Pastor's Perspective

She couldn’t believe it! Her “happily ever after” man: what happened to him?! He used to be so caring, so attentive. Now he NEVER…!!!
What happened to her?! This princess who made all his dreams come true: what happened to her?! She used to admire him constantly. Now she ALWAYS…!!!

Wednesday, 02 December 2015 12:21

How to Have the Perfect Christmas

Written by Allen Newton

Every year, millions of dollars and countless hours are spent trying to obtain the perfect Christmas. Even so, after all of the presents are unwrapped and the tree is taken down, we are left with the emptiness of unpaid credit cards and bare bank accounts.  And we wonder why Christmas wasn’t all we hoped it would be.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015 18:50

Surprised by God's Word

Written by John Schmidt

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”  Isaiah 55:10-11 (NIV)

 

I am a pastor and I often quote these verses, but every now and then I am still surprised when I see God’s Word accomplishing far more than I expect. It happened again just last week. 

My wife, Mimi, and I moved to Montgomery five months ago when I accepted the call to be the new Rector (a fancy Anglican word for “head pastor”) of Christchurch. Mimi was seven months pregnant when we arrived. Thus the craziness of moving to a new city to shepherd a whole new community was profoundly punctuated by the arrival of our first child, a son, Stephen Ebenezer (“Eben”) in June! 

For many years I wrestled with Jesus’ first miracle as recorded in John 2:1–11.  It just did not make sense to me that His very first miracle would be turning water into wine in an out-of-the-way village like Cana of Galilee.  Wouldn’t it have been far better to start with a dazzling miracle like opening the eyes of the blind, or healing the lame, or feeding the 5,000?  But water into wine at a wedding reception…really?  This miracle got under my skin so much that I could not preach on it!

I recently ministered in Brazil where there was a significant language barrier. Our team understood almost nothing of their Portuguese. However, we quickly found common linguistic ground when one of our ladies took out her camera, pulled one Brazilian lady close to her, taking a joint photo. The Brazilian woman said, “Selfie!” Though they could not understand, “May I have some water please?” they understood selfie.

How important is it to go to church? That depends on how you define “going to church”. If by going to church you mean attending some ecclesiastical entity that is mostly caught up in its own agenda, its own promotion, and man pleasing entertainment; if by going to church you mean having a place to promote personal reputation, power, position/titles for personal glory; if by going to church you mean going someplace trying to be a good Christian through self-righteous living; if by going to church you mean trying to worship and serve God without the power of Holy Spirit; if by attending church you mean gathering together in a place where the whole council of God’s Word isn’t fully taught, then I say attending church isn’t important at all. Any attendance of church where God isn’t worshipped in spirit and truth; where the Lordship of Christ isn’t recognized; where His glory isn’t taken seriously; where His love isn’t prioritized, and where His grace and truth is compromised is an act of vanity resulting in ”Churchianity” (church done in human power). May those kinds of churches repent or be seen for the empty forms they are.

There’s no doubt the culture we live in throughout the United States and our River Region has and is changing rapidly.  We must ask ourselves, “Is the change positive or negative?”

Psalm 90:1 Moses states,“throughout all generations you (God), have been our home.”

One of the reasons why my wife, Christina, and I love Easter is that she gets to end her Lenten Facebook fast, and we get to see all of our friends and their children looking happy and good in their new Easter clothes. It makes us smile. If you are hesitant to post your family Easter pic to Facebook, don’t be. Everybody loves it.

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