From the Pastor’s Heart – 1/14/2017

Ephesians 2:1 says, “And you were dead in your trespasses and sin.”  When some people hear that statement, they think that they were, or are, not that far lost or dead.  Yet, hell is the destiny just the same for each, and each needs the knowledge of that truth.  It is, as the old saying goes, one cannot be a little pregnant.  Born into sin, we are dead and lost, spiritually.  It is the responsibility of all Christians to disseminate, those truths for the sake of the eternity of the individuals.


Let me pose a question.  Let us say that I took you to a mortuary and that we went into the embalming room.  There, we observed two tables, upon each, which lay a dead body, having the blood drained from these, in order that the embalming fluid could be injected.  One body had lain there longer and decay had begun, not to mention that it was emitting unpleasant odors.  The other body, had just died, within the last two hours and, simply, appeared to be asleep, with no physical blemish or deterioration.

The question is… which body is the more dead?  One body looks normal and the other, due to decomposition, is ugly and gross in appearance.  But, neither is more dead than the other for the definitive of death is the “absence of life.”

Therefore, Ephesians points out that “any” person, without God, is dead!  Some people look good and are dead.  Some appear ok, but, are dead.  Others are ugly and dead.  Some appear happy, content, confident, and well adjusted but they too, are dead.  All of us, before Christ are in the process of decomposition and, as we who are redeemed know, the process of dying in sin can, only, be reversed through Christ, the life giver.

The Christian, and the church, must be convicted of the deadness of the masses and the need for the saving of lives.  Each of us, are being called of the Holy Spirit, a fresh and anew, to the Great Commission.

Christmas was God’s gift to overcome spiritual death, and God’s way of demonstrating His love for His creation.  Calvary was the alter of sacrifice and the resurrection was the affirmation of eternal life.

Ephesians 2:1-5

                                                                                                      In Christ,  Mike Whaley


From the Pastor’s Heart – 1/7/2018

As we travel down the freeway, there are several lanes of travel.  The outside lane is designed for slower traffic while the inside lane is for use by the faster moving vehicles.  In some metropolitan areas, there is, even, a lane just for high occupancy vehicles.  Each lane has a designated use, for a particular purpose; organized, efficient traffic movement.

For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men– as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God.


Along the course of the freeway, there are, at different intervals exits that provide an opportunity to leave the flow of the freeway, to travel to a specified location.  One must be alert for the appropriate exit, leading to their desired destination, or the freeway will, actually, take them away from their purposed location of objective.  Travelling too fast, may result in missing a desired exit.

Life is like a freeway, with people travelling at different paces, along different paths.  Each individual, theoretically, has a destination or goal.  Often times, they continue on that planned path but, sometimes, people take exits different from the original objective.  Many times that alternation of destination is a positive detour and, at other times, that decision is devastating.  Sometimes the exit is intentional, and sometimes, that exit is the result of circumstances.
God allows mankind the freedom of will.  The will to travel the road, seek the lane of our choice, and exit, indiscriminately, or proceed on life’s highway to a desired location.  These choices can, also, result in major life accidents and crashes.

Because of that free will, the consequences are not the fault of God but, rather, the individual decisions made.  There is, however, a means by which to both exercise free will and determine success at the alternate destinations, or exits, along the path of life.  That assurance comes to the life of the follower of Christ who is committed to the “ways” and “will” of the Father.  For the spirit will be the guide, the provider, and the sustainer, along the journey and at every turn, diversion and/or stop along the way.

To be in Christ, means that we have both a guide and a protective Savior of empowerment.


I Peter 2:15; Heb. 6:12; Ps. 37:5

                                                                                                    In Christ,  Mike Whaley


From the Pastor’s Heart – 12/31/2017

Ralph H. Dument wrote the following…


“What is a year?  A group of days – That may be used in many ways.

A year may be a priceless boon – Alas, that it is gone so soon!

And, yet, we need not feel forlorn – For now another year is born.

Our days and years are wisely planned – They live within the Master’s hand.

So, with glad hope and right good cheer,

We welcome this, another year!”


 A new year is another God given opportunity for release of the burdens and anxieties of human existence.  To know Christ, personally is to approach the new beginning, in the assurance and confidence of the hope, that only He can provide.  Confidence, in hope, breeds power in the dependent reality that to be “in the Master’s hand” is to be in the protective and provisional safety and concern of a loving God that loves us to the extent of Calvary.  What an awesome knowledge, when appropriated as truth.

May this be a year of total submission that will result in untold blessings.


                                                                                                         In Christ,  Mike Whaley


From the Pastor’s Heart – 12/10/2017

There is a legend, that years after the birth of Christ announcement to the shepherds, some of the older shepherds were trying to remember the song sang by the angels announcing that blessed event.  While sitting out on the hillside under the stars, the elders tried again, and again, amidst the dark, to recall the words and the tune.
At some point, a stray lamb could be heard calling for help.  Despite the cries, no one moved from around the fire.  Finally, a young boy, who would have been far too young to have heard the angels’ announcement that night, got up from the campfire and went out into the darkness.  After stumbling around in the dark, bruising his body and incurring lacerations, finely, found the distressed, and lost lamb.
Hoisting the lamb over his shoulder, the boy returned the missing lamb to the fold.  As he returned to the area of the fold the older men were astonished as they heard the boy humming to himself, the very song that was sung by the angels proclaiming the Savior…”Glory to God in the highest.”

Christmas is the occasion by which God intervened in history to provide a savior to prevent the destruction of mankind, in his own sin.  He who was welcomed in praise, by the angels, is to be received and honored, in praise for the Savior/Lord is worthy of praise.  Its eternal affect was, and is, worthy of recognizing, and declaring, the “glory of God in the highest.”

Luke 2:13-14

                                                                                                             In Christ, Mike Whaley


From the Pastor’s Heart – 12/3/2017

The story is told of a bear that lived in a 12’x12’ cage.  Having lived in that cage for ten year, it knew that cage intimately.  In fact, the bear was so familiar with its environment, that he could close his eyes and walk from one end of the cage and, before reaching the end, turn around and walk in the opposite direction.  Upon approaching the other end, the bear would again, stop before reaching the bars and make his turn.

As the bear grew, the keepers moved the bear into a 36’x36’ cage to allow it more room and comfort.  However, the bear would continue to, only, go twelve weeks before turning around to travel in the opposite direction.  Even though the bear had moved to a new cage, he had brought his old cage with him.  Despite the promotion, the old habits remained.

Many people have been so accustomed to living under the law so long, and under the limitations of a performance – based approach to Christian living, that they do not know how to handle the freedom, called grace, made possible by Christmas.  But, in Christ, one has been promoted to a new spiritual environment that allows for the abandoning of old habits, in order to claim their new status and abode.  Christ set one free to a lot more room in a new status.

Romans 7:24-25; Eph. 5:8-10; Titus 3:3-7

                                                                                                           In Christ, Mike Whaley


From the Pastor’s Heart – 11/26/2017

If you take a poker and put it in a fireplace with a raging fire, the poker is just in the fire.  But, if you leave it in the fire, the fire gets into the poker.  If the poker is left in the fire for any length of time, the environment of the fire will rub off on the poker, so that it will become red hot.  It will not be red hot because it said, “Let me be hot today,” because it is in the mood to be hot, or because it stresses and strains to make itself red hot.  It became hot, red hot, because of where it was hanging out.  Not, only, does the poker get hot because the fire is hot, but if it is taken out of the fire and gets near something else, it will burn that something else.  Not because of the power of the poker, but because of the relationship of the poker to the fire.  Because the poker was in the fire, and the fire got into the poker, everything else is going to be set aflame.
If Christians are touching things and nothing is burning, nothing is changing, and there is no victory, it is because they do not understand that red hot power does not come through effort but through relationship.

God’s goal is Christ-likeness.  That is, being conformed to the character of Christ.  Christ-likeness, simply, means emulating the “who” of Christ, not because one is stressing or straining, but because, Christ is “in” you.  We can become “red hot” in our commitment and evangelism, by increasing our relationship with Christ, in prayer, study, and attention.  Then, we will affect all of those with whom we make contact.

 Phil 2:13; Rom 8:13

                                                                                                                                 In Christ, Mike Whaley


From the Pastor’s Heart – 11/19/2017

In November of each year, we set aside a special day of thanksgiving.  It is a day of acknowledgement, and reflection, upon the blessings that we can claim.  This tradition, supposedly, arose out of the Pilgrims’ first year feast to celebrate their survival and to give thanks to God.  In reality, each day of life is worthy of thanksgiving, for its “being” as well as its opportunity.  For the very gift of life, itself, is a blessing and other material possessions are but bonuses.

And when one discovers this truth, then, as the years go by, one, always, comes to understand the brevity of the gift of life; it is like a vapor.  Therefore, thanksgiving should be a daily activity in recognition of God’s sovereignty and mercy.  And, when it comes to freedom and material possessions, surely, we Americans are blessed more than anyone else upon the face of the earth.  Praise be to God!

Given the shortness of the physical life, we, the redeemed, who know that eternity awaits every soul upon departing their life, must live in thanksgiving to the God of our salvation.  Through His mercy and grace, and the willing sacrifice of Jesus, we can be thankful of the assurance of an eternity in the present of a holy and righteous God, rather than suffering the consequence of our sins.

May this Thanksgiving Day begin a practice of, daily, “thanksgiving;” a practice of living each day as a tribute to the Savior God, as a form of thanksgiving.  May we live each day, in the confidence of our future, for Jesus paid the price that guarantees that assurance.  For the saved in Christ, each moment is entitled to thanksgiving, that we can “be anxious for nothing in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving.”


Luke 11:11-13; Phil. 4:6,19; I Chron. 16:8

                                                                                                                                         In Christ, Mike Whaley


From the Pastor’s Heart – 11/12/2017

One of the greatest connections one can ever make is the connection between time and eternity.  One is important to the other, for expectations, always, affect present actions.  One can know what to expect, by what one does.  For instance the student who does not study, cannot expect to do well when taking an examination covering the material.
Likewise, if one expects to become a doctor, it will affect the educational decisions and plans.  Course choices, from high school forward, will be influenced by that objective.  If one desires to be a professional athlete, it will affect one’s physical training and workout regimen.  If one is diagnosed as being terminally ill, that revelation would affect how that person prioritizes the importance of things.  Basically, the expectations, affect decisions.

Regrettable, many Christians are living in perpetual defeat, because their expectations are locked into time.  They have lost their sight of eternity.

To recognize, and claim, the reality of one’s eternity, the Christian’s time in the present is, dramatically, affected.  With eternity in sight, the circumstances of the present become less important or traumatic.  The present is recognized as fleeting, and it necessitates an urgency within that time frame.

The psalmist, and the very teachings of Jesus, repeatedly, emphasized that the promise, and affect, of eternity, gives victory to the time of the present.

Psalm 39:5

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In Christ, Mike Whaley


From the Pastor’s Heart – 11/5/2017

A famous general, Douglas MacArthur, was meeting his foe, a Japanese general.  The meeting was set up for the Japanese general to, officially, surrender.  The Japanese general stuck out his hand to shake MacArthur’s hand and MacArthur responded to the gesture by saying, “I cannot shake your hand, sir, until you, first, surrender your sword.”  You see, one cannot be friends as long as that sword is hanging by your side, he was saying.  First, give me your symbol of an adversary, and, then, we can shake hands. 

A lot of us wish to shake hands with God, while continuing to carry our swords.  Carrying the sword of our “personal will” makes us an adversary of God, because God’s way, is the only way, and not subject to diversion or alteration.  We must, like the Japanese general, surrender this sword in submission to “the Master”, totally, completely, and without conditions.  Jesus made this, imminently, clear when He said that to be my disciple you “must deny yourself and come (follow) after me,” in action and teachings.

Have you still got your sword?

Matt. 6:9-10

                                                                                                               In Christ, Mike Whaley


From the Pastor’s Heart – 10/29/2017

If you spend all your time, today, thinking about your failures or successes, yesterday, then, you will ruin your tomorrow.  When today looks too long at yesterday, we are borrowing from tomorrow’s time.

Yesterday is like a rearview mirror. When you go somewhere in the car, you use a rearview mirror.  A rearview mirror shows you what is behind you.  You need a rearview mirror, but you only need a rearview mirror to glance in, not to live in.  You do not, and cannot, move forward by focusing on the rearview mirror.  Forward motion requires focusing upon the windshield. To live in a rearview mirror, will hurt someone.  The windshield is a much larger piece of glass.  It reveals that, where you are going is much bigger than where you have been.  If yesterday is allowed to mess up today, it will ruin tomorrow.

While driving forward in the Christian life, every now and then, do look in the rearview mirror.  Take a peek but do not dwell there.  The look behind is for the purpose of assuring that, while moving forward, we will not make a wrong turn, or allow something from the past to overtake us.

Phil. 3:13-14

                                                                                                            In Christ, Mike Whaley


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