Too Tired To Move

There’s an old story I’ve told over the years, mostly for laughs, of a Hillbilly family that was just too tired to move. The story goes something like this, as the family was settling down for the night the hound dog started howling. The dog had been howling for a while when Maw finally told Paw to find out what was causing the old hound dog to howl. Paw said, “Oh Maw, I would go but I’m just too tired to move.” So Paw called out for the oldest child to check on the dog. The oldest child being too tired to move, responded similar to Paw and called out for the next child in line. This goes on and on until reaching the youngest child. The youngest child finally goes to check on the old hound dog to find out that old dog was laying on a thorn. When the youngest child came back inside he was asked what was wrong with the old hound dog. The child replied, “That ole dog was lay’n on a thorn and was just too tired to move.”

As busy as our lives become these days often we feel like this Hillbilly family and the old hound dog – too tired to move. Why are we so tired? Sometimes it’s because we’re doing more than we’re supposed to be doing, sometimes we’re doing something other than what we are supposed to be doing, sometimes it’s due to the season of our life, and sometimes it’s due to the season of the year. In our tiredness we can be encouraged to keep going. Scripture lets us know that we will become weary but also spurs us on in service and in love, “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” With this word we should be careful that our labor is right and not for our own purpose or for our own comfort. The work that is worthwhile is for the benefit of others, especially those we call brothers and sisters.

In an age when the world calls evil good and good evil it is certainly easy to become weary. As I write this, looters and thief’s are being called protestors fighting for justice, a police force trying to protect a community is being called a militant group while a militant religious group is calling the beheading of children righteousness acts of their god. However, Jesus is alive and He loves you. He has worked in the hearts of our youth bringing at least three into a loving relationship with Him. He has blessed us with college students from Melbourne, Palm Bay, other parts of Florida, the US, and from around the world. We have a BIG God Whom is greater than everything. So, keep your head up, walk in His grace, love Him, and love others.

Jesus Loves You!!   Shalom,

Pastor Shannon

A Few Choice Words

Here is a verse that I have been meditating on the last few days:

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my Strength and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Maybe it’s just me, but I sometimes fail to control what comes out of my mouth. It is so hard to let God have control of our speech. Jesus reminds us that what comes out of our mouth is a reflection of what is in our heart. He stated, “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile a man.” (Matthew 15:18) If you, like me, struggle with this read on. Here are a few choice words on the subject.

A man joined a unique monastery in which for the first ten years he could only speak two words. For the next ten years he could only speak two words, and so on. After his first ten years he said, “Hard bed.” After his next ten years he said, “Bad food.” After ten more years he said, “I quit.” In response the head monk said, “I figured as much. You’ve done nothing but complain ever since you got here.”

The Apostle Paul gives us some great advice in his letter to the church at Ephesus. He writes, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification, according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:29-30) Paul challenges the Christians at Ephesus that their relationship with Christ should even change the way they speak. As Christians who have experienced God’s grace, we must speak differently than the world. If we aren’t careful our speech will be unwholesome. This literally means “rotten”, like spoiled, rancid food. This goes beyond speech that is considered profanity or vulgar; it includes all bickering, negativity and complaining.

In Ephesians 4:29 Paul gives us three characteristics of the speech that should accompany our new nature in Christ. First, Christ-like speech should edify or build up. Do our words tear down a person in any way? If so, they are not words that bring glory to Jesus. Second, Christ-like speech should be appropriate. This means saying the right word at the right time. The wise Solomon stated, “A man has joy in an apt answer, and how delightful is a timely word!” (Proverbs 15:23) Lastly, Christ-like speech should impart grace to the hearers. God shows us grace. It is amazing. However, grace needs to be more than something we only receive; we should also be givers of grace, especially in our speech to one another.

Paul then gives us a particularly good reason for letting our speech be Christ-like. He teaches that not doing so grieves the Holy Spirit of God. The word “grieve” is a very personal. God is saddened and disappointed when His people fail to live up to their new nature. Did you catch the few choice words on the subject of Christ-like speech? Paul reminds us that our speech should build-up, be timely, and impart grace.  It is a pleasure to serve alongside each of you.

PraiSing Him,

Jeff Hagans

Minister of Music

From the Pastor’s Heart

“What do you want to do?” That is a never ending question around my house. It is one that can take our family to experience Florida at its best on one of the many beaches or creeks. But it is also a question that can result in shopping or yard work just as easily. The answer to the question, “What do you want to do?” takes into account many facets of life.

True needs comprise many of the facets. We need food to live. So, sometimes the answer to the question must be shopping for groceries. As much as I dislike shopping, I must say yes to the event of shopping because of the need of eating. We like a maintained house (we at least try!). So, as much as there might be druthers, we must say yes as a family to yard work at times.

But, just enjoying the precious event of life is also a priority for us. So, enjoyment comprises some of the facets of life. So we must say yes to some time together for the express purpose of fun and family time. This becomes one of the “what do you want to do?” answers to life for us. Keep in mind, all of these facets of life and decisions are simply part of the entirety of worship. It is our desire to worship God in and through our yes answers to every facet of life.

I see church in the same view. We must answer the question together, “what do we want to do?” True needs will direct many of these answers just as they do for a family. Our truest need as a family of faith is that of the presence and understanding of God. So, we say “yes” to experiencing God through song and teaching as a result of this need. Other facets of true need for the family of faith include evangelism, fellowship, leadership, unity, operating in giftedness to the temporal needs of paying the bills and maintaining buildings. These are all needs and they direct our answers to “what do we want to do?”.

We usually have no problem saying “yes” to many of the temporal needs of water bills and building maintenance, because they will shut your water off and the building will diminish over time. But just as families tend to neglect seeing the priority of family fun time as a main reason for existence as a family, the church likewise fails to remember that things like evangelism and discipleship and fellowship are really the primary “what we REALLY want to do as a family of faith!” When we know what we really want to do, or better put, what God wants us to do, then we know what we are to say “YES” to regardless of anything else.

Central Baptist Church, one task awaits us as a family of faith in 2014 that will help us answer the question, “what do we want to do?” and that task is discovering together what God says we should be saying “Yes” to first and foremost. Agreeing with God’s agenda is the greatest form of worship we can express as a family of faith!

In Christ’s love,
Leroy Williams