Narrow Gate

“Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it.”  Matthew 7:12-14

Interesting passage and teaching from our Lord, is it not?  Consider who He is talking to: the crowd and the disciples.  No one mandated to be there; no one required to come, to stay, or to remain.  Yet, I sense that the entire company there on the mountain-side that day was magnetically pulled in by the Master.  They couldn’t have left even if they wanted to.  The passage above (in Matthew) comes out of the Sermon on the Mount, and it is a great word of instruction on what His Kingdom is like.  He even tells us who will enter it, and who will not.  For me, as I read and just saturate on the 2 verses above, I just sense Jesus saying, “Keep your eyes and hearts on Me – follow Me – be Mine!”

This Sunday we will continue on the Jesus-led journey as we dive into Part III of the series, “Loving God, Loving Each Other.”  If you are interested and serious, read Galatians 6 between now and Sunday morning.  Pay special attention to vv.1-5.  How do we fulfill the Law of Christ?  What are we called to do?  How do we show others that we are authentic Christians?   Surely Galatians 6 gives us a clear picture of what it looks like.  I can tell you this: it is love action oriented.


Pastor Porter

Join Us!

How about dropping the reasons and excuses and coming to the Civic Center tomorrow night @ 5:30 p.m. for a time of Christ-centered unity, worship, and edification?  UTWWH is an epic event in this region, and it will be an encouraging, uplifting time all the way around.  We are quite certain no one will depart disappointed.

You can go boating any day.  The beach is not going anywhere.  The sunshine and heat will be around a few more months.  We want you to join with us in taking this whole area for Jesus Christ once and for all.  Got kids?  Cargo Ministries will have special activities and care for them during the 5:30 p.m. worship celebration.  Got family in?  Bring them.  There is a FREE Youth Concert @ 2:00 p.m. featuring Awake the Fire and Curvine.

We look forward to having you with us.

For questions, visit:


Pastor Porter

Shut Down

Ever seen this sign?  I imagine you have.  If you powered up a PC, a notebook, or a smart phone and are reading this blog, it is more than probable that you have this sign, this button right there on your device.  Now it may not look exactly the same — especially if your device is a bit dated.  I know this all too well.  The desktop I use in my home office was purchased in 2002.  For what I need to do and utilize it for, however, it is more than enough.  Back to the point and what I’m alluding to:  Just as every PC, desktop, smart phone, and TV has a “power off” button and function — we too must know how to “power down” and “turn things off.”  I submit that a true test of our spiritual lives and intimacy with God is related to how we power things off, and down, so that we may focus (exclusively) on our Lord. 

You know the passage in Psalm 46:10:  “Be still, and know that I am God…”  I know that passage too.  The verb, to be, to be in a state of being still, is a present tense verb that predicates an action.  God is speaking it and the psalmist is writing it.  I believe that today, in 2011, God is desiring that amidst all of the devices, gadgets, programs, and real time news overload, that His people……His very sons and daughters……would shut it all down and spend some time with Him in “still” presence.  What does that mean?  How can I do it?  You really mean me?  I don’t know if I can?  The demands are too great.  —  You may be saying all or some of these statements, and that is perfectly fine.  The fact is:  Each situation will vary — but the Message from the Lord will remain the same.  We need to find stillness before God and with God.  This has been a priority for me in my own life and I hope it will somehow spill over in yours. 

Lastly, and in some relationship with the whole “shut down” and “power off” model — I have to remind myself that nothing is happening in our world today that is taking God by surprise.  So with war waging, tornadoes demolishing, hunger spreading, government corrupting, people running, lives crashing, and politics dividing (on both sides), I know that our Lord has the helm and we do well to put our faith, our confidence, our lives in His hands.  Read Jeremiah 18:1-10.  It is in His plan and will that we, His body…His bride…The Church…is to take the light and life He has given to us and illuminate a lost and fallen world.  A world addicted to devices, gadgets, games, apps, and news commentaries; among many, many other things.  Let us be still, right now.  Let us know He is God, today and tomorrow and in the time He has apportioned that we have left.

Glory to His Name!  Praise Him for His presence!

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

Seeking & Searching

     Is it just me, or does it seem that everyone today is seeking & searching for substance?  I don’t think it is by coincidence or chance, and I can’t buy the sale that says, “whatever feels best.”  Not that there is a shortage of supply or anything – it’s all over the place. 

     But what is most amazing to me is how quickly the Christ-follower forgets and moves on from what he/she knows to be true.  Some allow things to compete for their time, attention, and focus.  Others seemingly stay in the valley.  And even more fight a battle, day by day, that has already been won.  What are you talking about? – you might ask.  So glad you brought that up…

     How can a follower of Jesus Christ, the Hope of the world, allow and permit themselves to be shaken and stirred by what is going on all around us?  Yes, I realize that we will all feel the trials and the challenges – to say otherwise would be foolish.  But how is it that some surrender to it, withdraw, and lose credibility?  Does Jesus not say, “In the world, you will have trial and tribulation – but be advised:  I have overcome the world!”    Yeah, I believe that is exactly what He said.  So with that promised statement, we can only turn to the fact that people decide, for themselves, in the seemingly broken state of their self-will, what priorities they will follow.  In essence, they follow their own priorities instead of those communicated and commanded by Jesus.

     When Jesus ascended, He looked to the body of believers and gave them His Commission (Matt. 28).  Earlier, He had told them that the world would know they are His disciples because of their love for one another (John 13).  How soon some forget.  All throughout His life and ministry – Jesus was about relationship.  Some attach “religion” and “movement” to Him – nothing could be further from the truth.  He came to give light, and that light was the light of men (read John 1).  He was affixed to His relationship with the Father, and He was connected in His relationship with others.  I don’t see stress and anxiety over the government, over the economy, over the state of the “religious” order and hierarchy exuding from the Mission.  What I see is the God-man, Jesus Christ, continuing to go and impact people, where they were, for His Kingdom.

     Some 2,000 years later – right now – our mission is unchanged.  Yes, we have work, we have family, we have responsibilities.  My question for each and every person who reads this is simple, yet profound.  And today, perhaps more than at any other point in our lifetime, we need to answer it and own up to the truth:  Have we left, have we departed (however short term we thought it would be), from our first love?  If in some part we say “yes,” let us return to Him and to each other, immediately.  Let’s be the body of Christ to a lost world, for His glory!  We do this out of our love for the One Who is wonderful and everlasting.

In the attitude of prayer and gratitude,

Pastor Porter