I have been blessed to have 3 months free Sirius radio, so enjoying a lot of good southern gospel music. The one song that stands out to me is by Gordon Mote and it is entitled "Love, Love, Love". It is about a preacher that stood to give his Sunday sermon and all he said was "Love, Love, Love" then he sat down. Of course many in the church thought that was awful but to the song writer it meant a lot, it showed him that is all we need is love.
We are so blessed to have a loving church, I really believe we love each other. I know there are things about everyone that someone does not like but our jobs as Christians is to love them.
I know there are people in this church that has more money than I do, some with less money, some with more education, some who sing better, drive better cars, there are even Indiana Hoosier fans but that does not stop me from loving them and hopefully them loving me.
There is no problem that can not be settled if we could learn to love like Jesus loves.
When I was at my worse, I had a lot of people tell me what I should be doing, how I should be acting, but what really made me open my eyes was the love I received, I was loved into the Kingdom! Wanda did not preach at me, she loved me, my mother did not preach at me she loved me, my in-laws did not preach at me they loved me and most of all God did not condemn me He loved me!
This is February, the love month, can we show our family, our church, our neighbors that we love them? Can we stop fighting over petty stuff and love each other the way we are? If there is someone you are having a problem with, a spouse, a sibling, your pastor, the deacons, whomever, will you take this month and pray for them and love them. Stop talking about them, stop whining about what they do wrong, get off the phone talking about them and get on your knees and pray for them. You can not fix anyone, only God and the Holy Spirit can do that. So love them through it. Show Christian love for them, the more you fuss the more they will withdraw, the more you love the more they will want what you have. Be a good example, show love!!
Yours in His Service
Happy New Year!!! Hope your new year resolutions are made and this is the year you stick to them. We have no idea what this year holds but it is good to know that if you are a servant of God, He knows. Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future". He knows our future, He has plans for us! That is good news!! That is telling us we have a futrue, a future in which our Father wants us to prosper.
This was written to the captives of Babylon, Jeremiah is trying to reassure them that God has control and He will take care of them. Even if their situation was not good at that time. Each one of us needs to read this scripture and not just read it but listen to what it says to us.
Our God has promised us HOPE and PROSPERITY, to come to no HARM to have a FUTURE!! I don't know about you but that excites me. When we think there is no hope to save that wayward child, God is telling us there is hope. When we think there is no hope for our marriage, God is telling us there is hope. When we think we will never get out of debt, God is telling us we will prosper. When we think we will never be well and feel good, God is telling us we have a future.
What better way to start a new year than with a promise from God for hope, prosperity and a future!! The promise is there from a God that cannot lie but are you willing to receive it?
Can you have enough faith to make this your year? Can you put your failing health in God's hands? Can you put your failing marriage in God's hands? What about your financial situation? Can you put your lack of faith in God's hands? Can you just try this year to allow God to work on your problems and believe the promise He has given you?
We have a bright new year here, and we have a choice. We can continue to struggle with our problems or we can believe God to get us through them. I don't know about you but I do not want to hang on to my problems. I want to start this year new. God can have my problems and I will enjoy His blessing! What about you? Can you give God a chance? Trust me He cn turn your problems around!
Happy New Year
I don't know about you all but December is a very busy month for us. As soon as the Thanksgiving dishes are done the trees come out. Yes, I said TREES, we do not have A Christmas tree, nope, not us. We have trees!
There are trees and decorations in every room. We pack up 1/2 the stuff in the house and take it out to replace it with Christmas stuff. Everything is festive. A very special time, a time of celebration, a time to rejoice and praise God! After all isn't that what it is all about? Oh, I know we all get carried away with the presents and the parties but it is really all about Jesus.
Our precious Savior left a palace and came to a stable, knowing he was born to be a sacrifice for a sinful world. We see a little baby laying in a manager on Christmas morning but He was already a King, The King of Kings, the Price of Peace, the Lord of Lords. His life went from a stable in a manger to a hill on a cross, when he could have had a palace and a throne, and it was all us.
Can you see the Star on the top of the tree and think of the star that led the wise men to the stable? Can you see the candy cane know the red in the candy cane stands for the blood of Jesus, the white for the purity of Jesus? Can you see the presents and think of the wise men who brought the presents to Baby Jesus? When you see an Angel do you think of the angels proclaiming to the world our Savior has been born? Or do you leave Jesus out of it all together?
Will you invite Jesus to your house this Christmas? Will you take a minute and give thanks before you eat? Will you give praise and thanks to God for the family that has gathered?
Yes, we have trees and Santa and reindeers, but Jesus is the center of our Christmas. Can you allow Jesus to be part of your Christmas celebration? Can you make it all about Jesus?
My prayer for you is that this is the most wonderfull Christmas you have ever had. But most of all that you have Jesus in your heart and in your home.
November again so soon? Seems like yesterday we was celebrating Thanksgiving. Won't be long until our Thanksgiving dinner again, now that is something to be thankful for!! I am so thankful we have a church filled with good cooks!!
1st Thessalonians 5:18 says "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus".
So that is what I am going to try to do, try it with me. Every day I am going to thank God for something He has given me. I bet if you try it you will see we have so much to be thankful for.
Nov 1st Thank you God for saving my soul!!
Nov 2nd Thank you God for sending your son Jesus to die for me,
Thank you for saving my soul.
Nov 3rd Thank you God for my health,
Thank you for sending your son to die for me,
And for saving my soul.
Nov 4th Thank you God for my wife (husband) and children,
For my health,
For sending your Son to die for me,
And for saving my soul.
Nov 5th Thank you God for my wonderful church family whom I love,
For my wife (husband) and kids,
For my health,
For sending your Son to die for me,
And for saving my soul!
Nov 6th Thank you God for my extended family, brother, sister-in-law, nieces, and nephews,
For my wonderful church family whom I love,
For my wife (husband) and children,
For my health,
For sending your Son to die for me,
And for saving my soul.
Get where this is going? Everyday come up with something new to add to your list of things you have to be thankful for and thank the one who gave it to you.
There is no way we can ever thank God enough for all we have been given. How He saved us while we was so unworthy and blessed us beyond words. Just like the scripture says, "Thank Him in all circumstances"! And ya know what? The more you thank Him the more He blesses you! The more time you spend thanking God the less time you have to worry over your worldly problems. You don't have to believe me give it a try!
Have Thanksgiving all month long, let God know how thankful you are. We can not praise Him or thank Him enough for all He has done for us. Use this Thanksgiving as a time of thanksgiving to God a thank you for all He has done. Honor Him with your praise and Thanksgiving.
In His Service
It's October! Fall is here, I know the weather does not feel like it is fall but the calendar says it's here! As I was looking at the leaves all over the porch last night I thought, great, that time of year again. Raking, mulching, cleaning the gutter what a mess!!
Then I thought how trivial my thoughts are, if I look up instead of down I will see the wonders of God, not the mess! The beautiful colors that God gives us to show us His glory. Who but our wonderful God could paint such a pretty picture.
This is the busiest time of the year for tourism in the mountains, I know people flock to the Smokey Mountains wanting to see the beautiful colors. From the bright yellow and orange of the oak tree to the bright red of the maple, people flock to see the cascade of colors across the mountain. To see God's glory!
If you have ever been to the Smokey Mountains you know you can see the smoke on the mountain, but did you know that the Bible tells us God touched the mountain and made it smoke? Psalms 104:32 "He who looks at the earth, and it trembles, who touches the mountains, and they smoke". Not only does He make the smoke but He also turns the leaves into the beautiful colors they are. Can we deny that God and God alone can do this? That thousands of years ago God thought about giving us the beauty of the Smokey Mountains, the beauty of your back yard?
I hope you will look at the beauty of fall this year not the mess. Look up and see the gift God has given us. Take a drive and look around. Rejoice in the beauty, don't complain about the mess. Give God the glory for the things he has done! Thank Him for painting our world with His beautiful colors. Psalms 138 "I will give You thanks with all my heart". Thank you God for loving me enough to share your beauty with this sinful earth.
Yours in His Service
One of the 1st Bibloe stories we learn as a child is the story of David and Goliath. Through his faith David was able to slay the fierce giant with nothing but a sling shot and a stone. We know that under normal conditions that would never happen, it would be impossible to kill a giant with a stone. But we know it was not the stone that killed Goliath, it was David's faith in God. It was not just a stone that flew from David's hand to Goliath's head, it was David's faith.
Every day we all face giants, no, not 15 ft tall men, but giants in our life. Wether it is illness, depression, temper, alcohol, gossip, bullying, vulgarity, or profanity, it is a giant in our life that is between us and God.
Just like David we can slay our "giants" not by our own strength but through our faith. We all have things we can not handle alone, we have a choice, face our giant with God's help or allow it to continue to control our life.
I knew a man who was a very devout Christian, went to church every week, prayed, read his Bible but he was so down on himself he stayed depressed all the time. Depression was a giant he could not beat. Depression had a hold on him just like Goliath's army had on Saul's soliders. They did not have faith that they could defeat Goliath, just like my friend did not have faith to defeat his depression. He fought that giant until he finally gave in and gave it to God, just like David he allowed his faith to take over and allowed God to defeat his giant.
What is your giant? Is there something you deal with constantly? All you really need to do is give it to God. To release your faith and allow God to slay it. We allow things of this world to take over and rule our life, we say you don't understand, or I just can't help myself. Do not allow your giant to tell you how big it is, tell your giant how big your God is! "But with God all things are possible". If you would allow Him, God will slay all your giants and set you free, and not only free but free indeed!
Yours in His Service
It's that time of year again, back to school!!!! Parents are glad, kids are sad and the stores are loving it. All the clothes, new shoes, school supplies, backpacks, lunch boxes, items for dorm rooms all these things that we MUST have new every year. We are ready to send our kids back into the world decked out and looking good.
BUT do you know the most important thing your child needs? The "blood hedge" around them. When your kids go out they will face drugs, drinking, cursing, pornography, dirty jokes, kids and even teachers with no morals.
Your job as a parent is to protect your child, even though you cannot go with them as they go to school you can pray over them daily with the Blood of Jesus and surround them with the Blood Hedge to keep them safe.
"Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land."
In this passage we see where Satan is upset and accusing God of protecting Job with his Blood Hedge. Satan is mad, he says with the blood hedge he cannot get to Job, he cannot cross the blood hedge!! This shows us if we surround our kids with a blood hedge Satan cannot cross it, it will stop him from getting to our kidds!!! We give them vaccinations to keep them from getting sick why would we not want to surround them with spiritual protection against the things of the world?
What our kids face everyday is nothing like what we faced, things have gotten so much worse. There is no respect for the teacher, coaches, lunchroom ladies or even other students. Kids are getting bullied, teachers are getting cursed out, there are school shootings and the kids are making heroes out of the ones that do it. If we want to keep our students safe we must take it upon ourselves to pray that protection over them, surround them with the blood, cover them with God's holy protection.
"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward."
Your children are your reward, a gift from God, a responsibility God has given you until they reach the age of accountability. Will you take that mission seriously? will you send your kidd to school covered by the blood or just take your chances that the devil will leave him/her alone? Trust me the devil will not spare your child. Read 1 Peter 5:8 "He (the devil) is roaming the earth like a roaring lion, to see who he can kill or destory". Don't allow it to be one of your kids. Use the power you have been given in Jesus name and pray the blood hedge over, under, around and through your child everyday. What takes you 5 minutes to do can save their life and give you a lifetime of joy!
Yours in His Service
July is Freedom month, and yes even the ones that are kneeling in disrespectful protest are free. How can anyone not see how blessed we are, and how much we have, to be thankful for. When we see the flag flying it should never cross our mind not to show respect, if you want to take take a knee take it in prayer. When I see our flag flying I make it personal. I think of all the soldiers, that died so I could live free. Not only those who fought all the wars but the Master soldier, the human sacrifice that died so I could live free forever.
I look at the red stripes and see the blood Jesus shed for me. He did not have to come down from heaven but He saw me and said, "that boy will need help in 2018 to pastor that church, so I have to shed my blood to forgive him of his sins so he can be worthy. But you know what? I was not the only one that blood was shed for, it was shed for you also. The precious blood, from that perfect body shed for me and you. That blood that can put a hedge around me as protection against all
Satan's tricks, the blood that gives me power! The blood that heals me and makes me whole. That blood that reached me when I was deep in sin. That precious blood, shed by a precious man for me.
I look at the blue background, blue for the bruises on my Jesus. "He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities". He was beat for every single sin I will commit when He never committed any. He loved me so much He took every sin upon himself, all the Lust, gluttony, greed, wrath, envy, pride, the foul mouth, the bad thought, the bad temper, EVERTHING was put up on the shoulders of my sweet Jesus!
I look at the white stripes, these are for the pure people, not perfect, but people made pure thru Jesus, the whole reason He came, the reason He lived and the reason He died. So, I could be pure in the sight of God. All the sins that He took upon Himself at Calvary has been forgiven and I can now stand pure in the sight of God. So, no matter what I do or how I slip I can be forgiven.
The stars stand for the jewels I will have in my crown when I get to Heaven. The Bible talks about the jewels. Jewels as thanks for the many things God wants to thank me for, can you image God giving me a reward? God thanking me for the works I have done. Just another way our God keeps giving to me, He gave me His Son to die for me. He gave me His Holy Spirit to help me thru this life and when it is over He gives me a crown with jewels.
So, if you see someone that wants to disrespect my flag, tell them to look at the red, white and blue of Calvary. Tell them of the soldiers that have died for me for the past two thousand years starting with the greatest soldier of all Jesus Christ. Can you make the flag personal, does it mean to you what it means to me? If you want to kneel do not do it on one knee do it on two knees at the foot of the cross.
Yours in His Service
It is finally Summer!!!! Time to camp, vacation, fish, swim, baseball, soccer games, it is a wonderful time of the year. Time for families to be together and enjoy each other! How many nights we have had hot dogs or nachos for dinner because we were at ball fields, how many miles put on the car going to ball games. What wonderful family fun and family unity. How many swim meets, camping trips, fishing trips, believe me those are the times you and your children will remember.
"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward" Psalm 127:3
God has given us this time to be parents and to enjoy our kids, show them love, to teach them life's lessons. There is no way you can ever replace these memories in your child's life, truest me they grow up before you know it. Making memories is so important. You are making memories, good or bad, but everything you do with your child makies memories. You will never know what it means to your child to have you at their ballgames, take them fishing or just spending time with them. During this time the things you do makes an impact on their life.
Is the impact you are making a Christian impact on your child's life? Is there enough time in your day to talk to your children about your Christian walk? Do you know if your child is saved? Does your child know if you are saved? Have you talked to them about it? It's not up to me or the youth leaders. This is one of your responsibilities. God tells us in Psalms that God gave you children as a heritage, a reward. Are your chilldren a reward to you? Important enough to make sure they have a relationalship with God?
Let's make the memories you make this summer, memories you and your child will cherish together.
Yours in His Service
Six years ago I walked in here and preached my 1st sermon, and I have been in the pulpit almost every Sunday since. But being in the pulpit is just a part of the sermons I preach. Whether you know it or not I preach 365 days a year, and so do you. These are silent sermons. Sermons we preach by the way we live our lives.
Each day we all preach silent sermons, in our workplace, our homes or our schools. Our life is a sermon to everyone that is around us. What we post on social media, how we talk to our spouse, how we treat our kids and our co-workers, the language we use, how we handle problems, these are all silent sermons.
Does your family know where you stand with God? Do you treat them at home like you do at church? Do you bring your kids to church every Sunday? Do your kids know how important the Lord is to you or do they think God is for church and church is just something you do on Sundays? Do you show respect to your spouse to teach your kids to be respectful? If you can answer yes to these questions you are giving good silent sermons, if you answer no, they are still silent sermons, they just may not be pleasing to God. As you go through your day you give either good silent sermons or bad silent sermons but either way your life, as a Christian, is a silent sermon.
Do your co-workers know you are a Christian? Do your neighbors? Do your friends? When I left National Southwire they gave me a big party, a lot of the men that I had never had much to do with was there. They all told me "we have watched you". They did not hear me preach, sing or even testy, they watched my actions, my silent sermons. Everyone we come in contact sees the Christ in you or the world in you. What kind of silent sermon are you giving? Who are you giving silent sermons to? The way we act is a reflection on what is in our hearts and what we really believe. That is silent sermons!
"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16.
Let your light shine Larkin family, let your silent sermons be heard loud and clear. Let your Silent Sermons give glory to God, not to the world!
Yours in His Service
It's Spring!!! Time of the year everything is waking up again! The weather is warming up, winter coats can go in the closet and the shorts and capris come out!!
Isa 52:1 "Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city" This is not talking about sleeping as we know it but spiritual sleeping. Spiritual sleep, is when the heart grows cold to the things of God. Your life is complacent and God no longer takes the place that He once did. Now I do not mean that a person in such a state necessarily stops going to church or performing other 'religious' activities. No, more often than not, those things will continue. It is quite possible that a person is spiritually asleep will carry on with the normal routine, but their heart and passion for God has long gone. We keep doing everything that looks right, but in our hearts and in our private lives we do things our way, not God's way. We just do not have enough time or room in our lives for God.
This is why the scripture is telling us to WAKE UP!!!!
A spiritual awakening occurs when your eyes are opened and you see the words from the Bible jump off the page at you and you allow them to speak to you, leading to a hunger to seek and follow and experience more of Our Lord. Going home and acting the way you would act if Jesus went home with you. Treat your spouse, your children and your co-workers the way Jesus would. Get into the word of God, take what you read and apply it to your life. This is an awaking of the spirit!!! This will change your life.
It is time Larkin Church wakes up!!! We have to stop playing this game of living like we always have. Time is getting short, we need to move! We need to work, we need to pray, and we need to share! We need to "Awake and put on thy strength!!
The flowers are waking up, the trees are blooming, the animals are coming out of hibernation, it's Spring. God's creatures are waking up! Are you? My prayer for you is this will be your Spring to "Awake"!
Yours in His Service
WOW can you believe it is March? We are three months into the year and still at times I write 2017!!! We are headed toward Easter which is in the Spring and the 1st thing you know it will be time to complain about the heat!!! How fast time flies, the older I get the faster it goes.
The Bible puts it this way "Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away" James 4:14. We have been put on this earth for an appointed amount of time, maybe 5 years, like my nephew Cooper, or maybe 99 years like Billy Graham, but whatever the time in the eyes of God it is a vapor. What we do with that time is what makes the difference!
When our boys were little it was like time stood still, some days was a week long. I mean really how many fights can you break up and it's still the same day? How many messes can you clean up? How many times can you say "no" or "because I said so" and it still be the same day? But when you look back those days were just a vapor, gone so fast.
How many opportunities have you passed up that you could have witnessed to a friend, a neighbor, a coworker? How many times have you had a chance to talk to your kids about the Lord and you let it pass? Ho often could you offer a word of sympathy or encouragement but you let it pass? That was a vapor in time. A time that may not come around again, a chance God gave you to be His vessel.
What was so important that you missed the chance? Something on your 200 channel TV? Afraid someone would make fun of you? Afriad you would not be "Cool"? Or did you just not want to be bothered? There's just not enough hours in the day. I am sorry to say I have had all these excuses, I can come up with more excuses than you can imagine but in the long run, my excuses are nothing but a vapor. All the excuses in the world will not stand on judgement day, when we stand before Almighty God what will be our excuse of how time passed so fast we did not have time? His word tells us time is a vapor so how can we use that excuse when we have been warned, if we had just read the word.
Let's get busy!!! Let's not have God ask us what the members of Larkin Church was doing with their time on earth. When our time is done and we stand before God we can say we used our "vapor of time" to glorify His name.
Yours in His Service
A week or two ago John advised us it is time to sign up for jobs within the church. We need workers in the field. There is so many jobs to do and so few people are stepping up. This is not just something that is going to impact each person in our church but our church as a whole.
You have heard it said God will not give you more than you can handle. We think of that as being troubles and sorrows but it is also true in regards to the church. God is not going to allow our church to grow into the church we want it to be and the church He intends on it to be if we cannot handle the church we have now. Because God will not give us more than we can handle.
We all know the story of David and Goliath, how brave David was as he stood in front of Goliath, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit and with all the faith he could muster, but David did not kill the giant until he took care of his sheep. God did not wake David up one day and say "Hey David today would be a good day to kill a giant" no he started out small by taking care of the jobs at hand first which for him was taking care of his sheep. He protected his sheep from wolves, bears, and the elements. In the same way God is not going to give us a giant church if we cannot handle this one. Before our church can grow, the body that is here now has got to step up. Find a job you think you can do and ask God to help you do it. Some in our church has held down the same jobs for years, why is that? Why do we sit back and wait for someone else to do it? What job is so hard you cannot do it? All we have to be is available, God will give us the time and the talent, we just have to be willing.
If your desire is like mine, you want this church to be a bright light in the community, a church every member can be proud of and a church that God resides in. How do we do that? We all work together to make it the church we want it to be. Not what it has always been, not the way things have always been, but new and exciting and on fire!! If we allow things to keep on the way they have always been, then we will have the church we have always had. I want more and I think God expects more!
I urge you to pray, ask God what job He wants you to do in the church. How can you help to make this church the church we know it needs to be? Sign up for a job, any job just be willing to step up.
If we are going to grow we are going to have a lot of giants to face. Let's get to work now so when the giants come we can face them like David did, head on, full of the Holy Spirit and with all the faith we can muster.
There is a little story titled "Whose Job is it Anyway" I'd like to share that with you.
This is a story of four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an impotant job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody's job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.
Let's be movers and shakers, not sitters and complainers!!!
Yours in His Service
Hello 2018!!!!! Can you believe we have come to the end of another year? And boy has it been a good year! We have had 7 more people join the church, 3 baptisms, about 20 families (many more than once) helped thru the food pantry and 5 or 6 we were able to help meet financial needs. Praise God!! My hat is off to you all for all the hard work and the dedication that has gone into such a prosperous year. But am I satisfied? NO, are you?
Colossians 3:23 tells us "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for the human master".
We have a lot more to do, we have a lot more people to touch, a lot more needs to meet, and a lot more souls to win to our Lord.
I am excited about the new year, I am ready for us to get on fire!! A fire that cannot be contained in this small building but a fire that spreads throughout Spencer County. But in order to do that each one of us has to desire that fire, and it has to start in us! How say you? We each have to have the dedication, the desire and the faith to see it come about.
I cannot do it, the deacons, Sunday school teacher, youth leaders cannot do it and God will not do it unless we all work together. A church is not a pastor or a deacon it is a body and this body has the potential to make this church great BUT we all have to step out of our comfort zones.
Will you help to make this year great? Will you step out of your comfort zone? There is so many jobs around the church you could help with, there are so many people you could contact and invite to church. If you do not know a job that needs attention ask someone, if you are unhappy with the way something is going be part of the solution not part of the problem. Let's make 2018 a Larkin year!!! Let's move upward and out from our walls, let's. Let's make Larkin Church the light in the community God wants it to be!!!
Yours in His Service
I'm sitting here thinking about what to write and what came to mind is the old Elvis song, "Why Can't Every Day be Like Christmas." The song says: 'Why can't that feeling go on endlessly? For if every day could be just like Christmas, what a wonderful world this would be."
Can you image a world where it's always Christmas? Oh I'm not talking about the presents and the money. I'm talking about where we are happy all the time? Where there is singing everywhere you go? Where people spend extra time with family and friends. A time to give from your heart and not worry about getting anything back. Where we watch Rudolph and Frosty with the kids even though we have seen it a million times. Where the kids are doing their best not to get on the naughty list. Where we take time to open our Bible and read to the kids about the 1st Christmas. "Why can't every day be like Christmas?" Why can't we "make that feeling go on endlessly?" We can!!!
Your main goal this Christmas should not be to buy the newest doll or electronics or to make sure the kids have so many toys they will never play with them. Your goal this Christmas should be to keep Christ in Christmas. Christ who left His throne, to come to this earth knowing He was going to die. "What a wonderful world this would be" if we could give this Christmas to honor Jesus the Christ. To make it all about Him not about us. To take the extra time to acknowledge Him, to show Him we love Him. Can you give time this Christmas to Jesus? Will you read the Christmas story or just hope it is read at church? Will you pray with your family? Will you help make "Every day just like Christmas" in you family? In your church? In your heart?
If we could just keep some of that spirit in our hearts and our lives, if we treat each other the way we do during the season, we could go beyond the season and make every day "Just like Christmas" oh then my friend "WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD THIS WOULD BE."
Yours in His Service
It's November, and of course with November comes Thanksgiving!!!! It is good to know that with all the things going on in the world everyone has set aside a day to give thanks, oh I know everyone will not be thanking God but at least they are giving thanks for something.
I do pray, we, as Christians take time to give thanks everyday, for all the blessings we have been given, I see so many blessings in our church and in Each one of you. God has truly blessed us. Phillippians 4:4-6 says "Be careful for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be known unto God". He is telling us through his word to ask anything but do it with thanksgiving. Did you get that? ANYTHING!!! We can go to our Father and ask for anything as long as we do it with thanksgiving.
Can you think of anything you have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving? Your family, your health? Your church? Your job? The list should be endless!! We are so blessed!!! Have you taken the time to thank God for any of it today? Do you see your kids and thank God for them or do you ask God why your kids had to be the bad kid? Do you wake up in a warm house every morning and thank God for it or complain because the gas bill is too high? Do you thank God for your spouse everyday or wonder why she/he does not look like that guy or gal you saw on tv last night? Do you thank God for your job or just fuss because you are under paid and over worked? Everything we touch, see, smell, hear, taste, and love was given to us by God. How can we be too busy to thank Him? I catch myself many times during the day just saying "Thank You Jesus!" You see I realize I am nothing without him! I would not be here without the loving mercy and grace of my Heavenly Father so why would I ever stop thanking Him? Can you say that? Do you thank God for His blessings or take them for granted?
This Thanksgiving let's take a few minutes to give thanks, not only for the great meal and to the one who prepared it but to our Heavenly Father who really gave us everything to be thankful for!!
"Give thanks with a grateful heart, Give thanks to the Holy One, Give thanks, because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son. Give thanks!"
Yours in His Service
It's October everywhere you look is is getting ready for Halloween. While I have no problem with Halloween as a fun night for kids, it scares me to think of how lightly we take the spirits of darkness that we dress up as on Halloween.
do you realize Satan and all his soldiers are real and alive and ready to attack you and your family? No, he is not the cute little boy next door with the horns and the pitchfork, he is sneaky and will come into your family and your house without you seeing him.
All through the Bible we are taught to be on the lookout because he (the devil) comes like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. He does not knock on your door and say "Trick or Treat" but enters without warning, through your heart and your mind. We all know of the obvious demons like drinking, drugs, murder, and stealing, but what about the hidden one? Selfishness, temper, moodiness, hatefulness, laziness, demanding our own way, do we realize these are demons? Anything that stops you from living a Christian life is a demon, and will take over your life inch by inch if you are not living for God.
Are you giving in to the demon of laziness and staying home on Sunday morning? Are you giving in to the demon of peer pressure and saying things or doing things you know you shouldn't? Are you losing your temper at your kids or your spouse? Another demon! Everything we do that is not pleasing unto our Father is because we have allowed demonic thoughts, words or deeds into our lives.
How many times have you spoken to your anger, your selfishness, and your hatefulness and ordered it to get behind you? That is what Jesus did in Matthew 16:23. When he was being temped he called out to the devil who he knew was behind it and ordered him to get behind him. Do we do that? Haven't we learned that the works He (Jesus) had we have and even greater works? John 14:12. But what is works if we do not use it? When it's time to get up on Sunday do we tell the demon of laziness to get behind us we are going to church? When you feel bad do you tell the devil to get behind you?
YOU have the power given to you by our Lord Jesus Christ. Let's call that power into being! Speak to the spirits that haunt you! Use the NAME OF JESUS, "for with that name every knee shall bow in heaven, and on earth and under the earth and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord." Phillippians 2:10. That name through faith in that name has given us authority over every dmon Satan has.
Yours in His Service
September is here, where has this year gone? We are blessed to live in a part of the country that has 4 seasons, we have experienced the beautiful green summer. We are now entering fall, one of the most beautiful times of the year. Where we see God's creations come alive with color. Leaves will turn orange, red, and yellow. The animals are gathering their supplies for the winter, the birds are getting ready to head south. This is all part of God's plan.
The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8, "For Everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under Heaven, a time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to harvest," God intended for everything to be done in its time. Just like nature we have seasons in our lives. When I think about the season in my life I wonder if I am preparing like the animals for winter. No I do not mean the actual winter I mean the winter times in my life. Am I ready if something happens I do not foresee? Do I have the faith to make it thru the winter months or the bad times? Am I going to be ready to face anything Satan has for me? Are you?
What happens if we lose our job? A family member dies? We get sick and cannot work? Are we ready? Can we put our faith in God and make it thru? 2 years ago my brother got married, never to have any idea that 1 1/2 years later they would be living from day to day with death at their door. What if this happened to you? Would you be ready? Are you ready? The passage above tells us we all have an appointed time to live and an appointed time to die. For everything there is a season. EVERYTHING!
Have you taken the time to get ready? Do you know how you get ready? Let me tell you, it is spending time with God, on your face and in His word. We have to prepare, just as the animals are, we have to store up God's word, build up our faith. Things are coming you cannot handle alone you are going to need each other and most of all faith in God. It is time for us to stop playing church. It is time to grow up, get ready, winter is coming. We can make it if we lean on God and not on ourselves but in order to lean on God you have to know God and not only make Him your Savior but make Him your LORD. Let's all strive to live, work and believe as if this is our last day on earth and be ready to face our Lord and hear Him say: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant" Matthew 25:21.
Yours in His Service
The dog days of summer are upon us!!! With the hot weather and the high humidity we are experiencing summer in the Ohio Valley. Could it be 5 short months ago we could not wait for summer to get here? Now that it is here we want to complain about the heat. Complain about the kids being out of school, complain about the high utilites bill. We just want the summer without the heat, without the kids being home, without the high utilities. Isn't that kind of how we are with our Christian walk? "Oh Lord, I will do anything if you will just help me!" How many times have you said that? I know I have. "Give me a better job, help me find the money to pay my bills, heal me, meet my needs, touch my children." We all do it because we know we have a loving God that will meet all our needs. But what if God does not meet our needs the way WE think He should or what if He meets our needs, what happens then?
How many times have you prayed for something and when you got it, you just stopped coming to church, because you do not need God right now. Or you did not get what you wanted, in the time you wanted it, so you stayed home from church because you are mad at God?
In Luke 17:11-19 we read how Jesus healed 10 men with leprosy. When they were healed they went about their business except 1 who came back to thank God and praise him, Jesus asked "Were there not 10?" But if you read on you will see that Jesus not only healed that one that came back to thank Him, but made him whole!!! Do you understand what that means? When you have leprosy, ears, fingers and toes, even arms or legs just rot off, but Jesus made him whole, meaning he restored his limbs or fingers or whatever he was missing. The other men got their healings from the leprosy but the man with praise and thanksgiving to Jesus was made whole. That is the perfect lesson for us. When we ask Jesus for help and we continue to belive and praise Him, not only will he answer our prayers and heal our situations, He will make that situation whoole agai!!! Not only will we be healed but we will be healed and set free!!! Not only will our bills get paid we will have extra, not only will our kid's problems get taken care of but they will see the power of our faith.
Are our prayers always answered the way we want? NO, just like last winter when you wanted it to warm up, we did not want 100 degree heat, we do not know why God answers our prayers the way He does we just have to belive and praise Him that He knows what is best. When you have problems do you pray and then get mad if the prayer is not answered your way? Or, are you the one who comes back with thanksgiving and give Jesus praise? That my dear friends is the difference in answered prayers and blessed lives, all He asks of us is our praise! God's word tells us He will answer our prayers but it does not tell us how or when He will answer them. Can you give Him praise in whatever your situation is ? Can you wait upon the Lord and live for Him while you are waiting? If you can you will be richly blessed, that is a guarantee stright fom the Bible!!!!
Yours in His Service
FREEDOM!!!!!!! We celebrate July 4th because we are a free nation!!! Free!!! Free to worship as we choose, free to attend school, free to own property, free to bear arms!! We have freedoms other countries can only dream about.
2000 years ago Jesus died so we could all have freedom. We have the freedom to attend church or not to attend that is our freedom of choice. We have the freedom to live a blameless life or to be a thief, once again our choice. We have the freedom to raise our kids as Christians or allow them to do whaever they want to do, our choice. We have the freedom to buy property, toys, cars , or anything we want, our choice. In many of our lives there is no freedom because we are slaves. Not slaves to man but slaves to the things of the world! Stress, worry, debt, sickness, heartache, temper, alcohol, or tobacco. Anything that has control of us we are a slave to.
John 8:36 says "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." Free from sin, free from condemnation, free to praise, free to worship, freedom from religious rules and religious laws. Father never intended for us to be slaves to anything. It was never meant for us to be down trodden or under a heavy load of debt. When Jesus hung on that cross it was for me and for you, to give us the freedom to worship Him!! To open our hearts and our mouths and sing praises to Him!!
You have heard it said freedom was not free!! Jesus paid a debt He did not owe for you and me so we could have freedom. How are you using that freedom? Are you free or still a slave? Are you still under a curse? Do you feel let down by everyone and everything? Does it look like you will never get free of debt? Does it look like your kids will never get under control? Let me tell you, you can be free and free indeed, just give it to Jesus as He has already paid the price for it, all you have to do is turn it over to him. Give it up and give it to God!!
Make this July 4th your Freedom Day. It will be the best July 4th ever!!!!!
Yours in His Service
I Love You!!! 3 easy words to say but 3 very hard words to live by. June is the Month for weddings, the dress, the parties, bridesmaids, groomsmen, the cake, the tears, and the laughter. But how soon the wedding is over and the marriage begins. Taking 2 different people and putting them together is not always the easiest thing in the world. This is something I found out 49 years ago. All the "love" you feel can soon change when you enter into the real world of marriage.
When I got married I was very deeply in "LOVE" at least for that 1st week!!! I soon found out I had no idea what love was all about. I had never done dishes, washed clothes, picked up after myself or had anyone to answer to. This was not the party I signed up for. My idea of marriage was my own apartment, a wife when I wanted one and freedom to do what I wanted to do. Suddenly there are bills to pay, rent, groceries, cable, phone, electricity, who can do all this? A whole house to clean, not just your room, breakfast of cornflakes instead of bacon and eggs like mama made! No money to go out and blow, this is no fun, there is too many responsibilities.
I could say "I love you" all day long, that was my way out of trouble, of soothing hurt feelings or to make up after I had done something stupid, but until I met Jesus I no idea what love really was!!!! Love is such a deep feeling that it fills your whole being. You are not the same person, the selfishness is gone. There is someone more important than you. You are not the only one with needs and wants, you are not the only one that gets tired or stressed or sad. Genesis 2:24 "and they become one flesh," this is not when you want to or feel like it. This means you are one all the time!!
It was not until several years later I learned what "love" really is. That was when I met my Savior Jesus Christ and everything changed. In 1 John 3:18 we read, "Dear Children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth." After I met Jesus I learned love is not a noun it is a verb! It is totally an action word! With everything we do we need to show love, we should look at our spouse as an extension of ourselves. You would be surprised how a simple "I love you" once in awhile can make a person's day or walking by and touching them, just so they know you notice. Talking and listening to each other, making time for just the two of you and most of all praying for each other. Make them as important as they were back when the marriage was new and exciting.
Whether this is your anniversary month or not take time to look closely at your marriage. Do you love your spouse as Christ loved the church? Is your love a verb or just a noun? To have a strong church we have to have strong families and to have strong families we have to have love and respect for each other. My prayer for you this anniversary month is you find that love again if you have lost it, put your love to work within your family make sure love is a verb in your home!
Yours in His Service
"April Showers bring May flowers," it is May and just look at all the beautiful flowers God has given us! Even though some of them are weeds they produce beautiful flowers for us to enjoy. In the eyes of our Father we are beautiful flowers, He called King David the apple of his eye in Psalms 17:8. But before there was an apple there had to be a bloom. He tells us in John 15:5, "I (meaning God) am the vine and you are the branches," everyone knows the branches are where the blooms are. But the one I use the most is 1 Corinthians 7:20, "Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them." To me that is saying "Bloom Where You are Planted."
Sometimes the hardest thing we can do is bloom! Whether at work, shopping, at school or even at church sometimes we just do not feel like blooming, but that is exactly what this verse is telling us to do. Bloom whether we are happy, sad, in a bad mood or sick, we have the love of God and we need to bloom!
Blooming may be different depending on your circumstances, at your work place you can bloom by showing the love of God thru friendship, how you react to problems or to your fellow worker. At home you can bloom in front of your children and spouse to teach them to always show the love of God. At church you can bloom and honor God with your presence, your time, and your talents. To your church family you can bloom by calling them if they are not here, visiting them, and or praying for them.
I have heard people say they do not know how to witness and if you work it will not be allowed anyway, but you can Bloom there. That in itself is a witness. When people see you every day they know without a doubt that you serve a risen Savior. There is something different about you, you are blooming!!!!
"They are a sweet smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God." Philippians 4:18! Let's use this to show God we truly are His branches, lets Bloom and make Larkin Church a beautiful garden for God.
Yours in His Service
April Showers bring May flowers!!! How many times have you heard that one? No matter how many showers we get this April it will be nothing compared to the shower of blessings we have received from our Lord! In Ezekiel 34:26 the Lord tells us "I will make them places and the places surrounding my hill of blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessings."
Larkin Church has been blessed beyond words, by our Lord. Would you have guessed a couple of years ago that we would be averaging over 100? Well we have since the 1st of the year!!!! What a blessing! Would you have imagined you had better get to church early to get a seat? But you better!!! Did you ever think that the leadership of the church would be talking about building a bigger building because we are too crowded? Another blessing!!
"There shall be Showers of blessings, this is the promise of love there shall be seasons refreshing, sent from the Savior above."
You know I could go on and on of all the blessings, but the biggest blessing of all is the growth in each and every person here. When God calls us to follow Jesus, He does not intend on us just saying OK Lord I will follow you, I will fill a pew on Sunday morning. No the Lord has work for us all to do, and we have seen people stepping up and taking roles in the church. Stepping out of their comfort zone and giving of themselves for His glory. That is what it takes to make a church grow like we have done. It takes us all stepping up and stepping out!!! That is a blessing!
When people think of a blessing they think of a raise, a healing, a new car or any earthy possession, and yes God will give us earthy things, but do we consider it a blessing to see a full house on Sunday mornings? God does! When you see people kneel at the alter do you consider that a blessing? God does! When we see a lost soul come home, do you consider that a blessing? God does!
"Showers of Blessing, showers of blessing we need"
God has blessed this body beyond measure. More than we could ask for, more than we deserve, more than anyone expected. But nowhere near how He is going to bless us if we continue to follow Him, grow in our faith and give Him the glory!
"mercy drops round us are falling, but for the showers we plead"
Let's keep moving, keep working, keep believing, so we can continue to keep receiving those
"Showers of Blessings"
Yours in His Service
March Madness!!!! The 1st Day of Spring! Ash Wednesday! ST Patrick's Day! Daylight Savings Time, Yep it's March!!!!
The month commonly known as the Windy month, and this March is no exception, the winds have been blowing, but the best part is there is a Mighty Rushing Wind moving at Larkin!!!! That is the mighty rushing wind of the Holy Spirit!!!
Acts 2:2 "Suddenly a sound like a mighty rushing wind came from heaven and filled the whole house"
We are growing in the Spirit and feeling His presence every time we meet. The growth that has taken place is so remarkable and the changes in each person's faith level are undeniable.
As the mighty rushing wind blows the healings are taking place, not just physical healing but spiritual healings, emotional healings, and mental healing. The church is experiencing a growth like none other, the best kind of growth, growth of the spirit!!!!
We are stepping into a new realm, a spiritual realm. A very exciting realm, a Godly realm!!!
When we enter the Godly realm we will see things differently. We will not just pray for our children, we will give our children to God. We will not ask for a healing; we will thank God for the healing we know, by faith, we are going to get. We will not complain about the church workers, we will ask what we can do to help. We will not only put our tithes in the offering plate; we will also ask God how we can tithe of our time and talents. We will not just buy our families groceries we will see what we can buy for the food pantry to help other families. We will get involved, get moving and continue growing.
Let this March, the windy month, be the month you accept that mighty rushing wind blowing across you and allow it to fill your heart with a new spirit. I can promise you, you will never be the same!!!
Yours in His Service
February is the month of love. The Bible tells us in 1st Corinthians 13:13 "Faith, Hope, and Love but the greatest of these is Love." Love was important enough to have a whole chapter written about it, not to mention the thousands of other scriptures about love. The most important of these is LOVE. Paul wrote this to the church of Corinth so the church would know how important love is, not only to the individual or the church but to everyone that sees you. One of the 1st things we noticed about Larkin Baptist Church is the love. Almost everyone that has visited us has commented on the love they feel in our congregation. Every time we are together the love just pours out for each other. BUT this month, the month of love, let's begin to step out of our comfort zone and spread the love.
Do you know someone not in Church?
Invite them to come to Larkin
Do you know someone that was not here Sunday?
Call them and tell them we missed them
Do you know someone sick?
Send them a card or take them a meal
Do you know someone hungry?
Do you know someone in jail?
Do you know someone in pain?
Love on them
Jesus said, "when you do this for the least of these we are doing it unto Me".
We add people to our prayer chain and prayer list so we can pray for them, but these people do not know we are praying unless we tell them? There are people out there starving for love. Let's put our arms around them and show them the Larkin love. Let's make February a month of showing our love. Let's follow Jesus Example to "Love one Another".
Yours in His Service