Pastor Corner
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January 6, 2014, 12:00 AM

Prepare for the year ahead...

“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” - 1 Peter 1:13

So many times we make resolutions that are simply too difficult to keep.  We make resolutions to get into shape, save money, be more kind, spend more time with our kids, attend church more regularly, etc., only to find that we fail sometime during the year.  Granted, this is not always the case.  However, more often than not, we tend to get lazy and eventually give up on our resolutions.  I would submit that there might be another reason behind not fulfilling our resolutions...we try to do them alone.  We are more successful if we do things together.  Working out is more fun with a partner in crime.  Saving money is easier when your spouse is on board and has the same mindset.  Attending church more regularly is easier when the entire family is holding each other accountable.  Teamwork is the key to making resolutions work.

This being said, I would like to help everyone team up with someone that will assist you make it through the year in whatever resolution you have made or will make.  Why not make a commitment right now to read God's word this year.  You will have a built in partner to prepare you for the year.  Think about it! As you read the Bible, you are spending time with the greatest accountability partner there is and you are preparing yourself for the days ahead.  You are prepared for challenges as well as successes that come your way.  He will give you the strength to be successful in whatever endeavor you have chosen to undertake this year.

May God bless you in your resolution this year,

Bro. Grant

December 29, 2013, 12:00 AM

A prayer for the new year...

"May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." - 2 Corinthians 13:14

There is no doubt that my greatest desire would be that each and every person would come to know Christ this coming year.  Wouln't it be a great place to live if the world truly knew Christ.  However, I don't want to neglect those that already know Christ.  I also have a desire for you as well.  The Scripture referenced above is essentially a prayer or blessing upon God's people that they would be blessed with the grace of Christ, love of God  the Father and fellowship of the Holy Spirit.  If you know Christ, God doesn't want you to think that you are left out in the cold.  This blessing is truly amazing.  God desires that you continue to know the grace of Jesus Christ.  His grace works not only to save you in the first place but to continually sanctify you.  He also desires that the Holy Spirit fellowship with you.  If we think about this last part, it should be obvious that that we have a loving God.  He loves us so much that he wants to have fellowship with us.  

Love is demonstrated in how we fellowship with each other.  We fellowship with each other at church, Bible studies, Sunday School, church socials and even during times of sorrow, like funerals.  I have had the opportunity to fellowship with many of you this last week during church, Sunday school, a Sunday school party, a funeral, and a potato lunch.  What a blessing to fellowship with one another in different venues with different folks and obviously different activties (hush Sunday School). Each was an opportunity to demonstrate God's love.

I pray that each of you would have multiple opportunities to fellowship with one another this year, demonstrating God's love and grace as much as possible.

In Christ, 

Bro. Grant

December 18, 2013, 12:00 AM

He is here...

"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" --which means, "God with us." - Matthew 1:23

This verse is truly at the heart of this season.  The name Immanuel reflects the fact that God is Here, with us.  Jesus is here.  Sunday night, our choirs and instrumentalists were able to deliver that message, "He is Here", with music and praise.  I hope that you had a chance to enjoy the program and experience the joy that went into that performance.  Personally, programs like those seem to let me know that Christmas really is here.

What I hope didn't get lost in the program was the simple message of the title, "He is Here."  Just as His name indicates, He is God with us.  Know that God the Father sent His only Son to be with us and save us by actually being WITH us.  He is not some distant God that does not care, that requires a great deal from us.  He is a God that came to this earth in the form of Jesus and walked side by side with lowly humans.  To this day God is among us in the form of the Holy Spirit.  God is HERE even now.  Let Him know, today, right now, how much you appreciate a God that cares and loves you that much.

In Christ, 

Bro. Grant

December 10, 2013, 12:00 AM

Sing unto the Lord...

"Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples." - Psalm 96:1-3

These words bring to mind a so many memories. Most vividly, I picture a certain music minister that I dearly love (Lynn Christie) hitting a tambourine dancing to a song with these words as if he was part gypsy.  Won't quite get that picture out of my head.  However, in the same breath, he is the same one that helped stick the truth of this Psalm into my head as well.  We are told to sing a new sing it to the Lord and to the earth.  A song of salvation because of what God has done for us. Sing His praises and proclaim it unto the world.

This singing can be done in so many ways.  It is done in our words, it is done in our deeds, it is done by actually singing, and especially in our body language.  It is so difficult at times to maintain a praiseworthy posture in life, but please notice that this Psalm instructs us to proclaim his salvation "day after day."  This is something we are to be doing all the time.    During this time of year, more than any other, I would challenge each person to sing unto the Lord, AND to those we meet, the praises of the Lord for He alone is worthy.  We will make an impression to some that will never be forgotten, like my friend Lynn.  I pray that it truly is an impression like that...praising God!

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

December 2, 2013, 12:00 AM

What are you expecting...

"I am," said Jesus. "And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."  Mark 14:62

What are you expecting during this season?  That's a loaded question.  At first thought, one might believe that I'm simply looking at the holiday season that is upon us or even the fact that we should focus on the birth of Christ...after all, it is Christmas, right?  But, I want you to go just a bit deeper for a moment.  If you were in church yesterday, whether at FBC Hooks or somewhere else, no doubt you heard the words "season of advent."  That's because it was the first Sunday of advent, leading up to Christmas.  We have four Sundays every year that prepare us for Christmas.

During the season of Advent, we are to prepare.  We are to focus on Christmas and truly understand why Christ came to this earth.  Don't get me wrong, this is extremely important and we need to prepare for Christmas, not taking it for granted.  However, the word advent has its roots in greek, meaning "second coming."  Are we preparing ourselves for Christ's second coming?  Are we getting reading to meet our Savior face to face.  If I know that I'm going to have company at my house, I take time to clean house (well, my wife does and I do what she tells me) and prepare.  Should we not prepare for our Savior;  of course, we should. 

This season of Advent should not be simply a time of preparation for Christmas but a time of preparation for our Lord.  Are you expecting Him to arrive at your house?  Would you want Him to arrive at your house? I'm praying that He is welcomed in your home this season.

God bless and begin to celebrate Christmas today!

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

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