Pastor's Blog - Grace Notes
August 15, 2017, 12:13 PM

Follow one who can see!

Grace Note - Blind leading the blind

This world is hurting. I’m hurting watching it hurt, and I imagine you are too. Each week I try to offer a grace-filled note that is uplifting, but this week it is a struggle. Rather than loving each other and preparing for the Kingdom, we have too many people that seem obsessed with regurgitating old wounds and hatred and spewing their venom on others in an attempt to rewrite history. Our history is most valuable when it is used to keep us from reliving the mistakes made in the past. We have some people that can’t seem to accept history and want to delete it, like the “delete” key on this computer – and to deny others the knowledge of the past. In turn, they have inflamed some people that oppose them. The fight has become ugly. Both of those “some people” have a mass of people blindly following them, which have no idea what history taught us. So they blindly follow blind leaders into an abyss that grows deeper each day. We must not follow them.

We can’t seem to learn from our mistakes, can we? The Bible is filled with stupid, hatefully, power-driven people that made mistakes and repeated them over and over through the centuries, yet it is God’s Love and Grace that has restored peace time and time again. So join me in a prayer that we learn from the past but focus forward on the path to the Kingdom, one of today and tomorrow, one lined with love, grace, forgiveness, for we are all God’s children. Please read Matthew 15: 1-28 for Sunday.

Pray for Peace,

Pastor Mike

July 10, 2017, 9:06 PM

Parable - an earthly story with a spiritual truth

Grace Notes – Selective hearing

It is common knowledge that most married men have a unique malady called “selective hearing.” Men can hear a tom turkey gobble a couple of hundred yards away but can't hear their wife ask them to paint the kid’s bedroom. Oh, some cheerfully respond, “Yea, honey, I‘ll jump on it next week. Anything for you!” Then weeks pass and not a drop of paint has touched the wall. Or some beg for mercy, that they are working late every night and already had plans for the weekend to hunt with the guys. What she wants to hear is, "Sweetheart, let's run to Home Depot this evening and pick out the color you want; it will probably take 4 gallons, then buy all the stuff we need so we can paint it this weekend. I’ll plan my hunting trip for next weekend. OK?”

God’s words have been crystal clear since time began, but men have either ignored them, or given them a token response, or been too busy to listen to them. How would you respond to someone who had continually brushed you off or wouldn’t even acknowledge you existed? “But to the one who hears the word and understands it, he will bear fruits and yields of a hundredfold, or sixty or thirty.” Matthew 13:23

Please read and study all of Matthew 13, for it is full of excellent teaching parables that will take you through the month of July!

Peace In Christ,

Pastor Mike @Emory/Candler

July 5, 2017, 11:28 AM

Lighten your load!

Grace Notes – Unforced Rhythms of Grace & a wheelbarrow

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me, and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 The Message

I had a big contractor’s wheelbarrow and foolishly seemed bound to fill it to the brim every time I used it - because I could, and it HAD the capacity. Straw and mulch, light stuff was no problem. But no, I’d fill it full of dirt, gravel, stone, or firewood, right up to the edge or heaping over and then pay the price for it the next day; actually, for next several days.

In the process of trying to do all we can with limited time because we "have to,” we hurt ourselves and take the joy out of our work and often for the others that we are trying to serve. Sometimes we need to do less. Lighten the load. Or not do it at all. Maybe it doesn’t need to be done, or it can wait until the time is right. Maybe we need to discover the unforced rhythms of grace as we walk with Jesus at his pace, not ours. You can use the same wheelbarrow, but don’t feel you have to fill it up. Let Jesus tell you what to carry.

Grace and peace in Christ,

Pastor Mike

June 11, 2017, 9:00 PM

Harvest Time

Grace Notes – the harvest is near

There is a parishioner’s garden a short walk from the parsonage that I watch daily. A few months ago the soiled was turned, harrowed with rows marked off, exposing good loamy soil scattered with a dusting of small white quartz that runs the ridge we live. Every day I would see them working the "field" as gentle rains, and warm temps brought the seeds and plants to life, along with the weeds. In the cool part of the day, the weeds were hoed and tomatoes staked. Water and fertilizer were all added at the proper time. Soon, this garden will be ready to pick. All the family will be recruited to harvest it all when it comes in. Harvested, it will provide meals for many for the coming months; ignored it will become infested with weed and benefit no one.

God provides a perfect garden if we help him with the cultivation and harvest. Our community is planted with valuable people, some of them among rocks and weeds, which need to be watched over to help them grow and mature so they can be harvested for the Kingdom. We might not be able to work a big garden, but we all can tend to a couple of volunteer plants. Yes, it will be a sacrifice, and some days might be tough, but by committing, you will triple the number in the harvest – to two you help and yourself. God has a plan found in Matthew 9:35-10:23.

Will you follow His instructions?

In Christ, we grow and live,

Pastor Mike

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