Monthly Archives: December 2010

Trading the Old Year For The New

As this year ends, I was thinking back over the past years of my life.  There is one thing that came to mind.  I sure wish I had the money I have spent in trading cars through my lifetime.  I use to trade cars pretty often.  The ole van I drive now is a 2002 model and has over 180,000 miles on it.  I guess I have learned at least a little through the years.  Some trades I made were good for me, some were not.  But Trade I Did. 

As we come into this new year, I would like to encourage us to Trade the Old Year for the New Year God has set before us.  I know I didn’t get everything I had hoped for accomplished in 2010.  And if I am not careful I can get sidetracked and siappointed in what didn’t happen that I want to have happen.  But God has blessed us this past year in 2010.  He has blessed us beyond measure.  He has blessed us beyond what I and I would assume beyond what many or you expected.  God has blessed us.

Just since October, we have seen 14 or 15 people make professions of faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.

In a time when many churches, businesses, families and charitable organizations have been hurting, we have had one of our best financial years in a long time.  Taking in as of November $13,708.96 more than we budgeted.

We have spent the last 12 months Preaching and Teaching on Becoming People of Passion.  Hoping and praying that we a s a church are becoming passionate about the things Christ is Passionate about. 

Passion for God

Family & Marriage

The body of Christ

Personal purity

The power of the Holy Spirit

Genuine humility

Witnessing and the Lost

Our Nation

Let me clarify what I mean by that word Passionate. While passion often involves emotions, it is so much more. It is being deeply committed to something so you give it your all. Passion engages the heart and moves the will to action. Passion chooses the right course even when the feelings are absent. Passion longs for the eternal over the temporal.

So with that said, our passion, like Christ’s Passion should move us to action.

James 1:21-25 (KJV)21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.   22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.   23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:   24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.   25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.  

I am challenging us to TRADE our talk for the Walk, to TRADE our Talk for Action in 2011.

The time we have on this earth is short! It is shorter now that it has ever been; it is later than it has ever been. (The clock that struck 13)

We are not here to follow the teachings of this world, but to follow the teachings of His Word.  The world is after more.  This is a distorted view of the pursuit of meaning and happiness. Ours is not the pursuit of earthly treasures.

Matthew 6:19-20 (KJV) 19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

 We read the Bible, we call ourselves people of the book, but it often seems we are saying I know what the Bible says, but…

Matthew 22:37-39 (KJV) 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

I think God id calling us to make a choice in 2011.  Are we going to pursue the Me Mind Set of the World or are we going to truly follow after Christ?

God is calling us, this generation, this church, you and me, to be willing to trade in the pursuit of the American Dream for a World that desperately needs His Son.

God is calling us to Be TRADERS!  A new type of missionary. Who is on mission, trading talk for action!  It is time we live out our faith and stop just talking about it.  God is calling us to daily choose to be intentional with our time, money, and skills.

When we see someone in need, we choose to help!

We need to see our service and work as worship to the Lord.

Colossians 3:22-24 (KJV) 22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: 23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

What can we do?

Wal-Mart umbrellas when it rains

Cut wood for needy

Shovel snow

Visit the nursing homes

Do random acts of kindness

Witness

Reach Out

Tract ministry

Carry out groceries for elderly at the store

Have a booth at the Walk for the cure, Heritage Days

Hand out Water

Go on a mission Trip Home or Abroad

And the list can go on and on.

Finally, When do we start?  The TRADER must act now!  The time is short. We need to be redeeming the time.

Will you commit to be Kingdom Focused in 2011?

Will you Commit to making a Difference?

Will you commit to using your time, money, talents for the glory of God?

Will You Be A TRADER? 

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Christmas is over, Now What?

Luke 2:15-20

Turn out the lights
The party’s over
They say that
All good things must end
Call it tonight
The party’s over
And tomorrow starts
The same old thing again

You have heard it said, all good things must come to an end.  Well even the sometimes hectic and frustrating things like holiday celebrations and vacations must end as well.  And sadly many have missed Christmas, oh maybe not the commercial Christmas, but the real meaning and Passion of Christmas.

Ever wondered as a Christian, now that Christmas is over what you are supposed to do now?  Well the Christmas Story, as it comes to an end tells us several things we need to do by example.

Luke 2:15-20 (KJV) 15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Now that Christmas is over we:

  1. Worship as the Shepherds Did.
  2. Tell of the things we have experienced and be a witness as the Shepherds did.
  3. Ponder the things of God in Daily Devotion as Mary Did
  4. Glorify and Praise God as did the Shepherds and all that heard their news.
  5. We live in obedience to God’s Commands as Mary and Joseph Did.
  6. We continue in Worship as other did and the Wise Men Did.
  7. We follow God’s Plan For us Even When Life Does Not Seem To be Fair But Seems Difficult.

 

Merry Christmas,

Pastor Rick

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I Stand Amazed At God’s Unspeakable Gift of Christmas

October 31st 1984, the Lord added to the roster of Team Dinkins by bringing us our first child, a daughter, Shari.

On October 10th of this year our church family was blessed when the Lord added to the Brooks family roster with the birth of Nehemiah.

The Lord did it again, adding to the roster of Team Chandler on November 5th of this year.

I’m forever amazed at how, through the birth of a child, a parent can instantly love someone so deep, so fast, and so full. It is a kind of love that must be experienced first person in order to be understood, and even then it is unexplainable.  I am sure Josh and Hope Brooks as well as Richard and Dina Chandler can understand what I am saying, as can some grandparents who shall remain nameless.

 It wasn’t until I became a dad that I finally understood what it meant to be ready and fully able to give my life for another person. I would gladly exchange my life to insure that my daughter could keep hers. Yet, in that same moment, I cannot find any reason to give my daughter’s life for someone else. You can take me, my possessions, my money. Take whatever you want, but you cannot have my girl. Call me unloving, call me less than a Christian, call me whatever you want to call me. No person’s life is worth the death of either my Shari, or Nehemiah or Ethan for that matter.

My mind drifts to a night years ago when a mama held a baby in her arms, while a guy, just like me, looked on in speechless amazement. Thirty-three years later that same mom and dad, if he were alive, would look in amazed disbelief watching just a few yards away as blood flowed out of His body, the same body that they once held in their arms. No pain is so great as that of watching your kids hurt from being injured. I cannot relate to the feeling Joseph would have felt standing there on the dirt of Calvary’s hill. I cannot relate to the feelings going through the heart of God as He watched Jesus gasp for breath, all the while knowing that it was them that blew breath into Adam. 

That night in the manger, the Heavenly Father, present there in the barn along with Joseph, knew the outcome for this pretty little baby boy. The Heavenly Father knew He would have to give up His boy if the whole world were to have access to forgiveness, for “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

It is love I do not understand, for the raw truth is that I am sure I would have let the whole sin-sick world suffer in order to save Shari. I am pretty sure Josh and Richard would have done the same. To give His son is love of the deepest root, planted in the heart of a God who knew there was no other way.

I stand amazed at the love of God and His unspeakable gift at Christmas.

Merry Christmas

Pastor Rick

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Christmas A Busy Time of Year But Jesus Gives IT Meaning

Dear Friend,

Christmas, 

is one of the busiest times of the year. And as time goes by, it’s easy to come to think of it less as a joyful celebration of life and more as a time of physical and financial stress; All those parties, all those gifts, all that baking and decorating—what is it all for?  It’s crazy! As crazy as going all out to celebrate the birthday of someone you don’t know all that well or at all.

Christmas is most enjoyed by those who have a keen awareness of the person of Jesus Christ. They not only know the story of His birth and life and death and resurrection, but they know fully what it means to their lives specifically and to all of mankind in general. They understand why one starlit night was different from all the other starlit nights throughout history. They understand why a small town located inauspiciously on Israel’s Judean highland was, at least for a moment in time, the most blessed place on earth. They understand why the birth of a child whose parents were simple commoners changed the future of the human race forever. They understand why heavenly angels sang to earthly shepherds and wise men made an arduous journey to a faraway land. And understanding is everything when it comes to Christmas.

Maybe you’ve never stopped to consider the why of the Christmas season or maybe you know and you’ve just lost touch with the reason behind the season. Either way, the why is what brings Christmas to life.

Everything Christmas begins with Christ!

The Christmas story, recorded in the Bible in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, is the foundation for the Christmas celebration. We would like to share it with you today. If you decide to attend the Christmas service, hearing the story ahead of time could greatly enhance your experience. In this first part of the story, we meet the characters involved and the situations in which they found themselves. We will meet Elizabeth, who was to become a mother in her old age, and Mary, her much younger relative. We will meet the mighty angel Gabriel, and Mary’s fiancé Joseph. We will hear about the angelic chorus, the shepherds, and the Magi from the East. We will read about the priest Simeon and the prophetess Anna. We will learn about the paranoid King Herod. But none of this would even matter if it were not for the real Passion of Christmas, Christ – Jesus. Are you ready to come along with us as we take this incredible journey?

Pastor Rick

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A Christmas Invitation

Dear Friend,

You’ve been given an invitation to a very special series of church services—a Christmas celebration! It is a time when we come together in joy, acknowledging the pivotal point in human history, the birth of Christ, our Savior and King. It’s an amazing time when we remember how God reached down from heaven and built a bridge between Himself and those He had so carefully and lovingly crafted in His own image. The story of that incarnation—God sending His Son to be born into the human race—is beautiful beyond our ability to express. We hope that by attending these meaningful services you be will inspired and accept a fresh and a new the real joy and meaning of Christmas.  Join us please for this special time of rejoicing. Come hear the timeless story of an infant king, let your spirit be lifted by the sound of Christmas carols, and celebrate the miraculous event that brought us hope, reconciliation with our Creator, and the promise of an eternity that transcends the bonds of our earthly existence.

The services will only take an hour or two of your time, and it could be the very thing that adds depth and meaning to all you do this Christmas. We hope you will come!

Saturday Evening, Dec. 4th, the adult choir will present, “The Cradle That Rocked the World” This beautiful and inspiring musical reveals the “Way” God made for us to heaven through a Manger. The service begins at 7:00 PM.

Sunday Morning. Dec. 5th, The Believers will be with us in the Morning Service starting at 11:00 AM.

Sunday Night, Dec. 5th, the adult choir will once again present “The Cradle That Rocked the World.”

Then each service, Sunday Morning and Night; Wednesday Evenings through the month of Dec. the preachers within our congregation will join with me in preaching a series of challenging and encouraging messages entitled, “The Passion of Christmas – Jesus.”

And we will truly be blessed as on Sunday Night Dec. 19th, the Children’s Ministry of HCBC, The New Kids on the Rock, present “Merry Christmas Jesus” at 7:00 PM.

Please accept this invitation and invite others to join you as we celebrate this wonderful meaning-filled season of Christmas!

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