Remaining Focused On The Right Thing – Jesus

Welcome back! We hope you had a great weekend. We ended last week by talking about focus. We are going to talk about Remaining Focused On The Right Thing — Jesus. If you have any questions, comments, prayer requests or praises–you can click the question tab or leave us a message. Let’s dig in!

Remaining Focused On The Right Thing – Jesus
Passage – Matthew 14:22-33
You can click on the following link to read the full passage: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2014:22-33

1 – Jesus SENT the disciples out into the STORM. (14:22)
“Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd.”

2 – Jesus PRAYED for the disciples that He SENT. (14:23a)
“After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.”

3 – Jesus WENT to where the disciples WERE. (14:23b-25)
” Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.”

4 – Jesus CALMED the disciples MINDS. (14:26-27)
“When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

5 – Jesus TOLD Peter to COME to Him. (14:28-29a)
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” Jesus said.”

6 – Peter FOCUSED on JESUS and stepped out in FAITH. (14:29b)
“Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.”

7 – Peter LOST his TRUE FOCUS by letting the WORLD distract him. (14:30)
“But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

8 – Peter CALLED on JESUS to be his SAVIOR. (14:30)
“But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

9 – Jesus IMMEDIATELY helped his SERVANT Peter. (14:31)
“Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

10 – Jesus REMINDED them that with HIM all things are possible. (14:32)
“And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.”

11 – Jesus RECEIVED the PRAISE from the People. (14:33)
“Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Have a Happy Monday!
~Dr. G
John 14:6 – Jesus Is The Way, Truth, & Life

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“Blessings God’s Way”

“Blessings God’s Way”
Luke 6:20-23 (NLT) from Biblegateway.com
20-Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said, “God blesses you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours. 21-God blesses you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied. God blesses you who weep now, for in due time you will laugh. 22-What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. 23-When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.

These 4 verses are a reminder to all Believers that God will cherish you forever.

Notes from Verse 20:
Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said,“God blesses you who are poor for the Kingdom of God is yours.”

Wealth and riches mean nothing to God. After all He owns everything. He created mankind and He sees everything. He tells us that we are blessed not by our pocket book, but by Him and Him Alone. If you want to go to Heaven, then put God first and get saved.

Notes from Verse: 21:
God blesses you who are hungry now for you will be satisfied. God blesses you who weep now for in due time you will laugh.

Have you ever said this phrase: “I’m so hungry I could eat ___________?”
Just as God gave us the desire to eat physical food, He also implanted a desire within all Believers to want, crave, and hunger for Spiritual Food. The unbelievers want, crave, and hunger for physical food. In fact, everyone does (both believers and nonbelievers) want, crave, and hunger for physical food. We need food or we will die of starvation. It’s the same way with Christ. “If we Confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, then we shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9). If you are TRULY saved, you will desire more than physical food. You, BELIEVERS, will desire Spiritual Food. You will crave the Word of God. You will hunger for the Word of God and want more of Him and less of yourselves. God even promises us that He will satisfy our hunger for Him. Now fill in the blank: I’m so hungry I could eat ___________?

Is there someone in your life that you pray for all the time and even cry for them to be saved? Do you long to be in the presence of God so bad that you weep? If you answered yes, then remember the promise from God that your weeping will turn to laughing. This life is only for a season. Eternal Life is unending. You can either choose Jesus and go to Heaven or simply do nothing and go to Hell. It’s your choice. I pray you accept Jesus as your Lord. I plead with you to not reject the Savior Jesus Christ.

Notes from Verse: 22
22-What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man.

As a Christian and a Pastor, I can relate heavily to this verse. In mylifetime, I’ve been yelled at, mocked, been excluded from things because “I am the Pastor”, and many more things. My sweet wife was belittled by one of her teachers in high school because of her belief in Christ.

Yet, I love being a Christian and a Pastor. Some of you are saying is this guy crazy. I mean who in their right mind would subject themselves to any of these daily experiences? I have only this to say: 22-What blessings await you when…

Notes from Verse 23:
23-When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.

This verse is without a doubt very hard for Believers to follow. Even seasoned Believers have trouble keeping this verse in check. Yet “Jesus said, be happy! Yes, leap for joy!” I don’t know about you, but it hurts when people are mean to me.

True Christianity and Blessings God’s Way is putting into practice verse 23. “Be happy and leap for joy. For a great reward awaits you in heaven.” Jesus gives us a promise that He will reward you for your Faithful Obedience. He also reminds us in the last few words that we are not alone. “And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.”

What choice will you make today that will prove to others that God is REAL?

From my heart to yours,

Pastor G

(May you be encouraged today and be an encouragement to others)
As my wise grandpa said, it doesn’t cost you anything to SMILE.

How can I help people who are hurting?

Welcome Readers! It is so hard to believe we are already in November. This is such a wonderful time of year for most people. However, the upcoming holidays can be very hard for others. They may be grieving and lonely or worried about financial troubles. Today’s blog is about how to help those who are hurting. A lot of people put up a good front and don’t show their deep hurts. Remember to always greet others with a smile.

Job 30:16 “And now my life seeps away. Depression haunts my days.”

Proverbs 15:13 “A glad heart makes a happy face; a broken heart crushes the spirit”

Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”

Be aware of the effects of hurt on a person’s spirit, mind, and body. Awareness leads to sympathy, sympathy leads to empathy, empathy leads to helping, and helping leads to healing.

2 Corinthians 1:4 “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

Share your experiences of God’s comfort. God’s healing in you may bring hope and healing to others.

Job 16:2 “I have heard all this before. What miserable comforters you are!”

Be careful with the words you offer to the brokenhearted. Explanations and cliches are rarely comforting. Offer those who are hurting your love, sympathy, and presence. Sometimes the best comfort you can give is to just be there.

Job 42:11 “Then all his brothers, sisters, and former friends came and feasted with him in his home. And they consoled him and comforted him because of all the trials the Lord had brought against him. And each of them brought him a gift of money and a gold ring.”

Support your own family and friends. Family life should be a safe haven in a hurting world. The family should be both a healing clinic and a training camp where you learn to cope with and conquer hurtful influences.

If you are hurting or know someone who is, please send us a message. We will gladly pray for you. May God Bless You!

Be a blessing to others,
~M

A Challenge….

Challenge to remain Christlike…

Gods Word tells us that we are to produce good fruit in all that we say and do. During the coming months as we enter into the different Holliday seasons I ask that you would remember who you represent. As Christians we represent God. We are His witnesses to what He has done and still doing. Before you get upset with the extra holiday traffic and longer checkout lines in the stores. Remember that hundreds of people may never read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the Bible, but they do read our lives. When they look at us, what will they see? Will they see the good fruit; the fruit of the Spirit? Will love, joy, peace, patients, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control radiate from our words and actions? Remember you represent Christ, and He produces these good fruits that are listed in Galatians 5:22-23 — “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Before you make a decision of any kind, ask yourself if God would be pleased by my words and actions?

From Your Pastors Heart,

Pastor G

Welcome November….

Well it’s that time of year again when we all start being a little more thankful because of the focus on Thanksgiving Day. As you list out all the blessings that you are thankful for, I want you to look with me at the Bible in the book of Philemon chapter 1 verses 4-7. It says, “4. I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers, 5. Because I hear of your love and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints; 6. And I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake. 7. For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.”

Do you know anyone who is like this? Do you know anyone who refreshes your life when your around them? Are you this person that people give thanks for, because you are faithful to God and to His people? What kind of legacy are you leaving for others? Will you be remembered as one who brought joy and comfort to others? Would the Pastor that conducts your funeral service be able to preach this passage about you and do so with a clean conscience? We should all have someone in our lives that we can say lives this way and we should all live this way so others will have someone to look up too. As you celebrate Thanksgiving Day this year, remember to thank God for those people in your life that refresh you and ask God to help you to become (if your not already) this type of person as well. So be thankful and faithful as you serve Jesus Christ our King.

In Christ Service,

Rev. Gary Keene, Jr

Living the Life God Intended

Living the Life God Intended​​
Colossians 3:1-4:6
Main Verse Col. 3:17

3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe your-selves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. 22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.
4 Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven. 2 Devote your-selves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

• Focus your Heart on things above. (3:1)
• Focus your Mind on things above. (3:2)
• Focus your Life around your new Spirit. (3:3-4)
• Focus your Nature on Cleansing of sin. (3:5)
• Focus your Reality on the Wrath of God. (3:6)
• Focus your Desires on being New in Christ. (3:7-10)
• Focus your Attitude to reflect God. (3:12)
• Focus on Forgiveness. (3:13)
• Focus on Love. (3:14)
• Focus your Attention on living at Peace with everyone. (3:15)
• Focus on The Word of God. (3:16)
• Focus on doing things for God in His Son Jesus Name. (3:17)
• Focus on Family Relationships. (3:18-21)
• Focus on your Earthly job as if you are working for God. (3:23-24)
• Focus on Prayer. (4:2)
• Focus on winning others to Jesus. (4:3-5)
• Focus on being prepared. (4:6)

A reminder for us all…( What will you do today to encourage someone’s faith? )…May God Bless you as you Serve Him…From Your Pastors Heart.
~Pastor G

Psalm 19

Good Morning Everyone,

Recently the Lord led me to Psalm 19. This Psalm is very powerful and full of wisdom. I challenge you to read it slowly and really let it speak to you.

1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.

7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.

10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.

14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

The final verse in this Psalm is verse 14.
Psalm 19:14–May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

This verse alone speaks volumes to us if we take the time to examine it. So let us journey through this verse and see what God will reveal to us.

1) Our words are to be pleasing to God.
2) We are to Meditate on The Word of God.
3) God wants to be your Rock.
4) God wants to be your Redeemer.

I challenge all of you to take each of these 4 points and expand them with your own words. Pray first, then Read the verse, then Pray again. After you have done those 3 things, then write a few sentences or even paragraphs under each of the 4 points.   May The Lord speak to you in a way that only He can. May your words be words that change lives. May the Words of God be your words.
From Your Pastor’s Heart,
Pastor G

How Do We Find Favor with God?

How Do We Find Favor with God?
Psalm 101:1-4

I will sing of your love and justice;
to you, Lord, I will sing praise.
I will be careful to lead a blameless life—
when will you come to me?

I will conduct the affairs of my house
with a blameless heart.
I will not look with approval
on anything that is vile.

I hate what faithless people do;
I will have no part in it.
The perverse of heart shall be far from me;
I will have nothing to do with what is evil.

Once we have the favor of God through salvation, does it matter how we act? The Bible responds with an emphatic “Yes!” and gives us numerous examples of godly lives to consider.
• Noah responded to God by walking with Him daily. And our Father responds positively to those who walk closely with Him, live by His Word, and listen carefully to His Holy Spirit. For those of us who believe, that means not only making Scripture a vital part of our lives but also learning who God is and what He likes. How well do you know Him?
• Moses, despite initial protests, chose to obey the divine call and live life God’s way. The Lord favors followers who choose His preferences over their own—that is, those who think about their life in terms of pleasing Him. This requires learning to think as He does. How closely do your thoughts align with His?
• Paul, after his conversion, lived with the single-minded focus of serving Jesus. He sought to do his best by means of inward and outward obedience. The Lord favors those whose hearts are bent toward Him. Do others see that your life is centered around Christ?
• Mary responded with trust and did not doubt when the angel announced that she would give birth to the Messiah. God extends His blessings to those who choose to believe even when evidence says otherwise. How much do you trust the Lord?
We find favor with our heavenly Father through believing minds, responsive hearts, and obedient spirits. Won’t you let this increasingly describe you?
From Your Pastor’s Heart,
Pastor G

Stop Worrying by Trusting

Stop worrying by trusting

Matthew 6:25-34
25 – “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
26 – Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
27 – Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 – “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.
29 – Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
30 – If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?
31 – So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32 – For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
33 – But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34 – Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Notes/Insights: Matthew 6:25-34
I have spent a lot of time in my life worrying about various things, situation, etc.  This morning while checking Bible Gateway Online for the Scripture of the day I found myself looking at Matthew 6:33. The following Two Words of Scripture hit me hard, “SEEK FIRST”.  All I can say is stop and let these two Words speak and sink in.
From Your Pastor’s Heart,
Pastor G

Living God’s Way

Ephesians 5:15-21

“15 Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise— 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17 So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions, but be filled by the Spirit: 19 speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music from your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of Christ.”

This passage gives us 7 ways to Live:

* Gods Word tells us to pay careful attention to how we live…Ephesians 5:15

* We are told to make the most of our time here on earth…Ephesians 5:16

* We are to seek Gods Will for our lives…Ephesians 5:17

* We should be concerned with what our bodies, minds, and eyes take in on a daily basis…Ephesians 5:18

* We need to be careful how we speak to each other…Ephesians. 5:19

* We should thank God for everything all the time…Ephesians 5:20

* We must surrender to God completely…Ephesians 5:21

From Your Pastor’s Heart,
Pastor G