Pastor’s Blog

They’re Coming!

It is no secret that I am a fan of 1950’s science fiction movies. I know, I know, they can be the corniest things to watch with their low budget effects and cheesy dialogue. However, these movies bring back a feeling of nostalgia for me and because they are usually pretty low budget, you get the opportunity to use your imagination a bit more than you do with today’s films.

One such favorite is called “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” A riveting title and compelling story, if you’re an avid sci-fi fan. In this story, seeds rain on the earth, become pods and begin taking over the planet. This is an unbelievable story except for those who have actually witnessed these aliens for themselves. The hero of the story, pictured here, witnesses the invaders and begins a journey to tell everyone what he knows, but no one believes him. No matter how hard he tries or the effort with which he tells the message, they just think he is out of his mind. That does not deter him; the hero tells the story regardless of who will or will not listen. Why? You might ask, because he knows the truth. When you know the truth, it does not matter what others think, you will be committed to the message because you know you are right and to not share the truth will be disaster for those who will not heed the warning.

In 2 Timothy 1:6-8, Paul tells Timothy to stir up what God has placed inside him for God has given us power, love and a disciplined mind; we need not be afraid. He continues by telling Timothy not to be ashamed of the testimony of the Lord nor of his mentor, but to join with him in the afflictions that come from spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. How could he be so bold regarding his faith?! Paul knew the truth and knew that separation from God awaited those who failed to accept salvation through God’s Son.

We have a message to give the world. Now that we are closing in on the Christmas season, this is a perfect time to start committing to this message and sharing it with others. The message, “For God so loved the world that He gave His Son, that whosoever will believe will not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:1). In the same way that Invasion of the Body Snatchers is for sci-fi buffs, the message of God’s love is a “classic!”

Be blessed,

Pastor Chris


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The Church Awakening

On Wednesday evening, Dave Schroeder led a Bible study group in reviewing the book, “The Church Awakening” by noted Pastor and author Chuck Swindoll.  I was able to “Skype” in one week to catch the conversation, and to say the least, it was very informative and enlightening.  The central message of Pastor Swindoll’s offering is an urgent call for the renewal of the Christian Church.  According to Swindoll, the Church has seen and experienced a continually increasing slide of erosion in Biblical standards and faithful passion for a vibrant relationship with the one and only living Savior, Jesus Christ.

Both disciples, Peter and Paul gave stark warnings of the devil’s desire to destroy the Church.  In 1st Peter 5, the Apostle tells us to be sober and be vigilant because the devil goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.  In Acts 20:28-29, Paul writes before his final departure, “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.  Be shepherds of the Church of God, which He bought with His own blood.  I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.”  Pastor Swindoll outlines very real dangers, in which the devil (with the help of savage “wolves”) has been doing just that.  It is amazing how relevant the author’s insights are and how they match up with the struggles Central Christian and the Church universal have been experiencing today.

We are continuing our study on this most important topic as we go page by page, gleaning vital information that can lead one in the path of Spiritual renewal.  We meet every Wednesday evening at 6:30 pm in the Topnotcher’s room here at Central Christian Church.  All are invited, so come and be blessed in fellowship and the Word, and discover what we, as a Christian body, need to be prepared for in a society that continues to stray from the moral and Spiritual moorings found in God’s Word.

Be blessed and be grateful,

Pastor Chris Hayden


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Tear Down This Wall

On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan made one of the more notable challenges in this nations history. As the President stood in the shadow of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, these historic words rose in view of the world, “General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” I still get goose bumps when I see this freedom charged discourse. I get the same feeling when I watch President Kennedy’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” address. We are a nation that values freedom.

Our Lord values freedom. Jesus conveys what real freedom is in John 8:31-36, 31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”33 They answered him,  “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slaveto sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Jesus tells us that freedom is not necessarily being able to do whatever we want, when we want it. If we use our freedom to remain in sin and selfish living, we are actually slaves to our own carnal behavior. But if we continue in God’s Word and put into practice His Word, we are made free by the truth found in Christ. The wall of sin and deceit is knocked down and we are free to follow Jesus, free to love God with all our hearts, love others as ourselves, and free to be a true Disciple of Christ.

This year, as we commemorate the freedom purchased for this nation throughout our history, let us also remember the freedom from sin and freedom to follow Christ that was purchased for us at the cross. The events surrounding the signing of the Declaration of Independence, through the struggle for state and civil rights, and our desire to see other nations experience freedom, are all examples of why July 4th is so special to Americans as well as so many others around the globe who value freedom. I believe this value comes from God Almighty whose Son Jesus died and rose again to make all who dare to believe free! Not using our liberty as an occasion to indulge in sin, but an opportunity to serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13).

Be Blessed and be grateful,

Pastor Chris Hayden


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The Kingdom Is Within & Among You

As Jesus and his disciples made their way into Jerusalem to take part in the Passover celebration before the Lord’s crucifixion, the twelve were overwhelmed by the Jewish temple, the beautiful buildings and structures which adorned the streets of the Great City. When pointing this out to the Lord, He was not very impressed. His reply, “…not one stone will be found on top of another.” He did not put much emphasis on building structures, outward adornments or lavish relics when referring to maintenance of a relationship with God.

In the book of Luke, 17th chapter, the Pharisees came to Jesus to ask Him when the Kingdom of God will arrive. His response was that the Kingdom of God does not come with any outward observation, but that, “the Kingdom of God is within you.” Now there is some debate as to whether Jesus was saying that the Kingdom is “within us” as individuals or “among us” as a group. To me, both are correct; the Kingdom of God is within us and among us. Christ is in our heart and we are able to converse with Him now; we have a comforter, the Spirit of truth with us always (John 14:16-17).

He is also among us as we gather together as believers. Matthew 18:20 tells us that where two or more are gathered in the Lord’s Name, He is there in our very midst. Last Thursday evening as we gathered together for the hoedown, the Lord was there. The Kingdom of God is not in a building, a piece of furniture, a stone relic or a golden altar. As much as I love our chapel, its conduciveness for prayer and its functionality for worship, God does not reside within its walls unless we are there. He entered the room at the arrival of each and every Christian believer gathering in His name. He resides within the heart of each Christian and in the midst of every gathering of His people. The Kingdom of God is within you and among you; aren’t you glad?

Be blessed,

Pastor Chris


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What Would You Have Me Do?

In the book of Matthew, the 20th chapter, an account of two blind men sitting by the wayside unfolds. Jesus is just leaving Jericho as he passes by these two souls. He has no plans to stop, He is not heading for them to give aide; Jesus is just passing by. In fact, due to being followed by a multitude of others, unless these two were to call out His name, the impression given to the reader is that the Lord may not have even known they were there. But not only did they call out for the Lord, they kept calling even though chided by the mob to be still. Even then, Jesus does not just go to them to heal them, rather He asks a question. Matthew 20:32 – “…What would you have me do for you?”

Now what kind of question is that? It is obvious that these two are blind and in need of healing. The crowd knows it. Jesus knows this as well. Yet He still asks the question, “What would you have me do for you?” Why ask if the Lord already knew what they needed? It seems that in most cases, with a few exceptions, Jesus did a miracle for a person only after two things took place. In Matthew 7:7-11 says, 7Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?10Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? The first is the person in need had the faith to come to the Lord for help. We see this in case after case as people approached Him. The second thing would in veritably happen. Jesus would ask, what we might interpret in present day vernacular, “What’s the problem?”

If you have a need, first come to the Lord. Second, let Him know what you need and ask Him to provide it. Often, we just sit around worrying about a problem just waiting for God to do something and complaining when He doesn’t. Have you gone to the Lord in prayer and asked Him to provide for your need? One last thing, if the answer is yes to the last question, remember the final part. You can find the final key to receive from the Lord by looking up and reading Mark 11:24 and Proverbs 3:5.

Be blessed,

Pastor Chris


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Truly Blessed

Have you ever had moments when you sat around staring at personal problems or viewing the things you don’t have and found yourself in a state of depression? Sometimes our inner emotional gyroscope can be knocked off kilter and we begin to feel sorry for ourselves, wanting to throw up our hands and just give up. All we can see are the negative circumstances that we find ourselves in and everything else is just a blur. This is one effect that has become known as “tunnel vision” in psychology circles.

Tunnel vision keeps us looking at one singular aspect in our view and it can distort reality to the point that we refuse to see anything else. If the object of our tunnel vision’s focus is negative, we put ourselves at risk of becoming generally angry, bitter and just downright defeated people. It can destroy our witness for Christ and hinder what God desires to do in us and through us. We can become trapped in this tunnel, struggling to see all of the wonderful blessings that we have been given. Two things will be helpful.

First, get with God through prayer and the Word. Review all the wonderful promises that God has made to us. The promise of His blessings now and those we can depend on for our future. The Bible tells us that all of God’s promises are yes and amen in Him (2 Corinthians 1:20). What He said He will do, He will do! You may be in a place where it seems like things are really bad, and maybe things are bad. But don’t forget, problems are only temporary. The scripture, 2 Corinthians 4:17 says, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

Second thing, look at the blessings that God has already given. When I feel pressed and depressed, all I need do is look at pictures of my children or now, my new grandson pictured above. I am reminded of how blessed I truly am. Often, depression comes when we find ourselves in a tunnel, seeing only one negative molehill that we have made into a mountain blocking our view of every blessing God has bestowed upon us. It is difficult for me to be a complainer when I see blessings in my life like the one pictured above. What are the blessings God has given to you? “Think on these things…” (Philippians 4:8).

Be blessed even more,

Pastor Chris


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Are You Positive?

I’ve come to the conclusion that every day is a downer for people expecting it to be.  In other words, if you’re looking for the dark cloud in every silver lining, you’ll probably find it.  We’ve heard the old adage about how one sees the cup; half full or half empty.  Here’s what the Scripture says in Proverbs 15:15 KJV “For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.”

The Bible has much to say about having a happy heart and so does medical science.  People with a more joyous outlook on life are sick less often and live longer.  You may say, “Yeah Chris, easy for you to say, but you don’t know my circumstances.”  You’re right, I don’t, but I don’t think they’re going to change before your outlook does either.  Which comes first the outlook or the results?  I believe you attract what you hope and stay in faith for.

It is easy to be negative about the difficulties we experience in life or become a complainer when things are not exactly what we would like to see; it takes a much stronger individual to stay hopeful and joyful when things are not always going the way we would like. Philippians 4:8 NLT says “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

As for me, I know it may be raining and grey outside occasionally, but my response in the midst will reveal how brightly the joy of the Lord shines in my heart.  Go ahead and give it a try. For 30 days, when difficulties come or when events take place that are not what you care for, be positive and joyful anyway. See if your relationships, attitude, and over-all quality of life doesn’t improve.  I know one thing for sure, if your outlook continually displays the attitude of a Debbie or Donnie Downer, those around you are hoping you will give it a try.

 Be blessed and be grateful,

Pastor Chris


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A Holy Anointing

Sunday, May 19 (2013) was a special day at Central Christian Church as we honored and celebrated our men and women of the armed forces. It was a wonderful time of worship and remembrance as we gave allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ and thanked our troops for putting their lives on the line to safeguard the freedom that allows us to pursue a relationship with God, unhindered. I will never apologize for saying that our Church supports our troops even if we may have differences on the validity of our political leaders particular mission (but I digress).

That day was also, what is known in the Church as, “Pentecost Sunday.” It is the day we celebrate and remember the impartation of the Holy Spirit to the Lord’s disciples and the beginning of His Church; the Body of Christ. It was at this time that believers were filled with the Spirit of God and received the power and promised Comforter that Jesus spoke of before His earthly departure. In the book of Acts 2:38, the Apostle Peter tells the listener to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is that same Holy Spirit that Jesus spoke of in the first chapter of Acts as the promise of the Father that brings power to witness to the world. Without this anointing of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we become spiritually impotent and anemic in our faith.

It is this very anointing of the Holy Spirit that turned a frightened fisherman, Peter, who was afraid to admit he knew Jesus, into one of God’s mightiest of apostles. It was this same anointing that took a persecutor of the Church, Paul, and made him into God’s apostle to the Gentiles. It was this Holy Anointing that healed the lame, opened the eyes of the blind, removed demons from those possessed and brought Lazarus back from the dead. It is this same anointing that draws us to God and gives us the power to do exploits in His Name. To say the least, we need the Anointing of the Holy Spirit now as much as we needed it then. Pray for God’s Holy Spirit to fill us to the full with His anointed presence.

Be blessed and be grateful,

Pastor Chris


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God’s Great Love

We have heard this over and over again. We sing songs about it, preach sermons about it and see it in the hearts and actions of others. What is this you ask? It is the love of God that surpasses all understanding. In the book of Ephesians 3:18-19, the Apostle Paul tells the Ephesians that his wish is that they might know the breadth, length, depth and height; the very knowledge of the love of Christ. Often, we give mental assent to this fact and would sing in the key of G, “yes, Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.” But there is a difference between giving mental assent to a particular truth in the Word and knowing that truth as a personal reality. When you begin to realize the breadth, length, depth and height of God’s love on a personal level, your relationship with Christ will grow exponentially.

Let’s try this exercise; look up John 3:16 and begin to read it. Only, instead of reading the words “world” or “whosoever,” put your name in their place. For me, it would sound something like this: For God so loved Chris, that he gave His only begotten Son on Chris’ behalf, that if Chris would just put his trust in Him, Chris will not perish but will have everlasting life.   It is one thing to see God’s love directed toward an enormous creation that spans approximately 6.5 billion people. But when we realize that Christ died for each of us as individuals, that when Christ took our place on the cross, He had you and me in mind; I know it is difficult to fathom but yes, God really loves me too! God saw you when He willingly allowed religious leaders to torment and crucify His only begotten son, Jesus. And Jesus willingly suffered and surrendered His life on your behalf and on behalf of those you hold dear.

Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus endured the cross and despised the shame for the joy that was set before Him. I believe that joy the scriptures speak of refers to the joy Jesus has knowing that we will be with Him for eternity which is a reflection of God’s love for both you and me; personally. Be blessed this week.

Be blessed,

Pastor Chris


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Keep On Praying On

I want to, once again, affirm those who meet to pray each week at CCC’s prayer group. I am glad to hear that it will be continued once the Bible study starts up again and I so look forward to participating in it. Thanks prayer warriors!! It is so vitally important. A.W. Tozer, the great Christian writer and holiness preacher, stated these words, “The church that is not jealously protected by mighty intercession and sacrificial labors will before long become the abode of every evil bird and the hiding place for unsuspected corruption. The creeping wilderness will soon take over that church that trusts in its own strength and forgets to watch and pray.” It is pretty clear that we must be vigilant in prayer.

In Ephesians 6:17 – 18a we read, “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…” (KJV) In this passage, the Apostle Paul lists it among the vital armor that we as believers need to adorn ourselves with if we are to be effective agents of the Lord against the enemy of our souls, the Church and our community that needs an effective spiritual compass. Without prayer, we are fighting the good fight in our own power. Without the power of God behind our efforts, we are ineffective at best and in the God’s way and even against Him at worst.

James, the half-brother of Jesus and leader of the early Church in Jerusalem, said it like this in the Epistle bearing his name, “pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]” (James 5:16b Amplified). Tremendous power is available for those who pray, trusting in God’s power rather than their own. When the Church refuses to pray, it is the same as telling the Lord we do not need Him; I think we all know we need God desperately, especially in this hour.

Be blessed,

Pastor Chris


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