Sunday, July 30, 2017

Flesh or Faith

Continuing our reading in the letter of Paul to the Philippian Church, 3:1-11

Old Testament righteousness is based on the individual's ability to keep the Law.

Heard of "The Ten Commandments"?  The first four keep the people in right standing with God; the next six are directed to keeping one in right standing with people.  But the religious leaders expanded on the commandments, building rule upon rule that had to be followed in order not to break the commandments.  This ultimately resulted in 613 commandments.  Who can live without breaking one or some of those?  Paul, apparently, for he tells us that "all these he kept from his youth up."  His point?  He was more religious than all who might read this.

Jesus boiled the entire law down to two commandments, namely, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul; and Love your neighbor as yourself.

No matter how good one is at keeping rules it does not make him holy.

Confidence in the flesh will always be one of man's greatest temptations.

Pastor asserted that he was more religious than most of us.  He illustrated this by his testimony to his upbringing, the thousands of hours he had spent in church as a child, even the fact that as a home-schooled lad his primary textbook was the Bible.  But ultimately

Religion is empty calories that will leave you empty.

Confidence in the flesh will always end in condemnation
Faith in Christ will always result in GRACE.

Pastor continued, "I know Christ is enough!"

God is interested in the HEART, not in our ability to keep a set of rules.


Religion is about the Law,
Faith is about the Heart.

Religion fosters Fear
Faith fosters HOPE.
Perfect Love casts out all fear.
Religion builds barriers
Faith breaks down Walls.

Religion eats away at community
Faith edifies the Body!

Religion creates legalistic lists
Faith brings about true righteousness!

Religion always leaves you empty
Faith will make you FULL!

Faith in Jesus Christ is all that is required.

He is risen from the dead
who died to bring you life!

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning  


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Chicken House

Suppose the rooster spends his days and half his nights plucking the feathers from his hens, pecking them mercilessly whilst he ignores the fox that came in through the knothole in the wall.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Cause and Effect

A 19-year-old was killed after police say he was shot in the head during a party Sunday morning.

Happened in a nearby cityA true tragedy when a young person loses his life at the hands of another  young person.  I would never make light of this horrendous event.

However, whoever wrote the above banner needs to be called out.  Does it suggest that had the police not said he was shot in the head he would not have been killed?  Or what?

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Are you a GOOD friend?

The scripture lesson is from Philippians 2:19-30 in which Paul, adjuring the Church to "be like Christ" is commending Timothy and Epaphroditus to them.

"Until your heart breaks for people you will never know what it means to love them."

     "If you ever feel alone it is your own fault."

We must become people people.
 "People are always looking for messes.  God is looking for people."
--Dallas Willard

People must be our highest priority.  We need characteristics like Timothy and Epaphroditus who were
1.  Christlike.
2.  Team players
3.  Genuinely concerned for others
4.  Loyal to others
5.  Acting out of compassion. (As opposed to the natural impulse to criticism and judgment.

What if you lived out this model?
Are you a GOOD friend?
Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

At the Fair

Many potential comments come to mind.  I'll leave it to you.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

We Are in This Together

The lesson is a continuation of the letter of Paul to the Philippians.

When you are down, turn your thoughts to what you can do for others.

In your suffering Christ is with you.

The Church must expect cultural and social push back.  What is much more harmful to the Church is dissension from within.

In the fog of war there are many casualties caused by friendly fire.

The Church does more damage to itself than it receives from external forces.
 We are sometimes so busy messing with each other that we lose sight of what God is trying to do.

God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit; One God, gave His Church a seat at the table and invited us into Oneness with Him.  [See Acts chapter two.]

The Church was born to reflect the same unity that is in God.

Check yourself before you wreck yourself--  before you wreck all of us.
Tenderness and compassion before
meanness and a critical spirit.

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Saturday, July 15, 2017

A Thing or a Spoof?

Just saw a commercial.  For just two payments of $19.95 + SH get your Trumpy Bear now!

That is a joke, right?  I mean, That is a joke!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Day Disco Died

July 12, 1979:  The day disco died.  I decline to rewrite a tale that has already been well told.  Check it out if you ever cared about disco.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

To Live is Christ

 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  --Philippians 1:21

Most people find this offensive, for to them, "To live is me, and to die is loss."

Death is not gain for to live is me.  Therefore, Paul's statement is offensive, makes no sense.

David Brooks in his book, The Road to Character, speaks of Adam 1, the man characterized by what he calls "resume virtues."  We focus mostly on these virtues, building the characteristics that would be noted on a resume, achievements, accomplishments, temporal goals, etc.

Brooks then turns to Adam 2, the man characterized by "eulogy virtues."  These would be the things we would want to be remembered by, our character, our caring, the qualities that made us worthy of remembering.

Paul spent his entire life writing his own eulogy.  He was not worried about advancing his resume, but rather about advancing the cause of Christ.

We must get to this point:  Think not what people want you to be, but what God wants you to be.

Many of us are characterized by pride and stubbornness:  What makes me feel good even at the expense of anyone else.

Pride and stubbornness must be replaced by humility and submission.

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.

One who is humble must be aware of his own weaknesses and of his own strengths.
Usually a self-aware person is humble.

The truly humble person is sure of who God wants him to be.

To be where God wants you to be you must be submissive, fully submitted to God's will.

What is God's will for you?  That you strive to bring about his Kingdom.

The cause of Christ is the only cause that counts.

All that Paul had was given to God.  "I will live for Christ; I will die for Christ."
Your career is not your purpose.
Christ and Christ alone is your purpose.
To live is Christ.  To be a father, a mother, a husband, a wife, is Christ.

All are called to bringing about the Kingdom of God.
What is your job?  How does Christ want to use that in the advancement of His kingdom?

You choose a career.  Your calling is a vocation.  One who is called will do it for free for a lifetime if necessary.

You are never able to be sure what to live for until you are sure of what is worth dying for.
Be Thou My Vision 
 Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Friday, July 7, 2017


Daughter called and asked me to take her to Indy for a dental appointment.  "We'll need to leave by six in the morning."

"There is no six in the morning," I quipped.  But of course I took her.  Verified my statement, too.  I got up and got ready, drove up in front of her door at 5:59 a.m.

There is a six in the evening, and a six at night, but no six in the morning. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Local Paper Tops . . .

The front page headline:

The continuation:

Headline writers, take note.  Top these, if you can.