Pastor’s Blog

The God of Christmas

1-1-2023
C. Hayden
 
 
The Apostle Paul never seemed to miss an opportunity to share the good news of Jesus with those
around him. After stirring up the population, along with evil men purposefully inciting the crowds in
Berea (Northern Greece), Paul is sent to Athens. There he waits for Silas and Timothy to join him.
During his “wait,” Paul notices the many idols he finds there and he, as is Paul’s way, is stirred to bring
forth the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Jews and Gentiles in the synagogue and the marketplace,
eventually ending up at the Areopagus (a council of men responsible for the education and governance
of Athens). In the very midst of this group of powerful men, Paul declares to them, “ Men of Athens, I
perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23 for as I was passing through and considering the
objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.
 
Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you…” In the following Scriptures, Paul
not only delegitimizes the false idols in the room, but then declares that it is Jesus as the one they need to seek, for it is He who was raised from the dead and will judge the world in righteousness. I wonder, when looking at the baby Jesus in a manger sitting on our fireplace mantle or displayed under the Christmas tree, or some other prominent place this season, we realize that we are viewing, in those simple Christmas decorations, a representation of the Divine Creator and Governor of all things. The wise men were not just seeking a beautiful Christmas display they could add to their many sight-seeing memories.
 
They were seeking the foretold one true Messiah of whom all glory, honor and praise in heaven and
earth belongs to. The One who would deliver all mankind from their sin, once and for all.
The Apostle John wrote this of Jesus, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and
was God. He (Jesus) was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him , and without Him
nothing was made that was made” (John 1:1-3). Colossians 1:17 says, “ 16 For by Him were all things
created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or
dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: 17 And He is before
all things, and by Him all things consist.” Sort of makes you look at the Nativity scene a little different,
doesn’t it?!
 
Be blessed even more!!
Pastor Chris

Read more...

Slow Down & Enjoy

12-15-2022
J. Fields
 
Where has the year gone? I cannot believe it’s almost Christmas! One of my favorite
things to do is to throw some earbuds in and listen to some instrumental Christmas music, the
sound of the piano, saxophone, guitars, and violins are beautiful. There are times my mind starts
thinking back to when I was a kid, the anticipation of Christmas day, presents under the tree,
time with family, and the hope that it may even snow, I love this season. Now that I’m older,
and a father I love watching the excitement that I once had as a kid now being relived through
my children.
 
Not only is Christmas a great time to enjoy the beautiful sights, sounds, yummy food, and
presents but it’s a great time to slow down and reflect on the miracle of Jesus Christ. These past
several weeks we have been reflecting on the advent themes of hope, peace, joy, and love.
Advent is about reflection and anticipation, reflecting on what God has blessed and done in our
lives, the greatest gift of all being His precious Son, Jesus Christ, and then the anticipation of
when He comes back (His return). The great anticipation of His return will take place in a
moment that no one is aware of, are you ready? “ For as the lightning comes from the east and
shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24:27)
 
My prayer is that each of you will slow down, pump the brakes, reflect, pray, and thank
Him for the gift of eternal life. Jesus Christ is the most amazing gift that any of us will ever
receive. Have hope, live in peace, be joyful, and spread the love of Christ to a lost, dark, and
confusing world. Cherish the gift of Jesus, get to know your gift, spend time with the gift, and
become one with the gift, after all, this gift saved you and me from having to endure death.
Enjoy this Christmas and remember, He truly is the reason for this season.
 
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his
shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
 
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Pastor Jason

Read more...

God Is the Great Designer

12-1-2022
C. Hayden
 
For years we have been amazed by the images we were able to capture of space’s beauty and wonder
through the lens of the Hubble Space Telescope. This marvel of NASA engineering allowed scientists to
see further into space then we could have ever imagined, capturing pictures of God’s unending
wonders. Well, this champion optical technology has fallen to an even stronger telescope known as the
James Webb Space Telescope. The James Webb Telescope was launched in 2021 and can now view
space in greater detail not capable by the Hubble. We now see even farther into the expanse of our
Lord’s created universe, far beyond what the Hubble was able to do. The landscape below of
“mountains” and “valleys” speckled with glittering stars is actually the edge of a nearby, young,
star-forming region called NGC 3324 in the Carina Nebula. It is one of the first images captured by
the Webb. Pictures from the Webb Telescope have put into question previously believed, yet
unproven, theories surrounding the universe’s supposed “Big Bang.” Scientists are now “not quite sure”
what they thought they knew due to the Webb telescope.
 
What the Webb has revealed to me, like its predecessor, the Hubble, before it, is that the
universe has undoubtedly been formed by a “Grand Designer” and “Precision Planner.” If God can
create a universe filled with stars, planets, and moons, all organized into
systematic galaxies with one being home to our Earth, a home that
is created so precisely that we can thrive from season to season,
year to year and century to century, He can certainly take care of
our own individual needs.
 
According to the Bible, God declares that He has even
planned out and designed our own lives. And as is His way, it is a
good plan. Psalm 139:16 says that all of our days were planned out and written in His book before we
were even born! Before you were conceived, God new you and loved you. And if you are nervous about
His intention regarding you, Jeremiah 29 puts our trepidation toward Him to rest. “’I know what I have
planned for you,’ says the Lord. ‘I have good plans for you. I don’t plan to hurt you. I plan to give you
hope and a good future’” (Jeremiah 29:11).
 
This does not mean we will not have bad days and even seasons of extreme difficulty. But each
struggle we have, God will use it to make us more like Him, strengthening our faith with patience,
making us complete and whole, needing nothing (James 1). When in a season of difficulty or feeling lost
at times, remember that the Lord is our Shepherd as well as the designer and planner of the entire
universe, we can put our trust in Him.
 
Be blessed even more!!​
Pastor Chris

Read more...

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...