A Song

Yes, this will be the closest I ever get to singing (at least publicly).  Sure, I can make a “joyful noise” and though it would be joyful to me — some may contend that it didn’t sound all that joyful.  You know what I’m saying?

As we continue our journey through Paul’s gem of Colossians, this song, written by Doug Holck in 1982, seemed to just simmer on my soul.  So I am going to share it with you because it seems to capture my heart at this moment…

“Your Love Compels Me”

Your love compels me, Lord, To give as You would give,

To speak as You would speak, To live as You would live.

Your love compels me, Lord, To see as You would see,

To serve as You would serve, to be what You would be.

As a preview for what God is revealing and saying for tomorrow, survey Col.2:6 and being “firmly rooted.”  Keep your mind and your hearts, in Christ Jesus our Lord!

Hope to see you at Worship!

Pastor Porter

     What’s going on this week?  What are you saturating on?  What is God revealing to you?  – good questions.  Well, hopefully you do have some things going on this week; hopefully you are saturating in His presence and in His Word; and yes, God is always revealing something to us.

     This week, I am embedded in Colossians 2 and all I can say is, “powerful!”  Pay special attention in the next few days to Colossians 2:7-8, because I am especially feeling the Spirit leading us in this direction for this Sunday’s “Livin’ The Life” continuation.  So, how is this for a short and to the point blog entry?

Prayerfully, with gratitude!

Pastor Porter

Hard Hearts

     Have you ever met someone who was just plain stubborn?  They claim to be, “set in their ways.”  Now, have you ever seen that person’s reflection in the mirror when you look at it?  Be honest!  At some point, I think we can all relate to it, and hopefully, it is in the past tense (the former things).  Yet, I am sure that you know someone, at least one person, who continually makes it obvious that it’s their way or the highway…that they’re the expert…that they are obstinate about what they want.  

     God declares it is an issue of the heart.  Moreover, it has been around since the beginning, documented in the lives of people we learn about in God’s Word as well as people we live, love, and work with.  Pharaoh is probably the most popular illustration in the Bible of a person with a hard heart that continued to get harder.  God repeatedly presented Pharaoh with the Truth of Who He was.  Yet, Pharaoh wouldn’t bow, acknowledge, and come to understand that there was One greater than he.  It’s recorded in Exodus.

     All of us have experienced the stubborn desire to have things the way we want them – even when “our way” wasn’t God’s way.  Again,  hopefully for all Christian believers and belongers, this struggle is in the past tense.  Pharaoh wanted it “his way” and “his way only.”  God has given us plenty of examples to clear up any confusion on our part.  The more we can be fooled and duped into believing that we’re right and God is wrong (or even second), the more we are in extreme danger of developing a hard heart.

     But let’s not despair.  We can rejoice in God’s love, grace, and generosity.  He has given us a blueprint to follow.  God wouldn’t leave us without a Way to experience victory over our sin, error, and selfish tendencies.  He has given His Son: our Lord, our Savior, our Sanctifier, our Standard.  Are there people, are there churches, are there brothers and sisters who serve alongside of us who fit in with Romans 1, v.21, where Paul writes:  “Although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were they thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”  I like what Charles Stanley says, pertaining to sin and righteous living.  He states:  “As we grow as Christians, sin should bother us more, not less.  Our response to truth determines whether our hearts will be hardened or remain pliable and ready to have God make them after His own.”

     Surely there is but one absolute (yes, absolute) answer to the condition of a hard, dark, stubborn heart:  repentance.  Yes, repenting of our “old man” tendencies and yielding to the Spirit of the Living God is the solution.  True repentance manifests itself in a transformed life.  A life that begins in the dominion of darknes, yet, is amazingly regenerated in the Kingdom of Light by the King of Light.  Focus on the greatness of Christ Who can transform the hardest of hearts into one that responds obediently and cheerfully.  He can do it!

Prayerfully and joyfully,

Pastor Porter

Are Our “wills” in Line?

   “Livin’ The Life”

     This past Sunday, we kicked off a new series @ Bridgeway.  The central question, that seems to arise out of what Paul writes to the Colossians, is this:  Are you living this God-ordained, Jesus-led, Spirit-driven life?  Certainly this equates to fulfilling God’s will (not your own will) for your life.  In my days, I have witnessed people, including many Christian believers, press forth with their own will.  Thinking they have heard from God – reasoning that surely God will ordain this move, or change, or addition, or course — they press forth.  At some point, however, it may become clear (however quietly or with great pain) that the course of action did not comply with God’s will, desire, and plan.

     I can write and elaborate about this because I know.  About 10 years ago, I marched resolutely   forth with what I believed and convinced myself was “God’s plan” for me.  I was working in an entirely different environment: manufacturing.  I was overseeing a growing list of people.  I had big plans, a young family, and high hopes.  But in all my hopes and aspirations to continue on that path, and follow a well-thought out career plan, God interrupted and made it plainly known that I was following my will for my life.  In the 2 years that followed, I had much to relearn, and perhaps more than any other adjective or descriptor:  I was humbled.

     This Sunday, we will be in the Word looking to the Christ Who we follow in “Livin’ The Life” – Part II.  He is incredible, amazing, sufficient, and able!  I really want to encourage you to be with us this week, because I believe God has a message for all of us on how we can know that we are following Jesus Christ, in His Lordship, and not our own wants, needs, and desires.  Friend, God has a perfect will concerning you, your life, and your relationship with Him.  Be encouraged today that the Visionary, Creator, and Sustainer God – Who has crafted this universe and formed our very lives, has our very best interests at heart. 

     May His shalom guard your heart and mind, in Christ Jesus!

     Pastor Porter

Here We Go

     I’ve come to realize and accept that I’m not much of a blogger.  Now, that may be “not so bad” after all, so before you form an opinion – allow me to digress.  I’m not going to be one to waste your time on seemingly “empty” blogs, posts, and information.  You and I both get enough of that each and every day.  The last thing anyone needs is, as I have recently seen posted and now quote:  “a lot more bunch of nothing.”  Catch my drift?

     Many people have a lot going on these days.  Sometimes that equates to a lot of “stuff” – in other instances it equates to a lot of “nothingness.”  But at the end of the day, only we (and I mean we, as individuals) are the ones that will have to reconcile our usage of time to God.  And that is both healthy and a reality, because He has given it to us and it only makes sense that one day (on that day) we will give an account.  We are to be good stewards of everything God has created and given us.  It is my sincere and authentic prayer that in the body of Christ, we continue to recognize, accept, and adopt this truth and live it fully in our daily lives.

     This Sunday, we kick-off a new series.  I am not a “series” guy (normally).  Not that that is either good or bad, right or wrong – I’m just putting that out there.  But for as long as God desires, we will be in the Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Colossians.  We will journey through the letter together and we will expect God to reveal His truth, hope, and encouragment to our hearts.  This series is titled, “Livin’ the Life” – and that is His title, not mine.  I really am excited about this special season coming up, and I am asking for your prayers.  Please pray that we will enter into it with the right disposition, with a hunger and a thirst, and with open hearts.  Pray for me, please – that the way I communicate and share would not cause anyone to stumble.  Pray for those who are in need of an encouraging, challenging, and godly Word at this point in their lives (not that we should ever be out of need) – but pray they will be present and committed to go on this journey with us.  And pray for those who need to press on to maturity in faith.  Please pray, and then, pray some more.

     May our Lord and Savior bless you, and may His peace and joy consume us as we embark.  You are loved…

     Pastor Porter