2015 Sermons & Evening Studies...

31 December 2015   Stand Up!   Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice  sermon notes

What if Elijah had refused to talk to Ahab, or Jezebel? What if Noah had never confronted his culture those 100 years before the flood, or if Jesus had hidden from the Pharisees, or Godly men and women throughout the ages did not deal with evil and corruption they saw around them? This is a special day for many American churches ~ it is Pulpit Freedom Sunday! The church and the pulpit is to be the bringer of truth, the applicator of salt to preserve the good, and bearer of light to illumine darkness... for years our pulpits served that purpose, but political correctness and threats of IRS intervention and anti-religion attacks have eroded this stand over the last century, and yet to not fulfill this role is to deny Christ. Deacon Joshua Justice brings the Word today, and looking through history, brings this role to the fore showing God's response to those who bring the salt, bring the light, and bring truth to a world that prefers political correctness, doesn't mind turning rank, and is quickly growing dark. Come, listen, and see how challenging the wrong in culture brings truth and light to your life, and just might fight that silly political correctness...

27 December 2015  Transitions!   Pastor Chuck Clawson   sermon notes/scriptures

Ah, transitions! From childhood to adulthood, from learner to teacher, from independent to aged... we all face numerous changes and chapters during our time on this earth. It is an important truth that whenever we can, we choose to study and learn from those changes. Often what happens in the natural the Lord allows or even designs to teach us what will happen in the spiritual and is based on our understanding and responses to the situations before us. Hopefully each transition moves us from one step to the next as fulfillment of dreams and deepening of Godly character, but not always. The opinions of others often sway our thinking, and set a pattern for each change. Knowing God's opinions of us are essential to dealing with a lifetime of transitions. We tend to not think of danger and disappointments, sudden changes and unexpected hardships, as being blessings in our lives, but God is bigger than our expectations, our dreams, and our understanding.... Listen as Pastor Clawson, in this, his last official sermon in the Covenant Bible Fellowship pulpit, shares how to view, respond to, and successfully navigate the sudden changes and the long shifts which come throughout our lives and are our "transitions".

20 December 2015   Christ, the Hope of the World    Pastor Billy Robertson    sermon scriptures

An unassuming little baby boy, born to a very young mother and a poor carpenter.  What kind of person would pay attention to this poor family, coming to the temple in Jerusalem at such a busy time?  Two paid particular attention, and both Simeon and Anna were led by the Holy Spirit of God to realize the fulfilled promise this little baby boy represented.  Hope.  Hope for the entire world, from the beginning of time until its ending, for Israelite and stranger alike.  Hope in new beginnings, hope of shed sin, hope of a future that is different from the burdens of the past, and the hope of an internal peace and communion with the God of the Universe.  Hope that allows you to die in peace and to know that eternity is settled and in your favor.  Hope based in absolute truth.  Hope is a knowledge, not a feeling - it is knowing that Jesus is absolutely Who He claims to be.  Hope.

6 December 2015   Pride!   Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice  sermon scriptures
"Pride goeth before destruction..."  Pride.  Its a terrifying thing -- it brought down Satan himself,  It can do the same thing to us, spiritually... Wisdom is seeing things from God's perspective, but when pride comes in, wisdom goes out... Pride leads us to abandon prudence and caution in favor of foolishness and the rejection of truth, of God, and often even of others.  we become so self-focused that we allow ourselves to be deceived and even ignore obvious reality.  Pride...many a man has been brought low by this insidious root of evil ... from Nebuchadnezzar to Alexander the Great to Napoleon to Hitler... Pride destroyed them all.  Some repented, some did not.  Nebuchadnezzar spent seven years thinking himself a dumb animal until he came to his senses and returned humbled to his throne.  Others did not all respond quite as well... The "pride problem" is rampant in mankind.  How we deal with it determines whether we, like Nebuchadnezzar or Saint Paul, choose to recognize our place and the place of the God of the Universe, or we continue to fight Him and get cast down to the lowest places possible, as Satan found as he was removed from being second in the heavenly kingdom to awaiting his chains in hell itself.  Pride.  Your choice, your focus... choose humility and wisdom and turn to God or continue to reject wisdom and prudence, focus on self, and await your coming, earned destruction.
29 November 2015   Can I Get A Witness?   Guest Speaker Major Will Cundiff,  the Petersburg/Central Virginia Salvation Army  
Maj. Cundiff's bios     sermon notes
      "You said, and I believed!" Major Cundiff's cry to the Almighty was one of a despairing but faithful father, leaning fully on the promises of Scripture and on the power and faithfulness of an ever-present and omniscient God. He hears and He answers...

     Major Cundiff's testimonial explains the walk that not only makes the Salvation Army one of the most effective churches in the world at DOING the work of the disciple and apostle, but of reaching into areas that are lost, hurting, and handing desperate people hope, faith, and the skills and tools to turn thier lives into a witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. If every person who calls themselves a Christian, no matter the denomination, would approach his or her faith with the determination to walk the talk and love the lives of those around them as Major Cundiff and his wife Sue do, then this world would be a much safer and better place. Listen as Major Cundiff provides the example of a discipler and sold out follower of the Lord Jesus Christ... After the sermon, Major Cundiff was gracious enough to give a brief and compelling history and review of the Salvation Army and the work that it has and continues to do to share hope, compassion, practical outreach and the love of life and others through Jesus Christ. 

22 November 2015   Thanksgiving!   Pastor Charles P. Clawson    sermon notes

 From William Bradford, Governor of the Pilgrims of Massachusetts to Jonah's understanding of the thankfulness due to God even when you are in the worst of straights (say, the belly of a really big fish??) to believers today, Thanksgiving is a particularly important time of reflection and gratefulness for God's ever-present providence and supply for us.  In good times and bad, the Lord is always there.  Job recognized His presence and lamented that his words were not captured and written in stone with lead to testify to the continued presence of his Lord, the Creator of all the world.  The Lord wants each of us, like Job, to see His constant watching over us as well... for we will, one day, all stand before that Great White Throne to answer for our time here on earth, and to stand in judgment for how we responded to the salvation promise of His son....  It is not enough to be saved~ we must live saved!  Thanksgiving... a time of reflection, gratefulness, and the deep and abiding awareness that when we trust, obey, and follow the commandments and leading of the Lord Jesus, we will for eternity have peace, guidance, and a crown and a seat in heaven with Him.

15 November 2015   Determination-A Study in Daniel    Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice          sermon notes

In the Babylonian world, the king was all things and yet a captured Jewish princeling becomes one of the most important leaders of the kingdom, and does it without losing either his sense of self, or his loyalty to Jehovah.  Daniel is a study in calm determination as well as respect for authority.  He set himself to keep his convictions and still meet the needs of his overlords by prayerfully approaching and making a proper appeal to those in charge.  Daniel searched beyond the obvious to the root of Nebuchadnezzar's training demands which came against his Jewish upbringing to find the spirit of the training and find a way to live up to both his authority's needs and of God's law.  In response, as with Joseph, God blessed him with favor in a difficult situation... and He will do the same for us, if we, like Daniel, dare to have a purpose firm and dare to make it known.

8 November 2015  1 Kings 14:25-31  Judah's Judgment       Pastor Chuck Clawson   

What you say and what you do should line up or there are consequences to be paid, and most folks will put more weight on what you actually do, since what is said can be so easily dismissed. Rehoboam's words and behaviours cost his kingdom most of the wealth and strength of his portion of his father Solomon's united kingdom. Solomon had set the stage for what would be the downfall of his son's kingdom when over the years of his reign he had slowly turned from the prescriptions of Jehovah and followed other gods and practiced activities from which God has said to refrain. One who was from a once a friendly family and ally now became the instrument of God's correction on Judah. Pharaoah Shishak saw that he had an opportunity to expand his power, wealth and lands by attacking and invading Solomon's divided kingdom. He saw that Rehoboam was a weak and prideful man unable to wholly defend his own lands. Shishak took advantage... Like today, if we take for granted our wealth and strength afforded us by Jesus Christ, and turn to the ways of the world, do activities the Bible says we should avoid, and neglect communion with our Lord, it is very possible that Egypt (a picture of the world and its systems and selfish behaviours) may very well invade our holdings, our families, and our peace. Be careful to follow in the footsteps of the Master only... others will lead you astray.

1 November 2015    The Nature of God , or I AM    Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice    sermon notes

To fully understand the vast measure of His grace, you need to have at least a rudimentary understanding of the nature of God, Himself.  He is more than we can ever understand, but He does not withold all knowledge from us, and in fact tells us to ask Him for wisdom which will lead to understanding which will lead, if you are honest with yourself, with a deep and soul-shaking revelation of our place in the universe...  He gives to us both specific and general grace.  Do you know the difference?  If not, learn it.  Do you understand grammatical tenses?  "I AM" is in a tense we almost cannot explain in English... Do you know what that tense means?  If not, learn it.  Do you know the size of the cosmos? where does life really come from? what is the true meaning of life? the power it takes to direct the Almighty? or just what is the most meaningful thing you can do in life?  So many questions! So many answers that elude mankind, unless they choose to learn of God and His nature...  Of His nature, the Bible says that God is good, so here is something to remember ~ if God is good, then being good is, therefore, being Godlike....   Deacon Josh explores and explains the foundational nature of God.  We are challenged to understand and be like Him. If you do not understand, and you do no know His nature, if you are struggling with meaning in life, if you do not have an answer for even one of the above questions, listen and learn ~ it will make all the difference in your walk here on earth, and maybe even for your eternity.   
 

1 November 2015  Followers Will Suffer  Pastor Billy Robertson       sermon notes

Trials and tribulations, problems, hurts, pains, distress.... it is the lot of humankind in this fallen world, and the Christian is not above being affected by the troubles of this life.  Now, what do you do with it?  Are you a whiner, complainer, entitled to nothing but peace and good things because you've called on the name of Jesus? Or, are you someone willing to accept situations, look for the best and the lessons in them, and apply your heart to understand what God will bring out of them?  What if Joseph had harbored a root of bitterness, or if Moses had decided to give up going back to Pharoah while being rejected again and again, or if Paul had left it all for an easier life after all the beatings, shipwrecks, and disappointments and betrayals...  Life's purpose is not to make us happy, physically wonderful, or even to have no troubles at all~ life is just the general condition in which we all exist in this fallen world.  Man's purpose here is to glorify God and to point those who do not know Him towards Him and His comfort, will and plans for each one of us.  He will not leave us without joy, but He makes plans that strengthen and train us to deal with this fallen world and to prepare us for our eternity. We show our willingness to be a part of His plans by trusting Him and responding to life with an eye ever towards Him and a secure knowledge that the promises of eternity are yea and amen in Him.

18 October 2015  A New Creature In Christ   Pastor Billy Robertson  sermon notes
Here is a truth that folks can deny, but no one can change ~ the natural man cannot perceive God, therefore, he consequently cannot please God. There are only two type of people in the world, and both serve a master that reflects the character of that service~ we serve either the god of this world, or the Creator of the Universe, but most people don't realize it, refuse to admit it, or actually believe they, through some fancy negotiation, can convince the God of Eternity to take them on their terms as His own...  Only the power that makes a world can make a Christian....Think of the power and depth it takes to change a person from the inside out and wholly renew mind and spirit.  We can make changes by choice, but we cannot make a change that will usher us into the throne room of God without bringing our old and sinful coverings with us... Only the power that makes a world can free us from ALL the baggage we carry from choices and attitudes and just being human.....only through God's love and grace can we truly by new creatures in Christ!
 
18 October 2015   Vanity, Vanity (or God's Idea of Perfection)     Deacon Joshua Justice   sermon notes
The Preacher of Ecclesiastes, after a lifetime of experimentation, finally declared that all of life if vanity... if we live it without the focus/goal that God has laid out to be like/emulate/grow to become "the perfect man"...  Deacon Josh points out the way to honor the goal of perfection and thereby leave vanity in the dust....  You want peace? happiness? a fulfilled life?  It might be wise to find out God's idea of perfection ~ He clearly says. "Mark the perfect man..."
4 October 2015   Back to Basics - The State of Man   Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice   sermon notes

No matter how smart you are or how much you know, it is necessary from time to time to look at the big picture...  Here is the beginning of the foundation of the faith~ We are the image and reflection of God Himself. Our job is to let the people around us know that we are important to the Creator of the Universe because we are His special creation, and made by His hand, not just His word! We have His fingerprints on our souls! The choices we make, now, today, show whether or not we understand that our role here is to be a picture and example of the life and wholeness of God. He didn't need us-we need Him.  We are His workmanship and made to be with Him, but are full of the sin of pride and self-will and in our flesh are a mockery of the God of the Universe.  Wow~ made to be His reflection in the earth, we often choose to turn our back and be a reflection of anything BUT Him... the state of man  on his own is to be sinful, willful, and a rebellious creation.  That does not change His love for us, but does hurt and disappoint Him deeply. We grieve Him greatly, and often draw forth His wrath. Only because of His love for us and by His great grace do continue to breathe and be.    As a loving parent, He will punish to correct and draw our attention and He also continuously works to call us and to bring us back to our state of innocence so we might walk with Him as we did before sin entered the world...

 

4 October 2015   Barriers   Pastor Billy Robertson   sermon notes

Overcoming things that make us less than effective in our walk includes setting aside traditions and listening to the heart and seeing the power of God as He leads us to reach out to others.  Some are like the lepers of the day--don't touch them!  But Jesus did...  Some are like the gentiles of the day--don't go into their homes! But Jesus did... Some are like the sinners of the day... don't eat with them! But Jesus did...  Yes, we are to "come out from among them" and to not be like them, but we are also to reach out in love and share truth with them.  To come out does not mean to become totally separated from the world; it means to not behave, think, do or respond like the world, and also to spend time alone with the Father, learning His wisdom and following His Word.  Our work is to share Who Jesus is and to show the world around us by becoming more and more like Jesus ourselves.  That may mean we sit down at a table with the sinners, we enter the house of a gentile centurion, or we touch the lives of the absolute dregs of society... it means we love and still not compromise the message of Jesus the Christ, the Holy One of God.

11 October 2015   1 Kings 14:17-24 Death in Israel, Judah Sins   Pastor Clawson 

The saga of the decline of kings continues. Every transition has the hope of the next being better... it is never sure, and often it is a continuation of the old. Long reigns have the people lulled into thinking what is now is what always was, and therefore change is subtle and slow unless a bold leader stands strong to make a difference in the direction of the country. Until things become unbearable, most people will just keep moving forward, go along with whatever the current system is, and not really pay attention to the directions they are headed as a people, assuming their leaders will just do the right things... So it is in every nation, and so it was in Israel and Judah... they were straying farther and farther from the God of their fathers, rejecting Jehovah's ways, and setting themselves up for destruction...

27 September 2015  The Grace and Peace of God   Pastor Billy Robertson   sermon notes 

Peace, grace and God... if you want any peace at all, it all depends on whether you are covered by the unlimited grace of a holy God, the God Who made you, the God Who loves you, and the God Who offers a way out of the torments of guilt and fears that come just because we are finite and human.  God is neither finite nor human, and is not bound by our envys, fears, or our human nature, and yet He loves us, with all our failings and weaknesses. His holiness demands perfection, but that we cannot attain ~ not  through hopes, dreams, wishes or... works.  Many people live trying to earn enough good points to make it in the gates, but the Lord does not count our works for perfection or righteousness.  Therein is our problem... Jeremiah says man tends to leave God and His continual flow of grace, and make for ourselves "cisterns, broken cisterns that hold no water"... the cisterns of good works and man's plans...   So, if good works won't earn the ticket into heaven,  what does?  Perfection.  Holiness.  And we cannot do that... but He can.  His Grace is the only thing that can open the gates to eternity with Him the only fountain that can fill us with the power we need to properly live with strength and peace.  It is His Grace alone that can stop the voices, calm the spirit, and bring us home. It is His Grace, His love, and His fellowship with us, His creations, that will bring His Peace into our lives. Any upset, any problem, any situation, can be dealt with when we are covered in His Grace, and walking in His love, mercy, covering and Peace.  

 
27 September 2015  Promises   Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice   sermon notes
Promises... The promises of God are yea and amen, but there is more to it than just expecting some thing to occur, come blessing to fill our lives, some plan to come to fruit because we claim it on the Bible and tell God to keep the promise of making good the desires of our hearts. "If My people who are called by My name....."   Godly promises are given to those who first understand Godly fear, both awe and trembling, and who first dedicate their every heart's motives to being held to God's standards.   Promises ~ they are real, and they are yea and amen, but know first what is your place in the equation.  And always remember, acknowledging His holiness and power is the first step to receive properly the benefits of His promises. 
 
20 September 2015    Fear    Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice  sermon notes

You want to understand God?  Fear is the place to start. "Oh, Pastor!  Just what do you mean by that??? Isn't God all love and compassion???"  Hmmmm ~ Did you know that fear, like any other emotion, is something God gave to us?  Fear~it is a protection response!!  Many think of the illogical and over-the-top paralyzing emotion that freezes you in place, that puts you into harm's way, and conclude that fear is a bad thing.  Well, a paralyzing response IS a bad thing, but fear itself is not.  Without fear, we'd put our hands into the fire to test the heat, or scramble down a sheer cliff without ropes and equipment, or pick on the guy who is twice our size and really mean... Fear has its place, especially when it brings us to an understanding of the holiness and justice of an almighty God.... Fear, the thing which keeps us in the palm of His hand.....
 

13 September 2015    1 Kings 14:11-16 Oh, Jeroboam!     Pastor Charles P. Clawson

 

xxx

 
6 September 2015  Excuses!   Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice    A song all about... excuses! :-)

Just what did you put off today that you rationalized? explained away? ignored? decided was not important, even though its a task that needs to be done or an urging from the Lord? The Lord wants to be about our business, and to not be a waster of His time or resources... to not make excuses for the simple sins, but to clear away those bits of old man and become more and more like Him... Excuses, the rationalizations of error, the choices to not do what the Master has called us to do... 

 
6 September 2015  A Challenge to Believers...   Pastor Billy Robertson    scripture list

Comfort and establish, the Word and the work ~ 2 Thessalonians is a book of admonitions, warnings, and glorious promises.  In these chapters Paul calls on believers to look up and be realistic in dealing with the problems of their day, and to know there is a consequence for each choice, both reward and punishment. Paul was a balanced Christian, who could confront the naysayer, work with the downtrodden, and keep the message of the Gospel ever before him and all who knew him.  He was learned, spiritual, understood his times, involved, practical, and unwilling to compromise his strongly held and proven beliefs.  We are to look to Paul and his teaching, to his encouragements, to his epistles, and hold fast to the things we have been taught by Jesus and His followers. Pastor Billy reminds us, too, that the Apostle most of all wanted believers both then and now to be hopeful and expectant when looking forward to heavenly rewards and realistic and practical while living on this earthly plane... we are to be balanced Christians... hopeful, expectant, willing to be involved, and worthy of the work and the Word which establishes us. 2Th 2:15-17  “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.  Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,  Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.”

23 August 2015  Genesis 12:14-20 Egypt   Pastor Clawson

Egypt, often used as a picture of the world, of a place that Christians can be tempted to walk away from the faith, and yet God calls Egypt His second son and used that country to shelter Mary, Joseph and Jesus when they were hiding from Herod's killing squads.  Not all the world is evil, and not all the world is horrible, but it is still the world, it makes its own rules (often without God) and is in need of a savior.  Abraham's travels through Egypt serve as a picture of what God's people should not do, and how the world might react.  We must remember that often the reactions we receive have as much to do with how we present ourselves as it does with the message we give.  Truthfulness is not morality, and morality is not a religion. But, religion without morality grafted upon its very core, is useless. Morality must be at the center of religion's behavior, or "religion" produces sin... Abraham stumbled due to fear, and fell to that fear, but believed in the God He served.  His faith dictated his change, especially when confronted by the Pharoah who demanded truth.  Abraham repented, learned, and was given grace by both God and the powers that be... it may not always be that way with us, but if we never deceive in the first place, we won't have to find out....

 

23 August 2015   1 Kings 14:1-10 Jeroboam`s Fate      Pastor Charles P. Clawson

Even when we are given the strongest of warnings, mankind has a tendency to charge ahead, rationalizing the wrong choices or refusing to see what is a fool's mission. Pride, shortsightedness, lack of wisdom~ whatever the reasoning, Jeroboam's life, and eventual death, serves as a clear signpost from which we should all take heed and consider aligning ourselves against the clear warnings that God gives us both in His Word and by His Spirit... (note:mechanical failures did not allow the entire discussion to be recorded. Pastor's notes covering the entire study can be accessed upon request.)

 

16 August 2015  The Balance   Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice

Faith and works? Faith vs works?  The Christian walk requires we balance the two... for years the argument has gone back and forth as to which, faith or works, were supreme, but Deacon Josh lays out the case that neither are, while at the same time, both are.  Faith in balance with works and works in balance with faith is absolutely essential to serving the Master faithfully and keeping the self out of the way.  If we want to do what He has called us to do, and not be one of those who just use His name to do what WE choose to do, then listen, look deep in your soul, and see if you have struck the right balance...

 
16 August 2015    Do You Have A Connection With God?     Pastor Billy Robertson  

How long before the judgment falls on America?  How long before each of us must face a holy God? None of us know when we will be called to an accounting for our time on earth.  We may have decades, or we may be called today... A wise student studies everyday,the foolish waits to cram; a wise cook plans meals, the foolish wastes food by not using it and letting it spoil... The wise Christians keep their lamps filled and trimmed, the foolish ones sleep and when the bridegroom arrives, are not let into the wedding feast since they were unprepared and had no oil in their lamps.... At some point, God will call us to His throne room to be held accountable for what we did with His son. It is appointed for each one of us to one day die, go before the Lord and stand in judgment for reward, or for punishment...What have you done with Jesus, the Son? Eternity is a very long time to wait until tomorrow to be prepared to face the accounting that comes...

 

9 August 2015     What Does God Desire?       Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice          scripture list

  We cannot be upset when we turn what should be freedom into pain and suffering... what a concept! We seem to have a false definition of humility, acting more like everything is a personal sacrifice rather than the joy of response.  We as Christians, when we do not understand God's heart, the desires He has for us, or the will He wants us to follow, turn the free exercise of His desires in prison-like boundaries... all because we do not understand His goals and plans.  We replace them with our own and then get upset, angry, depressed or feel lost entirely because we expected something other than the consequence of leaving our first love, of turning His freedom into excess or worse yet, giving our goals and behaviours the place of honor and respect that His are to have.  We often unwittingly push Him off the throne and out of the war room and proceed to fight a battle that is not ours and that we cannot win.  What are His goals? What does God desire?  Deacon Josh makes a clear case of the need for transparent relationship and willing service to a Holy God that transcends ourselves and that touches and follows the heart of God Himself.  The goal? to be a man or woman after God's heart... Christian, it is not impossible, but it cannot be done without setting aside our preconceived traditions, our pharisaical behaviours, and truly sit at the feet of the Master, reading His Word, and seeking His face and His desires.... And what might they be? worship, love, faithfulness, humility, and walking side-by-side with Him.

9 August 2015   Walking in the Spirit    Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice     scripture list

 Once we decide to follow the Lord, our hearts turn to Him, and our hope is to keep that clean, free feeling from the moment we realize our sins are forgiven and gone... but somehow the battle returns and we must often go back to the Lord, ask for His help in fighting the fight, and submit to the training and corrections we need to be again free.  But, here, there is good news~ we are no longer sinners without a hope, but are believers with an advocate Who will give us the direction and power to walk free from the weight and behaviours of sin choices.  Deacon Joshua encourages us in this discussion to realize that our sins have been, are, and will be forgiven--we belong to God.  As our Father, He will be there and only if we refuse His grace, will we be again crushed by the weight of our choices.  We can and should walk in the Spirit...Understanding what that is, and how, is a core foundation of living a life of faith and joy. To walk in the Spirit IS the daily battle, one we can win, but one we must fight...daily ~~ Listen, as Deacon Josh leads us to the habit of "Walking in the Spirit".

 
2 August 2015  The Answer      Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice          scripture list

So, Christian... where is your God?  How come you believe in that old book?  What is your answer to THAT, eh???  Many a time we are called into question about our trust and reliance in God.  The world scoffs, wonders, and does not understand... they expect some magic panacea that will fix everything, make it all according to their wishes... but we serve Someone greater, Someone Who has designed a much longer-ranged plan than they can imagine.  We serve Someone Who has already won the end game and wants us on His side when that last play cinches the deal and wins the battles forever.  Deacon Josh lays clear why and how we can and should respond to those who ask these questions~ come, listen, as Deacon Josh lays out clearly for us....The Answer.

26 July 2015   Genesis 12:6-9  Abram Starts...         Pastor Chuck Clawson

Called from his settled home, Abram and his family now travel into Canaan... and then keep travelling...  The land was suffering from a famine, so now was not the time to settle down.  Abram's travels are similar to our own Christian pathway.  Often, when we finally follow the call of the Lord, we hope to settle down to a peaceful and uneventful, even no-stress, life. Often God has other plans...  Follow Abram as he travels through what will become the heritage of his children and grandchildren.  Go with him as he, Sarai, and their entrourage walk through Canaan to Egypt and back to the land that Isaac, Jacob and their descendants will call their own.  And, see if it doesn't hint at just a bit of the walk the dedicated Christian is called to follow...   

26 July 2015  1 Kings 13:26-34  The End   Pastor Chuck Clawson

Learning from the mistakes of others, especially from the mistakes of those who try to wholly follow God, is one of the most valuable habits the Christian can have.  As human beings, we are fallible and frail, often falling into traps we either don't see or refuse to recognize, and many times we make choices that cost us and others around us... but that does not mean God has thrown us away nor has he abandoned us. It does mean we may have to pay the price here, however, rather than pay it in eternity... 

 
19 July 2015   Resting In God's Sovereignty   Pastor Billy Robertson  scripture list

Problems and pitfalls ... we all have them.  Problems are part of life, and have been around since the dawn of time. Pitfalls are often of our own making (and Pastor Billy lists several... take note!) Mankind's responses to life goes through predictable cycles of looking to  and having trust in God, to trusting in man and his ways of doing things, to problems which overwhelm and destroy, to being driven to our knees, and returning to seeking God and His ways. Today's world has hit another cycle of discounting the Almighty, and we have once more slipped into the man-centered lifestyle of "we are our own gods...."  We have lost the Biblical perspective of the majestic nature of God.  We have lost focus on Him and see Him as some small, twisted, man-defined character in a play where man's intelligence and reason, not faith and a high and holy Father, is center stage. How big is your God?  Do you believe what He says about Himself, or do you attempt to define Him by your own small, puny-minded terms?  Whichever definition you use, will guide your faith, your walk, and heavily impact your life.  Deny the sovereignty of God, rely on yourself as the standard, and suffer the consequences; agree to His description of Himself, and see into eternity and walk a life of unexpected peace and rest, as well as challenges that call out of you your very best self.

 
19 July 2015   The Secret   Deacon/lay Leader Joshua Justice              C.S. Lewis quote from Mere Christianity

The Chrisitan faith... like others, it provides guidance and succor to those who follow it, but the Christian belief system rests on things very different from other systems.  Yes, it answers questions, like "Why are we here? What is the meaning of life? Just what is the secret to this thing we call faith?" Deacon Joshua asks each of us now," Do you have faith? What about other religions, do they promote faith??? So what is so different between Christianity and all other belief systems, especially if they all have some sort of faith expression?"  The answer is that Christianity IS different from ALL other faiths....... and we have the answer to that difference.  We have the key to the answers because we have access to and can understand "The Secret". 

 
12 July 2015   Genesis 12:1-5  Hello, Abram!  Pastor Chuck Clawson

A prominent astronomer and avowed Christian was once asked, "If our world is so little, and the universe is so great, how can we believe that God can pay any attention to each and every one of us?"  With a smile, the astronomer replied, "It all depends, entirely, on how big a God you believe in..." The life of a servant of God is like the light of the sun~to some it brings a blessing and warmth which causes and encourages growth in those who receive it; to others the sun brings heat, decay, and hardship... it is all in how the individual receives the light and all in whether they, and we, respond or react..... So, just how big is your God?  If God called on you, as He did Abram, what would you do?  He calls each of us today, and has probably already tried to reach you somewhere along your pathway... Did you know? Are you listening? Have you responded? Is your God big enough for you to follow in the footsteps of the Friend of God, Abram??  Will you choose to respond to the Light of the Son? Or, are you reacting, complaining, and only feeling the heat of His call? And, have you just tuned into a small, weak voice which belongs to your version of a small, weak god, and chosen to go on about your day as though there is no possibility of the miraculous belonging to you... 

12 July 2015     1 Kings 13:20-25 Wrong Choice--Dead Wrong!      Pastor Charles P. Clawson

The prophet of Judah had chosen to rest, now that his confrontation was over, and then gave in to the request of an older prophet of Israel to come to his home to rest, eat, and drink. This was directly in opposition to what God Himself had told the younger man, and he was warned if he did not obey, his life would be cut short. And so it was... The prophet of Bethel, in lying to the prophet from Judah, gave the Judeah an opportunity to follow what God said or follow what a man told him.... The Judean had let down his guard, and listened to the word of a stranger who presented himself as a brother in Jehovah; in so doing, he jeopardized everything he had done... We are human, just like the two prophets. We, too, have great successes and stunning failures~failures that often come through seemingly little changes, little steps, little waverings.... How often do we turn from the plain Word of God, listen to the whispers of society, and forsake the Savior by that seemingly little compromise, rationalized by emotions, strain, fear, or just plain wanting to fit in...

5 July 2015  Do You Love Me?  Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice 

#lovewins.... really? Just what is meant by that? What is "love" and how does it win? Win what?  Hollywood and today's culture presses on us that love is just a matter of chemistry, a feeling alone, and that when those feelings control you, their brand of "love" is now supreme, and all other things must bow to it, thereby making lives run by feelings first the supreme method of deciding all choices.   God defines love differently... Jesus asked Peter three times, "...do you love me?"  He affirmed yes, three times, and yet he was pressed by the Lord to come to a deeper understanding that love is not a feeling, it is not a legal definition, but it is part of the character of God and is defined by His character.  Yes, love wins, but not the way the governments of men say.... love wins when we sacrifice our wants for someone else's needs, love wins when we submit to the Lordship of Jesus the Christ, and love wins when we use His definition and apply it to our daily lives.  Using the definitions man has twisted, and today's culture seems to demand, leads to an empty shadow of the truth, and then only the enemy wins........

 

28 June 2015     Genesis 11:27-32  Hello, Terah!       Pastor Chuck Clawson

"We will flounder before we throw freedom away"... the story goes that a ship carrying plaster casts of the statue of Freedom on the dome of the capital building was caught in a storm, and the crew, afraid of sinking, wanted to throw the casts overboard.  The captain, however, stopped them and they eventually made it safely to shore.  How often are we willing to throw our freedom in Christ away, because life brings us storms and threatens our peace, even safety?  Today's passage looks carefully at Terah and Abram.  They were willing to take a chance, to move on the word of Almighty God, to trust that He is able to fulfill the promises given, and to go into places unknown...  Are you willing to follow the leading of God? to risk upsetting your friends? leave behind the familiar? to go forward into a freedom because of God's calling that you cannot quite explain?  Terah was, and so was Abram... to the point of Abram being eventually renamed and called The Friend of God.  Now that is worth not throwing the heavy things of life overboard....

28 June 2015    1 Kings 13:11-19 Trials and Temptations     Pastor Charles P. Clawson 

Miracles attended the pronouncement of a man of God who confronted a king bound and determined to "adjust" the religious activity within his new kingdom and provide a "new religion" to keep his people pacified. Jeroboam wanted to keep the focus within his country, but God had other ideas and sent a man to let him know, in very certain terms, that only Jehovah was the one true God. After confronting the king, the man of God now had a test and trial of his own. He was to return to Judah in a way different from whence he had come, and he was to not stop to eat or drink but was to hurry home. Sometimes in the aftermath of the highest triumph against a strong foe, a prophet can be tired, even exhausted, and become careless, over secure in the triumph, or emotionally drained. It is then that the little mistake, the small sin, that whisper from the enemy, can slip in and trip up or even destroy the man or woman of God...

21 June 2015   A Pure Heart    Pastor Billy Robertson      scripture list

Matthew 5:8 "Blessed are the pure in heart"... How pure is your heart?  Pastor Billy first challenges, then encourages us to strive for the goal of a pure, open, peace pursuing attitude.  Only by continually looking to the examples of Scripture and to the model of the Lord Jesus can we make the transition from an earthly, self-centered and "wickedly deceitful" heart, to one which reflects our adopted heavenly parentage and family ...only then can we look and act like our brother, Jesus.  Shadow His steps and approach with His attitude and ways, and pretty soon we will look more and more like we are truly changed and reflecting His character.  A pure heart--that is what allows us to actually see God Himself.

 
14 June 2015   Shem...again!!   Genesis 11:10- 26   Pastor Chuck Clawson 

This chapter, like others in the Old Testament, seems so dry as we read the family lineage and date and name after date and name of the "begottens".... and yet, once we dig more deeply, we see God's hand of mercy and love tracing through the genealogies. Follow the patterns and timings as Pastor Chuck takes us through the lifelines of Shem and his sons and grandsons.... you just might find a challenge to live up to the calling of Christ sooner than later...

 
14 June 2015  1 Kings 13:1-10  The Man of God    Pastor Chuck Clawson

Jeroboam now proceeds to establish his own priesthood and religious events. A huge event to start up this new religion brought an unwanted participant~ God had sent a prophet to denounce both Jeroboam and this new religion. He spoke to the altar, letting the entire congregation know that this interruption was of God and that He is not pleased with Jeroboam's structures built by men for men while attempting to dismiss and replace the ways of God... The king vowed vengence on the man of God and immediately his hand and arm withered; the man of God spoke to the altar and the altar was destroyed with the ashes spilling out... Jeroboam was humbled and afraid before his entire country and asked the man of God to pray to the Lord and restore him... he responded in affliction, but did he stay humbled? Therein lies the lesson for us all...

 
7 June 2015   The Goal     Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice

Setting goals... a constant human activity, but not always productive, so how do we determine profitable goals that will lead us along a path that brings peace, wisdom, and growth in Christ? Goals that will please God? Faith is a part of it, and real faith demands actions... "faith, without works, is dead". Deacon Josh leads us through the Prophet Baalim's life to shows us just how faith in the right, or wrong, places can lead us to take actions that have all sorts of consequences.... and each one is attached to a personal and closely held goal... So, What is your ultimate goal? Here is a challenge--in what, or whom, do you put your faith? The Goal...Are you still dithering, or have you finally chosen the right one, the one which is to please God?

 
31 May 2015  Guest Speakers~  Set Free Richmond, Tonya Perry, Executive Director; Mr. Bob Perry, guest preacher  (Please note that our guest speakers bring their own views and encouragements)  
 
24 May 2015 (Pentecost)   Genesis 11:1-9  Babel   Pastor Chuck Clawson  

Language--the process of expressing thought with sound... communication... ideas, feelings, memories, and concepts that can transfer and be shared between people just using sounds, pictures or hand signs to form symbols that we can all share and with which we "paint pictures in the mind", strive to understand each other, build relationships, invent things, expand each others' plans, adapt to new circumstances, and develop community... Genesis tells us that at one time, all the earth's people spoke one language and came together in common and uniting causes.  During the time of the building of the Tower of Babel, society was sorting itself out ~ cities, towns, edifices and building to be gathering places...  Architecture could serve to show pride in a group or to show strength to a potential rival... Noah and his three sons were evidently still alive when this tower was built, and one can only imagine what the thought of the direction in which mankind was heading.....and oh, what would he think of today? On this Pentecost Sunday, Genesis shows us how the world was divided; Pentecost shows us how to be united again, one people, one language of love, one Lord, one Spirit, one baptism, one group committed to His leadership... And you, are you building a city or a tower to your own strength, or a community that lives to uphold the honor and glory of God?

 
24 May 2015    1 Kings 12:25-33 Jereboam Reigns     Pastor Clawson

Rehoboam's actions towards those who had earlier approached him asking him to relieve their burdens caused the split in the once-unified kingdom, causing him to inherit only the two tribes which became the kingdom of Judah. His father, Solomon, may have been a wise man, but this son was not like his father. He did not listen to petitions of his people nor did he return to the ways of Jehovah. Fears tended his path, especially as he continued to turn from the God of his fathers....

Jeroboam, although not a son of Solomon, was now the king of the other kingdom...Israel. He was farther looking, and spent time fortifying and building up his kingdom, showing a wisdom of the world. However, he committed the same sins of attitude, rejected God's ways, and established his own priesthood and religious events to keep his people from returning to Jerusalem and Solomon's temple. It was an effort to keep the kingdoms separate and therefore keep his dynasty in place. Eventually, he and his paid the price of this apostasy.

 
17 May 2015    God's Reasons      Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice        sermon scripture list

Why?  The 4 year old's question we all often continue to ask the Lord  --  Why illness?  Why death?  Why kill all the babies in those Old Testament cities?  Why?  Deacon Josh takes us through several scriptures that give us a view from God's perspective of holiness versus iniquity, grace and mercy versus judgment and payment for sin... He will bend and hold His judgment until His cup of wrath finally overflows... and that after warnings and callings and signs and mercies to forestall that judgment if the people will just listen and heed... and when we look at things through God's eyes, perhaps the "why" factor can be better understood ~ just like the 4 year old will eventually understand why he cannot pull on the boiling pot or go outside and play in the street or eat only ice cream and skip the peas and carrots.... Why? Because; because He is just; because He is holy; because He gives a lot of wiggle room in His abundant mercy; and because when all of that is rejected, there comes a time when judgment must come...  

 
17 May 2015   Victory at Jericho   Pastor Billy Robertson     sermon scripture lis
 
10 May 2015     Mom & Gifts, a Mother's Day sermon....  Pastor Clawson   

 God and Gifts... He loves gifting people with personality traits, opportunities, pathways, and the chance to develop ministries and skills.  

The Lord has a special place in His plans for parents... Pastor Clawson walks us through the 10 gifts given to moms... gifts that benefit her,

her family, and those whose paths she crosses, especially if she choses to recognize, develop and use those very special gifts from the

Lord...  Mom & Gifts, a Mother's Day sermon.

(Electronic failures prevented the recording of this sermon...click here for the notes, perfect for a personal study on mothers...)

 
3 May 2015   Are You Sure?    Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice        sermon scripture list

   Job, in all his trials and troubles, throughout all the losses and the jabs by enemies and friends alike, never gave up the rock-solid belief and expectation of salvation. " For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. Job 19:25-27   Can you say you are that firm, that rock-solid in your relationship with the Lord?  Do you absolutely have NO doubt as to your salvation? or are you still hedging your bets with good works? with extra tithes? with constant penance? constantly asking forgiveness... never quite getting to that peace folks talk about?   If you do not struggle and come to a place of resolution with the Lord, if you have never had a stray thought (or think you have not), you might want to reconsider your current expectations.  Deacon Josh takes us through some soul searching that even ancient saints needs to conduct, and provides the pathway to rock-solid expectations.... Yes, you can be sure-Biblically, not emotionally, but Biblically sure of your salvation through faith on Jesus the Christ.

 
3 May 2015    Truth    Pastor Billy Robertson       sermon scripture list

Is my truth the same as yours?  Is truth something that can be 'handled, manipulated, massaged' to be a little more reflective of the time, more flexible?  Or, is it something solid, immutable, eternal, and absolutely set...  These days and times seem to beg for moral flexibility, for comparing truths, for adjusting the old-fashioned mores and standards to meet today's definitions and standards.... but where does that leave us with God?  He said He is the Way, the Truth and the Life; He also made clear that He changes not.... hmmmmmmm... it would seem if we want to be modern, we may have a problem with the Eternal One...  

 
26 April 2015     Shem       Pastor Chuck Clawson   

    The genealogical studies continue as Pastor Clawson lays the foundation for the dispersal of families across the entire globe at the conclusion of the flood by looking at the last of the three brothers, Shem.  God had a plan to set families is areas which would then be theirs and in which His name could be taught and His worship be central.  As in all things human, however, people have free will and not all descendants of Noah and his sons continued with the plan and worship of Jehovah.  Man's pride and selfish nature will eventually lead to a total confusion among the nations and peoples, and the seed of that dispersal will soon come with the hatred and resentment between individuals and groups, the pride of conquest, and the Tower of Babel.

17 April 2015     The Greatness of God (Psalm 113)      Pastor Billy Robertson      sermon notes      "Bigger than Any Mountain"

Age.  It’s a natural process that comes to every person on earth… Pastor Billy has just completed 27 years as a Prison Minister and gives his testimony as to the greatness of the Lord and His covering for all those years. It is the praise and worship of His people that brings us close to Him.  He is always there, be we are not always aware until we praise, worship, reach out, and recognize the fire that He is...   Psalm 113:1-9  asks the believer directly,  "Who is like the Lord our God!?"  This short psalm asserts His greatness and the worthiness of praising and worshiping so great a God. Too often the church sees our God as too small, but He is not!   How big is YOUR God??

12 April 2015  Genesis 10:6-20  Ham   Pastor Chuck Clawson

In a time when the giving of names meant a recognition of possibilities and/or character, Genesis shows the long list of the sons of Noah and their impact on the regeneration of the world. As Pastor Chuck goes through the names, the character of the person and the peoples they became begins to show through the later narratives... some were shepherds, others "menstealers" and yet others "merchants",  "those of the high countries" or "the terrorists"...  What we are, we promote...for good or for bad... and it is always our choice...our very lifestyles may be the exact thing that wins others to Christ....

8 April 2015  The 10 Unchangeables   Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice             resource regarding the 10 Unchangeables

God has designed you as a unique individual and has planned a work for you only you can do.  He has given you a particular birthplace and time in history, unique DNA, a definite place in the sibling line, and your gender, your family, your ethnicity, your time of death, and your circumstances.  Although you may have a genetic condition you cannot change, He already planned for that.  You might not care for your eye color, but He planned for that. On all 10 fronts, He has planned for that... He wants to understand we are unique and precious to Him.  It is fine to get braces or to work to repair a medical condition, but when you rail against your birth order, your time in history or get angry at God because of the parents you have, you are stepping on dangerous ground... He has a reason for all of those things.  When we come to realize He created us as beautiful and unique in His plan, we can choose to rise to the top and become our best selves.  We learn to enjoy His plan for us; we get the peace that passes understanding and becomes, settled, joyful, productive, and a blessing to both God and man.... The 10 Unchangeables... 

 
                                 5 April 2015   Easter!    Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice, with narrator Vanessa Justice, & soloists Joshua, Micah, & Phil Justice
                                                This special service uses a different organization, & Deacon Joshua's sermon is embedded within... Please enjoy!    program notes
                                                                                                          Easter Scripture ppt for Deacon Josh's sermon
 
29 March 2015  The Untriumphal Entry -Palm Sunday  Pastor Billy Robertson    sermon scripture list

Palm Sunday...Christians today understand in hindsight Jesus was not coming into the city to incite riots or overthrow the Roman rule, but many in that day were hoping that He was coming to cause an upheaval that would lead to the removal of Rome's heavy hand. Today many come to Christ hoping He will make everything easy and light and every path will be straight with no problems, perfect health, and blessed prosperity... Many today want Jesus to come into their lives and "throw off the yoke of the world and remove the oppression of life in this fallen world"... However, Jesus came to take our punishment and open the door to heaven, wherein we will have no more oppression from the enemy, no more death, no more ill health, no more pain, and no more tears. But, today, we too must first walk our path through this fallen world, be a channel of His love and mercy, and yes, even groan under the weight of this fallen world. Our perfect health, perfect freedom, and blessed prosperity will come, by measure in this world, and fully in the World to Come. The Untriumphal Entry... a look at putting the things of Christ and the events of the Cross into proper perspective and order.

 

22 March 2015  1 Kings 12:12-19 The Kingdom Divides... Pastor Clawson

The Old Testament is more than just a book of stories and histories of nations; it is also a trumpet that warns of of things to come, if we choose to behave as did the people chronicled in its pages... such is this study... The proud and rich nation of Israel is about to undergo rending changes because the leader chose to follow another way, to reject the leadings and teaching of Jehovah, and to walk away from the traditions of faith that had built up over the years and the policy of steward-leadership. Rehoboam's folly and harsh treatment of his people led to an unnecessary rebellion... Today's nations should be forewarned~ if it can happen to them, it can happen to us.......

 

18 March 2015   My What Big Teeth You Have! Wolves in Sheep's Clothing and Who they Are  Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice   notes

People can dress themselves up as those they are not... unless you know the person very well, you can be tricked... The trickster comes so close to the original, that we tend to just accept what is presented.  Sales often has the expectation of getting the trust of the potential client, and most salespeople are just trying to do a job and are not evil people, but some use the salesmanship techniques (like controlling the conversation or speaking just a little over the heads of the potential customer so they tend to look up to the salesman as the expert...) to manipulate and gain influence or control.  These marketing techniques seem to have infiltrated the church and have become used in the "marketing of the Gospel..."  This is not what Jesus wanted us to do... we are not marketers; we are witnesses... but if the focus of the person, or church, is numbers, wealth, personal power, or even just ease in this life, you might want to evaluate the situation and offering being set before you.  It might be time to truly judge what, and who, is set before you....

 

15 March 2015   Human Weakness  Pastor Billy  Robertson     sermon scripture list

Christians are not so perfect as to have no problems... we struggle with old habits, old ways, and old temptations, but we also have a hope and a new way to deal with those old things.  Before Christ, we had only ourselves and those around us, who may or may not be successful, as resources to deal with the situations in which we found ourselves.  Usually, we could do something in the now, and it might bring relief, but the problems often surge back, or set us on a downward spiral.  And, often as not if we are honest, can ascribe the root of each problem to what the Scripture calls "lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life."  Jesus does not promise "easy", but as new creatures in Christ, we have access to a new set of successes and tools, each designed by our Savior to address those problems and attack them at the roots.  We have been redeemed, have a new family, and a new culture... now all we have to do is act like it... and the best part? We are no longer alone in the struggle and we have been promised the victory if we, by faith and choice,  just follow His plan and walk in His footsteps. 

 

8 March 2015  Genesis 9:18-29  That Demon Rum   Pastor Charles P. Clawson   

For many years, the Temperance League fought against hard spirits and often was heard a shout such as "That demon rum is ruining lives!"  Alcohol misuse is not a new thing, nor is the laxness of self-control and the potential for great shame that accompanies excess.  Our first real picture of what happens when one sets aside one's self-control and gives it to hard spirits is a story of shame, family anger, and a curse that extended (and some would say still extends) through hundreds of generations of Noah's family.  It is interesting to note that Ham was the son that did not respect his father, and through his line are those who have often been held as captives, while through the line of Shem comes the tribe to be known as the Israelites.  One will serve the other.... Genesis 9:18-29...

 
 
 
1 March 2015    The Pursuit of Perfection     Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice       

 Perfection... a really loaded, often intimidating, word which brings to mind flawless beauty, sinless behavior, excellence in word and deed, and for many it may also include an impossible goal that eventually leads to a deep depression or debilitating distress, and yet the Lord Jesus commanded "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matt 5:48)   We bring our own emotions to some words, but truth is often different from our emotional overtones.  It is essential we know what the Lord means by "being perfect"... and Deacon Joshua not only explains it, but gives us steps straight from the Word on just how to "be ye therefore perfect".

22 February 2015    Genesis 9:8-17  Terms and Tokens   Pastor Clawson  a levant cloud over Gibraltar...           youtube video/song of "I Heard the voice of Jesus Say"  

  Tokens, signs, marks, contracts, covenants, terms and alliances~  Genesis 9 covers the new alliance, the updated covenant God now makes with Noah and his family.  It is an update and "tweaking" of the Edenic/Adamic covenant made all those years earlier, and reflects an unfolding change in  the actual terms of the agreement.  Only the covenant maker can change anything in a covenant, and the Lord Almighty now saw fit to address the change in Noah's, and in fact all of mankind's, situation after the flood.  A new earth,  a new beginning for all of humanity until the end of time, a new clemency, and a few new understandings of which every person on earth needs to be made aware...the covenant stands whether we accept or reject the provisions laid down by the Covenant Giver, The Lord God Almighty.

 

22 February 2015    Guidance   Deacon/LayLeader Joshua Justice  

Sheeple... folks who seem to blindly follow some leader or idea or thought they trust without question.  Being a sheeple is not seen as a positive thing, ususally, but there are times when it is, as when you are one of those who "knows His voice"... So, are you a sheeple?  Are you part of the blind leading the blind? or are you enough of a Berean to have settled the deep questions and learned you Master's voice, now having no need to question Him, but to just follow.....

 
15 February 2015    Heaven    Pastor Billy Robertson      (sermon Scripture list)

 Heaven.  Oft spoken of, but not fully understood, heaven is God's home, our destiny, a place more beautiful and amazing than anything mortal man can imagine, and yet it is a place we cannot comprehend and a place that cannot be without the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.   Spurgeon said it best ~  “When you speak of Heaven, let your face light up;  when you speak of hell, well, then your everyday face will do."

 
15 February 2015   Not My Fault! (or How Our Excuses Keep Us From Facing The Truth...)   Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice (sermon notes)

When was the last time you told a lie? Was it a big one, a little one, or just that "polite" lie that leads others a bit astray?  How about that lie or those lies you tell yourself?  "That argument wasn't really  of my making...the other guy was being a pain; I married the wrong whoever, that's why my marriage is failing;  that driver was an idiot so of course I had the 'right' to cut him off; that test was too hard, so the teacher has it out for me...."   Yeah... keep it up, and eventually you will begin to believe what you say about yourself, and miss the opportunity to confront your less-than-perfect ways... blame-shifting is always so much easier on the psyche than the mirror, because after all, the truth might just hurt and who wants that???

 

8 February 2015   Genesis 9:1-7  New Covenant ~ New and Revised   Pastor Charles P. Clawson  

Pastor Clawson's discourse on Genesis 9:1-7 covers not only the admonitions the Lord gave to Noah and his sons, but also relates those admonitions to today's laws and governments.  As we look at the passage, we come to understand that after The Flood, many of the basic "rules of life" were altered.  Therefore, God laid out anew His expectations of Noah and his family.  A look at history shows us just how man through the ages has dealt with the changes since The Flood, down to today's applications and understandings of some parts of what we know as the "natural laws" as expressed in Genesis 9:1-7 ~

        Gen 9:1  And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. Gen 9:2  And the fear of you and the 

        dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the 

        sea; into your hand are they delivered.   Gen 9:3  Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. 

        Gen 9:4  But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.  Gen 9:5  And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand 

         of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man.  Gen 9:6  Whoso sheddeth man's 

         blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. Gen 9:7  And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the

         earth, and multiply therein. 

 
8 February 2015   1 Kings 12:6-11   Rehoboam's Folly   Pastor Charles P. Clawson

 Rehoboam had an entire rich kingdom laid out for him. With little effort and a bit of sympathy for the burdens of his people, he could have had a full, long and rewarding reign. Instead, he chose the folly of the unwise, the untested. He decided to act as "big man on campus" before his friends rather than a wise man elevated to a position of great power and trust. His folly cost him his kingdom and stands as a warning to us even today. When given the chance to take on a leadership position, will we act in pride and puffery, or understand the most important thing to being a leader, is to be a wise servant of those you lead.

 
1 February 2015  Stand Your Ground!  Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice     (Deacon Josh's sermon notes)   

 Follow God?  Do the hard things?  Put up with jibes and comments by co-workers?  OR...be politically correct, keep your religion in church, don't upset the others around you... you know... be "tolerant."  Which way will you go???  How long will you take trying to decide?  Who will gain your loyalty and when?  Deacon Josh challenges us to make up our minds, for if we do not, we may find our choices decided for us.... "1 Kings 18:21  And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word."

 
1 February 2015  Listening for God   Pastor Billy Robertson  (sermon Scripture list)
 So, you have a lot to say and you really want someone to hear you out...  Pastor Billy reminds us that God has a lot to say, but, although we want others to listen to us, we tend to NOT listen to God... we often just sort of think about a request or even a demand, but do we really, actually, intently listen?  Pastor Billy challenges and tells us how to learn to really listen for that still small voice, that whisper of the ages, the wisdom and voice of God...
 
25 January 2015  Genesis 8:6-14  They That Wait         Pastor  Charles P. Clawson

 Wait, wait I say, on the Lord!  Noah did exactly that and was therefore  the object of God's "strange work of grace".... that work of Jehovah God wherein He reaches out to the sinner, cleanses us from sin, works with us when we will work with Him and brings life out of death... Who would think that the story of the terrific devastation of a worldwide flood would tell of such love and grace?  If there is sin and death, implacable evil, idolatry and pride, it must be removed, even destroyed, before the innocence of life can take hold.  That is what God did... through Noah He reached out to a world that had fully turned its back on Him and on His ways. Implacable evil, idolatrous worship, and the rejection of God's ways will always lead to destruction, but if you see the consequences on the horizon, and return home to Him, He will treat you tenderly, as Noah did with the dove, and bring you back into the ark until such a time as you can fly free to live in the manner you are designed to live... under His grace and care.

 
25 January 2015  1 Kings 12:1-5  Rehoboam Rules     Pastor Charles P. Clawson
Pride, shortsightedness, and the foolishness of self-deception became the tripping rope that ensured the dissolution of Israel.  Rehoboam had the opportunity to bring new leadership and life to Israel.  After 40 years of rule, much of which became heavier and heavier via taxation and conscription, the people hoped to confirm Solomon's son and see the wisdom of his father's early days come forth through his son.  It was not to be.  Rehoboam was not his father, and the weight of his foolishness started the downhill slide of Israel and planted the seeds of wrath and destruction... Are our rulers today any different?  
 

18 January 2015     Obedience is NOT an option!         Pastor Billy Robertson   (sermon Scripture list)

 How bold are you... really? If you want something badly enough, do you go after it, and push through? It seems to be the way of the world to "go for it"... or "*** the torpedoes, full speed ahead" as one famous naval leader said.... Many a person seems to do so for jobs, wealth, power, that particular person you want to date, but what about your faith?? How bold are you.... really? Do you pursue the Lord the way you pursue your job? your significant other?  Pastor Billy reminds us that the pursuit is essential, and like any race, you must follow the rules or be disqualified because Obedience is NOT an option!

 

18 January 2015    Men vs. Women: Communication and Patterns...     Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice    (sermon notes)

 Yes, there are differences, but just how deep are they, really.....  Men have selective hearing, and women? Creative listening....   And at the base of both...patterns... is a basic truth: both cause problems, and the Scriptures have the answer to clear up the troubles, from problems on the job to reasons for divorce (incompatibility anyone?) that come from both "selective hearing" and  "creative listening".... 

 

11 January 2015     Genesis 8:15-22  New Life, New Earth, New Promise of the Father  Pastor Charles P. Clawson    

The flood is now history, and the new world awaits.... Noah and his family disembark and have a choice to bewail their situation, or praise the Lord who saved them and gave them a clean new slate.  Noah made his choice showing the way with a free will offering building an altar to thank and please the Lord.  When we have "second chances" do we have the strength and gratitude to do the same?  or do we tend to fall back on our old ways of doing things?  Every choice is ours to make ~ make it wisely...

 

11 January 2015   Solomon Reaps   Pastor Charles P. Clawson

You will always get a harvest of the seed you plant... always. Sometimes it takes a while for the plant to grow; sometimes the harvest is small, large, but always you will reap a harvest of what you sow. Solomon "sowed" to the foreign gods of his many wives; the harvest begins to come in and it is not the kind of crop a follower of Jehovah should ever expect to grow, unless he has abandoned the good seed of God and sown the faulty seed of the worship anything less than God Himself.

 

4 January 2015   Salt, Light, Fire and Revival (Matthew 5:10-16)    Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice

Are you thirsty? Oh, not for the common water from the tap, but for the living water that should course through you soul?   Are you experiencing persecution for your faith? Oh, not being ignored, or made fun of, or disrespected, but chased? hunted? threatened with losing your life?  Too many Christians today blend into their surroundings and are the picture of Matthew 5:10-16...salt that has lost its savor and is thrown out, no earthly good, tasteless, and worthless... If you are being "cast out" and walked all over, you, Christian, have a problem...  you have become salt-less......   Deacon Josh's message will challenge and lead you to restore the light and salt to your soul... Take the challenge, stand up, be a force with which to be reckoned, and challenge by your very life those around you before it is too late and you just become road dust...

 

4 January 2015     True Wisdom     Pastor Billy Robertson     (sermon Scripture list )

Everyone who has spent any time in church has probably heard the phrase "true wisdom comes from above", but what does that really mean?  Pastor Billy explains that just because some one claims to speak for God, it does not mean that they actually do.   We are to know our Lord so well, that we will be able to tell the difference between those who claim and those who do... 

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