Life Interruptions

I have lived by the idea that God is in the interruptions of my life but seldom in my plans. I have had several interruptions in my life. 

If you think about it, scripture is full of examples of interruptions. Remember when Jesus was preaching? We have no idea what He was preaching about because no one wrote it down but they sawed through the roof and let a crippled guy down, and Jesus saves him and heals him. The interruption made the bible, and the sermon did not. Obviously, the story of the coming Messiah was an interruption - from the angel coming to Mary, not having a room in the inn and the interruption to shepherds, wise men and all who came to bow down and worship Him. 

Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem was not divine intervention, it wasn't a something that angels declared, there was no dream, no vision, it was a letter in the mail from the government that says, "You have to go back to the town of your ancestors and register for the census." It was what seemed to be a life interruption, but yet that life interruption was a result of a sovereign God putting His plan at work and getting Joseph and Mary out of Nazareth to Bethlehem so Jesus can be born.

Let me just tell you that which you seem to be seeing today as nothing but a life interruption, may be a setup for prophetic fulfillment. Don't think for a moment that things happen in your life by chance or happenstance. There is a God in heaven that is working naturally and supernaturally to get you where He wants you to be. Don't you doubt Him, don't question Him. You just seek Him and follow Him. 

Your journey will include mess and pain. It was the pain of labor that Mary had to go through and it was messy. The place where Jesus was born could only be described as a mess. Don't be surprised if God intervenes at an inconvenient time and it seems disguised as a life interruption, and the journey will include insufficiency, pain and even a mess. But here's the good news: just beyond the pain is the cry of a fulfilled promise, just beyond the mess is a message. A message that brings joy and hope to you and to the whole world. This journey is worth it because though inconvenient and disguised as a life interruption - Jesus was born and because Jesus was born, He makes the journey worth it. 

There are moments that you have prayed for all of your life, but it seems that God is intervening at the worst time. Have you been there? Don't you know that God has been planning this since the foundation of the world? It's not always about our convenience. A life interruption can be a setup for a prophetic fulfillment. It may have been a long time since you've heard from God, but God will fulfill His promise. 

Rest in that today. 

Pastor Jack 

The Essential Word of God

“And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul's message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.” Acts 17:11

Not long ago, I heard someone ask, "What if we treated our Bibles like we treat our cell phones?" That is an interesting question when you think of how important cell phones have become to us. Everybody seems to have one. Someone mentioned an article they read about a cell phone for dogs, which hangs around the dog's neck and has a type of two-way speaker. So if your dog runs off, you can call him. Phones have become so essential to us now. But do we treat our Bibles the same way?

Is the Word of God essential to you?

Acts 17:11 makes mention of the Bereans, who "searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth." They scrutinized the Scripture. I bring this up because some people will say, "I have a new revelation from the Lord. You won't find it in the Bible. This just came to me." It didn't come from the Holy Spirit, however, because if it is true, then it is not new. And if it is new, then it is not true. We don't need new revelations. We need to take every so-called revelation, every teaching, and compare it to what the Scripture clearly says.

Everything you need to know about God is found in the pages of the Bible.

We read in 2 Timothy 3:16 that "all Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.” It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. We need to realize how precious the Bible is. How precious is the Word of God to you? As it has been said, a Bible that is falling apart is usually a good indication of a life that isn't.

- Pastor Mike

Shine Brightly

Prophetically, the Bible mentions eclipses in times of judgment. Of course the greatest judgment ever levied was when the Light of the World took the darkness of sin upon Himself at the cross and settled the sin debt once and for all! Yet, August 21 is an interesting day as Americans have gotten so excited over the sun being eclipsed by the moon. 

Isn't it something that the moon has no light itself?  The only way we are able to see it is when the sun reflects off of it?

We are all born into this world in darkness because sin is who we are. Given time, we will declare our true state in rebellion against the Light and Life of this world. God's greatest desire is for us to allow Him to shed His light on and through us. 

"for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light" Ephesians 5:8

The only hope we have is to flee the darkness and choose light. 

"Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, 'I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.'"  John 8:12

Yet, this week, we are showing our fascination for darkness with all the hype regarding the eclipse.  We are naturally drawn to the darkness and what it offers. 

To be free from the allure of the world, sin and darkness, we must choose light. It is not always convenient or comfortable to live in the brightness as it exposes our imperfections and literally brings heat into our lives. 

Yet, there is no hope apart from His Light and Life. So when it's all said and done on Monday the 21st, what will you remember the most? Will it be the darkness that covered the earth or will it be the fact that light once again overcame the darkness. Light wins every time!

Will you shine brightly this week?  Or will you try and hide your light?  If you are a follower of Christ, we must shine brightly in this dark and sin-ridden world. 

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."  Matthew 5:14-16

Talk to Him

As I sit and ponder what kind of devotion I can write, know that I am no different than you.  I am not well read, I am just a person like you.  I have schedules, plans, family and the list goes on and on.  So I think to myself, “What to say?”. I can only tell you of the things I know.  I love the Lord and know that whatever I go through in the better or the worse, He is always there.  It tickles me when I get that glimpse of how God lays His blessings before me. I am truly blessed to have witnessed all I have seen.  

One moment would be when my daughter was involved in an accident.  She pulled out in front of another car and was t-boned.  I arrived to find her trapped in the car and no one could tell me her condition due to how she was stuck in the car.  I waited and watched as they worked to remove her from the car.  Naturally, I prayed continually.  When she was finally removed from the car for a brief moment I was able to see her and talk to her.  The funny thing you find yourself saying is, “I love you and can you feel your fingers and toes?”. Still no one was able to tell me how she was due to the concern of possible internal bleeding.  She was airlifted to St. Joseph in Tampa and I told her I would see her at the hospital then they took her away.  At that moment, I was reminded of when I was 18 and my grandmother was also in an accident and had been t-boned and died due to internal bleeding.

The ride to the hospital was long, God and I talked a lot.  When I arrived at the hospital, I had to wait in the waiting room not knowing what was happening to my baby girl.  Finally I was able to see her and she looked shaken but good.  The Doctor came in and reported that she had escaped any serious injuries!  Bumps and bruises only - I was blessed that day.  God was with me every step of the way.  I could feel His presence with me the whole time.  

As you go through your day.  Talk to Him. Let Him know your happiness, your pain, even talk to Him when you get angry.  Let Him tickle you when you see His handy work.  Open your eyes to the possibilities.  He will hold your heart.

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by his love; He will exalt over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

Blessings to you today, 

Tonja

One Day At A Time

If I were to give you 30 seconds to think of what lies ahead for you in life during the next month or so, what would come to mind? For most of us, coming up with that list would require much more than 30 seconds. Your list may have been majorly compiled of family events, work or school related tasks and deadlines, or all of those other “to dos” may have been crowded out by one or more big, upcoming decisions regarding health, relationships, finances or family.

The thought of what’s to come in the future could be exciting, happy, scary or pretty heavy at times. God’s word (Matthew 6:34) says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” None of us can know for sure what will happen tomorrow or in the days to come (Proverb 27:1/James 4:14), but the saying, “I don't know what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future,” reminds us that we can have peace, even in uncertainty.

God does have good plans and works laid out for our future (Ephesians 2:10/Jeremiah 29:11), but when things are hard, and the future seems bleak, here are two ways to help take things one day at a time while trusting the One who holds that future. God promised that His word would be a lamp unto our feet and a light for our path (Psalm 119:105). Your feet are located right where you’re at today. Spend some time in God’s word today. See what He says, then apply it right where you’re at in life. Then, for the future, make the plans that need to be made, but also surrender those plans to God’s guidance every step of the way. Proverbs 16:9 “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Whether the days ahead hold exciting prospects or whether they are dotted by difficult decisions, take each day one at a time, seeking the only One who can give true peace, inerrant guidance and the strength you need for today.

Pastor The Dave

“I will seek You in the morning and I will learn to walk in your ways and step by step You’ll lead me, and I will follow You all of my days.”

For more Scripture on this subject, check out: Matthew 6:25-34, Jeremiah 29:11, Matthew 11:25-30, Luke 10:38-42, Isaiah 41:10,13    

Change or Die

It has been said that the only people that like change are ‘wet-babies’.  Nobody really likes change.  We are creatures of comfort.  As a people we are reluctant to change when we are comfortable.  Comfort is the enemy of obedience!  Trusting God requires that we leave the certainty of what we know to be ‘safe’ and step into the unknown.  This ‘unknown’ is where we see God do incredible things in our spiritual journey.  To be conformed and transformed we must be willing to move…and even change.  It requires a personal surrender on our part, as an individual and as the body of Christ.  The last thing we can be as a church is stable. Stable churches result in comfort.  Stable churches do not create new groups.  Stable churches do not reach their community.  Stable churches are not on mission.  Stability is an illusion.  Stable churches die!  It is past time to leave our pew and become engaged with the population around us!  Our vision as a church will foster our mission, resulting in a strategy that will reach the community with our action plan.  It is time to stop dating the church and time to fall in love with Jesus and His church!  Change or Die…that is the question. 

Because He Lives!

Pastor David  

Daily verses to read & reflect:  Romans 12:2 / Prov. 3:5-6/ Mark 16:15 / Matt. 16:24

What is the writer saying within the context of these verses?

How can you apply these verses to your life for today & throughout this week? 

As a follower of Jesus, what is your mission?  Big Picture, do you know the mission of your church and are you engaging in this work?  If so, how?  Clarify your mission today.

Wrestle with the fact that you might be ‘comfortable’.

What do you need to surrender today to be ‘uncomfortable’? 

Ask God to take you to the ‘unknown’. 

The Hurt in our Lives

I remember being a young minister of music in my early 20’s and having my first experiences visiting folks in the hospital. I went to visit Mr. Tom who had just completed knee replacement surgery a few days prior. I asked Mr. Tom how he was doing and received a lengthy description of his pain and suffering. He told me that he had spent time that morning walking for the first time since surgery and how miserable in pain he was. Then he said, “My physical therapist told me that sometimes you have to hurt in order to heal”. This is true in the Christian Life. We go through surgeries, trials, tragedies in our lives and in order to heal sometimes we must hurt. Thank God, we don’t have to hurt alone! Psalm 147:3 says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Rest in that promise today. 

- Pastor Jack