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Rev. Ricks Sunday Sermon Recap
    04/15/2018 Preached Word - From Disgrace To Dignity
  • Luke 8:26-37

    "From Disgrace to Dignity"


    How many of you know that disgrace is a state of dishonor damaged by the reputation of?  Then we see dignity in the text.  They found the healed man sitting at the feet of Jesus, restored.  He had dignity, the quality of being worthy of esteem or respect.  Every child of God should have some dignity about themselves.  In the text this man had fallen from grace.  Now he needs to restore himself.  I don't care how low you have fallen, you can restore yourself.  When a movement is a reality, people will go out to see what's happening.  In our text (verse 35) they went out to see.  They didn't go out to learn anything, they didn't go out to appreciate or to participate, but to see.  Here is where the line is drawn between the role we play in life.  Some people become and remain eternal spectators.  They just come each week to see, eternal spectators.  Let's look at this lesson.  Luke tells us 3 things about this man.  He was at the feet of Jesus, he was clothed, and in his right mind. Then the writer opens a wide door to the community where the man lived.  They were afraid.  Isn't it interesting that this statement comes after the description of the man's condition.  He was sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right man, and they were afraid of him.  That is an indication that while the man was torn apart, naked without integrity, while he was not together, nobody was concerned about him!  How sad is that.  While he was acting a fool, they were not concerned about him.  The community adjusted to the fact that he was consigned to perpetual irreverence.  They just said he is crazy, pay him no mind.  But when they found him dressed and hanging around Jesus, they were afraid.  There is power in worship and being around Jesus.  You make a statement when others know you belong to a church, folk are afraid of you because in Jesus there is power.  When you have a connection with God, others are afraid of you.  I don't care who knows it, I'm gonna praise the Lord while I have a chance.  As long as you are struggling and doing as the world would have you do, you are alright.  When you learn how to praise the Lord and live for Him, others are afraid of you.  You too can move from disgrace to dignity, the door is open as Jesus invites you in.
       
    04/08/2018 Preached Word - In The Presence of God
  • In The Presence of God

    Luke 24:13-35


    Here in the text we find two men who had lost hope and fallen into a pit of sadness and despair.  That fits the description of all of us at one time or another.  Their experience was a mortal experience.  This was the same day that the women discovered the empty tomb and reported it to the disciples.  The news had been received with skepticism.  Was it because the message came from a woman?  These two men, Cleopas and his companion, had either been present for the crucifixion or had heard the news from another source.  As they made their way to Emmaus, they were gripped by a spirit of despair over the Lord's crucifixion.  Their hope that Jesus was the promised Messiah had been dashed against the rock of death.  But even in their despair, their thoughts were rushing wildly as they were wondering about the empty tomb and the report of the women.  If you look at this scene, you can't help but to notice that this scene is a symbol of the despair that grips so many in this life.  The hope for the family is gone, the hope for school is gone.  Sometimes we give up too soon.  So in their sadness somewhere they hear the report of the empty tomb and the living Lord.  The tomb is empty, and the Lord is living!  Look at these broken men walking and talking with their heads down.  When you walk with your head down, it is a sure sign that you don't know where you are going.  It is an indication of one who has no hope.  One man must have said you know its a shame what happened here today.  The women said they went to the tomb to anoint our savior's body but an angel told them He is not here, he is risen.  These men kept walking and talking about it.  They thought maybe the soldier's took the body.  As they were walking and talking all of a sudden another man joined them on the road.  He asked them why they were so despondent.  They thought this stranger must have been a newcomer who did not know what was going on.  Jesus reminded them that this man said he would rise in 3 days.  He asked them why don't you believe this?  As they came to the end of the road, they invited the stranger to go home with them.  He went with them and before eating, the stranger was invited to eat with them.  When the stranger began to bless the food, their eyes came open.   They knew it was Jesus.  One said to each other and said did not our hearts burn within us as the man of God talked to us.  When you have been in the presence of God, their is fullness of joy.  When you are in the presence of God, God will let you know.  You will be able to feel it in your hands, feel it in your feet.  You can't see God, but you can see the presence of the Lord.  The presence of the Lord is here!
         


     
    04/01/2018 Preached Word - He Wouldn't Stay Dead
  • John 19:15-18

    "He Wouldn't Stay Dead"


    The crucifixion of anybody is a horrible thing.  There has not been invented a death as agonizing as the Roman custom of crucifying.  Usually when a man was crucified, he withered in agony on the cross for 2 to 3 days.  Crucifixion in itself did not destroy any vital organs, so the criminal just hung there until he died of exhaustion.  We fined, however, that our Lord did not die of exhaustion.  He laid down His life and gave up the spirit.  So soon did He die, in 6 hours and when Pilot heard it, he marveled that Jesus was so soon dead.  He inquired of the centurion to make sure that Jesus was dead.  Crucifying enemies of the state was almost a daily activity.  The soldiers who carried out the duty took pleasure in doing it as it was their custom.  They were mean and cruel and had no sympathy.  Judea was the most rebellious of all the nation.  To see men hanging hopeless on the cross was a common sight.  The text says that when the soldiers went to look at Jesus, they saw that He was already dead.  These men could tell by looking at a person if he were already dead.  To make absolutely sure that Jesus was dead, one of the soldiers took a spear and thrust it into Jesus' side.  When he pulled the spear out, blood and water came streaming down.  So impressive was the phenomena that  both blood and water would pour out of the wound that John paused to record it.  In verse 31 we see the Jews, because it was the preparation time, to ask that the body should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath day.  They sought Pilot to ask that the criminals' legs would be broken so they could remove the bodies before the Sabbath day.  They wanted to clean up their act before the Sabbath.    They broke the legs of the 1st criminal and then the legs of the 2nd criminal, but when they got to Jesus, they found that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.   John tells us that the water is a sign of the cleansing power of the Son of God.  It is a sign of the Word that cleanseth and saves.  The blood is a sacrifice that Jesus made for us.  No more lambs blood, no more pigeons blood, no more turtledove blood.  Jesus had to die in order that we might live.  Jesus hung between two thieves, one on the right and the other on the left.  What a terrible position to be in.  Jesus stayed right there, He did not come down from the cross.  Even when others made fun of Him, He didn't come down.  He stayed there as they laughed at Him.  I'm so glad that He didn't come down.  I see Jesus as He hung on the cross from the 6th hour until the 9th hour.  He died, but He wouldn't stay dead.  He went down in the grave Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning.  Then somewhere in the early morning of Sunday, the grave could not hold Him any longer.  He got up!  He got up!  He wouldn't stay dead.  If he had stayed dead our souls would still be lost.  I's so glad He got up!  Because He lives, I can live.  Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.  Because He lives, life is worth living.  He wouldn't stay dead.  I serve a living Lord who walks with me and talks with me and tells me I am His own.  Hallelujah, He wouldn't stay dead.  God is not dead, He's yet alive.   
      
    03/25/2018 - Preached Word - I See The Colt, I See The Crowd, I See The Children, I See The Crucifixion
  • Matthew 21:1-17

    "I See The Colt, I See The Crowd, I See The Children, I See The Crucuifixion" - Palm Sunday

    I look at this text and I see Jesus and His disciples leaving Jericho on their way to Jerusalem.  Jesus had been talking about this day for three years.  If you study this story, you will find that this day marks the beginning of the end and a new beginning.  A trial and crucifixion of Christ lay ahead in Jerusalem.  Jesus knew what He was up against, but He would not back down.  He had one thing in mind, that was to save us from sin.  The bible talks about it as a triumphal entry.  It was a tough road to travel, but Jesus had to go through this to save us.  Jesus knew that even though He was going to Jerusalem to give up His life, He did not lose focus of what was on the other side.  He did this knowing that the resurrection would soon come.  All of us have trials in our lives but a lot of us stay in our trials.  It is not the end, there is a resurrection, Sunday is coming.  We must look forward to Sunday.  I see the colt, I see the crowd, I see the children, and I see the crucifixion.  The nails were already in the bin.  Judas was already set, he knew what he was going to do.  Jesus gave His disciples insturctions to go find a colt that was tied.  They were to loose this unbroken colt and take it to Jesus. If anybody questioned them, they were to say that the Lord had need of the colt.  We are to bring to Jesus those with unbroken wills.  Here the donkey was submissive and went with the disciples.  The stubborn colt did not act up. Haven't you heard it said that somebody is just a stubborn as a mule?  The submission of the colt is a picture of the coming kingdom of Christ.  Christ can break anybody.  I don't care how tough you think you are, Christ can break anybody.  I see the crowd now as He approaches Jerusalem.  The crowd followed Jesus as He appreached Jersualem.  Them spread palm breanches on teh road as He road in.  How fickle we can be with our praise.  Some folk have special Sundays that they get happ, special events.  To some, the sermon hits everybody but them.  Some praise when they have on new clothes.  We must praise the Lord at all times.  I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise will continually be in my mouth.  In good times and in bad times.  The crowd was praisng Jesus on Palm Sunday and on Monday when He went to that temple to deal with those who were selling in the temple, they changed their mind about Him. The same crowd who praised Him, shouted crucify Him.  Then in verses 12 - 16 we see the children.    The blind and the lame came to the temple to be healed and Jesus healed them.  When the children say that, they were excited.  They started praising and worshipping God.  They creid hosanna to the Son of David.  When the officers saw this, they were indignant.  They askd Jesus do you hear what these children are saying?  We must be careful in trying to stop children from working in the church.  You must know how important it is to bring children to the church house.  It starts inthe womb.  Remember when Mary and Elizabeth got together, the baby leaped in the womb.  Since this is children's day and Palm Sunday, we want to connect the two.  I'm so glad that Jesus said suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not.  Children are special in the sight of God.  We must listen to the preaises of the children.  The Lord finds pleasure at the praises of children.  Now I see crucifixion here.  They crucified Jesus!  One Sunday morning He rode into Jerusalem and Friday, the same crowd who shouted hosanna shouted crucify Him.  They crucified Jesus that same week.  They led Him up Golgatha hill. They hung Him high and stretched Him wide.  I'm so glad He would not come down from the cross.  Come back next Sunday and I will finish!       
    03/18/2018 - Preached Word - Women United In Spirit and Truth
  • John 4:21-26

    "Women United in Spirit and Truth" Preached by Rev. Harrilene Shackelford


    We must have God in us, not just showing up in church on every Sunday.  Some of us feel that we can do what ever we want to do on one hand and then say we love God on the other hand.  There are too many of us who call ourselves Christians, but we are not living the life that God has called us to live.  It is bad to say that people can come into our churches and see some really ugly spirits.  Then we wonder why people leave.  God is saying to us that we must start living right.  We must be careful how we live.  Its ok to say no.  Its not ok to be sleeping around and you are not married.  We have the tendency to put sins in different categories.  We do that, but sin is sin.It's time to stand up and act like who we say we are.  Some people come to church and sit like they are sucking on lemons the entire service.  Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is joy and peace.  If you can't do anything else, you can at least smile.  Everybody has their on way of praising, everybody does not tear up the carpet, or clap or shout or smile or wave a hand.  If God has give you the mobility to raise your hand, you must use what you've got.  Some people don't do anything!  We must start to be real for God.  In the text it is talking about the woman that Jesus met at the well.  Jesus talked to this women when no one else would talk to her.  This woman was so excited after meeting Jesus that she ran back into town to tell everybody about this man she had met at the well.  She was not popular in town because she had been sleeping around with everybody's husband. They listened to this woman and they all ran back to see a man.  This woman came to a point of spirit and truth at the well when she met Jesus.  Spirit is having God in us.  God wants us to be real.  He wants us to stop playing.  If you read your bible, you will realize that time is winding up.   
     
    03/11/2018 - Preached Word - What To Do With Your Burdens
  • Psalm 55:22

    "What To Do With Your Burdens" Preached by Presiding Elder Chester W. Morris


    Everybody has burdens.  We all may not have wealth, but we all have burdens.  Tragedy, sorrow, disappointment, and grief will visit you, its just a matter of time.  I've had my share but I've learned that you must be patient, kind, and loving toward other folks' burdens.  Today it is their day, tomorrow it may be your day.  I've discovered that there are some burdens that nobody else can help me with.  What to you do with your burdens when no body else can help you, and those who can help you won't?  Here it is... Pslam 55:22.   Cast your burdens upon the Lord and He will sustain you.  Leave them with God.  Pile them on the shoulders of God.  What to do with your burdens?  Give them, give them, give them to God for God will help you and He will sustain you.  Our God is a burden bearer!  
    03/04/2018 Preached Word - Stop Doubting and Have Faith
  • John 20:24-29

    "Stop Doubting and Have Faith"


    We thank God for this time in Lent when we are getting ready to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  One of the hardest things for preachers is to preach for 40 days without putting Jesus on the cross.  Even though our text deals with a period after the resurrection, some of us today still doubt the Lord.  Look at the text and find Thomas, the man who became famous because of his doubting.  Doubting means to hesitate to believe, to question, to be uncertain, unconvinced, to be mistrustful. Do you know anyone who is mistrustful.  No matter what you tell them, their response is I don't believe it.  Of course you don't believe everything that you hear.  Thomas is commemorated in the phrase "Doubting Thomas."  There is an element of truth in that phrase, but also a slander.  The first 3 gospels tell us nothing about Thomas, except for his name.  It is in the 4th gospel, the gospel of John, that Thomas is referred to as Doubting Thomas. 
    • Thomas was a man of courage.  He fist came on the scene in the Lazarus story.  When Jesus decided to go back to Jerusalem, the disciples came very close to abandoning Him.  Then there came the voice of the normally silent Thomas.  He said let us also go that we may die with Him. Ahead Thomas could see nothing but disaster, but Thomas was determined to be faithful until death.  It is easy for an optimist to be loyal in a difficult situation, because an optimist always expects the best.  Thomas was a pessimist, he could see nothing but disaster ahead, but for him that was no reason for turning back.  
    • Thomas was a man who was bewildered.  Toward the end Thomas lived in a bleak wilderness.   Thomas asked the Lord how can we know that way and Jesus answered him by saying I am the Way, The Truth, and The Life.  Thomas could not live with unanswered question.  Thomas could not believe that Jesus had died on the cross.  Thomas' only desire after Jesus' passing was that he would be alone.  All Thomas wanted was to be alone.  It's a good thing to be alone to get your mind together after going through trials.  That's why Thomas was not present when Jesus returned the first time.  (verse 24)   Thomas doubted, but he was still loyal.  

    Don't doubt Jesus today.  What about when you could have had jail time, when you didn't have any money, when it looked like you were running out of finances, but somehow the Lord made a way.  Don't doubt the Lord.  He will make ways out of no way.  Don't doubt the Lord.  
    02/25/2018 Preached Word - Being Black and Proud of It
  • Luke 23:26-28

    "Being Black and Proud of It"


    Today we are celebrating our culture.  You must agree with me that history has been unfair to people of color.  We have gotten all mixed up within our society.  There is division, the light brights and the darker skinned.  We all should be proud of our heritage.  We must remember that black folk have made many significant accomplishments in our society.  When I take a look at black history, it makes me glad to be who I am.  We no longer have to take a back seat.  Remember you can't lead anything from the back.  God has bought us from a mighty long way.  We must remember who we are and whose we are.  In the text we find Simon, a Cyrene.  The city of Cyrene is in northern Africa in the heart of the black belt.  Therefore we know that Simon was a black man.  I'm glad that Simon stopped by and helped Jesus bear the cross.  If he had not stopped by, his name would not have gone down in history.  Simon was compelled to help Jesus carry the cross.  I am more proud, when I read this, of being Black.  Remember that the cross had the sins of the whole world in it.  If Jesus bore the sins of the world, then the Black man who helped Jesus bear the cross, also bore the sins of the world.  When I read this, it makes me proud to be a Black man.  Here we see where a Black sinner helped Jesus bear the cross.  This cross we thrust upon Simon.  It was a Roman solider who pulled Simon from the crowd and made him bear the cross.  This tells me that there are some crosses in life that we all must bear.  Somethings you just have to bear.  There are somethings in life you can't get around.  The cross of sickness, the cross of trouble, the cross of lies being told on you, the cross of death.  I'm so glad that Simon helped Jesus bear the cross.  Just keep on bearing your cross.   
     
    02/18/2018 Preached Word - Repent
  • Matthew 3:1-12

    "Repent"


    We are in the most important season in a Christian's life.  I enjoy Christmas, but Easter time is a time of celebration.  When we celebrate Easter, we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior.   This is the 1st Sunday in lent.  This is a time, 40 days before Easter, excluding Sunday, when we turn our minds toward the sacrifice that Jesus made for us.  It is not about giving up red meat, it is a time of renewal.  It is a time to get ready to meet the Lord with a clean slate.  In this text it is interesting to note the emphasis that is placed on repentance.  There is a lot of emphasis placed on the word repent.  It occurs over 50 times in the New Testament.  The church has failed to be the force in the world today that it should be simply because it has misunderstood the primary demand of the Christian's faith  for repentance.     We don't like to talk about the word repent.  It signifies that we have done something wrong that we need to get straight.  We, however, need to recognize the revolutionary significance of this primary demand that is essential and imperative for the Christian life.  If you are a Christian, you should want to repent.  You can't keep putting old wine in new skins.  After while something will break.  You can't keep walking around mad with other people.  You have got to repent of those feelings.  You wonder why others around you are being blessed and you are not beings blessed.  You have got to get rid of some stuff.  At some point in time you have got to let it go.  You must be bigger than that.  You can't say that you are a Christian, grown and mature, yet you are still acting like a baby.  The church must preach and teach repentance.  You should not feel threatened by the call to repent.   The call to repentance is an invitation to check yourself before you wreck yourself.  It is an invitation to get closer to God.  How can you say you love God and say you have no love for me?  When you think bad about me, you think bad about God and you think bad about yourself.  John in the text preached "repent."  John says that people must not assume that simply because they were members of the nation of Israel that they had a position and privilege in the plan of God.  In verse 6 tells us because you are a member of any organization, it does not give you special privileges in the plan of God.  Because you belong to a church, it does not give you special privilege in the plan of God.   John illustrates this by insisting that those who possess an abundance share with those who have needs.  The apostle Peter talked about repentance on the day of Pentecost.  He told the listeners what the Lord had done in the crucifixion and His triumphant resurrection from the dead.  He urged the listeners to repent, to change their attitudes.  That is the theme of God's word - to repent, to make a moral u-turn from sin to God.  If you have not done so, you need to repent.
      
    02/11/2018 Preached Word - I'll Take What's Behind That Door
  • John 10:1-42

    "I'll Take What's Behind That Door"


    St Mark I believe this is the most precious chapter in the word of God.  I really like this chapter.  Bishop Vinton R. Anderson, one of our former Bishops,  at the Annual Conference would have someone read just before the ordination  the first 10 verses of John 10.  The pastor reading it would be in an undisclosed place in the church, using a microphone.  It would sound as if the voice of God was ringing around the church.  When it was read we would think about those who were getting ready to go out and find new work in the vineyard.  Jesus said if you go through this door, I will be with you.  What an encouraging word for new preachers, and what an encouraging word for us who are believers.   Jesus says if you go through this door that I hold, you don't have to worry about thieves and robbers.  In this text Jesus reveals much about His mission.  In these 42 verses, He lets us know what is dear to His heart.  It should be noted that verses 1-8 speaks to the Jews because they thought they knew everything.  In this lifetime, I don't care who you are, you do not know as much as God.  The Jews here in this chapter did not like what Jesus said.  They did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah.  They plotted to stone Him.  They focused primarily on the lost sheep.  This chapter lets us know that Jesus is not the door for the lost sheep of Israel, but for the lost sheep of the whole world.  The Jews only wanted certain folk to go through that door.  Jesus had opened wide the door of salvation to all who would enter into a relationship with Him.  There are special blessings for all of us if you enter into this door.  Let's see what's behind that door.
    • The Blessings of Life are behind that door.  How many of you want to live a prosperous life?  Then you had better take that door.  Once you go through this door, a whole new life awaits you.  If you want a new life, then take what's behind that door.    Blessings of Life are there.  Verse 10 says that the thief comes to steal and to kill and to destroy,  but Jesus says I come that you might have life.  I want you to have abundant life, not just life.  It's one thing to have life, but another thing to have abundant life.  Don't just exist.  I don't want to waste my time just living, I want to live the abundant life.  I want everything that God has promised me.    
    • There are Blessings of Liberty behind that door.  We have access to the very presence of God in worship.  When you are in worship, you don't have to ask anybody to do anything for you.  When you are in the presence of God, you are in the fullness of His glory.  There is liberty in worship.  We have access to the very presence of God.  Behind that door, we can find green pastures.  The sheep know the shepherd's voice.  Behind the door is safety.  Once you are in, the thief will come to kill, steal, and destroy.  If you are not secured, you will follow the thief.  But Jesus says once you take what's behind that door, you will not follow any other voice.  A stranger you will not follow.  
    • There are Blessings of Luxuries behind that door.  That is first class.  Most people like luxury.  You don't just put anything on.  When you step out, be all  you can be.  You muts take pride in yourself.  When you go out you not only represent yourself, you represent God.   How you step out makes a difference.  Others are watching you when you are not watching yourself.  If you take this door, in Jesus you will get the luxuries of life.  You don't have to look for it, Jesus will provide it for you, the sheep.  He will give it to you according to your needs.  He will lead us to the luxury of rest from the road of life.  The road of life can beat you down.  Jesus will provide you rest. 
    02/04/2018 Preached Word - When God Says No
  • 2 Samuel 7:1-9; 12-18

    "When God Says No" Delivered By Rev. Lisa M. Little


    According to today's text, there was a time in King David's life when God said no.  It's surprising that God would say no to David because what David had in mind was for God's benefit.  David wanted to build the first house of worship ever for God, but God said no.  The children Israel had been worshipping in a portable makeshift tent. David felt that God deserved a building that was dedicated to His glory and honor.  But in spite of this good idea, God said no.  As hard as it is to hear no, it is harder when you have good intentions.  When God would not approve of the building project, King David learned 3 things about why God sometimes says no.
    1. When God says no, it is because He has something better in mind.  David was thinking small, when God had something bigger in mind.  While David was trying to build a church, God was trying to build a kingdom.  Churches can burn down, they can go into foreclosure, the city can take the property, but any kingdom that is of God will last eternally.  Sometimes God has to say no to us so He can bless us with something better than we had in mind.
    2. Sometimes God says no to protect you from failure.  There are many people who wonder why they didn't qualify for that mortgage loan.  God could see eviction in their future.  There are many former American Idol contestants who had great talent, but they did not win.  God knew that life in Hollywood  would ruin them.  God had to say no.  Sometimes God has to say no. God's no is sometimes God's protection.
    3. When God says no, it is His way of redirecting.  When God said no to King David, he understood that he was not to build the temple.  King David understood that when its not your assignment, your job is to support the one who has been given the assignment.  He understood that just because God says no, He does not find you invaluable.    
    If God has ever told you no, then you are in good company.  When Mary and Martha asked Jesus to heal their brother, He told them no.  He had something better in mind.  He wanted to raise Lazarus up from the dead.  When Paul prayed 3 times that the Lord would remove the thorn from his flesh.  3 times the God said no because he wanted Paul to know that His grace was sufficient.  Even when Jesus prayed to God to let his cup pass because He did not want to go to the cross and die.  I am mighty glad that God's answer to Jesus was no, no, and no.  If God had not said no to Jesus you and I could not be saved, you and I could never enter heaven, it would have meant that the devil won!  I am so glad that God said no. 


     
     
    01/28/2018 Preached Word - Super Size It
  • Matthew 14:19-21

    "Super Size It"

    Today as we celebrate the young people in our church, we have come a mighty long way in shaping and molding the young folk here.  We have young folk who we are proud to be associated with and we will own them anywhere we go.  They will not embarrass us when they are asked which church they belong to.  We are proud of our young folk.  Often we old people take our young people for granted.  I come to let you know today that you are special to us at St Mark and you are very special in the sight of our caring God.  My theme for you today is based on the fact that when you give Jesus whatever you have, it will always be enough.  You just do whatever you can do and God will always do the rest.  Whatever you do matters in the sight of a caring God.  Today you are singing, worshipping, and dancing. God sees all that you do.  Today I want to ask you young folk a question.  Do you like to go out and eat?  I heard the answers loud and clear.  So if I were to ask you your favorite place to go out and eat, I would get a lot of different answers.  My guess today would be that the most popular place to eat in the world is McDonalds.  A quarter pounder with cheese, ten piece nuggets, the hottest fries, apple turnover.  The list goes on and on.  What is it that makes McDonald so popular.  I think that much of their popularity can be summed up in these two words.  "Super Size."  You can get a meal for a reasonable price or you can super size it for only a few cents more.  You might think that McDonalds we the first to super size a meal.  Not so.  If you look at the text you will see that Jesus super sized a meal.  Around about chapter 14 verse 10 we see that John the Baptist was beheaded.  The disciples told Jesus about it.  Jesus must have felt the need to be alone so he got into a ship to depart to the other side.  When the people heard about it, they followed Jesus on foot.  When Jesus saw the crowd, he was moved with compassion toward them.  Darkness was about to come and the disciples urged Jesus to leave the area.  They told Jesus to send the multitude away so they can go into the city to buy food.  Jesus said to the disciples they don't need to depart, we can give them something to eat.  The disciples did not agree, nor did they understand.  They reminded Jesus that they only had 5 loaves and 2 fish.  Jesus says bring the food to me.  What you have in your hand, bring it to me.  The disciples did not understand how Jesus could feed 5,000 people with such a small amount of food.  With a little, God can make big things happen.  Give him the little that you have.  Jesus told the disciples to organize the people.  When you want Jesus to do something for you, you must be organized.  God does not work in confusion.  Leave some aisles between them so you can move about and get to the people.  Jesus took the fish and the loaves of bread and looked up to heaven and said God, super size it.  He blessed it, he broke it, and gave it to the disciples.  They all ate and they were filled and when they were finished, they gathered up 12 baskets full of leftovers.  That's what I call super sizing it.  We have been taught that bigger is better, but that is not always true.  Little is much when God is in it.  Bigger is not always better.  Little is much when God is in it.  In this case more is better than bigger.  When you say super size it, you get more than what you would on a regular meal.  You don't get a bigger burger, you get more burgers.  When you tell that Lord to super size you, he will give you more.   Everytime I go to God, he super sizes me.  He gives me a little more grace than he did yesterday.  He gives me a little more faith that he did yesterday, a little more understanding.  Maybe it time that you ask the Lord to super size you.  He will give you more of him and less of you.  If you seek first the kingdom of God, then other things will be added unto you.   
    01/21/2018 Preached Word - You Can Do It
  • Galatians 2:18-21

    "You Can Do It"


    Nike, the athletic shoe manufacturer has made a fortune on the slogan, Just Do It.  I believe they mean this, whatever it is that you enjoy doing in the arena of recreation, just do it, we have everything you need to get it done.  People hear that slogan and they think maybe I can do it.  A few actually do it.  A few run those marathons, swim those rivers, and climb those mountains.  Most folk just don't do it.  All the money spent on the gear does not inspire them to do it.  The expensive equipment begins to grow dust.  I come to encourage you today to get back on that treadmill, ride your bike again, start walking the trail.  You can do it!  I realized the other day that preaching is a lot like writing slogans for an athletic shoe company.  As preachers we stand up every week to encourage the people that you can do it.  A few people who hear the sermon actually buy the message and go out and do it.  Most people hear the message, take the equipment home and never do anything with it.  They do not apply it to their lives.  The sermons are collecting dust in their memory bank.  When we hear a sermon and we know it is speaking to us, we don't apply it and it collects dust in our memory bank.  In 2018 it does not have to be that way.  Our text is written by Paul who heard the message of Christ and said that's how I want to be.  This text tells us what God wants for us.   This verses teaches us that every believer can walk like Jesus every day of the week.  Paul is telling us to just do it.  We want to be like Christ, but we are afraid to live for Christ.  Paul is encouraging us to just do it.  I want to keep saying it until you get it in your mind and spirit. 
    1.  You must first realize your position in Christ.  He says I am crucified.  That's in the present tense.  This refers to a once for all action that never needs to be repeated. Paul says I was crucified when Jesus was crucified and that was a one time event.  When Jesus died on the cross, you died with him.  That's why the believer does not need to fear death.  All believers died on the cross with Jesus and now death can do us any harm.  Paul says that the believe is dead because he has been crucified with Christ, but also the believer lives.  Faith in Jesus has raised us from the sting of sin and has made us eternally alive.  On the surface this seems impossible.  How can one be dead and alive at the same time?  Yet, that is how it is for believers.  We are dead to sin, but alive in Jesus.  Not just alive until our bodies give up, but alive for ever more.  Just as we share his death, we also share his life.  Eternal life does not begin when you get to heaven, eternal life begins the instant you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior.  This same verses says Christ lives in me.  That statement reminds us that not only did Jesus die on the cross for our sins, but he arose also on the third day. 
    2.  You must realized the power of Christ.  This gives us the power of his residence.   Jesus moves into the believer's heart, giving us the power to live like him.  This text teaches that the more of our lives we give to him, he produces more of himself in us.  We must let Christ live in us, take up residence in us.    You can do it!  You don't have to stay in the shape that you're in.  
    3.  You must realize the provision of Christ.  This is the supply of faith.   I thank God that we don't have to supply our own faith for the journey.  Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  So when we hear the ord of God and apply it, our faith grows stronger and stronger.  I'm stronger than I've ever been.  It is His faith in us that increases us.  You can do it!

     
    01/14/2018 Preached Word - Can Any Good Thing Come Out of Nazareth?
  • John 1:43-46
    Can Any Good Thing Come Out Of  Nazareth?


    We read that the life of Jesus was a life of trials and struggles.  Jesus, in many instances, fought the devil so that you and I might live.  Now when we have a little run in with the devil, we talk about giving up.  Remember Jesus fought the devil so that you and I might live.  So in this life, everybody is going to have some problems.  I started out 2018 with problems, but I can't let them get me down because Jesus has overcome the world.  He fought the devil so you and I might live. Jesus was a problem to Herod from birth.  Just because he was born, he was a problem.  Herod decreed that every male child age two and under would be killed.  Jesus was a threat to Herod's throne.  Baby Jesus was a threat to Herod's kingdom.  Finally Herod died.  No matter how bad you are, you are going to die.  The angel then told Joseph to take his family out of hiding and go into Israel.  Joseph obeyed, but upon arriving Joseph realized that Herod's son was now the king.  Joseph took his family to Nazareth.  When Nathanael heard about Jesus, he asked if any good thing could come out of Nazareth?  He thought about Jesus' father who was a carpenter and he did not think there would be any good things about Jesus. At the age of 12 Jesus was able to explain the scriptures to lawyers and teachers in the temple.  Now we see Jesus at the age of 30, when his public ministry begins.  John proclaimed that he was not the messiah and he was not even worthy to untie the shoe laces of Jesus.  John would not take credit for being in charge.  John says I am not the one, but when he comes he will baptize with the Holy Spirit.  When Jesus saw Phillip, Jesus said follow me.  Phillip went to get his friend  Nathanael to share his find.  Phillip says to him, come and see for yourself.  When people ask you what's going on at St Mark, your reply should be come and see for yourself.   Can anything good come out of Nazareth?  You remember how Jesus went home with Zacheaus, and how he drank with wine bibbers, and how he hung out with prostitutes?  Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?  You remember this same man, the messiah, how he bought folk back from the dead?  How he took 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread and fed five thousand?  Can anything good come out of Nazareth?  You remember how he gave his life on a borrowed cross for you so that you would have a right to eternal life?  Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?

     
2017 Sermons
    12/30/2017 Preached Word - The Danger In Losing Sight Of Jesus
  • Luke 2:40-52

    "The Danger In Losing Sight of Jesus"


    The aim of this message is to encourage people to believe in Christ and to be committed to His business. In this text we are given the first recorded public words spoken by Jesus.  What Jesus said in this text, at the age of 12, has an impact in all of our personal lives and our family relationships.  If you study this, you will discover that each point of the text can be applied to our own lives.  Children, no matter how intelligent, should always obey their parents.  Also, parents should always make room for the uniqueness of their children.  Here Jesus tells us that we must be about our Father's business.  If we look at our lives, we must agree that everything we have done was not about our Father's business.  What Would Jesus Do is a strong question.  We must ask ourselves on a daily basis.  WWJD when somebody cuts me off on the highway?  WWJD when someone has gone into my pockets and taken my money?  The best answer to this is the direct words from Jesus.  He said "I must be about my Father's business."  That is the reason why Jesus came on the first Christmas night, so He could be about His Father's business.  Here it was about time for the passover.  Every year Jesus' parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover.  This year Jesus accompanied his parents on the journey.    He was spellbound at being present at the passover celebration.  Jesus was holy excited and made His way over to the church.  We are not told who was preaching/teaching, but when Jesus heard it, it caught His attention. In verse 40 it lets us know that Jesus was a good age 12.  He grew and became strong and wise and God blessed Him.  The picture of a perfectly balanced life looks like the life of Jesus.  Jesus is in church now, at the age of 12, soaking up all He could to help shape His future.  In verse 43 we see Mary and Joseph left heading back home, but Jesus was still in church soaking up all He could to help shape His future.  When you come to the church house, there should be something here that will help you shape your future.  Mary and Joseph must have thought that Jesus was traveling with some of the other family members.  They went an entire day before they realized He was not with them.  One day without Jesus is too much!  Can you make it a day without Jesus?  They searched for Jesus and when they could not find Him, they headed back to Jerusalem.  One day has now turned into 3 days.  Verse 46 says 3 days later they found Him sitting in the church listening to the preacher.    The word tells us that a little child shall lead them.  Even a child can teach us old folks.  Verse 48 says then the family found Jesus.  Mary says to Jesus why have you dealt this way with us?  We have been searching for you.  Jesus replies why are you looking for me?  You should have known that I would be about my Father's business.  The parents lost sight of Jesus, Jesus did not lose sight of them.  They lost sight of Him for 3 days until they went back to the church.  In 2017 some of us fell by the wayside, but if you go back to the church were you lost sight of Jesus, you will find Him.    
     
    12/24/2017 Preached Word - The Birth of Jesus
  • Luke 2:1-7

    "The Birth of Jesus"


    This birth was the most important birth in all of the world.  Every birth is important, your birth was very important to your parents and to your Heavenly Father.  Even now you might go days without thinking about God, but there is never a moment when He is not thinking about you.  However, the birth of Jesus was the most important birth in all of the world.
    •  The time came for the baby to be born.  Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem to pay their taxes and while they were there, the time came for the baby to be delivered.  Our time is not the same as God's time.  I am sure Mary and Joseph did not expect that the baby would be born while they were away from home, but the time came.  This verse lets us know that when the timing was right, God sent Jesus to be our Savior.  We are so blessed to be living under the new covenant dispensation.  Jesus Christ was born on the first Christmas night, a savior to save us.  
    • The Birth Actually Happened -    Jesus may have been born just like any other baby, but He was not conceived like any other baby.  Isn't that something?  The angel told Mary that she would conceive by the Holy Spirit.  The angel told Mary to fear not and the angel told Joseph to take Mary as his wife.  God put Joseph to sleep so he could think and when he woke up, he was ready to take Mary as his wife.  Its good to sleep on it sometimes.  If these two individuals, Mary and Joseph, were not God fearing people, this whole story could have gone another way.  As Christians, God fearing people, we must make the right choices.  
    • When Mary and Joseph got to the Inn, there was no room for them.  There were excuses.  Even today we find time and space for everything except Jesus.  We too have excuses.  I stopped by to tell you that you have got to find room for Jesus in your heart.  You must take time to serve the Lord.      
    12/17/2017 Preached Word - A Celebration In Bethlehem
  •   Matthew 1:19-25

    "A Celebration In Bethlehem"


    Notice in this text, there is excitement in the preparation.  Everybody was excited, except Herod.  They are preparing for a birthday!  We all should know our spiritual birthday. the day that we were re-born.  When you plan a party, you want that special friend to attend your party.    You want to make it special, have it in a special place, with special food, and special drink.  A celebration should be special with excitement in the air.  When you know that something good is happening, you want to share it with someone else.  After the Holy Spirit dealt with Mary and Joseph, they were excited.  God was in control of the events.  The decree went out that everyone had to pay taxes, so Mary and Joseph headed to Bethlehem and while they were there Mary went into labor and delivered the baby.  She wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger because there was no room in the inn.  Today we celebrate the biggest birthday in the history of the world.  The question today is what do you bring to the party?  When you go to a party, you take gifts.  What have you bought to the party?  The wise men bought gifts.  There are at least three things you should take to this party.  They are:
    • Love
    • Joy
    • Patience
    By saying Happy Birthday to Jesus, we are saying here is my life Jesus, take me, I'm yours.   


     
    12/10/2017 Preached Word - Are You A Man or A Wise Man?
  • Matthew 2:1-12

    "Are You A Man Or A Wise Man?"


    All of us are familiar with the wise men and how they followed the star and how they bought gifts to baby Jesus.  They were on their way to see the baby and they were called to go see King Herod.  These were the wise me from the east.  If you look closer at this story, you will discover that there was a group of wise men who did not go to Bethlehem.  In verse 4 we find that these are the ones that Herod called to advise them about the birth of the king.  These wise men who missed the birth knew the location, but they did not believe that the Messiah had come.  They would doubt Christ's deity all their lives because they missed it.  If you look at this lesson, you will find that there are many folk like the wise men who missed it.  They gave Jesus credit for being a good man, they claim Him as being a great teacher, they talk about Him as a prophet, but all of this stops short of salvation.  For it is in Acts 16:31 which states believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved.    The second thing about these men who missed out is they knew the scripture, but they did not find the Savior.  You don't impress anyone when you can quote scripture.  You can know the entire Christmas story, but if you don't know Jesus, it profits you nothing.   In verse 6, they immediately went to the bible to answer Herod's question, but they did not know Jesus.  They found the biblical answer, but did not apply it.  You can know a great deal about the bible, but still be lost.  The third point about the wise men who missed it is they knew that someday Christ would rule, but they would not let Him rule them.  This is just a man that I am talking about, not a wise man.  In this lesson, the plan of God was unfolding swiftly before them.  They could not grasp it because it was happening so fast.  Many of us today see prophecy being fulfilled, but will not act on it.  God has shown all of us places not to go, things not to do, who to keep away from, but we choose to do our own thing.  God has given all of us prophetic vision, but we do not act on it.  These men didn't go, because they were afraid to go.  They were afraid of King Herod.  We must be careful which side we are on.  By them not participating in His birth, they missed out on it.  They feared the lost of favor with  Herod.  We must either serve God, or serve the devil.   These men were stuck on stupid.  They knew the scripture, but they did not want to take the risk.  Do you know Him today or do you just know the story?

     
    12/03/2017 Preached Word - How To Get The Most Out Of The Christmas Season
  • First Sunday in Advent
    Message Delivered by Rev. Lisa M. Little
    Matthew 2:1-12; 16

    "How to Get The Most Out of The Christmas Season" 



    King Herod hated the Christmas season.  Herod got nothing out of the Christmas season.  What will Christmas, 2017, be like for you?  My assignment today is to show you how to get the most out of the Christmas season.  The first thing you must do is be engaged in the right activities.  How many of you know that if you are not engaged in the right activities, you will get nothing out of the Christmas season.  When Jesus was born, the Wise Men had one goal only for the Christmas season.  They were not about trying to catch a good sale in the marketplace.  They just wanted to worship Jesus.  They understood the difference between Christmas and Valentine's day.  When we look at Hallmark, they make you think that Christmas is about getting a ring, finding a boyfriend, having a wedding, and if you watch long enough, even Santa Claus wants to be married by Christmas.  The Wise Men were not looking for Mrs. Right, but they were looking for Jesus.  It was a time to engage in spiritual activity.  They even took time off from work to travel to spend time with Jesus.  It was all about worshipping during this season, a time to give and not receive.  There is a problem if your happiness depends on whether you got exactly what you wanted for Christmas.  Remember, its not even your birthday!  This should be the time we celebrate Jesus and the Wise Men understood that.  They went to Jesus bearing gifts.  They took their very best, gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The Wise Men engaged in activities that honored Jesus and because they did, the season was joyous for them.

    King Herod and the people of Jerusalem had a different experience.  When the king heard about Jesus, he was troubled.  If you are hanging around people who are troubled, you will not get the most out of Christmas.  If you want to get the most out of the Christmas season, you must be hanging around the right crowd.  During the first Christmas, King Herod was a problem person.  There will be some people this Christmas season who do nothing but stir up trouble.  This should be a season to do right, not evil  King Herod was a liar as he told the Wise Men to let him know they found Jesus so he could worship Him.  That was a lie, he had no intention of worshipping Jesus.  He really wanted to know the whereabouts of Jesus so he could bring harm to Jesus.  He had a temper tantrum when he learned that the Wise Men did not come back to tell him where Jesus was.  He killed all the babies so he could wipe out Jesus.  It is sad when you want to wipe Jesus out of the Christmas season.  The word is Christmas because it includes the word Christ.  We must keep Christ in Christmas.  Anytime we are hanging around the wrong crowd, we can expect misery.  You can make up your mind now that you will not be hanging with the complainers this season and those who are materialistic.  You must separate yourself from the wrong crowd to enjoy the Christmas season.

    You must have the right focus during the Christmas season to get the most out of the season.  We know that Jesus is the reason for the season, but its always a good thing to bless others during this season.  Its a good goal to bring joy to others, you will reap what you sow.  You get back what you put out.  If you are not feeling good during this season,  you must change your focus.  King Herod was very self-centered.  He wanted to be the star of the show during the Christmas season.  There are still influences today who want to be the star of the show.  Herod did not understand that Jesus is the King of Kings, and that all glory is due to Jesus.  Herod was in competition with Jesus.  There will be some influences today who will be in competition with Jesus.  Because Herod did not have the right focus, he had a very miserable Christmas season.  You will not enjoy Christmas if you keep listening to secular songs like "What do the lonely do at Christmas" or "Christmas Just Ain't Christmas without The One You  Love."  We must learn to watch our focus.  Our focus must be on finding Jesus.  If you look  for Jesus, you will find Him!  When you find Jesus, He will make every crooked thing straight and He will fix what needs to be fixed.  The Wise Men looked for Jesus and they found Him.  

     
    11/26/2017 Preached Word - Whatever You Do, Just Keep Praying
  • Daniel 6:1-10

    "Whatever You Do, Just Keep Praying"


    This story of Daniel in the lion's den is one of the best known stories in the bible.  It has encouraged the people of God for thousands of years.  This story is filled with unexpected twists and turns.  In this story we learn the secret of Daniel's success.  It behooves us to wait on the Lord.  Daniel managed to thrive and survive in a spiritual hostile environment.  We as Christians are now living in a world of spiritual hostility where the temptation to compromise our faith is with us everyday.  The world does not want its conscience pricked and it does not reward those who stand up for what they believe.  In American standing up for your faith means being scorned and left out for what you believe.  The book of Daniel tells us how to live for God in a hostile environment.  Daniel's example shows us that it can be done but not without discomfort.  You can do it, but it won't be comfortable, it will cost you something.  If you don't compromise, you will surely come encounter trouble sooner or later.  Satan is like a roaring lion who will devour us whenever he can.  You can tell a lot about a person by the quality of enemies they have.  Daniel must have been a good man, he had the right kind of enemies, those who were not friends of God.  We don't want to be friends with those who are not friends of God.   Daniel's enemies came after his faith because they could find no other fault in him.  Daniel is now a very old man, he came to Babylon as a teenager and he spent all his life serving in the courts of various pagan rulers.  Daniel is now over 80 years old and he is now serving under a new kind named Darius.  The question is will Daniel remain faithful to God when the pressure is on.  I am preaching in 3-D today.  The three D's are Decree, Devotion, and Deliverance.  

    As the chapter opens, Daniel is once again about to be promoted to a higher office.  King Darius recognized him as a man of integrity.  There were "set-traps" trying to find grounds to bring charges against Daniel in his conduct of governmental affairs.  They could not find anything so they found out that Daniel was faithful in his duties, faultless in his character, and ferverent in his prayers.  These are 3 marks of Godliness.  You don't have to be saved to know when somebody is faithful.  When others look at us, what do they see?  What do they see when you are not in church?  What kind of jokes do you tell when you are not around church people?  So they discovered that he had one flaw, he talked to God too much.  The "set-traps" got to Darius and stroked his ego.   They convinced the King to make a decree forbidding anyone to pray to God for 30 days.  Anyone caught praying to God would be thrown in the lion's den.

    The second "d" is devotion.  in verse 10 Daniel revels the secret of his devotion.  When he learned that the decree had been published, he went home and 3 times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, just as he had done before.  Just suppose that 85 year old Daniel, who had prayed 3 times a day everyday for 85 years, might be around 93,000 prayers.  No wonder he went back home a prayed because an 85 year old habit is hard to break.  What is your devotion life looking like today?   Look at this 85 year old man going into the lion's den.  Daniel went in the den praying because he believed in God.  Daniel is in the lion's den all night long.  Sometimes you have to stay a while in your lion's den.  He was in the lion's den, but he was devoted.

    The last "d" is devoted.  The word tells us that the King did not sleep well that night.  The King had been tricked into signing this decree.  He liked Daniel enough to make him the 2nd highest man in the kingdom.  The King did not sleep, he tossed and turned, he paced the floor all night.  He refused to hear music and he did not eat.  Daniel slept like a baby.   Early in the morning the King rushed to the  lion's den hoping somehow that Daniel had survived.  Daniel called out to the King that he was alright.  The Lord shut the mouth of the lions and they did not harm Daniel  If you are in the lion's den, know that the Lord will make a way somehow.  The same folk who started all the trouble we thrown in the lion's den.  What goes around comes back around.  Be careful how you treat a child of God.  You must keep praying no matter what you are going through.  Prayer will make a difference.  



     
    11/19/2017 Preached Word - Are You The Real Deal
  • Psalm 34:1-8

    "Are You The Real Deal?"


    There is a lot of stuff out here now that looks real.  People pay lots of money for items that are not the real deal. There are a lot of generic foods now. Generic is the imitation of the real thing at a lower cost.  There are a lot of people who show up on Sunday morning in God's house who are generic.  Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell told us that there is nothing like the real thing, baby.   We are living in a time when people are trying to find a cheaper way of life.  People have instant religion now.  The kind you put on at 11:00 am on Sunday morning, and take it off at 1:00 pm.  There have been many people who have walked through the doors of God's house wanting a quick fix.  If you want the Lord to work on your behalf, you have to spend some time with the Lord.  You must study to show yourself approved.  It does not make sense to come to church and go back home in worse shape then when we came.  You come with other things on your mind while I'm trying to preach.  You sit there writing out your grocery list, or texting and taking pictures.  We want instant religion.  We want to come in and have the preacher make us feel good and so we can go back out and do the same thing.   We must learn how to spend time with God.  Your salvation rests upon real religion.  In the first 3 verses of this psalm David gives us the invitation to praise.  He says o magnify the Lord with me.  The resolution to praise God continually is the basis for seeking others to magnify and exalt the Lord.  This invitation is directed to those who are humble and teachable. David says o magnify the Lord with me.  When you see me magnifying the Lord, you ought to magnify the Lord also.  When you praise the Lord, the devil will flee from you.  When the praises go up, the blessings come down.  The more you praise Him, the more real He becomes in your life.  In verses 4-6 David gives a testimony of deliverance. He says I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and He delivered me.  When you seek the Lord, He will hear you and He will deliver on time.  After being delivered David looked back over his life and he cried out o taste and see that the Lord is good.  David said I have been nibbling here and there, but now I have found the real deal!  My assignment to you today is to encourage you to be real.  God is looking for somebody who is real.  Until you have an encounter with the Lord, you won't realize what it means to be real.  Can your family depend you on?  Can your family depend on you?  Can God depend on you?    
     
    11/12/2017 Preached Word - Let It Burn
  • Daniel 3:14-19

    "Let It Burn"


    In this book, the book of Daniel, we find it to be a prophetic book.  We are all familiar with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  On this Men's Sunday, this image we get is either you bow or you burn.  These 3 men refused to bow, but they did not burn.  Sometimes we think we have to bow, but I stopped by to tell you that you don't have to bow and you don't have to burn.  We are often bombarded with negative thoughts such as "if I don't do what they say, I will lose my job."

    **These boys were different.  They regarded not the king. Just because everybody else is doing it, it does not make it right.  Some people have problems with me because I am different.  I know I am different, I am only trying to please God, not man.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew that they could not follow the crowd.  Our Lord and Savior was also different.  He was light on a dark planet.  He was righteous in a sinful world. When God is in your life, you are different, you don't dance to everybody's music.  You talk different, you dress different, your lifestyle is different than that of the world.  We are to be different, changed by the power of the gospel.  I dare you to be different!
     
    **These boys were daring.  In verse 16 they answered O king, we can't do what you are asking us to do.  They were saying God will take care of us. Don't let anyone intimidate you into doing something against your belief.  The thrill of new Christianity makes you take a daring stand.  There is fresh zeal in soul winning when you are first saved.  Remember that the walk of faith is a daring walk.  You must stand or something, or you will fall for anything.  Stand up for Christ, be daring!

    **These boys were dedicated.  In verses 17 and 18 we see their dedication.  They declared that God is able to deliver them, but if He didn't, He is still God.  If God does not give me what I want, He is still God.  Some may be angry with God today and feeling like God has left you in the firey furnace to burn.   Don't take it out on God, hold on and keep trusting God.  Notice the commitment of these three boys.   They declared God if you don't deliver me, I ain't mad at you.  Men, you must believe that all things work together for good to those who love the Lord.  


     
    11/05/2017 Preached Word - Walking Through The Wilderness By Faith
  • Exodus 16:1-7

    "Walking Through The Wilderness By Faith"


    This lesson deals with the Israelites and their wilderness experience.  As we observe the leadership of God and the children of Israel, we must think about our walk with God as we journey along this wilderness of life.  All of us have experienced a wilderness walk, or we are going to experience a wilderness walk.  Some of us stay in the wilderness a little longer because of our attitude.  Today let us look as our walk with Christ.  Certainly we don't want to end up like the children of Israel.  The older generation thought they knew everything and as a result, in the end they did not go into the Promised Land.  The children of Israel walked for 40 years, they kept going around in circles, they didn't want Moses to tell them anything.  If you want the answer, you must go to God.  Sometimes we stay in the wilderness too long because we refuse to obey God.  For some of us, if we don't change our thinking, we might end up like the children of Israel who never made it to the promised land.  It would be a shame to spend all this time on earth, in church every Sunday, and miss the promised land.  
    1 - God calls us to walk by faith.  Has anyone ever gone to Heaven and come back to tell us how it is?  No, we have to walk by faith.  Everyone of us has this same calling on our life.  You must walk by faith.  You must walk, and not see where you are going.  That is faith. God's direction always has purpose.  When it seems like all hope is gone, there is still purpose in your life.  
    2 - God provides for us in accordance to what we need, not necessarily according to what we want.  I don't need it now, but when I need it, He will provide.  You can't always get what you want.  Sometimes what you want will hurt you.  God wants us to trust Him for our daily bread, our everyday bread.  By doing this, it builds our faith in Him.
    3 - God calls us to gratitude.  In all the Israelites' doings, the most disturbing sin was the sin of ingratitude.  Their attitude was one of thanklessness.  Instead of continuing to praise God for His deliverance from Egypt, all they could do was murmur.  Instead of thanking Him, all they did was complain.  Complaining is the opposite of gratitude.  The very fact that you are complaining says you don't appreciate what you have been given and that you think you deserve better.   
    10/29/2017 Preached Word - Don't Lose Your Salt
  • Matthew 5:13

    "Don't Lose Your Salt"

    Here Jesus is addressing those who understand the "allness" of God.  Such people the Lord describes as being the salt of the earth.  He also likens us to the light of the world.  Those who really live the life that corresponds to the truth know that your life is a light.  You know that you are salt and you have preserving power.  If you know who you are in Christ, you know that you are different.  If you understand and accept the teachings of our Lord and Savior, and if you make every effort to practice them in every department in your own life, if you seek systematically to destroy things in your own life that should not be there, then you are worthy to be called the salt of the earth.    We all know that salt is used to preserve, to keep things fresh.  When there is no preserving power, there is nothing.  Some of us here in the church have lost our preserving power.  Some of us are mean, hateful, and deceitful.  If you lost your salt, you need to make a change.  It does not matter what your present circumstances may be, if you have not lost your salt.  You must be positive because others are looking at you.  They must look at you and see God in you.  The state of your soul is expressed by your outer condition and in the intangible condition in which you radiate at large.  Nothing can permantly deny its own nature.  If you have a lot of meanness in you, you can cover it up for a while, but in due season, it will come out.  Whatever is in you, eventually it will come out.  True salvation cannot be placed on a shelf.  When you yield to God, can't nobody take it away from you.  We cannot hear what you are saying because what you are shouts so loudly until we cannot hear what you are saying.  The soul that is built upon prayer cannot be hidden.  Others can look at you and tell whether you are a prayer warrior or not.   Let your children see you pray sometimes.   A prayer life is a good life.  Salt is good, but if the salt have lost his saltiness, wherewith will ye season it?  Never force other people to accept spiritual truths.  You cannot make others accept spiritual truths.  Just see to it that they are impressed by the savour that radiates from your life.        
    10/22/2017 Preached Word - The Stealer of Life
  • John 10:1-10

    "The Stealer Of Life"


    You can fill in the blank today --- Life is ________, whatever you think life is to you.  Forrest Gump told us that life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are gonna get.  Someone else said life is a rat race, a bowl of cherries, a party.  For some of us life is just living for the weekend.  Why is it that we want to reduce life in size?  I'm glad to know that for some of us life is bigger than any problem you will ever have.  Life is worth living.  Our text says that the thief comes for to steal your life, to kill, and destroy.  Jesus says that He comes so we would have life and have it more abundantly.  This is youth Sunday and I want to tell the young people that there is a stealer out there.  He is in the church, in the school house, on the play ground, in the mall, and sometimes the stealer is in your house.  For some of us life is no more than the time spent between birth and death.  The stealer of life can keep you down and depressed.  The joy of the Lord should be your strength and the strength of the Lord should be your joy.  Young people now are getting bored with the same routine.  Even some old people are claiming to be bored.  God has given us hands to do his work and the word tells us whatever work our hands find to do, do it!  Young people don't let anyone put you in a position that you know will bring you down.  You cannot be yolked with a non-believer.    Why are you sitting in church every Sunday claiming to be saved and sanctified and you are in love with a thug?  Somebody who is not walking with you, but only pulling you back.  That is the stealer who comes to rob from you and to take life from you.  Jesus says the thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy.  The job of the shepherd was to lead, protect, and feed the sheep.  There were robbers who sought to take away the job of the shepherds.  In our day and time there are many avenues that we can travel which lead not to life, but to destruction.  While we would not call these pursuits thieves and robbers, but they are just that. 

    You won't find life in pleasure.  Many people seek pleasure, but are still empty.  Abundant life is not about a pleasure life.  
    You won't find life in performance.  The satisfaction of one job completed is short lived.  The thrill of victory on lasts only 15 minutes.
    You won't find life in possessions.  The one who loves money is never satisfied.  Life is not in what you possess.  
    You won't find life in positions.  People believe that if they reach a certain status in life, they will be happy.    

    Life is only found in the person of Jesus Christ.  Jesus says I am the author of life.  He says I am the way, the truth, and the life.  Jesus came so that we could have life and have it more abundantly.
       
    10/15/2017 Preached Word - Jesus and Common People
  • Mark 12:35-37

    "Jesus and Common People"

    In the 12th chapter of Mark we are told that common people heard Jesus gladly.  Nothing is clearer than the fact that Jesus' ministry was geared to ordinary people.  He was raised in an Artisan home.  When He chose His disciples, He chose the undistinguished, uneducated men.  He did not choose those who were high up, nor did He choose aristocrats.  He chose plain ole ordinary people.  This should be a lesson to us for the folk who can help us most are just plain, ordinary people.  In the 2nd chapter of Mark we find the report of an ordinary day in the life of Jesus.  We see how He healed the man who was carried by his friends.  The house was full so the friends got up on the roof and lowered the man right in front of Jesus.  That was a rooftop blessing.  Sometimes we stop right at the door, but there is another way to get in.  We all need a rooftop blessing.   Then we see how Jesus was invited into a man's home who was an official at the Internal Revenue Service.  Jesus knew that this tax collector was cheating people.  However Jesus went to his house to have a meal.  Jesus saw something in Zachaeus.  Jesus' ministry was extraordinary, but His ministry was for ordinary people.  What we need most is not a gospel for the intelligent, but for ordinary people.  A power that can help men and women in ordinary circumstances.  The truth of the matter is that all of us are just ordinary people.  In the world today, a lot of what we see is make believe.  We are living in a make believe world, a world full of stunts, but Jesus is real!  You don't have to roll down the aisle, or put on a show, or have a special outfit to impress Jesus.  Just come as you are.  Jesus loves common people.  Look at the woman at Jacob's well.  She was just an ordinary woman who went to draw water and she ran into an extraordinary God.  You don't know what you will run into when you come to church.  You have to come with an empty pot so that the Lord can fill you.  Look at the woman caught in adultery.  She was just an ordinary woman. The Lord said to her accusers if you are without sin, cast the first stone.  The extraordinary God said to the ordinary woman, I find no fault in you.  What about you, as good as you think you are, you are still an ordinary person.  Jesus will be with you if you let Him.  He is an extraordinary God who loves ordinary people.    
     
    10/08/2017 Preached Word - Launch Out
  • Luke 5:5-10

    "Launch Out" delivered by Rev. Sandra Greene

    Annual Lay Witness Sunday

     
    10/01/2017 Preached Word - What Do You Value Most In Life?
  • 1 John 2:15-16 

    "What Do You Value Most In Life?"


    Is there anything in this life that means more to you than anything?  All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give.  How true are those words for us?  God has a promise, a purpose, and a plan for every person.  For Him to be able to use us, we need to prioritize what matters most. The reason why some of us get all messed up is because we don't know our purpose, we don't know our promise, and we don't have a plan.  Some of us are like the incubator chicken who follows anything on the barnyard.  When we don't have a plan, we will follow anything.  We must prioritize what matters most in our life.  Then we must come into an agreement with our actions.  You can't keep talking about change, but not doing anything different.  You must put some actions to your life.  You can't make a change if you won't show up on Sundays.  If you want more, you must do more.  Joshua says do not let this book of the law depart from you mouth, meditate on it day and night so that you may be careful to do everything within it, then you will be prosperous and successful.  You can't keep talking about it, you must meditate on it day and night.  We must realize that what we value affects our life.  It controls everything in our life.  Our values affect our stress level.  When our values are unclear, there is confusion.  Our values control our success in life.  Everytime you make a decision, you are filtering that decision subconsciously, or consciously, through what you value.  If your values are right, it will lead you to growth, success, and development.  If your values are wrong,  you will eventually crash and burn. Your values should effect the people around you.  To get a handle on your values you must:
    • Choose your source, - where are you going to get your values from.  The source of your values will determine the quality of your values.   The answer should be from a lot of places - our parents, peers, magazines, books, music, society.  Today our major value giver is the media.  It came out that people in New Zealand watch about 1,000 hours of television a year.  By the time they are 65, they would have watched TV for 9 1/2 solid years.  If you go to church once a week for your entire life, that would only equal 4 months of spiritual teaching.  4 months compared to 9 1/2 years.  
    • Clarify what is important - let me encourage you to make a list of your values.  Make a list of what you consider to be the most important things in your life, then attach a scripture to them.  Most of the values we have, we didn't choose, we grew up with them.  Some are good, some are not so good.  You need to write your own values, and it is too late to write them when you are in a crisis.       
    • Change your lifestyle - adjust your lifestyle.  The old one might not be leading you anywhere.  If you want to live a value based life, you must take your values and make sure they are applied to your time, your money, and your relationships.  
    09/24/2017 Preached Word - Druggies Hooked On C.O.K.E.
  • I Corinthians 16:13-19

    "Druggies Hooked On C.O.K.E."

    2017 Men's Day Sermon
    Delivered by Dr. Theodore Little

    In the text Paul, who is a druggie, lets us know that we too need to be druggies hooked on Christ Our King Eternal.
    09/17/2017 Preached Word - Signed, Sealed, And Delivered
  • Revelation 7:1-4, 9

    Signed, Sealed, and Delivered"


    If you study this text, it gives us to know that in order for anything to be verified, it has to be signed and when you seal it, nobody knows what's in it but you.  In this season God is up to something.  Never before in history of time have we seen 3 major hurricanes active at the same time.  God is up to something.  Revelation is a tough text to discuss, but God is up to something.  I had gotten my plans together, but God said early this morning, not so, and I trust Him enough to go where He leads me.  A saint is a holy and a sanctified person.  We sometimes use words too loosely.  We must get the definition of a word before we use it.  A saint is a holy and a sanctified person.  Everybody is not sanctified.   Either you are a saint, you are an ain't.  Ain't means you are not a saint.  You can't make yourself a saint just by saying you are a saint.  Whatever you are on the inside, it will eventually show on the outside.  Look at the lesson today.  We have an account of the restraint laid upon the wind.  By these winds are meant those error and corruptions in religion which would cause a great deal of trouble to the church of God.  Sometimes the Holy Spirit is compared to the wind, but here in Revelation the spirit of error is compared to the four winds.  The devil is called the prince of the power of the air.  Remember how he by a great wind overthrew the house of Job's elderly son and all 10 of Job's children were killed.  When the wind of error starts moving, it becomes a shaky situation.  These winds of the earth blow only on the lower regions.  Those of us who have been saved by Christ have the ability to go higher.   These shaky winds are restrained by the ministry of angels standing in the four corners of the earth.  Being a Christian gives us so many benefits.  Isn't it wonderful to know that you have an angel standing in the gap for you, forbidding the winds of error to mess with you.   The restraint was only for a season, until the servants of God were sealed in the forehead.  God will allow us to go through, but God has a time for everything.  His timing of our trials is in His hand.   Job was able to build his life back because he had God.  John says this work was committed to an angel, this is another angel in verse 2.  While some angels were employed to restrain satan and his army, another angel was employed to mark off and distinguish the faithful servants of God.  We have one angel on one side to restrain the enemy and one angel on the other side to seal us unto God.  These angels are employed, they work for God.  When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Lord will lift up a standard around us.  The seal of God was set.  By this mark they were set apart for mercy.  Anybody here been sealed?  Do you know that you have been sealed?  The number of those who were sealed was 144,000.There were 12,000 from each tribe of Israel.  John saw these folk signed, sealed, and delivered. I want you to look with your mind's eye and see this parade.  John says wait a minute, I see another number marching to Zion.  John says I saw a number that no man could number.  John says what's going on.  He declared these are they who have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb, these are they who have been scandalized and talked about, these are they who have come up on the rough side of the mountain, these are they .......... 
    09/10/2017 Preached Word - Complete Salvation

  • John 8:24

    "Complete Salvation"


    In this scripture before us today, Christ presents one of the clearest and most complete sermons on salvation to be found in the bible.  This is a clear message.  His heart was always burdened for the lost and their salvation was a chief matter of concern.  He always offered salvation to the lost.  In this one verse, we will discover what Christ taught about salvation.  First Christ talks about the need of salvation. If you don't have it, you need it.  If you have it, you need to keep it.  Until a person acknowledges his need, he will never be moved to accept the gift of salvation.  In this one verse Christ teaches 3 vital truths about the need of salvation.

    1.  The need of salvation is universal.  It's not a male thing, not a female thing, not a black thing, not a white thing.  It is a universal thing.  The fact that you need to be saved does not mean that you are worse than anyone else.  Salvation is one need shared by all humankind, it is a universal need.  Every person is lost until he or she believes.  What must you do to be lost?  The answer is nothing.  You as you are are already lost.  So just remain as you are and you will continue to be lost.  It seems in this day and time that some folk enjoy being lost.  Here is an illustration: a man falls overboard in the Atlantic Ocean.  A life raft is thrown out to him.  What must he do to drown?  Absolutely nothing.  If he stays as he is, in time, he will drown.  But to be saved, he must do something.  He must reach over and take hold of the raft and trust it to bring him in to safety.    You don't have to do nothing to be lost, just stay as you are.  Everyone is lost until you reach out to Christ.  Christ is our raft of salvation.

    2.  The need of salvation is rooted in the sin of unbelief.  This is the second truth as taught by Christ.  He says if you believe not that I am He, you shall die in your sins.  Why is unbelief so serious a sin? If you believe not, you shall die in your sins.  He is a profound statement.  How do you act when you go through the drive-thru?  Are you still a Christian when she forgets your fries?  How do you act when you are outside of St Mark?  How do you act when you are not around Big Mama?  You have to believe in God and know who He is.  If you can't get that part right, you will always have problems.  You can't just believe in Him on Sunday, or when you have a special need.  You must learn how to trust in God always.  How can you think you are doing it on  your own?  How can you think that you wake yourself up every morning?  How do you think that you made it through college by yourself?  How do you think that your children are where they are on their own?  Why is unbelief so serious of a sin?  Because unbelief rejects God's only plan of salvation.  Christ is the way and there is no other way.  When a person rejects Christ, he or she rejects God's only means of salvation.  Christ is the only one who can save us.  Other sins do not send a person to hell for they are only symptoms.  The virus from which they all spring is the sin of unbelief.  

    3.  The need of salvation is emphasized by the penalty of sin.  Twice in our text Jesus says you shall die in your sins.  He is saying you shall die under the curse of your sins.  How badly a patient needs surgery is emphasized by what will happen if he does not get surgery.  How badly a person needs insulin is emphasized by what will happen if he does not get insulin.  How badly a person needs salvation is emphasized by what will happen if he does not get salvation. The penalty is death, not just physical death, but eternal death.  Eternal separation from our Lord and Savior.   
    09/03/2017 Preached Word - Let Your Light Shine
  • Matthew 5:14-16

    "Let Your Light Shine"


    It may well be that Jesus' greatest compliment to a Christian is that you are the light of the world. That's a compliment coming from Jesus.  That might be the greatest compliment that you will ever received.  This says that the whole world is looking at me and what I do should light up the world.  What I say should light up the world.  You must shine everyday.  In this statement Jesus commands us to be nothing less than what He himself claimed to be.  He said as long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.  Now when Jesus asks us as His followers to be the light of the world, He is simply asking us to be nothing less than what He is.  Jesus is the light of the world.  If you want things to shine in your life, you need to hook up with the light of the world.  Jesus is saying that we are important people.  You need to know that you are important to Jesus.  As soon as we realize the position that we have in Jesus, we can go on with our lives.  Jesus just takes ordinary individuals and calls them the light of the world.  Jesus was telling them in His sermon on the mount that they were important, that they mattered in God's kingdom.  If we stop long enough, we will hear Jesus say to us, we are important.  If you don't think enough of yourself to think that you are important, people will treat you any kind of way.  In this passage we find 3 things.  
    1. Exclamation - I have a feeling that Jesus did not say passively you are the light of the world.  I am convinced that He put emphasis on it.  It is astounding that Jesus would know us for what we are and yet say that we are the light of the world.  You can't fool Jesus.  When I started out in ministry, I thought the most important thing in my ministry was preparing sermons.  But I realize if I go back to some of the churches that I previously pastored and asked someone to give me a list of 10 sermons that I preached, I doubt if anyone could do that.  But all of the people that I have served in the past would be able to tell me how I lived, the spirit of my life and the impression I left of them.  I now realize that ministry gives the greatest sermon by the lives we live rather than by the words we say.  People would rather see a sermon than hear a sermon.  Jesus did not say you will become the light, He says you are the light.  Its not by things we say, nor deeds we do, but by the people we are that we can be the light of the world.  You have got to live something.    
    2. Illustration - in verse 15 Jesus says that a person should not put a candle under a basket.  We can't be saved and not want anyone to know it.  Don't light a candle and put it under a bushel, but put it on the candlestick so it can be seen. The average house in Palestine was dark.  It had one window and a little lamp was lite so that the people could see around the house.  Once with light went out, it was not easy to re-light.  There were no matches.  So the little lamp would be left burning hour after hour and when they left the house, for safety sake they would take the lamp from its stand and put it under the earthen bushel.  when they returned, they would put it back on the candlestick.  Jesus is saying to us today that your Christianity should be perfectly visible to all.  No one should have to ask you if you are a Christian.  The very life you live is the light to be seen.  In verse 16 I see this light as a guiding light.  The Christian light must be clear pointing the way to Christ for others.  Others should be able to look at you and see the way to Christ.  The world needs guiding lights.  Our lights should also be warning lights.  Sometimes it is a Christians duty to warn others with love.  
    3. Application - in verse 16 we are told that the conduct of Christians is important.  We should shine naturally, we must be real.  You don't have to pretend.  We must pay our tithes and offerings.  When you see light being consumed, it costs something.  It costs Jesus His life.  If we are to shine, it will cost us something.  Just keep shining.  We must shine openly, not ashamed.  I close by telling you that you are the light of the world.  Somebody is in darkness and they are depending on you.   There are many styles of light.  There is the Christmas light, used only one time a year. These lights are made for show.  There are the flashing lights, they are on and off.  There are flash lights, very useful in times of trouble.  Short life of usefulness, then they fade out slowly.  They must be hand held.  There are candlelights.  They are effected by the wind, they may even go out.  They are good inside, but  not good on the outside.  There are dirty lights.   The more the dirt, the less the light.  Dirt builds up over time.  They need to be cleaned from time to time.  The spot light concentrates on one area only.  The flood light covers one area, but with a soft light.  The beacon light warns of danger to guide the traveler on his way.  The reflective light must receive its source from another source.    Let your light shine so others can see Jesus in you!
    08/27/2017 Preached Word - It's All In The Family
  • Mark 3:31-35

    "It's All In The Family" - Family & Friends Day Celebration


    This is a strange text to preach, you can walk away after reading this lesson thinking that Jesus had an attitude.  Let's really look at this lesson today.  Here Jesus is teaching in the city of Capernaum.  He is surrounded by a vast multitude of people.  Most of them are there to hear with He has to say.  They are fascinated by His message and His miracles.  They showed up to hear the Lord.  I wonder sometimes on Sunday morning.... Others were there to find fault with Jesus, the hinder the Lord.  Having a big crowd on Sunday morning looks good, and feels good but everybody who shows up is not there for the right reason. In verse 31 the word friend literally means kinsman.  This group is our Lord's family  they have come to rescue Jesus from Himself.  They think Jesus has lost his mind.  They have come to get Him to take Him back home so He can get some rest.  Near the Lord are those who have come to hear Him.  They surround Him as He speaks.  A little further back we see those who would hinder the Lord.  At the very back of the crowd is our Lord's family.  The ones who have come to "help" Him.  Notice that these verses focus on Jesus and His earthy family, but Jesus uses the arrival of His physical as an opportunity to teach us about His relationship with His spiritual family.  Since this is Family & Friends Day, I want to examine the truths that are revealed in these verses.  I believe that they have some very profound spiritual lessons to teach us today.  We will learn today that the physical does not have a chance with the spiritual.  We think what we want to do comes before what God wants us to do.  Are you in God's family?  This was tense moment for Jesus.  He is teaching and His family shows up.  They must have been late.  His family was late.  That part has not changed for some of us.  His family shows up late and it creates a moment of tension for everyone.   When you show up late, everyone has to turn around and look at you.  Jesus' family showed up late and then they made a family request.  They sent word through the crowd to tell Jesus to stop His preaching and come to them.  They came to stage an intervention so they can take Jesus home.  In verse 32 we see the crowd's reaction.  His Mother Mary and one of His brothers tells someone at the back of the crowd to pass the word to the front that they are there to see Him.  They wanted Jesus to stop teaching and go with them. The crowd sees nothing wrong with this.  In that society nothing was more important than one's family.  Everything centered around the family.  But in verse 33 Jesus responds "who is my mother, who is my brother?"  The crowd must have been shocked.  Jesus uses this opportunity to teach us that spiritual business takes priority over earthy business. Until we get that, we will always have problems in this life.  Nothing was more important to Jesus than doing with will of His father.  You can't put earthly business before the Lord's business.  Jesus also wanted to teach us that spiritual relationships take priority over human relationships.  Family is important but it is not all important.  The church should be on your mind every Sunday.  I love church.  You must love your family, but family business is never more important thant the Lord's business. If your family business keeps you out of church on Sunday morning, you are too busy. If your family business holds you back in your service to God, something is wrong.  Are you in the spiritual family?   


     
    08/20/2017 Preached Word - God Is Creating A New Thing, Let's Move Forward
  • Isaiah 43:18-19

    "God Is Creating a New Thing, Let's Move Forward"


    In this text you will discover that Isaiah's writings to the children of Israel came at a bleak period in their history.  The children of Israel are in captivity, they have lost everything.  They are homesick for the land and the blessings that God had promised them.  They once had it all, but they lost it all.  Its no sense in talking about what you used to have.  The word tells us that old things are passed away and all things are become new.  This is a problem in the church.  People are always talking about what we used to do. This is a downfall in the church.  At some point in time, we must stop looking back and begin to look forward.  God wants to do something new in your life.  In order to move on to the new things in Christ:
    • You must change your focus - quit looking behind and start looking ahead.  Verse 18 says remember ye not the former things, do not dwell on the past.  Looking behind will hold you hostage.  If you are continually looking behind you, you cannot see where you are going.  If you are ever going to move on to the new things in Christ, you must learn to quit looking behind.  You cannot depend upon past victories to sustain you.  The children of Israel had many victories in their past, but they were a piece of work.  The question is not what has God done for you, but the question must be what is God doing in your life right now.
    • You cannot allow your past failures to possess you.  Don't dwell on the past.  We have all done some things that we don't want anyone to know.  God has forgiven you, but you can't get over the past.  You must leave it behind!  You may have gotten by, but you will not get away.  You must let it go.  The children of Israel failed God.  Every time He blessed them, they murmured and complained.  He gave them a temple, they gave Him idol worship.  God gave them truth, they lived and proclaimed a lie.  God gave them His commandments, they lived like they were 10 suggestions.   God said forget the former things, do not dwell on the past.  I am doing a new thing.  God does not condemn us for what we used to do.  We cannot change our past.  If we hit pause, rewind, and go back.  When you push play, you will get the same old thing.  God was holding out the hand of hope.  Forget about your past and seize the opportunity to start over.  
    • You cannot live on yesterday's faith.  What your mother had, was your mother's faith.  The children of Israel had experienced great spiritual blessings.  You must believe that God will send a word whenever you are going through, a right now word.   The Lord was good to them, He parted the Red Sea for them.  They had seen His hand at work throughout their lives.  Yet their faith in all that He had done, it was still not enough to deliver them out of their present situation.  Yesterday's faith is not sufficient to deliver us today.  When you are stale in your faith and you can't get a prayer through, you must fall down on your needs and ask God to revive you.  You must believe that old things are passed away and all things will become new.  Is there anybody here waiting on a new thing?  Come Holy Spirit, come Heavenly Dove and kindle a flame of sacred love in these cold hearts of ours. If you want this new thing, we must quit looking back. 
    08/13/2017 Preached Word - Trouble Don't Last Always
  • Psalm 55:1-6

    "Trouble Don't Last Always"


    If you read this text, you can't help but to wonder why David was having so many problems with the folk that he let in his circle.  It suggests to me that the most problems that you have will be with folk who are in your inner circle. David was a man after God's own heart.  Here I see him in great distress.  First of all He prays that God would manifest His favor to him as he pleads his own sorrow and fear. Its like he wants God to do something, yet he is going to cry and moan about it.  Secondly, if you notice in verses 1-8 you will hear David pray that God would manifest His displeasure against David's enemies.  Thirdly in the text David assures himself that God would in due time appear for him against his enemies.  David knows that we still have to trust in God, even though we have enemies who are against us.  Sometimes it feels like our enemies are closing in on us, but don't worry about it.  Trouble don't last always.  Joy comes in the morning.  We spend too many sleepless nights worrying about how others perceive us.  Don't spend a lot of time worrying about your enemies, God says He will make your enemies your footstool. We spend too much time trying to get back at one another.  David knew that he had done wrong.  He didn't need anybody from the community to point out his failures.    Everyone in here knows what you have done.  You don't need anyone in the church to point them out to you.  My assignment is to preach the word.  It's the word that will convict you.  David says Lord come see about me, I am overcome by my troubles.  My heart is disturbed within me and my enemies surround me and they plot to kill me.  I am scared Lord.  If I had wings, I would fly away and be at rest.  Sometimes we want to run from our troubles.  I stopped by to tell you that you can't run from your troubles.  You have to deal with your troubles, you cannot run from your troubles.  We all have troubles, all of God's children have troubles.  We have to stand still and deal with our troubles.  David went to church every Sunday.  Even though he had troubles, he showed up at church.  We must stand still and know that God didn't bring us this far to turn His back on us.  David had troubles.  Jesus had troubles.  His own relatives talked about Him.  Time is winding up.  We must believe that trouble don't last always.  Some glad morning, when this life is over, I'll fly away and all my trouble will be over.  

     
    08/06/2017 Preached Word - Dealing With Difficult Situations
  • Mark 8:22-26

    "Dealing With Difficult Situations" - delivered by Rev. Lisa M. Little


    A recent news report stated that suicides are at an all time high.  There was a time when people didn't handle their problems that way.  But we are living in a different world now and times are tough for everybody.  One thing that we all have in common is that there will be times in this life when we will have to deal with difficult situations.  For one person the difficult situation may be a marriage problem, for another it may be a health problem, for another a financial problem or a job related problem.  Our problems may be different, but the dilemma is the same.  If you don't have the right understanding, then it can cause you to become hopeless.  My assignment today is to share these few things that you need to remember when you are dealing with difficult situations.  
    • Jesus is the answer.  No matter what you situation is, Jesus is still the answer.  Some people seem to think that the world has the answer.  In the text this man was dealing with a difficult situation.  He was blind, but fortunately he had some good friends who knew how to help him.  He had friends who helped him by bringing him to Jesus.  They understood that the answer to the problem was Jesus.  They knew that when you turn your problem situation over to Jesus, it will get better.  Our problem is that when we turn it over to Jesus, we still have our hands on the situation.  That is like having two cooks in the kitchen.  It is never good to have two sets of hands on the situation.  
    • Nothing is too hard for Jesus.  We say we believe that, but if we really believed that, we would totally give it to Jesus.  The blind man in the text was in a very bad situation.  He could not see and there was not reason for him to believe that he would ever see.  Some would say that his situation was hopeless.  However, Jesus had different plans for this man and Jesus has different plans for us.  Jesus never meant for life to be hard for us.  But you have to believe that nothing is too hard for Jesus.  Jesus has powers that nobody else has.  The miracles we see in the bible are not just fairy tales.  Jesus has supernatural power.  He can do things that humans cannot.  He is able to do the impossible.  
    • Jesus never fails.  In this text, it almost looked like Jesus had failed.  Jesus gave the blind man a touch and asked him if he could see.  The man replied I see men but they look like walking trees.  This man still had a problem.  He had received a touch from Jesus, but he still had a problem.  This did not mean that Jesus had failed, it meant that Jesus had another agenda.  Jesus knew that this man needed a closer relationship with Him.  Jesus was also teaching this man to be dependent on Him.  We must understand that we cannot do anything without Jesus.  In order for the man to be healed, he had to come out of the town.  There was something about that town that contributed to his blindness.  Sometimes we are in circles of people who contribute to our blindness.  
    • Jesus is always on time.  You might feel like you have been waiting for Jesus to fix things for a long time.  Sometimes we must wait for Jesus.  Sometimes the Lord is testing our faith to see if we are going to continue to wait on Him.  He is never late, He is always on the right schedule.  
    The biggest problem that ever took place on earth was the three days that there was a deceased Savior.  To His disciples, it looked like Jesus had failed. He was supposed to solve the world's problems, but He was dying on a cross. For 3 days there was a problem on earth.  There was no Jesus to talk to, no Jesus to ask questions, no Jesus to be an example.  It was chaotic.  However God was still in charge and God had begun a work that He would finish.  He allowed them to put Jesus in a tomb, but on the 3rd day the disciples went to look for Jesus in the wrong place.  They were looking for Jesus in the wrong place.  He rose Jesus from the dead to be a lesson for us.  Even when Satan hits us with his best shot we can say is that all you've got.  Because of our Jesus, we have the victory.  We are not defeated.  
    07/30/2017 Preached Word - Fully Committed
  • Psalm 37:1-5

    "Fully Committed"


    We can't seem to go forward for worrying about what somebody else thinks about us.  We must, however, realize that God comes first. The word tells us to fret not because of evil doers and neither be envious against the workers of iniquity.  Why, for they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.  Trust in the Lord and do good, so shall thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of thy heart.  Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass. We must be fully committed, putting on the whole amour of God.  We cannot be half stepping, we cannot be a part-time Christian in a full time world.  I don't know of any church that has saloon doors, the doors that swing in and out.  If you come into the church, you should stay in the church.  The word commitment is still applicable in our society today.   It is a strong word that requires action.  There used to be a time when your word was your bond.  You didn't have to write it down, nor sign anything.  Your word was your bond.  We have gotten away from that now.  We will look you right in the face and tell a lie.  It's a sad day when nobody can trust what a Christian is saying.  We used to be committed.  Not only in the church, but some of us are not committed to each other.  We don't commit ourselves to anything.  We start off paying tithes when things are going well, then you order some shoes online and you have to pay for them.  The shoe bill comes before God.  All of us are committed to something!  Everybody is committed to something.  We should know that God is not going to honor us if we are not committed to him.  All God wants us to do is be fully committed to Him.  A lot of us are waiting for the door of opportunity when the blessing is in the hallway.  We must start somewhere.  The object of commitment may have changed.  Some people are committed to be under no commitment.   That's why some of us can't keep a job.  We are not committed to show up on time, nor to take a 1/2 hour lunch break.  The psalmist says in verse 5 of psalm 37 that we are to commit our way unto the Lord, then Proverbs, the next book over, in chapter 16 verse 3, commit thy works unto the Lord and He will establish your plans. Then it says if you do, your thoughts shall be established.  God hears what you are thinking if you commit yourself.  In due season, God will bring it to pass.  Due season is when God says it's enough.  I'm gonna get it if I don't give up.  My healing is coming in due season, if I don't give up.  My finances will increase in due season, if I don't give up.  I'm praying the somebody will turn their life around because of this word commitment.  If you get too busy to go to church, you are too busy.  Maybe God needs to take some things away from you so you won't have to worry about the things that are holding you back from church. We need to be committed, we need to be commimtted to giving.  There is more to it than tithing.  Tithing is what is required.  Mentally we say let somebody else do it.  We must be fully committed.  Be committed to your church.  Can your church depend on you?  The only thing that will bring us true joy is being committed unto the Lord.  
    07/23/2017 Preached Word - Keep Knocking Until You Get In
  • Luke 13:22-27

    "Keep Knocking Until You Get In"


    Here we find the question asked in verse 22 of Luke 13.  "Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?"  Luke has Jesus answering a series of questions in this chapter.  On this occasion a question is posed by one of his traveling companions.  Luke does not tell us who asks the question, It seems an innocent question, yet it is profoundly a deep question.  It is of eternal significance, not only to the one who asked the question, and to the others walking with Christ on the road to Jerusalem, but also to us here this morning.  A lot of us need to study this question so we won't continue to make judgments on who is going to make it in and who will not.  At that time there was a debate going on among religious leaders as to who would and who would not go to heaven.  They could not agree on whether or not Gentiles would be saved.  Not only did they have that problem, but look at us.  We have the same problem right here in the church.   Some of us with be surprised at the end.  If you look at verses 24-25 Jesus does not directly answer the question.  How many will be saved is the question, but in His answer Jesus addresses how to be saved.  He does not answer how many will be saved, but the answer is how to be saved.  The questioner asks a vague question, but Jesus answers with a personal challenge.  He tells us that every effort is to be made to enter in.  The verb used by Jesus in making every effort is to strive.  The truth of the matter is that a lot of us have stopped striving.  We don't give a brown cow about anything.  For the most part church folk are not trying to live right!  Back in the day going to church was not an option.  Our parents would lay out our clothes on Saturday night so they would be ready for Sunday.  But now on Saturday night some parents are laying out their clothes to hit the clubs, then on Sunday they don't feel like coming to church because they have been bumping and grinding all night.  The children want to come to church, but they can't drive.  Some church folk are not trying to live right.  They say I'm so tired, but are you too tired on Monday morning when it's time to go to work?  Children want to come to church, but the parents won't bring them.  If you want to get in, you must honor God with your whole life.  It bothers me when I see church folk not even trying, as good as God has been to us.  We don't even try to get to church on Sunday, we don't even try to make things better for our children.  We used to have respect for the church, we used to have respect for each other. Not any more!  We don't even strive anymore.  There is too much jealousy in the church.  In verse 24, it's in the red which means Jesus was speaking, He says make every effort to enter through the narrow gate.  In verse 26 you will say come on now, I go to St Mark, you know me!  The Lord will reply I don't know you nor where you come from, get away from me all ye evil doers.  You will look through the glass doors and see those who have made it while you are there knocking.  They will be in, but you will be thrown out.  All of those people you talked about will be in and you will be thrown out.  Don't give up, keep knocking.  Keep striving to make it in.  I just can't give up now, I've come too far from where I 've started from.  You have to keep striving and make ever effort to get into the narrow door.  It's hard, but you can make it. It's a narrow door, not a wide garage door, which means you have got to work at it.  You have got to keep striving.  
    07/16/2017 Preached Word - The Heat Is On
  • Daniel 3:14-18

     

    "The Heat Is On"

     

    This past week we have been experiencing record heat.  We must make sure we take care of ourselves in this heat.  When we look at this text we find that Nebuchadnezzar specialized in heat.  He could take iron and melt it down and bend it to do whatever he wanted it to do.  He was the most energetic ruler of the Babylonian empire.  He made Babylonia famous for its trading in iron.  In the text it was Nebuchadnezzar's request to have a gold statue built.  He wanted this built so people would worship him because he wanted to be remembered for what he had done.  This king wanted this image built and it stood almost 100 feet high and 100 feet wide.  It could be seen for miles away, so people would see it from far away.  He then sent out a command to all of the top officials to come and see the statue.  People came from everywhere to the kingdom so the statue could be dedicated in his honor.  I can see in my mind's eye all of the great men of the kingdom gathered around the stature admiring this great work.  Among the crowd was three young Jews who had been bought over in captivity along with Daniel.  Now the officials stood up and announced to the crowd when you hear the music, you are to fall down and worship the image.   There is something about music, it is soothing.  We must know how to play the right music when the hell hounds are on our trail.  The king knew if he could control them with music, he would get them to bow to the image.  If anyone refuses to bow, they would be thrown into the furnace.  As soon as the people heard the music, they bowed down to worship the golden statue.  While the people were kneeling, there were three boys still standing.  Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego. These three Jews made us in their minds that they would not bow down to any idols. We should all learn from these three boys because some of us are bowing down to every god  but God.  Some of us will sell ourselves for a ham sandwich.  We will bow down to alcohol, sex, drugs.  We must bow down to the God who woke us up early this morning and started us on our way!  Just because everybody else is doing it, you are doing it.  You are bowing to the wrong god.   The king said to these three boys you are embarrassing me.  I understand that when the music played, you did not bow down.  I am going to give you another chance.  The boys however replied that the God we serve is able to deliver us from the burning firery furnace. And if God doesn't deliver us, it does not mean that He can't do it, it just means that the Lord knows best.  You've got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away!  The king said I'm gonna give you another chance.  They proclaimed that they would not bow down.  They were thrown into the firery furnace and turned it up 7 times hotter than it would normally be.  We must stand for something or we will fall for anything.  While they were in the furnace, something happened.  The guards looked down in the furnace to see what was going on and reported that there were 4 men walking around in the fire!  I don't care who you are, if they turn up the fire on you, the God that I serve will walk thru the fire with you.  He didn't take the heat out of the fire, He got down in the flames with the Hebrew boys.  God will get down in there with you. Won't He do it?  Has He every taken the heat out of your situation?  

    07/09/2017 Preached Word - Jesus Needs To Be Exalted Now
  • 2 Samuel 22:47-49

    "Jesus Needs to be Exalted Now"  (JEAN Sunday)


    In these verses we see when David looks back over his life, his thanksgiving turns into praise and his praise turns into worship.  When I think about what God has provided for his people in Christ Jesus, I too have to give God thanks.  God has provided in Christ a love that can never be fathomed, a life that can never die, a righteousness that can never be tarnished, a peace that can never be understood, a rest that can never be disturbed, a joy that can never be diminshed, a hope that can never be disappointed, and a light that can never be darkened.  Why are you fooling around with mediocre people who can not do anything for you when God has already provided all these things for you?  God through Christ Jesus has given us everything that we need to succeed in this life.  We look for success in so many other things.  That's why there is breaking news every day.  Gun shots everyday.  All of this nonsense that plagues our community is evidence that somebody does not know the provisions of God through His Son Jesus Christ. Lets go to the text.  Davd looked back at his life and he was overwhelmed by God's justice.  When David sinned, he felt God's justice upon his life.  He was still thankful that God held him accountable for his life and his actions.  God didn't let David get off and even those around him had to pay the penalty.  David is saying that when he messed up there were others with him who messed up and they should get the same penalty.  That's one of the problems of people, they think that God is not looking at what they are doing.  We can have the assurance of God's justice like David here in the text.  Unless they are acquitted, they will never repent.  David is telling us that we had better repent now because he has been there.  We also have here in the text the assurance that in Christ, the time stollen from us here on earth by those who hurt us will be restored in heaven.  God will take care of it.  We can all relate to David's life.  He had great times of disappointments and he had great times of joy and happiness.  David had inward struggles and outward struggles.  However, David recognized one thing when he was in constant trouble, if it had not been that God was on his side, the enemy would have destroyed him.  In this text we meet David near the end of his life and he is reflecting on all that has happened to him during his life.  We all do that from time to time.  We reflect on the times and things that we should not have done and the things we wish we would have done.  David is reflecting now that out of all the things he went through, God was right there for him.  David was hand picked by God.  He had a woman's husband killed so he could be with her, David killed Goliath with a slingshot.  David had enemies.  Do you have any enemies?  David says I know it is time for me to leave this earth, but before I go, I'm going to put my jeans on.  In verse 47 David says I will exalt you Lord.  Jesus exalted and now..... David said I will praise you and honor you for keeping me safe.  David says I will praise you, I will exalt you, I will honor you in front of all the nations of the world.  In all the tight spots and all of the confusion that I have been in over the years, the Lord kept right on blessing me.  All we have to do is lift up the name of Jesus, we must exalt him and talk about him in our day to day living.  I wonder who will help me lift Jesus.  Will anybody help me lift Jesus?

     
    07/02/2017 Preached Word - A God That Cares
  • Lamentations 3:18-35

    "A God That Cares"


    This is Freedom Weekend.  Americans are celebrating in many different ways.  I looked at this freedom thing and I found out that freedom is the most sought after commodity.  When you don't have it, you want it. When you do have it, you easily do not value it.  What is freedom?  Freedom is the power of choice, the ability to make responsible decisions for yourself and your future.  Freedom is not the ability to do what I want regardless of the consequences.  Everbody wants to be free, but along with freedom there is a price that you must pay.  It was the desire for freedom by the Hebrew slaves in Egypt land to be free.  God sent Moses by to proclaim to Pharaoh to let my people go.  It was a desire for freedom of black slaves in America to be free.  It was the desire of Martin Luther King in his "I have a dream" speech that all of us would be free.  It was the desire of Nelson Mandela to secure freedom for his people.  On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed.  Was this a binding contract sent from God or just a paper signed by men?  I don't care what we are told, nobody cares for us like God.  In this text today I am reminded of how good God is.  Its  hard to understand why anyone would want to live this life without Christ.  In spite of who you are, God cares for you and God loves you.  The message here today is that God cares for you.  Today there are many people who feel that nobody cares for them.  Sometimes you can have a family and still be lonely in your own house.  There are young people who feel that nobody cares for them.  God cares for all of us.  All are important to God.  In the text Jeremiah was attributed to writing, God says that even in his mother's womb, he was born for such a time as this.  Jeremiah was called the weeping prophet.  He says I tell myself  I'm  finished, I can't count on the Lord.  It seems as though every time I try to do something, people are always complaining about it.  It seems like the Lord doesn't even give me any help.  But then he says I came to my senses and I realized that every morning new mercies I see.  God gives me another chance each day.  He says every morning when I get up, His kindness never fails.  He wakes me up every morning.  He didn't let my enemies destroy me.  Then Jeremiah proclaims that the Lord can be trusted.  So I am here to declare this morning, on this 2nd day of July, 2017, I don't care what you are going through, God still cares for you.  God can be trusted, even when it seems like He has turned His back on you.  When they counted you out, didn't the Lord step in?  You may feel like you are in bondage this morning, but I stopped by to tell you that you are not in bondage.  The word tells us that who the Son set free, is free indeed.  When you are free in God, He will protect you.  He will cause your enemies to leave you alone.  I am free, thank God I'm free.  No more chains holding me.  Verse 22 says that you would have been destroyed if the Lord had not stepped into your situation.   If you turn it over to the Lord, the Lord will make a way.   God is the only one that cares, no matter how many mistakes you have made.  Yes, God cares.  Who cares if nobody cares?  God cares!

                   
    06/25/2017 Preached Word - Hands Up Blessings
  • Psalm 134

    "Hands Up Blessings"


    This psalm is among the shortest psalms in the bible, but with a powerful message.  On Palm Sunday Jesus entered into Jerusalem and went to the temple.  It was already late and the worshippers had gone.  It was Sunday night and the triumphal entry was over, but Jesus visited the temple anyway.  Jesus is going to church even if we don't show up.  It was pointed out in this text that when Jesus went to the temple, He went there to worship God.  The temple may not have been open for business, but it was still open for worship.  If you study these three verses, it will change your life.  This psalm tells us to bless the Lord, lift up our hands, and He will bless us.  What does it mean to bless the Lord?  The word bless literally means to kneel down.  We bless God by praising Him for who He is.  God blesses us by loving us inspite of who we are.  The life that blesses God is a life that is blessed by God.  In verses 1 and 2 we are told that we should have an explosive attitude within us toward God when we walk into the sanctuary.  We must learn to praise God even when there is no meal in the barrel, no chicken nuggets on the table, no Xbox to play.  We must still bless the Lord.  Even if there are no Kyrie Irvings, if there are no Currys, no Jordans, no Durants, no Lebron James, you still gotta bless the Lord.  We must learn that we can't always get what we want, when we want it.  The word tells us that weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.   We must learn how to bless the Lord, praise the Lord, lift up our hands in the sanctuary.  God will make a way out of no way.  In verse 3 we see may the Lord bless you.  The "you" in this verse is singular.  The blessings in this verse apply to each individual who is trusting in God as their Savior. When the praises go up, the blessings come down.  You can't worry about what others are doing in your school, you can't worry about what others are doing in your community.   When you enter the sanctuary you must bless the Lord.  Don't be a space taker.  There are already too many of them in the church.  They won't move and you can't get around them, they won't join anything in church except the debate club and the national gossip society.  In case you have forgotten, God does not bless mess.  This psalmist is telling us about the travelers who were on their way to the temple to bless the Lord and to receive a blessing.  We often use physical gestures in others areas of life to express our emotions.  For example you might high five somebody, or give a fist bump when you are excited.  So then why not use physical gestures when it comes to the house of the Lord. Everyone should know that you are on the Lord's side when you walk into the house of the Lord.  You ought to put your hands up when you come into the Lord.  When we lift up our hands, it is a sign that everything is working for my good.  Today I am a winner.  I am here to worship.  I don't have time for drama, today I am here to bless the Lord.  I'm a winner, I've got my hands up in praise.  All I do when I'm in church praising the Lord is win, win, win.  When I come into the sanctuary, I'm a winner.  All I do is win, win, win.  This is Youth Sunday and I want to let all young people know that you are not a loser, you are a winner. 
    06/18/2017 Preached Word - Don't Faint
  • Psalm 27:11-13

    "Don't Faint"

    To faint means to temporarily lose consciousness.  In the text we find David saying that he almost fainted, but he saw the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  This is one of the most quoted psalms in this day and time.  David was a man of many troubles, especially in the latter part of his life.  We all hope that the problems will cease or cool down a bit as we get older, but not for David.  He admits that he should have fainted under the weight of the troubles that he had.  He declares that he would have fainted except he saw the goodness of the Lord here in the land of the living, not just waiting for it in heaven.  We can see the goodness of the Lord here and now.  Sometimes we think that the Lord is against us.  We cannot believe that the Lord is on our side.  David believed and anticipated the goodness of God, and with the eye of faith he came to see it.  We must decide and see it in our mind's eye.  This verse underlines the truth that there is an absolute necessity of seeing the goodness of God by faith especially when we are going through hard times.  Travis Green says that God made a way, don't know how but He did it!  In this verse 13 we find:
    • The Goodness Of God Is Sometimes Veiled From Our Eyes.  At that time David could not see the goodness of God, but he still wrote the psalm.  We can think about times in our lives when we did not have what we have now, but the goodness of God came through.  If you are good to God, God will be good to you.
    • Sometimes We Go Too Fast.  There are times when God has to sit us down.  David had to go by the house of Obed-Edom in order to bring back the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem.  David had to wait on God's time.
    David came to realize that if God has blessed you one time, He will bless you again.  He keeps on blessing us over and over again.  In verse 12 we see that false witnesses had risen up against David.  Out of all the good you do, sometimes a lie in the public's eye will outweigh all the good that you have done.  When you are being implicated how do you see the goodness of God in all of that.  Stay right there, don't you move.  The Lord says He will make your enemies your footstool.  God will take care of your enemies.  Whatever you do, don't faint.  I come to encourage the fathers not to quit.  David reminds us that after all he has been through he believes that its in the land of living that God will bless him.  Be not dismayed whatever betides, God will take care of you!  When you put your trust in God, you don't have to worry.   If they don't like you, don't you quit.  If they talk about you, don't you quit.  If you are making minimum wage, don't you quit.  Stay on the battlefield.  I would have fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord.  I almost let go....but there was something inside of me telling me to go ahead. 
    06/11/2017 Preached Word - From Pouting to Prayer
  • Philippians 4:1-7

    "From Pouting To Prayer"


    You must agree with me that this world has gone crazy.  Nobody respects nobody anymore.  Even in the church house, we don't respect each other like we used to.  This scripture gives us something to work with.  We spend a lot of time worrying about other people, however you can't make anybody else change.  People have got to want to change.  We must spend time working on our own case and praying for others.  We worry too much about things we have no control over.  Instead of pouting about it, we just need to pray.  The Apostle Paul assures us from a jail cell that we don't have to worry about things.  In the midst of circumstances beyond his control, Paul wrote to a troubled congregation.  Every congregation has trouble.  Paul says no matter what the circumstance is, there is available for us God's all sufficient grace.  The exuberant gladness of heart comes as a byproduct of faith.  You must have faith in order to experience this joy.  The expression on your face should say that you are a Christian.  It is a gentle, kind expression that comes from carrying Christ's attitude.  Jesus went into the temple on a regular basis.  We must do the same.  It's ok to envision a perfect eternity, but it is another thing to know peace in this world that we live in.  In a world like this, is there such a thing as rest and peace?  YES, there is.  Thanks be to God we can find peace in a troubled world.
    • We are not strangers to this talk of peace - every survey includes the desire for peace on earth.  Peace is coming for Isaiah saw a time when the lions would lie down with the lambs and we would beat our spears into plows.  He was a world in which we would learn to war no more.  Peace is coming, but we must hold on to God's unchanging hand.
    • We must stop pouting about things - don't let worry get you down.  Peace and worry have a hard time sharing the same territory.  Paul says have no anxiety about anything.  Instead he says pray about everything.  If you pray don't worry, if you worry don't pray.  In the sermon on the mount, Jesus says look at the birds of the air and the lilies of the field.  They don't worry about what they are going eat.  God always supplies our needs.  We must stop worrying about what we don't have and start praying in thanksgiving about the things we do have.

    The point for this conference year is do what you can do, and leave the rest to God.  When we are pouting, we should be praying.
    06/04/2017 Preached Word - When The Power Came Upon The Church
  • Acts 2:1-21

    "When The Power Came Upon the Church"


    You should know when you have the power, and when you don't have the power.  Everyone who knows the word of God should have power.  In Acts chapter 2 we find the believers had gathered together after Jesus' resurrection.  They were talking and wonder among themselves what was next.  Their leader was gone!  There were 120 men in the upper room, not just the disciples.  On the morning of Pentecost, they came out of the upper room and began to tell the people about Jesus.  They came out of the upper room!  The streets were full of people from many places because of the festival.  Each of them heard the disciples speaking in their own language, if they were allowing themselves to listen, otherwise they heard babbling.  What was being told for the first time was the good news of Jesus, the gospel.  The words were being carried by power and authority by the Holy Spirit to those who would listen.  The word rested upon those who were listening, just as today.  If you are listening, you can hear and received God's word.  For those who are not listening, God's word makes no sense.  About 3,000 new members joined their ranks that day.  The church at Pentecost was empowered.  The church is empowered for several things including:
    • MISSION- to tell the story of God's love.  Who have you told this week about the love of Jesus?  We must tell somebody every week about Jesus.  If you are saved, somebody other than yourself should know that you are saved.  It is our responsibility to tell others about God's love.
    • RENEWAL - to live fully in the spirit.  Ezekiel was an old testament prophet who was standing in the valley looking at dry, dead bones.  The spirit asked him if those bones would live?  Ezekiel stood and watched as the bones connected together.  When the bones came together, they were still dead until the spirit had to breathe into the body for it to live again.  Once God's spirit breathes into us, we become new creatures.
    • SERVICE - every Sunday is a revival.  The crowd of 3,000 discovered the reality of grace.  Even though some of them were the same fold who cried crucify him, some of them found grace 50 days later.  Once we have been empowered, we must serve.  When they had Pastor Jesus with them, they didn't do anything.  50 days later these same men have taken a bold stand.  They were empowered by the Holy Spirit.
    05/28/2017 Preached Word - Looking To The Future
  • Colossians 3:1-4

    "Looking To The Future"


    As a Christian, I don't want to go back.  I believe that what's to come is better than what has been.  We spend too much time dwelling on what used to be.  In this text we learn that if we get Christ right, we get everything else right.  Jesus is supreme over His creation, He is supreme over His church, He is supreme over the Christian.  When we surrender, we move from the principle to the practice.  The people in Titus claimed to know God, but their actions showed differently.  We can talk a mean game, but our actions speak louder than words.  Some of us claim to know God, but by our actions we deny Him.  We are reminded that the pagan religion taught nothing about loving God.  In Christianity duty is always connected to doctrine.  We must know the doctrine of God.  Paul here is telling us that we are set free from the powers around us.  God's plan is to first make us new then He challenges us to live as new people.  We can break free from the past if we know where to look.  We need to look up and deal with the things of heaven.  Set your sights on the realities of heaven.  We must:
    • Set our Hearts on things above - if we be risen with Christ, we must seek those things which are above, not on things on the earth. 
    • Set our Minds on things above - as a habit.  Our Feet must be on earth, but our minds must be on heaven.  If we think about things above, then our behavior will show that also.  God will change our heart if we set our mind on things above. We must change our brand to JC, Jesus Christ.  We must wear Him everyday. 
    • Set our Eyes on things above - we must look to the hills from whence cometh our help.  We must get our gaze right.  We must think about what's up there and not what's down here.  We must keep looking up.   
    05/21/2017 Preached Word - Start In Jerusalem
  • Luke 24:44-49

    "Start In Jerusalem"


    It is said that 95% of Christians will not lead anyone to Christ other than their children.  The world has gone in the opposite direction today because no one is talking about Jesus.  Network evangelism is what will change the world.  We have to go back to Jerusalem so that things will change in the life of the church.  When people you know are not going to any church, and you are here every Sunday, something is wrong.  Most Christians rarely, if ever, share their faith with others.  Many are intimidated by the thought of evangelizing.  Old school relational evangelism is when God has done something for you and you are not ashamed to let others know what God has done.  Before the disciples could reach out to the other nations, they had to first start in Jerusalem.  Jesus told them to stay because they knew the culture, they knew the city, and they knew many of the people in Jerusalem.  The most effective soul winning is not done with strangers, but with those who we already have a relationship with.  Deal with people that you are accustomed to.  This conference year, if you want people in your church who are saved, then an everyday approach to sharing the gospel will be effective.  You have to do the work.  Both the pastor and the lay have to do the work.  Our assignment is to get others saved.  We must start in Jerusalem with the people we know.  The demon possessed man who had been delivered by Jesus wanted to follow Jesus.  Jesus told him to go home to his family and show them what had happened to him.  Now that you have been changed, you must go home and tell somebody about the change.  We must be a witness for the Lord.  We should do what we can while we can.  We should make our mark for the Lord while we can.  You catch the most fish in the right pond.  The best pond for you as fishers of men is those people who know you well.  Start in Jerusalem. 
    05/14/2017 Preached Word - Imitation Of Life
  • Psalm 78:1-7

    "Imitation Of Life"


    Mothers and fathers must be careful, because your children are watching you.  It is not very easy to be a mother in this day and time.  Society does not help mothers in raising our children.  We need to go back to the basics.  Today it is very appropriate to pause and say thank you to all the mothers.  Psalm 78 gives us new meaning to how we should teach our children. 
    • We Must Teach Our Children God's Greatness (verses 1-4) - We are to pass on God's greatness to our children, our grandchildren, our spiritual children.  There are many children who don't know how good God is.  It is our responsibility to pass it on to our children.
    • We Must Teach Our Children God's Word (verses 5-6) - Even if you are having the worst day of your life, God's word will help you make it through.  The psalmist is talking about 4 generations deep.  Parents, your spiritual assignment is not over when your children are grown, you are to teach your grandchildren also.
    • We Must Teach Our Children To Trust God (verse 7) - They must know to put their confidence in God and not in man.  How do we teach our children to trust God?  We teach it by trusting God ourselves and sharing stories of God's goodness with them. 
    05/07/2017 Preached Word - You Don't Have To Be A Star To Be In God's Show
  • Luke 18:9-14

    "You Don't Have To Be A Star To Be In God's Show"


    I am convinced that people don't think much of you if you don't own something.  If you do not have the right letters behind your name, people will treat you differently.  Even in the church house, if you don't have the right last name, you are an outcast.  I'm glad that God does not operate like that.  God will hang out with you even if you are from the opposite side of the tracks.  He doesn't care if you have a PHD or if you make straight D's.  All you have to do is try to live right and love Him.  God can use you no matter who you are.  You don't have to be a star to be in God's show.  Look at Mary who was a poor little girl, God used her and the Savior of the world was born.  If God can use Mary, certainly God can use me and God can use you.  Our text is a well known text.  It teaches many lessons.  This parable says that heaven will be full of surprises.  It pays to treat everybody right.  God looks on the heart, but we judge by what we see.  Good works cannot save you.  It doesn't matter how many times you scrub the floor at church, works cannot save you.  Sinners can be justified.  No matter what you have done, you can be justified.  Two men went into the temple to pray.  One man was a Pharisee, he knew the law, he was expected to be there, he was a member of the church, he set the law for the church.  He came, however, to church for the wrong reason, even though he was a member of the church.  He came to impress.  He came every Sunday just to impress.  Next we have another man in the same church.  This man was a tax collector, a Publican.  He is in the temple also, in the same church.  He came with a humble spirit.  He knew that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
    • The Pharisee felt righteous - he divided the world into two halves - I and all others.  It was all about him.  He was a bragger.  We can't be selfish in our prayers. God will use us if we include others.
    • The Publican put his hand in a praying position - we must get in a praying position to talk to God.  He acknowledged that he had some problems.  We must admit to God that we have sinned. 
    God used the Publican but the Pharisee missed out by bragging.  You don't have to be an officer of the church to be somebody.  Let's be sweeter, let's be kind hearted to each other.

     
    04/30/2017 Preached Word - Four Reasons Why You Should Never Worry
  • Matthew 6:26-36

    "Four Reasons Why You Should Never Worry"
    Delivered by Rev. Lisa M. Little


    For some of us worry has become a full time job.  Today we will hear four reasons why you should never worry.
    1. Worry Interferes With Your Work - We can't take care of the kids, practice with the choir, go to work and still succeed.  Jesus had one requirement when the disciples were sent out on their missionary journey.  He just wanted them to focus on their assignment.  We must decide what we will give our attention to, where we will spend our energies.  Worry can deplete us of our energy.
    2. Worrying  Is Not Profitable - Worry does not add any value to anything.  Worrying has a way of making a bad situation worse, it may lead to headaches, chronic depression, high blood pressure, a heart attack, or an ulcer.  Then the question is why do we bother to worry?  If you are constantly over thinking things, you are worried  We must give our mind a break and stop thinking about the situation.  Stop worry, God's got it.
    3. God Will Always Take Care Of You - One of God's job titles is Jehovah Jireh, God is a provider.  He will provide the solution, the peace of mind, the hope that you lack.  There is nothing you  need that God cannot provide.  God will take care of you.  It is not your job to solve your problems, that's God's job.
    4. God Is Always In Control - Just because you have a situation that's hard to you doesn't mean it's hard to God.  There will never be a time in your life where God is not in control.  There is evidence that God is always in control.  Exhibit A is the cross, Exhibit B is the grave, Exhibit C is the graves clothes, Exhibit D is the dead body of Jesus.  God moved, and Jesus got up!
    04/23/2017 Preached Word - You Can Make It, But Have Faith In God
  • Mark 11:22

    "You Can Make It, But Have Faith In God"
    Delivered by Presiding Elder Chester W. Morris


    In this day and age, we can testify that life is filled with problems.  Things happen to each of us that we can't control.  When odds seem to be against us, we tend to worry and get disgusted.  We must learn that worry does not solve anything, worry is not the remedy to any situation. This Christian journey is not always blessed quietness, not always a bed of roses.  In this journey we must go through some trials, some storms, some burdens, and some hardships.  Child of God, you can make it, but you must have faith in God.  Faith is the power that every Christian needs to make it.  Faith can remove your mountain, it can make a highway to the throne of God.  God can sustain you, He can soothe your sorrow, turn your midnight into morning.  Have faith in God.  You may be knocked down, but your condition is not permanent, it's temporary.  When you are down, lift up your eyes unto the hills from whence cometh your help.

    The formula for faith in God is: 

    1.  You've got to have pray.  Faith in God takes prayer.  Prayer is a dialog with God, talking to God, listening to God.  Prayer is a waymaker.  There is power in prayer.  Prayer can stop some things, prayer can change things, prayer can do wonders.
    2.   You must have patience.  You must learn how to wait on God.  Some stuff you have to endure, you have to hold on and give God a chance.  God does not operate on your time schedule.  He may not come when you want Him, but He's always on time.
    3.  You've got to have praise.  You have to praise God for who God is.  You have to praise God for what God has already done for you.  Can you praise God right now for what He's already done for you? Who woke you up this morning, still in your right mind?  The word tells us that everything that has breath ought to praise God!
    04/16/2017 Preached Word - Father Forgive Them
  • Resurrection Sunday

    Luke 23:34-Luke 24:6

    "Father Forgive Them"


    The crucifixion process is a process that is confusing to those who don't know Jesus.  A little before 9:00 am on Friday morning, there were two thieves fastened to their crosses.  Next the roman soldiers fastened Jesus to His cross.  Then they raised the cross with Jesus on it to an upright position.  There Jesus hung on the center cross, between two criminals.  Under the cross gathered a crowd of people who shouted out their hate at Jesus.  We must learn from this cross experience that we can't take matters into our own hands.  We have to remember the cross.  This is a Friday text with Sunday morning security.  Instead of dealing with the people, Jesus said father forgive them.  It was cry, a fulfillment of the prophesy in Isaiah.  All during Jesus' ministry, He never called on God to forgive sins, He had the power Himself to forgive sin.  Look at Jesus on the cross.  In order to have a resurrection experience, we must learn to forgive.  You can't make it through life if you don't know how to forgive.  Jesus did not pray for their wealth, or their health, he prayed for their forgiveness.  Who is them?  He is praying for Judas who betrayed Him, for the crowd who yelled out crucify Him, for the soldiers who spat on Him, for Pilot who found Him innocent, but still sentenced Him to death. Jesus had done nothing wrong.  He took on the sins of the world so that we might have eternal life.  He died so that we can live.  Then on Sunday morning when the women, Mary Magdalene; Joanna; and Mary the mother of Jesus; went to the tomb to dress His body, they were greeted by two angels who informed them that Jesus was living and not dead.   So today we celebrate that fact the He is alive!!!
    04/09/2017 Preached Word - Grounded In The Lord
  • I Corinthians 15:31-58

    "Grounded In The Lord" - Delivered by First Lady Sharon Sivells
    2017 Annual Women's Day Celebration


    Be Steadfast, unmovable, no matter what you are going through in life, even if you lose a loved one, be steadfast.  Being steadfast is more than just coming to church, you must have a spiritual grounding.  Don't let your work be in vain.  Don't move out of the will of God, because if you move, you will surely fall.  The theme for today is Women ....Pillars of the Church.  The pillars of the church are doing a good work but every now and then even the pillars need support.  We must help each other out.  Hold on to your faith and don't let go!

     
    04/02/2017 Preached Word - He Will Find You Where Ever You Are
  • Luke 19:1-10

    "He Will Find You Where Ever You Are"


    Young children like to play hide and seek, however a lot of older people are playing hide and seek with God.  God know exactly where you are, He even knows every strand of hair on your head.  The work of the church is to carry the message about the love of Christ to all those who have found dark places in which to hide.  Some of us, even in the church, have found a place to hide.  God knows our every thought.  He knows that some of us even right now are thinking about what we will have for dinner when we leave here!  The hide and seek phenomena is not new, look at Adam and Eve, they hid from God.  They knew they had been disobedient.  When we are doing things contrary to God's will, we try hiding from God.  Today's message is about one who hid from God.  This man had wealth beyond measure, but he was trying to hide from God because he was doing wrong.  Zacchaeus was a tax collector who was overcharging the people in Jericho.  Here we find Jesus is making his way to the cross and Zacchaeus becomes the last man on record that Jesus calls to himself before He goes to the cross.  Zacchaeus is one of the best examples of how wicked people can change.  He knew he needed to be changed.  Its' a sad day when you know you need to be changed and you won't change.  If you want your family to get better, you've got to change.  If you want your job to get better, you've got to change.  Zacchaeus was wealthy and had everything, but he was miserable.  He lacked inner peace.  His conscience was getting the best of him.  You can't keep doing wrong and feel good about it.  He decided to take a look at Jesus.  He tried to melt into the crowd where he could go unnoticed, as he was a short man.  Jesus called him out of the sycamore tree as He was passing by.  Zacchaeus accepted change joyfully.  You don't have to say a word, but just be in the crowd.  Jesus saw him and called his name.  We must be where God wants us to be.  Zacchaeus came down and invited Jesus into his life.  God knows all about us.  You can run, but you cannot hide. 

     
    03/26/2017 Preached Word - Starting With The Man In The Mirror
  • 1 Corinthians 13:11-13

     

    "Starting With The Man In the Mirror"

     

    We are blessed to have young people here today.  We appreciate our young peope who show up every Sunday.  We are grateful that the young people want to be in God's house in such a messed up time.  It is not that God messed the world up, but we messed it up.  We don't know who is messed up anymore, so we must look at ourselves.  Starting today we need to get to know the real you as you look into the mirror.  Michael Jackson saifd for once in my life I'm gonna make a change and I'm gonna start with me, the man in the mirror.  If you want to make a difference in this world, you must start with you.  We see now in a selfie, but we will understand later if we keep working on it.  Are we honestly taking an unbiased look at the man, woman, boy, or girl in the mirror?  Or are we looking in the mirror and seeing a mirage?  We must have the correct attitude in the church.  Are we always striving to be the best according to God's word?  It is hurtful to see people who know God's word, but refuse to walk accordingly.  We cannot choose to walk our own way, we must walk in God's way.  Young people should always strive to be an example for Christ for those who are looking for an example.  There is a mirror on the inside that God looks at, the mirror of our hearts.

    03/19/2017 Preached Word - The Power of Music
  • Daniel 3:1-6

    "The Power Of Music"


    We are still in lent today and we are talking about the power of music.  Music helps set the mood, it influences the mind.  Try watching your favorite movie without music, imagine commercials being void of music, imagine a worship service without music.  Good music will put clapping in your hands, running in your feet, tears in  your eyes.  Advertisers use music to influence us.  In our text today we find King Nebuchadnezzar decreeing that when the music was played, everyone was to bow down and worship the golden image.  The three Hebrew boys; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, refused to bow down to worship the golden image set up by the king.  As a result, they were cast in the midst of the burning firery furnace.  The boys did not give up on their beliefs.  We must know even today that we cannot dance to everybody's music, we cannot bow down to golden images.  The three were put into the furnace.  When the king went to check on them, he found not three, but four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire with no hurt.  The fourth man was the Son of God.  You can't bow to everybody's music, if you do it once, then you find yourself doing it again and again.  Music is powerful!

     
    03/12/2017 Preached Word - When Your Faith Is On Trial
  • Job 1:6-22

    "When Your Faith Is On Trial"


    It is commonly stated that one should be aware when things are going well.  Sometimes the devil does not like it.  When you are having a good day, you had better watch out, things are getting ready to change.  Gird up for a storm, because one is surely on the way.  In our text today, we see Job was doing good.  He loved God and God loved him.  God bragged on Job to Satan.  Satan replied to God that you have put a covering around him, that's why he serves you.  Satan said if you take the covering from around him, he will curse you to your face.  Satan knows more about you than you think and his job is to strip and rob you from every thing that God has given to you.  Here Job is the subject of discussion, but not a part of the discussion.  All of us have faith when money is in the bank and the closet is full of clothes and the house note is current and the car loan is paid, but what about when you are not doing well.  We must have faith.  There are times in our lives when our faith goes on trial.  God picked Job because he knew Job would be a good servant.  The scripture tells of a series of calamities that befall Job all in one day.  Job would not give up even though his wife told him to.  Job said naked came I into the world and naked shall I return.  With all this bad news it would seem to the secular mind that Job had turned his back on God.  Job didn't turn his back on God, Job didn't whine to God, he kept right on knowing that he had done no wrong.  You must stand on God's word when you know you have done no wrong.  You've got to stand fast and believe on the Lord. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will, He will direct your path.  Job stayed right there.  When you faith in on trial, you must stand firm on the word of God.
    03/05/2017 Preached Word - Who Will You Be When You Come To The Table?
  • John 13:21-31

    "Who Will You Be When You Come To The Table?"
    Preached by Rev. Lisa M. Little
     

    Today's lesson paints an important picture for us.  It was the first Lord's Supper observance and there was drama at the communion table.  Jesus said to the crowd, one of you will betray me.  How odd.  There were many people at the table and some of them were not right with God.  There were at least 4 types of people present.  They were:

    Jesus, The Wounded Warrior - There were people at the table who were supposed to love God, but there were some present who were against him.  He was being wounded by some people who were inside the church.  Jesus was a warrior and He fought back, even thought He experienced pain due to church folk.  In spit of this, Jesus continued to work, He continued to come, He kept going. 

    Peter, A Shaky Disciple - You could never tell which way Peter would go.  There were times when Peter and Jesus were on the same page and times when they were on different pages.  Here Peter had grown so far apart from Jesus that he could not get a word from God.  Every now and then we must go to our own private place and have our own conversation with Jesus.  When we come to the communion table, we should be getting closer to Jesus each time.  We don't have to come troubled and leave troubled. 

    Judas, A Pretender - Judas was underhanded and operated in secrecy.  He came to the table with a hidden agenda.  He was just going through the motions.  He was not interested in what Jesus was doing.  Judas had a hard heart and he could not be convicted when God was speaking to him.  Communion is to give those who are sinning against the Lord an opportunity to repent and  change their ways.  We must beware of the Judas at the table.

    4.  The Mature Disciple - We are told that there was a mature disciple present who was so close to Jesus that he was leaning on Jesus' bosom.  We all need to be leaning on Jesus, not on our paycheck, not on our job, not on our own ability.  The scripture did not give us the name of the mature disciple, so it could be you or it could be me.  This disciple was on talking terms with Jesus.  The mature disciple does not just follow Jesus when  He is turning water into wine, and healing the sick and raising the dead; but he sticks with Jesus in season and out of season.

    Who will you be when you come to the table?  Will you be a shaky disciple, a pretender, a wounded warrior, o a mature disciple? 
    02/26/2017 Preached Word - Bring Them To Jesus
  • Mark 10:13-16

    "Bring Them To Jesus"


    We are blessed today to be in worship with our young people.  In our text they were bringing children to Jesus that He might touch them.  When the disciples saw this, they got upset with the parents.  However, Jesus said to the disciples, stop it, don't hinder the children, let them come to me.  They are what makes up the kingdom of heaven.  Jesus had just finished teaching about marriage and divorce.  It is so important to Jesus that we bring, not send, our children to church.  It was a Jewish tradition that children would go to the synagogue to be blessed by the Rabbi.  The disciples thought that the Master's time was too important to be spent on children.  Yes, children can be noisy in church, they require special programs, and they cannot contribute to the finances of the church.  However children are not a curse to be endured, but a blessing to be enjoyed.  Jesus says bring them to me, don't hinder the children from coming.
    • There's a lesson here about service.  This passage reveals certain responsibilities that both the parents and the church has to the children.  Bringing them is a form of service to the children, it shows that we care about the spiritual condition of the children when we bring them to church.  Parents must do everything within your power to make sure that your child is exposed to the gospel.  Bring them to Jesus so that the Lord can bless them.
    •  There's a lesson about salvation.  This passage also speaks about the matter of salvation.  The fact that children are invited to come to the Savior implies that children need salvation also.  Children are sinners too and stand in need of salvation.  Parents and other concerned adults must do all we can to bring children to Jesus and to salvation.
    • There's a lesson about the Savior.  If we watch Jesus minister to these children, we get a glimpse of Jesus' caring personality.  Can't you see the children lined up waiting to receive a touch from Jesus?  Children hold a special place in the heart of Jesus.  We have a great responsibility to bring our children to Jesus especially in light of what is happening all around us in the world today.  Children will mimic what they see, so we must be careful of the picture we pint in front of them.
    02/19/2017 Preached Word - How To Conquer The Circumstances Of Life
  • Genesis 6:1-10

    "How To Conquer The Circumstances Of Life"


    There is a lot going on in this life, we must keep up or get left behind.  We are all going through something.  Circumstances will sometimes beat us down.  Many Christians are spiritually tired and are willing to simply exist because of life's circumstances.  Our scripture today deals with Noah, who is one of the best known biblical characters because he was associated with one of the greatest catastrophes in the world.  Noah believed that what seemed impossible was possible with God. Noah had to deal with circumstances in his life, he was tasked with building a boat when no one had ever seen rain.  There are 3 points for our consideration today to help us conquer the circumstances of life.

    • CIRCUMSTANCES CAN BE CONQUERED BY BEING TRUE TO GOD'S TEACHINGS.  Habitual, unchecked sin was running rampant in this text.  Humanity was corrupt.  Men were evil in heart and conduct.  But there was one man, Noah, who was different.  He was a light in darkness.  We must let our children know that it is ok to be different!  You must want what God wants, if you want things to change in your life.  God wants you to be in church every Sunday.  The church is precious to God.  It was not important to Noah that he was working by himself.  For 120 years, the Lord's teachings didn't seem important to anybody except Noah. We must study God's word and be true to his teachings, not to the teachings of society.
    • CIRCUMSTANCES CAN BE CONQUERED BY FOLLOWING THE LORD'S LEADERSHIP.  We tend to follow everything and everybody except those who are in charge.  We must follow obediently and joyfully.  Do you think that Noah was joyful for those 120 years that he was working on the ark?  Yes he was, because he was working as unto the Lord and following the Lord's leadership.  The Lord will not lead us into places that we should not go.  He tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 that he has plans for us and they are plans to prosper us, not harm us.
    • CIRCUMSTANCES CAN BE CONQUERED BY LOOKING PAST THEM AND SEEING GOD.  We spend a lot of time worrying about what we can't do.  That's why you can't do it.  We must focus on what we can do.  We must have a can do spirit.  We must take our eyes off the eye candy, and look to God.  Church people see only the difficult circumstances, but Noah had the capacity to look past all the corruption in the world.  He lived only to see God in the midst of everything that was around him.  We must learn to look to God because it is when we take our eyes off of him that we begin to fail.

     

    02/12/2017 Preached Word - That's Love
  • John 15:9-19

    "That's Love"


    This weekend is Valentine Weekend, one of the most hypocritical celebrations known to man.  Not everybody knows what real love is about.  Love is an action word.  It is good to hear it sometimes, but much better to see it.  Love is not about giving gifts, it's about showing it.  Somebody should see love in the way we walk, in the way we talk.  Others will gravitate to you when they can feel your love.  Love is displayed in the way you carry yourself.  The Bible describes love in terms of sacrificial actions.  Isn't it strange that God loves us even when we mess up?  Isn't it strange that God loves us even when we don't come to church regularly, even when we don't give tithes and offerings like we should?  Jesus set a pattern in the text.  He gave his followers a new challenge to love.  He says that we are to love one another, even as Christ has loved us.  We love because of, God loves in spite of.  John says we can't love God and hate each other.  Agape love indicates sacrificial love.  Jesus laid down his life for us, he loved us so much.  That's love!

     
    02/05/2017 Preached Word - End Zone Living
  • Matthew 26:20-30

    "End Zone Living"


    Everything that begins has an ending.  All of us will leave this world, no matter who you are.  You will not get out of this world alive, you are going to die.  So the question today is how are you living?  You must think about the end of your journey.  In our text we find Jesus announcing to the disciples that one of them will betray him.  He is predicting his end.  Since today is Super Bowl Sunday also, let us talk a bit about life as a football game.  In a football game there are two teams, one ball, and the end zone.  The goal is to get the ball to the end zone as many times as possible.  While trying to accomplish this, you come upon opposition, forces fighting against you.  There are tackles when they drop you to the ground, sometimes life will drop you to the ground.  There are fumbles, missed passes, failed plays.  But you must push you way and keep running to get the ball to the end zone.  Stay on the battlefield, and the Lord will help you get to the end zone.  For a Christian the end zone is eternal life with Jesus.  When Jesus was here, he was not concerned about this world, he was looking at the end zone.  Is there anybody today who is not concerned with this world, but is looking at the end zone?  He told us in my father's house there are many mansions, if it were not so I would have told you, I go to prepare a place for you and when your place is ready, I am coming back to get you.  I feel sorry for those of you who have no God in  your life, no heaven in view.  I'm living to live again.  We must keep on working to make it to the end zone. 
    01/29/2017 Preached Word - Mission In the Marketplace
  • 2 Corinthians 5:18-21

    "Mission In The Marketplace" delivered by Sister Michelle Joachim, Licentiate


    A Missionary is someone who is on a mission related to religious goals and objectives; an ambassador.

    If you are not a Missionary, then you are the mission!



     
    01/22/2017 Preached Word - Somehow Things Are Gonna Work Out
  • Ecclesiastes 8:10-17

    "Somehow Things Are Gonna Work Out"


    Things are not like they used to be.  The word as we used to know it has gone astray.  No one is being held accountable for their actions anymore.  We are bringing the world into the church.  Here,  in this text, the writer says it is a problem that we all deal with.  It seems that those of us who work hard get the least credit.  The wicked seem to prosper and the righteous seem to have a hard road to travel.  But the Word tells us that the first shall be last and the last shall be first.  We all go through times of struggle and we want to ask God why are we struggling.  God's word tells us that no matter how it looks, everything is going to be alright.  In the text (verse 12) we are told though the sinner does evil 100 times and his days are prolonged, the faithful can have hope in knowing that it shall be well with them that fear God. 

    God has called us to be saints, not police.  In verse 14 we are given the problem experienced by the preacher.  What do you think the book of Job was about?  Job's friends concluded that the righteous do not suffer, therefore Job's trials were the result of his sins.  Serving God does not bring immunity from suffering.  Serving the Lord brings many benefits including an eternal home in heaven.  Most of our blessing are spiritual in nature, but our suffering is with the flesh.  We must constantly believe that things are going to work out.  Don't ever think that it's a waste of time to serve the Lord.  All things work together for good to them hat love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. 

    The promise that blesses us is that things will eventually work out.  Our trials have the ability to be turned into triumphs.  Whatever trials we are dealing with, remember this too shall pass.  Don't give up on God.  Don't let the wicked deter you from serving God.  No matter how it looks, God is not finished with you yet.  You must be like Job and wait on God.  Whatever you are going through, it won't kill you.  The Lord will make a way somehow.

     
    01/15/2017 Preached Word - Broken, But Blessed
  • Luke 5:1-11

    "Broken, But Blessed"


    We are living in a broken society.  Nothing seems to feel like it used to.  Everybody is broken, things are not like they used to be.  There are some things that are going on in your life that need to be broken up in 2017.  If you know it's not going anywhere, you need to let it go.  If you are in a church and your needs are not being met, you need to let it go and find another church.  In this lesson we find Jesus teaching by the sea.  Picture rolling hills and narrow beaches.  There is a big crowd around Jesus as He uses a boat for His pulpit.  Jesus tells Simon Peter to launch out in the deep, even after he had fished all night and caught nothing.  I can imaging Simon saying Lord, you stick to preaching, we are professional fishermen. However, in vs 6 we see that after Simon obeyed Jesus' command to cast his net on the other side, Simon cause a multitude of fish, so many that the net broke. 
    • Action When The Goal Seems Impossible - If you put one foot forward, He will make a way.  You can talk about what you are going to do in 2017, but it's not gonna happen until you put it into action.  you must work, even when you are tired.
    • You Must Have Faith When Circumstances Call For Doubt - It was easy for Simon Peter and the other fishermen to doubt that they would catch anything after toiling all night, but they obeyed the command of Jesus and with just a little faith, they caught fish.
    BROKEN MAN - When Simon Peter saw the power of God, he fell down on his knees because he knew that he was in the presence of God.  He broke down in confession.  Never get too high that you can't ask God to forgive you.  This miracle demonstrated the lordship of Christ.  His power to bless is greater than our capacity to contain.

    BROKEN PARTNERSHIP - Jesus changed the partnership of Simon Peter and Co from fishers of fish to fisher of men.  We see in vs 11 that they left everything to follow Jesus.


     
    01/01/2017 Preached Word - A Fresh Start
  • Luke 13:6-9

    "A Fresh Start"


    How many of you can use a fresh start?  We must truthfully express ourselves to God so He can deal with us.  2016 was a trying year, but what kept me going was "I believed in God." Now here were are on the first day of a new year, 2017.  We have been given a fresh start.

    In the text today a gardener was begging the master for another year on behalf of a barren fig tree.  The gardener says he saw potential in the tree and asked for another year.  Everyone here has potential.  How do you know your potential?  You can't know it by staying away from the church! You must intentionally walk with God to know your potential.   This barren fig tree is recorded in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  We do not want Jesus to curse us for not producing fruit as He did in Matthew and Mark.  In Luke we see Jesus telling a parable about the tree.  To be barren is to be incapable of producing, to be unprofitable.  The church can be barren also, not producing, dull, devoid, lacking.  Barren has nothing to do with age.  It's not a gender thing, not a racial thing, not an educational thing.  We become barren in things that we do  not want to do.  How can you be a blessing to others, when you are not a blessing to yourself?  When you hang around others who always complain, then you will fall into the same trap.    

    Some of us have been given one more year and if we don't produce, we will be cut down.  God is looking for production.  If you are not going to be productive, God may cut you down.  Today is a new year, it doesn't matter what we did last year.  Stop holding grudges on those who hurt you in the past.  God does not want us to become addicted to the ways of the world, He wants us to do something for Him.  There are too many barren people in the pews!

    1 TIME - This parable tells us that timing is everything.  It takes time to be holy.  It takes spending time with God by studying His word, by fellowshipping with His people.  The fig tree was still there after 3 years of not producing.  How many years have you not produced anything?

    2 SEPARATION - In the text we see that the fig tree was growing in a vineyard.  That is not the norm.  There are too many vines in a vineyard.  Some of us hang around with too many vines, too many non-producing people.  If you want to be successful in 2017, there are some vines (people) you need to cut loose.  If you don't see any results in  your life, you need to dig around your own life.  Sometimes you need to separate yourself from certain church folk.  You can't stay saved and run with the world.  We must learn to separate ourselves.

    3 HOPE - The gardener states "maybe it will have figs next year."  We must keep hope alive.  We start out every year doing good, for 2 weeks.  We must pray and believe that we can do it.  There is potential in all of us.  If you want your fig tree, your situation, to blossom this year, you must hope for the best.  The best thing we can do in 2017 is work on ourselves by making a fresh start.

     
2016 Sermons
    12/25/2016 Preached Word - There's A Miracle In The Name
  • Luke 2:21-30

    "There's A Miracle In The Name"


    Today somebody has given up on God.  In order to receive a miracle, you have to believe in God at all times,  not just on Sunday, or when you have a need.  We have worked our way up for the last four Sundays in anticipation and now the baby is here!  Now that the baby is born, we need the name him.  People from everywhere had to go to Bethlehem to pay their taxes.  It was time for Mary to deliver, Joseph had to look out for his wife and his child.  The text tells us that when 8 days after the birth had come, the baby's name was called Jesus, as the angel had instructed.  Every child should have a name as names are important and have meaning.  Here as was the custom, Jesus was not named until 8 days after his birth at his circumcision.  So it was at the Jewish ceremony that he was named.  Mary announced his name shall be called Jesus.  There's a miracle in that name.  There  is something about the name Jesus.  When you are down and out, call in the name of Jesus.  Just calling on the name Jesus will make a difference in your life.  Acts 4:12 lets us know that there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved, that is the name of Jesus.  We are told in Philippians 2:10-11 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow ... and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  There's a miracle in the name.

     
    Merry Christmas to all and remember to celebrate Jesus on today!
    12/18/2016 Preached Word - A Double Miracle
  • Luke 1:12-31

    "A Double Miracle"


    Luke begins his story with two conception miracles.  Two women who by our standards would never have bore children each received the miracle of conception.  Elizabeth was old and barren, Mary was a virgin.  Both conceived sons!  Two miracle mothers!  We know that miracles still come in pairs.  There had been 400 years of silence, then the angel Gabriel spoke to Elizabeth and to Mary, who were separated by 75-80 miles and by many years.  These two stories are parallel.  The angel Gabriel spoke to both women telling them not to be afraid.  The women believed the message from God.  The women conceived babies.  The women bore sons!  Today there are a lot of non-believers,  but it's time for us to believe and talk about these double miracles.  Elizabeth and Mary were impregnated under different circumstances.   We must know that the miracle of Christmas happens all year.  We too need to be impregnated.  Once we become impregnated with the word of God, we will see miracles.  Some of us have been impregnated, but we chose to abort the baby before the full term.  At the time of visitation, Zechariah had temple duty. After her visit from Gabriel, Elizabeth stayed in until her time of delivery.  She choose not to have to go out and explain her blessing to others.  Some  of us need to learn how to keep things to ourselves.  Some of us just talk too much.  Mary pondered her blessing in her heart.  If you ask God in faith, He will work things out in your life.  He will give you double for your trouble.  He is still a miracle worker.  We all received a double miracle today - we woke up and we got up!   
        
    12/11/2016 Preached Word - The Miracle Of The Method
  • Romans 11:28-36

    "The Miracle of the Method"


    There is a method to our madness.  We all have a method as to how we do what we do.  A method is a particular form or procedure for accomplishing something.  There's a miracle in the method of how God operates.  One of the most dangerous methods we use in church is to try and play God.  We cannot run God's church without God.
    1.  God's Method Transcends Us - Part of the miracle of Christmas is the miracle of the method.  His methods are beyond our understanding, particularly in the Christmas story.  God chose to reveal Himself to us in the greatest way, a way that we could understand.  He present His Son to the world as a helpless, defenseless baby boy, born to poor parents, in a borrowed manager. 
    2.   God's Method Includes Us - To celebrate the occasion, the angels announced the news of Christ's birth.  The message was given to the shepherds, not to kings and queens.  The Christmas story is almost unbelievable.  God has proven that with plain ordinary people, He accomplishes His method.  God can use you if you have a servant's heart.  Let God includes you.
    3.  God's Method Sanctifies Us - God is a work in our lives in everything we do.  We must give our life to the Lord (be set apart, sanctified) and then we begin to grow.  God tells us to be holy, because He is holy.  Christians are supposed to be in the world, but not a part of the world.  Let God sanctify you. 

     
    12/04/2016 Preachd Word - There's A Miracle In The Message
  • Hebrew 1:1-4

    "There's A Miracle In The Message"


    Watching the deaf communicate with each other reminds me of the importance of communication.  We are all here living our lives, doing whatever we want to do, but we all seem to be deaf to the voice of God.  We don't hear what God is saying to us.  God made a way for us to receive His message by sending His only Son so that we can communicate with the gift from Him.  That's the miracle of Christmas.  The messenger sends the message through His only begotten Son.  We talked about how Jesus came at the right time last week, and how timing is important. It's not enough to just know about the miracle of Christmas, we need to experience the miracle of Christmas.  We can't experience Christmas without experiencing Christ.  We must experience this miracle in our own hearts.  In Miracle On 34th Street, the Santa was able to communicate with the deaf girl in a way that she could understand.  In our text, it records the miracle of the message from God.  God sent Jesus to communicate a message to us in ways that we can understand.  God has an ear is is still willing to communicate with us but are we listening?  Do we attend church like we should?  You have to believe that there are some messages that God wants to give you in His house!  We must be in place to listen to God.
    1  GOD SPEAKS THROUGH HISTORY - History simple tells his story.  We all have a story to tell.  The life we live is our story.  He wants us to know Him, to trust Him, to worship Him.  He reveals Himself through the sunrise and the sunset, through the wind and the rain, through the moon and stars.  Are we listening to Him?
    2  GOD SPEAKS THROUGH CHRIST - God revealed Himself through the word spoken by Jesus.  Jesus does more than just proclaim God's message,He is God.  John's gospel tells us that the word became flesh and dwelt among us.
    3  GOD SPEAKS TO TRANSFORM US - The miracle is not just that God speak through His son, but the message has the power to transform us.  Christmas is the greatest message that has ever been proclaimed.  Because of the birth of Christ, I have been transformed, how about you?


     
    11/27/2016 Preached Word - Timing Is Everything
  • Galatians 4:3-7

    "Timing Is Everything"


    Did you know that there are only 28 days until Christmas, 672 hours, 40,320 minutes, to get all the things done we need to do?  As we begin our advent celebration, we must remember how important time is.  Do you paint your house in January or go skinny dipping in the winter.  No, there is a good time for everything.  We would all agree that December is not the right time to start a diet.  Timing is everything in our daily lives.  Church worship begins at 11:00 am, yet some people come in at 11:15 or 11:130 and then you are messed up for the week because you didn't pay God's timing any mind.  You can't receive anything from God, if you timing is off.  Show up at worship for God, not for any other reason.  As we celebrate advent, let this be the year of miracles.  Let the miracle of Christmas show up in your life.  I'm looking for a miracle, expecting the impossible. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the celebration of Christmas that we forget to see the miracle of Christmas.  No matter what the news says, we must not lose sight of the fact that Jesus came to save us, and He is still king!  In Galatians we are told that when the time had come, Jesus was born.  Timing is important.  God works in the fullness of time.

    He came at the right time -  He may not come when you want Him, but He's always on time.  Jesus was not a mistake, God planned for Him to come.

    He provides at the right time - Just when we need Him most, He is there.  While we were still helpless, at the appointed time, Christ came and died for us.  When you have tried everything, and everything else has failed, you are in need of a miracle.

    He says now is the right time - He says come unto me all ye who are weary and I will give your rest.  Timing is everything and now is the time for you to get right with God.

     
    11/20/2016 Preached Word - Be Thou Clean
  • Matthew 8:1-7

    "Be Thou Clean"


    After the sermon on the mount, the people were astonished.  When Jesus spoke, He spoke with authority.  And He still speaks that way today.  Here we see Jesus coming down from the mountain to minister to the crowd.  Now He is met by a leper.  Whenever there is teaching going on, there is somebody who needs something from the teacher.  When you show up at church, you should come with an open mind to hear the voice of God.  In that day there was no cure for leprosy.  The leper was led outside of the city to live among others who had been declared unclean.  Here we see a leper in the crowd.  No matter how messed up you are, you can get relief, don't worry about the crowd.  The crowd had no time for the leper.  No one wants to deal with the outcast.  Leprosy pictures what sin has done to all of us.  All of us are unclean.  We are reminded in Romans that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  We must learn to have compassion for others.  The leper wanted a relationship with Christ.  Even though he knew the rules were that he should not come in contact with others, he came and worshipped Jesus.  Verse 2 tells us he feel down on his knees in reverence to Jesus.  The leper called Jesus Lord.  Once you come in contact with Jesus, it changes everything.  We all need something the world cannot give us.  Jesus asked the leper what he wanted Him to do for him.  The leper responded I want to be clean.  Jesus replied it is done!  Have you ever taken a chance on Jesus.  Jesus is inviting u us to be clean, all we need to do is seek Him, and He will be found.  Be Thou Clean!!!
      
    11/13/2016 Preached Word - Stay In The Boat
  • Mark 4:35-41

    "Stay In The Boat"


    No matter what you are going through in life, you need to stay in the boat.  Jesus used a fishing boat as a pulpit.  In verse 1 we see Jesus  teaching by the seaside, then he entered a ship and  began preaching.  Sometimes you need to see what you are hearing.  Some of the people sat on the sand as close as possible to see and hear Jesus.  When the word is being preached, you should try to get as close as possible.  Jesus preached about the sower and how some seeds fell on good ground and some on shallow ground.  We must learn how to plant on good soil.  Whatever you plant goes back into the soil.  You reap whatever you sow.  Jesus also preached that you don't light a candle and put it under a bushel.  The candle needs to be put in the candle stand, in its place.  Let your light shine.  He also preached about the mustard seed, which is a little seed.  All it takes is a little faith.  Finally the preaching is over and the crowd is gone.  Jesus and the disciples are now alone.
    • There is an invitation - Jesus is a man who invited.  After every sermon there should be an invitation.  The word should invite you to travel with Jesus.  The invitation included a promise of Jesus' fellowship during the journey, and a safe passage to the other side.  In this Christian life here on this shore we are often weary, then Jesus invites us to travel with Him to His father's house on the other side.  He says drop your agenda and come follow me.  Those who accept His invitation will arrive safely.
    • There was a storm - Jesus will be with us in all the storms of life.  I don't care who you are, the storms will find you.  Storms come and storms will go.  In this lesson a storm came to the disciples.  They had obeyed Jesus, but yet the storm came.  You may be passing through a storm right now, but keep your head up, you are still a child of the King.  The storms have their purpose.  Jonah's storm was given to keep him from backsliding.  Paul's storm was to open new doors to witness.  The disciples' storm was a test of their faith.  In all the storms, Jesus was with them.  Are you learning anything from your storms?  You storms are not to make you bitter, but to make you better.
    • There was a miracle - Jesus is always up to the occasion.  In the text Jesus was asleep.  He had worn himself out from preaching as He was both human and Devine. The waves began beating onto the boat.  You've got to learn how to do like the disciples and call on Jesus when in a storm.  Jesus told the winds to be still and they obeyed His command.  That was a miracle.  The disciples did not leave the ship, they called on Jesus.  We need to stay in the boat and call on Jesus when going through our storms.   
    11/06/2016 Preached Word - Danger At The Supper Table
  • 1 Corinthians 11:25-30

    "Danger At The Supper Table"


    There is danger at the supper table.  There are all kinds of tables, different shapes and materials.  The supper table should act as a filling station to keep your body in good shape.  The need of a man will never harm him, it's the wants that destroy him.  When we want what others have, that destroys us.  You can't have everybody's wife, you can't have everybody's husband.  God said He will supply all of our needs according to his riches in glory.  There is a table where men and women come together to celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  In our text today Paul saw danger at the communion table.
    • The problem of division.  The Corinthians had a problem of division between the halves and the have nots.  Those who were wealthy had plenty to eat and drink, while those less fortunate did not.  This made the table a pagan celebration.
    • The problem of delusions.  This was a church with a number of divisions laboring under the delusion that they were being accepted by God.  Don't carry out Christian missions, with a pagan motive.  Don't let the Lord find you in church thinking about the wrong things.  If you come to the communion table and have ought against your brother, you are eating and drinking damnation to your soul.
    • The problem of distortion.  The distortion of the supper at Corinth was extreme.  The sacred had become sinful.  Jesus tells us to examine ourselves before coming to the Lord's table. We must know that when we partake of communion, we are reaffirming our faith in Christ.  The Lord intended for His people to come together in harmony.  By doing this, we remember the death of Christ and what He had done for us.   
    10/30/2016 Preached Word - What Happens When The Lights Are Off
  • Matthew 5:14-16

    "What Happens When The Lights Are Off" - Preached by Rev. Lisa M. Little


    God has called us all to be alight in the space in which we occupy.  A light in the church, on your job, in your school, in your neighborhood.  This means that you are a person who correctly uses the talents that God have given you.  People should see something in you that draws them to God.  The problem is that unfortunately the lights are out in the Christian community.  Some many negative things are happening the world which means we have a light problem.  We are in a state of crisis.  The lights used to be on when people were actually living by the words of the Bible.  We used to live in a world where leaders were expected to have a good reputation and set an example for the world.  The text tells us that a candle should be put in a candlestick.  There is a place for everything.  Part of our light problem today is that too many Christians are out of place.  You can't call yourself a Christian and you rarely come to church.  It's dangerous to be out of place.  How many of us are not utilizing, like Jonah, what God has put inside of us? 
    • We have some people who are in hiding.  They don't want other to know what their gift is.  They don't want their friends to know that they are Christians.  They want to fit in.  But you can't be a light and fit in with the dark. 
    • Some Christians are trying to be what they are not.  If you are a flashlight, you can't be a night light.  A ceiling light can't be the sunlight.  Be what God made you to be.
    • Some Christians are trying to be a follower, when God has called you to be a leader.  You need to step out and accept the call of God upon your life.

    There is destruction when the light are out.  People can't see in darkness and they can self destruct.  When you allow your light to shine, God become a hero to others.  When the lights come on, things improve.  People's needs are unmet when the lights are off.  When the lights are off, no good works are taking place.
     
    10/23/2016 Preached Word - If You Have Been Spiked, Get Up and Serve Again
  • Luke 3:7-10

    "If You Have Been Spiked, Get Up And Serve Again"


    In our lives, we cannot focus on our handicaps, we must focus on the game.  We are sometimes handicapped in our thinking.  Sometimes we think we have it all and nobody else has anything.  Have you ever played volleyball, then you know about setups and spikes.  Satan appears to be well acquainted with the game also, set up and spike.  He is an expert in using those strategies.  My assignment today is to help you not be entangled in Satan's set ups and spikes.  In order to play the game, you first set it up and then you spike it in.  When you allow Satan to continue to set it up in your life, it's only a matter of time before he spikes it in and you lose.  In Luke 3 we find a set up, as the crowd came for baptism because it was the popular thing to do.  John says you can't slither into church each Sunday and live for Satan the rest of the week expecting to throw God off.  They told John that we have Abraham as our father, John was not impressed.  He announced that every fruit that does not produce will be cut down and thrown into the fire.  Some church members think that they don't have to repent. Entitlement - church members feel privileged.  Satan uses this to spike sin into your lives.  He makes you feel entitled to some pleasure, he makes you feel entitled to some relief.  The entitlement lie is used by Satan to set up and spike Christians.  He uses this lie to give people an excuse to do all the things that Christ hates.  If you don't have a good relation with Christ, you will lose in the game of life to Satan.  We don't have to lose, God can turn things around.  It's not the end of the game.  If you've been set up and spiked, don't stay on the ground, get up and serve again.  No matter how bad it is, you've go to get up and serve it back. 
    10/16/2016 Preached Word - The God Kind Of Faith
  • 1Peter 1:3-12

    "The God Kind Of Faith"

    What have you put your faith in?  It is important to have faith.  In the storms of life, it is important to have faith in God.  In our text Peter gives us a great picture of faith.  A faith that we can anchor deep, a faith that we can hold on to.  Things were changing in the first century church when Peter wrote this text.  The government was not impressed with the church.  So here Peter is writing to a people who were finding it increasingly difficult to alive a Christian life.  Even today it is not easy being a Christian, but we must find a way to live our faith without compromise.  No one has to validate you if you know in whom you believe.  This lesson points out three kinds of faith:
    • A Timeless Faith - vs 4-5, everybody has faith in something.  Some have faith in their skills, in their intellectual abilities, in their finances, in themselves.  The question is where is your faith anchored?  Will the anchor of your fiat hold when the storms arise?  our faith is kept in heaven.  We must stay faithful to God through our entire lifetime.
    • A Tested Faith - vs 6-8, how do you know that your faith in Christ will hold up during the storms of time?  Why should I trust in Christ?  Peter survived some incredible storms in His life.  He found a tested faith is valuable, revealing, and centered in Christ.  A tested faith is more valuable than gold that's been burned in the fire.  Hurricane Matthew tested everybody's faith last Sunday.  God is a God of a 2nd chance.  Sometimes God sends rain into our lives to see if our faith can withstand the storm.  When going thru remember, this is only a test, it won't last too long.
    • A True Faith - vs 10-12, it's the real deal.  Peter talks about a true faith.  You can know that there is hope because God says I come to deliver you. 
    10/02/20106 Preached Word - Come Out Of The Wilderness and Go Home
  • Mark 1:12-13
    Matthew 4:1-11

    "Come Out Of  The Wilderness And Go Home"


    Mark tells us that after Jesus was baptized in water, He was led by the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted.  He went there and was tempted by the devil.  Matthew also records this same story.  Mark states the case and Matthew presents the evidence.  No matter who you are, you will be tempted by satan.  Notice every time you vow to do good, evil is present.  Satan does not want you to work things out.  Satan does not want your marriage to succeed.  Satan does not want you to excel on your job.  Satan does not want your children to do well.  We must begin to evaluate ourselves so we won't be going in circles in the wilderness as the Israelites did.  Notice it was the spirit of God who sent Jesus into the wilderness.  However, through all He endured, God was with Him.  God still sends men and women into the wilderness today for spiritual restoration.  He sends us into the wilderness to drive away the pursuit of our human constructed goals.  What is your life based on?  Is your striving in vain?  Maybe this is your wilderness.  Stop struggling and listen to what God is telling you.  Our self worth is based on whether we live on God's word.  We all go through struggles, but we can make it through much better with God.  When going thru the wilderness, hang in there.  We must all go thru, but don't stay there.  You will not grow in the wilderness.  God bought Jesus out of the wilderness and He will bring you out also.
      
    9/25/2016 Preached Word - God's Got An Answer For Your Excuses
  • Exodus 3:11-14

    "God's Got An Answer For Your Excuses"

    2016 Men's Day - Rev. Ricky H. Wilson preacher


    All of us have made excuses at one time or another.  However excuses do not excuse us from doing what God has told us to do.  For the long run, God wants us to change, but we continue to use excuses.  Excuses, if given the chance, can control our life.  The nature of an excuse is nothing but a dressed up lie.  From the beginning of time man has been making excuses.  Adam blamed "the woman that you gave me" for his disobedience.  Our faith has to carry some responsibility.  Faith without works is dead.  In our text today we find Moses in this position of giving excuses to God.  God told Moses that He wanted to use him for the deliverance of the people of Israel.  Moses replied to God with excuses.  We must remember:
    • It's not who you are, but who God is.  God promised His presence with Moses.
    • It's not what you know, but who you know.  Moses says to God that somebody is gonna ask me who sent me.  I am under qualified, send somebody else.  God replied tell them that I AM sent you.
    • It's not about you, it's about the Lord.  Moses said what if they won't listen to me, what if they wont believe me.  God worked through Moses to show him miracles.
    Eventually Moses began running out of excuses.  God wants somebody to give their life to Him, God wants somebody to be more active in their church, God wants somebody to trust Him more.  No more excuses!  God's got an answer for your excuses.
    09/18/2016 Preached Word - Don't Settle For Nothing Less
  • Genesis 24:1-67

    "Don't Settle For Nothing Less"


    God's will and design is for something greater in your life.  He does not want you to stay in the shape that you're in.  God's design is for greater.  Yes, you are alright with $2, but $4 would be even better.  If you're tired of your circumstances, only you have the power to change things.  We must not be too busy trying to fix up the outside when the inside needs to be fixed up.  Make sure your heart is right with God.  Man looks at the outside, God looks at the heart.  A selfie shows what you look like on the outside, but what about the inside?  There are several steps that we need to take in order to get where God wants us to be.  We must:

    *  Determine our present position/condition.  You must know where you are to know where you are going.            Where are you now and what would you change?

    *  Be specific about what you want.  In the text we see that Abraham told his servant exactly what kind of wife he wanted for his son Isaac.  You will never reach a vague goal.  The more general it is, the less power it has.  God's people must not settle for anything less than His word allows.

    *  Look for God's promise.  In the 7th verse Abraham states that God promised him to give the land to his dependents.  When you set a goal, focus on the promises, not the problems.  Find a promise in God's word that will take you to your goal.  Whatever you try to do, there is a word for it.  Find a word for it and pray about it. 

    God has a plan for your life.  If you want the Lord to bless your life, you must listen to the voice of God.  Don't settle for anything less in your life.  Abraham knew what he wanted for his son and he was not going to settle for anything less.


     
    09/11/2016 Preached Word - Wrestling In The Wrong Match
  • Ephesians 6:10-12

    "Wrestling In The Wrong Match"

    In our world it has come to the point that you must watch the news with a pocket handkerchief in your hand.  I am concerned about our communities and about our homes.  We as Christians play a part in trying to help fix some of the problems that we face.  Every little bit helps because it still takes a village to raise a child.  We as Christians are the called out ones.  We come to church to make a formula to get the work done outside.  We sometimes fight each other when we should be fighting the devil.  We need to remember that our struggle is not against each other, but against the rulers of this dark world, against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places.  The devil's job is to bring down the human race.  Satan tries everyday to wreck God's handiwork.  Jesus came and took the punishment of sin so that we would not be condemned.  Satan was defeated when Jesus went down to the pits of hell and took the keys.  Many Christians don't understand the powerless power of the devil.  We are in a battle and there is no hiding from this battle.  We have to know how to fight satan.  Anything that God has ordained, the devil tries to destroy it.  His job is to rob, kill, and destroy.  Jesus says I come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.  The devil's job is to confuse the saints.  He is offering us everything so we can end up with nothing!  You cannot afford to miss one Sunday from church where the word is being preached. In Luke 10:17 we are told  about the seventy-two followers who returned, they were excited and proclaimed even the demons obeyed when we spoke in your name.  If the Lord sends you, He will equip you.  He says when you go out and they don't want to listen, shake the dust off of your feet and move on.  The seventy-two were excited and told the Lord even the demons obeyed when they used His name.  Jesus told them I saw satan fall from heaven like a flashing light.  If you use Jesus' name, he has given us the ability to trample on snakes and scorpions.  He has given us power over our enemies and nothing will be able to harm us.  That's what is wrong with wrestling in the wrong match.  We are wrestling with each other, with flesh and blood, when we need to be swinging at the spiritual forces of evil.   
    09/04/2016 Preached Word - Relationships
  • Acts 4:13

    "Relationships"


    God's people are called upon to live life relationally.  Relationship is the state or character of being related.  We can't pick and choose our relatives, but thanks be to God, we can learn how to deal with it.  Many people do not have a spiritual relationship.  There are three types of relationships that each Christian should possess:

    Christians should have a spiritual relationship with God.   Peter and John had boldness and courage to take on the experts.  Their character said they had no formal learning, their experience said they had been with Jesus.  Being with Jesus will change you.  A relationship with God allows you to do things that you are not usually capable of doing.

    * Christians should have a relationship with fellow believers.  We must have love for one another.  We must learn to love believers and continue to develop our relationship with them.  We are reminded in Hebrews 10:25 "and let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near. (NIV)

    * Christians should have a relationship with the unconverted world.  We are called to help the unconverted to get converted.  2 Corinthians 5:14 says for the love of Christ compels us, having concluded this, that One has died for all, therefore all have died." (Berean Literal Bible) Christ died for all that we who live should not live for ourselves.  We are all created for service.  Our assignment is to tell somebody about the goodness of God.  No one lives unto themselves.  We must live our lives to win others to God.  The goal of every life should be the salvation of others.


     
    08/28/2016 Preached Word - Hold Your Head Up
  • Colossians 3:1-4; 9-11

    "Hold Your Head Up"


    We observe revival every year, but is it helping you as an individual?  After revival we should get sweeter, not meaner.  Actually, there should be a daily revival.  You should want to do something better today than you did yesterday.  Revival is about growth, it's about checking yourself.  The church cannot grow unless there is a revival in you.  If we get Christ right, we get everything else in life right.  In chapter 3 of Colossians we see that Christ is supreme over Christians.  As Christians we move from principals to practice.  We can talk all we want, but if we are not living what we talk about, we are not demonstrating the truth.  We cannot claim to know Christ and deny Him by our action like the church in Titus.  Some claim to know God, but by their actions, they deny Him.  We can't keep marching to our own drum beat, we can't keep doing what we want to do.  The only way God knows our heart is that it has to be in tune with God's heart.  Our lifestyle has to match up with the heartbeat of God.  Duty is always connected to doctrine in the church and in your home.  Paul says that we are set free from the powers around us.  We don't have to live in the past, we don't have to live like we've always lived.  We must learn to look up, we must look to the hills from whence cometh our help.  Our feet must be on earth, but our mind must be in heaven.  Our  thoughts influence our action.  We must place our thought on thing above and not on thing beneath.  We must fix our gaze on God, He will change our hearts and change our minds.  If you are serious about living for God, you ought to act like it.  In verse 11 we are told not to lie to one another.  When we tell others we are Christians, and don't act like it, we are lying.  Hold your head up and remember the Lord will give you perfect peace if you keep your mind stayed on Him. 
    08/21/2016 Preached Word - The First Shall Be Last and The Last Shall Be First
  • Matthew 19:29-30
    Matthew 20:1-16

    "The First Shall Be Last and The Last Shall Be First"

    It pays to serve Jesus!  Does God give equal pay for equal work?  No!  Look at the thief on the cross who spent his entire life stealing, but in his last hour asked Jesus to remember him.  God told him he would spend eternity with Him.  This does not say that God is an unjust God, he is not.  Jesus while here on earth spoke 38 parables.  This parable deals with the end time.  According to this story, the householder made an oral contract with the laborers who were in the marketplace at 6:00 am as to how much he would pay them, a penney for a day's work.  The laborers accepted the proposal and went to work.  3 hours later the householder went back and saw more laborers standing waiting for work.  He did not make a contract with them, but told them to go work and he would pay them also.  3 hours later the householder did the same thing and at 3:00 p, the same thing happens again. At the 11th hour, 5:00pm, the householder went back to the marketplace and there were still laborers standing waiting for a job.  Seeing them still standing, the householder hired them also because he was touched in his hear by their desire to work.  When it came time to pay, they all received the same pay.  The first hired laborers complained because they thought the Householder had not been fair to them. Why do you complain, asked the Householder.  This is my money.  Don't worry about what God is doing for somebody else, just be thankful for the blessing that you have.  God says that the first shall be last and the last shall be first.  Those who have been looked over in this life, God says, shall be first!  We serve a generous God and we are not to be jealous of God's generosity toward others.   
    08/14/2016 Preached Word - If You Want It, You Have To Believe In It
  • Matthew 17:14-21

    "If You Want It, You Have To Believe In It"


    In reading the entire 17th chapter of Matthew, we find Jesus having taken his closest disciples up into a high mountain where he was transfigured before them.  In verse 14 we find them back down in the valley to face the multitude.  There is a contrast between those who go on the mountaintop with Jesus and those who stay in the valley.  When Jesus began to pray on the mountaintop, his face did shine as the sun and his raiment was white as the light.  When we develop a close walk with Jesus, others can see a glow about us and know that we are walking with the Lord.  When we lose our glory, we will not light up.  If you don't manifest the power of God, nobody will see God in you.  This story deals with the disciples trying to heal a father's little boy. but they could not cure him.  We hear defeat in their voices as they asked Jesus why could they not cast the demon out of the boy.  Too many times we are prone to blame our impotence on God.  The failure lies in us, not in God.  Because the father believed, Jesus rebuked the devil and the child was cured.  Verse 20 says that Jesus then informed the disciples that it was because of their unbelief that they were not successful in curing the boy.  For all we need is a little bit of faith, as a grain of mustard seed, we can say to he mountain removed and it shall be removed, and nothing shall be impossible unto us, if we believe.  No matter what is happening, you must keep believing. We  remember how one day Job was minding his own business and satan took everything from him in one day.  Yet Job kept on believing.  That is the answer, we must keep on believing.  You must keep on believing that one day the Lord is going to heal your body.  You must keep on believing that God is faithful.  If you want it, you have to believe in it.      
    08/07/2016 Preached Word - The Phone Is Ringing, Answer The Call
    • 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

    "The Phone Is Ringing, Answer The Call"

    God calls people!  He called Adam and Eve after the fall.  He called Noah in a violent age to build a boat.  He calls people today.  God does not need Verizon, Sprint, or Cricket to be a carrier, God calls people direct.  When God calls, you must answer and listen to God's voice.  The call of God is a personal call, no conference call, no texting, no voicemail, no email.  When God calls, you need to answer.  Preachers are not the only ones called by God.  Matthew 11:28-37 tells us that God calls people to salvation.  He says come unto me and I will give you rest.  Romans 1:1 tells us that God call people to service. 

    Who does God call?
    • God calls the foolish - God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise.  He called foolish Zacheaus whose main goal in life was to become wealthy.  There is more to life than being wealthy.  God called foolish Jonah who tried to run away from God.
    • God calls the weak - God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty.  When you are weak, God can use you best.  God still calls us in our weakness.  God called the prodigal son when he was weak.  The son came to his senses and went back home.
    • God calls the base and the despised - God has chosen the things which are despised and things which are counted as nothing so that no one can boast in the presence of God.  God chose the basic folk like us to bring about a change in the world.
    The phone is ringing, answer the call!
    07/31/2016 Preached Word - You Will Not Be Disappointed
  • Preached by Rev. Patrick Hipkins

    Isaiah 28:16

    "You Will Not Be Disappointed"


    Hopelessness is growing in the nation.  More and more people do not know who they are and who they believe in.  Many people are committing suicide, or experiencing alcohol and drug abuse.  Our nation is in trouble from sea to shining sea and is calling out for help.  Many Christians are not satisfied with their Christian lives because they are ignorant of the word of God.  There are no shortcuts to success in the Christian life.  The word of God was given to Israel as a daily grind.  We are in trouble because we do not spend enough time in the word of God.  God has placed a solid stone in our Zion, that stone is Jesus Christ.  The promise of Christ is in a class all by itself.  Christ is that stone which has become the head cornerstone.  The woman who wanted to touch the hem of his garment was not disappointed.  The blind man who received his sight from Jesus was not disappointed.  The 5,000 men plus women and children that Jesus fed on the mountainside were not disappointed.  It doesn't' matter how black the night nor how bad the storm, you can rest in Christ and you will not be disappointed.  He can calm the ragging sea and you won't be disappointed!
     
    07/24/2016 Preached Word - Be Encouraged No Matter What You're Going Through
  • Acts 13:13-16; 1 Samuel 30:1-6

    "Be Encouraged No Matter What You're Going Through"


    Today many people live by looking in the mirror.  As a result, you can't go forward for looking backward.  Let it go!  For some people, everyday seems to be a gray day.  In the text today the apostle Paul landed in Antioch where he preached his first recorded sermon.  Paul let them know that he was on the Lord's side.  Once you are on the Lord's side, you don't need anyone else to validate you.  David said he would encourage himself.  The people asked Paul for a word of encouragement.  In this world we live in, we need some good news.  Are the props knocked out from under your foundation, don't give up.  Let God encourage you.  Get off the suicide list and let God encourage your heart.  If you want to be encouraged:
    • YOU HAVE TO STAY IN THE WORD OF GOD - When Paul was preaching to the people, there was no New Testament, all they had was the Old Testament.  Now the New Testament gives us a clearer vision to help us go through life.  Dig deep into the theology of God.  Romans and Hebrews are good starting points.  Discouragement may be awful, but its not terminal.  So many people have gone astray because they have stopped reading God's word.  We eat everyday, why not read Gods word everyday, Sunday morning is not enough.  When you are in the Word, God is talking to you. 
    • YOU HAVE TO STAY ENCOURAGED THROUGH WORSHIP - Something wonderful happens when you worship the Lord in private or in public.  Worship is an act of reverence.  Just like taking your car to the car wash, you should feel squeaky clean after you leave worship.  Most churches don't take the time out to worship God.  You have to get beyond the gray slush in your life.  You will be lifted beyond that slush when you worship the Lord.  If we want to make America great again, we have to go back to worshipping God.
    • YOU HAVE TO STAY ENCOURAGED WITH THE GOOD NEWS AND DECLARE WAR ON SATAN - The good news is that even in the midst of slush, salvation is still offered to us.  Life can be discouraging, but you don't have to stay in the shape that you're in. Tell Satan this means WAR!
    07/17/2016 Preached Word - Faith In Action
  • John 4:46-54

    "Faith In Action"


    When Jesus walked the earth, people asked many time for healing and He never turned anyone away.  In the text today John tells us that Jesus had come to Cana of Galilee and had already changed water into wine, his first miracle.  When the nobleman heard that Jesus was in town, he searched for him so he could request healing for his son who was at the point of death.  When he found Jesus, he asked for healing.  It appears because there was a great crowd following Jesus, his first reply to the father was except people see signs and wonder, they will not believe.  That did not deter the father, he spoke his request again.  Upon seeing the man's determination, Jesus then replied go, thy son is healed. 
    • The Father's Concern - someone made a request, Jesus replied to the request, there were results, What a mighty God we serve!  This father was so concerned that he walked over a day's journey to seek Jesus.  The father had a deep determination to find Jesus fueled by his concern for his son. We must be concerned about our salvation in the same manner so that we will go to what ever means it takes to get to Jesus.
    • The Lord's First Answer - Jesus was testing the father's sincerity.  Also Jesus was possibly speaking to a group of people because he used the plural form of the word "you."  Capernium was a city that was not going to receive Jesus, which he knew. 
    • The Lord's Final Answer - the father went pleasingly and asked Jesus for healing.  Jesus did not give instructions except to simply go.  The father obeyed and his son was healed.  Jesus healed the boy from where he was at the time.  There is something about personal faith in Jesus.  The Lord hears those who talk to him.
    When the father took the journey, this was faith in action.  When the father found Jesus and made his petition known, this was faith in action.  When the father obeyed Jesus by heading back home without proof that his son was healed, that was faith in action. 
     
    07/10/2016 Preached Word - The Danger of Excluding God From Your Plans
  • Preached by Rev. Lisa M. Little

     

    Genesis 11:1-9

     "The Danger Of Excluding God From Your Plans"

     

    In this text we see that this group of people were successful in the beginning with resources and prosperity. Success can be problematic when you want to move forward with plans without involving God.  This group thought they could get to heaven without going through God.  Some people today are trying to build marriages, careers, ministries, etc., without God.  These people in our text looked at one another for instruction instead of looking to God for answers.  The Lord scattered them and their community became unraveled.

     

     •God must be in charge of the community or it will unravel.  Society today is unraveling because Americans thought they could proceed without following the rules of God.  Our nation is unraveling as we have allowed the police and judicial system to be in charge of the community instead of God.  We have allowed entertainers and sports figures to be charge instead of God.  God is disrupting the nation today.  He cancels the plans of the corrupt today just as He did when they were building the wall in the bible.

     Anytime God is excluded, we will have unnecessary difficulty.  We must follow God's blueprint for building.  If you build anything without God, you are wasting your time.  Everything you build will stand if you build based on God's understanding.

    You will miss out on God's favor if you exclude God.  God's hand is either for you or against you based on if you are willing to accept His guidance.  How will you story end?  Are you willing to let God be in charge of your life or will you try to take charge?

    07/03/2016 Preached Word - The Truth About The Valley
  • Preached by Rev. Lisa M. Little

     

    Ezekiel 37:1-4; 10-14

     "The Truth About The Valley"

     

    Once you may have been on top of the world, but now you are on the bottom, moving backwards instead of forward.  In our text today, the children of Israel were in the valley, however they were people of God (not of the world).  There are different kinds of valleys including the valley of betrayal or regrets, disappointment, failure, depression, etc.  If you stay in the valley long enough, you may think that it is home, but Jesus wants you to know that it is temporary. 

    •HELP IS ON THE WAY - if you are in the valley, God always has a plan to help, He works behind the scenes.  When in trouble you need divine intervention. 

     

    •YOU WILL GET BACK ON YOUR FEET AGAIN - Just as God breathed new life into the situation of the children of Israel, He will breathe new life into your situation.

     

    •YOU WILL NOT BE DESTROYED BY THE VALLEY - It will only make you better, it will give you a testimony.  You have to go through the valley to learn that God's word is true, in the valley is where the word is tested.

    06/26/2016 Preached Word - Thirsting For God
  • Psalm 42

    "Thirsting For God"


    We all know the urgency of thirst.  There is nothing like a big cold glass of water to quench your thirst.  We can live longer without food than we can without water.  In our text today the psalmist links physical and spiritual thirst together.  This psalm concludes that only God can quench a thirsty soul.
    • WELL - The woman at the well tried to quench her thirst with men.  Jesus offered her water for her soul, spiritual water, a fulfillment that would cause her never to thirst again.  This woman was initially thirsty for men and not for God.
    • HELL - The man who went to hell tried to quench his thirst with wealth.  He was unlike the sick beggar named Lazarus.  One day the wealthy man lost his health, but he still had his wealth, then he died.  In hell this man begged the beggar to bring him water to cool his tongue.  This man was thirsty for wealth and not for God. 
    • TELL - The story that Jesus wants us to tell is how He endured the thirst of hell on the cross.  On the cross Jesus cried "I thirst," before He died.  He died that we would never thirst again.  We are commanded to tell this story so that others will experience the thirst quenching relief of knowing Jesus Christ. 
    06/19/2016 Preached Word - Never Give Up On Your Child
  • Father's Day Celebration

    Luke 15:11-31
    "Never Give Up On Your Child"


    This is a society in which family values have declined.  The father is supposed to be the strongest link in the family.  He is supposed to be the best decision maker in the family.  God wants fathers to be strong and put on the whole armor.  In Luke 15 we see an example of a Godly father and an example of how God, our heavenly father, loves us.  The primary message in this text is that the boy came to himself, repented, and was restored in his relationship with family.   In verse 20 we find 3 points:
    • But while the son was still afar off the father never stopped waiting for him.  We must love our children enough to let them go, but don't stop praying for a safe return.  What do you do when your children are far off?  The advice we receive from this parable from the lips of Jesus is to be there.  This father did not give up on his child.  He exercised patience and was able to wait.  Fathers, if you want a relationship with your children, you must also have a relationship with God. 
    • The father was filled with compassion.  This father's mercy was like the mercy of God.  You must tell your children that you love them and show a forgiving heart.  Fathers, starting today, consider what you want your children to remember you most for.  It should be your compassion and caring spirit.
    • The father put his arms around his son and kissed him.  This proved to the son that he was forgiven.  The father then gave a festive celebration as the icing on the cake.  We need to learn to forgive others because all of us have made mistakes.
    06/12/2016 Preached Word - I Declare War
  • Annual Youth Sunday (Children's Day)
    Rev. Monty A. Royster, Guest Preacher

    Psalms 51:1-10

    "I Declare War!"


    When things are going good, it seems like you are ready for war.  The enemy decides he want to declare war on you when you are down and trouble has come into your life.  This is a perfect opportunity for him to declare war.  As Christians we must practice praising God.  Sometimes we become complacent in our practice as believers.  Then's when the enemy comes in.  We have an obligation as believers to practice worshipping God.  If we are going to be good in anything, we must practice.  We worship God just because of who he is, not because of what he does for us.  We must practice our worship, even when things are not going good for us.  If we praise God consistently, it doesn't matter what issues we have.  When you don't practice, you are really practicing!  If you are going to declare war, you have to prepare yourself.
    • In verse 8 David asks God to make me to hear joy in gladness.  David is asking God to make him do some things because he knew he wouldn't do them by himself.  We must begin to ask God to make us do some things.
    • In verse 9 David asks God to hide him.  When God hides us, we won't get the big head and think that we are more than we really are.
    • In verse 10 David asks God to create in him a clean heart.  We must continually ask God for a clean heart and a renewed right spirit so that we would choose to do the right things. 
    06/05/2016 Preached Word - Don't Stagger On the Promises Of God
  • Romans 4:19-21

    "Don't Stagger On the Promises Of God"

    If God says he will do something for you, you must believe that he will do it.  He always keeps his promises, but there are some things you must do in order to receive from God.  When God promised Abraham that Sarah would give him a son, Abraham had to ignore the circumstances of Sarah's age and believe that God would do what he said he would do.  If you want something from God, you must
    • Consider not - don't take into account the natural.  The more you preach what you cannot do, it will eventually turn into what you will not do.  You might be sick today, but you must believe that one day you are going to get better.  As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.  You must see yourself where you want to be, not where you are.  It does not matter what you are believing God for, you don't have to consider the natural circumstances.  Some church folk have diseased faith.  God wants to bless us, but we are telling God we can't do it.
    • Stagger not - read Genesis 18:1-16 for Abraham's story.  Sarah laughed at the idea of bearing a child at her age.  Abraham did not waiver, he never questioned God's promise.  A person who doubts God will not receive anything from God.  The enemy will always try to get you to focus on your circumstances and stagger and forfeit God's blessings.  We must stay fully persuaded that whatever God has promised, he will bring it to pass.
    Abraham knew that he had to give glory to God (vs 21). Abraham gave glory to God before the blessing ever happened.  You must believe God and thank him for the answer even before you see the result.  Today you may be facing situations that have you in a box.  You must recognize the facts, but only consider what God say and begin to praise him in advance.  Give glory to God and stagger not on God's promises.
     
    05/28/2016 Preached Word - I Still Believe
  • Job 13:15

    "I Still Believe"


    All of us struggle in this life, even Christians.  Every now and then we need to take inventory of ourselves to see where we stand with the Lord.  We hope our faith is alive in us greater than ever before.  Without faith, it is impossible to please God.  Hebrews 11 is known as the faith chapter.  It tells about the heroes of the faith and heroes of faith.  No matter what comes our way, we must take the attitude that we will still trust Him and we will still believe.  We all have our own tests, I can't handle what you are going through and you can't handle what I am going through.  God will not put more on us than we can bear.  Life and death is in the power of the tongue, we can speak ourselves into bad situations.  Job immediately tapped into God's plan.  If you are serving the Lord, you should stand above the crowd.  Job declared though He slay me, I will wait on Him.  To wait on Him is the serve Him. 
    • Job knew that we must have the right altitude.  Job was high and on top of the world, but God had to take him down in order to set him up higher.
    • Job was judged on his attitude.  A mental position towards the situation.  Job passed the test by keeping the right attitude, mental position, when he was going through.
    • Job's aptitude made a difference.  His spirit was in tack to receive a blessing from the Lord. 
    The question is how high do you want to go?  Job was a straight "A" student (altitude, attitude, aptitude) and God gave Job double for his trouble. 
    05/22/2016 Preached Word - I'm Just Asking For The Crumbs
  • Mark 7:24-30

    "I'm Just Asking For The Crumbs"


    Many of us are facing problems today.  In the midst of our problems, we need someone to turn to.  We need God to work in our lives.  We don't need him to lift every burden, but just the heaviest ones.  In this text Jesus is approached by a mother who is in a desperate situation.  She needs something changed in her life.  She is not asking for a whole loaf, but just the crumbs.  She knew that Jesus was in the house, despite his attempt to hide, and she was not going to leave until she got up with Jesus.  Jesus was trying to get some much needed rest, but this burdened mother finds him.  The church is the place to be when you have problems.  If you need something changed in your life, you should seek Jesus where he can be found, and that is the church.  There is hope for you no matter what it is, God has a solution for your problem.  This mother came to Jesus because she was concerned about her daughter.  Why do we come to Jesus?  Perhaps the woman had heard about Jesus and how he opened the eyes of the blind, how he healed the sick, how he went to the cemetery to heal the man.  This mother may have said if Jesus can deliver a man from a legion of demons, surely he can deliver one demon from my daughter.  This mother was desperate in asking for just the crumbs and saw Jesus as her only hope.  Jesus saw her persistence, her loyalty, and he healed her daughter.
    05/15/2016 Preached Word - If It Ain't Working, Try Something Different
  • John 21:1-6

    "If It Ain't Working, Try Something Different"


    Insanity is to continue doing the same thing over and over again looking for a different result.  We are creatures of habit, we tend to do the same thing over and over again because it feels comfortable.  A lot of us don't like change.  In this text we find the same is true.  After the death of Jesus, the disciples were lost and unsure of what to do next.  Peter got restless, even though Jesus told them to stay in Jerusalem, and decided to go back to Capernaum to go fishing.  Fishing was what he was comfortable with.  So here we find that the disciples had been fishing all night and caught nothing.  In the morning they looked toward the shoreline and saw a stranger who asks if they had caught anything.  There are times in our lives when it seems the harder we try to accomplish a task, the more impossible it seems, so we revert back to old habits.  When Peter went back to his old ways thinking it would make him feel better, he caught nothing.  Once you have been enlightened by the spirit of God, you cannot go back, you must keep on walking with Jesus.  There is no joy in going back to what you used to do.  If nothing seems to be happening in your life, you must try something different.  If we want to grow, we must obey God's direction.  When the disciples obeyed and let down the net on the other side, the net was filled with 153 fish.  The 153 represent the number of nationalities in the world.  The gospel is for every nationality.  If you want to be blessed, you have to be obedient to God's word.
     
    05/08/2016 Preached Word - Why You Need To Let Go And Let God
  • Preached by Rev. Lisa M. Little

    Genesis 19:14-17; 24-26; 29-30
    "Why You Need To Let Go And Let God"


    It is not easy to be a mother.  It is a mother's job to support the members of the family, through good time and bad time.  Only the mother in the family can be the mother.  Sometimes mothers have to struggle because there are somethings they don't know how to fix.  In the text the struggle became real for Lot's wife when he informed her that the family would be relocating.  Lot's wife kept looking back. but you can't look back and move forward at the same time.  It was hard for Lot's wife to let go and accept God's new plans.  Sometimes God requires us to come out of our comfort zone.  We must take the leap of faith and let go and let God.  We must move off the comfortable pews and begin to use our gifts and talents for God.  When you have a problem that you are trying to tackle, if you don't let go, it can cause you to self destruct.  Lot's wife allowed her situation to paralyze her, to immobilize her.  Letting go and letting God is a formula that really works.  When you take matters into our own hands, you will never know what God can do.     
    05/01/2016 Preached Word - Are You Anchored In The Storm?
  • Acts 27:15-25
    "Are You Anchored In The Storm?


    In this text we see a storm and we see Paul struggling in this storm.  When you take a stand for God, you are introduced to storms in your life.  If you are walking with God, you will encounter storms.  All of us know something about the storms of life.  Either you've been in a storm, you are in a storm now, or you are on your way to a storm. 

    ~ When you are in a storm, you cannot depend on human wisdom.  In this text we see highly skilled sailors who were trained to go through storms.  They did what they were supposed to do, but to no avail.  Your brain is not sharp enough to handle storms on your on.  Proverbs 3:5 reminds us to trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.  If you try to solve your problems using human wisdom, you will get human results.  You have to turn it over to God.

    ~ When you are in a storm, you can depend on Godly wisdom.  In verses 21-25 we are told that Paul was not a sailor, so he did not know what to do when a ship was going through a storm.  Paul was a follower of Jesus and he did know what to do when he was going through a storm.  We must listen to God as Paul listened to God.  God will never mislead us.  No matter what kind of trouble we are in, God will show up with the best possible plan.

    ~ When you are in a storm, you need to drop some anchors.  In verses 27-29 we see the sailors dropped 4 anchors to stabilize the ship so they could survive the terrible storm.  There are 4 anchors that every follower of Jesus needs to have in order to weather the storm. 

    They are:

    1 The anchor of PRAYER, don't let prayer be your last resource
    2 The anchor of FELLOWSHIP, don't pull away from church when in a storm, there is strength in numbers  
    3 The anchor of FAITHFULNESS, we must be faithful to what God has called us to do
    4 The anchor of HOPE. hope is a small thing that produces large results

    The 276 sailors had lots of experience, but they had no God.  Paul had no experience, but he knew God.  None of the lives were lost!  God was faithful to Paul.  Are you anchored in the storm?

     
    04/24/2016 Preached Word - Here's My Lunch, Use It
  • John 6:1-14
    "Here's My Lunch, Use It"


    Most of us have read in the past about the two fishes and the five loaves of bread.  All 4 gospels contain the story.  Jesus had compassion on the crowd.  The disciples wanted Jesus to send the crowd away so they could eat on their own, problem solved.  When Jesus said no, they tried to convince him that it would be impossible to feed this many people.  Sometime we miss our blessing by not being obedient to God.  The disciples may have had lunch for themselves and they did not want to share.  Andrew, Simon Peter's brother,  found a young boy who was willing to help by sharing his lunch.  We must have a willing spirit as we give to others.  It is not about how much you give, but it is about the compassion that you give to supply the present need.  You can be Ebenezer Scrooge, or you can be like the little boy who gave with a generous heart, its your choice.  Christianity is not about performance, but about your heart's attitude.  Jesus fed 5,000 men plus women and children from one little boy's lunch and he received 12 baskets of leftovers.  This was a return pressed down, shaken together and running over!  God gives us a return when we are generous.  This story is not about the size of the gift, nor the expected return, but about a child who wanted to help.  When we give of our time, our talents, and our treasures willingly, God turns our insufficiency to sufficient plus more.  Somebody needs to say to God - here's my lunch, use it.   Use me in your service Lord.
     
    04/17/2016 Preached Word - Stay In Touch With God
  • Matthew 4:1-10

    "Stay In Touch With God"



    Communication plays a very important part in our lives.  If one cannot communicate, his or her chances of being understood are very low.  When you talk to God, he will talk back to you. To communicate means to be connected with God.  When you open  your bible and read, God is communicating with you; when you pray to God, you are communicating with God.  Then the two connect together and something happens that the world cannot explain.  When you look at the world's situation today, you have to know that the world has lost communication with God.  When we communicate with God, it is a protective shield against satan.  Whatever you are going through today, you must keep the line of communication open.  No matter how dark the day, even if it appears that everyone is against you, when lies are being told on you, when you are sick, when you are lonely, when you don't have any money, stay in touch with God.

    In the scripture today we find Jesus having a conversation with satan.  Each time satan offered Jesus something, Jesus refused by using the word of God.  Satan was persistent and did not give up easily.  Because Jesus had kept the line of communication open between him and his father, he was able to tell satan to leave him alone and not yield to satan's offers.  When we stay in touch with God, we too have an inner power that will enable us to not yield to satan's offers.  We must stay in touch with God.




     
    04/10/2016 Preached Word - The Abscence of a Dress Code
  • 2016 Women's Day
    Rev. Donita Edwards, Preacher
    "The Absence Of A Dress Code"
    1 Peter 3:3-4


    Work has to be done in God's house.  In Luke 10 we are reminded that the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.  There are different types of workers in God's house:  productive and non-productive.  If God gives you a work to do, you had better work it out - men and women.  There is a dress code when working in God's house.  Every manager wants his or her employees to dress for success.  We need to impress God if we don't want to be fired by God.  We must learn to dress for the occasion.  We need to get shaped up in the word of God.  In Exodus 2:25 God does speak specifically about an outward dress for the priests.   Once the dress code on the inside is met, then God will change the dress code on the outside.  We don't have to dress according to what others require, but according to what God requires of us.   
    04/03/2016 Preached Word - From The Valley To The Mountain
  • Psalm 23
    "From The Valley To The Mountain"


    What is in the valley?  Everybody will encounter a valley experience.  It does not matter how high you fly, there is always a valley between the mountains.  Before each mountaintop experience comes a walk down in the valley.  Some valleys are wide, some are narrow, some are on rough ground and some are on smooth ground.  Some people are addicted to staying in the valley.  For whatever reason, too many of us have an address in the valley.  Always remember:

    **God is in the valley.  In verse 4 we are told we when go thru the valley, we are not in the valley by ourselves.  We can make it in the valley when God is with us.

    **Ground zero is in the valley.  The valley is the ground floor of success.  It is the access to the mountain.  If you get on the elevator, it will lead you to the mountaintop.  You must make the decision of should I stay in the valley or should I go up to the mountaintop.

    Sometimes we get so high in the mountain (in our spiritual walk) that our ears get stopped up and we can't hear God speak, then we have to be brought down to the valley.  Some get so high in the fog and can't see God.  There is a different standard of living in the valley than in the mountain.  Sometime to get the right spiritual diet, we have to go to the valley.   

    We are then reminded in verse 6 that goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives when we allow the Lord to be our shepherd.

     
    03/27/2016 Preached Word - Resurrection Sunday
  • Resurrection Sunday
    6:00 AM  - Rev. Lisa M. Little
    "The Empty Tomb" Mark 16:1-7  


    It was a tough week for the women and they were going to the tomb because they thought they could find the body of the beloved Jesus. As they jouurneyed, they were wondering how they would move the large stone away from the entrance to the tomb. When they got there, early in the morning, they found the stone had been moved and the tomb was empty. Sometimes it is not as bad as it seems.  
    *An empty tomb was proof that God is able to open doors that man has shut
    *An empty tomb was proof that God know how to cancel all of satan's plans
    *An empty tomb was proof that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can image
    *An empty tomb was proof that God can make a way out of no way
       

    11:00 AM - Pastor Vernon L. Ricks, Sr.
    "Where Is Your Jesus?"  John 20:1-2

    There has never been invented a death as torturous as the Roman government's  crucifixion.  When a man was crucified, he wretched in agony on the cross for a full two to three days.  The crucifixion did not harm any organs, the criminal simply died of exhaustion.  But Jesus did not die of exhaustion, He laid down His life and gave up His spirit.  The Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, marveled in the sixth hour that Jesus was so soon dead.  As soon as Jesus died, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body in order to burry Him.  Pilate granted the request.  The body was removed from the cross and placed in a tomb.  We do not worship a Jesus who is hanging on a cross.  When the women went to the tomb to dress the body of Jesus, they were met by an angel who declared "He is not here for He has rise just as He said He would."  We do not worship a Jesus who is lying in a tomb.  After 40 days of showing Himself to many people, Jesus ascended into heaven.  We serve a Jesus who has risen!  We serve a Jesus who is alive!  We serve a Jesus who is interceding for those who love Him.  We serve a Jesus who is coming back to get us all one day.  Is your Jesus still on the cross, is your Jesus still in the grave, or is your Jesus alive?  Have you invited your Jesus to live in your heart?  Where is your Jesus? 
    03/20/2016 Preached Word - Smile In Your Face, All The Time They Want To Take Your Place, Backstabbers
  •  John 12:12-17
    "Smile In Your Face, All The Time They Want To Take Your Place, Backstabbers"


    With the cry of hosanna, on this day, the crowd greeted Jesus as he made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem.  This began the most important eight (8) days in human history.  After the hosannas came the crucifixion.  The high priest name Caiaphas was the only anointed priest.  He represented the Sanhedrins and the people believed that he was the middle man between them and God.  Here we see that Caiaphas did not suggest that Jesus had committed any crime, he simply suggested that it was right to do wrong so that good may come.  A completely innocent man was to be sacrificed for what Caiaphas thought would save the nation.  We must watch how we handle Jesus.  Some of us today deny Jesus in front of certain people.  However, if the Lord has been good to you, you must stand up and declare that the Lord is good no matter who you are in front of.  The Sanhedrins wanted to get rid of Jesus because of the power that he had, not because of any crime he committed.  Some of the people shouting crucify him were some of the same people who Jesus had healed, raised from the dead, and fed with physical food.  When people get in a jam, they tend to forget all about the good things that you have done for them.  Let us not be found guilty of backstabbing.  Jesus gave his life for us, we must give ours back to him.
     
    03/13/2016 Preached Word - A Cure For A Troubled Heart
  • John 14:1
    "A Cure For A Troubled Heart"
    Preached by Presiding Elder Chester W. Morris


    There is no one like Jesus.  He turned water into wine, he got on a boat and calmed the winds during a storm, he raised his friend Lazarus from the dead, he gave sight to the blind, he healed diseases.  Jesus performed so many miracles and he is still performing miacles today.  In our text Jesus was talking to his disciples and he told them that even though the dark clouds will hang over your head, let not your heart be troubled, just believe.  A troubled heart makes you feel sad and depressed.  A troubled heart can make you say and do things that you would not normally do, it can rob you of your peace and joy.  Whatever it is that has your heart troubled today, look up.  Our help comes from the Lord.  The Lord will make a way somehow.  Let not your heart be troubled, believe in God!

     
    03/06/2016 Preached Word - Choosing What You Did Not Choose
  • "Choosing What You Did Not Choose"
    James 1:1-5


    Some people have a hard time giving up something for Lent.  It's not easy to set aside extra time to pray, it's not easy to fast and go without food, yet as hard as these choices are, they are not as hard as the spiritual choices that we do not choose.  There are trials of many kinds.  Everyone has trials that test our faith.  They knock us off balance, they make us wobble in our faith.  We ask God where are you.  We all have situations in our lives that if we could get rid of them, we would.  James says count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations, knowing that it causes patience. 

    There are 3 ways to respond to trials:
    *Rebel - push back and get mad at God, at the church, and at the world.  This is how a lot of people respond.  Instead of leaving God and the church, it is a good time to draw closer.
    *Resign - believing you are powerless to the trial.  You lie down and give up.  You have no hope and you slip into despair.  No life can grow in this condition.   
    *Rejoice - James says count it all joy.  This might seem impossible to do without God.  If you choose the right posture when you are going through, you are able to rejoice.  While you are going through, God is elevating you.  Job gives us a testimony when he declares "the Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord." 

    When trials come up against us, trials that we did not choose, we must choose to stay with God and boldly declare out of all I've been through, I still have joy!

     
    02/28/2016 Preached Word - Don't Stop Singing
  • Psalm 137

    "Don't Stop Singing"


    Although enslaved, the Africans were able to sing a song in a strange land when bought to American against their wills.  The Israelites refused to sing when they were captured, even at the request of the captives.  They felt that they were not to sing the songs of their God in a strange land.  Every now and then, we must sin the songs that brought us over.  In the text we see the men sitting by the river of Babylon weeping because they were in a strange land and they were thinking about home.  All that Zion stood for was a sharp contrast to the rivers of Babylon.  They hung their harps up on a willow tree feeling no reason to play their harps in a strange land.  Some people have decided not to attend church anymore, they are hanging their harps on the willow tree.  The captors required them to sing yet they refused.  Psychological captivity does not enable one to sing.  Some of us are in retirement and we don't praise the Lord like we used to.  We have retired from our beliefs in God.  The folk who need to hear God's word most are the strange and hostile people.  We must sing and witness to strange and hostile people.  What songs are you singing out there?  The strange land is not inside the church, it's out in the streets.  When you are captured and feeling bogged down, you must sing anyway.  When it seems that others don't want to hear what you have to say, you have to keep on singing your song.  We can not be quiet about Jesus.  You have to proclaim I know I've been saved and take your harp off the willow tree and keep on singing.   
    02/21/2016 Preached Word- Come Out Of The Cemetery And Go Home
  • Luke 8:26-35

    "Come Out Of The Cemetery And Go Home"


    Verse 35 of this scripture says that the crowd went out to see what was done.  The crowd could have been Christians or they could have been curious.  It appears that they didn't go out to learn or to appreciate the miracle, nor to participate or become involved, but they went out to see.  Some people become and remain eternal spectators, they go Sunday after Sunday after Sunday to see.  There is a lot of work to be done, but some stay on the sideline just looking.  The challenge today is where will I stand in life, on the sidelines watching or doing something for Christ.  Will we be a spectator or a participator.  When the crow rushed to the cemetery, they found the man who had been healed clothed and in his right mind, sitting with Jesus.  The strange thing to pull out of this is that they were afraid of him. When he was possessed by demons, they were not even concerned about him.  Now  that he has been saved, sitting at the feet of Jesus, poised, coordinated and clothed, they are afraid of him.  The community had adjusted to the fact that he was consigned to perpetual irreverence, but when they found him saved, they were afraid of him.  When you praise the Lord, people are afraid of you.  But you must come out of the cemetery and praise the Lord.  We must begin testifying to the goodness of the Lord otherwise we are just like the man living in the cemetery.  Whatever is binding you and keeping you in the cemetery, you need to let it go and come out!  God can't use you until you come out and connect with Him.  When you connect with Jesus, it changes your life. 
    02/14/2016 Preached Word - Crazy Love
  • Judges 16:10-19

    "Crazy Love"


    Samson was born to an older couple who had given up hope of ever having children.  While his mother was carrying him, an angel told her that her son would be special and she was not to drink wine nor eat anything unclean.  Samson's father asked God for further instructions on how to raise his son.  The angel gave the couple further instructions.  Samson was to grow up as a Nazirite and rescue Israel from the Philistines.  God gave Samson enormous physical strength so he would be able to fulfill this task.  However Samson wasted his strength on practical jokes and trying to satisfy women.  Samson had a weakness for Philistine women.  Samson was inflicted with Crazy Love.  Crazy Love will make you do things that are unreasonable.  Sampson married a Philistine women only to realize much grief .  After that marriage, Samson was seduced by another Philistine woman named Delilah.  She betrayed the secret of his strength to the Philistines who were then able to capture him and chain him.  He died as a result of his Crazy Love.  But we know of another Crazy Love that God had for each of us.  He gave His only son Jesus to die for us because of his Crazy Love for us.  I'm so glad that Crazy Love caused Jesus to be hung high, stretched wide, and pierced in his side.  I'm so glad that Crazy Love caused Jesus to die for me and for you.  What's love got to do with it?  Everything!
    02/07/2016 Preached Word - Stay On Point
  • Matthew 25:10-13
    "Stay On Point"


    There is so much going on in this world that you just might slip sometimes, even if you are saved.  But we don't want the world to become our God.  We must be prepared for whenever the Lord comes back for us.  He is coming back, whether we are ready or not.  Since we know this, we should be oiled up and ready so we may be able to slide on into glory when He comes.  We have to stay on point to be ready.  When we are not on point, we delay, we put things off.  The more we put things off, the worse things can become.  It is so important that Christ offers to us a parable on the danger of putting things off.  As we are told in verse 8, when you put things off, you are being foolish.  We see that there were 5 wise virgins and 5 foolish virgins.  The wise virgins were on point, they prepared for the bridegroom to return by filing their vessels with oil, the foolish virgins made no preparation for the future.   You will never reach your full potential if you are always depending on somebody else for oil.   The question today is how will you end up?  We must stay on point in order to be ready to go back with Jesus. 
    01/31/2016 Preached Word - Why You Must Help Lazarus
  • Luke 16:19-31
    Matthew 25: 31-46
    "Why You Must Help Lazarus"
    Missionary Message Preached by Rev. Lisa Little


    We all have a Lazarus in our lives.  The rich man in our text had a Lazarus in his life.  Jesus says to us that he watches how we treat the Lazaruses of this world, if fact He takes it personal.  If we are going to get this right, we must understand the following:
    • We must help the Lazaruses in our lives.  Lazarus is our assignment.  Lazarus is the one that we see struggling to get by everyday.  Lazarus is there for us to help, not to pity, not to talk about.  Sometimes Lazarus gets on our nerves, but we must remember when we used to be Lazarus.  The rich man saw Lazarus as someone who was not his problem, even though he had enough money to supply all of Lazarus' needs.
    • If you don't help Lazarus, you will one day experience regret.  If you are faithful in identifying the Lazaruses in your life, when you get to the end, you will have a life of not regrets, for God will reward you.  The rich man had many regrets when he went to hell and wanted Lazarus to come and bring him some water so he could cool his tongue.  If God's reward plan you will have a mansion waiting for you, a plan with no sickness, no more sorrow and no more tears.
    • It's important to help Lazarus because our legacy depends on it.  This rich man had 5 brothers that he left behind.  He may have let them property and money, but what he failed to give them was what mattered most.  He failed to tell them how important it was to have a relationship with Christ.  They were a people who did not take the word of God seriously.  Each one of us has a family member who does not know Christ.  Now is the time for us to share the good news with our family member, our legacy depends on it. 
    01/24/2016 Preached Word - Too Much Sleeping And Not Enough Praying
  • Matthew 26:36-46
    "Too Much Sleeping And Not Enough Praying"


    Can you imagine what this world would be like if our forefathers did not know how to pray?  What if Dr. Martin Luther King had not known how to pray?  If you look around in your community today, you will agree that it's time to stop sleeping and pray.  In this text Jesus prayed "thy will be done."  This is the most difficult prayer to pray. 
    • Praying thy will be done demands a surrender of the soul.  We must surrender everything when we go to God in prayer.  If you don't want to surrender, God says have it your way.  This results in misery to you.
    • Praying thy will be done demands a surrender of the will.  Some of us are born with stubborn wills.  If it's not working, let it go!  Some people refuse to go to Christ because of a stubborn will.  We must yield to God and make His will our will.
    • Praying thy will be done demands total dedication even when others fail.  There is too much sleeping and not enough praying.  You must pray when nobody else is praying.  The sign of the times let us know that it is praying time now.
    The disciples were not able to watch while Jesus prayed on the mount of Gethsemane.  Faithfulness requires constant prayer.  Three times Jesus went to pray and returned finding the disciples asleep.  This was disturbing to Jesus because there was trouble at hand but the disciples failed to recognize the importance of prayer.  Prayer is sincere words uttered or unuttered from the heart.  Every child of God must know how to pray.  Prayer is our connection to God.

     
    01/17/2016 Preached Word - Unashamed of the Gospel
  • 2 Timothy 1:6-12
    "Unashamed of the Gospel"
    Sister Michelle Joachim, Licentiate


    Just as Paul encouraged Timothy to stir up the gift that God had given him, we are encouraged to stir up our gifts.  God has given each of us a gift and when we are unashamed of the gospel, we gladly share our gifts.   
    01/10/2016 Preached Word - The Lord Will Make A Way Somehow
  • I Kings 17:8-16
    "The Lord Will Make A Way Somehow"

    This is a story about a widow who thought she was going to die.  There was a famine in the land and she and her son were almost out of food.  Some people have been so down and out, it seemed like death was the only way out.  This woman had decided to eat her last meal and go into the house to die.  As time would have it to be, God changed this widow's negative into a positive, somehow.  We should be careful not to hang with negative people, for negativity will rub off on you.  We wonder why sometime we can't be blessed, it could be because we are hanging around negative people.  God moved the widow from poverty to plenty, he changed her anxiety to assurance.  When you are down and out, God will send someone to pick you up, someone to help you.  In this lesson, God sent the prophet Elijah to help the widow woman, but first she had to move by faith, she had to trust God.  Sometimes our help does not smell like us, does not look like us, does not drive what we drive.  Once we give our lives to God, we must trust him, we must become risk takers. 
    • I have not -   says the widow.  Depression had moved in.  This happens when we focus on what we don't have and what we can't do.  When we thank God for what de do have, we forget about what we don't have.  What do you have that God can use?  God can take a little and make a lot, somehow.
    • fear not - go do as God says.  Make a cake for the prophet first, then go make a cake for you and your son.  Put God first, in giving God priority, we overcome our fears, somehow.
    • the barrel of meal wasted not - the Lord will make a way somehow.  Things turned out better than the widow expected because she put God's instruction first.  She learned that God is faithful all the time, somehow.
    01/03/2016 Preached Word - Misguided Ambitions
  • Mark 10:35-41
    "Misguided Ambitions"


    We live in an ambitious world.  We want to know who is the one with the most from coast to coast.  That is what keeps the Guinness Book of World Records on the best selling list each year.  We want to know who is the fastest, the strongest, the richest, the smartest.  Ambition is not evil, the motive of your ambition makes all the difference.  If you have no ambition, why get out of bed in the morning?  Ambition is a strong desire regarding the future, it can be positive or negative.  It can be useful if we are ambitious for the right things.  What are your ambitions?  What do you dream about achieving?  What are your secret hopes for your own life?  Here we find two of the disciples, James and John, coming to Jesus in a secret approach.  There were twelve disciples yet these two brothers decided to find Jesus separate from the other ten.  Evil ambition is sneaky.  After the conversation of James and John asking Jesus to be seated at his right and left hand when he established his kingdom, we hear Jesus asking them if they are able to partake of the cup.  This lets us know that ambition costs.  As we begin 2016, we must remember that the motives for our ambitions must be in line with God's word.  What are your ambitions for 2016?  Will you pay your tithes, will you love your enemies, will you come to church regularly?  Will you allow God to guide your ambitions?

       
2015 Sermons
    12/27/2015 Preached Word - Baptize Your Baggage
  • Luke 3:2-6
    "Baptize Your Baggage"


    Leaving the birth scene of chapter 2 in Luke's gospel, we now find ourselves moved to the cousin who is John.  Although he is often referred to as John the Baptist, he was also a preacher.  As a result of God's call to him, he was a preacher.  He was a strange man with a strange diet, out in the wilderness.  He was clothe with camel hair and ate locust and honey.  How many of us when the Lord speaks, we counter it with questions.  John was s simple man who took God at his word.  We must be obedient to God, he is counting on you to be a blessing to others.  When we are obedient, God uses us.  We must come to church on Sunday where Jesus is.  Too many Christians are sitting on the sideline, we have to come to the forefront.  John preached:
    • Forgiveness of sins, which is the greatest need today among the people
    • Repentance for the remission of sins which produces a change of mind, a change of conduct, a contrite heart, and turning over the controls of your life to God
    Too many people have been carrying baggage for a long time and today is the day to let it go.  Release yourself from that heavy load as we move into 2016.  We must press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  We can press by letting go of that baggage that has been weighting us down.   
    12/20/2015 Preached Word - There's A Scandal In Jerusalem
  • Luke 1:26-37
    "There's A Scandal In Jerusalem"


    Scandal means injury to a reputation, malicious gossip.  The name Mary signifies exaltation and Mary was a daughter of a royal family, a descendant of David.  Mary was enabled by God's providence to preserve the Jews' genealogy.
    • Mary was poor, even though she was of the lineage of David
    • Mary was a virgin, pure and unspotted with Joseph selected to be her husband
    • Mary lived in Nazareth which had no reputation for religion nor for learning
    • Mary ran to see her cousin Elizabeth when she heard that she was pregnant
    The scandal was out when Mary told Joseph she was pregnant.  Joseph knew he had not been with Mary.  As was the custom at that time, Joseph considered divorcing Mary privatly so she would not be stoned to death.  An angel was sent to Joseph to confirm that Mary was the chosen vessel to birth the Messiah.  When people talk about you, just stand.  As we go into the new year, we will have to stand.  We must remember if God be for us, it doesn't matter who is against us.
     
    12/13/2015 Preached Word - Don't Give Up On Your Prayers
  • Luke 1:4-58

    "Don't Give Up On Your Prayers"


    Somebody has been praying for something for a long time, and you may have it in your mind that it won't ever happen, but don't give up on your prayers.  When Zechariah was in the temple on duty, an angel visited him to tell him that God had heard his prayer.  His wife, Elizabeth, was going to bear a son and his name would be John.  Because of Zechariah's doubting of the angel's words, he was stricken mute until the birth of the baby.  When we doubt the Lord, we suffer the consequences.  Don't doubt the Lord, keep on trusting and believing, after while God will bring it to pass.  With God all things are possible, he may not come when you want him, but he will be on time.  Zechariah did not stop going to church even though it took a long time for his prayer to be answered.  He remained faithful even when it seemed that his desire was not going to be granted.  He still went to church and performed his duties to God, even while he was waiting on his blessing.  Elizabeth and Zechariah prayed for a son, but they got not just any son, they received the forerunner to Jesus.  God blessed them for their faithfulness.  Don't give up on your prayers.  
    12/06/2015 Preached Word - Let's Make Room
  • Luke 2:7
    "Let's Make Room"


    Imagine that your friends decided to throw you a birthday party.  You knew who was coming and you knew where it would be held.  When you arrived, the music was so loud and your friends were having such a good time that they could not see you at the door.  You see pictures of yourself on the tables.  Everyone is having a good time while you are standing outside knocking.  What a tragedy it is that you can't get in.  This portrays our Christmas celebrations today, Jesus is on the outside looking in.  Jesus' birth was so important that we divide history with it, BC and AD.  Yet we forget to make room for him in our lives.  There is so much commotion in the world today, people are distracted from a focus on Jesus Christ.  We have forgotten God, but he has not forgotten us.  We go through some things in our lives because we have not made room for him.  We must not let wordly distractions cause us to miss Jesus.  Make room for Jesus, he is trying to offer you the greatest gift of life, he's trying to offer you eternal life.  Eternal life is the only gift that keeps on giving.  It will never go out of style.  Forget all the distractions this season and think bout the little baby who was born in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago.  Make room for Jesus.

     
    11/29/2015 Preached Word - When God Turns It Around
  • Job 42:10
    "When God Turns It Around"


    Just as things turned around for the Chicago Bears in the game on Thanksgiving evening, God can turn your situation around!  Look at Job, in chapter 1 it indicates that Job was a righteous man who tried to do things right, he avoided evil, and made sacrifices.  He had 1 wife and 10 children and he was prosperous.  His financial portfolio was doing well and he was in good health.  All of a sudden everything went bad for him.  All 10 of his children died on the same day, he went from good health to bad health, from prosperity to poverty.  Bad things can happen to good people.  Be careful of the friends you hang around for when you are going thru you need encouragement, not negativity.  Job's wife and friends brought negativitiy, even suggesting that he curse God and die.  Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  Suicide is not the answer.  In chapter 42 we see that God turns it around for Job.  Even though Job could not understand what was going on in his life, he had a dialogue with God.  When Job got the right perception of God, God turned it around for Job, giving Job twice as much as he had before.  If you are going thru right now, seek God's face so you can get the right perception of God and watch God turn things around for you. 
     
    11/22/2015 Preached Word - I'll Still Praise Him And Be Thankful
  • Habakkuk 3:17-18; Philippians 4:4
    "I'll Still Praise Him And Be Thankful"


    You have a choice to be happy or sad, the choice is yours.  You have a choice to be nice or nasty, to be deceitful or dependable.  Our attitude is up to us.  We would get along better if we chose to rejoice in the Lord.  In this NT text the apostle Paul writes from a prison cell this letter of joy to the Christians in Philippi.  He finds time to praise the Lord even in unfavorable situations.   We must learn to give God the glory no matter what we are going through.  Even though we may suffer, God is still good.  We must be optimistic and have hope knowing that whatever happens, God will still get the glory.  We must always have a praise.  No matter what is going on in your life, or in the life of the church, we have something to be thankful for.  Paul did not say rejoice in your health for it can change in a moment; neither did he say rejoice in your wealth, for it too can change quickly; nor rejoice in your friends, for they will disappoint you; nor rejoice in your family, for you can't always depend on family.  Paul says rejoice in the Lord always!  When we learn how to be intimate with God, we can rejoice in him.  We rejoice because of who He is, we rejoice in his purpose and in his promise!  Many things in this life can cause us to be in despair, but we need to look to the hills from whence cometh our help, knowing that all our help comes from the Lord.  In the OT text we are told by the prophet Habakkuk to rejoice in the Lord even though the fig tree shall not blossom, and there is no fruit in the vines, and the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat, and the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls, but we are told to rejoice in the Lord, the God of our salvation.
     
    11/15/2015 Preached Word - What Do You Do When You Are In A Storm?
  • Jonah 1:1-4, Jonah 3;1-4, 10
    "What Do You Do When You Are In A Storm?"


    We are all familiar with huricanes, they are subject to go anywhere at anytime.  Just like hurricanes, storms of life can also come at anytime.  We will all face some storms in our lives.  Sometimes we are the cause of our storms.  The prophet Jonah caused the storm in his life.  Jonah had a hard head because he had his own vision.  Instead of obeying God's command to go to Nineveh to preach, he decided to run from God.  In chapter 2 we see where Jonah prayed to get out of the situation that he had created.  We need to confess our mess when we do wrong. You cannot go against God and win.  When we are going through our storms, we need to run to Jesus, not away from Him.  We need to be close in church. not staying away from church.  Jonah was disobedient.  As a result of his disobedience, the ship he had boarded ran into a storm.  Jonah confessed to the seamen that he was the cause of the storm and asked them to throw him overboard.  God stepped in and sent a living submarine in the form of a whale to keep Jonah for 3 days.  This gave Jonah time to think about what he had done.  You may have gotten it wrong, but God is giving you another opportunity to get it right.  God will grant you mercy in the midst of your storm.  He is the God of a second chane.  You don't have to stay in the shape that you're in, the Potter wants to put you back together again. If you are in a storm now, God is able to bring you out.  I'm so glad trouble don't last always, weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.  
    11/08/2015 Preached Word - What's Convenient For You?
  • Acts 24:23-25
    "What's Convenient For You?


    In this text Paul had been arrested and taken to a Roman jail.  He had been tried and accused of serious charges, but not declared guilty nor innocent.  Paul made the most of his terrible position by having a discussion with Feliz, the Roman Governor.  Although married to a Jewess, Felix did not know anything about Jesus Christ.  The Lord had a plan for Paul.  There were people who had not heard the message of the gospel and Paul needed to be in that situation because the plan of salvation needed to be shared.  We see in verse 24 that Felix sent for Paul and Paul talked with Felix and Drusilla about faith in Christ.  We must be clear that when we try to win souls for Christ, we try to win souls for Christ.  Its not about us, its about Christ.  Felix listened to Paul's message and he decided not to decide.  When you don't make a decision, you have made a decision.  Either you are for Christ or against Him.   Felix told Paul to go and he would call him back at a more convenient time.  What's a convenient time for you?  Have you made a decision for Christ?  You must take time to be holy.  Felix declared I will call you when I am ready.  If you don't want to decide on Sunday, how about Monday, or Tuesday, maybe Wednesday.  When is it a convenient time for you to tell somebody about the goodness of Jesus?  Now is the time to change!  Now is the time to get right with God.  Now is the time to give your life to Jesus, NOW IS THE TIME!
     
    11/01/2015 Preached Word - Who Is This?
  • Matthew 16:13-17
    "Who Is This?"


    We will notice how the question of the identity of Jesus often arose in the New Testatment.  Even the disciples often wondered who Jesus was.  From the beginning of his earthly ministry to the very end, he always would arouse people's interest.  Who is this man who heals the sick and gives sight to the bind.  Jesus was a man, but somehow he was different.  Even in death, he still had men wondering who was this man.  When the teachings of Christ are applied to the immorality of today, the question is still asked, who is this?  One day Christ asked the disciples who do men say that I am?  They responded with what others were saying.  Then Jesus asked, but who do YOU say that I am?  Out of 12 men, Peter responded, "thou art the Christ, the son of the living God."  The answer was not in the law, nor in religion, nor in poilitics, but it was in the heart of a simple fisherman from Galilee.  Singing in the choir does not mean that you know Jesus.  Being a trustee does not mean that you know Jesus.  No matter who you are, you need to know the answer to this question.  Do you know who Jesus is?  We can't be ashamed to let others know that we know who Jesus is.  It is a question we all must answer, do you know Jesus?
     
    10/25/2015 Preached Word - What Happens Between Now and Then?
  • "What Happens Between Now and Then?"
    Luke 16:19-31


    Have you ever had a really bad day?  There is a day coming the future that will be the saddest day in human history.  Not only will it be the saddest day for some, but it will be the happiest day for others.  This single day in the future will divide the human race into the saved and the unsaved.  This is this the day of rapture, the day that Jesus returns in the clouds to gather his children unto himself.  In the text the rich man wanted to send someon back to warn his family not to go to hell.  God said no, they have preachers who are telling them to get right.  I tell you confidently that the day of rapture is coming for everyone.  The question today is what do we do between today and that day?  What we do between today and that day will determine our actions eternally. 
    • We must get saved!  Romans 10:9
    • We must stop playing the waiting game. John 9:4 The thief who died Christless was within inches of Christ, yet he died Christless.
    • We must be real.  Luke 16:19-31 In the text Jesus told this story about the future.  When the beggar died, he wen to heaven, the rich man went to hell.  The rich man saw Lazarus in Abraham's bosom and asked God to send Lazarus down to hell to give him some water.  The rich man did not want his brothers to join him in hell.  We must be real and treat everyone like God's children.
    10/18/2015 Preached Word - Can A Dead Thing Live Again?
  • "Can A Dead Thing Live Again?"
    Ezekiel 37:1-11


    Ezekiel was coming to the conclusion of his ministry in this text.  The Lord revealed to him a number of things concerning the future of His children, the Nation Israel.  In this text, the Nation Israel seems to be dead, however, the nucleus was still in tack.  Many things in our ordinary living seem to be dead, but with God's help, new life can come. 
    • A dead home can live again - Christian homes are important.  The first home was in the Garden of Eden and Jesus was there.  We call that Paradise.  A happy home is an early heaven.  Sin can destroy the happiness of a home as it did the first home, Paradise.  However, a dead home can live again when Jesus is included as Lord of your life.
    • A dead church can live again -   A church must believe in the scripture.  The word says where two or three are gather together, there will Christ be also.  Some churches are almost dead.  Too much activity and no worship makes a dead church.  When a congregation catches a fresh vision, the church will take off with new life. Yes a dead church can live again.
    • A dead sinner can live again - Those who do not know Jesus as Savior are described by God as dead in sin.  The christian life is described as a resurrection.  Every day that you are able to get up is a new blessing.  Yes a dead sinner can live again.
    God took Ezekiel into a valley of dry bones and asked him if the bones can live.  Ezekiel responded you know the answer God.  God instructed Ezekiel to preach to the bones and the text was "Hear the Words of the Lord."  Each Sunday preachers preach so that others will hear the words of the Lord.  Yes a dead thing can live again.
        
    10/11/2015 Lay Witness Sunday Delivered Word
  • Acts 28:19-20
    "Fulfilling the Great Commission"

    Mrs. Gloria Davis - Lay Speaker

     
    10/04/2015 Preached Word - The Blood Still Works
  • Hebrews 9:11-15
    “The Blood Still Works”

     
    The Bible is a book that is bound by the blood of Jesus from Genesis to revelation.  This passage today also speaks of the blood.  It talks about the Old Testament sacrificial system, where the blood of animals was shed to cover the sins of the people.  Yet sin was only covered year by year by the shed blood of animals.  What the blood of goats, rams, lambs, and bullocks could not do, the blood of Jesus covers.
    • Verse 12 talks about the Purchase of the blood of Jesus.  Salvation was dependent upon the sacrifice of an innocent man.  This was a personal purchase as Jesus used his own blood and it was a permanent purchase not to be redone year after year.  If you believe, you are saved and Christ’s death on the cross settled your sin problems.  When you are not saved, you are lost.  Jesus gave his personal blood so that we might live.
    • Verses 13 & 14 talk about the Power of the blood of Jesus, the power to cleanse.  The blood will cleanse completely.  You cannot be halfway saved.  We lose all our guilty stains when cleansed by the blood.  We all have to go through the same blood to be cleansed.  What can wash away my sins, nothing but the blood of Jesus.
    • Verse 15 talks about the Promise of the blood of Jesus.  He promised us freedom.  There is freedom in his blood.  It buys us back from the power of sin.  It releases us from the power of sin and gives us freedom, it gives us a new start, a new birth.  When Jesus got up from the grave, we got up also.
    09/27/2015 Preached Word - Mighty Men of God
  • I Timothy 6:11-12
    Mighty Men of God
    (Rev. Dr. Kim D. Shivers – Men’s Day Preacher)


    Mighty men emerge from their house, not from the church.  You can’t be anything in God’s house until you get thing straight in your own house.  This text is a pastoral text where Paul is telling Timothy how to lead the people of God.  God tells Timothy that he has a responsibility to please God.  In all that we do, we must please God.  A Godly man:
    • Must flee these things.  What are these things?  The false things of the world.  The love of God must be the priority in all our lives.  A might man was, but now he is.
    • Must follow, pursue Godly things.  Run to righteousness. Godly men are odd men.  They stand out.  Follow faith, study the word of God.  Follow after love.  Follow patience.
    • Must fight.  He fights the good fight of faith.  We are fighting, we have a good cause to fight for, our calling, the profession of faith.  God expects us to exert some energy.  We must be mighty persuaded that God will take us through.
    09/20/2015 Preached Word - This Means War
  • Elijah 19:1-7
    “This Means War”
    (Rev. Vernon L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)

     
    Elijah was not an ordinary type of man.  He was man of volcanic force, he was a strong man.  He was a big man, yet he was only a man.  This is the same Elijah who proved on Mount Carmel that God is the only true and living God.  He was so quick, he could outrun a chariot.  Elijah confronted Nabor about his vineyard, this is the same Elijah.  Elijah stood for God and we either stand for God or we stand for Satan.  Here we see him under the juniper tree and we realize that he was only a man like ourselves, a man as weak as water.  He was in a suicidal state, he was depressed.  A lot of church people are suicidal.  Don’t get crazy because everything is not going your way.  We can deal with the spirit of depression by:
    • Dealing with physical weariness – Elijah had to get out of town really fast.  Our mind and body interact with each other in an intimate way.  The penalty for an exhausted body is often a depressed mind.  He fell an easy prey for depression.  The righteous use of the body is our religious duty. 
    • Dealing with loneliness – Elijah left his servant in Beersheba.  It is not good that man should be alone.  This is a justification of Christian fellowship as well as marriage.  Jesus sent the disciples out two by two so they can encourage each other.  We were put on this earth to encourage each other.  I challenge you to find a friend to share Jesus with.
    • Dealing with failure – Elijah felt a sense of failure.  If you want healing, a financial breakthrough, a sense of peace, you have to learn how to trust God.  Don’t worry about what others say, you just worship the Lord.  Elijah realized that there were still 7,000 who had not bowed down to Baal.  God will get you out of your depressed condition when you are in a position to receive His help.
    We must stop church shacking, which means you are in church but not in love with God’s church.  The cure for depression is not in the drugstore, it is in God’s word.  God’s word is the ammunition we need to fight Satan, This Means War!
     
    09/13/2015 Preached Word - I'm A Believer
  • Mark 9:23-29
    “I’m A Believer”
    (Rev. Vernon L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)

     
    One problem in today’s society is that Christians have stopped believing.  You have to have faith in order for anything in your life to work.  The book of Hebrews tells us without faith it is impossible to please God.  Without faith it is impossible even for a church to please God.  Your walk should line up with your talk. 
    • Faith is always tied to doubt – there are two sides to the same coin.  The father in the text says to Jesus, I believe that you can heal my son, but help thou my unbelief.  We as Christians must be solid on both sides.
    • Faith is always tied to life.  Some things we should learn by just living.  Our forefathers could not have made it without faith.  Some of us have stopped living because we have no faith.  Some people don’t support the church because they have no faith in the church.
    • Faith’s chief resource is Jesus.  To talk of faith in a Christian circle is to talk about Jesus.  Jesus is both the object and the source of our faith.  It’s dangerous to keep company with those who don’t believe.  In this text there is no evidence that the father was one who kept company with Jesus, thus his unbelief.  Our identity is determined by our relationship with Jesus.   
    I believe in Jesus Christ and I’ll tell it wherever I go!

     
    09/06/2015 The Preached Word - The High Cost Of Leadership
  • Numbers 13 & 14
    “The High Cost Of Leadership”
    (Rev. Vernon L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    We may be a leader without even knowing it.  We must be careful of what we say and how we say it, of what we do because somebody is watching you.  Leadership is leading other people.  In our text, we think about the church and how we are set up.  Those appointed to lead used to lead with integrity and honor.  It is true that you cannot lead where you are not willing to go.
    • This text says that a place of leadership is a place of honor.  We should be proud to be a leader in God’s church.  Out of two million people in this text, only 12 men were chosen as leaders.  Each man was responsible for 150,000 people.  10 of the 12 would fail in their leadership assignments.  Joshua and Caleb remind us that it is still a great honor to be chosen as a leader in God’s church. 
    • The text says a place of leadership is a place of responsibility.  There is a cost to leadership.  In the text God’s people were on the edge of the Promised Land.  2 leaders were up to the challenge, but 10 of the leaders reported on the fear they felt.  When the people sided with fear rather than faith, the opportunity to enter the Promised Land vanished.  Being responsible means you must show up at church.  Can others count on you?  Can God count on you?
    • The text says a place of leadership is a place of faith.  The writer of Hebrews says the greatest mark of Moses was that he led God’s people by faith.  He was a man of consistent faith while he led people who were consistently faithless.  How quick do we forget what God has done for us.  One cannot lead without faith.
    08/30/2015 Preached Word - Are You Helping Or Hurting?
  • 08/30/2015 Preached Word - Are You Helping Or Hurting?
    (Rev. Lisa Little)


    Luke 10:25-37 
     
    There are many persons in need today.  Can they count on us to help them, or hurt them?  We are all either helpers or hurters.  The Levite and the Priest saw the man laying half dead and made a decision to keep their distance, they didn’t care.  They treated him like he was unimportant.  They were selfish.  Sometimes the most hurtful people are church people.  Three of the people in our text today were church people.  The lawyer was able to quote scripture, so we know he was a church person.  Many people come to church to create problems, not to help.  The 4th person in the text was the Good Samaritan.  He was a missionary.  It is important to help and not hurt.  Our salvation depends on it. 

     
    08/23/2015 Preached Word - Spiritual Overhaul
  • 08/23/2015 Preached Word - Spiritual Overhaul
    (Rev. Vernon L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Galatians 6:1-7

    Restoration is the act of bringing back to a former condition.  It’s revival time!  A time for restoration, the time for a spiritual overhaul.  We used to praise the Lord, but some of us have lost our praise.  The church is referred to as the household of faith.  A local congregation is an expression of the household of faith.  The law of love should prevail in the household of faith.  We must let others know that we love them.  We in the household of faith have been given the mission to evangelize the world.  Paul suggests that if we are truly spiritual, we have a major responsibility to those who have lost their way.  When we think we are better than others, we deceive ourselves.  We all need spiritual restoration.
    • Satan works continually to deceived, defeat, and destroy us.  He will lead us into sin.  If we don’t know God’s word, we will fall for anything.
    • The church has not completed its responsibility in assisting new converts in moving to spiritual maturity.  Sometimes we have to give too much attention to the old saints who never grow up.
    • We need to be restored in love.  The past is the past, don’t worry about what is in the past. 
    08/16/2015 Preached Word - From A Maniac To A Messenger
  • 08/16/2015 Preached Word - From A Maniac To A Messenger
    (Rev. Vernon L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Mark 5:1-20

    This man in our text had no ambition in life, until Jesus intervened.  He lived his life among the dead.  He was sad, hurting, and unloved.  This is a tragic position.  This is a picture of someone separated from Jesus.  Where there is no God in the home, it is a tragic situation.  This man was helpless and out of control.  His passions were stronger than his ability to control them.  Sin will leave you helpless.  Surely he wanted a different life, but he was powerless to accomplish it by himself.  He was a prisoner of his own vices.  He was a helpless case until his helper came.  This man found himself at the feet of the only man who could help him.  Jesus says to the legions, come out!  Once the demons left the man, he wanted to go with Jesus.  Instead Jesus instructed him to go home to his family and tell them what great things had happened to him.  That which no other could do was accomplished by Jesus.  This man went from living the life of a maniac to becoming a messenger for God.  It is Jesus who makes the difference in life.

     
    08/09/2015 Preached Word - Don’t Be A Disappointment to God
  • 08/09/2015 Preached Word - Don’t Be A Disappointment to God
    (Rev. Vernon L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Matthew 7:21-23
     
    There are many disappointments in life, they are all around us.  There are disappointments even in the church.  Are you happy with you or are you a disappointment to yourself?  If you are a disappointment, there is always another way to do what is right.  Out of all the disappointments in this life, the greatest will be missing heaven.  The greatest disappointment will be to expect heaven and arrive in hell.  Let us look at what went wrong for the laborers in the text.
    • THEY PROFESSED CHRIST, BUT DID NOT POSSESS HIM – they said the right words, but missed the message.  They called Jesus Lord, but did not make Him their Lord.  They put up a good front, but they faked the faith.  They had religion, but ignored redemption.
    • THEY WORKED TO IMPRESS, BUT EARNED FINAL DISTRESS – they were busy religious people.  If works could have earned heaven, then these laborers would have made it.  We must stop trying to impress each other and work on getting to heaven.  We must impress God.
    • THEY CLAIMED TO BE WINNERS, BUT WERE REALLY SINNERS – these church folk were workers of iniquity.  The Lord sees our hearts.  Hypocrisy is open to God.  Some people come to church on Sunday for everything except worship.  I’ve never seen a winner finish anything and not make any noise.  We must be real with our worship.  God inhabits the praises of His people. 
      “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you:  depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”  Matthew 7:21-23
    08/02/2015 Preached Word - The Bread of Life
  • 08/02/2015 Preached Word - The Bread of Life
    (Rev. Vernon L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Matthew 26:26-30

    The word bread was used for any kind of food in the Old Testament.  Bread came to be a metaphor for a way of substance, a staple food, a basic dietary item.  A person can survive with only bread and water for a long time.  Bread is synonymous for food in general.   Bread can symbolize a financial investment. (Ecclesiastes 11:1) In the New Testament Jesus symbolized the bread of life.  Acts 20:7 says the Christians met on the first day of the week to break bread, in the AME church, we meet on the first Sunday in each month to break bread.  
    • By giving thanks, Christ was offering praise for deliverance and a life full of provision.
    • By breaking the bread, Christ was saying that his body was to be broken for us.
    • By giving the bread, Christ was to be received into a man’s life.In John 6:35 Jesus declared “I am the bread of life.Whoever comes to me will not hunger and he who believes in me will never thirst.”Jesus equates Himself with bread, meaning that he is essential for life.
    Got Bread?
     
    07/26/2015 Preached Word - Wait On The Lord
  • 07/26/2015 Preached Word - Wait On The Lord
    (Rev. Vernon L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Psalm 27:14

    The psalmist was no stranger to fear.  He knew about fear firsthand.  In this psalm he is describing his own experiences in battle.
    • The Assurance of God – his enemies stumbled and fell.The psalmist says he is not scared of anybody.We will all have problems in life, but we can rest in the assurance that God will be with us.
    • God is our Refuge – He is the rock upon which we can stand.Once you have received salvation, you want to commune with God and be in his presence all the time.Some of us don’t spend enough time in church.We need to send more time with God.Sunday is not enough, we must make spending time with God a priority.
    • There is Deliverance with God – If I had not seen the goodness of the Lord, says the psalmist, I would have fainted.Don’t worry about your credit score, worry about your name being in the Lamb’s book of life.When it seems like everything is falling apart, God tells us to wait on Him. Wait in expectancy, wait in assurance, wait with patience, wait with confidence, we must learn how to wait on the Lord and He will make a way somehow.
    07/19/2015 Preached Word - Who Is It Going To Be, Jesus Or Barabbas?
  • 07/19/2015 Preached Word - Who Is It Going To Be, Jesus Or Barabbas?
    (Rev Vernon L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Matthew 27:17-22

    God has given each of us free will, we decide what we want to do, who we want to be with, what we want to eat for dinner.  We make our own decisions.  We also decide where we want to spend eternity.  Nobody sends you to hell, you go because you decide to go. Now is decision making time.  There are two main characters in this text, Jesus and Barabbas.  The people were forced to make a decision in this text as to which one to release.    Verse 20 tells us that the Chief Priests and Elders persuaded the crowd to ask for the release of Barabbas.  We must be very careful who we allow to persuade us.  We will lift three points and they are:
    • The Contrast between Barabbas and Jesus, a sinner and a Savior. Verses 16-18 tell us that Barabbas was there to rob, kill, and destroy.  Jesus had no fault in him.  Jesus was there to save.   There are contrasts all around us today.  We have to make decisions between right and wrong on a daily basis.
    • Pilot offered the crowd A Choice. We all have a choice today.We are all offered today the same choice, a choice between wickedness and righteousness.A choice between darkness and light.The crowd was influenced by the priests and the elders to choose wickedness.Don’t let others influence you to make the wrong decisions.If it doesn’t feel right, leave it alone.
    • The Consequence of choosing freedom over Barabbas.  We need to get our act together.  Haven’t we done enough to Christ?  Haven’t we hurt Christ enough?  When we put anything over Christ, we are choosing Barabbas.  The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (freedom).  
     
     
    07/12/2015 Preached Word - Rejoice and Be Glad
  • 07/12/2015 Preached Word - Rejoice and Be Glad
    (Rev. Vernon L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Philippians 4:4-8

    There are times when we can’t see anything to rejoice about.  Those are the times you should sit down and think things over, think about what you are working with.  You will realize that out of all you have been through, you should still have joy.  Every day you are able to get up should make you rejoice in the Lord.  You should have a praise report every day.  The word tells us this is the day that the Lord has made, we are to rejoice and be glad in it.   In today’s text we are told:
    • To rejoice in the present – right now!  The most important day on the calendar is today.  Tomorrow is wrapped up in what we do today.  Tomorrow is none of your business.  We should be happy right now in spite of what is happening in the world. 
    • Accept this day as a gift from God!  Read Psalms 118:24 and you will learn that today is neither accidental nor incidental.  God planned everything that’s happening right now.  Nothing catches God by surprise.  In this day we have the opportunity to worship, work, and witness.
    • Be joyful – you should have something to be happy about.  God woke you up this morning, that should give you joy.  Joy is important to God.  There was joy at the announcement of Jesus’ birth. 
    07/05/2015 Preached Word - No Matter What, I’ll Still Make My Choice Jesus
  • 07/05/2015 Preached Word - No Matter What, I’ll Still Make My Choice Jesus
    (Rev. Vernon L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Luke 14:25-28

    Because of what has happened in Charleston, SC; if we ever need to be in a church, if we ever need to follow Jesus, now is the time.  We can’t be misled by what Fox News is saying.  No matter what you hear, Jesus is still the best choice.  In this text, at this point in Jesus’ ministry, there were large crowds following him.  But many of them did not know what following Jesus meant.  You must make sacrifices to follow Jesus.  To follow Jesus we must:
    • Take a stand.  There is great danger in neutrality.  It challenges little, and changes nothing.  The only thing in the middle of the road is a white line and dead animals who could not make up their mind which side of the road to be on.
    • We must count the cost.  The kingdom of God is inclusive to all kinds of people, but not to all people.  Sometimes we must give up everything to be in Jesus’ ministry.  Jesus must come first!  This is the only condition of discipleship.  Any other way will not work.  If you are serious about following Jesus, then you go where He hangs out, the church.
    • There is an alternative.  We will bow before something.  We cannot want anything more than we want God.  We must want God more than anything.
    06/28/2015 Preached Word - Stay Focused
  • 06/28/2015 Preached Word - Stay Focused
    (Rev. Vernon L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Philippians 4:6-8
     
    We live in a negative world.  John 16:3 says this world is just negative.  We as Christians are affected by many problems.  Trouble knocks on everybody’s door.  We all need friends, but we must stay away for negative (and cheap) friends.  We are not to be negative people, but rejoicing people.  We are to stay positive and focused by:
    • Responding to God’s love.  In spite of what you have done, God still loves you.  He has a track record of blessing even though.
    • Reprogramming our thinking.  Even though we are constantly bombarded by negative news, we must stay focused on the gospel. There are psychological dangers of constant negative input.  We must develop a devotional life, read something that pertains to the word of God every day.  Start everyday being thankful.
    • Recognizing the best in others.  All people are imperfect, but we serve a perfect God.  There are no perfect people and no perfect churches.  However, our perfect God shows up every Sunday in am imperfect church.
    06/21/2015 Father's Day Word - The Greatest Gift A Father Can Give
  • 06/21/2015 Father's Day Word - The Greatest Gift A Father Can Give
    (Rev. Vernon L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Luke 11:11-13

    How do you imagine God to be when you pray?  Is He far or is He near?  Is He powerful or passive?  Is He disgusted with you or in love with you?  Is He a mean ole man or a kindly grandpa type?  Is He listening when you pray?  Does He care for you, can He help you?  What a person believes about God is the most important thing contained in your mind.  What you believe about God affects everything about you, including the way you pray. A dysfunctional picture of God results in a dysfunctional way of praying.  As we see in the text today, no matter what you have done in the past, it does not dictate your future.  It is up to every human to accept the free gift of forgiveness to experience an intimate relationship with Christ.  The prodigal son experienced that type of intimacy with his father.  This Father’s Day let us focus on God as dad. 
     
    06/14/2015 Preached Word - The Devil Don't Like You Because You Are Blessed Like That!
  • 06/14/2015 - Preached Word - The Devil Don't Like You Because You Are Blessed Like That!
    (Rev. Jay Mayes)  -
    Annual Youth Sunday

    Job 42:9-12
    06/07/2015 Preached Word - Danger at the Supper Table
  • 06/07/2015 Preached Word - Danger at the Supper Table
    (Rev. Vernon L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    I Corinthians 11:17-30
     
    Paul had a serious problem with the Corinthians.  He had a problem with how they took the Lords Super.  The table serves as a filling station, not a show piece.  You should be able to go to the table and get satisfied.  The Corinthians had a pagan supper.  They had all kinds of division in the church.  Paul says before you partake of communion, examine yourself.  Don’t worry about other.  Worry about yourself.  Is your heart right with God?  God will not honor us until we have a right relationship with him and with others.  There is salvation in the blood, there is healing in the blood, there is love in the blood, there is joy in the blood.  Paul tells us that the danger at the table is if you eat and drink unworthily, you eat and drink damnation to yourself. Paul tells us that is the reason why many are weak, and sick, and many have died.  The table is open to us all once we have
    05/31/2015 Preached Word - Recover From Failure
  • 05/31/2015 Preached Word -  Recover From Failure
    (Preached by Rev. Lisa Little)


    Exodus 2:11-23 and 3:7 & 10
     
    None of us are perfect, we all suffer from failure.  We may not dot every “I” and cross every “t”, but failure is not the end of the road.  There is life after failure.  Moses experienced failure just as we do today.  He had to learn to recover from failure.  Our life is made of many chapters and there is a chapter called success.  Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith.  It pays to do things God’s way.  God is a God of second chances.  He will take your failures and prepare you for the next season.  He has a plan for you.  In order to recover from failure, we must:
    • Believe that there is hope
    • Know that God sometimes allows us to fail so He can teach us a valuable lesson that we could have never learned other wise
    • We must learn to let go and let God
    05/24/2015 Preached Word - The Sound of Pentecost
  • 05/24/2015 Preached Word - The Sound of Pentecost
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Acts 2:1-17
     
    We are heirs of Pentecost.  The waiting church was linked tight to its reigning Lord.  They were given the promise to wait for the Holy Spirit.  It took 50 days for the promise to be delivered.  On the day of Pentecost the first effect on the disciples was to prompt them to speak.  If God has saved you, you ought to tell somebody.  The Holy Spirit will prompt us to speak.  The disciples spoke in other languages.  Sometimes we can’t evangelize because we don’t know what to talk about.  All we need to do is tell about the wonderful works of God, His life, His death, burial, and resurrection.   The tongues were scrambled at the Tower of Babel and unified on the day of Pentecost.  Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost was the message.  Verse 12 lets us know that the disciples were amazed at what took place.  They were amazed at the sound of Pentecost, just like the sound of a mighty rushing wind.  Once we receive the Holy Spirit, we have power.  
    05/17/2015 Preached Word - Be On the Lookout
  • 05/17/2015 Preached Word - Be On the Lookout
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    1 Peter 5:8-11
     
    Peter was writing to encourage groups of believers who are going through persecution, both to the Jews and to the Gentiles.  Here Peter was finishing his first letter addressed to all believers.  He was giving words of encouragement.  He says be of sober spirit, be on the alert.  Satan prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  But know that you are not in this alone, others are going through also.  Peter says God will confirm, strengthen, and establish you when you are going through so don’t give up too soon.  Be on the alert and watch out.  The message is not just to expect the expected.  There is a spiritual aspect.  We have spiritual enemies and that is what we need to watch for.  The world, the flesh, and the devil all have each one of us in their target every day.  They rejoice greatly when we stumble and face problems.  We must be careful who we let into our space.  We must learn to depend on Jesus and trust in him.  We must be on the lookout and keep our eyes open.  We must stay faithful to God and hold on.  We need God, we can’t make it without God.   
    05/10/2015 Preached Word - The Sweetest Memory of What Used to Be and the Hope of the Future
  • 05/10/2015 Preached Word - The Sweetest Memory of What Used to Be and the Hope of the Future
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Ecclesiastes 12:1

    One of the sweetest memories that one can have is the memory of a mother.  Everyone has a mother, even if you don’t know her.  Even in these modern times, there are still some mothers who are living for Christ.  Mothers must train the children while they are young because the memories will last forever.  Children are watching us, so we must be real.  Honor your mother, never be ashamed of your mother, love your mother, and invest in your mother while you can.  When Jesus hung on the cross, he made sure that his mother would be taken care of by John.
    05/03/2015 Preached Word - Let's Go Fishing
  • 05/03/2015 Preached Word - Let's Go Fishing
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Matthew 13:47-48

    There are seven or eight parables in this chapter.  The kingdom of heaven represents the visible church.  The visible church is made up of imperfect people, but we serve a perfect God.  Jesus represents the fisherman and the net is the word of God.  When the word goes out, every type of person is available to hear it.  Every kind of person is in the gospel net.  The net must be tied together with strong ties, and one person cannot handle the net, it must be a community of believers.  The Lord is fishing today and he says you must be born again.  All kinds of fish and trash is pulled in when the net is retrieved.  All kinds of people are pulled into the church, but God is looking for those who will believe in His word and act upon it.  Choose ye this day whom you will serve, if you love the Lord somebody else ought to know it.
    04/26/2015 Preached Word - You can kill the dreamer, but you can't kill the dream
  • 04/26/2015 Preached Word - You can kill the dreamer, but you can’t kill the dream
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Genesis 37:18-20
     
    In this story we see a composite picture of the plight of humanity.  Jacob was disabled and he was restored by the spiritual weapon of prayer.  Once we resort to prayer, we can make it.  Joseph was one of the younger sons of Jacob.  He had the calmness and faith of Abraham.  Joseph was taught to fear God and stay out of other people’s mess.  He did not go along with the crowd.  His brothers’ hatred for him was strong because Jacob showed favoritism to Joseph.   He gave Joseph a coat of many colors.  Joseph was thrown into a pit, into prison, landed in a strange land, but he was still a master dreamer and his dreams were unchanged.  Don’t let anyone take away your dreams. Martin Luther King was killed, but his dream of equality lives on.    When God plants a dream in your heart, pursue it with all your might.  
    04/19/2015 Preached Word - That's Love
  • 04/19/2015 Preached Word - That's Love
    Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor


    John 15:9-14
     
    In this passage, Jesus tells us to continue in his love.  However, we are one-sided lovers.  God’s love is different from our love.  God’s love is unconditional, he loves us in spite of.  We love each other because of.  We must learn to love each other in spite of.  Love is a gracious habit wrought in the soul by God.  We are to do good to all men, especially to them who are of the household of faith.  Here Jesus is talking to his disciples concerning love.  The problems we have in society today all stem from a lack of love.  When we hear the word love, we immediately thing about sex.  Today the word love has lost its meaning.  God loved the world so much that he gave his only son for our redemption.  When you are going thru, take comfort in knowing that God loves you.  Jesus loved us so much that he left his place in heaven to come to earth and give up his life for us.  Greater love hath no man….that’s love.
    4/12/2015 Preached Word - How to turn your test into a testimony
  • 4/12/2015 Preached Word - How to turn your test into a testimo
    (2015 Women’s Day  Rev. Lisa Little)


    1 Samuel 1:1-11, 20

    God did not shut up Hannah’s womb to upset her, it was just a test.  It was a test of faith.  We don’t always have to believe our circumstances, even if they take place year after year.  Hannah went to the temple year after year as a barren woman.  The good news about Hannah was the end of her story.  She ended up having plenty of children, including Samuel, her first son.  In order to turn our tests into testimonies we must:
    1. Be person of PRAYER = If Hannah had not prayed to God bout her situation, she may have remained barren.When you are being tested is not the time to stop communicating with the Lord.
    2. Be willing to make sincere PROMISES to the Lord = Hannah said Lord if you give me a son, promise to dedicate him to you.God has promised us that if we ask anything in his name, he will do it.
    3. Be a person of PERSISTENCE = Hannah went for years without children and she never gave up.We must be persistent, stay in the game or get back in the game.
    Jesus followed this model also while he walked on the earth.  He was a person of prayer, promise and persistence.
     
    04/5/2015 Preached Word - He Is Not There
  • 04/5/2015 Preached Word - He Is Not There
    (Resurrection Sunday - Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)

     
    John 20:1-2
     
    It usually took a person 2 – 3 days to die via crucifixion.  Crucifixion does not destroy any vital organs, so the criminal just hangs until he finally dies of exhaustion.  Jesus did not die of exhaustion, He laid down his life and gave up the spirit.  Pilot marveled that Jesus died so quickly.  He died before they could break his legs, so they pierced him in his side.  Crucifixions were common in Rome.  When the women went back to the tomb looking for Jesus, he was not there.  Some of us are looking for Jesus in the wrong places.  Some are looking for him in long Chinese hair, in an alcohol bottle, in tobacco, in cheap thrills.  He’s not there!  Instead we must begin to search the word of God and there we will find him.  The angel informed the women that Jesus was no longer dead, but had indeed risen, just as he said he would.

     
    03/29/2015 Preached Word - Ain't it Funny How Things Turn Around?
  • 03/29/2015 Preached Word - Ain’t it Funny How Things Turn Around?
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    John 12:12-13

    Many people show up on Easter Sunday, but don’t know the walk of Jesus during Holy Week.  On Palm Sunday Jesus enters the city of Jerusalem and a great number of people took palm branches and went out to meet him crying Hosanna.  The crowd was in Jerusalem for the Passover.  There were over 2 million people present.  They welcomed Christ into the city.  They also came to get a glimpse of Lazarus whom Jesus had just raised from the dead.  Jesus deliberately sits himself on a donkey, this was a fulfillment of the messianic prophecy.  When the people spread their clothes out for Jesus, they were acknowledging their belief in Jesus as their King.  A few days after the triumphant entry, the same crowd was shouting crucify him.  Ain’t it funny how things turn around?  That donkey was chosen to fulfill God’s plan and all of us have been chosen to fulfill God’s plan.  This is not the end of the story, stay tuned for the Holy Week walk and the glory on Resurrection Sunday!

     
    03/22/2015 Preached Word- Beware
  • 03/22/2015 Preached Word - Beware
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Matthew 7:24-25

     In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is talking about the meaning of Christian discipleship.  The sermon ends with warnings concerning Christian discipleship.  The final climatic illustration is the parable of the wise and foolish builder.  We must take inventory to see if our relationship with God is in a flood zone.  The foolish builds his house/life on the sand (in the flood zone) and the wise builds on a rock (Christ Jesus).  Both houses are subject to wind and storms.  We will all have disappointments in our lives, but how we deal with them makes the difference.  Beware of missing life by doing nothing constructive about it.  You can postpone making up your mind, but you cannot postpone making up your life.  If your house is built on a rock (Christ Jesus), you will do the right thing.  Beware of false prophets.  On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. 
     
    03/15/2015 Preached Word -Must Jesus Bear The Cross Alone?
  • 03/15/2015 Preached Word -Must Jesus Bear The Cross Alone?
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)

     
    Everyone has to carry their own cross.  During the Lent Season, we have been given 40 days to get closer to the cross of Jesus.  Christ dies upon the cross to save us from our sins.  Here we find Jess exhausted by the beating he has endured.  The roman soldiers saw Simon of Cyrene and they ordered him to pick up the cross to carry it for Jesus.  Simon was a spectator, not looking for trouble.  As Simon took up the cross, he knew that when he got to the top of the hill, he could put it down.  Simon did not say a word, he just picked up the cross and carried it.  The cross was an ugly site, but the church took it and turned it around and made it a religious symbol.  Satan meant it for evil, but God turned it around and meant it for good!  The 3 demands in the verse are:
    • Deny yourself
    • Take up your cross
    • Follow me
    Everybody has something going on.  If you are walking with Christ, you are carrying a cross.  When the soldiers saw Simon, they knew he could handle the cross.  God won’t put any more on us than we can bear. 
    03/08/2015 Preached Word - Follow Jesus
  • 03/08/2015 Preached Word - Follow Jesus
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Luke 10:25-377
     
    The lawyer in this story had a hard time knowing who his neighbor was.  The Jews typically interpreted neighbor as one who was near or who was a Jew.  They tended to reject those who were not as religious as they were.  In the parable of the Good Samaritan, the Priest saw the man who was robbed and passed by, the Levite saw the man, checked him out, then passed by also, the Samaritan saw him and took him to the inn. The Samaritan was a good neighbor.  Jesus is teaching that our neighbor is anyone who is in need.  No matter who you are, God has a story on your life.  In verse 37, we are then told to go and do likewise.  If we want to follow Jesus, we have to do the things that Jesus did.  There are so many people today who can make a difference.  The church needs to hear from you but instead of giving to the church, you cross over to the other side.  We are all God’s children, even if we don’t look alike.  Jesus tells us to love our neighbor as we love our selves.  Days later Jesus was left on an old rugged cross, but he stayed there for us.  He gave his life for us.  The key is we must serve others, just as Jesus did.

     
    03/01/2015 Preached Word - Attitude Adjustment - Part II
  • 03/01/2015 Preached Word - Attitude Adjustment – Part II
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Job 13:15
     
    Our attitude is very important.  Everyone is struggling with something.  Christians are struggling trying to live holy in an unholy world.  Every now and then we must take inventory of ourselves to see where we stand with the Lord. 

    We cannot afford to live without faith.  Hebrew 11 tells us it is impossible to please God without faith.  Look at Job in our lesson today.  God knew that Job could withstand more than the average man because Job had faith in God.

    Let us look at three things here:

    1 – Aptitude – faith is already a part of us.  We have to tap into it in a supernatural way to accomplish what God has for us.  The only thing that God did not give us in the creation was salvation, as there was no need for it then.  Faith is in your DNA, but if you don’t use it, you lose it.    
    2 – Attitude – God is big on attitude.  Your attitude says more about you than you realize.  It’s written all over your face, its in your countenance.  Its; a mental position with regards towards a fact or a state.  Job had a faithful attitude toward God, no matter what.  We must learn how to worship God no matter what the situation. 
    3 – Altitude – you can soar like an eagles or you can scrounge around like a turkey.  They are both strong birds, a turkey can fly a little ways, but an eagle can soar seemingly forever.  Some people have turkey mentalities, scratching around on the ground.  God has called us to be eagles, to fly above our trial and tribulations. 

     
     
    02/22/2015 Preached Word - Pending
  • 02/22/2015 Preached Word - Attitude Adjustment
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Mathew 3:1-11
     
    Your attitude will determine your altitude.  The word “repentance” occurs 56 time in the New Testament, 22 times as a noun and 34 times as a verb.  A verb is an action word and means you have to do something.  The church needs to teach and preach repentance more.  You cannot be friends with the world and walk with God.  The call to repentance is not a threat, but an invitation to Christ, an invitation to change.  John says repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  John baptized with water, but Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit. 

    When the Lord baptizes, He changes our attitude!
    02/15/2015 Preached Word - Be Still And Know
  • 02/15/2015 Preached Word  - Be Still And Know
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


     Psalms 46
     
    This lesson today is talking about going through an earthquake like situation.  Today we are living in shaky times.  The earth is not as solid as it once was.  We don’t know from day to day what is going to happen.  Psalm 46 gives us assurance during turbulent times in our lives.  This psalm gives us the assurance of:
    • God’s presence – this psalm offers God’s presence.  No matter what you are dealing with, God’s presence is there for you. 
    • God’s peace – the secret of peace is a personal relationship with God.  We hide in God when the storms come, we don’t hide from God.  We must put our faith in God.
    • God’s promises – they are true, don’t give up.  God has promised not to leave us nor forsake us.  God will make weapons worthless.  God will destroy the destroyers.
    Be still and know that He is God.
     
    02/08/2015 Preached Word - Give It Back Please
  • 02/08/2015 Preached Word - Give It Back Please
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Psalms 51:1-6; 12-13
     
    So many Christians have lost their joy.  However, joy can be restored, you don’t have to stay in the shape that you’re in, the Potter wants to put you back together again.  David asked to restore the joy of his salvation.  Restore means it is something that he once had and needed to recover, to bring back to its former condition.  David’s request is to return the joy of his salvation.  
    • The repentant response – you won’t restore your joy unless you repent.  David had to confess his sins and acknowledge that he was wrong. Only then will God help us.
    • The request for restoration – this request was earnest.  David meant business and his plea was expectant.  David believed God was going to do it.  His request was expressive, David knew his joy was gone.  He did not deny his condition.  No one has to tell us when we are wrong.
    • The results of restoration – saints restore their joy and sinners are saved.
    Have you experienced the joy of your salvation lately, or have you lost the joy? If you have lost the joy, you can ask for restoration.
     
     
     
    02/01/2015 Preached Word - You Can Do It
  • 02/01/2015 Preached Word - You Can Do It
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Galatians 2:22

    Most sermons heard by people encourage us that we can do it.  Just like the NIKE commercials where we purchase the sports equipment and then allow that equipment to collect dust, the sermons that we hear are stored in our memory banks collecting dust.  When we hear the message of Christ, we should want to be like Him.  This verse teaches us that every believer can walk like Jesus Christ walked. 
    • You can do it by realizing your position in Christ – When Jesus died, we died with Him.The believer never needs to fear death, we have already conquered death.Death has no power over Christians.
    • You can do it by relying on the power of Christ – Christ died in humility and He arose in power and glory.He arose from the grave different from the way He was buried.Anyone who come to Jesus by faith has a life that is altered forever.
    • You can do it by resting in the provision of Christ – there is a supply of faith. We don’t have to supply our own faith for the journey, faith is a gift of God, dispensed to us in proportion to that which we are facing.As we hear the word, our faith grows stronger.Some Christians don’t want to achieve Super Bowl greatness, God wants better for you.The question is do you want better for yourself?  You can do it.
    01/25/2015 Preached Word - Every Praise Is To Our God
  • 01/25/2015 Preached Word - Every Praise Is To Our God
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Psalms 34:1-4
    Isaiah 43:21
     
    “Every Praise Is To Our God”
     
    The bible expresses that God has created us to praise the Lord.  God desires that we would recognize his works and give him the credit for what he is doing in our lives.  God will not continue to bless us if we do not thank him.  What is praise?  Praise is a divinely ordained, unconditional activity.  It is an expression of approval or commendation, getting hilariously excited.  God inhabits the praise of the saints.  Expressing praise includes clapping hands, lifting up hands, singing joyful songs, shouting for joy.  Praise is thanksgiving to God for blessings received and the reporting of those blessing to others.  If you’ve been blessed, you must tell somebody.  Praise is an expression of our faith.  Every praise is to our God.

      
     
    01/18/2015 Preached Word - Are You Committed?
  • 01/18/2015 Preached Word - Are You Committed?
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr. Pastor)


    Psalm 37:1-9
     
    Have you noticed the way this world is going?  Everybody is dealing with something, but we must commit our ways unto the Lord.  Commitment is still applicable today.  It is an action word.  We are all committed to something.  The object of commitment may have changed, but commitment has not.   Some people are committed to being under no commitment.  Do others see a commitment to God in you?  
    • Be committed to God – don’t worry about evildoers
    • Be committed to the family – children must see commitment in their parents.God’s plan for the family will work if we work it
    • Be committed to your church – commitment to attendance.When you get too busy to go to church, you are too busy!Be committed to going and giving to the church
    In verse 5 of this lesson, we are told to commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.  We must have staying power.  Your first commitment is your priority.  What is your priority, are you committed?
     
    01/11/2015 Preached Word - It's Your Season To Be Blessed
  •  01/11/2015 Preached Word - It's Your Season To Be Blessed
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)

     
    Genesis 26:1-6
     
    The blessings of the Lord are still mighty, strong, and alive today.  If you want to receive God’s blessings, you must be in position.  In order to be in position you must:
    • Go where God tells you to go
    • Believe that the time is now
    • Give God the latitude to use whatever means He chooses to use
    • Do what God says do
    • Praise God as though you were experiencing the blessing right now
       
    In this scripture, there was a famine in the land.  Isaac received instructions from God to go.  He had no evidence that things would work out, but he had confidence in God.   A famine is nothing but trouble, difficulty, trials.  We all have experienced, or will experience a famine in our lives.  We cannot control what comes our way in life, but we can control how we react to trouble.  Growth is the product of active resistance.  We do not determine growth by what we avoid, but by what we overcome.  There are no blessings outside of God. 
    It’s your season to be blessed!

     
    01/04/2015 Preached Word - It Ain't Over Until God Says It's Over
  • 01/04/2015 Preached Word - It Ain't Over Until God Says It's Over 
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)

     
    I Kings 19:1-5

    You can’t start in Jesus, give up, and expect to be blessed.  Through all your trials, you still have to hang in there.  We find too many reasons to give up on God.  You can’t give up on God, because He does not give up on you.  Look at Elijah, he was in bad shape.  Elijah was a prophet, a preacher and he knew better.  He became afraid of Jezebel and gave up.  Elijah asked God to take his life.  Even in your darkest hour, God is still with you as he was with Elijah.  When you fell like giving up:
    • STOP – and see the salvation of the Lord.Stop and analyze your situation.God will then give you rest to continue on in your journey.Sometimes we are too busy to see the handiwork of God.
    • SLEEP – we need to sleep more.God will minister to you when you are in a deep sleep.We must get rest, as Elijah had to sleep under the juniper tree.While Elijah was asleep, he was touched by an angel.
    • SERVE – the Lord with gladness.Whatever happens in 2015, we must serve the Lord.After Elijah was fed by God, he was instructed to serve.
    Nothing you do will go unnoticed in 2015.  God knows what you are doing right now.  Don’t give up on God and it ain’t over until God says it’s over. 
     
     
2014 Sermons
    12/28/2014 Preached Word - The Blessings of Family Worship
  • 12/28/2014 Preached Word - The Blessings of Family Worship
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Luke 2:21-36

    There is something special about going into the house of the Lord as a family.  Not everyone has that privilege.  Jesus was raised in a Godly home.  His family took advantage of every opportunity they had to worship.  When Jesus was 8 days old, something amazing happened in the temple.  In 2015, you are challenged to bring your family to church, something amazing will happen.
    • Piety – genuine faith is evidenced by obedience.Piety shows a reference for God, a fulfillment of religious obligation.Mary and Joseph went to the temple with the baby and they obeyed by naming the child Jesus.
    • Poor – Mary and Joseph were poor.All they had was Jesus and they offered Jesus to God.This was before the wise men came with gifts.Absence of money is no hindrance to serving God.You can have nothing, and still be faithful.Availability is far more important than ability. God wants to know that you are ready to do what He asks of you.Never allow what you lack to keep you out of church.
    • Prophecy – Simeon had great expectations, he was waiting on the Messiah.The Holy Spirit promised him that he would not die until he saw the Messiah.Simeon stood firm on that promise.When Simeon held Jesus, he was excited.When we come to church, we should be excited.We ought to expect something.There is something exciting about being with the Lord.
     
     
     
    12/21/2014 Preached Word - Go Tell It
  • 12/21/2014 Preached Word - Go Tell It
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor) 

     
    Luke 2:1-21
     
    More than a billion people will celebrate Christmas this year.  Every year we tell the same story, but get different results.  Sometimes we begin to know the story so well that we miss the wonder of Christmas.  In the words of Mark Twain, “familiarity breeds contempt.” 

    When we were first saved, we were amazed by God, but now we are not so amazed.  We cannot take God for granted.  He does not have to provide anything for us, but He keeps on blessing us over and over again. 
    To some, this is just another bible story, however, the birth of Christ resulted in three things:
    • PRAISE – praise broke out because He was born.The absence of praise ought to be an alarm to you that something is wrong.We all praise in whatever we delight in.We have no real desire to praise what we do not enjoy.Every morning when you get up out of your bed, you ought to praise God for another day.We praise what we have a passion for.
    • GREAT NEWS – The gospel is good news.We should have good news every time we open our mouth.When was the last time we shared good news?We have all be commissioned to tell the good news.If it doesn’t save, glorify, or point to eternity with Christ, then it is not good news.
    • GLORY – we should have glory.Christ’s birth was the glorious fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy.The baby’s life is a testament to the glory of God.Somebody has forgotten about the significance of the birth of Jesus.
    We must tell this story every month of the year, not just during the month of December.  Go tell it!
     
    12/14/2014 Preached Word - Go Back Another Way
  • 12/14/14 Preached Word - Go Back Another Way
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Matthew 2:1-12

     
    We don’t know how many wise men there were, they showed up in the scripture and then they departed.  A wise man’s journey is one of faith.  What would prompt someone to leave the comfort of his home to go on a dangerous journey?  Maybe romance, maybe seeking wealth, but faith causes many to step out into the unknown.  Listen to the wise men, there was no doubt in their language that Jesus has been born, the question was, where is He?  They knew He existed, all they had to do was find Him.  To be a man/woman of faith you must listen and hear the word of God. 
    • A wise man’s journey always involved faith – the wise men left their homes not knowing where they were going, nor how long they would be gone.They left because of their faith.It is impossible to please God without faith.Our society has lost faith in God.
    • A wise man’s journey is one of worship – the wise men went to worship Jesus.They took with them gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.Worship always involves sacrifice.The greatest gift we can offer Jesus is our self.
    • The wise mans’ journey is one of change – after they worshipped Jesus, they could not go back the same way.Even today, once you have met God, you will not be the same.An encounter with God changes us.
       
     
     
    12/07/2014 Preached Word - The Signs of Hope
  •  12/07/2014 Preached Word - The Signs of Hope
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Isaiah 7:10-16 and Matthew 1:18-25

    God gives us signs all the time.  When God shows you a sign, it will come to pass.  Where do you look when you need a sign while traveling through life?  Hope is a theological virtue.  Have you found reasons to be hopeful lately? 
    • Babies in the church are a sign of hope
    • The baby in Isaiah was a sign of hope
    • The baby in Matthew was a sign of hope
    Sometimes hope comes wrapped in a blanket lying in a crib.  Isaiah and Matthew both talked about Jesus.  The Christmas story is not about the baby, but about the God in the baby!

    We must get out of bed each day with an openness for surprise.  Surprise is the signature of grace.  We don’t know what God is up to. We must believe that something better is coming.

     
    11/30/2014 Preached Word - Are You A Worshipper?
  • 11/30/2014 Preached Word - Are You A Worshipper?
    (Preached by Rev. Lisa M. Little)


    Matthew 2:1-12, 16
     
    Jesus knows how to show up and exceed our expectations.  Sometimes people are not happy when Jesus shows up.  Some think they can do a better job of running their lives than Jesus can.   Herod was troubled when Jesus showed up.  The Wise Men, the minority, were among the few who received Jesus and had a mind made up to worship Him.
    Three points from today’s lesson:
    1. We must know how to deal with non-worshippers – Herod was a non-worshipper in this text.He was a pretender, trying to persuade the Wise Men to bring him information back on the location of the baby Jesus.Some people today come to church with no intention of worshipping.
    2. Those who are truly worshippers are those who are willing to use their resources to honor Jesus.One aspect of worship involves being a giver.We can give to others not just financially, but we can give our time to others.
    3. A true worshipper will allow God to be in charge of our activities all the time, not just on Sunday.Some of us struggle with this.We must determine to share the good news of Jesus on a daily basis.
       
    11/23/2014 Preached Word - The Proof Is In The Blessing
  • 11/23/2014 Preached Word - The Proof Is In The Blessing
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    John 6:25-35

    When we receive things on a regular basis, we come to expect them.  Our society has become complacent with the entitlement mentality.  The crowd in our text today questions Jesus as to how He will prove Himself to them again.  They were looking for Jesus so He could feed them physical food again.  However, He continued to teach them, rather than meeting their perceived need.  During this holiday season, everybody does not need a basket of food.  Some need spiritual food, the true bread of heaven.
    Anything that does not edify God is junk!  Too many church folk today are on a junk food diet.  We must learn to leave the junk food alone and eat the spiritual food.
    • Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you want, because what would there be to look forward to
    • Be thankful for the difficult times, if you didn’t have problems how would you know that God could solve them
    • Be thankful for your mistakes, they teach you valuable lessons
     
     
     
    11/16/2014 Preached Word - Do You Know What You’re Getting Into When You Say That You’re Saved?
  • 11/16/2014 Preached Word - Do You Know What You’re Getting Into When You Say That You’re Saved?
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Luke 14:25-33

    At this point in Jesus’ ministry large crowds were following Him even though some of them really didn’t know what it took to follow Jesus. 
    Why do people show up at church? 
    • Natural inquisitiveness ( nosey)
    • Self-seeking (what can Jesus do for me?)
    • Seeking the charismatic movement (caught up in exaggerated emotions)
    • Jesus seekers (what can I do for Jesus and others)
    How different it is to be in Christ.  We must love Jesus more than we love our family, more than we love ourselves. 
    1. Following Jesus means taking a stand for Christ, neutrality is not an option.
    2. We must learn how to count up the cost.It costs something to follow Jesus.
    3. We have an alternative, we will bow before something.When you want something more than God, it’s a problem.
    11/02/2014 Preached Word - Don’t Let A Little Mistake Cost You A Lot
  • 11/02/2014 Preached Word - Don’t Let A Little Mistake Cost You A Lot
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Deuteronomy 3:23-29

    This scripture is talking about Moses.  Moses grew up in the household of Pharaoh.  After he killed, he had to run for his life.  Moses ends up on the backside of the mountain where he then had to learn how to trust in God.   Here we find that Moses has come to the end of his rope with the people.  After all God had done for them, they continued to murmur and complain.  Moses then made a terrible mistake.  He was supposed to speak to the rock and there would be enough water to feed the congregation of people and their beasts, but he smote the rock twice instead of speaking to it.   
    There are 2 reasons God was upset with Moses:
    • Moses allowed his personal feelings to surface at the rock of Meribah.He let his frustration get the best of him.In doing so, he showed a lack of faith.
    • Moses failed to understand the significance of the water from the rock.It wasn’t just any rock.Jesus was represented in that rock.The river of water was representative of the life giving water.If you speak to the rock and receive the water, you’ll be showered with blessings so abundant that you won’t have room enough to receive them.
    After leading the people for forty years in the wilderness, Moses was denied access into the Promised Land.  He had to teach Joshua how to be the leader. 
    What will disobedience cost your?  What work remains on the table?  Will the things that God called you to do ever be accomplished?

     
    1026/2014 Preached Word - What to do when you are waiting on God
  • 10/26/2014 Preached Word - What to do when you are waiting on God
    (Preached by Rev. Lisa Little)


    Genesis 40:1-15

    For years Joseph's life was in a state of crisis, there was nothing he could do to change it.  All he could do was wait on the Lord.  He had been waiting for years for the Lord to handle many situations.  He was a captive every since his brothers sold him into slavery at the age of 17.   Dreams are on a schedule that we can't control.  The schedule is determined by God.  Joseph's dream did not seem to be coming true.  Sometimes we just have to wait on the Lord while he is getting us ready.

     While we are waiting on the Lord, we must wait well by:
    1.  Helping somebody - while God is preparing us
    2.  Using our gifts and talents - they are seeds for us, we can sometimes gift our way out of situations
    3.  Not allowing our circumstances to rob us of our hope - we are a work in process

    Gods timing is always right.
    10/19/2014 Preached Word - Obey Your Thirst
  • 10/19/2014 Preached Word - Obey Your Thirst
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    John 4:13-15

    This is a scripture that we are all very familiar with, Jesus’ dialog with the woman at the well.  Today we will deal with thirst.  People will go through anything to quench their thirst.  We are all thirsty for something; some want love, others want happiness, significance, etc.  In the secular world, the more you get, the more you want.  In John 4, Jesus was telling the Samaritan woman that there is a kind of “water” that once you get it, you will never thirst again.
    The only way we can satisfy our thirst is to communicate with the thirst quencher.  Jesus is the thirst quencher.  We are told by Jesus in John 7:37,”if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.”  To accept Jesus and consult Him with our issues means a never-ending supply of living water. 
    • Some Christians are sippy cup Christians – infants who can’t handle too much at one time
    • Some Christians are drain drinkers – those who satisfy their thirst by doing whatever feels right at the time, sucking up what little dirty water you can get to quench your thirst only for a little while
    Some Christians are faucet drinkers – God will turn His faucet of blessings on you when you are faithful, drinking from the faucet will cause your blessings to overflow
    10/12/2014 Preached Word - I'll Do What The Lord Says Do
  • 10/12/2014 - Preached Word - I'll Do What The Lord Says Do
    Lay Sunday (Bro. Cliff Hudson, Speaker)


    Matthew 28:18-20

    Jesus gave us all the great commission, not just the ordained, and He gave us a general plan on how to do it. 
    • If you want to fulfill your commission, you need to be consistent in your commission.Don’t let anyone else label you a loser, write your own dictionary.If you don’t know who you are, then others will tell you who you are.
    • If you want to fulfill your commission, you must be consistent in your integrity. Don’t compromise your morals and values.Integrity makes you do the right thing because it is right.
    • If we are true to the commission and we do what the Lord says do, Jesus promised He would be with us even unto the end of the world!
    10/05/2014 Preached Word - Come Out With Your Hands Up
  • 10/05/2014 Preached Word - Come Out With Your Hands Up
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Mark 3:1-6
     
    Jesus entered into the synagogue on the Sabbath and there was a man with a withered hand.  Here we see the compassion of Jesus at work here.   When he sees the man, he says “stand forth.”  He calls the man to come out with his hands up.  The man was handicapped because of his affliction.  This caused him to be dependent upon others.  The man was reluctant to show Jesus his withered hand, he was ashamed of his handicap.  Sometimes we find ourselves ashamed of the sins (handicaps) in our lives, but Jesus is calling up today to come out with our hands up.  Jesus wants to heal us today.  Although embarrassed by his handicap, the man knew what he needed was in the synagogue.   Sometimes our afflictions bring us closer to God.  Blessed is the affliction that brings us to God.  Jesus wants to help us but we must come out with our hands up.

    09/28/2014 Preached Word - Hold On, Good Soldier
  • 09/28/2014 Preached Word - Hold On, Good Soldier
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    II Timothy 2:3-4
     
    There is a war going on, and you have been enlisted to serve on the front line.  You had nothing to do with being in this position.  You were chosen to be here before the foundation of the world was laid.  While you are on the front line, count it all joy when you fall.  Consider this message your basic training:  Have patience, certain expectations are required of you.  You are expected to act like you’re in the army, you are no longer a civilian.   In other words, act like you are saved!

    The soldier’s aim is to lease the enlisting officer.  Hold on and understand that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and evil spirits.  There are some enemies you can’t see and you’ve got to trust God to fight them for you.  It pleases Him when we trust Him to do that for us.  He has ordered that no weapon formed against you shall prosper.  Our commander in chief outranks anything we will ever encounter.

    When you don’t know what to do, read your manual.  God has given us soldiers a manual.  It is our Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth, our BIBLE.  If the enemy has had you pinned in your position and seemingly defeated, remember this:  the weapons of our warfare are not common, they are mighty though God.  Hold on, good soldier.

    09/14/2014 Preached Word - How Long Will It Take For You To Believe?
  • 09/14/2014 Preached Word - How Long Will It Take For You To Believe?
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Matthew 17:14-21
     
    There was a problem in this text with the disciples and unbelief.  Jesus was initially on the mount of transfiguration, but He came down to continue preaching to the multitudes.  This story deals with man’s impotence through faithlessness and the faithfulness of God.  The disciples tried to bring healing to the sick boy, but they could not.  We are prone to blame our problems on God.  The father complained to Jesus because the disciples could not cure his son.  Jesus told the disciples it was because of their unbelief that they could not heal the boy.

    • To be able to deal with your unbelief, you must have faith (only the size of a mustard seed)
    • Faith become adequate only when you use it (you may own a vehicle, but it is no good to you until you use it)
    • Faith is strengthened by sacrificial devotion (prayer and fasting)
      There is nothing too hard for God, how long will it take for you to believe?
    09/21/2014 Preached Word - There Is Worship At The Feet Of Jesus
  • 09/21/2014 Preached Word - There Is Worship At The Feet Of Jesus
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    John 12:1-8
     
    Sometimes we think that worship only involves the church, but true worship is in the heart of the saints.  If you think you can live any way during the week and “turn on” worship on Sundays, you are wrong.  How we worship individually will spill over to corporate worship in church. 

    Worship is often identified with emotion, a place, or a feeling.  Jesus, however, set the standard for worship in His word.  In our text today Mary offers a beautiful picture of worship.  She anoints Jesus’ feet with expensive oil and dries it with her hair.  The blessings of Jesus are at the feet of Jesus.  Those who were at the cross were there eyeball to Jesus’ feet, they were not equal to Jesus. The blessings of Jesus are at the feet of Jesus.

    • The place of our worship – You can be gathered with other saints, as Mary was in the house of Lazarus, and still miss out on worship.  Mary was not in the temple, she was in the presence of God.  Worship is not limited to a certain location.
    • The purpose of our worship – only two reasons ~ because of who He is and because of what He has done.  Has He done anything for you?
    • The price of our worship – Mary had 12 oz box of ointment, she broke open the box and used it all to anoint the feet of Jesus.  She gave all she had to Jesus.  Worship is a life that is open and poured out to Jesus.
    09/07/2014 Preached Word - Is it good or is it bad?
  • 09/07/2014 Preached Word - Is it good or is it bad?
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Philippians 1:13-14
     
    Have you ever had anything good happen to you and then years later as you look back on that event, you realized that what seemed so good at the time had bad results, or ever had anything that appeared to be bad turn out to be really good?  In this lesson today Paul is in prison, that is bad, but the result is that more people have heard about Jesus because he was in prison, that is good.  Even when we are going thru rough times, we must encourage other while we are going thru. 

    Sometimes when you think your life is all messed up, it is not that bad.  God can make something good out of the bad. Paul always wanted to go to Rome to preach to the people, he did not know he would go to Rome as a prisoner.  Even though he was in prison, he was allowed to select his own living quarters until his trial. He was chained to a roman guard and we know that the guard heard Paul’s preaching day and night.  No matter what we are going through, we must still praise God.

    Paul had Method – a personal relationship with God

    Paul had Means – even in prison, he had Prayer and the Holy Spirit

    Paul had Motive – his desire that God be magnified through Jesus Christ

    Sometimes we get mad with God because bad things happen in our lives.  No matter what we are going through, God wants to turn it around for His glory. 

    08/31/2014 Preached Word - If You Have a Talent, Use it For The Lord
  • 08/31/2014 Preached Word - If You Have a Talent, Use it For The Lord
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Matthew 25:14-25

    In this parable, Jesus deals with stewardship and his expectations for those whom he has given talents.  This parable deals with more than money.  Money is important, but it will not buy your way to heaven.  Jesus is the owner of everything.  The servants in this parable are Christians.   Jesus, at his ascension, left us all with something to do while he is gone.  He appointed us work so we would not have an idle mind.  When he comes back for us, he will want to know if we were FAT.
    • Faithful
    • Accountable
    • Trustworthy
    We must be impregnated with the word of God, we must not be ashamed of his words.  We must take the talents that we have been given and go for increase.  We are all painted with the same brush, entrusted to be managers.  We are given the amount of talents that we can handle.  We must be consistent to handle God’s business and use our talents.
    08/24/2014 Preached Word - Rahab's God
  • 08/24/2014 Preached Word - Rahab's God
    Guest Speaker - Rev. Lisa Little


    Joshua 2:1-14; Joshua 6:22-24
     
    Rahab was a call girl who ran a call girl house.  She received a visit from some men who were men of God and needed Rahab’s assistance.  She agreed to hide the men in her home in exchange for her family being saved from the wrath that God would execute upon the land of Jericho.   Rahab was a harlot involved in kingdom work, she was a liar but took a stand for what was right, she was a woman of inconsistencies.  There is a little Rahab in all of us.  Sometimes we do things that make God really proud and sometimes we do things that upset God.  Like Rahab, we are all messed p because we have some good and some bad in us.

    • God specializes in using messed up people
    • God is a God who specialized in blessing messed up people
    • God specializes in changing messed up people
    No matter how messed up you are, God is waiting to use you.  God will fix it if you just connect with Him.  God will make a way out of no way.  Try Rahab’s God!
    08/17/2014 Preached Word - What Proof Do You Have of Being Who You Say You Are?
  • 08/17/2014 Preached Word - What Proof Do You Have of Being Who You Say You Are?
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)

      
    Galatians 6:4-17
     
    Paul tells us, in verse 17, that he bears on his body the marks of the Lord Jesus.  He says his life bears proof that he is a genuine servant of the Lord.  Paul says he has earned his credentials.  The marks that we bear as a witness to our faithfulness bear proof to who we are.  If you have the marks of Christ on your life, others will respect you. 

    If we love Jesus, we must have:
    • The burden of the marks – something we don’t like to carry, but we must
    • The body for the marks – some people are too cool to be marked for Christ
    • The Brands of the marks – which brand are you, regular or extra faithful
    We should be marked for our victory over sin, we should be marked for our dedication to the Word, we should be marked for our dedication to the church, and we should be marked for our love affair with Jesus!
     
    08/10/2014 Preached Word - What Would You Do If Jesus Came To Your Church?
  • 08/10/2014 Preached Word - What Would You Do If Jesus Came To Your Church?
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)

     
    Luke 4:14-21
     
    Jesus would not come into worship not to worship.  When Jesus was twelve years old, his parent misplaced Him.  Upon discovering that they had left Him, they hurried back to find Him.  If we have misplaced Jesus in our lives, we need to hurry back to find Him.  They found Him in the temple (church) when they had left Him.  Jesus told Him mother that He had to be about His Father’s business.  Jesus never missed being in worship on the Sabbath day, he never missed church.  Being in church was important to Jesus and He set an example for us to follow.  Jesus never missed church. 

    When Jesus got to church:
    • He Worshipped – worship is very important and we should let mothering stand in the way of worship
    • He Taught – we should learn when we are in church so we can go out and teach others.We must teach our young girls not to wear their IQ in the hem of their skirts.We must teach our young boys to carry God’s word as a shield and not carry guns.
    • He Healed – Mark 3:1-5 – healing takes place in church for the testimony of the ministry, healing takes place in church to highlight the power of Jesus.
    08/03/2014 Preached Word - He's There All The Time
  • 08/03/2014 Preached Word - He's There All The Time
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Matthew 28:18-20
     
    We are living in a mindless age, yet we say we want to live a purpose-driven life.  We want our time here on earth to accomplish something.  In order to do this, we have to rediscover the great commission.  Jesus told us to go teach all the world.  We must make disciples.  We have a part in fulfilling God’s plan for the world.  We are still here so we can work for Him.  There is no vacation from God’s work, evangelism requires work.  Everywhere you go, somebody should know that you know Jesus.

    There are 3 aspects to Christ’s word:
    • The Authority Behind Us:Christ promised that whatever we do, we have the power which is in Him.
    • The Task Before Us:We come to church to get instruction on how to minister to others.We enter to worship and depart to serve.
    • The Presence Beside Us:Jesus ended the great commission by promising that H would be with us ALWAYS, even until the end of the world.The presence of the Lord is always here.
    We must go out and tell somebody that The Lord will make a way somehow.
     
    07/27/2014 Preached Word - From An Underdog To An Overachiever?
  • 07/27/2014 Preached Word - From An Underdog To An Overachiever?
    Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor


    I Samuel 17:48-51
     
    There is no need to fear, underdog is here.  We like to see the little guy beat the big guy.  We cheer when the one who received no respect triumphs.  There is a little underdog in all of us.  In this scripture we see David as the underdog who is going up again Goliath, a giant. 

    David, the underdog, takes on a lopsided challenge.  He took it on when no one else dared.  Sometimes we must do it when no one else will.  It’s everybody’s job when it comes to working for God.   An underdog is the expected loser in a contest or in an unfavorable condition.  Have you been avoiding taking on a challenge because the odds are not in your favor?  Just as David was victorious, we too will be victorious because of Christ who lives in us.

    To become an overachiever we must:

    • Be convicted
    • Have courage
    • Possess Confidence
    When we are put in difficult positions, we have the opportunity to highlight Jesus.  We become contagious when people see God blessing us.  It’s ok to set your sights on better things.   Sometimes the sea has to be rough for us to discover God’s power.  Smooth seas have never produced experienced sailors.  Don’t give up, keep on flying like the underdog.  The Lord will make ways out of no way.
    07/20/2014 Preached Word - It's What's Up Front That Counts
  • 07/20/2014 Preached Word - It's What's Up Front That Counts
    Delivered by Rev. E. H. Terrell, Jr.


    Ephesians 1:19-23
    We know the success of a nation depends upon the caliber of its leadership.  An organization will survive or die based on its leadership.  Only one thing has lasted throughout the years:  The Church.  What makes the church prominent throughout generation?  The church came into existence when Jesus’ broken body & shed blood was given for our sins.

    Jesus is qualified to be the head of the church because:

    • He is Trustworthy
    • He is Loving
    • He is All-see
    • He has a photographic memory
    • He Hears all
    • He Neither slumbers nor sleeps
    • He died for the church
    Jesus is in charge of the church and
    07/13/2014 Preached Word - Get out of Bethsaida
  • 07/13/2014 Preached Word - Get out of Bethsaida
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Mark 8:22-26
     
    If you want certain things to happen in your life, there are certain places you need to be.  Jesus went to Bethsaida and while he was there some people bought their friend to be healed from blindness.  It was not unusual as Jesus had been going around healing. 

    There does not seem to be anything that Jesus can’t do, but this time it didn’t seem that Jesus was able to heal the blind man initially.  Jesus led the man outside the village, then spit on the man’s eyes.  He asked the man if he could see.  The man replied that he saw men walking around looking like trees.  The fact that the man knew what trees looked like leads us to believe that he had not been blind all of his life.  We are also led to believe that this man did not have faith in Jesus’ healing powers as he did not seek Jesus on his own, but was led to Jesus by his friends. 

    Before Jesus healed the man, he led him outside of town.  This town did not have a good reputation with Jesus.  They had hard hearts.  Bethsaida was not a place of faith.  Sometimes we have to leave the place that is holding us back in order to receive our healing and once we are healed, we should not go back.  Sometimes we have to leave the company that we keep and not return to that environment.  Sometimes we have to leave the relationship or the family that is hurting us and never return. 

    When the man saw people looking like trees, a light bulb of belief was turned on for him and he then had faith that Jesus could heal him.  He expected something and he received it.  If you believe nothing will happen, then you will be absolutely right.

    Get out of Bethsaida!
     

     
    07/06/2014 Preached Word - Taste Unlimited
  • 07/06/2014 Preached Word - Taste Unlimited
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Psalm 34:1-8
     
    There are a lot of cooking shows on television now designed to make us spend money.  Whatever you have a taste for, you can google it to satisfy your taste.  In the text David invites us to taste and see that the Lord is good.  David had many challenges in his life and many of us have challenges in our lives. 
    • The Lord delivered David from his fears.  Some of us are scared of everything.  Even when things are going wrong in your life, you still need to trust God and attend church.  No matter what you are going through, you have got to seek the Lord. 
    • The Lord saved David out of all his troubles.  Sometime all we can do is cry out to the Lord, without saying a word.  It takes a lot to cry out to Christ in public.  David found out when he got in trouble, God saved him from his troubles.
    • The Lord delivered David in times of danger.  These are dangerous times that we are living in.  We all need the Lord now.  Our enemies are out to get us, but the Lord will deliver us in times of danger.
    To taste God you must confess with your mouth, believe in your heart, study to show yourself approved.  You must pray daily, mixt in love, mix in patience, stir in gentleness and kindness and meekness and forgiveness.  Put ingredients in a large bowl and stir.  You will get a good batch of Jesus, Shepherd’s Pie!  Once you taste as see, you will agree that the Lord is good all the time.
    06/29/2014 Preached Word -Whatever You Do, Don't Quit
  • 06/29/2014 Preached Word -Whatever You Do, Don't Quit
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)

     
    John 6:59-71
     
    If you study this lesson, it will change your outlook on how you follow Jesus.  Jesus was teaching some interesting things. A large crowd saw Him heal the sick, feed the multitude, give sight to the blind, and those people followed Him.  As long as He was taking care of their business, He was alright with them.   When He began to teach them about themselves, they turned away from Him.  Jesus had 70 disciples when He began the journey, some of them left the ministry when they didn’t like what Jesus was teaching.  The 70 dwindled down to 12.  Then Jesus asked the twelve if they too would leave Him.

    The disciples may not have understood Jesus, but Jesus wanted permanent disciples.  Have you been tested?  Don’t quit and walk away, you must hang in there.  Don’t let anybody talk you into leaving your position.  You can’t walk away from your position, you can’t walk away from the church, you can’t walk away from Jesus.  Stay with The Lord, don’t quit.  Keep showing up and don’t quit.

    06/22/2014 Preached Word -Witnessing On The Move
  • 06/22/2014 - Preached Word - Witnessing On The Move
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Matthew 28:16-20
     
    Total commitment is lacking today in many areas of life and especially when it comes to Jesus and His church.  Do you realize how much you would grow and how much the church would prosper if you were totally committed?  Do you realize how much your marriage would grow if you were totally committed to your marriage?  Do you realized how much your family would grow if you were totally committed to your family? 

    We must learn how to stand firm for what we believe and not back down for anything.  God can’t get the glory out of your life if He can’t be in charge of your life.  In the 28th chapter of Matthew we find the last instruction given by Jesus before His ascension.  The instruction is to “go and witness.”
    • What happens when we honor the commission to witness?
    • What happens when there is an omission of our witness?
    • What is the fruit of our witnessing?
    God has called us to be a church on the move.  A church on the move must have a mover, and The Holy Ghost is the mover.  We must be totally committed to witness on the move every day.  Tell somebody about Jesus every day, live our lives so Jesus can be seen in us every day.
    06/15/2014 Father's Day Word - A Caring Father
  • 06/15/14 Father's Day Word - A Caring Father
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Luke 15:11-24
     
    We are all familiar with the story of the Prodigal Son.  Today we will focus on the father instead of the son.  As Jesus told this story, he was referring to God, our father and how He loves and cares for us.
    The characteristics of a caring father are
    • He provides for the basic needs of his family
    • He is generous beyond reasonable expectations
    • He gives his children space when it is appropriate
       
    The good news is that whenever we fall, our father is waiting to forgive us and welcome us back into the fold without making us feel guilty.

    All men are encouraged to realize that every time you look at your children, you are looking at a gift that God has given you.  We must use the example that Jesus gave us of a caring father and love our children the same way.  

     
    06/18/2014 Annual Youth Day Celebration - Preached Word - Turn Down For What?
  • 06/08/2014 Annual Youth Day Celebration Word - Turn Down For What? 
    (Guest Speaker - Rev. John Swann, Preacher


    Acts 1:8; Acts 2:1-15
     
    The disciples were in the upper room and the people thought they were drinking because they were turned up.  You can’t just be turned up when Labron James dunks.  If we can turn up for Labron James and for the NFL, every now and then we have got to turn up for Jesus.

    There are too many people in our community dying and going to hell.  As young people, you have the opportunity to speak to others and tell them that Jesus saves.  Jesus called us to be salt and light in this world.  Salt is used to preserve and keep up the standard.  When you are turned up for Jesus, you are keeping the standard where it should be.  You must turn up to preserve the standard.  Every time you turn up for the Lord, you are letting your light shine.

     
     
     
     
    06/01/2014 Preached Word - Total Deliverance
  •  
     06/01/2014 Pastor's Word - Total Deliverance 
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Luke 13:10-17
     
    This woman had been suffering with arthritis for eighteen years!  Now she is entering into the church on the Sabbath.  Jesus sees among the worshippers the woman who had accepted her affliction, which was put on her by satan.  Luke tells us that even though she was afflicted by satan, she was still a daughter of Abraham.  On this particular Sabbath, she was in the right place at the right time.  Jesus lays hands on her bent body and proclaims, “woman, thou art loosed fro, thine infirmity.”  Immediately she was healed and began to glorify God.    

    We too must be persistent in our worship of Jesus and in our seeking the Lord.  We have to keep going to church until the Lord sees us among the worshipper and heals us.  We don’t just take one pill and expect to get better, we are persistent in taking as many as it takes.  If you want the Lord to bless you, you have to be where the blessings are.  The woman was healed in a Sunday service.

    God can loose you today no matter how long you have been going through.  It doesn’t matter what the doctor, or the bank, or the job says, Jesus has the ultimate power to provide total deliverance.

     
    05/25/2014 Preached Word - Go Get Your Stuff Back
  • 05/25/14 Preached Word - Go Get Your Stuff Back
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    I Samuel 30:1-8

    Sometimes you have to blow your own horn.  David has to encourage himself in this lesson today.  God will give you the desires of your heart if you encourage yourself in The Lord.  Don’t think it’s the end when you are having problems, go back and get your stuff.
    • Recognition – don’t wait for recognition form other for what you do.We see in verse 6 David was recognized for messing up.The people wanted to stone Dave even though he was out of town when the destruction came.David was disturbed, but the New Testament tells us that sometimes we must lose in order to gain.We can’t be on the mountain all the time.
    • Realize – we must realize and be for real with what we are working with.We need to stop whining and realize who we are and what we have in Christ Jesus.We have a rich heritage in Christ.
    • Rejoice – we can rejoice when we realize that we are not defeated.David got up and went to the enemy’s camp and took his stuff back.Whatever you are going through, you have to speak life to your situation.
    05/18/2014 Preached Word - If You Can't Deliver, Then Don't Advertise
  • 05/18/14 Preached Word - If You Can’t Deliver, Then Don’t Advertise
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Mark 7:1-7, 20-23
     
    Not only is our world changing, but the church is changing.  We don’t worship like we used to worship.  We don’t come for service like we used to.  The church is constantly on trial and we are always being analyzed and investigated. 

    Sometimes our lifestyles are contradictory to what we say, preach, pray, and sing.  Non-believers see hatred and discord in the church and begin to question our message.  We have been found guilty of a crime, the crime of false advertising. 

    Life comes down to one big advertisement.  There is a high risk of failure in false adverting because you are leading other people astray.  You are selling something you don’t have.  Many are literally bringing embarrassment upon the Bod of Christ.  False advertising destroys your testimony and kills your witness.
    False advertising can cause:
    • Our conversation to become contaminated
    • Our walk to go on trial
    • Our service to become substandard
    It’s not what goes in a man, but what comes out of him that defiles the man.  We must get our hearts right with God. 
    05/11/14 Preached Word - Basic Training For Mothers
  • 05/11/14 Mother's Day Word - Basic Training For Mothers
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Titus 2:1-5 and Proverbs 22:6 
    • Teach your children that there is a God
    • Teach your children that there is only one God
    • Teach your children that God is The Lord
    • Teach your children that The Lord is to be our Lord

    Our culture has embraced as its greatest value personal happiness.  Our culture spends out of control as we are busy trying to get more things.  The bible exhorts the place of the mother in the family.  Motherhood is a ministry of teaching and preparing children to follow God.

    Titus was preaching to people who refused to obey the rules of the church, he was preaching to a pagan society.  Titus said the aged women must be holy and teach the younger women in an ungodly world.  This is ancient advice, but with contemporary power! 

    In the time of Titus, there were false teachers who were dividing families.  In today’s society there are false teachers who are dividing families.   Christian homes are created, they don’t just happen.  Sometimes we take what we have for granted, but Mothers are to be celebrated today.  The bible speaks highly of mothers for without mothers, there would be no multiplication.
    Mothers cannot let children make religious decisions.  Mothers are an example of God’s love.  Mothers must teach the children to have a personal relationship with The Lord. 

     

    05/04/14 Preached Word - Everybody Ought to Know Their Position
  • 05/04/2014 Preached Word -“Everybody Ought to Know Their Position”
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Romans 12:3-4

    In Christ we have all been given positions.  We all have a destiny to fulfill, we are not here just to take up space.  It’s a dangerous thing to just be taking up space.

    Do you know your position?  Only you can answer that question.  Are you making lots of plays in your relationship to God, or are you sitting on the bench watching others make the plays?  God wants all of us to get into the game.  God expects us to be in position so we can handle the ball when it’s handed to us. 

    In the body of Christ, we don’t all have the same position.  There are many members with different functions.  All of us can do a lot of things, but none of us can do everything.  We must know what we are capable of in Christ.  It’s not about us, it’s about Him who called us.  Everything we do should be for the glorification of God. 

    When waiting to carry out God’s plan, we ought to be like football players at the line of scrimmage, ready and attentive to make a play.  We must be so excited when we come to God that we expect something to happen in God’s house.  God wants to bless you.  If He called you to teach, then teach.  If He called you to exhort, then exhort.  Some people have stopped giving, praying, serving, and worshiping because of what has happened in the past.  We must fall back in love with Jesus and know our position.

     
    04/27/14 Preached Word - Being Restored
  • 4/27/14 Preached Word - “Being Restored”
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)

     
    God specializes in restoring things.    There was a time when Peter was asleep spiritually, Jesus warned Peter that he would deny Him.  After Peter denied Jesus, he thought that it was over.  He then began to drift back to what he used to do.  Peter wanted to go back to fishing.  Jesus said don’t’ go back to that, I called you to be a fisher of men.
     
    When hope dissolves, you lose your dreams and your enthusiasm.  Peter was feeling like a failure, but Jesus was not mad with Peter.  The failure was not in Jesus, it was in Peter.  Peter’s mission was restored when Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him and Peter responded in the affirmative three times.  When Jesus calls your name, you will get excited.
     
    You can be restored if you have let God down.  God is a God of a second chance.  

     
    04/20/14 Preached Word - TGIS (Thank God It's Sunday)
  • 4/20/14 Preached Word - “TGIS (Thank God It’s Sunday)”
    Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor
     

    Resurrection Day 2014 Word


    Matthew 28:1-9
     
    A few days ago we celebrated Good Friday knowing that, Sunday was coming.  Jesus left the courthouse on Friday, the verdict was in to crucify Him.  He was found guilty of a crime He did not commit.  He was made to pick up His cross and begin His 650 yard journey to Golgotha where He would be crucified.  It was Friday, but Sunday was coming.    Good Friday was a dark sad day for the followers of Jesus, but Sunday was coming.
     
    We must realize when we are going through sad dark times in our lives, Sunday is coming.  We need to remember that trouble don’t last always.  Jesus’ story does not end on the cross, the cross is only the beginning.  For now He is seated at the right hand of God the father, interceding for us.   On Friday Jesus gave up the ghost, they took His body down from the cross and Joseph buried Him in his tomb knowing that it was a temporary burial.  Joseph believed that Jesus would only use the tomb for 3 days. 
     
    Jesus got up early on Sunday morning.  So if you are looking for Jesus, don’t look at the cross, but look to the hills from whence cometh your help.  We are now living on the Sunday side of the cross.  Easter presents a message of hope.  Don’t get stuck on the Friday side of life, but on the Sunday side of life. 
     
    Thank God It’s Sunday.

     
    04/13/14 Preached Word - Who's That Lady?
  • 04/13/2014 Preached Word - Who's That Lady?
    (Rev. Kimberly Neal)


    Women’s Day 2014 Word
     
    Proverbs 31:30-31
    Judges 4:4-24
     
     
    A virtuous woman is one who conforms to moral and ethical principles, one who is not perfect, one who has integrity and is humble enough to realize that she is a sinner saved by grace.
     
    A virtuous woman will not be defined by others, but will have a real connection with the Lord.
     
    We are told about Deborah, the 4th and only female judge of Israel, in the book of Judges.  Deborah had leadership skills and a real connection to God.  She was able to lead, plan and delegate to Barak in order to win the battle. 
     
    Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. 


     
    04/06/14 Preached Word - How Firm Is Your Foundation?
  • 04//06/2014 Preached Word - How Firm Is Your Foundation?
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor

    Matthew 7:13-27
     
    Jesus talked about the meaning of Christian discipleship every chance He got.  Those who first heard Him were astonished because He taught as one having authority. The final parable is about the wise and foolish builders.

    Jesus said that a wise man builds on a rock, and a foolish man builds on sand.  A wise man aims high, a foolish man aims low.  When building any structure, you must abide by the building codes and you must meet the building inspector at some point during your project.  If you are going to build your life, you have codes to go by also and you must certainly know the Inspector.

    Everyone must build the house of his life on something.  Either you are building on a rock or you are building on sand.  Those are the only two choices.  You can postpone making up your mind, but you cannot postpone making up your life.  Every life is subject to the possibility of illness and pain, physical death, temptation, economic disappointment.  We cannot stop those, but we can build to withstand those things.

    We must check our foundation and build according to code.  The code is given to us by none other than Jesus, the Inspector. 

    How firm is your foundation?

     
    03/30/14 Preached Word- When The Bottom Falls Out
  • 03/30/2014 Preached Word - When The Bottom Falls Out
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor


    Matthew 14:22-33
     
    Have you ever had just one of those days?  In our text today, the disciples were having one of those days.  What do you do when your life becomes unraveled, when it seems that life has dealt you bad situations?  Some people choose to stay away from the Lord.    This is, however, a time when you should draw closer to Him.

    We must believe that when The Lord brings us to the situations, He will bring us through those situations.  Jesus directed the disciples to get into the boat even though He knew they were headed for a storm.  Always remember you are safer going thru any storm with Jesus than trying to handle it on your own.  In life it takes some rough spots to make us go the distance, to help us know who God is and what God can do.

    We see in verse 23 that Jesus prayed for His followers.  Sometime we think that God has deserted us, but He may be praying for us.  He prays that our faith won’t fail, that we won’t give up, and that we won’t turn back.  That’s love on its knees!

    The disciples did not recognize Jesus.  They were complaining and fighting the storm in their own strength.  They were not looking for Jesus.  It was late and they had been in the storm a long time.  Jesus will come in your darkest hour!

    It takes a person of real faith to get out of the boat and walk on water.  Jesus helps us to grow through trials and tribulations.  Don’t listen to people in the boat, don’t look at the waves, don’t look own at your feet, when your bottom falls out, keep your eyes on Jesus.  The Lord will make a way somehow.

    03/23/14 Preached Word- Jesus Can Handle Your Storms
  • 03/23/2014 Preached Word  - Jesus Can Handle Your Storms
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)

    Matthew 8:23-27
     
    Jesus is the head of your life, but because He is your Lord and Savior it does not mean that you are exempt from experiencing storms.  Even though the disciples had Jesus on the ship with them, they still sailed into a storm.  However, there is a sweet relief in knowing that with Jesus you are able to handle any storm.

    When you are going through rough times, you may feel as if Jesus has gone to sleep on you.  But the Lord knows what you are going through.  Why did Jesus go to sleep during the storm on the ship?  He had been preaching all day and He was tired.  He was not sleep because of unconcern for the disciples, he was sleep because He was tired.  Jesus also had a deep belief that God His father would take care of them. 

    While Jesus was sleep, the disciples were trying to work their way out of the storm.  It was only after they called on Jesus that the storm dissipated.  The disciples came to Jesus, and awoke Him and cried Lord, save us.  When we get in trouble, we sometimes try to work our way out by ourselves.  But when trouble comes, we need to call on God for assistance.  Our prayer should be Lord save me.  The Lord will calm your storm!  Jesus Can Handle Your Storms.

    03/16/14 Preached Word- A Maniac, A Miracle, and A Mission
  • 03/16/2014 Preached Word  - A Maniac, A Miracle, and a Mission
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)

    The man in today’s lesson can be described as a dead man walking.  He is a man who lived in the cemetery, chained, crying, and cutting himself with stones.  He was leading a devil controlled life. 

    This man has abandoned his family and his life is a hot mess, but Jesus showed up!  Jesus left an external storm in chapter 4 of Mark to deal with an internal human storm in chapter 5.  The grace of God shows up even in the madness of our situations, even when we are allowing our lives to be controlled by satan. 

    This man was a maniac – his problem was of a demonic source.  You cannot solve supernatural issues with natural approaches.  This man needed Jesus.

    This man experienced a miracle – when he saw Jesus, he ran to worship Him and he was changed.  What nobody else could do, Jesus could.  This man worshipped Jesus.

    This man was given a mission – go tell somebody what the Lord has done for you.  This man had a testimony.

    After contact with Jesus, you are not the same.

     
    03/09/14 Preached Word by - Always Walk With God
  • 03/09/2014 Preached Word - Always Walk With God
    (Presiding Elder C.W. Morris)


    Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5


    Not to walk with God is dangerous.  It reflects a lack of wisdom and common sense.  If you want to impress God, walk with Him.

    Not much is written about Enoch in the bible, but we do know that he walked with God.  Enoch lived in the midst of crime, injustice, wickedness, violence and a corrupt government.  By walking with God, however, Enoch was a ray of hope.  He was pleasing God.  By faith he walked with God. 

    Some people are walking, but not with God.  None of us were always walking with the Lord either.  But time changes us.  We walk with God by keeping our mind focused on Him.  God will give you a lift when you walk with Him.  You will feel better, you will look better.  Whatever you need, God’s got it.   Always walk with God.

     
    03/04/14 Preached Word - Are You Gaining or Are You Losing?
  • 03/04/2014 Preached Word - Are You Gaining or Are You Losing?
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)

    Mark 8:31-36

    Humans are creative!  Sometimes when we don’t like the way things are, we invent other ways to get around it.  We try to convince ourselves that something is true when it’s not.  When Jesus told His disciples that He was about to suffer and die, they wouldn’t accept it.  So Jesus responded in a forceful manner.   He had to tell Peter that he knew exactly what was going to happen and there was no way around it.

    The Logic of the Cross. How can we gain life from losing life?  Does that even make sense?  The wisdom of the world would have us believe that we need to only look out for ourselves.  But what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? 

    Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner.  It is the teaching of forgiveness but not repentance, it is communion without confession.  It is a surface religion.  When you have surface religion, you get surface blessings.

    Costly grace costs Jesus His life.  We must give up something as disciples of Christ.  As a disciple, it also costs us our life.  In losing our life for the sake of Christ, we gain eternal life.  You gain grace when you give control of your life to God. 

    Are you gaining or losing?
    02/23/2014 Preached Word - Positioned For Blessings
  • 02/23/2014 Preached Word - Positioned For Blessings
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)

     
    Genesis 26:1-12
     
    Today the question is not will hard times come, but the question is h9ow will we handle hard times when they come.  We cannot control what comes our way in life, but how we respond to it will determine if we go forward or backwards.
    There was a famine in the land.  Famine means trouble, difficulty, hardships, and trials.  Everyone will be tested in a famine.  When you think you are having it rough, the truth is you are getting ready to grow.  The greatest revelation of your life is hiding in the greatest trials of your life.
    In this lesson, Isaac was given direction by God.  Isaac had no evidence, but he had confidence.  If you have confidence in God, God will show you the evidence.  God can bless you anywhere; He is not limited by the economy.  Isaac reaped in the time of famine because he trusted in God.
    God will not release His blessing until we are in position to receive it.  If you want to be blessed by God, you have to be in place.

    • You have to go where God tells you to go.
    • You must believe the time is now.
    • You must give God the latitude to use whatever means He chooses.
    • You must do what God says do.
    You must praise God as though you were experience the blessing right now.
    02/16/2014 Preached Word - From Brokenness Unto Blessings
  • 02/16/2014 Preached Word - From Brokenness Unto Blessings
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Psalm 31:12-14
     
    We can’t build broken people only God is capable of that.

    When something is broken, it is useless unless it can be repaired.  When a person is broken, he is useless until he gets repaired. 

    There is an inward problem with brokenness…. it causes depression.
    There is an upward problem with brokenness…. it causes people to blame God.
    There is an outward problem with brokenness…. it causes pain.

    David’s broken heart caused him to say mean things, things that caused pain to others.  Sometimes we have to be broken in order to be blessed.  Grapes become wine only when they have been squeezed.

    The good news is that we don’t have to stay in a state of brokenness.  God can put us back together again!
    02/09/2014 Preached Word - God Will Turn Your Dead End Into A Finish Line
  • 02/09/2014 Preached Word - God Will Turn Your Dead End Into A Finish Line
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    I Corinthians 9:24-27
     
    When you have come to the end of your rope and run into a brick wall, don’t give up.  God will turn your dead end into a finish line.
     
    Paul wrote this letter to the church at Corinth.  They were struggling with the social environment, with sin and corruption on every hand.  They were feeling the need to adapt to society.  This same thing is going on today in our society.  The church must make sure that there is a way to tell the world from the church.
     
    In a race, all the runners run, but only one gets the prize.  We must run in such a way so that we can get the prize.  We must get ready for the contest.  Here Paul compares the Christian life to a sports event.  We must prepare to run, to box, to wrestle.   We must prepare to receive the crown of eternal life.
     
    On Calvary Jesus knocked it out of the park.  He hit a home run when He gave His life for us, but we still have to run and touch all the bases. 
    02/02/2014 Preached Word - A Recipe For Blessings
  • 02/02/2014 Preached Word - A Recipe For Blessings
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Psalm 37:1-5
     
    There are many cooking channels on TV that display many different chefs.  They all offer recipes for any dish that may appeal to you.  Today I want you to know that the Bible is the greatest recipe book.  The Bible has a recipe for anything that you are dealing with.
     
    In Psalm 37, verse 5, we are told to commit our ways unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.  Whatever you are dealing with today, commitment to the Lord is the answer.  We must learn that God is God all by himself.  When we have faith in God, we are committed to him.  There is no faith without commitment.
     
    To commit means to roll.  We roll it onto God with complete confidence that He will handle it.  We roll our financial problems on him, we roll our marital problems on him, we roll our health problems on him, and we roll our emotional problems on him, and leave them with him.  We must put our total trust in the Lord.  In order to get an answer from God, we much commit our ways to him and totally submit possession of them.
    01/26/2014 Preached Word - How To Be A Disciplined Disciple
  • 01/26/2014 Preached Word - How To Be A Disciplined Disciple
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Galatians 3:1-9

    Paul tells us that the church at Galatia got distracted.  We are now seeing that the church in America has also gotten distracted.  God has called us to be disciples, therefore making other disciples.  We are neglecting that command.  Many churches are instead committed to size, everyone wants a mega church.  This implies that size is what matters.  Instead, the scripture focuses on making disciples.

    1. A disciple is one who knows and follows Christ.  The main issue for us should be how do I know God, not how do I become happy.  To know God is to have saving faith.  The nature of saving faith is that is produces an appetite for more and more.
    2. A disciple is someone who is being changed by Christ.  Once we give in to Christ, sanctification sets in.  To be sanctified is to the set apart.  We must study God’s word so we will have going power during the week.
    3. A disciple is one who is committed to the mission of Christ.  Our faith is not an isolated faith.  We must start at home, in our schools, on our jobs, in the grocery store, at Starbucks, etc. ... with a commitment to make disciple out of the world.
    Share the gospel with someone – the gospel is not good advice, but good news!
    01/19/2014 Preached Word - The Danger of Drifting
  • 01/19/2014 Preached Word - The Danger of Drifting
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Revelation 2:1-5

    Why do so many people drift?  The situation is caused by being careless.  Are you just drifting along in your Christian life?  Has there been a time when you were closer to Jesus than you are now, when you were more committed than you are now, when you were more surrendered than you are now?  If your answer is yes to any of these, then you are in danger of drifting.
     

    • Depth – we must not settle for a shallow relationship with Jesus.  This will lead to a spiritually dead life, a life with no enduring power to believe in troubled times that God will make a way somehow.
    • Denial – there will be times in our lives when we deny Jesus by displeasing Him.  When we deny Him, we drift farther away from Him.
    • Deception – sometimes people are swayed to follow a doctrine that is false and unscriptural.  Measure your opinion about Jesus with the scripture.  Get scripture (the Word) in your head and in your heart so you won’t have to rely on others for the truth.
    • Division – there will always be those who seek to divide.  Us tearing each other down will not bring others to Christ.  Standing for God is not always popular, but it is the right thing to do.
    01/12/2014 Preached Word - Getting Through the Wilderness
  • 01/12/2014 Preached Word - Getting Through the Wilderness
    (Rev. Lisa M. Little, Guest Preacher)


    Luke 4:1-15
     
    We are all familiar with the Jesus of healing and the Jesus of love, but we should know the Jesus of the wilderness also.  In the 4th chapter of Luke we find Jesus going through a wilderness experience.  We all go through wilderness experiences, sometimes of our own doing and sometimes not.  Jesus was led there by the Holy Spirit.  Satan tried to tempt Jesus, but Jesus went through the wilderness experience and was victorious over Satan. 
     
    A wilderness experience means loneliness, no help in tough times, weakness, emptiness, vulnerability, not having normal strength.  It seems that when we are in the wilderness, we only hear the voice of Satan.    Like Jesus, we can survive the wilderness experience by meditating on the following points:
     

    1.  While in the wilderness, our solutions must come from God
             Consult the Word of God for wisdom
    1. Our wilderness experience is just a test, it does not define who we are
            You don’t have to believe everything somebody tells you
    1. Our wilderness experience is only temporary, there is an expiration date attached
            Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning
     
    You can survive your wilderness experience!
    01/05/2014 Preached Word - The Ending is Better Than the Beginning
  • 01/05/2014 Preached Word - The Ending is Better Than the Beginning
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Ecclesiastes 7:8
      
    This verse can soothe your regrets and cause you to realize that 2013 is history.
    Don’t miss 2014 trying to recapture 2013. 
    Regrets sting.  This verse can help take the sting out of your regrets.
    The arrows that Satan threw at you in 2013 are all gone; they can now help you grow. 
     
    It calms your fears of the future to know that the end will be better than the beginning.  The Lord will make a way somehow, things will always work out.   Hold on to your hope, the sun will shine again.  God is still in charge.  If you are in a dark moment of your life and you are dreading the future, believe that God is working things out for you.
     
    Encourage your faith; you have something to look forward to.  We have to learn how to not depend on instant satisfaction.  Don’t stop coming to worship because folk don’t like you.   Keep on believing in God and remember that gold has to go thru the fire in order to shine.  You may have to go through some things in 2014, but they will only make you stronger.  The ending will be better than the beginning.
2013 Sermons
    12/29/2013 Preached Word - The Anointing Makes the Difference
  • 12/29/2013 Preached Word - The Anointing Makes the Difference
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Luke 4:18-19
     
    Without the anointing, it’s like having a Rolls Royce without a motor, you are looking good, but you are not going anywhere.
     
    The anointing is the tangible manifestation of Jesus in our lives.  When the spirit of the Lord is upon us, we can do supernatural things.  The anointing is the Divine enablement and supernatural equipment to carry on the ministry of Jesus; the anointing is Holy Ghost electricity.
     
    Jesus is no longer physically here, but the anointing is here.  We are His hands, His feet, and His voice to carry out God’s work.  Most Christians live their lives as professional patients, always in need.  God wants to turn every patient into a doctor! 
     
    One of the devil’s greatest fears is that we as Christians would recognize who we are in Christ and the power that we have.  We must know what we have and how to release it to others.  The anointing makes the difference.
    12/22/2013 Preached Word - The Most Important Birth on Earth
  • 12/22/2013 Preached Word - The Most Important Birth on Earth
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)

     
    Luke2:1-7
     
    Your birth was very significant, you are very important to your mother and father and to your Heavenly Father.  Jesus was loved by His Father and approved by his Father. 

    1. The Time Came ---- our time is different from God’s time
      God’s timing is perfect

       
    2. The Birth Happened ----This is a true story
      Jesus was born like any other baby, but He was not conceived like any other baby
      If Joseph had stoned Mary, he would have killed the baby Jesus also.  When Joseph went to sleep, God came to him in a dream to tell him the plan.  Remember you can’t stop what God is getting ready to do.

       
    3. The Inn Refused ---- There was no room in the inn
      Rejection is hard to take; the church should not be a place of rejection.  God welcomes us all just as we are.
    12/15/2013 Preached Word - Scandal
  • 12/15/2013 Preached Word - Scandal
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Matthew 1:18-25
     
    Many people watch the TV Show Scandal, even though it is fictional.  Social media is almost shut down from the high number of hits, tweets, etc.   However, the bible is the most scandalous book ever written.  Jesus talked to the woman at the well, Solomon had 700 hundred wives and 300 concubines, Moses was a killer, Cain killed his brother Abel, one of David’s sons raped his own sister and the list goes on and on. 
     
    We see a big scandal in Nazareth when Joseph learns that his soon to be wife, a teenage girl named Mary, is pregnant without having slept with him.  Even though Jesus was born in what appeared to be a scandalous situation, it was in a divine order.  Whenever God is in it, it is divine.
    12/08/2013 Preached Word - You Can't Stop What's Going to Happen
  • 12/08/2013 Preached Word - You Can't Stop What's Going to Happen
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)

     
    Matthew 2:1-12
     
    This is the second Sunday of Advent – Man to God and God to Man
     
    400 years go by, the silent years, between the Old Testament and the New Testament
     

    • The prediction by several prophets in the old testament
    • The preparation of Jesus coming through 42 generations in the new testament
    • The promise of God redeeming man to Himself by sending His Son Jesus 
    What God has for you, it is for you.  Nobody can block God’s program!
    12/01/2013 Preached Word - Why We Do What We Do?
  • 12/01/2013 Preached Word - Why We Do What We Do?
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Luke 22:17-20
    On this the last first Sunday in the year 2013, as we celebrate communion, we ask why hasn’t communion changed in the 21st century?  We live in a fast-paced, technological world where we rush through things failing to understand the reasons behind many things we do.
    We should:
    • Understand the history of the Lord’s Supper – Passover was a Jewish celebration commemorating their exodus from Egypt.  The bread and wine were tradition elements.  Jesus gave the elements new meaning as he was preparing to go to the cross.
    • What is the significance for me?   Jesus said every time you take the bread and the cup, I want it to remind you of me so we celebrate communion in remembrance of him. 
    • What exactly does he want us to remember?  We are to remember that Jesus gave his life for us.  With the new covenant, we can be reconciled back to God.  

    11/24/13 Preached Word - You Do You and I'll Do Me
  • 11/24/13 Preached Word - You Do You and I'll Do Me
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Mark 3:18
     
    Thaddeus is part of a group more famous than the Temptations and the Four Tops.  Yet, there is no record of the great things he did.  He was one of our Lord’s disciples.
     
    Whatever you do, do it from your heart and do it for God.
     
    Today churches measure success by how many people attend, how large the budget is, how many new members there are, etc.  They are consumed with superficial measures.  But God doesn’t measure success the way we do, He sees things differently.
     
    If you are a child of God, you are blessed and highly favored.  If nobody ever calls our name, you are still somebody. 

    • People may not know your name, but Jesus does 
    • People may not realize your worth, but Jesus does 
    • People may not recognize your effort, but God does
    11/17/13 Preached Word - Is There A Problem in the Cave?
  • 11/17/13 Preached Word - Is There A Problem in the Cave?
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    I Samuel 22:1-5

    God uses problems to direct us
    God uses problems to inspect us
    God uses problems to correct us
    God uses problems to perfect us

    David had some problems, but God was at work in his life even when he did not recognize it.  A problem can be a blessing in disguise.  God is more interested in our character than in our comfort.  Negative thinking limits God and limits our potential.  Everyone has problems, we must face our problems knowing that God is directing, inspecting, correcting, and perfecting us.

    11/10/13 Preached Word - Be Strong in the Lord and in the Power of His Might
  • 11/10/13 Preached Word - Be Strong in the Lord and in the Power of His Might
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Ephesians 6:10-20
    We cannot serve God by being weak; we must be strong in The Lord.
    In verses 11 and 12, Paul tells us that every believer is enlisted in battle.
    We face a terrible enemy, not of flesh and blood.  We don't know how nor when he will attack.  We need to be strong in character, strong in faith, strong in Bible knowledge, and strong in prayer.
    We must choose to be full time Christians.  We can't be full time Christians with part time service.
    We must put on the whole armor so that we will be able to stand.

    11/03/13 Preached Word - The Blessings of a Beggar
  • 11/03/13 Preached Word - The Blessings of a Beggar
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Matthew 5:3
     
    Poverty of the spirit involves realizing that we cannot do what God wants by depending on our own skills.  We must call out to Jesus’ attention.  We cannot be afraid of being loud when it comes to getting to Jesus.  We must cry out, until we get it out. 
     
    Pride is a silent killer; it will keep you out of the presence of God.
     
    The word tells us you have not because you ask not.  We must not be too proud to ask Jesus for our heart’s desires.
    10/27/13 Preached Word - What Are You Willing to Risk in Times of Trouble?
  • 10/27/13 Preached Word - What Are You Willing to Risk in Times of Trouble?
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Mark 5:35-43
     
    Jairus was a ruler of the synagogue.   This was an elected position.  His battle was that the people who put him in this position did not believe in Jesus.  Jairus was forced to make a decision, to take a risk in his time of trouble.  His twelve year old daughter became ill and he had to decide if he wanted to risk his important position in order to go to Jesus.  What would the members of the synagogue think of him? 
     
    We must take risks for our faith.   Jairus took the risk and fell at Jesus’ feet.  However, when he got up, there was no immediate healing.  Jesus’ attention was taken away from Jairus by the woman with the issue of blood.  Sometimes we may feel that we are on the brink of a promotion, or a healing, or deliverance and someone else gets in the way.  We are reminded that walking with Jesus is a process.  Jairus continued even when the news came that his daughter had died.  With his continued faith, he received the breakthrough that he sought from Jesus.  God does not operate on our time, He moves in His own time.  Even in midst of laughter from the crowd, Jairus kept the faith and his daughter was delivered by Jesus. 
     
    What are you willing to risk for Jesus?
    10/20/13 Preached Word - What Happens When the Law Won't Do?
  • 10/20/13 Preached Word - What Happens When the Law Won't Do?
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Galatians 3:21-29

    When the law won’t do, we must ask God to help us.
     
    Paul was encouraging the church to operate as one big loving family.  He didn’t like the division that was between the Jews and the Gentiles.   Paul says that any man who accepts the gospel cannot be separated, we all belong to God.  The law was to show us the way to Christ, by faith we are saved, and not by works.  The whole law is fulfilled in LOVE.
     
    No LOVE, no FAITH
     
    When the law won’t do, the Lord will take you up in faith.
    10/13/13 (Lay Witness Sunday) Delivered Word - Plug Into Prayer and Scripture
  • 10/13/13 (Lay Witness Sunday) Delivered Word - Plug Into Prayer and Scripture
    (Delivered by Sis. Faith Baxter)


    No recap notes available.
    10/06/13 Preached Word - Don't Let the Troubles of Life Cause You to Lose Your Focus
  • 10/06/13 Preached Word - Don't Let the Troubles of Life Cause You to Lose Your Focus
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Colossians 3:1-4

    To focus is to have a fixed point of concentration.  Although we live on earth, we are encouraged to fix our minds on the higher life, heaven must occupy our thoughts.  Paul tells us to set our affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 
     
    A heavenly focus will lessen the fear of sickness and death.  We must begin to seek heavenly things, not things of the earth.
     
    Too much stuff produces a man who loves and trusts in his stuff, we must stop worshipping stuff and turn our focus to God.
     
    We must be determined to live the resurrection life, the risen life that points to heaven.  The resurrection life concerns things above.  The resurrection life lets us know that Christ’s return is the ultimate hope.
     
    Our focus must be on God!
    9/29/13 Preached Word - Running From A Lion, Into A Bear, and Bit By A Snake - Missionary Sunday
  • 9/29/13 Preached Word - Running From A Lion, Into A Bear, and Bit By A Snake
    (Rev. V.L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor) - Missionary Sunday


    Amos5:14-19

    Amos warned Israel that destruction is coming.  ("There shall be wailing in the streets.")

    Gods judgment and devastation will be so complete throughout the land that there will be sorrow on every street.

    Unlike man, the Lord can look through man's physical and skeletal structure and see what kind of state his heart is in and even better, what kind of state his soul is in. 

    We as Christians need to be on our P's and Q's.  We need to be a solution to the problem, not a part of the problem.

    God's house should be made up of regenerated folk.  (People who have turned from sin and are working towards the glory of God.) 
    You are not what you are supposed to be, but you are not what you USED to be. 
     

    1. What are you going to do when the Lord comes back?
    2. What are you going to do when all the demons are loosed and there are no chains on evil?
    3. What are you going to do when time rolls up like a scroll and the moon dips away into blood?
    ***Stop playing church, Jesus is coming back.  Time is winding up! ***
    9/22/13 Preached Word - Which Way Are You Running? - Annual Men's Day 2013
  • 9/22/13 Preached Word - Which Way Are You Running?
    (Rev. Dr. Waverly Williams) - Annual Men's Day 2013


    1Kings 12:21 and Isaiah 40:31

    Most of our lives are spent running: to work, to school, to meetings, to practices, to rehearsals, but are we running in the right direction?

    If we are always running trying to further our careers, but leaving God out, we are running in the wrong direction.  If we run to wherever God is, then we are running in the right direction.
     
    ***If we are running in the wrong direction, the good news is that God will allow us to make a U Turn! ***
    9/15/13 Preached Word - Unity Equals Unlimited Possibilities - Part 2
  • 9/15/13 Pastor's Word - Unity Equals Unlimited Possibilities - Part 2
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Ephesians 4:1-5

    This letter was written by Paul to Christians.  Paul says that we have to let grace come into our situation.  Grace is the unmerrited favor of God as manifested in our salvation.  Unity was well on display after Pentecost.  They were all unified and on one accord and everyone received the Holy Spirit. 

    The result of unity is the outpouring.  We must unify ourselves and work together in order to be recipients of the outpouring.
    9/8/13 Preached Word - Unity Equals Unlimited Possibilities - Part 1
  • 9/8/13 Pastor's Word - Unity Equals Unlimited Possibilities - Part 1
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Ephesians 4:1-5

    This letter was written by Paul to Christians.  Paul says that we are to walk in our calling, in our vocation.  It appears that today some of us are walking in the wrong lane.  We have not been called for a solo career, we have not been called to be glory stealers, we have been called to work together for the glory of God.

    We need unity; many things can be achieved where there is unity.

    Ecclesiastes 4:12 tells us that a threefold cord is not quickly broken.  We are stronger together than we are apart.  When we touch on the same thing, as did the Christians in the upper room, the possibilities are unlimited.
    9/1/13 Preached Word - Prayer Works
  • 9/1/13 Pastor's Word - Prayer Works
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Psalm 65:2

    We don't talk to God like we use to.  We need to have a conversation with God where God talks and we listen, then we talk then God listens.
    1. God talks to us through the bible, this is called the word.  God has a word for you, but you have got to read the word.
    2. God talks to us through the feelings that the Holy Spirit puts into our hearts and minds.  Christians must have a plan, plans that are obedient to God, such as tithing, attending church regularly, working in the church, attending Sunday School, attending Bible Study . . .
    3. God talks to us through songs.  The melody and lyrics of certain songs can draw us into a closer relationship with God.  We must spend time with God.
    *God is a professional at answering prayer.  We should go to the professional when we have needs.*
    8/25/13 Preached Word - Keep the Fire Burning
  • 8/25/13 Pastor's Word - Keep the Fire Burning 
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    2 Timothy 1:1-6

    This epistle was one that Paul wrote to Timothy, his son in the ministry, and also to those of us who are in the church today.  In these verses Paul tell us to:
     
    1. Have a pure heart - A heart that is full of love.  True love is defined by giving yourself away.  A heart that displays character.  Character is who you are when nobody is watching you. 
    2. Have a good conscience - Conscience is an inner judge
    3. Have a sincere faith - Not merely and outward show, but inward substance.  An outward faith will use any excuse to stay away from the body of Christ.  Inward substance says I am going to worship God privately so when I enter God's house, I can worship publicly.
    Most of us are as close to God as we want to be, we must stir up the gifts inside of us to keep the fire burning.  We need to be stirred up in our devotion, in our desire, and in our determination.
    8/18/13 Preached Word - New Wine in Old Skins
  • 8/18/13 Pastor's Word - New Wine in Old Skins 
    (Rev. V. L. Ricks, Sr., Pastor)


    Luke 5:36-39

    Jesus taught using this parable:
    1. You can't continue to cling to the old and familiar -- the gospel is the new wine.  When Jesus came, He made all things new.  God wants us to step out on faith.
    2. You have to be flexible.  Don't get bent out of shape when new things are introduced to you.  Many people are terrified to try something new.
    3. The Gospel is a Gospel of Joy.  The joy of the Lord is my strength, and the strength of the Lord is my joy.  Jesus came that our joy might be made full.