Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Creation!

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)
17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 

Do we really believe this, do we believe that Christ has made us a new person. If we have, then why do seem to be spending so much time on changing our old selves. God does not want to come in and fix the old Chris, he wants to create a new Chris. 

In fact the best way to keep from enjoying the new life that Christ has given us is to keep focusing on the old life. It is time to kill off that old life, then take up our cross, and follow Christ. In Colossians Paul says it this way, "Put to death the sinful earthly things lurking within you". Are we putting them to death or just hiding them in the closet.

Let us all stop worrying about trying to fix the old us, or hiding it away somewhere, and allow God to direct the new us.

I know, it is easy to say, but how do we live this out in everyday life?


Pastor Chris

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Surprise God Sighting

The first word that comes to mind is simply…WOW! 

Over the course of the last few weeks, our country has been blessed by a phenomenon that quietly comes and goes this time each year.  No…it’s not summer.  Believe it or not, this amazing, life imparting experience is…the World Series of Little League Baseball!

Now you might be experiencing a bit of let down as you ponder the significance of how 11 and 12 year olds playing baseball could possibly impact our country.  But, what I’ve seen these past few weeks has actually restored my belief in people, in family, and in our next generation…all to the glory of God!

16 teams from all over the world have collided in Williamsport, Pennsylvania to compete for the title of Little League World Champs!  Yet, different from our adult professional ranks, these young people haven’t been tainted by big contracts, high profile egos, or high profit endorsement deals.  No…these young men simply love the purity of the game!

But this message isn’t about baseball nor even the fun these young men are having.  Instead, it’s about what they’re teaching the world…but only if it’s paying attention.  Today, I’m watching two teams play each other for the United States Championship.  One is from Huntington Beach, CA and the other from Billings, Montana.  These two teams first met at the Regional Tournament in San Bernardino a few weeks ago.  They shared a dorm together there and became quick friends, initially brought together by their love of baseball, now bound by their love for each other.  Two nights ago, Montana beat California.  One would expect to see high emotion, tears, and even poor attitudes.  Yet to my amazement, the Montana team never thumbed their noses in poor victory.  And the California team actually smiled, cheered, tipped their caps, shook hands and even celebrated their friends…even at their own expense!

And now, as I write this, California has just returned the favor and defeated Montana and will face Japan for the Little League World Championship tomorrow.  Yet, with the reality of their run at a title being over, the young men from Montana are smiling, cheering, tipping their caps, and shaking the hands of their friends…even at their own expense.

These young boys are showing themselves to be mighty men!  While only one team will win the title, all of these young men seem to be winning character!

The lesson for us all is two-fold…

  1. Imagine what it might be like if Republicans and Democrats remembered what it was like to play for the “love of the game” and our country instead of their own control over it.  Could you imagine the powerful message that would be sent if on election night, the losing team tipped their caps and cheered for their friends…even at their own expense?  Now I know comparing the pressure and responsibility of government to little league baseball is naïve.  But what about comparing the spirit which drives the “players”?

  1. Imagine what it might be like if we, the followers of Jesus, remembered what it was like to have just been saved from hell and, in it’s place, redeemed by our loving Savior.  Could you imagine the powerful message that would be sent if we walked through the world with a spirit of relief and thanksgiving, celebrating the blessings and favor God may be bestowing on others…even in the midst of our own trials?  Now I know that comparing our life circumstances to little league baseball is also naïve.  But what about comparing the worldly spirit that drives their attitude to the Holy Spirit that should be driving ours?

Again, I simply say WOW!  Thank you Little Leaguers for showing me a small example of what the Church should be showing every day!  Through something as quietly passing as the Little League World Series, God spoke very loudly and called me to pay attention to how I play the “game” that He’s saved me for!

Little League World Series 2011 Website


-Michael White

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ignorance is Bliss?

Is Ignorance really bliss, not in my experience, especially when it comes to God. Sadly, there have been times in my life where I did not want to take anytime to sit and listen to God. I was pretty sure I knew what he was going to say, and I did not want to hear it. Compare that to David's desires in Psalm 119:

Psalm 119:33-36 (NIV)
33 Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end.
34 Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart.
35 Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.
36 Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.

I know that in the instances where I thought my way was better, I had to learn the hard way. This scripture is one of my prayers, that we/I would love the decrees of our King. I see this as the same as knowing the rules of a sport or game. If I want to get the most of the event and if I want to run as though to win the prize, I must know the rules, the better I know the rules the better I run the race.

How do you view God's decrees, are they obstacles to be avoided, or guides to live by?


Pastor Chris

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Glorify God While Eating and Drinking?

1 Corinthians 10:31 (NLT)
31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.  

Have you ever thought that you could glorify God by what you eat or drink. What about the rest of the mundane, day to day, activities that you take part in. Sometimes it is easy for us to limit Glorifying God to Sunday Mornings and Life Group.

I would encourage you to expand your view a little bit, get creative, and think of some ways that you can Glorify God with everything you do, not just the "Churchy" things.  What would it mean to Glorify God at your work, in your home, at school,  with your kids, while driving, watching TV or listening to music.

God does not want to be just a part of your life, he wants to be your reason for living.  Once we realize that Glorifying God is not something we do, but it is who we are, it makes it easier to Glorify God in all that we do.

How can you Glorify God in the basics of life?

Pastor Chris

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Our Government is Missing the Point

He [Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner] said he had "absolutely no concern" that China, the largest foreign holder of U.S. government debt, would stop buying that debt.

"They've been very strong and I'm sure they'll be strong investors in the U.S. going forward as will investors around the world," he said.

Our political leaders at the highest level are faulting Standard and Poor's downgrading the U.S. credit rating. Mr. Geithner is lauding the fact that the world will continue to be hungry for our debt.

Two thoughts come to mind.

1. If you don't like the message, shoot the messenger. Mr. Geithner wants to squabble with S&P over a supposed 2 trillion dollar variance in regards to our debt. The better question is, what about the alleged 50 trillion in unfunded liabilities?

2. The other thought is, why isn't America buying China's debt? It troubles me that Geithner, and others, have made the defense of our ability to sell debt the issue. We should be dealing with the fundamental question... Why are we selling our debt?

When you raise the limit on your Discover card so that you can pay the interest on your Visa card you have a fundamental problem.

When you borrow 4.1 billion dollars per day to meet your expenses, raising your credit limit isn't the issue. The sad truth is that our political leaders are so divided, and I suspect overwhelmed, that they can't even begin to deal with the real issue!

Our leaders need to hear S&P saying that they need to see a 4 trillion dollar reduction in our spending!!!!! The Republicans want to blame President Obama, and the White House wants to blame the Tea Party. S&P wants to see the members of Congress, and the President, cut our deficit by $4,000,000,000,000.

Donald Trump was right on point when he correctly asserted that America is on her way to a $22,000,000,000,000 dollar debt. We currently spend 41 cents of every dollar on our debt service. We are looking forward to a day when 100% of our GDP [Gross Domestic Product] will be needed to service our debt.

Our hospitals will not be funded, our schools will be broke, and our military will be living on a shoestring budget. Compare this to China who has a rising GDP, and a burgeoning military machine.

The simple truth is this. Households, churches, cities, states, and countries can not long survive with a negative cash flow and growing debt load.

Pray for our local, state, and national leaders, that God will give them the wisdom and courage to dig America out of this growing whole! As bad as cutting will be now, it will be infinity worse, or perhaps fatal, later!