Pastor’s Blog

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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