Thursday, September 29, 2016


As I was strolling through an older neighborhood I espied an elderly gentleman tending the roses around his front porch.  The house was a Victorian painted lady and exceedingly attractive.

"Beautiful home!"  I remarked.

"Isn't she just?" the man replied.  "She was built in 1893.  I bought her twenty years ago and spared no expense in restoring her to her halcyon days.  You wouldn't believe how baroque I am."

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

"Here, Puppy!  Nice doggie.  Come get your chew toy."

And the silly dog comes running, grabs the toy, strychnine and all.

Oh, my.  Cruella De Vil had nothing on that woman.

The amazing thing is that the pup has such limited discernment that he could sit on a hillside chewing on a decades-old non-issue while the world burns.  Clueless.

Nero had nothing on this guy.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

We Reach Out

The scripture lesson is from the first sixteen verses of the third chapter of The Acts of the Apostles in which we see Peter and John entering the gate of the temple.  There, looking down, they see the lame man begging alms.  Defying societal norms, they look at the man who in turn is so beaten down by society that he does not look at them until Peter tells him to do so.

Having no money they offer the man what they had saying, "In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, rise and walk."  Then Peter, again in contravention of social expectations, reaches down and grasps the man's hand, helping him to his feet.

Leaping and praising God ensues.

Today's culture is torn by disparities, an "us/them' mentality prevails.  White/black; legal/illegal; democrat/republican; rich/poor; straight/gay; liberal/conservative; male/female.  It is all about us and them.  Everyone has answers, no one has answers; little gets done.

"They need to get over it."

"It is not our fault."

Us and them mentality is a scheme of the devil.
     It creates hatred and division.  It is an attack on God Himself to whom every person counts. 
 The Kingdom of Jesus Christ offers peace and unity which the world does not understand.
The Church must stay true to God's Word.  Moving away from those we are called to reach is not the answer.  Jesus lived among us so that He could minister to us.

The only way to overcome the us/them mentality of division is to see us in them and them in us so that it becomes "WE."

We need Christians who understand the core of the problem, not just the symptoms.

With Jesus Christ there is no "us" and "them."
In a world of divisions, what would it look like to offer the radical love of Jesus?

Who is the hardest person for you to love?

In what ways does Jesus want you to personally reach out?

Notes on message by
Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Compassion or Judgment?

 As I was entering the church I met Marvin and Annie who had attended the early service.  Annie told me I was going to hear a wonderful sermon.  She was right.

Today's lesson is based on Acts 2:42-47 in which we see the growth of the early Church, the new adherents living in joy and in accordance with Christ's purpose.  This was the fifth sermon I have heard preached from this passage in the past ten years.  I should be "getting it" by now.  *smile*

 The Church is Christ's gift to a world that is lost.

      Sadly, too many allow their religion to get in the way of their relationship with Christ.

The Church will be recognized by her message.
     "They devoted themselves to the Apostles' teachings."  (v. 42)  The message is one of hope, not of fear.

The Church will be recognized by her love.
     "The believers were together and had everything in common... they gave to anyone who had need."  (vv, 44,45)
We are to offer compassion, not judgment.  Cast mercy and grace; leave judgment to Christ.

The Church will be recognized by her reputation.
     "Praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people."  (v.47)
The Church is to be a place of authenticity rather than hypocrisy. 

Do you want to be a part of the movement that Jesus started?
 Praise with gladness and a sincere heart. 
 We must be
    1) joyful and 2) sincere.

We must be moved with compassion not judgment.

 When we encounter the hurting it is not sufficient to merely feel sympathy, we must be moved to do something.

We are good at talking love but not showing it.

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


It is better to be uninformed than to be misinformed.

Unplug the tv and unsubscribe the "news"paper.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Share the Story

How do we connect people with Jesus?

The lesson is from Acts 2:1-41.  The power of the Holy Spirit moving on lives impels and empowers disciples to tell the story of Jesus Christ.

"Peter raised his voice and addressed the crowd."  (v.14)

The power of the story can change lives.

We as Christians are responsible for sharing the story of salvation through Jesus Christ.
 I need to tell the story-- my story.  When my story and God's story come together there is power to draw people to God.

 In many ways the Church has separated itself from the world we are called to love.
 For example, the Church has created a language of its own, a language which the world does not understand.
So that we might reach people for Jesus, God will enable us to speak the language of the culture.  We must be relevant to the culture we are attempting to reach.

The Church should do its best to break down barriers.

"Then Peter standing with the eleven--" (v14)
Each and every disciple was making disciples.

 Disciples make disciples.  It is what disciples do.

Are you making disciples?
Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

There. I said it.

It is increasingly clearer each day that Mr. Trump is not only running against Hillary and the democrat party, but he is also up against the "press."  Virtually all news outlets are slanting everything in favor of his opposition.  Worse, for him, many in his own party are in opposition to the man.

What are his chances?  Probably better than you think.

And he, as is the case for his opponent, is unsuited to the job he seeks.

Sunday, September 4, 2016


Snippets from today's message.  The Scripture lesson is Acts 1:4-11 in which Jesus gives final instructions to the Apostles immediately prior to His ascension.

Key phrase:  Wait for the promise of the Father.  (v.4)

In waiting we confront the enemy.  "We have met the enemy and he is us."
    Waiting can be painful. Waiting is a direct attack on selfishness and pride. 
In God's plan there is no room for you.  You must be full of the Holy Spirit.

   Waiting must be prayerful.  
When you can't control a situation your best bet is to pray.

    Waiting should be purposeful.
Waiting is learning to rely on God.

Waiting doesn't mean "do nothing."
Waiting is not an ending but the beginning of something new.
Waiting is painful because we are no longer in control.
Waiting is what we do.

Bible examples, some who waited on the Lord.
Noah, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, Elisha, the Israelites, Jesus, the disciples, Paul.

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."  Isaiah 40:31

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning
Eagle Soaring