Movie with a Message: “Ray” (part 2)

Part 2 of our amazing “Movie with a Message” featuring the movie “Ray” was so impactful.  Pastor was able to pull out certain clips in the movie that allowed the people of God to reflect on the battle between their private and public lives.  If we are not careful in life we can sometimes get so caught up in our public success that we neglect or ignore our private failures.  The problem is when we don’t deal with our issues when they are private, God has a way of exposing them publicly in order to get our attention and to cause us to have to deal with that which is destroying us from the inside.  On the outside Ray looks like the picture of success.  People around the world are praising him and all of his many accomplishments. In a real sense, Brother Ray has become so intoxicated with his public success that he doesn’t realize all of those being affected by his addiction.  He is seeking to decorate his dirt with success and work.  God will sometimes allow us to be embarrassed publicly in order to reveal the seriousness of our behind the scene failures.  It wasn’t until Ray hit rock bottom with his arrest that he had to come face to face with the root of his problem.  God had him in a place where he could not run from or hide from his addiction, but had to deal with it.  He had to face the past pains, regrets, fears, disappointments and his lot in life.
When we come face to face with God, we can’t help but to face the truth about ourselves and we all know that it is the truth that will set us free.  At first, Ray believed that God was not concerned about people like him, but he soon discovered that God cares about the brokenhearted and is willing to come in and to do whatever is needed in order to save them.  Family, God says in His word in Psalms 34:18 “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  God’s love never fails even when we sometimes fail him.  He never gives up on us and continues to give us another chance to get it right.
Today God is trying to get our attention through His Word but if He can’t get our attention through His Word.   Ask Ray, God knows how to get the attention of those He loves and to get them back on track. Family, if you have not had a chance to join us this month for Movie with a Message, please come out and bring a friend.

Movie with a Message: “Ray” (part 1)

What a powerful move of God we had this past Sunday as Pastor Jackson kicked off his series “Movie with a Message” for the month of August.  When you stepped into New Beginnings you were welcomed to the cinema!!  We received an impactful message through a different method as we watched movie clips of “Ray” and Pastor Jackson narrated his message throughout the movie.  There were three areas from the clips of the movie that Pastor Jackson touched on:  tragedy, dysfunctions and silence.

The first area of the movie that Pastor Jackson focused on was the tragic loss of Ray’s brother and then his eyesight.  This was a very devastating time in the life of Ray and his family.  These are the moments in life that can either bring division or deliverance, but it all depends on your faith. Romans 8:28 tells us “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.”  Pastor Jackson reminds us that “You may not have all you want but GOD has given you all you need”.  The question is who or what are you going to draw your strength from?

“Ray takes a wrong turn as he begins to use drugs to deal with his circumstances. Rays dark secret of dysfunction and drugs began to come to light.  Luke 8:17 says, “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.”  One of the tricks the enemy will use is to decorate dysfunction and cause devastation in your life.  Ray did not feel what he was doing was a problem and he felt that he had control of it, but that was the furthest from the truth. The worse thing we can do is try to protect or cover up our sins in order to continue down a path of decorated destruction. There is nothing right that will come from doing wrong. There’s nothing that makes us ignore private failure more than the glory of public success. Pastor Jackson asked, “Do you have someone that loves you enough to tell you the truth about you?” It is imperative that we surround ourselves with people that love us enough to tell us when we are wrong.  Accountability in your life will bring stability to your life.   When Ray was completely blind at a young age he fell and cried out for his mother, “Where are you, I need you, help me.”  Pastor Jackson asked, “Have you ever been in a state that you call on the Lord and He was silent?”  Isaiah 64:12 says, “After all this, Lord, will You hold yourself back?  Will You keep silent and punish us beyond measure?” Pastor Jackson shared that a good instructor will test you to see if you have learned what they have taught you. God will test us to see if we will put into practice what He has taught us through His word. Although you may have called on the Lord and you can’t hear Him, or feel Him, He is still there and He has never left you nor forsaken you.

Pastor Jackson closed this message by referring to Proverbs 24: 6, “Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers.”  Family, God has given you the power and the people to help you defeat the enemy so please don’t give in or give up on your purpose in life.

When Jesus Turns A Mess Into A Miracle

John 2:1-11

Pastor Hutchins started his sermon by saying… “It does not matter how big the mess is in your life, if you let Jesus handle it, He can turn that mess into a miracle.”…

In this particular part of scripture we find Jesus hanging out at a wedding with His disciples and His mother. The central issue at the wedding is that the groom and his family have run out of wine and hence the tension in the text.  The fact that they ran out of wine suggests there was a breach of contract on the groom’s end.  The groom was expected to demonstrate his ability to take care and or provide for his bride by ensuring the party had enough wine.

Jesus was a guest at the wedding and His mother said to Him, “They have no more wine”.  Here lies the issue in the text.  I’m sure the groom did all he could do to ensure he would have enough wine for the party, but yet he still came up short.  Pastor Hutchins helps the people of God to see that sometimes we can plan to do everything we are supposed to, and still come up short.

Jesus is pulled into an issue He had nothing to do with yet, He still steps up and shows up to meet the need.  Pastor Hutchins helps us to see that even though Jesus was not ready for it, God was ready for Him.  Every now and then, God will create a situation in your life that will expose what God has put in you and how much He has anointed you.  The bigger the problem, the greater the anointing. 

As Pastor Hutchins closed out this sermon, he reminds us that God can use anybody in any condition. As a matter of fact, in this text we see that God can use contaminated things. When you really think about it, if God didn’t use contaminated people, who would He use because the Bible declares that there is none righteous, no not one. I’m so glad that we serve a God that is able to turn our mess into a miracle, and a mighty message for the kingdom of God.  God accepts us in our contaminated state, fills us to the brim with His Holy Spirit and turns us into a miracle that can be a blessing to others in the party called life.  I thank God that He was able to use the thirty gallon tanks as is.  Jesus didn’t say go clean out the tank first but rather just obey and watch Me transform the situation.  Only God can take our mess and turn it into a miracle…

Don’t Trip Over The Trial

Acts 4:1-22

What a timely word on Sunday dealing with the trials of life and what we face at times on our spiritual journey. What I have truly discovered is that the rain does fall on the just as well as the unjust. If you have lived any length of time then you have experienced a trial or two. The good news of the trial is there is a triumph ahead if we don’t give up. The trial is only a test to bring forth a testimony.

In our text, we see Peter and John going through a trial not for their disobedience but for their obedience. What do you do when your obedience brings turbulence?

Well Peter shows us that leaning on our faith and depending on our Heavenly Father will bring you through challenging moments of life. Peter and John were seized because of speaking to a crowd of people about Jesus Christ. Do not be surprised when people get disturbed by your witness. Our duty as a Christian is to speak up and tell of the goodness of our Lord and Savior.

The enemy wants you to keep your mouth closed because he knows there is power in your words. Your words can change the atmosphere, family, community and city. Be mindful that change also challenges people and some people don’t like to be challenged. The key to Peter and John’s trial was their evidence which was the lame man standing in the court room.

You might not have a person standing for you as evidence but the fact that you’re standing is enough evidence that God is still blessing. We should always speak up and share our witness.  Continue to grow and stand up so people can see God is still blessing.

The Bible says Peter and John were unschooled, ordinary men that had been with Jesus. Don’t allow limitations to keep you from being used by the Lord. If you allow problems, predicaments or people to limit you, then they will try to label you. God has a purpose and plan for you.

Peter and John stood on their faith and belief that God would deliver them from their trial, and they were released. It doesn’t matter what we experience in life it cannot supersede our encounter with Jesus Christ. Family, let’s continue to grow in the grace of God, so when trials come you will be able to triumph and celebrate another victory.

It’s My Pleasure

Luke 17:7-10

What a wonderful word from the Lord on Sunday.  Pastor Sheridan Nelson blessed the body of Christ with a timely word on what servant leadership looks like in the life of a believer.  When it comes to serving, it is not always a glamorous or sensational.  Yes! The work God has called us to may be boring work and even dirty work at times, but we must be faithful to the work God has birthed in us.

There is no greater joy than when God provides and puts us in a position to help or serve others.  Not only can serving not be sensational, but it has to be sustained.  The text say in vs. 7 and 8 that when the servant has finished serving in one field he come in and washes up and prepares the master’s meal and then he can sit down.  He goes from working hard in the field to laboring at home.  Yes, with the same intensity and same passion we have to come home and serve in the same manner as we serve on our jobs or even ministry.

Not only is serving not sensational, it must be sustained, and requires a sacrifice.  I know it is not glamorous and recognize it requires sacrifice, but there are people counting on you who need you to sustain your service even when you don’t always feel like it.  I’m so glad that God didn’t wait until He felt like it to love and to serve humanity.  Even when He didn’t feel like it, He still obeyed and God highly exalted Jesus and gave Him a name above every name because of His obedience to will of God.  Jesus’ service was not glamorous as He took our place on the cross. Yes, if Jesus doesn’t do another thing for us, He has already done enough, but yet His blessing are sustained and continues new every morning – sometimes without us taking the time to say thank you to God.  I know you serve at church and on your job, but how well do you serve those at home?   Are you a public success and private failure when it comes to your service? How does one serve others and yet neglect their own family?  We don’t just serve when others can see us, but also when nobody is looking at us. A Godly servant not only serves anywhere but serves everywhere.

God not only gives us the message of servanthood, but He models servant leadership through our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.  When we begin to think about all that God has done for us and the position He has placed us in to be a blessing and to serve others, we can help but to simple say “it’s my pleasure”.  We should get pleasure out of doing for others. God has called each and everyone one of us to serve in ministry so we can experience the joy and love that comes from serving others that God places in our life like our lord and Savior did for us.  So the next time when God asks you to be a blessing or serve one someone just simply smile and say “it’s my pleasure”.

The Agony Of Now

1 Peter 1:3-7

We were blessed this past Sunday by the awesome message from Pastor John Hollman of the F.O.R.T Church (The Fellowship of Redeeming Truth Church) in Houston, Texas. He shared the importance of keeping our faith in the midst of chaos and confusion. These are times where it’s more important for people to pull out their phone and record a senseless crime instead of calling 911.  These are tough, tedious and turbulent times that require us to lean on our faith which is our anchor. It is not easy to remain focused and faithful when it seems like everything around you is falling apart.  Be not weary in well doing for in due season you will reap if you faint not.

God has promised us in the text that we have a new birth and hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Never abort the vision or dream you have because of the temporary agony you are in right now. God has already given you the victory, so all you have to do is keep moving forward by faith.

Have you noticed the commercials that promote a new medicine that is manufactured to treat a particular illness? They begin by telling you how great the medicine is only to follow with ALL the side effects of the medicine which sounds like it does more damage than good. Christianity comes with some side effects. Yes, you are saved and covered by the blood but that doesn’t exclude you from the sufferings of this world. It pays to serve Jesus, but it costs.  The good news is the text ensures us that we have a promised inheritance over our life that helps us endure the side effects of being talk about, lied on, persecuted and even mistreated all because we chose to walk with God.  These trials are only for a moment and are there to test your faith to make sure it is not counterfeit. Fake faith will not get you through the agony and adversity of life. Sometimes we’re tested not to show our weaknesses, but to discover our strengths. Therefore we must face obstacles with faith.

Do you know how to deal with the agony of your now?  Pastor Hollman said sometimes you have to cheat… Yes, in order to keep from giving up, there are moments when we must look forward to the promises of the scriptures that declare we are victorious and receive our encouragement. Family, hold on to your faith during the rough season and watch your faith carry you through to victory. Keep the faith and it will keep you.