Scripture reads thusly, 10 ”But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:10-13).

 

Contentment—what a word for growth! When the Apostle writes to the Church at Philippi and tells them that he “can do all things in Christ”, it is in reference to being content no matter what the circumstances may be in our own personal lives. Paul declares that no matter the circumstances that surround him or what the state of his economics may be, he will live in contentment and joy regardless. In fact, the Book of Philippians is known as The Epistle of Joy; being joyful whether good or bad may knock on your door. It is in Philippians that we read such things as “Rejoice in the Lord always”, “Be anxious for nothing”, and “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 minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7).

 

Peace, love, joy, and relatedly so, contentment are to be what the world sees when viewing God’s Church throughout the whole year, and especially at Christmas time. As we enter the season of gift giving and gift receiving, let us remember that having Christ in our hearts and family at our side is the most precious gift we can give to ourselves and those we love. Mark Twain wrote a famous quote that was later adapted to the film “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The quote goes like this, “No man (“No one” in the movie) is a failure who has friends.” And if you think you don’t have a friend in the world, you are wrong. As your Church family, we want to be here for you. But One who knows you the best, loves you the most. Jesus Christ wants to be the friend of every man, woman, and child in the world. And a better friend no one could ever have! That fact only should make us content in all things. Have a wonderful Christmas season!

 

Be blessed even more!!

 

Pastor Chris         


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Thank You Veterans!

Thank You Veterans!

  1. Hayden 11-11-19

 

This past Monday, our nation celebrated and honored this nation’s great veterans; and for good reason. They serve and have served this great nation in ways many of us would hesitate to do. They often put their own lives on the line to keep our country safe and its citizens free. Many deploy to foreign lands, saying goodbye to their spouses and their children for months on end. They missed holidays and special family life events simply to keep this country strong and protect our wonderful constitutional republic. THANK YOU goes out to YOU OUR VETERANS. And yes, we support our troops, past and present.

 

Theirs is a rare sacrifice that contributes so much to the freedom we enjoy as Americans. As a Christian, I appreciate the fact that my freedom to worship

and speak the Gospel as secured by the Constitution is protected by the actions of veterans now and in the past. With this freedom, we are able to know the truth and speak the truth to the world. As Jesus declared, “If you continue in my Word you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). There are many people living in other nations who do not have the freedoms that we enjoy. To many, the truth is barred, outlawed, and hidden from them. Throughout history, some world leaders have desired to take our freedoms from us. Some would even desire to take our freedom to preach God’s Word, meet together and study the Bible without State interference, and worship our God in accordance with our own conscience. Thankfully, our veterans fought to keep us living in, “One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

 

Now don’t get me wrong. Truth and the freedom that truth provides, comes directly from God. Galatians 5:1 tells us, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.” But, while living in these United States of America, many have stepped up from time to time to protect our right to the truth and thereby our right to be a free people. It is our veterans that protect us from earthly foes that may wish to rescind our Constitution and remove the Word of God that is the foundation of our liberty and the justice that so many Americans aspire to. So having said all of this, THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN TO OUR WONDERFUL VETERANS. You are so appreciated!

 

Be blessed even more!!

 

Pastor Chris         


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Fellowship of Believers

 

This past week we were able to meet and greet many of our neighbors for a wonderful time of food, fun and fellowship, as Central Christian’s Fish Fry was a huge success!  We were able to serve over 450 of our neighbors with fish and chicken, music and smiles.  I’m not exactly sure how much money was raised, but that was never the point anyway.  Our goals for the evening was to provide an opportunity to meet and serve our neighbors, provide opportunities for said service to our members, and to enjoy each other in the fellowship of believers throughout the evening as we served others.  In these three categories, the Fish Fry was a huge success!  And I think we raised a good amount of funds at the same time.  Hallelujah!

 

 

 

Text Box: “Do not forsake assembling together…” Hebrews !0The Word of God encourages us to gather together in fellowship opportunities.  In Hebrews 10:24-25 we read,   “…and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”  Because we know that the return of the Lord is drawing near, we need to continue to reach out to our communities and fellowship with one another, keeping ourselves busy in building God’s Kingdom “here on earth as it is in heaven” (Lord’s Prayer). 

 

In the next few months we will have several opportunities to gather together as a Church family in service and fellowship together.  Some of these events include the Harvest Fall Festival gathering on October 30th, the Christian Women’s Fellowship Lunch and Bizarre sale on November 2nd, the all Church Christmas dinner, kettle ringing, Christmas Eve Watch Night gathering along with regular weekly services in December.  All these opportunities that we might bring others into God’s Kingdom and grow in our own spiritual lives and fellowship with one another.   Let us remember the Apostle John’s strong admonition to the Body of Christ in 1 John 1:5-7, ”This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

 

Be blessed even more!!

 

 

 

Pastor Chris         

 


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We Look At The Unseen

We Look At The Unseen

  1. Hayden 9-23-19

 

God calls His people to live by faith. In fact, Scripture tells us that “the just shall live by faith” and that “without faith it is impossible to please God: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”(Hebrews 10:38, Hebrews 11:6). So to live by faith is absolutely critical in developing a strong relationship with our Lord. Unfortunately, so many of God’s people struggle to maintain a life marked by this one guiding principle – that is “living by faith.” So how do we do it?

 

This phrase can be defined in a couple different ways but I see God’s Word describe it as trusting in God and what His Word tells us in spite of what we may perceive with the five physical senses. Your five senses may see you as weak, but God’s Word tells the weak to say they are strong. Your bank account may claim you are poor but the Bible tells us that God will supply all your need according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). Those around you may tell you that you can’t accomplish anything, yet God’s Word tells you that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13).   For many people who live only by the five physical senses, seeing situations and circumstances by the eye of faith is foreign at best and impossible at worst. But we are not destined to be ruled but what we see for we are God’s children. We walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

 

When Abraham was told that he would be the father of many nations even though his wife Sarah was well past child-bearing years, he had a choice. Was he going to believe God and His Word or would he doubt God and believe the deadness of Sarah’s womb? He choice to believe God and it was counted as righteousness before the Lord. And of course, he became what God said he would, the father of many nations. What do you see in your life that tends to contradict what the Word of God declares regarding you? Remember these words from the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:18, “while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Be blessed even more!!

 

Pastor Chris         


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