Pastor’s Blog

Jesus Loves Diversity

11-15-2022
J. Fields
 
My most recent class for Seminary is a Ministry and Cultural Diversity Class, I wasn’t
sure what to expect at first but after being in the class for several weeks now, my eyes have been
opened to some of the cultural differences ad challenges that take place within the ministry.
When you think about culture the immediate thought turns to cultures from other areas of the
world but culture can be those who have a different skin color than you, someone raised in a
different economic position, or even someone from a different religion. No matter what our
background is we are all loved and created by God. We live in a world that seems big but in
reality, it’s small. There are people from all walks of life that are just begging for freedom,
longing for the chance to freely worship God, and those that are praying for another Great
Awakening. There are certain places within the world where people will walk for miles to go to
church, there are organizations such as the LA Dream Center that feed the homeless because they
want to help God’s children. I encourage you to take off your glasses and open your heart to the
cultural differences that surround us, we are a piece of God’s ultimate plan. Remember this; your
cultural upbringing may be different from mine but my way isn’t necessarily any better than
yours, it takes every piece to create the perfect puzzle. There’s an old song that explains that we
are all loved, no matter our differences, the way we act, and the way we look we are part of
God’s ultimate plan.
 
“Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red, brown, yellow, black and white
They are precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world.”
 
Blessings,
Pastor Jason

Read more...

I Will Build My Church (Part 2)

11-1-2022
C. Hayden
 
Last month we spoke of how often the world, and even some who call themselves Christians, make
statements denigrating or downplaying the importance of “Church.” One problem with having an attitude that
causes a person to exclude oneself from the life of the Church is that they think of the Church as a building or a
service they are obligated to go to. The Church is us and to downplay its importance in our lives is to say that we
have no need of being a part of Christ’s Body or Christ’s Bride of which God has called us in to. In 1 Corinthians
12:27, Scripture tells us that “Now YOU are the Body of Christ and each one of you is a part of it.”
The second problem, when we ignore the Church, is that it is by fellowshipping with other believers in a worship setting that we are able to learn about our Lord Jesus, who He is, and how we can learn to live a life worthy of being a Christian. God gives us several tools by which we learn more about Him, and how to be like Him. We learn through:
The Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15),
Prayer to the Lord in the Spirit (Jude 1:20), and
Fellowship with Christ’s Body, the Church (Psalm 55:14, Acts 2:42, 1 John 1:7, Heb 13:16, 1 John 1:3, Gal 2:9, Phil 1:5-7, 1 Cor 14:26, Eph 5:19, Col 3:16, Acts 1:14, Heb 10:24-25, Rom 1:12, 1 Thess 5:11, Eph 4:2-3, etc. (There are a lot more).
 
You might say, “I don’t like the people in the Church.” I believe God would say, “well what a
great group of people to be with to learn what My agape love means.” You might say, “I had a bad experience in
Church.” Maybe God might say, “You have a had bad experiences with many people at many places you keep going
to.” Doesn’t keep us from going back to Walmart after buying what turned out to be junk or McDonalds after
receiving a cold tray of fries, or going back to the bar after waking up to a huge hangover. You might say, “But
Church is boring!” Really?! I believe God might say, “If you would stop looking for others to entertain you and
instead entered into My presence during worship, fellowshipping with Me in the midst of the congregation, you
may discover the exhilaration that only comes to people who desire an audience with their God.” God’s
congregation is not there for our entertainment only. We are here to entertain God with our worship (Maybe
Church isn’t boring…but we are?!)
You might say, “I can worship anywhere, I don’t have to be with Church people.” God did say, “Do not
forsake the assembling of yourselves which is the manner of some; but exhort one another and so much more as
you see the day approaching (Hebrews 10:25). Maybe you can worship anywhere, but you can’t help others in
their faith if you forsake the Body of Christ! Next month, “I Will Build My Church, Part 3.”
 
Be blessed even more,
Pastor Chris

Read more...

The World Is Not a Stage

10-15-2022
J. Fields
 
The World Is Not a Stage – Matthew 6:1-4
6 “Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance
out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding.
2-4 “When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. You’ve seen them
in action, I’m sure—‘playactors’ I call them—treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a
stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get
applause, true, but that’s all they get. When you help someone out, don’t think about how it
looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in
love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.
I came across this Scripture and it made me stop and ponder many of the things we are
witnessing in the world today. People act as if they are something certain in one moment and
then act completely differently in secret. Oh, how about Hollywood, in front of the camera they
seem like life is great, but is it really? I’m not even going to talk about the political arena, I don’t
have enough time to write down all of that. This kind of stuff can’t be taking place inside the
church, can it? Believe me, you and I have both seen it on national tv. Let me explain where
I’m going with this…
It feels good to be liked, it’s exciting to hear people hoot and holler, cheering you on for
something powerful that may have come out of your mouth, and it’s a great feeling when
someone tells you how good you did with a speech or a good deed that you did but Matthew 6 is
trying to tell us to do it with a humble heart, give the glory to God above, be His hands and feet
not because it brings you glory but because it’s the right thing to do. Everything we do in life
should be to glorify God and never man!
 
Blessings,
Pastor Jason

Read more...

I Will Build My Church (Part 1)

10-1-2022
C.Hayden
 
I Will Build My Church, Part 1
Often people that live in the world without Christ, and even many of those that may have received Christ, get the wrong idea of what certain things mean to God. When we think of someone getting saved, we see them as just having a change of heart to be a better person. God, however, sees them as being born again from spiritual
death and being raised to spiritual life as one of His children. When we think of prayer, often we define the word as just reciting a pre-written poem mentioning God. God sees it as communing with God himself through verbal and audio exchanges with the Almighty Himself. And when we define the Church, we think of it as a building or a gathering place for Christians. God defines the Church as the very people of
God, the very Body of Christ united as one family in Him. People like you and
me don’t just go to the church, we are the Church.
 
Matthew 16:18 says, “And I also say to you that you are Peter (little
rock), and on this rock (Rock of salvation through Christ) I will build My
Church , and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” The word
Church in this scripture is the Greek word “ekklesia.” It is where we get
our word ecclesiastic from and it means a community of believing members
or more directly, “the called-out ones.” We are the called-out ones. We are the Church.
Have you ever heard someone make one of the following types of statements:
 
– I don’t attend Church, the TV is my church,
– I don’t believe in organized religion (Jesus organized His disciples?)
– I don’t believe in Church, it is full of hypocrites,
– It does not matter if you go to Church, just be a good person,
– God knows my heart, I don’t need Church,
– I can be a Christian without church.
 
The problem with these statements (there are several) are monumental. First of all, if you have made one of these statements, you have misinterpreted what the Church is. If you are a Christian, you are a called out one and therefore are a part of the Church, like it or not. The Church is not a building. To look down your nose and snub the Church is to not only make insult of yourself as a Christian, but to make insult of what Jesus calls His very “Bride.”
 
The Church is the “Bride of Christ” and it is an insult to Him when we mock His Bride. It is through the Church of Christ that the gift of salvation is extended to the world, and through which the Holy Spirit brings spiritual growth to His children. If you say you love Jesus, how can you say I don’t need to or want to be a part of His Body or His Work? Next month, more on “I Will Build My Church.”
 
Be blessed even more,
Pastor Chris

Read more...

Yes, Lord! I WIll Go!

9/15/2022
J. Fields
 
It’s hard to believe that Summer is over, the good thing is we usually get to have summer
type of weather for another month or so before we see the seasonal weather change. I love
Summer however; I do enjoy the many changes that come with Fall. The Fall brings many
changes to our lives such as the change in the color of the leaves, football season, pumpkin-
flavored everything (one of my favorites), apple cider, campfires, and who could forget the
farmers that will be in the fields harvesting.
 
Many exciting things are happening here at Central Christian Church. We don’t just
want to be a place that goes with the flow we want to live by our mission statement of being the
church that experiences God together through community. We believe that it’s important to
equip the believer, empower the people, and engage our community; maybe you’re thinking that
sounds great and all but how exactly do we do this? Well, here at Central Christian we try and
be the hands and feet of Jesus.
 
Here is a list of things that we are currently doing. We have many exciting things
happening such as not only Sunday morning worship service but we have Sunday Morning Bible
Study, Wednesday Night Bible Study, Jr./Sr. High Youth Group (S.W.A.T.), we’ve brought back
Wednesday Evening Children’s Church (Kids for Christ), Thursday Morning Bible Study in the
office, CWF (ladies’ group) events, Men’s breakfast once a month, plus so much more! Not only
is the church hosting these events but our building is being used by many other groups and
organizations, put this all together and you have what our church stands for.
 
When I think about Fall and I reflect on many of the things we are doing at church it
gives me the chance to reflect on the “why”, why were we created, why life changes so often,
and why we put such emphasis on being the church, the reason is because of who it is we serve.
Can you imagine what would happen if we all (the church as a whole throughout the world)
would do exactly what Christ called us to do? The lives that could change, the miracles that
could take place, the world would be completely different!
 
Jesus didn’t just do church inside of some building, he went outside the four walls and
lived His life as the church. We are called to do the same thing as Jesus. Jesus isn’t looking for
“church as usual” He’s looking for those who will go and be the church. He wants the world to
know Him and it starts with us saying yes Lord I will go! And Jesus went throughout all the
cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and
healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for
them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to
his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the
Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:35-38 / ESV)
 
Blessings,
Pastor Jason

Read more...

Back to School Again!

9-1-2022
C. Hayden
 
In the last several weeks, we have been studying the book of Ephesians on Sunday morning, moving from Scripture to Scripture, line upon line, precept upon precept (Isaiah 28: 10-13). It is refreshing on occasion to do a study that includes each Bible verse in the text. In this way, the Word of God is dissected within the context of the chapter or book. This helps prevent misinterpreting Scripture by taking the Word of God out of its contextual meaning. The bible tells us to continue in God’s Word so that we might know the Truth that leads to freedom (John 8) and to study to show ourselves approved, rightly dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15).
 
This week we see the return of Huntington students back to the classroom. Learning new things and reinforcing old lessons helping them to grow as a student and a person able to be ever more productive in a world that values such learning. In the same way, God is drawing us to continue learning, always adding knowledge to our faith and wisdom to our walk with the Lord. In 2nd Peter, the apostle encourages us to “give all diligence to add to our faith virtue, add knowledge…
 
Here at Central Christian Church, we value studying the Word of God consistently throughout the week to assist believers in the endeavor of “continuing in the Word.” We have Bible studies on Sunday morning, Wednesday evening and Thursday morning each week, as well as monthly fellowship groups and men’s and women’s gatherings to assist in our spiritual growth.
 
The youth have extra fun and fellowship in their own children’s church on Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. In this way, all of us become like “iron sharpening iron” (Proverbs 27:17), helping us to become sharp spiritual instruments able to divide correctly the truth that God has for us. Come and join us for one of these ongoing learning opportunities. We believe we have a group that you can continue to grow in God’s grace and truth. And who knows, you might just have a little fun in the learning.
 
Be blessed even more!
Pastor Chris

Read more...

“Who’s Your Daddy?”

8-15-2022
J. Fields
 
A few years ago, I was in the best shape of my life, I was at the exact weight I wanted to be, I
was working out a lot and my eating habits were top notch but there was a problem, I had
become obsessed with trying to have this perfect image. Even though I was hitting these
personal goals it never did bring me happiness.
 
As I look back now, I do miss being skinnier however, I don’t miss making my life evolve
around my body image. I get asked at times if I stopped working out or wow “you’ve gained
weight”, the truth is I still work out a lot and while my diet is not as strict as it once was, I am in
a happier place in my life. Oh, it’s probably not the best to ask someone about their weight.
So, you are probably wondering what all of this has to do with a church blog, let me explain my
point. We are living in a culture that makes us feel as if we have to live up to everyone’s
expectations, it almost feels like we can’t be the person we truly are and it tends to put so much
pressure on us that we feel like we have to look, act, and be someone different when in reality we
just need to be whom God created us to be.
 
God created humans, which means you and me in His perfect images (Genesis 1:27). Since we
are God’s beautiful handy work (Ephesians 2:10) that means that we are already the person
whom God wants us to be. Believe me, if you have your eyes and ears focused in the wrong
places you will start looking and acting like the things you’re surrounded by, but if you stay in
alignment with God, He will bless you with everything you’ll ever need (James 1:12).
 
If you were like me where you had this negative thought about the person you are, maybe you
think you’re not good enough, or pretty enough, or strong enough let me give you this hope, by
the grace and mercy of God you are more than enough. Scripture tells us that we are chosen, a
royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9) so the next time the enemy tries to tell you something different
remind him who your Father is. Walk with confidence, keep your head held high, and be
everything that God created you to be.
 
Blessings!
Pastor Jason

Read more...

The Spirit of Wisdom

8/1/2022
C. Hayden
 
In the last couple of weeks, Central Christian has been examining Paul’s letter to the Church of Ephesus during the Sunday morning service. I must say, when a sermon follows line upon line, scripture upon scripture, concepts of the Word of God seem to be exposed even when not looking for them. This past week we looked at Ephesians 1:15-23. In verse 17-18a, Paul reveals to the Church that he is praying for them regarding one thing, “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened…” When a people come to Christ, and as a Church studies the Bible, God’s intent is that the whole congregation begin to grow in their knowledge of Himself.
 
His desire is for our enlightenment of His will and purpose for us. God’s ultimate purpose for is not so that we only become church members then wait until we die to go to heaven. The Lord makes it clear that He wants us to know Him, to be educated in His ways, and to become familiar with the workings in accordance with His will. Isn’t that what we want also? First Corinthians 2:9-10 says, “….What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived – the things God has prepared for those who love Him – these are the things God has revealed to us by His Spirit.” Within God’s Word are treasures that prophets and kings wished that they had seen and known, but the revelation was given to us, not them (Luke 10:24). It is amazing how willing so many dismiss and ignore the wonder of God’s Word because they are too busy with the distractions of this world!
 
I don’t know about you, but I do not like to be left in the dark on things, especially when something has to do with me. I want to know what God’s will and purpose is for me. You can find it! It is there! Seek God’s wisdom regarding you and your family. He will give you wisdom for the “now” as well as in the world to come. Jesus will not disappoint. God promises! “If any of you lack wisdom, you should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5).
 
Be blessed even more!
Pastor Chris

Read more...

You Say You’re A Christian?

7-15-2022
J. Fields
 
Have you ever come across someone whom you were eventually shocked to find out they were a Christian? While you are thinking about that question let me give you a few statistics that were taken in 2020 in regards to Christianity. According to a 2020 Gallup Study, approximately 50% of Americans say they belong to a church. In 1999 the statistics stated that almost 70% of Americans said they were regular church attenders. In a 2020 Gallup Poll, it was shown that only 42% of millennials attend church, one of the lowest generational percentages. After reading these couple of statistics you may be asking the same thing I was, if almost half of the American
population states that they belong to a church then how in the world can this Nation be in such an uproar and shambles?
 
So now back to my original question; Have you ever come across someone whom you were eventually shocked to find out they were a Christian? I ask this because “the church” has been gaining a bad rap because it has fallen away from living in alignment with the way Christ intended it or I should say us to live. Over the years I have been in churches and have often times scratched my head wondering “is that really the way God would want a Christian to act”, I’m smart enough to know that there is no one who is perfect outside of Jesus but, we are called
to be Christ-like. 1 John 2:6 “ Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” Can you imagine how full churches would be if the 50% of Americans who say they belong to a church really did show up or even if they lived the way the church was created to live?
 
Overall crime (violence, murder, rape, assault) is all up across America as a whole. We
are living, watching, and hearing about crime every time we turn on the news. The days when we felt safe to leave our vehicles unlocked are out the window. America needs a wake-up call, it needs to be shaken, and it needs a revival! The church is one of the greatest tools that God has given us, folks we are the church! If we want to see a Nation that repents and falls back in love with the Creator of the Universe then that change must start with us. America needs a fresh anointing; it needs another mighty revival!
 
 
2 Chronicles 7:14
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
 
 
Blessings!
Pastor Jason

Read more...

This Is Eternal Life

 
C. Hayden
7-1-22
 
 
It is always wonderful to read the Word of God. These words were written down by men, but inspired and yes, dictated by God Himself as he spoke to men dedicated to Him. The words printed in red in our Red-Letter editions are especially sweet as they indicate the dialogue of Jesus with others as He spoke
words of life to all who would listen. In one such instance, Jesus prays to His Father God just before His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. He said these words in John 17:1-3,
 
“…Father, the hour has come.
Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.
And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
 
 
What did Jesus say? This is what eternal life is, “knowing God?” When God rescues us and we become “born-again”, as Jesus termed the phrase, along with the gift
of eternal life we are actually given access to God with the express right to know Him. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
What a privilege it is to actually be able to come to Him at any time of the day, every day, and pour out are hearts to Him and then listen to what He may say to us. Through the Word of God and prayer, we come to know Him personally as our Lord and our Father in fellowship with Him. In this way, not only do we have eternal life reserved for us, but we have eternal life NOW, enjoying communion
with God as one of His children slated to live forever in His Kingdom. J.I. Packer authored a wonderful Christian classic titled, “Knowing God.” Packer takes the reader through the journey via God’s Word to knowing God for yourself. I recommend this text highly and hope you take advantage of this classic book. He knows you, now it is time that you get to know Him!
 
 
Be blessed even more!!
Pastor Chris

Read more...