Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Summer Growth?

Summer Growth?

Some of the most delectable fruits and vegetables reach their full flavor from the summer sun.
What about you?
Use the summer sun for meaningful vacation time, and other fun things connected to summer to grow in your faith.  Before you jump into the day, try taking at least 30 minutes to read God’s Word and pray about one life principle from what you read and practice it all day.  For instance in Eph. 4:32, I might pray about “be kind to one another” and buy my wife flowers, clean the entire kitchen, or take her to drink tea at Starbucks.  I can also buy someone groceries, or help a neighbor with a project, wash someone car for free, teach a class, etc.
Christians use this summer to walk in union with Jesus and grow deeper in your faith (Colossians 2:6-7).
FYI, I am resuming consistently using my journaling system to grow this summer.

God Bless,

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Sprinkle your Conversation with Grace.

Sprinkle your Conversation with Grace.

Our insecurities and our desire to dominate, often influences us to teardown others to build ourselves up.  Before you settle for such unwholesomeness, meditate on Eph. 4:29. “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.”
Christians, strategically sprinkle your conversations with grace.  Leave people better because they conversed with you.

God Bless,

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Before You Follow the “Zero Mercy Movement.”

Before You Follow the “Zero Mercy Movement.”

We all make mistakes and must face our just God, and governing authorities who are supposed to maintain order in society (Rom 3:23; I John 1:9; Rom 13).
The “no mercy” movement can move us to heartlessness.
This movement targets a person, exposes their wrong, and then seeks to punish them beyond recovery.
Punishment is biblical (we must face consequences for our wrong - II Samuel 11-12), but the punish beyond recovery (“the zero mercy” movement) is the concern here.  God could have destroyed you and me, but His mercy (Eph. 4:32).
Christians, before we deal with a guilty person, with “zero mercy” let’s temper our spirit with Galatians 6:1-5.  This does not mean people don’t get sentenced in court, dismissed from work, disciplined by church leadership, etc., it does mean we approach the issue with with a gentle spirit and a keen self awareness (cf. Matt. 5:7; 7:12).
Let’s get to worship this weekend.

God Bless,
Pastor Brian E. Kennedy, Sr.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Embrace God’s Grace.

Embrace God’s Grace.

God often uses “a thorn in our flesh” to remind us to stay humble vs. arrogant.  Our thorn could be a physical ailment, a personal failure, struggle finances, communication problems, etc.
In II Cor. 12:7-10, God gave us help to embrace His grace with a “thorn in our flesh.”
1.  It is okay to pray for God to remove your thorn.
2. God can choose to leave your thorn in place.
3. Focus more on, and be content with God’s grace than your thorn.
4. The power of God’s grace is activated and operational as we remain weak before God (the I can’t, but through Christ I can do all things, mentality).
Christians, God’s grace (love and undeserved favor)is over, above, and beyond what you need or expect.  Embrace God’s grace.

God Bless,

Pastor Brian E. Kennedy, Sr.
Mtzionontario.com

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Encouragement from the Word?

Encouragement from the Word?

We are planning our 9th annual Missions trip to Holmes County, Mississippi (one of the poorest counties in America).
I reviewed the budget and saw we are still need $5,000.00 for our budget.
Before doubt rang my bell, God led me to II Cor. 9:8:”And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.”
Christians, God settled my heart with a promise I have witnessed Him keep for years.  Praise God with me for how He has already determined to provide.

God Bless,
Pastor Brian E. Kennedy, Sr.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

What Will You Do About Senate Bill 2943?

What Will You Do About Senate Bill 2943?

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (Prov. 9:9-10).
With Assembly Bill 2943, being fast tracked to the governors desk, we need God’s wisdom to communicate our side of the issue to California Legislators.  The Christian Community does not need to evolve with people caught in the worlds system that fights and rebels against God.  We need to love God, love our neighbor, and do good, as we pursue the Great Commission.
Christians, pray for our lawmakers that they will live their lives and stop trying to restrict ours.
Call your State Senator and ask them to oppose AB 2943.
Pray about joining The California Family Council for a united effort to stop California lawmakers from another attack on Christians right to practice our freedom of speech, and to use the Bible to preach, teach, and counsel people who desire to listen.
No one is forced to listen to us, but California lawmakers are trying to force us to stop using the Bible, and other Christian literature to help people who willingly listen to us and come to us for help.
Other religious groups are not exempt from this movement to shut down any voice or document that does not agree with their agenda.
This is not the time to stand back and watch California lawmakers attempt to dictate and limit the freedom of religion or the freedom of speech that we enjoy in this country.  Too many people died for these rights for us to sit back and let a hand full of agenda driven California lawmakers take them away with the stroke of a pen.

God Bless,
Pastor Brian E. Kennedy

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Is it Really Your Body?

Is it Really Your Body?

I Cor. 6:19-20, teaches us why we should refrain from any form of sexual activity outside of the sacred institution of marriage.  Yet, the series of questions about the body God entrusted to our care includes other activities we do with our bodies.
We say, “This is my body, I can do what I want.”
Read the passage again and see if God has more say over your body than you.
19 “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body” (I Cor. 6:19-20).
Christians, be good stewards over you God given, God purchased, Holy Spirit living inside of, body.
Get rest, exercise, good diet, avoid harmful substances, and bring your body to church (healthy people attending bedside baptist church, might consider getting up and physically attending church.  Get your body, heart, and mind in church - lol).

God Bless,
Mtzionontario.com

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Sensitive Talk + Meaningful Action = A Lasting Difference.

Sensitive Talk + Meaningful Action = A Lasting Difference.

When working in prison ministry, I came to love II Cor. 5:17: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
I have witnessed thousands of men and women with a dark past (inside and outside of prison), change and and live for Christ.
In regards to any person, or a people groups dark past (including slavery), we all must talk with sensitivity.  Especially when we are far removed the horrors of their experiences.
What we can do is learn from the past, and address the darkness of our slavery today.  Drug abuse, physical violence, gang activity, ungodly politics, war, religious violence, racism, senseless and unwarranted shootings of unarmed citizens, abortion, excessive unwed mothers, sex trafficking, irresponsible dads and moms, greed, morality, gentrification, incarceration, and other things that keep humans of all ethnic groups in shackles today (Rom. 3:23).
Our modern day slavery (sin)is easy to talk at, about, and around, but not so easy to solve.  We need supernatural help (II Cor. 5:17).

Christians, let us prayerfully make a lasting difference in peoples lives.  The horrors of the past, are not an excuse for inaction today.  Make a meaningful difference today (Eph. 2:10).

God Bless,

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Revenge on Social Media, Etc.?

Revenge on Social Media, Etc.?

Come on Pastor, I am not hurting anyone physically when I post negative stuff on my “ex,” or de-friend someone, or put their confidential business out.  Why can’t I get back at that evil, cruel, poisonous snake biting, good for nothing, etc., etc., etc., person?  Why????
God said, “never pay back evil to anyone.  Respect what is right right in the sight of all men.  18 If possible, so far as it depends if you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,’ says the Lord” (Rom. 10:17-19).

God can get to your enemy better than you can.  Get out of God’s way and let Him punish your enemy.
How do I redirect my anger and desire to give them the payback they deserve?
Forgive them as God has forgiven you (Eph. 4:32).
Overcome evil by doing good.  Do good even to your enemy if God opens the door (Rom. 12:20-21).

God Bless,

Friday, April 20, 2018

Having a Tough Day?

Having a Tough Day?

A little discouraged or feeling a little low today?  You are writing things down and taking steps to get things done, but more things are getting on your list than you are getting off your list.  You sense the symptoms of overwhelming stress are nearby waiting to pounce on you.
On days like today, God gives us familiar encouragement: “9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.  10 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” (Gal. 6:9-10).
1.  Christian’s be encouraged, God will come through.
2. Overcome discouragement with reaching out and doing something good for someone else.

God Bless,

PS:  Pray for Alex Jefferson to receive a kidney.

Friday, April 6, 2018

What do you do after the biggest weekend in Church life?

What do you do after the biggest weekend in Church life?

Show love for Jesus by obeying the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20.
Boldly and humbly share your faith with others (remember your personal testimony is a powerful witness for Jesus)and look for opportunities to help someone become a loyal follower of Jesus (a great way is bring them with you to your Bible study class, or share with them what you are learning in Bible study).
Christians, our commitment to obey the Great Commission is a meaningful way to love Jesus through our obedience (John 14:21-23).

God Bless,
Pastor Brian E Kennedy, Sr.

Friday, March 23, 2018

What About Your Passion for Jesus?

What About Your Passion for Jesus?

After Lent ends, will your commitment to stop XY and to do A and B end.
You made a New Years commitment.  How are you doing?  Still committed?
When Jesus was confronted by Judas and the soldiers to arrest Him, listen to what He said after Peter’s sword missed a soldiers head and cut off his ear: But Jesus said to Peter "Put your sword back into its sheath. Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given me?” (John 18:11).
Jesus was committed to fulfilling His mission despite the ensuing humiliation and excruciation pain.
Christians, Jesus did not loose His passion for us, so let’s not loose our passion for Him.
Be at a Good Friday Service.
Be at a Resurrection Service.
Stay connected and in service after the biggest weekend in Christian life.

God Bless,
Pastor Brian E. Kennedy, Sr.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Follow the Culture or the Christ?

Follow the Culture or the Christ?

In Matt 16:24, Jesus said: "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.” NLT
Christians, Jesus requires three key actions:
First, say no to yourself vs. self denial (Jesus wants more than our giving up stuff, Jesus wants us to come under His authority).
Second, Be prepared to deal with  hardship.  The cross for the Christian refers to suffering and hardship for a divine purpose.
Third, Pursue Jesus.  This involves reading God’s Word and understanding what God expects and out of obedience living up to God’s expectations.
These three actions are at the heart of following Jesus.
Christians, will you follow the culture, or will you follow The Christ?

God Bless,

Mtzionontario.com

Monday, February 26, 2018

Choose the Most Important Things and Reduce your Stress.

Choose the Most Important Things and Reduce your Stress.

Mary and Martha often ministered to Jesus when He came to town.  In the Luke 10:38-42 visit, Mary chose to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to Him, while Martha was stressed behind the preparations she felt were necessary to host Jesus.  Before you criticize Martha, think about what you would do if Jesus came to eat at your home.
Martha told on her sister and asked Jesus to make her get up and help out.
Jesus gave the profound point in the story in verses 41-42.
Instead of stressing about multiple things, identify the most important things.
Christians stop and sit at the feet of Jesus and use scriptures like Proverbs 3:5-7, to help you identify the most important things.

God Bless,
Pastor Brian E. Kennedy, Sr.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Pray for Americans Students Traumatized by Violence.

Pray for Americans Students Traumatized by Violence.

Our school-aged children must again work through the trauma of bloodshed, and death on their school campus.  Imagine what they must overcome to return to school.  Moreover, consider the active shooter drills American students practice today.  Why?  Someone, another American, is actually planning to hurt them in their place of learning.
Please keep the families from Broward County, South Florida, in your prayers, plus others still hurting from violence in America.
Moreover, let’s continue to advocate for our children and protect them from evil people and evil things.
Our national and local leaders must work to provide more security for our children, and all of us must persist in saying something if we see something.
Our children are training to compete in a global arena and they need our support.

God Bless,

Pastor Brian E Kennedy, Sr.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Follow Jesus

Follow Jesus

Now that Christmas sales are over, retailers are gearing up for “Easter” sales.  Christians, retailers are running a business to make a living.  We do not live with a retail or seasonal mentality. We do not party hearty and get wasted on “Fat Tuesday” then all of a sudden turn super holy on Wednesday, and then after “Easter” go back to doing what we please.  Non-Christians view this as hypocritical.
Jesus did not call us to a rollercoaster Christianity, but to a love relationship characterized by following Him.
Christians, keep your practice of Christianity simply.  Follow Jesus.  Read through your Bible and follow the principles in our book.

God Bless,
Pastor Brian E. Kennedy, Sr.

Friday, February 2, 2018

What is God Whispering in Your Ear?

The parable of the talents in Matthew 25:11-30, is a vivid picture of God holding us accountable for using the gifts He entrusted to us.
Christians, let us use our God-given gifts to advance God’s kingdom.  Invite someone to church or a small group, or christian concert. Take a co-worker or fellow student, etc to lunch and ask if you can pray for them during lunch.  Buy food for someone in need, and pray for them.  Volunteer at your local church to fill an area of need.  Go on a missions trip.  Do your work with excellence and when recognized, give glory to God.  Pass out gospel tracts to non-Christians, and on and on.
Do something!  Refuse to leave opportunities to advance the kingdom unattended.
Christians, after a day of faithful service, listen for the Lord to whisper in your ear, “well done my good and faithful servant.”

God Bless,
Pastor Brian E. Kennedy, Sr.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Are You Looking for the Good?

Joseph, whose life story is found in Genesis 37-50, went through horrible circumstances.  He was hated by 10 of his brothers, he was sold to some traders by his brothers, and then he was sold into slavery in Egypt by the traders.  While working as a slave for the President’s head bodyguard, the wife, “Mrs. Potiphar” accused Joseph of attempted rape, and without any justice, he was put in the Federal Penitentiary as a sex offender.  In the pen, he helped two prisoners understand their dreams, and the prisoner who was restored to his cupbearer position, forgot about Joseph for a couple years.  For 13 years, Joseph went through tough trials and finally he became the Vice President of Egypt.

How did Joseph see his trials?  He told his brothers, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good... (Gen. 50:20).
The same thought is found in Rom. 8:28.
Christians, whatever is going in your world, look for the good that God is doing.
God Bless,

Pastor Brian E. Kennedy, Sr.
Mtzionontario.com

Monday, January 8, 2018

Stay on Mission

I love the story of Abraham’s servant who was sent to find a wife for Isaac.When the servant arrived among Abrahams home country, check out the servants prayer in Gen. 24:12-14

1. The servant acknowledged the God of Abraham (v. 12).  Abraham influenced his servant to know and trust God.
2. The servant asked for God’s favor     (v.12).
3. Out of the women who came to the well, the servant asked God to identify Isaac’s wife as the woman who gave him a drink and also volunteered to water his camels. Once Rebekah showed up and fulfilled the details in his prayer, the servant met with Rebekah’s family and asked to bring her to Isaac.

Rebekah’s brother Laban and her mom wanted to delay the servant with a 10 day visit.  The servant declined and pushed to fulfill his mission (Gen. 24:56-59). 

Christians, when you pray for God’s favor in doing your mission and God answers your prayer, stay on mission.  People with good or bad intentions can be used to delay and even derail the completion of your mission.  You must stay focused and don’t delay, keep moving, and fulfill your God given mission.

God Bless,
Pastor Brian E. Kennedy, Sr.