Pastor Corner
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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

June 1, 2017, 10:33 AM

A time for everything...

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens..." - Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)

Probably one of the most well known verses in Ecclessiastes, if not the most well known.  This morning as I was trying to get a few things done, I kept hittng road blocks.  I know that you understand.  We have all had them.  You're in the midst of a project and your computer stops working, or the tool you need breaks, or you can't find the tool at all, or you can't get in touch with the person who has an answer you're stuck.  

What do you do?  Well, some folks beat their head up against the wall and complain about that "sorry" computer, tool, or even person not doing what they were meant to do.  I had to laugh this morning as this thought entered my head.  Why was this funny?  Because we discussed this very subject last night during Bible study.  Good news...I stopped that process.  I did what I should have done, I went to the next project and began a new work.  I began planning what was a head for the day.

Guess what?  It began to rain, just a few minutes ago.  I had planned to work on a project outdoors this afternoon/evening and I don't believe this will be possible.  Okay, now we are on to plan "C."  You get the picture, right?  Well, let's just say I think I'm down to plan "F." There is a time for everything.  However, we must understand that sometimes we do not know when that might be.  Sometimes just knowing that there IS a time must be enough.  We don't have to know when because God's planning is best.  Just know that there IS a time for everything!

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

April 18, 2017, 9:13 AM

Perfect thyself...

"Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God." - 2 Cor. 7:1 (NIV 2011)

Have you ever stopped to think why you do certain things?  For example, why do some people sneeze in "3's" or "2's", while others always sneeze once? Why do some people where glasses when they don't need them and others don't wear them and they really need them?  Why are some people worried about germs to the extreme and others couldn't care less?  That's right, we all have them...quirks!  Many of us don't have a clue as to why we have them.  We simply have these quirks, which are a part of our lives, and we deal with them (positive or negative).  The funny thing is that we never seem to do anything about them.  We just call them quirks and move on.

Moving from the subject of quirks to sin is a huge leap, however.  According to the Scriptures, specifically 2 Corinthians 7:1, we ARE to do something about our sin.  Unlike our quirks, we are to continually purify ourselves.  In otherwords, we are to work towards improving our lives in such a way as to rid our bodies of anything that would contaminate it, perfecting our bodies for Christ.  Also, unlike the quirks, we have a reason for doing this.  For many quirks there is no reason to change, but for sin, there is a huge reason to change.  We should change because we have been given a promise of eternal life.  Scripture also teaches that we should change out of respect and honor for God Himself.  Therefore, perfect thyself!

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

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