Pastor Corner
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February 13, 2018, 11:11 PM

We always thank God for you...

" We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ." - 1 Thess. 1:2-3 (NIV 2011)
I imagine as Paul was writing these words that he was reflecting on conversations, relationships, events, and maybe even some challenges that he had been through with his brothers and sisters in Christ.  It was because of that past that he felt so strongly and could pen such passionate words.  Paul was able to encourage his audience with words that were heartfelt, not empty or simply lip service.  I don't think that anyone would question the sincerity of Paul or his words.
This past Sunday, FBC Hooks was privileged to celebrate 75 years of ministry in Hooks.  With a celebration like this comes an opportunity to reflect, much like Paul.  I would like to thank those that took time to celebrate and reflect with us.  Thank you to all that were a part through the preparation of the celebration itself.  Thank you to those that were able to speak, sing, and give personal testimonies.  Thank you to those that were able to attend, giving up time at their home church to celebrate with us.  Thank you to MSBC, a sister church that sent a beautiful arrangement in celebration of this day.  Thank you, most of all, to our Lord for allow His children to celebrate this day in a way that honored Him.
In all of this, when I think back to our celebration, I thank God for you.  May God bless each and every one!
In His Service,
Bro. Grant

December 5, 2017, 8:50 AM

Tell the good news..

"He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.'" - Mark 16:15 (NIV)

Have you ever noticed that instructions that make the most sense are sometimes found in the most simple forms?  Nothing complicated, just bullet points, step 1, 2, 3, etc.  We tend to do well with the instructions are concise.  This is one reason I enjoy the gospel of Mark.  He never did give a great deal of detail, just the facts...concise.  

For example, In 16:15, Mark gives us the instruction of our Lord to go into the world and preach to all creation.  Understanding all the discussion around the importance of discipleship, I want us to see the basic instruction and importance of this message, for this time of year especially.  The results of this message being put out there are up to God. The number that come to Christ is not a burden that we must bear.  I don't mean to be cold, but we are not the Holy Spirit and we are not in charge or another person's soul.  However, we must do what we can to get the message of Christ out.  Whatever is within you ability to get that message out, you must do.

I am overjoyed that so many area churches put on plays, canatas, and special services during this time of year.  Each one is trying to do their part to get the message of Christ out.  I truly wish that I could attend each one.  I wish that each church could support other churches by attending at least some of those services to let each other know they are making a keep it up!  We are to continue until Christ returns and let God deal with the results.

With that being said, I want to thank our area churches for the programs that have already been performed (Myrtle Springs Baptist Church - "A Mountain Christmas Memory"), still being performed (Midway Baptist Church - "Walk Through Bethlehem" 12/9-12/10),  and yet to be performed (New Boston - "Christmas Carol Sing" 12/17, Pleasant Grove Baptist Church - "Christmas at the Cricket County Cafe" 12/10), as well as our own choir on 12/10 during the morning service. 

Thank you for telling the good news of Jesus' birth.  A message that changed this world and our lives for all eternity!

In Christ, 

Bro. Grant

October 14, 2017, 2:56 PM

You ARE an example...

" Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." - 1 Corinthians 11:1

Just a simple thought today.  Well, it's a simple thought, but it's a tough one to hear sometimes.  Tough because at some point in time it applies to each and every one of us.  Whether or not you want to admit it, you have been, are, or will be an example to those around you at some point.  The question is, have you been (are you, or will you be) a good example or poor example?

According to the Scritpures, Paul encouraged the church in Corinth to follow his example just as he, himself followed the example of Christ. It wasn't that Paul thought that he, himself was perfect.  It was more that he followed the One that is perfect.  Paul knew that his personal example would fail, but wanted to let those around him know who he looked to as a reference.  Therefore, he told his audience to follow his lead as he followed the lead of Jesus Christ. 

As human beings, we must be smart in the examples that we set and follow, especially those of us that claim the name of Christ.  This includes public events.  It saddens me when words and actions are not consistent with Christ's name, but I do understand that not everyone is a follower.  However, given that we all are participating in the same events with young people around, I would hope that folks of all beliefs would behave in a manner that is more appropriate.  The young people pick up on the behavior of adults and simply copy the example they see.  Sometimes, the behavior is copied without even knowing why.  The end result is poor behavior and bad examples being multiplied.  

Christians, we must remember that our example for living is Christ.  No matter where we are...our example is Christ.  It may be difficult at a sporting event because we get lost in the moment or we are sitting next to someone who is not a believer.  However, that is when we must be the example we are called to be.  We can encourage our students, our coaches, our band, our cheerleaders, and each other without tearing others down.  I'm all about aggressive competition, but there is nothing that says it has to be done with foul language, rude comments, screaming when you don't know the rules, or simply being ugly.  Remember, kids are always learning.  You ARE an example!

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

September 7, 2017, 9:29 AM

Don't be so critical...

"With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?" - James 3:9-11 (NIV 2011)

On Wednesday nights, we are going through James MacDonald's "Lord, Change My Attitude."  Last night, we came to a point when I asked each one in the congregation to take one (actually two, since I asked every one to take the last one) of the affirmations that came at the close of the video.  I felt lead to share those here today as I believe the subject matter is important outside the walls of our group.  I believe it is important to all churches, all communities, all work places, and all relationships.  What was the subject matter...having a critical attitude!  

James 3:9-11 reminds us that the very mouth with which we are to praise God is sometimes used to tear down those around us.  How is that possible?  It is possible because we tend to have a critical attitude.  However, we can change that, we can change our attitude so that what comes out of our mouths praises God.  In fact, we are the ONLY ones that can change our attitudes.  No one can change it for us. One way to make that change is to accept the above mentioned challenge.  Choose to follow through with at least one of the following: 1) I will NOT excuse or justify critical statements. 2) I'm going to look for the GOOD in every situation. 3) I'm going to accept what I can't change. 4) I will use my speech for the GOOD of others. 5) I will seek God's help for victory.  This last one is for everyone!!  (These 5 affirmations were taken from James MacDonald's study.)

Imagine what it would be like if we actually took responsibility for changing our attitudes, believing that it could make a difference. Things in life would actually be more enjoyable.  Things like work, sporting events, marriage, worship...the possibilities are endless!

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

July 4, 2017, 8:31 AM

Thankful to be here...

"But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield." - Psalm 5:11-12 (NIV 2011)

Driving into the office this morning, I couldn't help but be thankful for what this day means.  Thankful that my family and I live in a place where we can worship God freely.  Thankful that we live in a place were we have the privilege to raise our children.  Thankful that we live in a place that gives opportunities to so many to say and do what they want.  Thankful that we live in a place that still comes out to celebrate this time of year...together, as we did last Friday (thank you)!

While in my thoughts, I passed by the American flags along the highway.  My thankfulness became one of prayer.  Not that I wasn't thanking God prior to that, but I began praying for those that physically provide us the opportunities mentioned above.  Those that protect our privileges.  Please make sure that we thank those that continue to protect our freedom and keep us safe so that we have the free to worship, raise our children, work, celebrate and speak our minds.  Pray for those that serve our country and our communities; that do so even when it's not popular, it's not fun...but they do it anyway.  They do it to protect us and our freedom.  

Personally, I'm thankful for alot of things today.  But, I'm especially thankful for them!

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

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