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Friday
May152015

Irreparable Damage???

A couple of years ago I was backing out of my garage in my black Ford Taurus to head to work. I was looking to the right to make sure no car was coming around the curve by our house. What I didn't notice was the car to the left which happened to be our white van parked in the driveway. The side mirror on my black Taurus decided to introduce itself to the side of our white van. Did I mention that my Taurus was black and my van was white? My Taurus left its signature in the form of a thick black line down the passenger side of our van, with indention.

I asked a couple of friends about the cost of repairs but decided not to move forward because we didn't have the money. So here we were with a black mark down the side of our van that I felt was too expensive to repair. I guess we will just have to leave it on there since the damage cannot be repaired for a low enough price. Or could it? Yesterday we were washing the van and my wife said “I started scratching this black mark with my fingernail and it is coming off.” I proceeded to scratch it with my fingernail until my nail was beveled from the grind. In the end, I was successful at removing ALL of the black mark. As I stood there and looked at this white van that at one time had a black mark down it, I was almost disgusted that it took me 2 years to do that. All this time I thought the damage was irreparable and all it took was a little time scratching it.

How many of you have black marks on your life from bad decisions you have made in the past? Looking back there are things we have said and done that we think are beyond repair. The damage is too extensive for anyone to attempt to fix it. We tell ourselves, “I guess I will have to live with this mark for the rest of my life.” But you don't. The damage is not irreparable. There is no blemish to great and no dent to destructive that the blood of Jesus can't mend and make new. You've lived too long with that mark on your life. Take your life to the “car wash” of heaven and let Jesus bring you the redemption you need. The best part about it is you don't even have to worry about the price. Forgiveness is free. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Let the Repairs Begin,

Pastor Jeremy

Monday
Feb022015

The Last Donut

Growing up there was always a battle between my sister and I over who was going to get the last cookie or donut or whatever other snack we had in the house. If you were to ask my sister, she would probably tell you that I was the one who oftentimes ended up eating the last of something. I can remember when my parents would buy donuts and we would all begin eating. I would go back to the donut box in hopes of partaking of another donut only to find out they were all gone. I would then yell out in frustration, “who ate the last donut?” (typical attitude of the youngest child, thinking everything belongs to them) I would proceed to ask my sister how many donuts she had to make sure that she didn't eat more than I did. Even if I had most of them, I would still feel entitled to the last one and would fuss over not getting it.

Wanting it all is often viewed as a selfish attitude. Allowing your desire for something to be so strong that you want it for yourself and refuse to share it with anyone else is very selfish indeed. However, instead of seeking out the last donut or instead of seeking it all, what if it were given to you? What if my sister came up to me and said, “Here is the last donut brother, you can have it.” What if my dad came to me and said, “I bought a dozen donuts for you Jeremy, have the whole box.” Then my desire to consume it all wouldn't be so selfish because it was given to me. What would be selfish is if someone offered me all and I didn't take it. If my sister sacrificed by offering me the last donut and I refused it or if my dad went all the way to the store just to buy me a box of donuts that I turned down. That would be selfish. That would be thinking about myself only and ignoring the sacrifices that others have made. However, I've found that Jesus did just that. He offered us His all and sacrificed everything to give us something that we would never have been able to purchase by ourselves. He offers us a daily relationship with a Savior and King. As wonderful an opportunity as that is, why is it that we don't always accept it? Could it be our selfish nature? My prayer is Lord, make me so hungry for more of you that I want EVERYTHING that you have to offer. A relationship is what you make of it. So take time to get the most out of the relationship that Christ has offered you.

By the way, did you eat the last donut?

Pastor Jeremy

Monday
Jan262015

Take the Leap

One night last week I was playing with Kai in his room before bedtime. He wanted to play a game where he stands on his bed and jumps into my arms. We did that a couple of times at close range then he wanted me to scoot back a little bit. So I scoot back but I don't just scoot back a little, I scoot all the way back to the other side of his room. He looks at me with a half grin and asks, “Can you really catch me from that far?” My response was, “The question is not whether I can catch you but whether you are willing to take the leap.”

In Matthew 14:22-33, Peter did something that no one else besides Jesus has ever done. He walked on water. The disciples were on the boat when the winds began to pick up. Seeing Jesus walking towards them on the water they thought him to be a ghost. Peter calls out, “Lord, if that's you, tell me to come to you on the water.” Jesus told him to “come.” Peter didn't ask “If I sink, will you catch me.” Instead, he stepped out of the boat and began to walk towards Jesus. We know how that story ended. Peter did walk on water for a bit but when he got his eyes off Jesus, he began to sink. At that moment, Jesus was right there to lift him up.

Let me ask you, if going after Jesus meant you had to step out of the boat, how many would be willing to do so? Sometimes God calls us to things that are beyond our level of experience or comfort. Following God in those situations involves us doing something we've never done. It involves us taking a leap. Like Kai, we ask, “God, will you catch us if we fall?” What a silly question to ask a God who knows the very number of hairs on your head (Luke 12:7). The God who knit you together in your mother's womb (Psalm 139:13). The question is never will God catch us but rather will you take the leap to be where Jesus has called you to be.

God's arms are open and He's standing right there. Are you willing to take the leap today?

Jump for Jesus,

Pastor Jeremy

Monday
Dec082014

Eaten Alive

Last night, the Discovery Channel aired a 2 hour special titled, “Eaten Alive.” It was advertised that in this special Paul Rosolie was going to be eaten alive by an Anaconda (he was wearing a protective suit so he could survive the encounter). I did not watch this special but at its conclusion, the social media world erupted with disappointment. As it turns out, the snake barely had the helmet of Paul in his mouth when the snake began to constrict on Paul's body. When Paul's arm started to torque, the adventurer called for help in fear that the snake would break his arm. Show over. And with it many felt as if 2 hours of their life was wasted on a false hope that a man would be eaten alive by a huge snake. One twitter account stated, “Calling it Eaten Alive is like having a show on the Food Network about cooking a turkey and all they do after 2 hours is preheat the oven.”

Let's ignore the fact that something is seriously wrong with America when people won't attend a 1 hour church service on a Sunday but will spend 2 hours watching and hoping a man gets eaten by a snake. One thing that caught my attention about this story is the hype. Marketing experts took this story line and ran with it. No one has ever attempted a feat of this nature, on purpose anyway. This was going to be an epic event that you must watch! A see it to believe it type of event. All of the hype and the promo that was put into this special only to waste 2 hours of the viewers life. Only to cause the viewer to realize that what Discovery had to offer really wasn't as great as they said it was.

Although there is nothing sinful in watching that 2 hour special, isn't this tactic a popular one that the enemy likes to use. He likes to over-promise and under-deliver. In the end, you are left with a bag of disappointment because what you were given was not what you were promised. In Numbers 23:19 God's Word says, “God is not a man, that He should lie. Does He speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” When God shows you a promo clip, you better believe He has ALL of the resources necessary to make it happen. When God says check this out then you can watch in confidence for 2 hours knowing that what He said is about to become a reality. As a country we need to start putting more stock into the hype surrounding God. You want to see something spectacular take place, spend an hour or two in God's presence and watch what He will do.

Hyped about God,

Pastor Jeremy

Wednesday
Dec032014

Until the Wheels Fall Off

I drive a 2000 Ford Taurus that's odometer is currently registered at just over 227,000 miles. I'm sure you've heard the phrase, “I'm going to drive my car until the wheels fall off.” I take that phrase literally and almost did drive my car until the wheels fell off. Up until last November, “Betsy” (my Taurus) has been a pretty dependable car. Since November of 2013, I have had to replace the engine, fuel pump, starter and brake pads.

Recently, I was noticing that my car was driving pretty rough. As the car picked up speed it felt like a spaceship getting ready for take off. The steering wheel would vibrate violently and the ride was like that of a tractor on a gravel road. I chalked up this rough ride to the fact that the car was old, things were breaking down and thus the ride was not as smooth as it used to be back in the day. Thank God for the mechanic who replaced my fuel pump because he advised me that 3 of my 4 tires had the metal exposed. One tire was so bad they didn't even feel comfortable driving it down the street to test drive it. That would explain why my car drove like it did.

Those tires are now replaced and my Taurus is riding like a Cadillac (well, maybe not quite that smooth). I now look back at all the bumpy rides I had and think, those could have been avoided had I only looked at the tires sooner. Life isn't always smooth. Some days are bumpy and things in your life start to vibrate violently. As humans, we are quick to blame everyone else as the reason why our life isn't running more smoothly. If we are honest with ourselves, we will notice that maybe we have some metal exposed in the tires of our lives. Maybe the problem isn't with everyone else, maybe the problem is we need to replace some things personally. Is envy beginning to show through in your life? Replace it with new tires of contentment (Philippians 4:11). Is bitterness revealing itself? Replace those tires with new tires of forgiveness (Colossians 3:13). Is pride poking its ugly head through? Replace it with new tires of humility (James 4:10).

Want a smoother ride in your life? Check your tires first, maybe it's time to make some changes.  Don't wait until the wheels fall off.

Ride Smooth,

Pastor Jeremy