Friday, September 15, 2017

Christian: noun or adjective?

JD Walt is the writer of the Daily Text (Info below). Today he asked:  a couple of questions and I thought I would ask and answer two of them here.
  1. American Christian or Christian American; what’s the difference?
  2. Why does it matter?

Is Christian the noun or the adjective for a Christian who has American citizenship? 

The fact that a pot is green of blue does not change the function of the pot. A pot is a pot what color it is, doesn't matter in the least. With this logic, I have to say that Christian is the noun. You can have a Christians who are different but we are all in a sense the same. This is born out in Scripture where Paul said: "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28).

However, if you talk about service, then there is compassionate service and resentfully, spiteful service and that changes everything. In this example, the type of service or the lack of it is changed by the adjective. In this, an American Christian could carry a negative overtone (in today's world it probably does) where a Christian American may not. 
 
So which is it?

I am going to say that the primary noun and the primary adjective in a Christian who has American citizenship is Christian or maybe I can put it in a more confusing way. 

We are Christian American Christians. 

Yet, when this life is over we will just be Christians. Just like a child is both a child and child-like but one day by God's design they will be neither: "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me." (I Corinthians 13:11)

I know that it isn't just Americans who read this blog, so if you're from Germany, Russia, or from elsewhere, you have to change the term American to where you are from. 

Anyway, think about it. 

Promised Infomation:
Join the Daily Text Fasting Challenge here. Whenever you sign up, it will begin the following Tuesday.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Why a newsletter at TCN

Why a newsletter?

There are many reasons for an organization to send out newsletters. These are at least some of the ones we considered when we decided to launch a newsletter here at Tell City First Church of the Nazarene.

11.     Information:
We live in very busy times and though our church is close there are times when we miss out what is happening. Bulletins are lost, websites and Facebook don’t always get updated or work right. Let’s be honest our little church has a lot going on it can be hard to keep track of it all. Our hope is this newsletter will help people know what is going on.

22.     Connectedness:
The information sent out will help us connect better. A listing of Anniversaries and Birthdays will be listed and reminders of special times of when we can enjoy fellowship.

33.     Growth:
To supply an extra bit of spiritual insight from myself and others. Also, provides links to other sources of growth and inspiration.

What do I promise:

11.     That as long as the newsletter seems to be a blessing we will continue it. If this seems to not be a blessing anymore, then we will discontinue the newsletter.
22.     I (Pastor Charles) promise grammatical errors, misspellings, forget to add an event or some other mistake. I’m a doctor, not an editor. Oops, I mean I’m a pastor, not an editor (If you’re not a Trekkie, over look that last comment).
33.     To try and make looking at this worth your time to look it over.

We are family here at Tell City First Chruch of the Nazarene and it is our hope that Hitting the Mark will help give us what every family needs: better communication.

Hitting the Mark: 
What is in a name.


No, I (Pastor Charles) didn’t ask the church board what we should call our newsletter and who knows maybe after it’s been out we will change the name, For now, I have chosen to call the church’s newsletter Hitting the Mark
I wanted to name the newsletter something which would both be scriptural and fit our community. Calling it the Marksman wouldn’t work, we have people who attend Perry Central and besides that name has already been taken. Yet, I did like the idea of shooting for a goal and trying to reach something. This is when I remembered Paul saying, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14, KJV). I memorize this scripture as a child and it just felt right. Even a student from Perry Central or Cannelton can say they want to hit their goals, so that’s how Hitting the Mark became the name. It is my prayer that Hitting the Mark will help us hit the goals God has given us in our lives and in our church. 
God Bless. 
Pastor Charles 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Miracles from Heaven (my thoughts)

I am more often than not a little skeptical when it comes to claims of miracles. I have seen some and know that God does them, but as Chuck Swindoll said, “They’re miracles, not Commons." In recent years there has been a plethora of books and movies about miracles and visitations to heaven. I have heard the people say, "It's a great story" to which I resist saying, but is it true. Some of them make claims of things which are not evident in scripture, but normally I hold my tongue. This being said, I sat down and watched Miracles From Heaven and was thoroughly surprised. It was at times hard to watch but afterward, I was glad I did. You can decide for yourself. PC

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Journey Continues

Week one was completed last week.

I lost 5 pounds last week. I know this isn't the same for some people, but for me it was encouraging.

I keep under my point count (weight watchers food counting) for the week. I even had several treats, that I adjusted my eating for.

The first week was actually easier than I thought it would be. As of today, I am 4 days into my second week and it's getting harder. This is when the initial push of emotion has passed and the reality of what I am doing is setting in. I am still determined but the cost of changing my eating lifestyle is becoming real. I am not giving up, but I can't lie and say everything is easy.

Wish me luck, as the journey continues.

8-21-17   5 down  - 95 to go...

UPDATE 9-15-17 14 down 86 to go

Monday, August 14, 2017

A new journey (trying something different)

I am starting a new journey, or maybe I should say I am starting again. I didn't get there last several times I tried.

I am going to change my lifestyle and become more healthy/

No, I didn't have a heart attack or bad news from the doctor. No, it was something a lot worse...

My own words.

We all know what we should be doing things about. The doctor had said many times it would be good for me to lose weight. I know I would feel better and eventually it would hurt me in ways that I may not recover.

What did I say?

In talking Sunday about the spiritual discipline of engaging your Bible (reading, reflecting, responding), I said if what you are trying to do isn't working do something else. Find something that works and stick with it. It is like dieting. What does works? The one you stick with, so find one that works for you and stick with it. If what you are doing isn't working try something else.

What I am doing when it comes to food isn't working. I was challenged by a friend to try Weight Watchers.

I had excuses, but it was something I had never tried and we both knew what I was doing wasn't working. So I found a good deal, a good meeting time and started.

Where will this lead?

To success I believe, but here is the teachable moment.

At least, I am trying something different since what I was doing wasn't working.

So what in your life isn't working?

Try something else, try another path toward your goal.

I'll keep you updated on mine.

Monday, August 7, 2017

A habit, not legalism.

I have been preaching about doing what is needed to grow in Christ. In my preparations, I found one of the most important things you can do to grow spiritually is to engage the Word (Bible Study, journaling, interactive apps, etc) and to make it a habit (at least 4 times a week).

A habit, not legalism.

Some people express their concern about becoming legalistic when it comes to Spiritual disciplines but what they may be is undisciplined. 

I will give you an example of habit versus legalism.

Brushing my teeth in the morning.

Do you think I find this legalistic? Have there been times I had to jump up and run without doing it?

Of course, and no one died. (my wife thought I ate something that died but that's a different story)

So why do I continue the habit (I don't want to be legalistic about it do I)? 

Because it’s good for me and everyone I interact with.

I don’t think that I will ever find anyone so much a rebel that they will tell me I am being legalistic about brushing my teeth. Most will encourage me to keep doing it. They would say it great personal hygiene.


Yet some of these same people will look at my admonition about regularly engaging the Word, attending church, and Bible study as legalism. 

It’s not it just good spiritual hygiene (to use dental terms).

So make engaging the Word a habit, it's only legalism if you define it as that.  

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Devil rarely honors his deals.

OR maybe I should title this Why I didn't write that story?

When the Devil does honor his deal the reason is, of course, so it will benefit him.

I say this not because the devil came to my house with blue eyes and in jeans, but from what I see in scripture and see in the lives of people.

Many years ago, I had a nightmare it was very, very vivid. It came to me like a movie, in which, I was the main character, an author. The story unfolded with the Devil disguised as the caretaker gave promising rest for writers of suspense and horror and though he gave them this in body he was tormenting their souls making it possible for them to write more horror.

When I awoke from this dream I felt as if I had the seed of a novel but it terrified me. Writing it I knew would open my mind to some very dark places. Places from which I might never return. I decided that I wouldn’t write it.

Since then there has been a whisper in my mind, “This story is a best seller,” “You can have wealth and fame.” The promise seemed real but now almost two decades later, I have still never written the story, nor will I.

I have written a few small books and have written several stories. Over the few couple of years, I have self-published some of those works. I discovered though the difficulty in writing, editing, and publishing a book. I have learned that even a good story may never hit fame.

Last week it hit me, I was lied to. This horror story would never be all it was promised, yet I would have been changed. I would have opened my mind to a darkness which I believe would have haunted me for the rest of my life. It was all a lie there would have been no reward, but there would have been a price paid, I would have paid it.

Why share this?

You might even now be hearing a lie. It might not be the Devil, but it is making you a promise that if you compromise your integrity there will be a reward. The truth is whenever we compromise our values and integrity, we lose. Even if there is that on in a million chance you get what is promised, the cost isn’t worth the reward. So, don’t do it.

Don’t give in.


It isn’t worth it.