Pastor's Blog
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August 20, 2015, 8:38 AM

Progress


How much progress are you making in your everyday walk with Christ?

Not many people are a fan of change, but when we make Jesus Christ the Lord of our life we must understand this one thing we are asking for. We are asking Jesus to make Change in us and we have to be willing to accept that change. We all like progress, we all like improvement, however we don't like change. We should strive to get closer and closer in our relationship with Jesus everyday.

I look at my two boys and see the growth over the last year alone in both of them, one now almost seven and the other almost two they are growing so much and you can see the change. This hit me when I was talking to my friend Denise yesterday, she said the boys are growing. I think about this in my walk with Christ as we all should. Are we growing in our journey with God is our relationship growing so much that it is visible to others, to where people are saying things like "something different". God's desire for us is for us to draw near to Him and to seek Him daily in our everyday lives. We hear Peter tell us this in 2 Peter 3:18 as he says "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord.."

The more time you spend with Him the more you will know Him. God is good and has good things in store for you, He has a plan for you and it is up to us to seek Him daily in our lives, drawing near to Him and building our relationship with Him.

2 Peter 3:18 (NIV)

18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

 

Pastor J.W. Pannell III

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August 18, 2015, 6:43 AM

You Lack One Thing.....


Luke 18:18-27 (NIV)

The Rich and the Kingdom of God

18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’[a]

21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.

22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?”

27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

I am reminded of a J.G. Wentworth commercial that always says, "it's my money and I want it now". In life we want things like we are at Burger King or Something, we want to customize our lives to fit our needs, and for things benefit us in the best way possible. When we choose to follow Jesus it needs to be more of Him and less of me Lord... The man in this story asks Jesus a simple question, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Even though this man stated that he had always strived to do "good", keep the commandments Jesus stated that there was still one thing that he was lacking... A sold out commitment to Him, a relationship that states Less of Me Lord, More of You. Jesus knows that this is a hard commitment and even says that it will be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle that for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God. Just as we are probably asking the same question when everyone heard this they asked Him, "WHO then can be saved?" Jesus gives the best and most reassuring reply... "What is impossible with man, is possible with God"! We must remember that with God all things are possible, we will never be perfect, Jesus was the ONLY perfect man who walked this earth. We can try our best but we will never be good enough, and deserve what God grants to us... What He wants from us is a Sold out Commitment to Him, a relationship with Him that will state that I can absolutely have nothing, give or sell everything and serve Him whole heartedly. Are you sold out to HIM? Is your life dedicated to Him? Is He in control of your every action, every move, every word?

Lord... I try, I try, I try... But I will never be good enough... But, Lord it's less of me, and more of you.

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August 17, 2015, 12:35 PM

S.O.S


As much as we think that we have everything under control, the truth is we don't know the half of it... Far to often in life we seem to get covered up in problems and worries of things that life throws our way, we even cause our selves more trouble than needed sometimes. Then there are times when things are going great, things are working in our favor and it seems that we are on track.. Here is when we often find our selves boastful and loosing sight of who has our back... We always want to look to God when we need Him, but often forget to thank Him...

No matter the time in our lives, no matter how good or how bad it is we must always remember that we can run to our heavenly Father for help in times of need, to tell Him how much we love Him, and to look to Him to keep us on track.

Look around at all the beauty that surrounds us everyday, the mountains, the trees, the stars and the oceans... God is good, creative and powerful. I am humbled by His majesty! I lift my eye and know right where to always turn, remember where my help comes from..the maker of all.

Psalm 121:1-2 (NIV)

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

Pastor J.W. Pannell III

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August 14, 2015, 7:19 AM

YOU are NOT your own!


1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

This past Wednesday night Sister Linda Lewis our missions director brought us an awesome message on the scripture refferenced in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. This scripture has been running through my head ever since. I have heard it thousands of times even used the passage in a sermon a time or two so why is it stuck now...

God gave us all that we have even our bodies that we live in everyday. As a Christian and as a human being I am Pro Life. God gave us this life and He has made the creation of Life. We tend to forget it's not ours nor is the call to end it. And even from there as we develop in life and grow as a Christian a follower, a believer in Jesus Christ we must take care of ourselves, physically and spirtually. Sister Linda made reference to a dinner plate and what we put on it, such a true thought to our everyday life as a Christian. If we trully desire to grow closer to the Lord we should be careful of what we put ourselves in contact with. Watch what you put on your plate... Is praying, fasting, reading the word, dwelling in the presence of the Lord on your plate? By default there is always work, family, school and many other things on your plate not to mention reading facebook posts... Be sure to leave room for Jesus, this is cruical to a balanced "diet" (LIFE). Jesus can bring balance to your life in the midst of everything else, He can bring peace and security that only He as our personal savior can bring. You see, YOU were bought with a price, a high price. Jesus paid a debit that He did not owe to give us a chance to be redeemed from sin and have a personal relationship with Him. And we owe a debit that we cannot pay. We owe our lives to Him, so honor him with your bodies, your life. Put Him first, give it all to Him, because "you are not your own"...

Pastor Jonathan Pannell ©

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August 14, 2015, 7:18 AM

Brother, Where Art Thou?


1 John 2 (NIV)

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

Love and Hatred for Fellow Believers

We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God[a] is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister[b] is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister[c] lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.

 

When I read this text I think of a couple of things randomly, such as the old song "Blinded by the light" and the movie "Oh Brother where art thou" why I have no clue... I guess because of the word "Blinded" in this case it is not by the light but by the darkness. We live in a CRAZY time... the news is full of bad news but we have to be reminded of the good news, Jesus Christ. You see, this day we all live in is a day in age where the world wants to cater to the flesh, not the believer. As a society we have gotten away from our founding roots that this Country was founded on (Faith) and the world is lost and dying without Jesus. In 1 John it states that "But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One".

We have to remember that darkness is all around us BUT the true light is already shinning! We should strive to "live as Jesus did". We will mess up, make mistakes, and have regrets, however we always have to know we have Jesus to look to when we do, He is right there with us to pick us up, brush us off and let Him carry us through. Keep your eyes on Jesus. When you are standing in a dark room, you are more likely to stump your toe, fall and if your like me after this happens you will be in the floor in the fetal position crying and crawling for the door... When you are in darkness (away from Jesus) you are more likely to find yourself Hurt, Broken, Lost and blinded. When you are in the light (living in the light) there is nothing in you to make you stumble. Be good, be good to one another. As brothers and sisters together trust in the Lord and use each other as a support system. The closer you are to the light the better you will be able to see. This reminds me of growing up seeing my grandmother lean over to hold a paper up to the lamp so she could see it better. Is Jesus the light to your path?

Pastor Jonathan Pannell ©

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August 12, 2015, 6:41 AM

Fun Friends! Smart devil!


All while growing up, through grade school, high school and college it was great to have friends. Everyone wants to meet new people and join the crown... As a Christian we have to be aware that there is a dangerous line to cross here. You see being a Christian will not always be the "coolest" thing to everyone, but its our commitment to our Heavenly Father that should always be our number one priority. To many times we want to follow the crowd, or we get sucked in by what we think is right but know that it is not. The book of Matthew tells us to "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves" (Matthew 7:15). You see the devil is way smarter than you give him credit for..........he comes to kill, steal, and destroy you (John 10:10), keep you from God's plans and blessings and steal your walk with Christ. And he will use what and whoever it takes! Watch out! The devil wants to miss lead you, he may come to you seeming harmless, and you will fall hook, line and sinker... It's as easy as getting a email that has a friends name on it and you open it for your computer to be taken over by a virus, then you find out it wasn't your friends email at all.... The enemy wants to slip in your life and then try and take you over by diverting your attention.

It seems as Christians we get a higher presence of the enemy and his "tactics" in our lives the more God is present and moving in our lives.. Thus being "When God is Blessin' the devil is messin'!" We have to stay strong in our faith! Surround your life with strong Christians, Bible believing, God fearing people. If your friends are keeping you from the presence of God, diverting your attention, or bringing you down it's a likely sign that the enemy is trying a fast one...

Proverbs 12:26 "The righteous should choose their friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray"

Be Strong in the Lord!

Pastor J.W. Pannell III ©

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August 9, 2015, 7:43 AM

Ready or Not....


Before you even click LIKE or SHARE on your Next Post........... 

You could draw your list breath...Jesus could come back... You could be in an accident... Age is not a factor here... God will call home the young and the old, the healthy and the wealthy... 

Today is Sunday and the devil is going to try and keep you out of church, he will try using your family against you, your spouse against you, your children against you, work against you, being tired, feeling ill, your mind, your church family, your friends.... The enemy wants to keep you away from God hurt your relationship with Jesus and make things of this world get in your way. Jesus is there, you just cant let the devil stop you. No matter what excuse you give, if it kept you from focusing on God, the devil won that round. Take your burden, you illness, your brokenness, your hurt to HIM... We are His children let us come to HIM. Make HIM your number one priority today and everyday to follow and watch what HE has in store... It's Not about you but ALL about HIM! So before you Click Like or Share..Make sure that your Heart is right, because in that second HE could call YOUR Name....


Pastor J.W. Pannell ©

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August 9, 2015, 7:29 AM

Is Jesus on your List?


Where do you stand with Jesus? Just because your name is on a Coke Bottle doesn't mean it's written in Heaven.... Many people plan in their lives things to do, places to go people to see even what things you want to do before you leave this world. But the truth is you better plan early because you will never know when you will draw you final breath on this earth.. We always tend to focus on all the things we want to do, how often do we focus on Jesus? Spending time with Him? And what He wants us to do? 
Today make time for HIM, It doesn't matter how good you think you are, if you have never turned your life over to Jesus your heading in the wrong direction. Being a "good person" will not get you to heaven, a Savior Named Jesus is the only way. 

Make Time for Jesus today. Put what you want to do aside and find your self in his presence, in His house, on His day, doing what He wants you to do. Make Jesus the Lord of YOUR life. 

1 Corinthians 15:21-22 - So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. 22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.

Pastor J.W. Pannell III ©

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August 7, 2015, 8:50 AM

Payback!


Many times in our lives we find ourselves getting hurt, offended, or let down. Sometimes we are even taken advantage of and broken by people. During these times we in our flesh desire to "get even" we want revenge for what has happened to us or our family. We want to speak our mind, we want them to feel like we feel. This has become the way of the world, "No Justice, No Peace"... 

1 Peter 2:19-25 says 19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Jesus died for our sins, He was the only man to ever be without sin. Jesus didn't resist and didn't want revenge for what He went through, He went through it with Love for us. Let Jesus heal your wounds when you get hurt, let Him mend your heart and let Him be the one that judges. We must learn to always Love, and forgive as He has Forgiven each of us. Stay away from wanting Revenge, Wanting Payback, wanting to get even or to hurt someone else or their feelings because of what you went through. Trust in the Lord with ALL that you do. By staying close to God during these times, HE gets all the glory. Don't Worry...Just know Who has your Back!

Pastor J.W. Pannell III ©

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August 5, 2015, 4:45 PM

WeAk!


I saw a church sign once that read "7 Days without Prayer, Makes on Weak!" This statement is more true than you will ever truly realize! 2 Corinthians 12;9 says "My strength is made perfect in weakness" sometimes we face some very trying times, situations in life that are challenging beyond words and we fill that life is over as we know it... It is in times like this when we fill completly weak and we are humbeled that God's strength is shown so perfectly through the storm. Life is tough and unfair! I always heard a phrase growing up "thats just life in the big city" life is challenging at times but in these times take notice to God's power and the understanding that HE has a perfect plan in store for you. We don't always see the "big" picture, the end result..and God He knows the ending and what till be best for us. Trust in Him with all that you do! 

Pastor J.W. Pannell III

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August 4, 2015, 12:00 AM

Flowing From the Spring


James 3:11 says "Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?

In todays world we are faced by many challenges that cloud us everyday. You see we cannot ride the fence... Christians today seemingly want to ride the fence. God desires us to Follow Jesus and HE will make us into the disciples that HE wants us to be. However your relationship with Him will never truly flourish if we don't put the world behind us and God before us. Making God a number one priority despite the sacrifices we have to make is key in our journey with Christ. To often as Christians we want to submit to the things of this world, however this pleasure is temporary. We need to make God the first priority in everything we do. We become tired however God's word tells us that we should never grow weary in doing HIS work. God desires the very best for you, He has a great plan for you and He wants His blessings to flow in your life. Always seek Him and put Him first and watch the windows of Heaven open in your life.

The world gets a bad image of us when we choose things of the world over our journey with Him. The enemy knows your weaknesses and will tempt you with those things. Stay Strong in the Lord.

Pastor J.W. Pannell III

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