Friday, January 4, 2019

New Beginnings

‘The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.’ Mark 1:1 (NRSV)

New Beginnings
When Jesus makes his appearance as a small baby it is both the arrival and the beginning of the good news. It has come for all people, for all times and as Jesus proclaims his message to all who will listen, the news just continues to get better and better.

Has the good news arrived and begun growing in our lives? Have we had the joy of meeting Jesus Christ yet? There is no really good news until he makes his initial appearance in our hearts; though we can look for it elsewhere in a multitude of people or places.

And once Jesus has been invited to begin sharing his life with us, his presence, his words and his promises will bring an exponential growth of good news in our lives. What holds us back from receiving all his goodness? What false narratives are causing us to resist him? A transformed life can be found in no other person, in no other place, in no other way. He is the answer and a life invested in Christ is the good life.

Beginnings can be difficult places to breach. They may be places of doubt, fear and questions. Allow Christ to calm our fears and satisfy our questions. A new beginning, full of good news is waiting for us.

Dear Jesus, forgive me for looking elsewhere and neglecting the good news you offer. I offer myself to you. Help me to walk closely with you each day from this moment onward. Thank you. Jennifer Woodley

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Blessed New Year 2019

Blessed New Year 2019!

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us 
the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.

Psalm 90:17 (NAS)

Friday, December 28, 2018

New Heart, New Year

New Heart, New Year
We read in Ezekiel 36:25-27 of a wonderful promise that each of us can take and hold onto if we desire to see our lives changed and it starts by allowing God to change us from the inside out.

25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleanness, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. Ezekiel 36:25-27 (ESV)

I love this passage of scripture because it explains to me one thing that apart from God I will never really get where I am going. You see He was talking to Israeli about being redeemed from all of their failings and He has promised you and me the same things if we will submit to His will for our lives.

What we see here is that when we chose the path that leads to God he begins a work in us that cleans us up. Not that you or I have to have everything right before we come to him we just have to take the steps in the right direction and he will begin that work. That comes through the conviction of our sins and the repentance of our heart. It is God who strengthens us to put aside those things that are keeping us out of His will no matter what it might be. He has promised to cleanse us and bring us closer to Himself.

Then God shows Ezekiel that the problem is not that we are just unclean but our hearts are hard as stone and this keeps us from continuing on the path that he has set before us. We are unable to enjoy what he has given us because we are dry inside. There is a difference between the words rock and stone within scripture. We call Jesus the rock of our salvation this is something permanent that will with stand everything that comes against it. While a stone is something much smaller that is often used by man. Sometimes it was used to honor God when altars were built but most often you see it used to destroy men and women as they are stoned to death for sins against God. So for us to try to follow after God with something that is man-made will never work it requires we allow Him to give us a heart transplant. This is the only real way for us to grow closer to Him.

He has also promised us something else in these passages a source of power to stay the course. He has promised to provide you with a new Spirit and that Spirit will help us stay on the path that he has called us to. It will give you strength in times of weakness. It provides direction when we are lost. It strengthens us when the load gets heavy and He guides us in our interactions with others. This new heart and spirit that have been promised; you will receive as you walk with God on the path he has chosen for you in the New Year.

One last point and verse I want to share with you today. When we have accepted this New Heart and Spirit God has promised us something in verse 28;

28 You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. Ezekiel 36:28 (ESV)

God has something prepared for us that is greater than anything we can imagine. It requires though that we start traveling in the right direction and that we submit to His will in our lives so that we will be blessed and be a blessing to others.

I hope you have a truly blessed day as you walk in the light of God’s Word. Rev Brian Mathis

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Blessed Christmas 2018

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, 
glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:14 (NAS)

Friday, December 21, 2018

Manger Bed

Manger Bed
Parents desire the very best for their newborn child, desiring to make them feel comfortable and secure. Babies are so small; they can sleep almost anywhere when they are newborns. A standard crib is nice, but not a necessity. Often they sleep in a cradle, bassinet or portable crib next to the parent’s bed. The baby gets the attention it needs for frequent feeding and diaper changes; and it is convenient for mom and dad.

Mary and Joseph wanted the best for Jesus; but circumstances prevented that from happening. If he arrived in their hometown Joseph could have constructed a beautiful cradle in his carpenter’s shop. Mary and her Mother might weave beautiful delicate coverings for a padded foundation. Such luxuries were not to be.

Mary gave birth in a stable and necessity led them to choose a manger for Jesus baby bed. A manger is a feeding trough for horses or cattle. It is not a piece of fine furniture; but it is probably constructed to last. I’m not sure if Mary found time to clean it out well and place clean hay inside, or if Joseph tenderly handled the preparation. She would have brought some essential clothing articles and coverings. The needs of the Son of God were met. He who feeds the souls of hungering worshipers lay securely in the place animals found nourishment. A manger held a King. PamFord Davis

Friday, December 14, 2018

Me and My Big Mouth

Me and My Big Mouth
Whatever we believe in our heart and possess with our mouth, will eventually become ours. We are the prophets of our own lives. This is called self-fulfilling prophecy. We can manifest something by believing that it is going to happen. There are two ways we believe something will happen. We believe true faith (What we want), and through fear (What we don’t want that we believe will happen).

If we say something long enough, it would eventually happen: Job 22:28 - “You will also declare a thing, And it will be established for you; So light will shine on your ways”. Both Faith and fear can result in self fulfilling prophecy. Both make us focus on issues. We always invite into our lives, whatever we focus on. Our focus creates our desire. We always think about what we focus on.

Our focus usually becomes our thoughts, while our thoughts become what we talk about. What we talk about usually become our actions. When we repeat our actions a few times it usually becomes our habits, whether good or bad. Habits can be developed by repeating something daily, for 21 days.

Self-fulfilling prophecy can be good or bad, depending on what we are predicting. There is great power in what we say. Words can make or break a person, let us use our words to manifest what we want, and not what we don’t want: Proverbs 18:21 - “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.” Let us shape our life with words that will manifest into abundant living, and not words that would drag us down. Our mouth is connected to our heart, and whatever gets to our mouth, will eventually get to our heart. And whatever gets to our heart, will eventually come out of our mouth: Romans 10:8a - “But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”

11 Points About Possessing Our Possession:

When we feel weak, we must confess strength. God is our strength, and he is never weak: Joel 3:10b - “Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.

When we confess the word of God to our life struggles, we will become a stronger person. An example of such scriptures is: Philippians 4:13 - "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

When we are broke, we must remind ourselves, who our God is: Philippians 4:19 - “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

When we’re not well, we must keep confessing the good health His Word promise us: Isaiah 53:5 - “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”

We must learn to re-condition ourselves, with positive words and reject the negative confessions: Isaiah 50:4 - “The Lord GOD has given Me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak A word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear To hear as the learned.”

We can use our mouth to create our victory: Mark 11:23 - “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.”

We have the same divine nature as God. He created everything with his Word. We can call things into existence like him: Romans 4:17 - “who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;”

Our words are alive. We must use our mouth to give life to only what we want, and not what we don’t want: John 6:63b - “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”

We must avoid negative talking, even in jest, we must learn to speak only words that build us up: Matthew 15:18 – “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.”

Just because other people don’t believe our dreams, doesn’t mean they wouldn’t come true. We must not quit, if what we are confessing take time to manifest. It will manifest: Proverbs 23:9 - “Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, For he will despise the wisdom of your words.

God uses the waiting time to strengthen us, so that we are not overwhelmed, when we receive what we are asking for: Isaiah 40:31 – “But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” Henrietta Elegunde

Friday, December 7, 2018

Me First

Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him. "What is it you want?" he asked. She said, "Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom." (Matthew 20:20-21 NIV)

Me First
James and John’s mother asked Jesus if they might be given places of honor at his right and left. After the indignation and jealousy erupts among [the disciples], Jesus simply states the principle: To be great one must learn to serve others.

I recently read a wonderful little story that describes how many of us think in regard to this position of service. It seems a mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin, 5, and Ryan, 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. "If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, 'Let my brother have the first pancake. I can wait.'" Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, "Ryan, you be Jesus!"

It is easy for us to imagine someone else serving us isn’t it? However, the real test of discipleship is our willingness to serve others. Isn’t it strange how often we fail to recognize that this is the first step to greatness?

It is said that during the American Revolution a man in civilian clothes rode past a group of soldiers repairing a small defensive barrier. Their leader was shouting instructions, but making no attempt to help them. Asked why by the rider, he retorted with great dignity, "Sir, I am a corporal!" The stranger apologized, dismounted, and proceeded to help the exhausted soldiers. The job done, he turned to the corporal and said, "Mr. Corporal, next time you have a job like this and not enough men to do it, go to your commander-in-chief, and I will come and help you again." It was none other than George Washington.

What kind of servant can you be today? Don Emmitte

Friday, November 30, 2018

Mandatory Transfer

Mandatory Transfer
Commuters may not be fortunate enough to find a direct trip to their place of employment. Ticket agents map out the best route and explain where they will need to make proper connections. Split second timing is observed; passengers transfer from one bus or fast rail train and clock in at the job right on time.

God has arranged for our mandatory transfer from one kingdom to another. “He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." (Colossians1:13-14 NRS) He does not depend us to rescue ourselves and make the critical transfer. We simply accept his forgiveness and follow him to Jesus' kingdom! PamFord Davis

Friday, November 23, 2018

A Time for Reflection and Giving Thanks

A Time for Reflection and Giving Thanks
November, what a wonderful month! Fall is a time for us to stop and see God’s beauty in the world around us. It’s a time to be with family, to have fellowship with one another, a time to laugh and a time to make memories. It’s a time to stop and reflect on our blessings for the year and to give thanks to God for all He has given us. Even if our loved one isn’t with us we can still thank God for those memories we have and thank Him for the time spent with the one who meant so much to us. It is a time of reflection and a time for thanks.

As I reflect on the month of November lots of things come to mind; football games, lots of food, sharing, birthdays, and even death. As I take time to give thanks, I find my blessings are so bountiful. I sometimes feel like God has blessed me more than I deserve. I have health, a wonderful family, beautiful grandchildren, a home, a car, and the list goes on and on. I also thank the Lord everyday for my Church family. My church, as well as another church, has played an important part of my life and for that I am blessed.

In the dictionary thanks is described as “an expression of gratitude”. Gratitude is explained as “an appreciation for favors received”. The dictionary explains favor as “a kind act, a small gift or token”. We could go on and on, but to get to the point, being thankful means appreciating what people has done for you or given to you. Most of the time in church we are asked to stop and give “Thanks” for our blessings. One of the first responses always seems to be our family, our home, etc. Somewhere down the list we finally get around to mentioning God and what He has done, but for most people He is not on the top of the list.

Since November is a time of reflecting, I think we should stop and reflect on what God has done for us. If you are reading this then you are alive. We each should be thankful for the time we have here on earth. We are never promised tomorrow, so we should live life each day to its fullest and be thankful at the end of the day. If you are reading this then you are blessed with eyesight; even though it may not be what it was a year ago we should be thankful for the eyesight we do have.

Another favor we have received from God that we didn’t deserve, or ask for was the giving of God’s son, Jesus for our sins. God gave each of us a token of His love by sending His only Son to this earth to die for us. When He died on the cross we became new creatures, our sins were not only washed away, but God forgot about them. This Thanksgiving look around your table; look at your family and friends. If God asked you to sacrifice one of your family members just as He did could you do it? Which one of the family members would you be willing to give up?

As you ponder this remember one thing, the one you choose will not be a sacrifice for just your family, but for all of humankind. That includes prostitutes, murders, the guy at work who you don’t get along with, the people you don’t know, the thugs sitting in jail, or your next door neighbor. It will be a sacrifice for everyone. The sad part of it is even though you offer your relative for a sacrifice not everyone will accept the free gift. Now how does that make you feel? Even though God offered His Son as a sacrifice to wipe away every sin committed there are people who still don’t know Him or won’t accept Him.

There is not one of us that would be willing to make that sacrifice, but God did. He did it for you and me and everyone else.

This Thanksgiving as we are once again asked to stop and give “Thanks” let us thank God for His ultimate gift of life and His forgiveness of our sins. November is a time for reflection and thanks. Let each of us take a few minutes and reflect and give thanks to God “for His goodness” to us.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him”. John 3:16-17

Dear Lord, as we sit around the table looking at our family and friends we know in our hearts we can't sacrifice them. We aren't willing to let them die a death for people we don't know or for those who we don't think deserve life. Yet, God that is what You did. You sent Your only Son to die for each of us. Not only for us but for those who we don't know, those who we judge as not deserving Your love. You died to wash away the sins we have committed and those we will commit. You died so we might have life; live eternally. All You ask in return is our love and to love unconditionally those You have put in out midst. You ask us to forgive and be forgiven. You give so much to us, yet You ask for so little. We thank You for Your Son, our family and friends. We thank You for the blessings You pour out on us each day. We honor You with our lives and our love. We lift Your name in Praise and Thanksgiving for all You do for us. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Becky Brown


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