Pastor’s Blog

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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Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

  1. Hayden 11-14-18

  As we approach another Thanksgiving Day celebration, we are given the opportunity to reflect once again on this time-treasured holiday. How appropriate it is that we are reminded of our need for giving thanks to God for our many blessings, especially during the season that leads up to Christmas Day; a day we celebrate the greatest given to all of us. It is in our giving of thanks that we are able to discover what praising God really means. In fact, it is as we give thanks that we are able to enter into praise and worship as God intended, in Spirit and in truth. Psalm 100:4 says this, “I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart, I will enter His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name.” The giving of thanks and praise of God go hand in hand. They cannot be separated for it is in remembering all that God has done for us that leads us to a heart of appreciation of His goodness, causing praise to spill forth. In Psalm 34:1-3 (GNT) we read, “I will always thank the Lord; I will never stop praising him. I will praise him for what he has done; may all who are oppressed listen and be glad! Proclaim with me the Lord’s greatness; let us praise his name together!” I heard a preacher give this example one time. He reminded of the time we used to get the Sears catalogue in the mail. When I was a kid, I would look at that catalogue and begin to circle all the things we want to get for Christmas. Today we do the same thing with those weekly circulars that are inserted into the newspaper. We pull those ads out and begin to circle everything we want to get for Christmas. This year, maybe we should skip the circular ad shopping and instead, take pictures of all of the wonderful things that we have been blessed with. Gather pictures of things given by others and all the treasures (family and friends as well as things) that God has blessed us with by giving us the ability to acquire them. After you have the pictures, begin circling each one and see how truly blessed we are, remembering the scripture telling us that all good and perfect gifts come from God above (James 1:17). There is just something about remembering what God and others have done for us that leads us into thanksgiving and praise and keeps us away from complaining and bickering.   Be blessed this holiday season,   Pastor Chris


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Florida Sunshine!

Florida Sunshine!

  1. Hayden 9-25-18

  Well, it was a wonderful time to enjoy the sunshine of Florida and the beauty of the ocean amidst lines of Palm trees. This past week, my family and I, including my ever-energetic grandson went out of state on a site seeing vacation that has not happened in several years. It was a great time of rest and peace as we visited Sea World, several coastal cities, the Sunshine Bridge and Disney Springs to list just a few of our adventures. Oh, and we were able to hold and feed a few of those intriguing gators that welcomed us to the area! I want to thank everyone for pitching in to keep the ministry of Central Christian going during our absence. Thank you to Rob, Kellie, Elders and Deacons for bringing forth the Word on Sunday and maintaining visitation and ministry. Thank you to Ann, Dylan and the rest of the worship team for maintaining a quality worship time. Thank you to Terry, Mariah and all our youth leaders for their continued efforts to minister to CCC’s young people. To Tina, Adam and the office staff for maintaining the church administrative work. And thank you to the many unnamed volunteers and helpers for their continued work in the ministry of CCC. Thank you to all. It was a blessing to view God’s creation from a context that is not often available to you. It was a blessing to be able to sit at Honeymoon Beach and watch the sun set over an awesome open ocean. The Bible says in Psalm 19 that, “the heavens declare the glory of God and the skies proclaim the work of His hands.” This was no less true than as we watched the ocean waves crash along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. It reminded me of another passage of scripture from Job 12 verses 7-10. It reads, “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? 10 In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” This was all confirmed as we enjoyed the beauty of Florida and its animal life! God is so very good and His creation declares His glory! Oh, and the alligators were pretty cool and the seafood was absolutely delicious!!   Be blessed even more and have a wonderful week and thank you for all you do for God’s Kingdom!!   Pastor Chris


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