Pastor Corner
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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

November 26, 2013, 12:00 AM

What is Thanksgiving to you...

What is Thanksgiving to you?  It sounds like an obvious question, especially at this time of year.  Last night, my family and I had the opportunity to participate in the community wide thanksgiving service...a community coming together to worship one God.  With that in mind, let me tell you what thanksgiving is to me...

Thanksgiving is living out a life that is honoring a God that is almighty and powerful.  It is recognizing that He is great and I am small.  Last night I saw that He can do great things in the lives of those that simply allow Him.  Several young men from Teen Challenge stood before strangers and gave testimonies of how awesome our God is and how he still does great things.  Now, these young men are living out lives that are honoring their God, recognizing how great He is and how small they are.  

Last night I also saw God work in the lives of different churches so that a community could raise money for children in their midst.  Several people allowed God the honor of being more important than themselves and considered themselves servants of God.  Thanksgiving is living out a life that puts God first.  I'm praying that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving, honoring God throughout this season in the way we live.

In Christ,

Bro. Grant

November 18, 2013, 12:00 AM

Sitting down with Jesus...

"While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body." Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." - Matthew 26:26-28

Jesus sat down with His disciples in observance of the Passover.  While the Passover had and still has an incredibly rich history and meaning, He would bring even greater meaning to this celebration through His death and resurrection.  Can you imagine the opportunity the disciples had to sit down with Jesus that night?  Can you imagine the privilege?

Well, because we have such a great God, we have that privilege every time we celebrate the Lord's Supper.  We had that opportunity yesterday.  We "sat" at the table with our Lord and thanked Him for what He has done for us.  Never forget that it is a priviledge to sit down with our Lord in remembrance of what He has done. I pray that this ordinance is never taken lightly and is always remembered for the gift that it truly is.

Thank you to a wonderful deacon body for their assistance in serving the congregation and demonstrating Christ's love in their service at the table.

In Christ, 

Bro. Grant

November 11, 2013, 12:00 AM

Proud of our veterans...

As most churches did, as least I hope they did, we celebrated our veterans during service yesterday.  We gave them the honor to be recognized for a moment in time for the years of service that they gave this country and are giving.  Just doesn't seem enough does it?  You're right it's not.  It's like anniversaries in a marriage.  If you only let your spouse know how special they are one time a year (on your anniversary), then are they really that special.  Shouldn't you be telling them and showing them throughout the year. In the same respect, I feel that we should tell our veterans throughout the year, thank you for their service.

When my family lived in McAlester, OK, my children were obviously much younger but they understood the presence of the military.  The ammunition facility in the area caused the town to have a rather significant military presence, especially during conflict times.  I remember sitting in Braum's with my kids when four young soldiers came into the restaurant in fatigues.  My kids began to ask question about the uniforms different ranks and who was the highest rank.  I distinctly remember that there were four different ranks.  I believe there was a major, captain, 1st lieutenant, and sergeant all sitting together.  Could be wrong on the ranks (it's been a while), but not a one was the same and it was three officers and an enlisted man.  My kids and I talked about what their jobs might be at the facility and where they might have come from.  Then, the most amazing thing of my kids asked if they could go say "thank you."  

At first, I thought, those guys don't want to be bothered by my kids.  But, then I thought, they need to hear it and they need to hear it more often.  Folks, tell them thank you. Tell them more often.  Teach your kids to tell them thank you. You should have seen the expression from those "grown men"...those "tough soldiers."  Priceless!

God Bless,

Bro. Grant

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