“Enough!”

As I was meditating of God’s resource for my life and for the His children, the word “Enough” kept coming to mind. We say that Jesus is enough, but then we live a life that is contrary to that quiet confident understanding.  While teaching this week about true ministry, I gave a definition of ‘Ministry’; It is when Divine Resources meet Human Needs through loving channels to the Glory of God. Sometimes we think God has called us to be ‘Manufacturers’, but in reality He has called us to be ‘Distributors’. We are to be channels of Truth and Blessing to those around us.  We do not have the ability to make people believe, surrender or serve God.  Only God can manufacture each need for the human heart.  He has the answer.  He is Enough!~

C.H. Spurgeon once told of a time when he had just finished a heavy day’s work.  He was riding home and was very tired and weary in his spirit, when he suddenly thought of “My Grace Is Sufficient For Thee”, 2 Corinthians 12:9.  He smiled and said, “I should think it is, Lord!”  Then he started laughing as the thought made him think of how foolish our unbelief is to God.  It would be like if a small fish that was very thirsty was afraid it might drink the river dry, and the river said, “Drink away, little fish, my stream is sufficient for thee.” Or, if a man on top of a mountain feared that he would exhaust the oxygen in the atmosphere, and earth might say, “Breathe away, oh man, and fill thy lungs ever; my atmosphere is sufficient for thee.”  Regardless of the circumstances life presents to each of us, it is vital that we allow His grace to play its role in our hearts and lives.  His grace never runs out, and it is always sufficient!

If you were allowed to write a letter to those hurting … What would you write?

“If you were allowed to write a letter to those hurting in the church…what would you write?”

I would start by saying I’m sorry for the pain people have caused you by allowing evil to engulf them.

I’m sorry your faith has been shaken because people choose self-righteousness over loving people.

I’m sorry you have been consumed with grief and disappointment because others have chosen to be selfish.

I’m sorry for your loss of friends, family & joy because of others pride and arrogance.

I’m sorry trust has been broken and lies have been believed.

I’m sorry you have had to endure this journey.

However…
Those things that have been lost are a pale comparison of the things that will be gained. Things such as strength, boldness, tenacity, righteousness, new friendships, new hope, new love, etc…

During painful times we have two choices to make…be consumed by the pain and be bitter or to learn from the pain and become better.
In times where trust is broken we are not commanded to trust those that have broken it, but we are commanded to forgive them whether they are remorseful or not for their actions.

We are to bless and pray for our enemies and not be revengeful…because revenge is of the enemy…and him getting a foothold in the church is why the lies, hurt, deception and manipulation began. Don’t allow the enemy to further his cause through you.

No person is immune from the deception of the enemy…That’s why we need to remember that we do not battle against flesh and blood.

Don’t let what you are walking through right now give the enemy a foothold into your life…You are better than that!

Remember…the enemy wants to KILL YOU. He doesn’t seek to stall you, to maim you, to disappoint you, to make you sad or to make your heart hurt…HE SEEKS TO KILL AND DESTROY YOU…he can do that because he is able to convince wonderful Christian people to believe his lies. Like I said before NO ONE is immune.

During hard times it is important to check yourself daily…multiple times a day would probably be better…because when we think the cause justifies the means we can be on a path to utter destruction!

Hold onto this…God vindicates, God justifies, God knows what’s happening and God’s pure ways will prevail.

Pastor Kelly
1Cor.15:58

Silent Night; A song in the Night

SILENT NIGHT; A Song in the Night

So many songs come to my remembrance at Christmastime. Perhaps the most famous of all is “Silent Night.” The song was composed on Christmas Eve morning, December 24, 1818. The poem had been previously written by Joseph Mohr. He was wanting something special for the Christmas Eve service at their church, appropriately named St. Nicolas, in the Austrian village of Oberndorf, where he served as assistant. Mohr took the twenty-minute walk to his friend, organist, schoolteacher, and choirmaster, Franz Xaver Gruber’s house. On that very morning the two put together the song, Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht! On Christmas Eve night, Mohr played guitar, and he and Gruber sang the first stanzas with the church choir backing them up in the final portion of the song. The song traveled far and near; it has been performed in churches, concert halls, municipal auditoriums, and cottages, among laity, clergy and before royalty around the world for almost two hundred years since. In my research, two historical pieces of information came to my attention. First, Mohr had been at St. Nicolas for only one year when the first performance of Silent Night was given by him, Gruber and the choir of St. Nicolas. Previously, Mohr had to resign a former church and underwent hospitalization for poor health before assuming his new position. The second piece of information was that Mohr had, in fact, written the poem in 1816, two years before collaborating with Gruber. It appears that Mohr wrote the poem in the midst of his illness that took him out of the pastorate. This was, it seems, when God had been silent, yet at the same time given him a song in the night. The song the Lord gave him during his darkest hour begins by speaking of something he so longed for: “Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright. Round yon virgin mother and child, Holy Infant so tender and mild, Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.” The Bible says, Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life” (Psalm 42:7, 8). …Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night” (Job 35:10).

Consider those chosen “silent nights,” when God gives you a song in the night:

The Assignment of the Night

God made the night. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day” (Genesis 1:5). In Isaiah God says, I form the light, and create darkness…” (Isaiah 45:7). Sometimes God assigns us the dark times. St. John of the Cross called it “the dark night of the soul.” Allow me to give you two benefits of the night:

(1) The dark creates hunger for the light.

For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness” (II Samuel 22:29). I have often heard it said, “It is always the darkest before the dawn.” I believe this to be true. When the darkness comes we can either chose to have hope or be hopeless. Dr. Charles Allen often said, “The saddest word in the English language is the word hopeless.” Having hope is a choice. God was instilling hope within the hearts of His people when He said, Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended” (Isaiah 60:20). Make note of the promise to those in the night, sunrise is coming! …the LORD shall be thy everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.”

(2) The night sharpens the vision.

Have you ever entered a darkened room and felt you were stone blind, yet if you lingered and observed, your eyes adjusted to the darkness and if you looked, you began to see things you had not seen before. I remember putting my son Josh to bed one night. I was telling one of my famous bedtime stories of mountain lions and grizzly bears when I noticed my son was fast asleep. It then that I noticed something I had forgotten about for years. Me and Joshua, many years before, had placed opaque glow-in-the dark stars all over the ceiling so when his room was dark, he could look up and see the stars. The reason I had forgotten is that I was never in the room without the light. I was so amazed that I just lay on the floor looking into the milky way of a youth long gone. After all, “Never, Never Land” was located second star to the right and all the way to morning. Sometimes we need the night to remind us of our dreams. Have you ever noticed how brilliant the stars are way out in the country? The darker the sky, the brighter the stars.

The Angst of the Night

And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was” (Exodus 20:21). Our angst often comes when God appears to be silent in our night. Isn’t it touching, that the very fear of the dark that grips us in our youth should instead transform into trust. God’s Word reveals that He was dwelling in the dark. If God is there, we need not fear.

The Answer in the Night

World War I was called the war to end all wars. Although it did not do that, it was one of the most costly wars ever fought on the face of the earth. The total killed during the war was a staggering 8,538,315 and the total wounded was 21,219,452. Yet as bloody and horrendous as those days of battle, there stands one momentous day in the winter of 1914. It took place on the battlefields of Flanders. The British and French were in fierce battle with the Germans. Both sides were dug in muddy trenches 6 to 8 feet deep, which seemed to stretch forever. Then on Christmas Eve all along the German trenches, Christmas trees, lit with candles began to appear. Christmas carols were heard above the trenches, and then as though they were being led by an unseen hand, there came an answer from the British and French trenches, across “no man’s land.” The carols were answered with carols. Much to the chagrin of some of the military brass, the men began to lay down their weapons and surface. The enemies met in “no man’s land,” buried their dead, and exchanged gifts of chocolate cake, post cards and newspapers. Why, some even played soccer. The moment that stands out was when someone started singing “Silent Night” in his respective language and it was answered as the song continued with everyone joining in singing in English, German and French. In the midst of this horrendous war that cost no less than 8 1⁄2 million lives, heavenly peace was found one silent night.

In the midst of a world full of hate, bondage and iniquity, the baby Jesus was born. Even wicked Herod went into a killing spree with the slaughter of the innocents, but what peace came to the shepherds, what peace came to the wise men that traveled from the other side of the world when they found Jesus! “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). A Scottish poet, a veteran of the Western Front, later penned these last words to a poem that commemorated the temporary armistice of WWI, “Oh ye who read this truthful rime, From Flanders, kneel and say: God speed the time when every day, Shall be as Christmas Day.”

What Christmas meant to “Misha”

How “Misha” made my Christmas – A Look Back

What it means to accept Jesus as personal Savior can sometimes get clouded by our pulpit theology spoken with “stained glassed voices.” I have often wondered, if after we have preached a sermon or taught a lesson laced with great truths that we have sometimes left our listeners cold. Charles Spurgeon, the prince of preachers from the Victorian Age said that illustrations are the windows through which we see the sermon. In the next few minutes, I would challenge you to read a factual story of a little boy in Russia who entered the true spirit of Christmas. May the warmth that this little boy found on his first celebrated Christmas be shared by everyone who reads this story.

In 1994, two American missionaries answered an invitation from the Russian Department of Education to teach morals and ethics (based on biblical principles) in the public schools. They were invited to teach at prisons, businesses, the fire and police departments and a large orphanage. About 100 boys and girls who had been abandoned, abused, and left in the care of a government-run program were in the orphanage. They relate the following story in their own words:
It was nearing the holiday season, 1994, time for our orphans to hear, for the first time, the traditional story of Christmas. We told them about Mary and Joseph arriving in Bethlehem. Finding no room in the inn, the couple went to a stable, where the baby Jesus was born and placed in a manger.
Throughout the story, the children and orphanage staff sat in amazement as they listened. Some sat on the edges of their stools, trying to grasp every word. Completing the story, we gave the children three small pieces of cardboard to make a crude manger. Each child was given a small paper square, cut from yellow napkins I had brought with me. No colored paper was available in the city.
Following instructions, the children tore the paper and carefully laid strips in the manger for straw. Small squares of flannel, cut from a worn-out nightgown an American lady was throwing away as she left Russia, were used for the baby’s blanket. A doll-like baby was cut from tan felt we had brought from the United States.
The orphans were busy assembling their manger as I walked among them to see if they needed any help. All went well until I got to one table where little Misha sat. He looked to be about 6 years old and had finished his project. As I looked at the little boy’s manger, I was startled to see not one, but two babies in the manger. Quickly, I called for the translator to ask the lad why there were two babies in the manger.
Crossing his arms in front of him and looking at this completed manger scene, the child began to repeat the story very seriously. For such a young boy, who had only heard the Christmas story once, he related the happenings accurately–until he came to the part where Mary put the baby Jesus in the manger.
Then Misha started to ad-lib. He made up his own ending to the story as he said, “And when Maria laid the baby in the manger, Jesus looked at me and asked me if I had a place to stay. “I told him I have no mamma and I have no papa, so I don’t have any place to stay. Then Jesus told me I could stay with him. But I told him I couldn’t, because I didn’t have a gift to give him like everybody else did. But I wanted to stay with Jesus so much, so I thought about what I had that maybe I could use for a gift. I thought maybe if I kept him warm, that would be a good gift. “So I asked Jesus, ‘If I keep you warm, will that be a good enough gift?’
And Jesus told me, ‘If you keep me warm, that will be the best gift anybody ever gave me.’ So I got into the manger, and then Jesus looked at me and he told me I could stay with him–for always.” As little Misha finished his story, his eyes brimmed full of tears that splashed down his little cheeks. Putting his hand over his face, his head dropped to the table and his shoulders shook as he sobbed and sobbed. The little orphan had found someone who would never abandon nor abuse him, someone who would stay with him–FOR ALWAYS.

Press’n On

Pastor Guy Kelly

I Can Hardly Wait!!!

Yes, those were the words I uttered as a little boy at McKinley elementary school in Casper, Wyoming to my best friend Gus Holbrook in anticipation of getting out of school for the Christmas break and for that special day!
My little mind raced with such an expectancy of “What was in those presents” that I could not even sleep at night. My mother did such a great job at Christmas time – decorating, baking cookies, candy and fudge. She would wrap and display (it seemed) a new package everyday with my name on it (I think to just entice me more).
Just as the excitement of those anticipated days filled the air, our walk with God should be just the same. We should look forward to each day and make it a masterpiece of grace! The Holy Spirit has filled my mind and heart with that same spiritual enticement as my mother did those holiday seasons. Each day, spiritually speaking, the question should be raised, “What’s in this package of grace for me?” The awe inspiring gift of Christ is all I need! Thank you Mother for those special days, but most of all, Thank You Jesus for this continued anticipation and the opportunity to open a “package of grace” each day.
2 Cor. 9:13 – “Thanks be to God for this Unspeakable Gift”
Press’n On
Guy Kelly
1 Cor. 15:58

Sometimes We Should Think About What Is Being Said

“Hark, The Herald Angel Sings” – Thinking About That Song

So many songs in my history have been just that, songs that we sang about the Glory of God and about that anticipated arrival of the baby Jesus.  Honestly, a lot of the language in these old classics were lost to me in some degree, until I decided to prepare a some songs for our Sunday service.  The words to “Hark, The Herald Angel Sings”, just jumped out of the song book at me.  I decided maybe it was time or me to look into what the title of the song really meant.  So away I went to the dictionary (pretty elementary, I know), and guess what I found out?  The title of the song literally means “Listen Attentively…an Angel that carries important news is singing.”  After all of my years of singing the song I had never thought much about what the title meant.  The Gospel of Luke chapter 2 verses 8-14 delivers the account of what the angels actually sang.

So many years of waiting for the prophecy of a Savior to fulfilled and finally it has happened.  What are the words that God chooses to speak through this Heavenly Angel?  Glory to God, Peace On Earth, Good Will Toward Men. Well, the question is “Do you need a little Peace?” “Do you need a little good will?”  Isn’t it interesting that God sent His messengers to do 3 Things; 1)Give Glory To God, 2)Tell the World that the Savior has come to bring peace on earth, 3)And remind them that God is FOR THEM… not against them.

So what are we being called to do this Christmas Season?  It seems that we are to give Glory To God by being keepers, even purveyors of peace, and Heralds of the good news that all is not lost, that there is hope, and His Name is JESUS…  Oh, and just in case you’ve ever heard anything to the contrary, HE IS FOR YOU!  So go tell the world!  Be the messenger.  Be the Hope… to a lost and dying world… And Give all the Glory to God.

Press’n On

Pastor Guy Kelly

1Cor.15:58