Pastor’s Blog

 
 

Another Gift God Gave

The last two Sunday sermons reminded us of God’s generosity toward His people in the gifts or blessings that have been given to us. We reviewed the gift of grace given to all who choose to receive. Last week we spoke of the gift of reconciliation to those in the world. This week we want to look at a third blessing that we can celebrate at this wonderful Christmas time. That is that God has set us free!
In Galatians 3, the scripture tells us that the whole world is a slave to sin. We are in bondage to sin and every consequence/symptom that results from our separation from God. We are chained to the sin of greed and every symptom of depression and anxiety that comes about from the lust of either having or not having money. We are bound by evil arrogance and pride and the hate that stems from belittling others and the appetite for power. We are bound by wrath and the destroyed relationships and crippled souls this sin leaves in its wake. We are bound by lust, gluttony, sloth, envy and the consequences derived from these as well (Every sin has one or more consequences/symptoms and demons attached).
So where is the joyful Christmas tidings? It is found in Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” The Bible tells us that when we give ourselves to sin we become its slave (John 8:34). We are just as much, if not more, slaves needing deliverance as the children of Israel were under Pharaoh in Egypt. But the advent of Jesus our Lord brought about the key that unlocks the prison doors and loosens the chains that bind us. Let’s remember John 8:36, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” When we see the Baby, Jesus lying in a makeshift manger this year, we are not just seeing one of many Christmas decorations. We are seeing a representation of our very own Deliverer who came to set us free and bless us with the gift of freedom!

Be blessed even more.

Pastor Chris Hayden
Central Christian Church


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All Things are Possible

June 5, 2013 Chris Hayden

Last summer, a wonderful message adorned the Central Christian Church sign. It was taken from the scripture passage Mark 10:27 KJV, “And Jesus looking upon them saithe, with men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” This message conveyed to all of us that even when things seem impossible, God can always turn things around making things work in accordance with His will. When we are ready to give up in a situation because things seem too bleak, God is not even phased.

Throughout our time in this life we come across situations that serve to try our faith. Days when we experience suffering and loss, face persecution and hardship, battle circumstances that go beyond our ability to conquer or even control. Over the past year, most of you have become aware of the battle my son had been fighting that stumped doctors and eluded the intellect of the experts. In the past year, we have made several trips to Riley’s Hospital in Indianapolis trying to pin down what has been ailing my son. Out of all the difficulties my wife and I have experienced while in Huntington, none have even come close to rising to importance in comparison to this one. Several things have been beyond our control, but nothing like this. The thing is, I know that many of you have also experienced situations that have stymied you as much as this one did us.

Even though the previous paragraph is true, it is also true that God loves us very much. And while we face these difficulties, God is with us, He knows are hardship, and tells us we can trust Him. The theme of last summer’s Vacation Bible School was “We Can Trust God.” We can trust God know matter who we are. We can trust God no matter how we feel. We can trust God no matter what others may do to us. We can trust God no matter the circumstance. Why trust Him? We can trust Him because He loves us very much and because with God, all things are possible. No matter how difficult things become or what others may say or do, trust the Lord, because with Him, all things are possible.

Be blessed even more!

Pastor Hayden


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A New Venture – C3

A New Venture – C3

  1. Hayden 2-02-19

 

Starting Sunday, February 17th, we will be launching a new Sunday evening service here at Central Christian Church. On Sundays at 6:30pm, this ministry hopes to embark on a new worship experience with a modern flair, new and current music styles, aggressive outreach, relevant and Biblical preaching and teaching, and awesome times of congregational and personal prayer. It is the wish of Central Christian Church to continue the current Sunday morning worship for those who have been faithful for so many years, and at the same time reach out to a new generation with those seeking a more contemporary worship experience on Sunday evenings. It is an exciting time, albeit stress-filled as we work to plan this new venture (and an adventure it is) God has moved us toward.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 12:4-7, “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. And there are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” The new service, called “C3”, is a new effort for ministry that we hope to be able to utilize the gifts and ministry personalities of others for the common good, not only of Central Christian, but of the whole Body of Christ in Huntington. Having different style services is nothing new in churches, even churches in Huntington. But we hope to be able to reach into a new niche that has yet to be filled for many in our community and still fulfill the needs of those being touched by God in the present Sunday offering.

Please keep this ministry in prayer. If you are moved by a more modern, contemporary and charismatic style service, come join us Sunday evenings at 6:30pm. If you are being ministered in our present service and not interested in a modern style worship, join us Sunday mornings at 10am and consider being a support help for those on Sunday evenings. And if you are wanting to make Sunday evenings your worship time of choice, consider being a support person on Sunday mornings. We hope to have something for all, regardless of your personal worship style that will provide all a time of relevant ministry, to and by others!

May God bless you even more!!

 

Pastor Chris          


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A Holy Anointing

 

 

A Holy Anointing

May 15, 2014 Chris Hayden

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 leader’s 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 now 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 of His anointed presence.

Be blessed and be grateful,

Pastor Chris


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Why the Ten Commandments?

                                                                      

Why the Ten Commandments

  1. Hayden 3-27-19

               

                Wednesday night Refueling Bible study has been a wonderful time of fellowshipping with other believers but the study has been absolutely EPIC! We have spent the last couple of months studying the book of Exodus as a continuation of our Genesis study. We finally reached chapter 20 of Exodus, which many of you know is the Ten Commandments chapter. We examined each commandment, one by one, to unpack God’s direction to the Israelites and the meaning for each of us today. Heidi and I will be returning from Australia this week with our regular Wednesday night study of this vital book of the Bible starting back up the first week of April.

As we examined each verse, we were able to see how necessary each verse was to our understanding of God’s holiness and purity and the requirements necessary for a growing relationship with God. However, the more we looked at these Ten Commandments (not 10 suggestions!), the more we saw our inability to keep them. Well if we are completely unable to live up to these commandments, why would God give them to us just to watch us fail in our attempt to be righteous? Now it is true that knowing them is a help to live, while not totally pure, a better, less sinful life than had we not known them. And it is true that the Big Ten God gave us has become a foundation to assist societies and nations from descending into total lawlessness. But the Bible tells us that if we break one, we have become guilty of all (James 2:10) and that there is none righteous, no not one (Romans 3:10). So why give them to us?

The answer is found in Galatians 3:24-25. “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” The Ten Commandments were given to us, along with helping people and society itself know what is right, to teach us that we need a Savior, drawing us to Him knowing that without Jesus’ sacrifice, we would have no chance to enter God’s Kingdom. Now we should continue to live with God’s law as our guide, but salvation is only by grace, through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. You do not get into heaven by being a good person, attempting to keep the Ten Commandments. It is only through Christ and the Holy Spirit He imparts that we are able to live righteously before God. And entrance to God’s Kingdom, is only by the precious blood of Jesus shed for us on the cross!

 

Be blessed even more and thank you for all you do for God’s Kingdom!!

 

Pastor Chris         

 


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I’m Just Ticked! Part 2

Many times, Christians think of anger as a selfish, destructive emotion that is from the heart of the devil and should never be seen displayed in the lives of loving believers. There are times when it is ok to be ticked off about certain situations and circumstances, and to display our anger in a righteous, holy manner. Jesus becomes our example in this matter. When Jesus overthrew the money changers in the temple, the Lord’s anger was on full throttle as He ran out those desecrating His Father’s house of prayer for dishonest gain. Ephesians 4:26 tells us to be anger and do not sin nor allow said anger to linger past the end of the day. We are not instructed to have no angry or eliminate the feelings of anger, but to deal with the emotion in a measured and controlled fashion. Here is how Jesus dealt with anger: 1) The Lord’s anger was not selfish. He was never angry for Himself, but for others, whether for the unrighteous attitudes toward His father or because of the damage sin brought on the sinner and those affected by it. 2) His anger was always directed at the right target. Ephesians 6:12 tells us that we are not wrestling against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this age. When Jesus told Peter to get behind Him for his words of opposition to God’s plan, it was Satan that He directed the rebuke at. Jesus’ anger always stemmed from His love and concern for the spiritual condition of others. 3) Jesus was never out of control, even in His wrath. Even in Jesus’ demonstrative actions driving out the moneychangers from the temple He was always in complete control. What He did, was just and measured for the benefit of those who saw (Luke 19:47). 4) Jesus did not allow His anger to fester and continue to make Him bitter. He did not allow the sun to go down upon His wrath (Ephesians 4:26) and was always ready to forgive those of humble heart. 5) Our Savior’s anger was never an act of revenge, but always intended to bring the sinner back to Himself. Our angry, should always have the intention to respond to injustice and bring the lost back to the loving and just Captain of our souls. With these things in mind, when anger rises, be slow to respond to it, remember who the real enemy is (the devil), do not let it linger or make you bitter, be measured in your response so as to keep the door of forgiveness always open, and keep God’s Word at the center of all things. May God bless you even more!!
 
Pastor Chris

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I’m Just Ticked!

When I see hurting people, it makes me angry. When I see good people suffer, it makes me angry. When I see injustice perpetrated on the weak and infirm, lies passed off as truth, and evil appear to prosper, it really just ticks me off. Yes, even good Christian people can get irate about situations and circumstances that confront all us. The Bible does not say, never get angry for it is a sin. What we are told is to be slow to anger and quick to listen (James 1:19). Being quick-tempered is where anger can turn to injustice. There are a few instances where we can attribute anger feelings to our Lord. When Jesus cleared the temple of those using it as a means of personal financial gain, He showed great anger. In Matthew 21:12-13 we read, “And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.” In another instance, in the synagogue at Capernaum, Jesus became angry with the Pharisees because of their hard heart toward the miracles they were seeing. “And he [Jesus] said to them, ‘Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?’ But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out, and his hand was restored” (Mark 3:4-5). In both cases, the Lord’s anger was based on a holy love for His Father’s house and the Pharisees lack of love for the infirm and hurting people they were supposed to be ministering to. Anger, in and of itself, is neither moral nor immoral. Anger is an emotion. It becomes sin when displays of anger are selfish, destructive, unmeasured, uncontrolled, and improperly placed. What the Bible says concerning anger is this, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your wrath” (Ephesians 4:26). Next blog, we will look at the qualities of anger that is just and pure before God. May God bless you even more!
 
Pastor Chris

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Good Riddance

December 28th of last year, New York City held an annual event known as “Good Riddance Day.” It is the day in which all those desiring to attend from around the world take a preprinted form and write down all their mistakes, failures, depressive thoughts, negative memories, and anything else that has been holding them down and separating them from being victorious and carrying a positive attitude into the upcoming new year. They take that list and place it into a giant industrial shredding machine, never to be remembered anymore. From one year to the next we often carry old negative baggage that hinders people from experiencing the blessings inherent in our relationship with and service for Christ.
In regards to our past failures and sins, our Father God tells us that when we bring those things to Him, He removes them from us as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). God takes those negative and destructive events of our past and places them into His heavenly shredder never to be remembered again. God shreds sins we commit and the evils we experience, but unfortunately, we often keep bringing them up. We need a “Good Riddance Day” in which we forgive ourselves and others for the mistakes and mishaps of the past and begin looking to the good things God has for us in the future.
In Philippians 3:13-14, the Apostle Paul writes this to the believers at Philippi, “13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Two Sundays ago the Church brought their Good Riddance slips to the front of the Sanctuary. The next day, each slip was pulverized in the office shredder where they belonged. Let’s leave them shredded and begin 2019 with a new clean slate. Our God is a forgiving God. He puts our past in the past, as far as the east is from the west, never to be remembered again!
Be blessed even more, have a wonderful New Year and thank you for all you do for God’s Kingdom!!

Pastor Chris


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Overly Occupied and Distracted

In the last blog, we talked about the issue of being overly occupied and distracted during the Christmas season. So much so that often we ignore the real reason for the celebration in the first place. Some stress can be a very good thing for us, keeping us motivated and moving us to a place where we seek to excel in life. But when we are so over occupied with unimportant and unnecessary activity that we begin to neglect the vital foundations of our relationships, stress becomes damaging. Luke 10:38-42 (AMP-C) says, 38 “Now while they were on their way, it occurred that Jesus entered a certain village, and a woman named Martha received and welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was listening to His teaching. 40 But Martha [overly occupied and too busy] was distracted with much serving; and she came up to Him and said, ‘Lord, is it nothing to you that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me [to lend a hand and do her part along with me]!’” Martha was distracted with much serving. That sums up how we can often be during the Christmas season. Peter Drucker, a famous for profit and non-profit business guru, said that we need to be looking, not only at personal priorities, but also at our posteriorities. What he means by that is that it is just as important to have a list of things we don’t do as much as a list of things we need to do. There may be some things that consume our time that should not be a priority in our schedule and therefore, may need to be discarded and put behind us (posteriority). Jesus continues to speak to Martha in that 10th chapter, 41 “But the Lord replied to her by saying, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; 42 There is need of only one or but [a]a few things. Mary has chosen the good portion [that which is to her advantage], which shall not be taken away from her.’” Mary made it a priority to honor Jesus with her presence and attention. She made serving the meal a posteriority. Not that the meal was unimportant, but that its importance paled in comparison to being with Jesus. Martha did a good thing by serving the meal, but the meal became more important to her then the message the Lord wanted His people to hear. This Christmas season, rid yourself of those things that do not rise to the level of true importance. Embrace the things that are vital and give Jesus all the glory this season. Let some of those other things, the posteriorities, fall off. Be free this season. Be free in Christ. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Be blessed even more!!
 
Pastor Chris

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Peace and Goodwill

Well the race is on! Black Friday has come and gone but we are only beginning the trek toward our many advent season celebrations. December 2nd is our Church Christmas dinner, on December 9th we go to Parkview Hospital for a bereavement service, the 19th of December is our Tipton House caroling and Heritage Christmas celebration, December 23rd is our Sunday morning Christmas service and Monday, December 24th at 11:00pm we worship God at our Midnight Candle-lighting service to usher in Christmas Day. It is an exciting time as we decorate our homes, gather with family and friends over holiday meals, gift giving and the occasional pint of eggnog! Oh, isn’t it the most wonderful time of the year! Well, maybe. But it often, especially with the hustle and bustle of activities, becomes a time of anxiety, depression and stress for many. As we participate in this season’s activities, let us remember to slow down and enjoy the wonders of Christmas. Let us remember the most wonderful gift given came from our Father in heaven, provided for us by sending Jesus, His only begotten Son to us that we might be set free from the condemnation that comes from sin and receive the promise of eternity in the glories of God’s kingdom. With that in mind, make this Christmas special by slowing down, thinking about others, and worshipping our Savior for His gift to us. Be sure to invite a friend or extended family member that has no one to celebrate with over for Christmas dinner. Take time out to get alone with God and just bask in his presence for a bit (even if it is only when you get away from family when taking out the trash)! Remember, giving is of the heart, not of the wallet. And never forget our Father’s love for all of us. As we are told in Luke 2:8-14, “And in the same area there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And then an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were very afraid. 10 But the angel said to them, “Listen! Do not fear. For I bring you good news of great joy, which will be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign to you: You will find the Baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly there was with the angel a company of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, and good will toward men.” Be blessed even more, have a wonderful holiday season and thank you for all you do for God’s Kingdom!!
 
Pastor Chris

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