Pastor’s Blog

 
 

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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Love Thy Neighbor

J. Fields
6-15-2021
 
The other day I received a phone call from my neighbor asking me if I would be interested in a few bags of leftover mulch that he didn’t use…it happened to be the exact color that I needed. I expressed my gratitude to him and immediately said, “Yes, just let me know the exact amount I owe you and I’ll swing it over.” This neighbor has always been a huge help for my family, so when he told me that I owed him nothing I wasn’t surprised since he has such a good heart and is always a generous person. I sure am blessed with having great neighbors.
 
This experience made me reflect on Matthew 22 when Jesus was confronted and responded about what the great commandment is: Matthew 22: 36-40 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
 
You may be saying, “Oh Jason, your neighbor was just being nice, you are reading way more than you should into his kindness.” I agree he is a very kind man but freely giving his time and never wanting or expecting anything in return shows me the heart that this guy has, Loving your neighbor as yourself means that you not only care about your own personal wants and needs but you have a heart for helping those around you.
 
This man and his family don’t currently go to church anywhere. This family has had many trials over the past several years but instead of losing heart and just being mad at the world, they continue to be generous and kind to those around them. My hope and prayer are that this family will one day be sitting in a service at either our church or another one somewhere. The moral of my story is this, we are all called to love thy neighbor, no matter the curve balls that life may throw at us, we must represent the love of Jesus Christ in everything we do. Jesus didn’t make the second commandment so that we can just have the head knowledge of what it means, he commanded us to live this out in our everyday lives.
 
Blessings,
Pastor Jason
 
 

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Holiness Unto the LORD

6-1-2021
C. Hayden
 
The topic of holiness has always been a difficult subject for the Church to grasp a hold of. In the book of Hebrews 12:14 we read, “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” If we are commanded to be holy, then how are we to do it? Does it mean we have to give up all worldly goods, become monks and live in a monastery the rest of our lives? Hardly. To understand holiness, we need to first remember that it is a work of the Holy Spirit by which we become holy, not our work. There are two aspects of holiness that we need to look at.
 
The first is that we are holy, not just by what we do, but by Who we belong to. We need to first be saved thereby being born again into His holiness. When we come to Christ, commit our lives to Him, receiving Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are washed by the blood of the Lamb and step into the Lord’s righteousness. We become holy, not by what we do or have done, but simply because we now belong to God and are holy because He purchased us, now we are His. The Holy Spirit seals us and set us apart as holy, belonging to God and now are separated for His purposes. We are holy in the same way as the temple utensils, cups, bowls and platters in Solomon’s temple, are holy unto the Lord by the fact that they, and we, belong to God. This aspect illustrates that just as we cannot do anything to save ourselves, we also are unable to do anything to be hold, it is God’s work.
 
The second aspect of holiness is that, now that we belong to God, we need to put off the old man, sinful in nature and deeds, and start putting on the new man which was created in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:24). The Apostle Peter put it this way, in the epistle of 1st Peter 1:15-16 we read, “But as He which has called you is holy, so you are to be holy in all manner of behavior; Because it is written, ‘Be ye holy, for I am holy.'” If we will submit ourselves to the Holy Spirit’s work, we begin walking in a manner that is pleasing to the Lord, submitting ourselves to the ongoing sanctification that can be defined as a holy walk with Jesus. It is not that we do holy works to be holy, but that we submit ourselves to the Holy One. In this way, our actions begin to match His holiness by offering our will as a living sacrifice, allowing Christ to transform us into His image  (Romans 12:1-2), embracing His will for us.
 
Be blessed even more!
 
Pastor Chris

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Seeking Whom He May Devour

C. Hayden
4-27-2021
 
I love the Apostle Peter. This man of God, one of the Lord’s great Church Fathers went from the frightened Simon who cowered when confronted about his relationship with Jesus to the awesome Peter the Apostle preaching with such great power, bringing 3000 to the Lord in one day. Even through often maligned for getting his eyes off the Master and sinking when walking on the Sea of Galilee, the fact of the matter is, he did walk on water albeit for only a few steps. Peter was the only person to do it other than Jesus.
 
The Apostle Peter was also known for writing the 1st and 2nd Epistles of Peter in the New Testament. In Peter’s Epistles, we discover a variety of warnings for the Church. Peter sees the landscape of spiritual entropy taking place, not only in the world, but infiltrating the Church of Christ as well. He warns all who would listen to beware of false doctrines, false teachers, and false spirits (the devil). They lead our children astray, devour our families lives and turn us away from faith in God. In 1 Peter 5:6-8 we read, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all you care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
 
If things seem “not quite right” nowadays and sinful behavior and compromise appear rampant, even in the Church, maybe we are experiencing the devouring that Peter warned us of taking place. Maybe we should begin to take this Epistle’s (God’s Word) warnings serious and start following what the Apostle told us in verse 9 of this chapter, “Resist him (the devil), steadfast in the faith…” If you are not experiencing a resistance to your faith by the enemy of your souls in these difficult days, you may have already been deceived by the devil who has been munching on you without you even knowing it.
 
Be blessed even more!
 
Pastor Chris

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Changing of the Season

J. Fields
4-15-2021
 
After a long Indiana winter, I am so thankful for a changing of the season. Greener grass, flowers starting to bloom, the sound of birds chirping, and warmer weather, oh the sounds and sights of Spring. With the changing of a season comes an opportunity to change your outlook.
 
In the Old Testament, chapter three of Ecclesiastes talks about there being a time for everything. Even through some seasons seem to drag on while others seem to fly right by there is something that we can learn that will help us grow in life. There is a stretching, a time of molding that takes place during the season.
 
Life gets busy, the world is moving fast and with so much available at our finger tips we can keep ourselves stretched so thin that we don’t have a chance to enjoy the season. My challenge for you is to not become so busy with your life that one day you look back and regret the things you missed out on. Enjoy the seasons of life that God has blessed you with, take a moment to stop and smell the roses. Life is full of seasons, embrace each one.
 
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
 
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
 
Blessings,
 
Pastor Jason

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A Real Jesus

C.Hayden
3-25-21
 
Hello everyone, you are reading this blog either before or after one of the highest of holy days in the Christian world. That Holy Day is Easter Sunday, also known as Resurrection Day, the day Jesus Christ rose from the dead to solidify our deliverance from sin and the grave. What a wonderful gift! And even though it is the greatest story ever told, it is not a fairy tale. A real Jesus came down to die on a real cross, buried and rose from a real grave, and is seated on a real throne at the right hand of our real and living Father God.
How do we know this? The evidence of the truth of God’s Word is backed up by the categories of real evidence that when put to the test, is literally undeniable (Read “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel, former avowed atheist, investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune, and later the managing editor of the Daily Herald). There is archaeological evidence, historical evidence, literary evidence, thematic consistency, first-hand witness accounts, second-hand investigative, internal cohesion and coherence, cross checked external evidence (other literary accounts), and strong prophetic evidence. And then there is the miracles witnessed that have never been unproven. Far more evidence exists than most scientific theories out there today. 
But the greatest piece of evidence of all, the empty tomb (John 20). Jesus’ body was never, and has never, been found. The facts surrounding the Lord’s body is amazing. After being brought down from the cross, the Lord’s body was wrapped in cloth, much like a mummy might be, placed into Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb, sealed with a great unmovable stone and guarded by Roman soldiers. Yet, on the third day, the guards fell asleep, the stone was moved away, the napkin around the Lord’s head folded neatly, separated from the bloody body wrappings found elsewhere in the tomb (if thieves or the disciples did it, why risk being caught by taking the time to unwrap the body) with His body absolutely nowhere to be found…Except when He was found alive, not only by His 11 close disciples, but by approximately 500 other disciples who were willing to be imprisoned, exiled and martyred for the testimony that they saw Jesus after His crucifixion. People have been found innocent or guilty of murder by the testimony of only one witness. And questionable scientific theories have been adopted as fact by society on much less than the evidence that exists declaring the truth of God’s Word and Jesus’ resurrection. Pretty strong evidence, don’t you think?
 
Be blessed even more!
 
Pastor Chris

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A Real Devil

C. Hayden
3-10-2021
 
In Hollywood, we have so many examples of characters that set out to portray the prince of darkness, the devil. He is often characterized as a misunderstood imp wearing a red suit. Or he is the angle who was mistreated because he desired freedom from a vengeful and self-centered God. Or he is portrayed as God’s equal brother who simply wants people to have a good time. Sometimes he is portrayed as the evil one, but having the power to outwit or contend with the very Son of God. In fact, the devil is none of those things. These many images of devils and demons are usually meant to entertain for sure, but often the effect of these misguided attempts at humor or horror, serve only to cause individuals to not take him seriously or even doubt that he exists at all.
The fact of the matter is, contrary to the faith of many people, claiming to be a Christian or not, the devil is very real and is very malevolent when it comes to humankind. First Peter 5:8 says “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” And verse 9 tells us to “Resist him, steadfast in the faith…”. Jesus experienced a very real battle with the devil who attempted to derail our Lord’s ministry before it even got started. The devil is a real threat and he will destroy you and your faith (or at least render it ineffective) if you do not recognize it.
The devil’s main weapon is to deceive and lie. Jesus called satan a liar and the father of lies. He lies to get you to believe he is not real or not relevant to your life. He then lies to get you to believe the same in regards to our Lord; that He is not real or not relevant to your life. Neither of these ideas could be further from the truth. In John 10:10 we read, “The thief does not come except to kill, and to steal and to destroy…”. He tries to kill your life, steal your love, peace, and joy, and destroy your witness and relationships with those around you. The physical things you lose are just the end of the road after everything else has been stolen. My advice, don’t let him do it. Recognize that he is real and deadly. The Apostle said that we are not fighting against flesh and blood. We battle against principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness and spiritual wickedness. They are to fear us as we destroy their influence in our lives, our family, our Church and the world. Turn your anger on the deceiver, not on your family or brothers and sisters in Christ. Happy hunting Man or Woman of God.
 
Be blessed even more!
 
Pastor Chris

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The Voice of the Spirit

The Voice of the Spirit
C. Hayden 2-25-21
 
The past couple of weeks we have been talking about the importance of the working of the Holy Spirit in order that we might hear the voice of God. While God’s voice is often heard as we read the verses in the Holy Scriptures, it is the Holy Spirit who gives us revelation and understanding of what God is speaking to us. As well, the Holy Spirit will continue to speak to us throughout the day, bringing to light those things Jesus has said during those times of Bible Study and prayerful meditation.
 
First Corinthians 2:9-10 says this, “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But God has revealed them unto us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes the deep things of God.” God reveals things to us by His Spirit if we will simply listen to Him. Verse 12 of that same chapter tells us this, Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” God will speak to us regarding His will through the Spirit that He placed in us at the time of our regeneration when we were first saved. When we are born again, when we call on the name of the Lord and make Him our Savior, the Spirit comes into our heart and is available to us, interacting and speaking to us the wonderful things. He opens the Word of God to us and guides us, utilizing our conscience, mind and spirit to speak so that we may listen and hear His voice.
 
Often, we fail to hear His voice because either we don’t really believe God is speaking to us, or we just choose not to turn our attention to listen for His voice, or we are distracted by other things in life and can’t hear what God would say. We are either the kind of soil that is too rock filled, shallow or thorn bush filled to be able to received God’s voice so that the Spirit is unable to get His message to our thick and stony hearts (Matthew 13:3-9). We need to be soil that is good, fertile, tilled and Holy Spirit led so that the seed, the voice of God can be heard clearly and consistently.
 
Be blessed even more!!
Pastor Chris

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Broken Yet Blessed

Broken Yet Blessed
C.Hayden 2-15-21
 
At the risk of being inappropriate, I must share this with you this week. It has been a very hard couple of weeks for me. At the end of January we said goodbye to a wonderful member of our congregation, Judy Frederick. Judy was traveling on one of many county roadways around Huntington when she was struck by another vehicle whose driver had run a stop sign, and she was killed. When I had received word confirming the incident, I was immediately heart-broken. It was not much more than a few months past that Judy had seen our church online and came to visit. She immediately fell in love with our congregation, enjoyed our serves, made new friends, and was overwhelmed with the opportunities that lay before her as a new believer with a renewed spiritual focus. She had discovered her new church home and was so excited about getting involved in so many ministry opportunities. She was newly water baptized with a zeal for God that is all too uncommon. She is, and will be, so missed.
I’m not totally sure why I share this with you on this forum. Maybe I tell you in order to inform you of the need to keep Judy’s family in prayer. I know they are hurting at this very moment. Maybe I just want you to know to keep me in prayer (It is a painful thing for a Pastor to let go of a member of the church family). Or, maybe I am looking for some type of catharsis at a time when answers are not always clear. Maybe the offering of this Pastor’s Blog includes all these things and more. What certainly is true is that I am just as susceptible to asking “Why?” as anybody. I know many are mourning her loss, me included, but I have hope. 
 
These things I know, that:
1) We live in a world full of sin and tragedy (Romans 5:12)
2) We have an enemy who hates us and seeks to destroy us (John 10:10)
3) We often see bad things happen to good people (Matthew 5:45)
4) We cannot always avoid pain (John 16:33)
 
Let me tell you why I have hope and what else I know, that:
5) Jesus loves us (and Judy), and never will leave us (Hebrews 13:5)
6) Jesus gives hope when when understanding escapes us (1 Thessalonians 4:13)
7) Jesus provides escape routes so we can bear temptation, even in despair (1 Corinthians 10:13)
8) Jesus will heal our broken hearts and carry our burdened souls (Matthew 11:28-29)
 
And finally by faith in the Word and the Power of the Holy Spirit I know that:
9) I will trust in my God even when my heart is grieving  (Job 13:15)
10) I continue to pick up my cross and follow Christ even when inconvenient (Luke 9:23)
11) I am more than a conqueror in Christ, it is who I am (Romans 8:36-37)
12) I will not fear for Jesus is with me and He is my God (Isaiah 41:10)
13) I have victory over the crushed and defeated devil, he is a loser (Romans 16:20)
14) I will see Judy again and all who love Jesus in the Kingdom of my God (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
 
Oh boy, what stories we will have to share on that day!
 
Be blessed even more!
 
Pastor Chris
 
 

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Freedom to Speak

Freedom to Speak

  1. Hayden 1-25-21

 

There appears to be a trend growing in this wonderful country of ours that is becoming increasing disturbing. And while this trend has not yet touched most of us, we may begin to feel its effects if it is not addressed and resisted.   We still feel the freedom we have known as adults living in a democratic style, constitutional republic. But that may change if our right of free speech, as given by God and guaranteed by the First Amendment, continues to be assaulted.  And that is exactly what appears to be happening.  In the last several weeks we have seen some of our national leaders spout some amazingly divisive and dangerous rhetoric.  Initiating mandated programs that deprogram people or groups because they support someone or some position different than their own is unconstitutional. Canceling people or groups, destroying them financially or socially because their views differ, is extremely dangerous and it is wrong.  

Christians throughout history have suffered mercilessly at the hands of non-believing nations and state run corrupt church institutions because they spoke their beliefs. This concept of free speech is supported and promoted in Holy Scripture.  From the day the Holy Spirit was given on the day of Pentecost, the Spirit-filled Church has resisted being muzzled by those who know better than everyone else.  When told to stop talking about Jesus, Peter and John said no.  Acts 4:18-20 says, So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”

Some might dare to say, “We are free to say what the Bible says so what’s the problem?” First of all, in many parts of the world, people are persecuted and executed for preaching the good things of God.  In some western nations, some topics from God’s Word are off limits, at risk of severe fines and imprisonment.  And secondly, some Christians, as well as others of different beliefs, are being harassed, threatened, and receiving attempted societal and financial cancellation due to speaking out beliefs not matching governmental or socially accepted speech.  Saints, these things ought not to be anywhere, especially here.  

I will leave you with this familiar poem quoted in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a socialist.  Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a trade unionist.  Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew.  Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.” 

Be blessed even more!!

Pastor Chris


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