Sunday, December 30, 2018

Pastor's Testimony

Pastor asserted that he had had a roller coaster 2018.  He believed that he was led to share some of his thoughts on his experiences which included the death of his father, the celebration of 20 years of marriage, and the wedding of his eldest child.
Are you drowning in despair and frustration?  Are you experiencing a crisis of faith?

1.  Learn to let things go.
     Pain can replace the security blanket, our trust in the Lord.  Let it go.
     Many good things.  Though many questions arose, God has brought amazing people into my life.
2.  Learn to let people in.
     Who has my back?  Who would believe the best of me even though they had heard the worst?
     Are we really bad at receiving gifts of compassion?
     Throughout the Second Book of Samuel the writer speaks of David's mighty men, men who knew David's strengths, who knew his short-comings yet men who were always there for him.
3.  Learn to trust Jesus as the Lord of your life.
     He is in charge; He knows what is best for me.

In 2 Timothy 1 we read Paul's testimony.  He is saved and called to the ministry of the Gospel; he suffers for the cause, yet nevertheless, he writes, "I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.."  (2 Timothy 1:6-14.  Read it.)

Feelings may get in the way, but know that He knows what is best for you.  He loves you with an unending love.

Pastor concluded the message by singing the song which has become "the anthem of his heart."

"I'd Rather Have Jesus."
I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold I'd rather be his than have riches untold
I'd rather have Jesus than houses or land
Yes I'd rather be led by his nail pierced hands
Than to be the king of a best domain and beheld in sins dread sway
I'd rather have Jesus than anything this world affords today.
Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Terms and Conditions Met

Today's message is the final in this series. Everything has terms and conditions. And so it is that our relationship with God has terms and conditions as well.

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? --Micah 6:8

In the Old Testament we see that worship and service to God was overwhelming, what with all its rules and rituals, hence there was a continual disconnect between the people and their God..
 Jesus changed the game!
 The foundational question is: What do you require of me?  What's the catch?  He has shown you.

1.  Jesus was perfect in His humility.  (When we don't get what we deserve.)
     And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. --Philippians 2:8

2.  Jesus was perfect in mercy.  (When we don't get what we do deserve.)
     He in mercy takes our punishment.  His compassion fails not.  God delights in mercy. 
     (Micah 7:18,19)

3.  Jesus is perfect in justice.  God is holy and there is no holiness without justice.
Justice always demands a penalty for wrongdoing.
Jesus, perfect in justice, paid the penalty for us!

Those are the terms and conditions   (Isaiah 42:1, Isaiah 53:5, John 3:16)
The terms and conditions must be met, and Jesus met all the requirements!
    Believe that He is Lord and you will be saved!

"We are really bad at accepting gifts."  --Johnnie Blair.*

Do not fail to accept the gift of salvation. 
Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

*Some time ago vanilla addressed the issue of receiving gifts here and here. 


Sunday, December 9, 2018

Love Mercy

Pastor continues to unpack Micah 6:8

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.

Submit to God's will.  Eliminate pride; God will not tolerate it.  Pray for a humble heart.  Serve others expecting no return.

To love mercy one must first experience the love of Christ.

Forgiveness is a huge component of mercy.  Only when we walk with God can we be truly merciful.

Lost and hurting people are all around us; love them unconditionally.

    1.  Extend His peace, not our judgment.
    2.  Share His forgiveness, not blame.
    3.  Share His patience, not our irritation.
    4.  Share His kindness, not our harshness.

Forgiveness and Compassion 

Click *here* to listen to the message. 
Pastor Marc Watkins
Sunday morning

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Terms and Conditions

The message is drawn from Micah 6:8, "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"

What is the point in claiming to be a Christian if we don't walk humbly, act justly?
     We are called to walk humbly.  The test of a truly great man is his humility.
     Serve God, serve people.

"Take pride out of the equation, let God take over."

Faith without deeds is useless.  James 2:14: "As the body without spirit is dead, faith without deeds is dead."
We are called to take action.
     To talk the talk is pointless if we don't walk the walk.

Be and then Do
     Romans 12:2  Transform the mind, become a new person.
     The way we think will be changed, and that will change the way we do.

Do justice, Love mercy, Walk humbly
1.  Confess our pride.
2.  Pray for a humble heart.
3.  Serve others. 
 Pastor Brandon Shroyer
Sunday morning

Sunday, November 25, 2018

For and To the Glory of God

Review of lessons in the series.
     1.  It is for and to the glory of God.
     2.  It is His mission.
     3.  We are commissioned to "go," to connect people with Jesus.
     4.  This congregation is to send people out with the Good News.
     5,  The promise: "I will be with you."

Is this overwhelming?  It is a BIG deal.

The scripture reading is Acts 1:3-8

We are commissioned to go, but first we are directed to wait for the Holy Spirit.  It is the Holy Spirit who equips us and empowers us for the mission.  If we do not have the authority of the Holy Spirit none of the goals of ministry will be accomplished.

We need revival.  How?
     1.  Mature in our faith.
           For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. --2 Peter 1:5-9 (NIV)

     2.  Mobilize our efforts.
          Jesus' call is a call to go.  Everyone of us is being sent to someone.

     3.  Make and multiply disciples.
          Disciples make disciples.  Every true and faithful disciple will pour his life into the life of others.  We have tried to professionalize discipleship, expecting our leaders to do the job.  This approach has always failed and always will.

Each Christian will give an account of how he has made disciples.

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Here am I. Send me.

As an introduction to this continuation of the message series, "Witness," Pastor read Isaiah 6:1-8.  Isaiah confesses he is a man of unclean lips, the angel lays the coals on his lips, the question is asked by the Lord, "Who will go for me?" and Isaiah responds, "Here am I. Send me."
Why do we witness?
     1. It is to and for the glory of God.
     2. It is God's mission.
     3. It is to build and expand the Kingdom of God.
He has commanded us to go.  We are to spread the Gospel message, connecting people with Jesus Christ; we are to grow in our relationship with Jesus, sending people out with the Good News!
The promise:  "I will be with you."
Acts 1 relates the giving of the Great Commission and the Ascension of the Lord.  This is the turning point of the Scriptures. We are responsible for bearing the message to those closest to us. 
What are we doing about it?
We are responsible for bearing the message not only to those closest to us, but to those who are "not like us."  What are we doing about that?  Who are the "Samaritans" in your life? They are your neighbors.  Within a radius of 25 miles from Tipton there are more than 80,000 people who do not know Jesus.
"A hurting world need the love of Christ, and what are we doing about it?" --JB

Luke 4:18,19:  Jesus reads from the Scriptures:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,      
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Again, The Great Commission, Acts 1:8
What's your excuse?
 Too old?  Abraham and Sarah; too young?  David and Samuel; baggage too heavy? Paul; cat got your tongue? Moses; not "educated" enough? too scary?  Which excuse is a good excuse?
 John Wesley said, "It is my duty to declare to all who are willing to hear, the message of salvation."
Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Great Commission

The lesson is taken from Matthew 28:16-20.  16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  (NIV)

The level of engagement

When the disciples saw Him they worshiped Him  (v.17a)  This is the point at which the disciples were "all in."  They are fully engaged.  Recognition and acknowledgement of who Jesus is; but also the recognition of who they themselves are.

"But some doubted. . ." (v. 17b) The disciples were all in but some followers on the fringes had doubts.  A true disciple is all in, will do anything to follow Jesus.

How engaged are you to the call of Christ to His mission? 

Jesus recognized that the disciples were ready; He gave them the Great Commission. (vv. 19,20)

What does it mean to be fully engaged in Christ's mission?

1.  Connect people with Jesus (v.19)  People are hungry for a relationship with Jesus.

2.  Growing in our relationship with Jesus. (v20)  Christ accepts us but wants us to become more like Him.  
We are called to live Holy lives.

Each person is responsible for his own spiritual development.  Make self available to the means of grace provide by Jesus Christ.  Spiritual growth is best nurtured in community.  The scriptural imperative beginning "you" could best be interpreted "y'all."  We are in this together.

3.  Sending people out with the Good News.  The imperative "Go." (v19)  We are sent. Every disciple is called to be a missionary.  The Holy Spirit will equip every disciple to actively share his faith.

Pastor Johnnie Blair 
Sunday morning

Sunday, November 4, 2018


We are to be witnesses for Jesus Christ.  That  is the crux of the matter.

Some things are perplexing, baffling, and at the same time amazing.  Pastor enumerated some things which fill the bill for him, among them ventriloquism, acrobatics, and the persistence to persevere in the face of defeat, to grasp victory from its jaws, so to speak.

How much more should the moving of God amaze and perplex us!

"The church is God's primary vehicle for bringing His message of salvation to the world."  Amazing (and perplexing)!

Man has tried to eradicate, defame, and persecute Christianity.  Even so the message thrives and proliferates.  Amazing--  and baffling!   Yet He has entrusted the message to us.  Now is that not amazing and perplexing?

It is amazing that God would send His only begotten Son to die on a cross to save us from our fallen and sinful state.  How amazing that a Holy God would do such a thing.

The message still brings hope in the most hopeless of situations.

Read Ezekiel 38:23, 39:21  "I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in many nations, then they will know that I am the Lord."

The Earth is groaning to be redeemed, even in the shadow of the end times.  God is our hope.

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  --Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8)
This is the Great Commission.

"I believe God wants to show His greatness again. That will amaze and baffle us.  We are in a very pivotal moment in Christianity.  I believe we are set up for another Great Awakening.  God wants to truly transform lives.  Chains will be broken, we will see people released from bondage and set free in Christ.
"If this is to be, let it begin in me."

May our desire be to witness His greatness. 

We may be tempted to pursue our own fame, our own agenda; we may be tempted to pursue earthly pleasures, seeking to build our own kingdom. 

God forbid.  These do not fit in with what God wants to do.

1.  to and for the glory of God.
     The purpose of the church is to bring Him honor and glory.  Ephesians 1:6, 1:12,14, 3:10.
     Worship will last forever.  Adoration and praise to God is the point.  Hebrews 2:14
2.  God's mission.
     The calling is owned and appointed by God.  All we do is for Him.  It is His mission.  We receive power (Acts 1:8) to do His mission.
     God has a mission.  He gives the vision and the plan.  He .reveal the next step at the right time.  God supplies every provision.
3. to expand God's Kingdom.
    Whether we are known is of no consequence so long as we make Jesus known!

We shine not for our own sake but for the sake of Christ and to connect people with Jesus!

 Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning
 To hear this message click here

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Me to We

"We are called to build bridges and tear down walls; we are not called to put up fences." --JB

Continuing the study in the Gospel of Mark we see that the disciples are selfish, always about self and missing what Christ wants from them as a group.

"They had argued about who was the greatest."  Mark 9:34

The disciples desired that Jesus would put a stop to one outside their circle who was casting out demons in the name of Jesus.  --We are greater mentality.  A fence.

Jesus said, "Whoever is not against us is for us." (v. 40)

Those who are not part of our group surely cannot be right.  No,
All born-again followers of Christ are members of the Body of Christ.

 "Whoever wants to be first must be slave of all." --Jesus, Mark 10:44

The overzealous spirit wants to distinguish itself, puts its own agenda ahead of what Christ wants done.
"People just do what comes naturally."  --Dennis Kinlaw

There is something we MUST grasp:  We are called to DO together.
When we are for the self we are missing what Christ has for us:  To build the Church.

For the disciples the Shift from Me to We occurred at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon them. 
Too many people like the idea of following Jesus, but are not loyal to each other.
We are to be bonded to each other in Christ. 
"To belong is as important as to be."  --JB


  "This is my command: Love each other." --Jesus (John 15:17)

Action plan
     1.  Get involved in small group; connect with the Body of Christ more than once a week
     2.  Become a member so you can be more actively involved.
     3.  Find a way to serve along side the brothers and sisters.
     4.  Pray that God will send us people who are not like us and that He will send us out to people who are not like us.
     5.  Commit to a weekly time of worship with the group.
     6.  Submit to the authority of the Church.
     7.  Spend a significant amount of time praying for the needs of others.

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning
 Like to hear this message?  Click here.

"It is places of crisis and community where God will work a change in you."

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Sheep to Shepherd

 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”   --Jesus the Christ

God calls us out of our comfort zone, calls us to lead.

We first become followers of Christ, we learn to feed on His Word, then He calls us to come alongside others.

The scripture is Matthew 28:18-20 in which Christ commissions his followers to become leaders, to preach the gospel throughout the world.  Jesus has been given all authority and He transfers the authority to teach His saving gospel when he says "Go!"  This is accompanied by His promise to "Be with you unto the end of the age."

We share with others what Jesus has done for us; the Holy Spirit takes your testimony and works in the hearers' hearts.

"Being a shepherd is messy; it's hard work."

How to move from being a sheep to being a shepherd.
     1.  Seek:  pray that God would reveal those faces and names who need to hear.
     2.  Be willing to speak truth into lives when given the opportunity.
     3.  Shepherd:  be willing to walk alongside a new believer.

Jesus wants us to step out and pour into others.
Pastor Amanda Blair
Sunday morning

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Ask to Listen

John 10:27  "My sheep hear my voice."
Isaiah 55:3  "Hear and your soul shall live."
Revelation 3:20  "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me."

Jesus wants us to hear Him.

When Stephen testified to the Sanhedrin they refused to hear him; Zechariah prophesied and the people refused to listen.  The Isralites wandered forty years in the desert because they refused to listen to the voice of God.

Today there are so many voices that we hear the Word preached over and over, and yet we do not hear the Word.  In the scripture lesson, Mark 4,  we read "listen" (v.3), "hear" (v.9) and "hear" (v,20)
Our capacity to listen is a measure of how good we are as disciples.

In the ninth chapter of Mark we read of Peter, James, and John, with Jesus on the mount when Christ is transfigured, revealed in his glory as God everlasting and there appears with them Moses and Elijah, the greatest prophets  of the faith who ever lived!  Yet stunned and terrified as the disciples were Peter interrupted and proposed the building of shrines.  Then spoke the Voice from Heaven and said, "Listen!" to My Son.
James 1:19  "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak. . ."

The call to listen is foundational and imperative for every disciple.   First and foremost as disciples we are called to hear every word!

Ours is a culture of asking questions.  We need to listen more.  When we are asking we want to "fix."  We need to have God's directions.   Take it in, soak it up.

When we ask we want to know; when we listen we understand God's control.  Force yourself to be still before God and listen.    "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord" (Psalm 27:14)

Shift from asking questions to listening to His voice.

How the Lord speaks.
     1.  Through His Word, the Holy Bible.
     2.  Through people.
     3.  Through situations.
(Anytime God speaks to you through people or situations, it will be verified in the Word.)
Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Consumer to Steward

The scripture lesson is Mark 10:17-25 in which the rich man encountering Jesus tells the master how good he is then asks, "What more must I do?"  Jesus looks on him with love and compassion and tells him he must turn loose of everything and "follow me."  The man went away sorrowful, for he was very rich.  The saddest story in scriptue.

What kind of disciple are you?  Look at the way you handle your possessions.
What do you value most?  What if God asked you to surrender it?

No matter how many times we fail Jesus looks on us with love and compassion.  As with the rich man, Jesus goes to the heart of the matter, "Sell all, take up the cross, and follow me."  This is a Divine invitation to be a disciple:  "Walk this road with me!"  The man in the story went away sad because he had great wealth. 

"I wonder about us."
Jesus, do you really require that much?  "We have forgotten how radical is the call to follow Jesus."
Wealth can blind our moral sight and lead to spiritual bankruptcy.  If you are comfortable with the call to discipleship, you are not there.  The call will make you very uncomfortable.

God is demanding something incredible of you.

To be a steward is to manage someone else's property.  What we are given belongs to God.  We must handle them appropriately.
     1.  We are to steward our time.  We may be so concerned with "me time" that we miss the opportunity of a lifetime.
    2.  We are to steward our abilities.  Whatsoever talents we possess, spiritual or physical, we give to God.
    3.  We are to steward our physical and tangible resource.   Eternity will be empty and void if all you do is accumulate things.  You never see a hearse pulling a U-Haul trailer
    4.  We are to steward our Salvation. Must feed ourselves, get into the Word, read the Word in prayer.  Take responsibility for your spiritual health.

How do I develop a spirit of stewardship?
     1.  Develop a spirit of gratitude.  
     2.  Develop a spirit of generosity.  Shift from being a consumer to being a steward!


Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday mornnig

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Seen to Unseen

The Call to Open the Eyes to the Spiritual Realities which have Always been there.
The scripture lesson is Mark 10:46-52 in which the blind man, Bartimaeus, approaches Jesus and asks for his sight.

The shift from the seen to the unseen is like being cured of blindness.

The unseen is eternal; fix your eyes on Jesus! (2 Corinthians 4:18)
Open your spiritual eyes. (Ephesians 1:18)
     We have two sets of eyes: physical and spiritual.

In 1 Kings 6 we read of the Syrian king who was troubled that his forays against Israel always failed, suspected a spy in his midst.  When he was told the problem was Elisha, he inquired as to the man's location, determined to go to Dothan to dispose of the prophet.  When Elisha's servant saw that they were surrounded by the Syrian forces, he moaned, "Alas, Master, how shall we do?'  Elisha replied, "Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them." And Elisha prayed, and said, "Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see."  (vv. 16,17)  Then the man's eyes were opened and he saw the Lord's host surrounding them.

If we want to see the unseen, when we are healed of blindness

1.  We discover we are not alone!
2.  It requires a shift in our values.    (You never see a hearse pulling a U-Haul trailer.) We will be required to step out of our comfort zone.

How to shift.

1.  Pray .  "Give me eyes to see what is unseen."

2.  Believe.  ----In the unseen Kingdom.

3.  Focus.  Quit looking at the problem; get your eyes on Jesus.

4.  Confess.  "Have mercy!"  confessing, "Jesus, I need you!"

5.  Listen.  Study the Word, attune yourself to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

 Pastor Marc Watkins
Sunday morning

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Slave to Child

The Third Message in the Series, "Soul Shift."

The Scripture lesson is a continuation of the conversation Jesus had with His disciples, as recorded in the ninth chapter of Mark's Gospel.

--Some have forgotten who they are--
      They conflate their identity with what they do.

--Some have forgotten whose they are--
      Their spiritual experience is based on religious practices; trying to make God proud of them
You are unimpressive
if your religion is base on performance.  There is nothing you can do to earn God's approbation.

"Some are good at being childish, but really bad at being children of God."

Could it be that some of the most devout people among us still need to change?  Are we living up to the true potential that Jesus expects?  "Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” --Mark 10:15 

--The expectation:  "Just be with Me!"

"The older we get the more chains and shackles we carry around."

God is a Father, a father who knows his children.  God is not a reflection of your earthly father, He is the original Father.

 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.  Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. --Galatians 4:4-7

 The Father is not stuck with us, he chose us!
He is Daddy; we are his children.


1.  In bondage to rules.  He did not choose us to exchange one form of slavery for another.   He sets us free!

2.  In bondage to what people think of us. If you are living to please others you are an imposter.

3.  In bondage to addictions.  (We wouldn't recognize ourselves without them.)  Christ wants to set us free!

It's all in the conversation!

Be attuned to the small whisper of His voice.  Read the Word.  Meditate on it.  Slowly, no hurry; let the Word penetrate.
Your Heavenly Father wants to communicate with you.
 "If you aren't hearing Him, it is not because He's not talking, it's because you aren't listening."  

Drop little notes of love and appreciation to God.  Acknowledge that you have heard His voice!

It's in the conversation!
Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Thursday, September 20, 2018


My physical therapist often told me, "Listen to your body!"

Today I was worrying a stump with an axe, ninety degrees, sunny.  After a time, not specified, my body clearly said, "One more whack with that axe and I WiLL kill you!"

The rest of the stump will still be there another day.

(I used to work eight+ hours on the job, go home and split wood for two hours before dinner.  "Used to" was a  wonderful stage in life, was it not?)

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


Sarah, noting the craze for designer dogs, had her golden retriever  bred to a poodle, what with the popularity of the golden doodle.  The dog had five beautiful pups, but Sarah's disappointment grew as the pups grew, for she realized that they were not golden doodles, but poo retrievers.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Me to You

The lesson is drawn from chapter nine of the Gospel of Mark beginning with verse thirty.  The disciples with Jesus on the road to Capernaum are arguing amongst themselves when Jesus tells them (for the second time) that he will die that they might live.  The men are so self-absorbed that the message eludes them.

Arguing, for these disciples, is within their natures.  Ours. too?
When they come into the house, Jesus asks them what they were talking about on the road.  Silence.  Why?  Guilt.

Self-absorption kills empathy, let alone compassion.
Those preoccupied with their own selfish desires spend their time trying to achieve position and power.
"He who would be first must be last."  --Jesus

He who would be first must be servant to all (even as Christ gave himself for all).

In our sinful nature we have a propensity to look out for #1 first.  We are competitive; losing is insufferable.

Crucify self.   Jesus said, "Take up your cross and follow me."  When Christ took up his cross, where did he go?  To death.  So must we die to self.

If people shift from a me-focus to a you-focus it would change everything.

Become Selfish-Aware
Take an Interest in Others
Become a Servant 
(because we want to serve)
Carry each other's burdens.  In this we are never more Christ-like.

God does help those who cannot help themselves.  We serve through acts of humility, compassion, and justice.

Christ is the most important person in any room!

1.  How much do you think of the needs of others?
2.  What have you done for some one other than yourself this week?
3.  What would others say about your concern for others?

Do you truly care for others, or are you the most important person in the room?

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Thursday, September 13, 2018


Mrs. Warr:  I have often heard that old men are exceedingly stubborn.  I think you exceed them all.

(Bob may be stubborn, but he is bright, too.  He made no response, spoke not a mumbling word.)

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Soul Shift --1

The scripture lesson is Mark 8:27-38 in which Jesus and his disciples are on a journey.  Upon Peter's testimony that Jesus is the Christ, Jesus begins to explain to His followers that he must die and be raised from  the dead.  Peter pulls Jesus aside and chastises Him for His declaration of death.  Jesus turns back to face the other disciples, putting Peter at His back, and says, "Get behind me Satan."  The key verse is Mark 8:34, "Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."

What is a disciple, a true follower of Jesus Christ? 

      We may know who we want to be, yet not be clear on who we are meant to be.

Discipleship is not running from who we don't want to be, but rather it is running toward someone we love. 

Soul:  The life principle where our truest nature lies.

Don't sell yourself short; less than Christ-likeness is not acceptable.

Stop expecting less, and start expecting more!

 The cost of discipleship is great, more than any of us can imagine, (vv 34, 35)

"To be minded like God is not just the think like Him, it is to be wired like Him, to have our nature changed to be just like Christ."

True discipleshiip is rewiring of our nature, a shift in our soul.
We will stop doing things our way and do things as Christ would do them.
We will react like Christ not because we think about how to react, but rather because Christ's nature is natural for us!

     1.  Learn to value the interests of others above and before the self.
     2.  Discover new identity in Christ.
     3.  Will begin to see the eternal realities.
     4.  Understand the role of the disciple.
     5,  Will stop seeking to be heard and learn to hear.
     6,  Take ownership and responsibility for others on the journey.
     7.  Will appreciate the power of the journey as we follow Christ.

"Take up your cross and follow me."
Stop running from the person you hate and run toward the Person you love 

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Scripture as Sacrament

Must find a sense of balance amidst the chaos.

Does your devotional life suffer when you "get out of balance"?
Are you so out of alignment that you are going through life sideways?

To find peace and contentment we must align ourselves with God's will.
You will find God's will on the pages of His Word:  The Bible.
Approach the scriptures as a sacrament of God.

We believe the Bible is infallible, doctrine intact; it contains all things necessary for life and salvation.  It is impossible to develop a Christ-like life without steady input and understanding of His Word. 

A natural drift will occur, one will find that  he is out of alignment, going through life sideways.
Signs that we need a spiritual alignment.
     1.  Weariness.  
          "The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul." --Psalm 19:7a
     2.  Confusion.
          The world is riddled with miscommunication, misinformation.
          Lord, make me wiser than I am.
          "The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple." --Psalm 19:7b
     3.  Discouragement
          Stress, anxiety
          "The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart." --Psalm 19:8a
     4.  Worry
           Learn to fear God, place your trust in Him
           "The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever." --Psalm 19:9a
           Have a healthy fear of the Lord and there is nothing else to fear.
     5,  Guilt
          "There is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."  --Romans 8:1
          Mercy and grace flow from the pages of God's Word.

Approach God's Word as a sacrament.
     1.  Read; there is no excuse not to.
     2.  Reflect; meditate, think about what you read.
     3.  Remember; memorize, hide His Word in your heart where it cannot be taken from you.
     4.  Recount; tell others what God shares.
     5.  Respond; "But be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only."  --James 1:22

 You will begin to align your life to the will of God, found in the pages of His Holy Word!

 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
    be pleasing in your sight,
    Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. 
--Psalm 19:14
Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

A thing or two

TV commercial, guy says, "I know a thing or two about chickens."

I do, too.  They are lice-infested, they crap all over everything, and they stink.*

Then realizing I've lost my mind, I break into cackling laughter.  (See what I did there?)

*Said the guy whose job it was to clean the hen house.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Tarry Fails

Frog:  Kiss me, I'm a prince.

Maiden: (kisses frog)

Prince:  Yikes!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Mondays are for Mission

Romans 12:1-3, 21

To quarantine our faith, that is to keep our religious life separate from other activities, is to miss our calling. We are called to be missionaries.

People are looking for a faith that is relevant, a faith that is authentic. They are looking for a real Faith lived out in a real way. Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus in The Sermon on the Mount tells us that we are to be salt and light.  People of that day understood that salt had extreme value, that it was actually crucial to life in that time.

We must exhibit the presence of God in our lives even in the most mundane situations. Everyday should be Take Jesus to Work Day. Jesus speaks to whom?  He speaks to Everyday People in everyday situations.

Letting the Light of Christ shine is not as difficult as you think.

1. Don't be critical;  2. Treat people kindly.
These are the ways Jesus will show through your life.
 We may not have all the answers but we have the right answers. 
Jesus is the right answer to whatever is wrong.

1.  What is the place that should be considered your mission field?
2.  What are some things you can change to amplify your mission?
3.  How can you encourage someone to shine brighter?
4.  What could you do at work, at home, to bring glory to God?
5.  What can you do to be more consistent in sharing your faith?

Be diligent; be bright; be consistent.

Let your walk align with your faith.

You got this!

You were made for Mondays!

You are the salt, the light! 

" Invite Jesus into each and every conversation and interaction."

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Monday, August 20, 2018


The scripture lesson is based on chapter 21 of John's gospel in which we see the disciples on the shore of Galilee confused, distraught, downhearted because the Master is gone. 
 "What are we going to do?" someone said, and Peter said, "Well, let's go fishing," so they did and after fishing all night with no catch someone appeared on the shore and hollered,  "Catch anything?"

What do you do when you're not sure what's next?

1 Tenaciously seek and listen for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

2  Share with the faith community.

3 Engage and align with the word of God.

4 Integrate as needed counseling rooted in a biblical worldview.

5 Gather courage and take the next step of faith.

The disciples who were called to be Fishers of Men in their confusion went back to fishing for fish from which Jesus had called them. In the mundane and the confusion, in the brokenness, Jesus invites them back to the shore.

The principles of next
1 Waiting on Jesus is a common experience for all disciples.
2 When we are not sure what to do, do the next thing,
3 Trust that Jesus is present and he's got this. You Are Not Alone.
4 Jesus is always serving us even when we can't see him from our boat.

Jesus loves to work in and for those who know how to wait and listen.

The next thing becomes the best thing only when it is God's thing not ours.

Pastor Dave Sharpes
Sunday morning
Olathe Kansas

An earlier in-home Bible study discussion of John 21: *click*

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Made for Monday

Easy to talk about, difficult to live it out.

"If you act like you like your job, you might begin to like your job."  -- Johnnie's Boss

"The work of your hands is the place where your truest worship is exemplified."  --J. Blair

How would you describe your worship if it were based on your work ethic?

For of him, and through him and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever.  Amen  -- Romans 11:36

Scripture reading Romans 12:1,2

Worship is much more than engaging in Sunday services.  True worship is to live a transformed life.

Offer your bodies to God. We must offer our physical being as well as our spiritual being if we are to worship truly.  We are to be a living sacrifice: all that you are and ever will be, offer it all to him

Does your work ethic offer a pleasing aroma to God, or does it stink?
Your performance on the job is an offering to God.  Is it acceptable?

We must develop a mindset that is Christlike.  Do we please Christ or the culture?  Which way will we do things? A mind that is transformed in Christ is the key to changing the world.

Do we treat people with respect and honor?   Do we think differently from the world?

"And let the beauty of the Lord Our God be upon us, and establish thou the work of our hands upon us, yea, the work of our hands established thou it."--Psalm 90:17

How many are praying for your workplace, your employer your coworkers?

What if God established the work of your hands?

Not your dream job? So what?  You have the ability to honor God wherever you are, gleefully, with integrity, and with a joyful spirit.

You are made for Mondays!

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Unbelievably spoiled

For 10,000 years mankind struggled to find nourishment enough for the day. Now we are obsessing over whether or not we got two mg of manganese in our diet.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Mondays Matter

--First in the sermon series, "Made for Mondays."

Scripture lesson: Romans 12

1.  Our faith must be relevant to our everyday life.
      It is not what you say that counts, but how you actually live out your faith.
      Does your faith impact every decision you make on a regular daily basis?
      A faith not relevant is a faith not real.

2.  Faith must be lived in an authentic way.
     Those around you can tell if your faith is real.
      Verse 9:  Love must be sincere.
      Joyful, patient, prayerful.
      Verse 21:  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Mondays are hard.  Christians should be the most hard-working, honest and productive people in the workplace!

1,   Mondays should be viewed as a gift, not a curse.
      Work is a blessing, a gift.
       You have to work?  No!  You get to work!

2.  Mondays should be enjoyed, not just endured.

3.  Mondays should represent a calling, not just a job.
     "Whatever you do, do it in the name of the Lord."

4.  Mondays bring us a mission field, not just a career path.
     Jesus said, "You are salt and light."

Sundays were made for you, but you were made for Mondays!

Before sin came into the world, God put Adam to work in the Garden of Eden!

Have the Monday blues?  Stop it!  Fix your attitude.

 Be not overcome of (Mondays), but overcome (Mondays) with good.
--Romans 12:21 (Worker's Version)

 Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning


Friday, August 3, 2018

Politicians are self-serving, as we may all be to a degree, the most self-serving of all human types whose words are worth less than the air it takes to propel them from their mouths.

Monday, July 30, 2018


Watching the weather report on the noon "news."  Chirky girl is reading the stats, waving her arms as the radar shows in the background.

At the bottom of the screen this script

1 to 2 inches rain this afternoon
Water pondering in places

which naturally caused me to wonder what the water is thinking about, what exactly is it "pondering"?

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Consider Your Ways

The message today is based on the first chapter of the Book of Haggai.

Key:  "Consider you ways,"  i.e., "Give careful thought to your ways."

 The people have returned to Jerusalem from captivity.  They have rebuilt their houses and attended to their own needs, yet they have neglected to restore the House of God.  They have spent money, yet are poor; they have food, but are still hungry; they drink, but thirst is not slaked; they have clothes, but are not warm.  Everything is out of control.  Why?

Their priorities are out of whack!  They have placed God and His House on the back burner.
All their problems are directly related to the neglect of God.  Without God we are susceptible to all sorts of ills.  There are things that happen in our lives that could have been avoided had we put God first.

God must come first, then all other things will begin to fall into place.

How often do we focus of the things that don't really matter?

Every follower of God must

     1.  give careful thought to the priority of "first."  Are we offering God the first of our time, our finances, our relationships, our skills, our knowledge, our career? If you are a believer and not offering your first, you need to fix it.

     2.  give careful thought to the priority of trust in God.  Trust may seem to be a risk, but the greater risk is not to trust!

     3.  give careful thought to the priority of obedience.

Follow Me!
Trust and Obey!

Your trouble may not be the results of God's punishment, but simply that you have not put God first.

Take God off the back-burner and put Him first where He belongs!
Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Previous message from a portion of the same passage here.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Breaking news

Seattle, July 26  The driver of an older model minivan was arrested this morning on charges of smuggling plastic drinking straws into Seattle.  A Seattle PD officer arrested Frankie "The Weasel" Ferret as he came off I-5 at exit 169.  A police spokesperson stated that the officer had stopped the car due to brake light failure and was alerted to search the vehicle due to the nervous responses Ferret gave to his questioning.

Ferret granted permission to the officer to search the van where it was discovered that there were sixteen cases of  plastic straws in Ferret's possession.  A King County ADA stated  that Ferret will be charged with possession of  contraband with intent to smuggle said contraband into Seattle.  "Ignorance of the law is no excuse," stated the prosecutor when advised that the miscreant said that he was simply doing a favor for his "dear old grandmother," and had no idea that he was involved in any criminal activity.

Frankie Ferret is being held without bond until a trial date is set.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018


Here they are, just the facts
at 3 a.m. it's good there's no ax
in this bungalow
why? my great toe.

It's called a "flare"
but I don't care
what it's designated
this pain is hated.

Sleep? I think not
I'm looking at the spot
the blade would sever
for I think I've never

Suffered sleepless quite this long
not singing any song
but moaning groaning intense pain
two days and nights it's the bane

Of my existence.

cut it out,
 or off,
 or something.


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Start of a Movement

The lesson is from the Gospel of John chapters 11 and 12 in which Jesus was notified that Lazarus was ill.  Yet he did not hurry to Bethany to see his dear friend while he yet lived, and Lazarus died.  Read the account.

The Lazarus Movement: a life-giving death-to-life movement.
God wants to send a revival --today! 
     Something amazing, something historic.   But revival, a movement of God, must always begin with the individual.
     First, God must do something real and big in our lives.

--Replacing spiritual growth with memories of the past = dying.
--Spiritually dead = given up, lost the faith, like Larazus: stinketh.  The attitude, the prayer life, the Bible reading, faith, all dead: stinketh.  Troublesome, for at this stage we may feel we are "too far gone." 

The miracle is that there is never a too-far-gone with the Grace of God.
Who would like to see the glory of God?  John 11:22 Mary said "Even now,"  i.e. Lazarus had been four days dead, "God will give You whatever You ask."

1.  Bystanders told to roll away the stone. (Help the spiritually dead to be set free.)
2. Jesus called for Lazarus to come out of the tomb.  (God acts when we are spiritually dead.)
3.  Lazarus came out.  (Action in response to God's life-giving grace.)
4.  People told to loose him and set him free.  (Believers nurture the newly-alive in Christ,  Walk with them in the good times and the bad.)  

We need to be set free.

When we let old things go, all things become new!

How many of us are actually going outside the self to minister to the needs of others?
We are sanctified by the Holy Spirit through the community of faith.

God wants to do something spectacular,
and he wants to start it with you and me.   

 Lazarus is alive!  In Chapter 12 we read of the resurrection party in which other people began to experience the resurrection.
Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

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!


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