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Message From Matt – August 14

Chain Reaction!
 
On my morning trip to the kids’ school this morning, we witnessed something that caused my heart to skip a beat!  There was a guy pulling onto our street (but heading the opposite direction that we were traveling) who wasn’t paying attention and came into our lane, nearly hitting the van in front of us.  Of course, the guy in front of me swerved to avoid getting hit and the result of what happened caused a chain reaction!  
The car coming into the lane caused the guy in front of me to swerve, which caused me to put on my brakes, which caused the guy behind me to put on his brakes.  All because of one person’s action!
 
Chain reactions like this happen every day on the road ways and if you have driven for very long, it is something that you become accustomed to but sometimes it’s hard to see the significance of them. 
There have been, however, certain chain reactions that have happened throughout our history that have been significant!  In fact, they have changed the course of the world! 
The “Fall of Man” was a chain reaction that changed the world!  Satan lied, Eve was deceived, Adam sinned = we are all born into sin and in need of a Savior!  
 
But God caused an opposite chain reaction!  Because man is separated from God by sin, God loved us and sent Jesus to take our punishment on the cross.  He died, was buried and rose on the 3rd day = God provided a Savior for us! 
This proves that a chain reaction can be either good or bad and if we stop for a moment and think about it, we can see that we can cause chain reactions too. Our chain reaction can be either good or bad!  We can have a negative attitude that then leads us to negative words and actions which leads to negative reactions from others.  OR, we can have a positive attitude that can lead to positive words and actions that can lead to positive reactions from others.  
 
If we start witnessing to others, then that will eventually cause a chain reaction of people getting saved!
If we start praying before work on a regular basis, that will cause a chain reaction of peace while you take on the struggles of each day!
If you read the Word of God on a regular basis, it will cause a chain reaction of power to overcome temptations because you are using the Word to resist the devil!
If you encourage others, it will start a chain reaction that will be infectious!  
Your actions will cause a reaction, but the question is, what type of chain reaction are you causing? 



Message From Matt – August 8

Your Job 
 
Bekah recently sent me a quote that has really affected my perception of ministry.  Its simple and pointed truth was something that I needed to hear and I hope it will be as refreshing to you as it was for me.  It states…
 
This job has been given me to do.
Therefore, it is a gift.
Therefore, it is a privilege.
Therefore, it is an offering I  may make to God. 
Therefore, it is to be done gladly if it is done for Him.
Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way.
In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness. 
                                                                                                                – Elisabeth Elliot 
 
This reminded me of what God has called me to do…to be a Christian, a husband, a father, and a pastor!   These jobs aren’t always easy, but nothing that is good and long lasting is ever easy, but instead of being a burden, these should be considered a gift and privilege!  In fact, our work should be considered as an offering to God!  
So, what’s your offering like?   
Are you looking at what you are doing as a job that God has given you to do?  Or, are you constantly griping and complaining about what is on your plate?  I sometimes can “quietly” complain about my jobs but when I do it’s because I am not looking at it as an opportunity to serve God, I am looking at it as something that I have to do!
 
If that is you, you need to (and can) change your perspective! You can move from an “I have to serve” mentality  to an “I get to serve” mentality by realizing that what you do is important and God ordained!

  • If you’re a stay at home mother and are worn out by the pressures that brings…look at what you do as something that God wants you to do and do it as an offering to Him!
  • If you are a traveling salesman and exhausted by the miles on the road and rejections...look at what you do as something that God wants you to do and do it as an offering to Him!
  • If you work in a place that seems like a dead end….look at what you do as something that God wants you to do and do it as an offering to Him!
  • If you serve in church but don’t feel like you are making a difference and you go unnoticed….look at what you do as something that God wants you to do and do it as an offering to Him!
  • If you are in school but feel it’s a waste of time…look at what you do as something that God wants you to do and do it as an offering to Him!

Looking at what you do with wrong perspectives leads to a frustrated life!  Looking at what you do from God’s perspective leads to a fulfilled life!



Message From Matt – July 31

What kind of Song are you Singing? 
 
If you know me, you know that I am not a good singer, but that reality has never stopped me from singing!  I like to sing even though no one wants to hear me sing!  To be quite open about it, I like to torture the people that I love with my horrible singing just for the fun of it.  You might remember several times that I have mentioned how my kids normally put their fingers in their ears when I sing…it’s great fun for me but not for anyone around me!  
However, there is one person that loves to hear me sing and He is the same One that also loves to hear you sing; of course, it’s God!  
 
God loves it when His children sing to Him!  It doesn’t matter if you sing off key or sing like Dave Turner, He loves to hear you sing the song that’s on your heart, no matter what’s in your heart!  
With that in mind, this Sunday I am starting a new series on prayer by looking at the Book of Psalms!  A psalm, by definition, is a song or hymn that is sung to God as a means of worship and praise and a psalm is a good picture of what our prayers should look like…like a song!

  • When we are happy we should sing a song of our praises to Him in our prayers! 
  • When we are distressed we should sing songs that remind us of His ability to deliver us in our prayers!  
  • When we are in a “cave” of depression and defeat, we should sing songs to remind us of His eternal presence with us…like David did in Psalm 23 when he wrote, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” 

David’s Psalm 23  was a song to remind himself of God’s presence and guidance!  It was written to remind himself that God is the Good Shepherd and that the Good Shepherd always does what’s best for the sheep!  I think  it’s a good song for us to sing to God too!  It reminds us that…

  1. The Shepherd will give you peace and safety –  “good direction leads to less distractions
  2. The Shepherd restores and mends the broken – “even in your pain God can work all things out for your good.” 
  3. The Shepherd is present in your darkest days –  “”Valleys are meant to be walked through, not camped out in.”
  4. The Shepherd’s rod and staff will comfort you – “God is a multi-directional leader.  He is in front of you, beside you, and encouraging you from behind!”
  5.  The Shepherd can give you peace in fearful situations – “Your days are numbered, God knows the time. It is not for you to think about all the “What if’s” of the future – just trust Him!”
  6. The Shepherd prepares a place for us – “This life is not all that we have to look forward to”

What kind of song are you singing today?  Are you singing to God to thank Him or singing a song to complain about Him?  If you’re complaining, maybe you need to be reminded about all the good things that God has done for you!