Pastor’s Blog

 
 

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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Chosen to Bear Fruit

Chosen to Bear Fruit

  1. Hayden 8-26-18

  God has chosen us, and He chooses us that we might all bear fruit. The Scriptures tell us in Galatians 6:7-10, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” If we will embrace the calling that God places on our lives, if we will take said calling serious by following after Him, the Word tells us that we will reap a harvest of good fruit that leads to everlasting life. John 15:16 Jesus says “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” What an honor! To be hand-picked by the Lord of all that there is, is an honor that most of us could never imagine much less believe in. But that is exactly what God says about us. We not only belong to Him, we are called to bear much fruit for Him. That tells me two things. One is that God believes in us and does so with the understanding that He fully expects us to be successful in the task He calls us to. And secondly, He thought so much of us that He wants us to be a part of the building of His Kingdom through a close relationship with Him. You were hand-picked by Jesus, picked for the specific purpose and confident expectation of bearing lasting and much fruit. Every believer no matter what age or how long they have been in a relationship with Christ, have been appointed to this honor. It is a shame that so many decide that bearing spiritual fruit for Christ is not worthy of their time or their attention. John 15:5 says this, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” Today I just want to encourage you to be mindful of our chosen calling. Also know that our God desires a relationship with us that will always lead us to bearing lasting and much fruit. Be blessed even more!!


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The 5th Quarter

The 5th Quarter
C. Hayden 8-12-18

Next month, Central Christian Church will be embarking on a new journey as we host an event known as the “5th Quarter”.   This event is a part of a week long event titled “Marxed” where teens come together for a time of food, fun, fellowship and frivolity all within an atmosphere of Christian learning, relationship building and worship.  The first night (Friday) will be at Central Christian with subsequent activities on Saturday and Sunday at Crestview Middle School.  The 5th Quarter derives its name as a play on the Huntington North football game also taking place that evening.  As you probably know, football games are broken up into 4 quarters of play.  Thusly, the 5th Quarter is after the game and will be held Friday night on Central Christian Church grounds and in the building in conjunction with the High School and several other Church families.  We will, with other churches, being providing food, inflatables along with a variety of activities, along with live music as a precursor to the whole Marxed weekend.  It is sure to be a wonderful opportunity to connect with many of our area youth and become a part of the entire cities larger effort to minister to the emotional and spiritual needs of teens.  If you want to help be a part of this groundbreaking, multi-church and High school effort, email Pastor Chris at 4019hc@gmail.com or call Ron Fusselman.

The Scriptures say this in Mark chapter 6, 35 “When the day was now far spent, His disciples came to Him and said, ‘This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late. 36 Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread; for they have nothing to eat.’ 37 But He answered and said to them, ‘You give them something to eat.’”  This is our time to feed the youth in Huntington, not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well.  Please keep this effort in prayer and pray how you may be able to be a part of what God wants to do at Central Christian Church and Huntington County wide as well.  If you would like to donate to this effort financially, feel free to do so as we will need some equipment purchases (Call Pastor Chris for details 260-388-4508) to make this event a quality outreach to our Junior and Senior High Youth.

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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Be Not Dismayed

Pastor Chris & Heidi Hayden

 

Be Not Dismayed

  1. Hayden 7-26-18

 

In 2 Timothy, chapter one, a seasoned minister, the Apostle Paul says this to his young helper he sent to pastor at Ephesus named Timothy, “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” This is an amazing passage to a young man who has had his hands full leading a congregation of believers. This passage speaks to us as well reminding us that fear and anxiety is not to be embraced by those who are to just in and rely on God who loves and cares for us intensely.

In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul once again brings a message to the Church at Philippi, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Here Paul reminds not to allow anxiety to rule us. There are few things in life that can short-circuit our faith like fear, anxiety and worry. Unhealthy worry, anxiety and fear not only robs us of peace and calm throughout the day, but can even serve to bring physical sickness and mental illness.

Let these words from the heart and mouth of our God as written by the prophet Isaiah bring encouragement to you, “But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you” (Isaiah 43:1-2).

 

Be blessed even more and have a wonderful week!!

 

Pastor Chris


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Jesus Our Example

Pastor Chris & Heidi Hayden

 

Jesus Our Example

  1. Hayden 6-13-18

 

In the next month we are going to explore a sermon series on looking to Jesus as our example of Christian living. Often, the world would like to dismiss most of God’s Word by exclaiming that only what Jesus did and said is valid for us to live by. The Apostle Paul’s writings are not necessarily what we should take to heart because his lessons on Christian living did not physically come from the lips of Jesus himself. This is known as “Red Letter Religion,” that we only want to live according to Jesus’ example, not what Paul or Peter or any other author happened to pen. This is false theology as the whole of Scripture has been given to profit Christ’s Body and for our instruction in righteous (2Timothy 3:16). People often rely on the false doctrine of “Red Letter Religion” because they think that Jesus only taught the world to love others and not judge anyone. But when looking at what Jesus said and did, we actually find that living by Jesus’ example, is more challenging than simply following one of the Apostles.

Ephesians 5:1 says this, “Be followers of God as dear children.” The word “followers” in that Scripture is translated from the Greek word “Mimetes.” It means to imitate or, more properly, emulate God. It is the word that is the root of the word we understand as to “mimic” someone. We are to emulate Christ in our life, becoming more like Him as we grow-up spiritually. We are to emulate Christ in the lessons that He taught, emulate Him in the way He treated other people, emulate Him in His relationship with the Father, the words that came from His mouth and the ministry with which He provided to the world. We are to emulate Christ in our lack of concern for worldly pursuits, and emulate Him in are desire for the Holy Spirit working in and through us.

Philippians 2:5-7a gives us this mandate. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God did not consider it robbery to equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking on the form of a bond-servant…” To follow only the Red-Letter portions of the Scriptures will bring us to following the whole of God’s Word. Not just the portions we like.

 

Be blessed even more and have a wonderful week!!

 

Pastor Chris


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If GOD Be for Us

If God Be for Us
C. Hayden 6-26-18

There are few things in life that can ruin a person’s day more then finding oneself discontented with a present situation they are in.  Whether you feel that people do not appreciate you enough, the breaks in life do not seem to be breaking your way, or everyone else seems to get a bigger portion of the good life, we often feel that we are handed the short end of the stick.  That often puts us into a general state of depression and never-ending cycle of deep discontentment.  Philippians 4:10 – 11 says this,  ”But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.”  Even in the midst of the Apostles struggles, he was content no-matter what the circumstances may have been presented to him.  Whether in prison, in house arrest, or free to roam as he pleased, Paull was always able to walk in victory knowing that the Lord Jesus Christ was with him where ever he found himself.
Paul continues in that passage to say, “I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:12-13).  That last scripture sums up Paul’s attitude regardless of what he may be facing.  I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST!  I am not sure what giants you may be facing today, but I know that whether good or bad, easy or difficult, we have a God who is “for us (and not against us), who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32).  Trust in the Lord and be content.  For there is nothing we cannot do nor giant we cannot face down through the power of God’s Spirit given to us in Christ Jesus!
Be blessed even more!!

Pastor Chris


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The Intimate Presense of God

 

The Intimate Presence of God

  1. Hayden 6-13-18

 

God’s intimate presence in our life is real and life giving. Few people illustrate this concept of intimacy with God then the psalmist David. In Psalm 63:1-4 we read these words, “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. Because Your loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.” It is easy to see why the Scriptures describe David as a man after God’s own heart. In the very first verse, David declares that he seeks God, thirsts for Him and longs for God’s intimate presence. David does not simply want to appease God or complete a checklist of “God stuff” so as to feel safe from God’s judgment. David wants to know and experience God’s presence intimately. He wants to know God in his life and become intimately acquainted with His presence.

How does David go about seeking this wonderful experience? Verse 2 gives the answer. He starts by looking for God in the sanctuary (vs.2), to see God’s power and His glory. David has an expectation of experiencing the Lord’s power and glory when he comes to worship. Read the verses of that Psalm again. The picture we see is not one of a person just marking time, but of David the King whose focus is on the Lord, worshipping God with all of his heart, soul and body. The wonderful thing about God’s intimate presence is that we can experience God daily no matter where we find ourselves. God’s presence is not just in the church building. He lives within each and every one of His children. For we are the temple (1 Corinthians 6:19) or sanctuary of God’s Spirit and we can know Him and sense Him anytime of the day regardless of where we are.   This week, take time to meet with the Lord, seeking His intimate presence and letting Him heal your heart, mind and body.

 

Be blessed even more and have a wonderful week!!

 

Pastor Chris


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Promise without the Premise?

 

Promise without the Premise?

  1. Hayden 5-23-18

 

Have you ever been in a dark room, stumbling around to find the light switch? Feeling around on the wall for what should be easily found but is seemingly doing everything to escape your grasp? It’s an uncomfortable feeling until the light goes on and then you can see clearly. In Psalm 18:28 David says, “my God turns my darkness into light.” Isn’t that an awesome promise? No matter what you may be going through and how much darkness pervades over your life, God can turn it into light. However, I have noticed that most promises come with a premise first. In other words, “if I do this, God will in turn do that.” In Joshua 1:8, we are told at the end of the scrip­ture that we will be prosperous and successful. The premise found in the beginning of that verse, however, is for those people who study and meditate on God’s law so that they are able to do it.

 

When we turn to the light of the Gospel, we see the need to understand and accept the premise along with the promise. Most people want the promise without the premise. They want God to do His thing, but then they want to do their own thing regardless of God’s thoughts on the matter. Psalm 18:22-24 declares, For all His judgments were before me, and I did not put away His statutes from me. 23 I was also blameless [a]before Him,
And I kept myself from my iniquity. 24 Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness,
According to the cleanness of my hands in His sight.” In other words, I have kept myself from sin, and that the rewards have come from that kind of living. The premise of God being our shield (vs.30) is “for all who take refuge in him.” The promises of God are yes and amen for all who desire to know and do His Word; for those who “take refuge in Him.”. We cannot expect to have the promise without the premise, because it’s the founda­tion upon which the promise will come to pass. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, (PREMISE) that whosoever believes in Him……(PROMISE) shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

 

Be blessed even more!!

 

Pastor Chris


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The House of Salt and Light

Pastor Chris & Heidi Hayden

 

The House of Salt and Light

  1. Hayden 5-10-18

 

The last couple of Thursday mornings (10am), we have been studying the portion of scripture known as the “Sermon on the Mount.” This study has been an excellent journey into one of the most powerful sermons of our Lord Jesus recorded in the Gospels. It is in the Sermon on the Mount that we find the Beatitudes, the Lord’s Prayer, and the call to enter through the narrow gate, not the broad way leading to destruction. It is also in this divine oration that we find the inspiration for the back of our Central Christian t-shirts “The House of Salt and Light.” I wanted to put this phrase on our shirts to send a message to others and to ourselves that our purpose in this world is to be salt and light as directed in the Gospel of Matthew.

Matthew 5:13-16 says this, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 14 You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” In this passage we are to be salt and light. Salt which is a mineral that is used as a preserver of other foods, a seasoning that brings flavor to meals, and causes one to thirst for water. As Christians, we should live out our faith in such a way that we are agents that preserve God’s righteousness in this sin filled world, brings flavor as carriers of God’s Good News, and causes unbelievers to thirst for knowing the Christ they see in us.

We are also to be the light to those who are living in the darkness of sin and a worldly way of life that, in essence, denies the Lordship of Jesus the Christ. Billions continue to live without a relationship with the Son of God, and as carriers of God’s Word, we are lights that point the way to God and the path He has laid out for the salvation of the world. That is why we are to be the House of Salt and Light! The challenge we leave with you this week: Be the salt of the earth and be the light of the world! By doing so, we will become instruments of rescue for a lost and dying world.

 

Be blessed even more and have a wonderful week!!

 

Pastor Chris


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