Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Cut and Perm

"Here's a picture of me when I was sixteen."

"Did you take that one yesterday and tell the beautician that's what you wanted her to make you look like?"  Hahaha!

"No.  But  I look like a dang poodle."

(She said it, I didn't.  It is pretty cute, though.)


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Broken people


She was sitting on the sidewalk, legs spraddled, chin down, obviously wracked by drug abuse and dissipation.

He walked by and in disdain saw the town he grew up in falling into ruin.  "I need to get out of this degenerate place."

She walked by, shook her head and thought, "Sad.  How can young people do that to themselves.?"

Jesus looked down and saw one of his children, broken and in ruin, desperately in need of help.  "I must send one of my servants to minister to her needs."

You approach the frail, dirty girl there on the sidewalk. . .

Monday, July 9, 2018

Old Man Grumbles

The big news on all the local channels: the opening of a new. . .

Hot Dog stand.

Yep, someone called "Portillo's" has opened a second store in the area.

Okay, great free advertising for the merchant, if not an outstanding public service.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Speak Up

Sometimes as a defense mechanism we shut down. (Prefacing the message)

The message
     When we lose our voice we become a distorted version of ourselves.

The scripture is Psalm 139, a Psalm of David.

1.  God knows you.  Verse 1: You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.

2.  He sees you.  Verses 2-12:
Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence? . . . 


If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”

even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.


" That God knows us and sees us is both overwhelming and incredibly encouraging."

3.  He formed you.  Verse 13:
 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.


 4.  He has a plan for you. Verse 17:  
How amazing are your thoughts concerning me.

(Here Pastor referenced the Book of Esther, noting Esther and her people were residing in an alien land.  The people compromised who they were to be accepted by the culture.  This scribe's question:  Does that seem familiar at all?)

If we are distorted, broken, and not what God intended us to be, He can show us who we are, who we are meant to be.  He will restore us to His version of who we are!

THEN CHRIST GIVES US STRENGTH TO DO HIS WILL.

Forget what the world thinks of you and focus on God.

You have the potential to lead people into the Kingdom but you can only do this through the power of Jesus.
Find your voice and speak out, for this is a world of hurting people.

 Pastor Amanda Blair
Sunday morning

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Where are You Supposed to Be?

The lesson is from Daniel 6:10-23 in which Daniel in honoring God and in defiance of the king's edict, continues to "pray and give thanks" as was his habit.  The king, forced by those who came against Daniel, and in keeping with the law of the land, put Daniel into the den of lions.

The king was not happy, seems he liked Daniel.

The next morning the king, going to the den, found Daniel alive and well, reporting that the God whom he served shut the mouths of the lions!

No matter where we are, God is with us!

When were you last where you were not supposed to be?  Daniel knew he was in violation of the king's edict and he prayed anyway.

Allow God to take the responsibility!

A look at Acts 9:19-23, 28-31 shows us Saul's encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus.  Blinded, he found assistance in Ananias of Damascus.  When he recovered his sight, he prepared to spread the gospel.

How are we preparing for the next step?  How are we preparing to help others?

1.  We need to know Christ.
     Take up the mantle of the New Covenant.  Treat others with love and respect.

2.  Surround ourselves.  
     Plug into the body of believers.

3.  Live it out!
     Matthew 28:  "Go!"  The Great Commission of Christ.
     Whatever our calling in life, it is our mission to live out Christ's calling.

Pastor Brandon Shroyer
Sunday morning

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Prayers God Will Answer

Continuing the study, Table Manners, a serial look at the Lord's Prayer from Luke 11.

Our relationship with God requires moments of intention if we are to have a connection with the Heavenly Father.

Prayer was a very common thing in the culture in which Jesus lived.  Yet Jesus prayed in a very uncommon (special) way.  The disciples of Jesus recognized that the power of prayer is a crucial element in discipleship.  Hence, "Teach us to pray."

What does it mean to truly be a disciple of Jesus Christ?
     Jesus taught us to pray
1. for God's will;
2  for our needs;
3. for forgiveness
4.  for protection and deliverance.

Why do we pray"
     Prayer is a validation of our dependence upon God.
     Those things we pray for are things we cannot do for ourselves.  We come to the realization that
     we are desperate for God.

Jesus illustrated the elements of prayer with the story of the man who aroused his neighbor in the night, requesting bread.  (Luke 11:5-8)
    Pray
1.  boldly, that is, with shameless audacity.
2.  persistently.
The man was aroused to respond to the request not  because he  was a neighbor, but because he asked boldly, shamelessly, and with persistence.

We will have a great prayer life if we follow Jesus's injunction:
1.  Ask
2.  Seek
3.  Knock  (Luke 11:9-10)

Most prayers are shallow:  Hello, Father; goodbye.
When was the last time you were so desperate you were not about to give up?

This is the "How."
     Pray with
     1.  insistence
     2.  consistence
     3.  persistence  (tireless determination, even as Jacob when he wrestled through the  night.)

Pray with boldness because He is our Heavenly Father.
Why boldly?  Because He loves us.

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Spiritual Warfare

Do we understand the dangers of spiritual warfare?  To defeat us is the only way Satan can get a jab in at the heart of God.

In the Lord's Prayer (Luke 11) the sentence "Deliver us from evil" could correctly be translated "Bring us not into testing."  Jesus knows that testing is inevitable for any disciple of Christ.

It is possible to be completely within the will of God and still face hardship.
In such moments our faith is on trial.  In such times God is at work within your heart to bring about His likeness in you!

The One who is all-powerful is able to deliver us! 
 
He is our Deliverer! 
       No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.  I Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

You may pray "Lord, send me another way.  But if that is not to be, You are my Deliverer."

God is not alarmed at the things that come against you.

To win the battle in spiritual warfare we must
1) Know the Word.
    In whatever situation you are in, what does the Word say? The Word will set you free.
2) Plead the Blood.
    Jesus shed his precious blood for your salvation.  This provision is the way out of any circumstance the enemy may throw at you.

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Hoppers

Trimming around the edges of yard and gardens.  Hanging low on the plant, I espied the first jalapeño of the season  Yum!

Spouse of course told me I would have to prepare it myself, which I did.  Half of it I chopped and added to the vegetable salad she had made.  Gizzard tickling good!  The other half I munched as I ate my freestone peach.  Summer is my favorite season-- right now.

No kisses from the cook this afternoon, though.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Dependence on God

In the eleventh chapter of Luke we see Jesus teaching the disciples to pray.  "Give us this day our daily bread."

The request is for what we need, not for a surfeit.  Also, "bread" is so much more than meeting the physical need, for God meets our spiritual needs as well.  Jesus is the "Bread of Life."

In the Old Testament we see the children of Israel enslaved in Egypt.  God sent plagues in Egypt to break the bondage.  Then the people are wandering in the wilderness, soon begin to murmur and complain.  "Did God lead us out of Egypt to let us die here in the wilderness?"  *Aside:  "Someone could have made a fortune had they started the "Kill the Fatted Cafe."  --J.B.*
Then the Lord provided manna with the directive that sufficient supply should be gathered for the day, not a surplus.  Those who attempted to gather to save ahead soon found themselves with a smelly mess on their hands.

God was reminding them (1) You must be completely dependent on Me, and (2) I am always faithful to You.

Dependence upon God is a daily requirement.

Read Luke 12:22-31 in which Jesus tells us not to worry;  tells us to seek first the kingdom of Heaven and the needs will be provided.

1.  It is impossible to depend upon God when you are consumed with worry.
Worry is a tool of the devil to distract you from dependence upon God.  [God is faithful!]

 2.  It is impossible to depend upon God when you are consumed with want.

The contented heart knows that God will provide the needs of the day.

TO BE DEPENDENT ON GOD
1.  Be thankful for all things great and small, good or bad.
2.  Hand over worry entirely to Jesus.
3.  Remember the times of His faithfulness. 

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Multiply that

Multiple vehicles piled up in a crash on the Interstate this morning.  Multiple people were injured and transported to multiple hospitals.  Multiple law enforcement officers interviewed multiple witnesses who provided multiple stories varying in multiple details.

Multiple hospital spokespersons confirmed the treatment of multiple people for a multiple variety of injuries.

Newspeople:  Get a thesaurus, or count something, or something.

I never again want to hear "multiple" other than in a construction such as "35 is a multiple of seven."  And even there, just for variety, one might on occasion say "seven is a factor of 35."