Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Right Things about God

After Jobs three friends misunderstood him, and created unpleasant conflict with job, and could not respond to him anymore, a young man named Elihu spoke up and simply spoke the things that are true about God (Job 32-37).

Read God's Word and know what God says about things and take sides with God despite who is saying things about God that are not true.  Do not be afraid, humbly and lovingly speak truth about God.

Christians, when we know the right things about God, we will think the right things about God, and say the right things about God, and we will do the right things before God.

God Bless,

Pastor Brian E. Kennedy, Sr.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Stuff to Help us Thrive

Sometimes people are so focused on insisting on finding their identity in groups, the people they know, or the organizations they connect to, and things (the car they drive, clothing and jewlery they wear, tattoos, etc.) they lose sight of the special relationship they have in Christ.

Christians, we are children of the Living God, and through Christ we have everything we need for life and godliness(II Pet. 1:3).

Walk in the clear truth you have.  Here are 5 fundamentals necessary for thriving in the abundant life Jesus promised (John 10:10).

Identity:  you need to know who you are.  In Christ, you are a Child of God (John 1:12).

Interdependence:  I need you, and you need me (be dependable in relationships, and be able to depend on your true friends for good things in your relationships because we need each other (Rom. 12:5).

Intimacy:  Know how to give love, and receive love.  This is showing care and concern for others, and receiving the same from others
(John 13:34-35).

Security:  we all have a need to be loved just the way we are.  God loves us unconditionally just the way we are, and works to make us pleasing to Him (Rom. 5:6-8).

Significance:  We all have a need to be valued and make contributions in the lives of others.  Our value is in Christ.  We are valued as God's special work of art, and given a valuable job to do in life (Eph. 2:10).

This is the weekend (lots of drinking, smoking, partying, sex outside of marriage, stealing, lying, gambling, idol worship, immorality, etc.).  You have to chose to represent God or the devil.

We belong to Christ.  Therefore let us represent our Lord, and represent the church, represent our families, and communities well.

God Bless,

Pastor Brian E. Kennedy, Sr.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Ministry of Presence and Encouragement

After Job experienced four tragedies on the same day (Job 1), his friends came to see about him.
In Job 2:11-13, Jobs three friends came together to comfort Job.  They cried when they saw Jobs physical condition, tore their robes, and threw dust in the air.  They grieved deeply for their friend.  Look at Job 1:13:  "Then they sat down on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights with no one speaking a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great."

This is a great picture for the ministry of presence.  The next piece is not only being present with people experiencing tragedy, but saying the right thing at the right moment.
Job's friends attacked Job instead of encouraging him.  Instead of feeling with Job, they felt they needed to explain why Job was in his horrible condition.  Please avoid such insensitive behavior.

Christians, we do not need to explain people's tragedy to them.  We need to be with them physically, and encourage them.  
Pulling people together for pray is a powerful source of encouragement even for non-Christians.
What do you pray?  Pray about what happened, the pain the family feels, and ask God to give them comfort, strength, courage, direction, encouragement, etc.
Ask God to work on the person(s) behalf.

This type of care goes a long way with people who are hurting.

Christians, let us be present for people in their tragedy, and be a source of encouragement.

God Bless,

Pastor Brian E. Kennedy, Sr.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

God's Plan for Your Life is Bigger than Yours

Surely you have some idea of a plan for your life.  You believe education , public safety, politics, medicine, law, business, governmental services, engineering, clergy, missions, etc. is your life work.

In your life work, realize that God's plan for your life is usually bigger than your plan for your life.

Esther became Queen in Persia and was living as a queen.  When Haman plotted to annihilate the Jews, Esther had to come to grips with God's plan being much bigger than hers.

Listen to a dialogue between Esther's cousin Mordecai and Esther, in the book of Esther 4:14-16:
14 If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?"
15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai:
16 "Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die."

As the Queen in Persia, God's plan for Esther was to serve as a royal advocate for the Jews and not just live the life of royalty.

When Esther realized God's plan for her life, she was quick and comfortable entrusting her fate to God.  "If I perish, I perish" (v. 16).

Christians, be quick and comfortable to walk by faith in God's plan for you, and be quick and comfortable entrusting your fate to God.  Why?

1) God's plan for your life is bigger than yours.
2) You will find maximum fulfillment wrapped up in God's plan for your life.

God Bless,

Pastor Kennedy

Friday, July 8, 2016

Get to a House of Worship and Pray

Just finished looking at the pictures of 8 Americans who are dead today (3 civilians and 5 police officers).

We are hurting all over America right now.
This pain goes deep, deep, deep down in our souls.

If you get a chance, look at the pictures and put a face to the names to get closer to our painful reality today. Seeing the pictures also helps us with the compassion that we need to express toward one another.

While leaders are working on a variety of solutions, please make every effort to get to a house of prayer this weekend and pray for each of the families involved in each tragedy.

When we all start feeling the pain together (not just the victims families), then we will pull closer together as a nation and help each other versus hurt each other.

This is a national problem that will take all of us to solve together.  We start in our homes and then in the house of prayer together.

Get to a house of worship and take time as a congregation to pray for God's forgiveness for the evil actions done. Pray for God's mercy for the mistakes made. Pray for God's healing for the broken hearts and shattered communities.  Pray for strength to love each other as God loves us.

Get to a house of prayer this weekend and continue making your way to the house of prayer.

Finally, I pray that you will keep each victims family and the law enforcement community in your daily prayers.
Moreover, call an officer or even wave one down and tell them you love them.  Use "love," the term of endearment to clearly express how you feel about their daily sacrifice.
God Bless,

Pastor Brian E. Kennedy, Sr.

The Heart Ripe for Murder

Given the on-going violence in America, among other things we must address the heart.  In Matt. 15:19, Jesus said: "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders."
Our actions and our speech reflect what is going on in our hearts.

Jesus addressed an intriguing aspect of heart in Matt. 5:21-22.  Jesus described  three levels of anger that builds up to a heart ripe for murder.  First Jesus mentioned the emotion "anger," which in this context is harsh feelings toward someone.  Next Jesus mentioned calling someone "raca" or a good for nothing. Then Jesus mentioned calling someone a "fool," which in this context means  morally worthless.

Think for one hot second.  When you think of a person as having no worth or value, you began to see them, and treat them as less than human.  
Get it?  Calling people names that makes them less then human in our minds helps us to justify oppression, all forms of racism, cruelty, negative discrimination, injustice, revenge, and even murder.

In Matt. 5:23-26, Jesus taught that we must defuse building tension in relationships through reconciliation.

Christians, as peacemakers, we must practice principles that defuse tension, and promote healing through reconciliation.  Tension does not ease with quiet, or inaction.  Tension is relieved and healing occurs with reconciliation.

Christians, let us pray, and practice II Chron. 7:14, and do our part to facilitate reconciliation in relationships within our sphere of influence.

I will address several  issues on 7/9-10/16, in the sermons.

God Bless,

Pastor Brian E. Kennedy, Sr.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Emotional Connection

In 30 years of full-time ministry I have learned that meaningful relationships have an emotional connection.  This is true especially in marriages.  Troubled marriages are often missing a deep-seated emotional connection.  Spouses aren't "feeling" each other as before.  The hugs are simply a pressing of the flesh (no feelings involved), and kisses are routine meet and great gestures (no warm fizzies, no excitement, and no anticipation).
Christians, far too many of us have lost our emotional connection with God.  We are going through the motions in our worship experiences (private and public).

What can you do?  Meditate on Rev. 2:55: 'Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first..."

Christians, get back to your first love.
Recall what you had when you first came to Jesus. Go back and do the exciting things you did when you were on fire for Jesus. Repent (turn around and do things differently according to God's Word).

Be intentional and regain the emotional connection you are missing.  O taste and see that the Lord is good... (Psalm 34:7).

God Bless,

Pastor Brian E Kennedy, Sr.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

How Meaningful is Your Corporate Worship?

What is corporate worship like for you?
What do you expect when you attend corporate worship services?
Do you leave better or worse after worship?

Worship is recognizing God, and honoring Him for Who He  is, what He has done, what He is doing, and what He will do.

The key to worship is getting outside of  ourselves and concentrating on God.  As long as you are thinking about lunch, school or work on the next day, and what's happenings after church, or the people at church, you will miss meaningful worship.

Christians, today is a great day to focus on the quality of your corporate worship experience. 

Psalm 23, 34, and others are great to concentrate upon in worship. 

Again the key is lose sight of your circumstances, yourself, and others and focus on God.
Focus on the prayers, the words in the songs, and apply the sermon scriptures to you.
You will leave much better than you came in.

God Bless,

Pastor Brian E. Kennedy, Sr.