Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Worthy of My Praise

Worthy of My Praise

“For the grace of God appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good.”  Titus 2:11-14

We serve an amazing God. I have been praising the Lord this morning for his mighty works in our lives. Being the Pastor of our church, I am able to see how the Lord is working in the lives of people in and around our church. There are times when I am overflowing with praise and thanksgiving because of how the Lord is working. Let me share with you some thoughts…

According to Titus 2, God’s grace has appeared to all men. When we were lost and drowning in our sin, we were sought out by God. He loves us with an everlasting love and has given us the ability to respond to Him with all of our heart. By responding to God through faith, we are able to live a self-controlled, upright and godly life today. This is not something that will be waiting for us in heaven. It is to be experienced today. It is not based on how good we are, it is solely on the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

I am seeing the hand of God at work all around. There are several who are seeking God with their whole heart and hungering for more of Jesus. I just talked to Ed Bradner who has experienced the peace of God in a physical sense while going through tests at the hospital. Randy Daniels has experienced the peace of God through his heart surgery and is now home healing. A family who was helped by the We Care Team from our church is praising God today for His provision. I received several notes of how God is interceding in different situations and people are thanking the Lord for this Spirit-filled church. God is doing a great work in and through the ministries of this church and through faithful followers of Jesus Christ. There are too many to recall and many way beyond my ability to know.

With God all things are possible. He is showing me over and over again how He wants to be unleashed in our everyday lives. This just makes me want to know Him more and more. If you are wanting God to move on you or a situation that is near and dear to your heart, then respond to God. I don’t go after God because He has already been coming after me. All I need to do is respond to what He is already doing and He will move through me to impact a world in search of the Hope that can only be found in Jesus.

This Sunday we will continue our series, “Not a Fan.” I am seeing many people not settling for being a fan any longer. Join the revolution and be a totally committed follower of Jesus Christ. It’s worth the time and effort.

Joy in Jesus!

Pastor Mike

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Longing For God

Longing for God

“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You, my body longs for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen You in the sanctuary and beheld Your power and Your glory. Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You.”  Psalm 63:1-3

Each day I gain my strength from the Lord. My soul thirsts for Him. If your life is not marked with the attitude of David as you begin your day, cry out to the Lord of hosts to come and restore your passion for His Word, His life-giving Spirit, and vigor for more of Him. Make it your delight to praise the Lord, to call to mind His loving-kindness, and offer to Him the sacrifice of thanksgiving.

I spent the morning sitting with the Daniels family during Randy’s open heart surgery. God’s presence was evident and Randy came through well. Now for the recovery… I know that God will prepare us for whatever comes our way. I have sat through times with families that did not receive good news but my God was still faithful to the end. We serve a mighty God who is not bound by our circumstances.

This Sunday I will begin a series, “not a fan.” We want to allow God to show us the depth of our heart as we evaluate the kind of follower we are. Don’t miss a Sunday as we begin this 6-week series. This may be the kind of series that ignites your walk with Christ like you have never experienced. Pray for God to prepare you for greater days to come as you embark upon the call of God to be fully committed, followers of Jesus Christ.

Joy in Jesus!

Pastor Mike

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Cure for Fear

The Cure for Fear

Our Staff and Church Board have been going through a study on prayer called, “When God’s People Pray.” We are allowing God to teach us and show us the importance and effectiveness of prayer. Now if we just discussed it then that would not accomplish what God wants to do in this place. We want to be doers of the Word and not just hearers.

Yesterday in our staff meeting we talked about the importance of Prayer and God’s Word. It was a good reminder to always be in the Word of God. Not from a standpoint of checking off the next passage and trying to read through many passages, but from the standpoint of allowing the Word of God to penetrate our hearts and minds. I know my prayers are more powerful when I am deep in the Word of God.

With that being said, I would like to remind us of the promises of God when we experience fear. Fear is one of the biggest obstacles the enemy throws in front of us. This is the anniversary of “911.” It was a day full of fear and desperation. Some may be in the middle of something else that is stirring up fear today. Let God fill you with His assurance of deliverance and bring you peace in the midst of your storm.

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”  2 Timothy 1:7

“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”  Romans 8:15-16

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”  1 John4:18

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. They say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’ Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His feathers , and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.”  Psalm 91:1-7

May God the Father give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation today, so that you may know Him better.

Joy in Jesus!

Pastor Mike

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Be Careful Little Eyes...

Be Careful Little Eyes…
Having a teenage son of my own, I thought the following post on Facebook was priceless. I have noticed that this young generation does not realize that the world is watching. This is a good reminder to everyone that we need to be full of integrity and guard it at all costs. “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out” (Proverbs 10:9). To all the moms and dads: build a strong and trusting relationship with your children. When you do they will not resent you being totally involved in their lives.
Dear girls,
I have some information that might interest you. Last night, as we sometimes do, our family sat around the dining-room table and looked through your social media photos.
We have teenage sons, and so naturally there are quite a few pictures of you lovely ladies to wade through. Wow – you sure took a bunch of selfies in your pajamas this summer!  Your bedrooms are so cute! Our eight-year-old daughter brought this to our attention, because with three older brothers who have rooms that smell like stinky cheese, she notices girly details like that.
I think the boys notice other things. For one, it appears that you are not wearing a bra.
I get it – you’re in your room, so you’re heading to bed, right? But then I can’t help but notice the red carpet pose, the extra-arched back, and the sultry pout.  What’s up? None of these positions is one I naturally assume before sleep, this I know.
So, here’s the bit that I think is important for you to realize.  If you are friends with a Hall boy on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, then you are friends with the whole Hall family.
Please understand this, also: we genuinely like keeping up with you. We enjoy seeing life through your unique and colorful lens – which is what makes your latest self-portrait so extremely unfortunate.
Those posts don’t reflect who you are! We think you are lovely and interesting, and usually very smart. But, we had to cringe and wonder what you were trying to do? Who are you trying to reach? What are you trying to say?
And now – big bummer – we have to block your posts. Because, the reason we have these (sometimes awkward) family conversations around the table is that we care about our sons, just as we know your parents care about you. I know your family would not be thrilled at the thought of my teenage boys seeing you only in your towel. Did you know that once a male sees you in a state of undress, he can’t ever un-see it?  You don’t want the Hall boys to only think of you in this sexual way, do you? Neither do we.

And so, in our house, there are no second chances, ladies. If you want to stay friendly with the Hall men, you’ll have to keep your clothes on, and your posts decent.  If you try to post a sexy selfie, or an inappropriate YouTube video – even once – you’ll be booted off our on-line island.
I know that sounds harsh and old-school, but that’s just the way it is under this roof for awhile. We hope to raise men with a strong moral compass, and men of integrity don’t linger over pictures of scantily clad high-school girls. Every day I pray for the women my boys will love.  I hope they will be drawn to real beauties, the kind of women who will leave them better people in the end. I also pray that my sons will be worthy of this kind of woman, that they will be patient – and act honorably – while they wait for her.

Girls, it’s not too late! If you think you’ve made an on-line mistake (we all do – don’t fret – I’ve made some doozies), RUN to your accounts and take down  anything that makes it easy for your male friends to imagine you naked in your bedroom.
Will you trust me? There are boys out there waiting and hoping for women of character. Some young men are fighting the daily uphill battle to keep their minds pure, and their thoughts praiseworthy.
You are growing into a real beauty, inside and out.
Act like her, speak like her, post like her.
I’m glad we’re friends.
Mrs. Hall         IMG_0272