Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Shepastor: “Let Your FIRST Step Be Prayer…”

In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait expectantly
. Psalm 5:3, NIV

Before I look at my text messages, jump onto Facebook or even begin a conversation with my family, I look to meet first with the Lord in prayer. In recent days, people have become frustrated with those who are using the refrain, “We are keeping everyone in our thoughts and prayers…”

Yes, the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous avails much. Yes there is GREAT power in prayer. But prayer is not the end…prayer is the beginning. It is the first step in seeking God’s guidance, strength, courage, and wisdom to address whatever life brings our way. Prayer is the first step in putting feet to our faith.

The Psalmist declares that the Lord will hear his voice in the morning. In other words, the Psalmist wants to give God the first of his day. He then “waits expectantly” for God’s response. How many foolish decisions have we made because we didn’t “meet God in the morning” and wait for His response? How many opportunities have we missed because we dashed out of the door and didn’t check in to “get our assignment” for the day?

What’s first on your agenda? Who receives the first fruits of your heart and your lips? If you are not in the habit of meeting God first, at the very first part of your day, try it out and see how your journey changes…

Post a comment or send me an email at
Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Shepastor: “I’m Overwhelmed…I Can’t Do it…Oh, Yes I Can!!!”

Hear My Cry; Listen to My Prayer
1{To the chief Musician upon Neginah, A Psalm of David.} Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.
2From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
3For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.
Psalm 61: 1-3, KJV

If your heart has ever been overwhelmed, not with joy, but with stress, pain, “work overload,” etc., then you can identify with the psalmist. There have been occasions when I lay in my bed and wonder how in the world am I going to accomplish, get through, get over whatever it is I’m dealing with. There are days when I feel like picking up the phone or sitting down at the computer to send an email to say to whomever, “Sorry, I just can’t get this done…”

Yes, there are times when we must pull back, say “No,” scale down responsibilities. Particularly in ministry, we can fall into becoming a “Jack of all trades and master of none!” But there are also time when we have been called, anointed and appointed to carry out specific responsibilities. It is our time and our season to lead, to accomplish, to fulfill. It can be OVERWHELMING!!!

At those times, we must learn to pray like the psalmist, “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Sometimes being overwhelmed is not the pressure of external forces, but rather internal stressors, telling us, “you can’t do it, you are not strong enough, you don’t have what it takes, just give it over to someone else.” Could it be that our own fears and insecurities are blocking the energy and creativity we need to get it done?

When we lay our cares, concerns, responsibilities, and heart bare before the “Rock,” Jesus, our Lord and our Savior, He will give us the peace, wisdom and fortitude we need to do those things that we are being called to do. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed because we are being stretched…pulled out of our comfort zone. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed because we are being challenged to grow and go higher than where we currently are.

With the help of the Lord, YOU CAN DO IT…YES YOU CAN!!! Today, I encourage you to examine the source of your feelings. If it
is truly something that you need to release, turn over to someone else, forget, etc., the Lord will give you the insight, courage and peace to do so. But if it is the enemy of your soul, seeking to distract, intimidate, overwhelm and push you off the path of your destiny, RESIST, look to the Rock that is higher and by faith “keep on keepin on!” For the Lord is your shelter and strong tower from the enemy!

Post a comment or send me an email at

Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Shepastor: “New Wine Skins…”

"And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved." Matthew 9:17, NLT

Earlier today a talk show host was interviewing a member of the “Geek Squad,” on how to improve computer performance. The young man suggested that many of our computers are slow, sluggish and performing poorly because we need to clean out our “cookies” and empty our “recycle bins.”

For those who don’t work on computers, “cookies” are like file cards that remind your computer of various sites that you’ve visited. The “recycle bin” is where files go when you’ve deleted them. They don’t go away completely until you empty the virtual recycle bin.

When these old files are “junking up” your computer, it makes it difficult for the computer to process and correctly apply new information. In a similar way, the religious leaders who opposed Jesus were filled with old ways of thinking and living. Their traditions had overtaken their way of understanding God’s Word and God’s way. They were more concerned about their way, than God’s way.

As a result, they could not receive the new covenant being offered to them through Christ. They rejected the “new wine,” of love, deliverance and salvation. They needed a new heart in order to receive the new way.

During the Lenten season, God’s people have an opportunity to reflect, repent and renew our relationship with the Lord. During the forty days of focused prayer, sacrifice and service, we have an opportunity to empty our proverbial “recycle bins…” asking the Lord to help us get rid of some old ways, old thoughts, old behaviors that maybe still hanging around. We need to “empty the trash” of our hearts so that we can receive the “new wine” that Christ has for us in this season.

What do you need to empty out of your spiritual system? What old issues, thoughts, hurts, disappointments, frustrations, fears, etc., do you need to discard? As we begin Lent today, may we ask the Lord to remove those things that are blocking the new, the fresh, the clean, the beautiful that God wants to bring into our lives. May the Lord bless you as you begin your Lenten journey…

Post a comment or send me an email at

Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Shepastor: "A Lenten Litany for the Beloved Community..."

Several years ago, I was asked to prepare a litany for a community Lenten Service. Below are the words I was inspired to prepare. May they be a blessing to you and those you serve...

“A Lenten Litany for the Beloved Community”

Leader: During this Lenten Season, we remember our Savior’s ministry, life, death and the horrific pain he endured, not only physically, but in his spirit as he took upon himself the sins of the world. We remember how you wept over the unbelief of your people, the hypocrisy of the religious leaders, the neglect and the marginalization of the oppressed.

People: Lord, help us to see ourselves and others as you see us.

Leader: Today we remember that Jesus was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him and with his stripes we are healed. With this in mind, let us rededicate ourselves to his ministry of teaching and his way of demonstrating love, peace and understanding of the social conditions of all humankind.

People: Lord, help us to become more committed to improve the conditions of poor and oppressed people and all God’s people.

Leader: All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. All of our righteousness is as filthy rags. Through the blood of Jesus, however, we can be washed clean. Through the power of his Holy Spirit, we can be made whole. Through the love of Christ, we can become all that God has created us to be.

People: Lord help us to remember that you have not called us to a “religion,” but a “relationship.” Help us to be in right relationship first with you and then with one another.

Leader: Lord, you have called us to be the “beloved community,” to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with you. You have called us to free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who are over worked, and to let the oppressed go free.

People: Lord, you have called us to share our food with the hungry, give shelter to the homeless, clothe those who are naked and not hide from those who need our help. May we work together, not only to give immediate help, but to correct systems that keep the poor oppressed.

In Unison: Lord, help us to become the beloved community that you came for, lived for, died for, rose for and for whom you will come again!

Post a comment or send me an email at

Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope, Love and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris