From the Pastor’s Heart – 7/23/2017

It is not difficult to, sometimes, forget about the consistency and faithfulness of God.  Yet, without fail, He is, always, constantly present and consistently faithful, whether we see Him or not.
 
 

I was considering the activity of the sun.  Since the beginning of time, the sun has been present, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  All year long, all decade long, all century long, the sun just continues to shine.

Yes, the earth does, regularly, turn dark at our location causing us to ask, “how is that possible if the sun’s light is constantly, without failing, putting forth light?”  Well, of course, we have learned that the earth turns upon its axis, allowing only the side facing the sun to receive light, at any given time.  The sun had never moved and its light was never extinguished.  Rather, the earth had moved.
 
 

When darkness consumes our lives, and takes over, God has not moved.  He is, still, present with His grace, to provide the strength of sustainment, comfort, confidence, and victory, in and through the darkness, to the victory in His light.  God, the Father, never, moves.  The movement is, always, on our part.  We move out of His will.  We move into areas of conflict.  We must crave a constant focus upon the model and teachings of Christ.  The farther one gets from light, the more dim it becomes, and the less and less the light affects the darkness.  Look for, and follow, the Light!

 

Isaiah 57:15; James 1:17

                                                                                                                               In Christ, Mike Whaley


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From the Pastor’s Heart – 7/16/2017

The other day, I dropped my pen and made a spiritual discovery.  If I am holding my pen and let the pen “have its own way,” the law of gravity takes over.  If my pen could speak, it might have said, “Leave me alone.  Let me have my own way.”  But, the reality is that, even if the pen is independent of my hand and desirous of its own way, it will not be independent of the law of gravity.  So, because of gravity, it would fail, in its independence.
 
 

Similarly, the world says, “Sure, go ahead and be independent.  Please yourself.”  However, the law of the flesh will, in fact, determine your direction and course of action.  You will be destined by this law and not be, truly, independent.

When I reach down to pick up the dropped pen, there is another law at work.  My picking up the pen does not cancel the law of gravity but it is overridden by the power I have to lift it off of the floor.  Gravity, in this circumstance, is still in effect, but it is just not ruling.  In this case, I have the power, not gravity.
 
 

 Likewise, a life in the Spirit, is a life empowered to overcome the law of the flesh.  The law of the flesh, sin and temptation, remains present, but it has no sufficient power to compete with the overwhelming power of the Spirit.  Living in the Spirit is to live victoriously.

 Romans 8:2; Hebrews 7:18-19

 
                                                                                                                                In Christ, Mike Whaley

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From the Pastor’s Heart – 7/9/2017

 I know someone that, regularly, drives their car to its fuel capacity’s limit.  When you get into their car the first thing that you check is the fuel gauge, for they tend to, most often, drive on the fumes left in the tank.  It seems as though there is a thrill attached to being able to reach a gas station just before the engine stalls for lack of fuel.  What frustration and anxiety must be wrought by living “on fumes,” when one could get gas before the tank reaches empty.  Sounds reasonable, does it not?
 
 

 Yet, spiritually speaking, many people live their lives “on fumes.”  For to live a prayer-less life is to live life on mere fumes.  A prayer-less life is, solely, dependent on human efforts and resources, which are finite and insufficient.  Consequences, and ultimately, the fuel to deal with the trials and tribulations of life, are soon extinguished.  Prayer is the means of accessing divine fuel, to confront and overcome, in the power of Christ, life’s difficulties.  Why run through life, on fumes, when His unlimited fuel for victory, is available, since running on spiritual fumes, leads to dangerous and needless anxiety and defeat?  Salvation brings freedom and peace.  Prayer is a means deepening our relationship, in Christ, and the depth of that peace and freedom. 

So, keep your tank filled!

                                                                                                                                          In Christ, Mike Whaley


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From the Pastor’s Heart – 7/2/2017

Patriotic men do not shrink from danger, when one’s conscience points the path.  Troubles and obstacles do not override, regardless, in the face of that which is “right.”  It was this philosophy, that gave birth to our great nation:  valor in the face of adversity, morality despite the costs; a nation whose birthday we celebrate in the coming days.  For “right,” is the history of America and its established foundation.  Because of that foundation, God has blessed this land.  This week, we celebrate the wisdom of that origin.
 
 

So, likewise, is the case with one’s personal life.  It is the foundation, upon one builds their life, that the strength of that life is determined.  Like a building constructed upon sand, with an unstable and unsettled foundation, it will slip and slide, and deteriorate, if not properly grounded.  Whereas, a building established upon a foundation of stone will be, firmly, grounded.  So, it is with one’s life.  A life, fully, grounded upon the “right” of scripture will have the foundation of strength to sustain life’s storms that rock its stability.  For the focus of “right” will stay the course.

Compromise erodes the foundation of a nation.  We are seeing this affect upon the moral and patriotic compass of America. Devastating and corruptible affects; due to compromise. At the same time, compromise by a Christian, weakens his strength, and power, and blurs the lines of “right,” as established by the foundation of Christ.  If that life is not established, firmly, upon Him, that life, too, will crumble.
 
Independence Day, is an apt opportunity for us, as Americans, to reclaim our patriotism and rise up to demand “right,” in morality and truth in our land, for they comprise the basis of freedom.  Independence Day is a day for Christians, also, to be reminded of our “freedom” in Christ.  Freedom from the consequences of sin and freedom not to fear anything of this world.  We, as believers, are free to speak the truth, on every issue, pursuant to the teachings of Christ and the Word of God.  For that is our foundation, and must not be compromised or weakened.
 

May we become “true” patriots of this great, God blessed land, and be committed to its virtues and standards before the world. May we become “true” spiritual patriots (disciples) of our Living Savior, as we, aggressively, proclaim His gift of love and salvation through His mercy and grace.

As America, once found for its freedom, we must continue to be “soldiers” to fight the fight of maintaining it.  As soldiers “of Christ, we are to “fight the good fight,” against the force of evil, that all may know His “true freedom.”

God bless America as, we, draw America back to the God of our blessings!

                                                                                                                                          In Christ, Mike Whaley


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From the Pastor’s Heart – 6/25/2017

 I know that when we travel, I frustrate Judy because, regardless of the duration of the stay, I do not unpack my suitcase.  I live “out of” that suitcase, rather than putting my clothes in the bureau drawers.  Why?  Well, I am not coming there to live!  I am just “passing through.”  Sure, I will enjoy my stay, yet, not get too comfortable.  My “home” is St. George Island and I am eager to get back to my home.

When I travel out of the country, I want just enough knowledge of their language for my convenience.   I am not going to spend the time, and energy, necessary to master the language of the culture, because I am not going to be staying there.  I will be going home.  Back to St. George.

The problem that overtakes people, including Christians, is that we tend to make this world “home.”  We unpack our bags and become, deeply, absorbed in the culture around us, forgetting that this world is not our home.  For Christians, our home is heaven, and this life is one through which we are just “passing.”  We are just staying for a short time.
 
 

Therefore, our time and energy should be focused upon “home,” the place that will be our eternal habitation.  That preparation should include learning to praise and worship the living Lord.  That investment in “home” should be acknowledgement of Him and the proclamation of salvation that others might join us there.  Preparation means a life of action and example, of one worthy of such an eternal abode.

It is time for Christians to divest themselves of the energies and time put forth in this temporal place  and concentrate them, upon our future “home.”  Let us “be” and “act” as kingdom people and inheritors thereto.

 

John 14:2; I John 2:15-17

                                                                                                                                    In Christ, Mike Whaley

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From the Pastor’s Heart – 6/18/2017

At the height of the bombing, during the blitz of London in World War II, the story is told of the efforts of many to scramble into a bomb shelter.  A father descended the ladder but his young son remained at the top of the stairs, staring into the darkened hole below.  The father could see his son illuminated through back lighting, but all the boy could see was darkness.  He, definitely, could not see his father.
 
 

From the midst of the darkness, came the father’s voice saying,  “Son, daddy can see you.  Jump, and I will catch you.”  A father is to be one in whom trust can be placed.  Trust that is earned and, therefore, can be relied upon.  That is the privilege and responsibility of every earthly father.

Our Heavenly Father has established that standard.  Down through history, He has, repeatedly, proved that trust in Him, is well founded and rewarded, as time and again, He has rescued His own.

There are times, when, all we see is darkness.  Sometimes it is the result of human folly, and sometimes it is the result of the sin of the world.  At such dark times, the only resource is a leap of faith.  The child, above, knew he could “jump into darkness” because he knew that he could trust his father.  Likewise, the Heavenly Father, the commensurate father, is dedicated to His children.  And, He will “catch” them beneath His “everlasting arms.”

We, men, are called to be “God-like”, in fatherhood, by example, through obedience, teaching, and the formation of trust.
 

                                                                                                                                 In Christ, Mike Whaley


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From the Pastor’s Heart – 6/11/2017

I believe that there is a misconception regarding human wisdom.  In truth, wisdom is a prize, only, available to those willing to exert the effort to seek and find it. Wisdom differs from one’s IQ. For many of us seniors, we remember the delight of finding a prize in a box of cereal.  But, the prize would, always, be in the bottom of the box.  Many a child would begin to dig through the box, only to be told by their mothers to remove their hands.  The mothers would advise that the prize could, only, be acquired by eating the cereal, first.  The job of eating was necessary to attain the prize.  It could not be, easily, obtained by, simply, rooting around in the cereal.
 
 

So, it is with the ascertainment of intellectual wisdom and truth.  Things are not, always, as they appear on the surface and require, in depth, inquiry and study to seek out the truth.

The wisdom of God, and scripture, comes from concerted study, under the submission and tutorage of the Holy Spirit.  It does not come by a superficial reading, or perusal, but by an intense desire to understand and gain true wisdom.  That is the calling of a follower of Christ, to discover the “mysteries” and their revelations.  Without that wisdom, much of the blessings of being adopted into the kingdom of God, are, tragically, missed.

Therefore, become a “student” of the Word and a “seeker” of wisdom, for self-edification and understanding, and for the glory of God.

Proverbs 2:4; 23:23

                                                                                                                                 In Christ, Mike Whaley


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From the Pastor’s Heart – 6/4/2017

I share with you, a story to which every Christian should be exposed.  For, it would enlighten us, enhance our lives, and greatly change the impression that the world has of us is we exercised the lesson.  It goes like this:

 After a hard day’s work in serious discussion, Theodore Cuyler and Charles H. Spurgeon went out into the country side for a holiday. They roamed the field in high spirits, like boys let loose from school, chatting and laughing, totally, care free.  Dr. Cuyler had told a story at which pastor Spurgeon laughed, euphorosly.  Then, suddenly, he turned to Dr. Cuyler and exclaimed, “Theodore, let’s kneel down and thank God for laughter!”

So, there on the green carpet of grass, under the trees, two of the world’s greatest men of God, knelt and thanked the Lord for the bright and joyous gift of laughter.  You see, there is no antagonism between prayer and laughter.  One is conclusive of spiritual health, the other of physical health.

Christians have every reason, in their salvation, to be happy and we should “display” and “show,” through laughter and joy, the happiness of our hopeful and secure lives in Christ.  Oh, how the perception of Christians would be altered if we lived in our joy.

So, laugh and enjoy life.  For God has purposed that for us.

 

                                                                                                                                     In Christ, Mike Whaley


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From the Pastor’s Heart – 5/28/2017

I much enjoy touring really old cemeteries.  It is fascinating to note the ancient dates and inscriptions, as well as the elaborate decorations affixed to the headstones.  The first thing that one notices is that there are two dates, separated by a dash.  The first date represents the deceased date of birth, while the last date marks their date of death.  In essence, the dash reflects what occurred between their birth and their death.

 As I gaze at a tombstone, and everything about it, such as the art work and decorations, I am, always, drawn back to the dash.  As I look at the dash, I wonder what their life was like.  I wonder about “who” they were and “what” they accomplished in life.  I contemplate who they loved and who loved them, as well as, what impact they had on others.

One day, while looking at one of these forgotten tombstones, it dawned upon me that just as I was looking at the dash, that, the dash, is exactly, what interests God.  God looks at the dash!  He is concerned with what we do with the life that He has given to us.  If we have accepted, in His mercy and grace, the gift of salvation, what have we done during “the dash” for His kingdom?  Has our life been a living testimony?  Have we, continually, shared the gospel among the lost?  Has our priority been to lift up the name of Christ as a source of forgiveness, comfort, and peace?  

 So, the, ultimate, question for each of us, and the question that would confront us in heaven, is…what does your dash look like?

Matt. 25:14-30

                                                                                                                                     In Christ, Mike Whaley

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From the Pastor’s Heart – 5/7/2017

 I believe that there is a misconception regarding human wisdom.  In truth, wisdom is a prize, only, available to those willing to exert the effort to seek and find it. Wisdom differs from one’s IQ. For many of us seniors, we remember the delight of finding a prize in a box of cereal.  But, the prize would, always, be in the bottom of the box.  Many a child would begin to dig through the box, only to be told by their mothers to remove their hands.  The mothers would advise that the prize could, only, be acquired by eating the cereal, first.  The job of eating was necessary to attain the prize.  It could not be, easily, obtained by, simply, rooting around in the cereal.
 

 So, it is with the ascertainment of intellectual wisdom and truth.  Things are not, always, as they appear on the surface and require, in depth, inquiry and study to seek out the truth.

 The wisdom of God, and scripture, comes from concerted study, under the submission and tutorage of the Holy Spirit.  It does not come by a superficial reading, or perusal, but by an intense desire to understand and gain true wisdom.  That is the calling of a follower of Christ, to discover the “mysteries” and their revelations.  Without that wisdom, much of the blessings of being adopted into the kingdom of God, are, tragically, missed.

 Therefore, become a “student” of the Word and a “seeker” of wisdom, for self-edification and understanding, and for the glory of God.

Proverbs 2:4; 23:23

                                                                                                                                 In Christ, Mike Whaley
 

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