February 09 “LOSERS WANTED!!”

A Note from Pastor Mike…

A couple years ago a church in Charlotte, N.C. ran a large ad in the local paper. It clearly identified the readers for whom it was intended. “LOSERS WANTED!!” the bold headline proclaimed. This unusual church ad went on to read: “Attention all drug addicts, alcoholics, and ex-cons. Wanted: the hopeless, broken-hearted and lonely….” The ad promised “There is hope for you!”

Bold!? Maybe, but this church was determined to reach out to hurting and broken people regardless of circumstances or backgrounds.

My prayer is that we would open up the doors to our hearts so that the perishing around us can be rescued. It is the task to which God has called us.

We who are members of His church are sometimes tempted to follow the examples of the world by doing only what makes us feel good, like hanging out with those who look and act like us. But that is not the way of Jesus. During His brief three-year ministry he surrounded Himself with those who were broken and in need, seeking to make a difference in their lives.

As representatives of Jesus on this earth, we must never forget that His church exists to bring hope to those who are hopeless, to reach down and lift up those who are helpless, to reach out to feed the hungry, to mend the broken-hearted ones, and to provide company to the lonely.

If we truly share His Good News the family of God will be enlarged, and our Lord will be pleased with those who claim His name. May we burn with a desire to be a lighthouse for those in need.


In God’s peace,

 Pastor Mike

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January 09 Have you made your New Year’s Resolution yet?

A Note from Pastor Mike…

Have you made your New Year’s Resolution yet? The website mygoals.com has been tracking people’s New Year’s resolutions and according to them the most common resolution made is to lose weight. This is followed by “pay off personal debt” and “start a business”.

If you keep looking down the list of resolutions, behind such lofty resolutions as “read one book a week”, “learn more about wine”, and “update my wardrobe”, you will find that a few people said they resolved to improve their spirituality (however that might be defined). Of those surveyed some 0.21% of the people responded with a resolution that could be categorized as improving one’s spirituality. The good news is that that is up from 0.16% in 2006.

This tells us something about our priorities. While I am all for eating better and getting a little more exercise where is my relationship with God? As a people we seem to care more about improving our appearance than we do about our relationship with the King of the Universe.

This year I am making the Joshua 24:15 resolution. In Joshua 24, Joshua challenges the people of Israel to make a choice; will they choose to obey God and seek after Him or will they run after the gods of this world and idols made by man. He concludes by saying; “But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

This I resolve, that no matter what it takes, no matter what it costs, no matter where it might lead me, I will serve and seek after the LORD!

I want to challenge you and us as a church family to make a Joshua 25:15 resolution together for 2009!


In God’s peace,

Pastor Mike

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God’s Love Free, But Not Cheap*

Our church has just completed Vacation Bible School. VBS is always a lot of fun and a lot of work. But at the end of the day it is always worth the effort and this year was no exception.

The theme of this year’s VBS was God’s Love. Bible lessons each day focused on different aspects of God’s love. For example the first day we looked at the idea that God’s love is a gift (Romans 6:23). The setting for our VBS was built around the Apostle Paul’s imprisonment in Rome and the early church which was forced to meet in secret.

The idea of God’s love being a free gift was presented by Paul who, bound in chains to a Roman guard, was in prison because of his faith in God’s love. After meeting with Paul, the kids moved on to the next station where they were introduced to two first century Roman citizens who had accepted this gift of God’s love through faith in Jesus Christ. But, because of their faith, they were persecuted.

The children were told that Christians in Rome could not meet openly. So they met in secret places like the catacombs. So there in the dark catacombs under Rome the kids were told what it was like to be a first century Christian and how they suffered because of their faith.

Down through the centuries, Christians have suffered and died for their faith, for this free gift of God’s love. Even today, around the world thousands of Christians risk their lives each day for their faith. According to a Wikipedia article on the persecution of Christians in the two thousand years since Christ, about 70 million believers, of whom 45.5 million or 65% lived in the twentieth century, have been killed for their faith.

This week Fox News reported that an Ohio teen who converted from Islam to Christianity ran away from home because of threats from her own family to kill her because of her conversion.

God’s love is free, but sometimes God’s love will cost us because God’s love will change us (Romans 12:2). While it might not cost us our lives literally it will cause us to die to the old way of life (Ephesians 4:22-23). It might cost me a job if an employer asks me to do something that is not pleasing to God. It might cost me a relationship that I now see as unhealthy and sinful. It might cost me a habit that I like because I now see it as a sin and something that blocks me from experiencing the full love of God.

God’s love is free but it is not cheap. God’s love is given to us at a great cost to God—it cost God His Son. It is not cheap—it has been handed down to us through the generations at the cost of those who have given their lives to share their faith. God’s love is not cheep—it demands that we give it away to others no matter what is might cost us personally. Are you ready to count the cost and stay faithful? By His grace may we all be ready.

*Published in the Ashland Times Gazette, 8.14.09

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My First Blog

Christ Community Church is moving into the 21st century. Thanks to Shane McWilliams we now have a new web site. With that new web site we, the staff, can create our own blogs.

 Technology can either be used for good or for ill. The question is “how are we going to use it?” I want to take advantage of everything God has given us to reach the lost, encourage and empower the saints, and untimely bring glory to God.

 My hope for these posts is to share a little bit of my heart and what God is in my life and what He is teaching me. In doing so, I hope that you might find some encouragement and inspiration in what God is doing in your life as well.

 In His great peace,

 Pastor Mike

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