Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Good morning! This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. That is my CHOICE for today. Sometimes that choice is harder than others. There are days that you have to look very hard to find something to rejoice in because of a negative perspective, or going through an especially tough time, but according to God's Word, I can still make the choice to REJOICE! I hope you make the Biblical CHOICE today to REJOICE.

I want to challenge you with something that God spoke into my Spirit this morning. When it comes to conflicts in our relationships, do we truly want RESOLUTION or do we want RETALIATION? Listen to what God's Word tells us…"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." (Ephesians 4:32 NIV). The Message versions says it like this, "Be gentle with one another, sensitive.
Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly
as God in Christ forgave you.

Fellowship without forgiveness is impossible. We MUST learn to forgive quickly and thoroughly. Holding a grudge against someone and REFUSING to thoroughly forgive is sin, and not only effects our relationship with that person, but effects other relationships, as well as our relationship with God the Father. He will not have an intimate relationship with anyone who refuses to forgive quickly and thoroughly. The reason God tells us to forgive QUICKLY is because if you do not, a BITTER SPIRIT could develop. Listen to what God warns us about this bitter spirit:

Hebrews 12:14-17 Work at getting along with each other and with God. Otherwise you'll never get so much as a glimpse of God. (15) make sure no one gets left out of God's generosity. Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time. (16) Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God's lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite. (17) You well know how Esau later regretted that impulsive act and wanted God's blessing--but by then it was too late, tears or no tears.

My friends, retaliation and revenge is truly trying to satisfy a SHORT-TERM appetite. Esau later regretted attempting to satisfy this type of appetite and you will as well. The sad thing about bitterness and RETALIATION is that it not only effects you, but others as well. I know people who are not in church today as adults because their parents couldn't get past hurts and bitterness' of the past. These same parents who couldn't get past the hurt, are now hurt because their grown children don't want to have anything to do with God. Why would they? They grew up with parents that never learned the importance of LETTING IT GO, and forgiving in Jesus' name. I have seen it time after time after time. My friend, I plead with you today, strive for RESOLUTION, not RETALIATION. The bitterness will suck the life out of you and your family. It simply isn't worth it, and you will regret it one day, just like Esau did. You can FORGIVE and move on TODAY, but it is your CHOICE.

As believers, we're called "to settle our relationships with each other." (2 Corinthians 5:18 MSG) We need to consistently forgive others and receive forgiveness from others, or we'll "give up in despair." (2 Corinthians 2:7 CEV)

Whenever we're hurt by someone, we have a choice to make: Will we focus on retaliation or resolution?

The Bible speaks candidly about settling the score: "Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else." (1 Thessalonians 5:15 NIV)

In God's economy, it's not enough to say we won't seek revenge; we're to press into the very heart of forgiveness, forgiving each other, just as Christ forgave us. (Ephesians 4:32 NIV)

The Bible is very clear that forgiveness is not optional for the Christ-follower. God sets this high standard because he knows how much is at stake in your life: Bitterness and unforgiveness are a cancer that eventually will destroy you from the inside out. Forgiveness is the scalpel that removes the tumor.

This doesn't mean you'll always be able to immediately forgive and be done with it. As you become more and more Christ-like, that will become possible, but for now you may have to work at forgiving someone who has hurt you in a particularly painful way. In other words, you may forgive this person but soon begin to feel a root of unforgiveness growing in your heart.

When this occurs, you can go to King Jesus and ask him to help you with this cycle. He will help you release the offender, and the Holy Spirit will guide you in your effort.

A major point here is that forgiveness is a choice you can make. The power of God, working within you, means you no longer have to remain a slave to unforgiveness or bitterness.

In Colossians, the Apostle Paul provides the basis and motivation for forgiveness: "You must make allowance for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others." (Colossians 3:13 NLT, italics added). When we remember the price Jesus paid to forgive us, how can we not forgive? (Romans 5:8)

What now?

· When you forgive, you're not pretending it didn't hurt – Forgiveness means you no longer hold the offense against the offender. It means you've pardoned the debt, and you've intentionally chosen to release the one who hurt you. We're to love deeply, because "love covers over a multitude of sins." (1 Peter 4:8 NIV)

· Stop right now and talk to God – Have an honest conversation with God about someone you need to forgive. Our heavenly Father knows that it's not easy to let go of our hurts, but he will give you the grace to forgive.

· Be honest with God – Cry out to God; tell him exactly how you feel. He won't be surprised or upset by your anger, hurt, insecurity, or bitterness.

I love you guys, and believe that God TODAY, even RIGHT NOW, will give you the inner strength to focus on RESOLUTION. RETALIATION is from the "god of this world" satan, but RESOLUTION is from the God of my heart, Jesus Christ! Why don't you put your broken relationships, hurt feelings, and anger into the capable hands of God and move on in victory and by faith. It is satan's plan to divide and conquer. He wants you to isolate yourself from others. He wants you to quit church, even though that is COMPLETELY against God's Word. So, it is your choice TODAY to get off of the "TREADMILL" of no progress, just doing the same thing over and over and over. The definition of insanity is "doing the same things over and over and expecting different results." After you choose to get off of the treadmill of unforgivness and retaliation, then make another choice to get on the ROAD of great progress and choose to forgive. I know you can do it, because you "can do all things through Christ who strengthens you." Blessings!

Pastor Rusty

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The NEED for 50/20 Vision

Good morning! This is the day that the Lord has made, I will REJOICE and be glad in it. And that's really not that hard to do. All you have to do is stop and meditate for a moment on the blessings that God has bestowed upon you. Things that you would normally take for granted. For example: sight, hearing, ability to walk, ability to breathe, ability to work, family, vehicle, home, clothes, food, your job. I talked to a man a few days ago who has desperately been trying to find a job. If you have one, instead of taking it for granted, you should pause right now and thank God for it. Amen? God is FAITHFUL.

For years God has been speaking to me about the need for the Christian to have 50/20 vision. What is that? Let me share the answer to that question with you.

"… You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result …" Genesis 50:20 (NIV)

The life of Joseph was anything but peaceful. It was filled with youthful folly, broken dreams, and the mean-spirited actions of others. Yet he remained a man remarkable for his lack of bitterness or regret, always seeing God as the "Great Engineer" behind even the worst of circumstances. Genesis 50 and verse 20 shows us how we should view our struggles…through 50/20 vision. What is 50/20 vision? The understanding that Joseph had concerning what he was going through. He knew that it was meant for evil, but God meant it for good in order to bring about a lasting victory. Regardless what you go through, ask God to help you see the struggle in light of Genesis 50:20, 50/20 vision.

In a final confrontation with his brothers, Joseph graciously noted, "You meant it for bad; God meant it for good."

The theology packed in that statement is astounding. 'God meant it for good means --

You can accept the past -- No sin, no action, no choice on your part is too big for God to handle – or too big to be worked for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His name. Just ask Joseph; Better yet, ask his fearful and famished brothers, who were forced to rely on him for survival.

You can embrace the present -- There's no need to play the 'what if' game. The past is gone, and no energy you expend will ever change it. The future is in God's omnipotent hands, so you're free to focus on the present. Your job is to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, trusting Him to forgive the past and transform the future. Martyred missionary Jim Eliot once wrote, "Wherever you are, be all there," not living in the past and not fantasizing about the future. God wants you in the present because that's where His grace will flow.

You can look expectantly toward the future -- Even if you make mistakes today, God still controls your future. Walking in the Spirit, you can live life to the fullest, unafraid of making mistakes and unconcerned you may stumble into some terrible circumstance that takes you out of God's control. Even when things appear to be terrible, you can trust that God is working out some divine plan through you.

Always remember…

· No matter how bad things get -- God is still able to bring good out of it. Today, thank God that nothing – no disaster, no delay – is bigger that his ability to turn it into something good and godly.

· Thank God and let go - Thank God that He is sovereign over your past, your present, and your future.

· Give God the circumstances, disasters, hindrances, hurts, and sins from your past;
· Give God your current situation, your disasters, hindrances, hurts, and sins of today;
· Praise God that he can work anything in your future for godly good, that you can walk in confidence that there is nothing anyone can do to you, or anything you can do that will be beyond the reach of God's Grace and redemption.

· Look for God's hand -- Walking by faith means you see God's hand even in the most difficult of circumstances. You trust in his ability and his willingness to transform the bad into godly good. God is not limited by people's motives; in other words, it does not matter why someone hurt you, God can still transform a deliberate, mean-spirited situation into something for his good. So today, why don't you purposely look for and recognize the Divine Presence of God. Regardless how you FEEL, know that God is in the middle of the FIRE with you, just like He was in the Old Testament story of the Three Hebrew Children.

· What will you allow God to change? – There it is: some situation, or event, or person in your life who, as far as you can tell, 'meant it for bad.' How do you think God meant it for good? Ask God what he wants you to do with this situation (event or person). When he answers, do it. God used Joseph's pain from his family to save his family from pain and starvation. God will use your current pain to help someone who is in pain. That you can count on.

I love you guys, and praying that you will begin today to look at your current situation with 50/20 vision. Yes, it might have been meant for evil…BUT GOD isn't finished working yet! He is the AUTHOR and the FINISHER of our faith. He is the ALPHA and OMEGA, the BEGINNING and the END. Philippians 1:6 says that we can be CONFIDENT of this, that He that BEGAN a good work in you will COMPLETE it until the day of Jesus Christ. God always FINISHES what He starts! He's still working in you and for you! Blessings!

Pastor Rusty

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving for family

Good morning! This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. I hope you had a great day with your family yesterday. In fact, many of you are probably still with family. What a blessing that families are. We have spent the past few days in Branson with my Mother & Father in-law, as well as all of my children and grandchildren. Life just doesn't get any better than that. I have been overwhelmed with thanksgiving this week. I have been studying this morning the message that I plan to preach Sunday morning entitled, "Wisdom for the Family." I believe God is going to speak to each of us, and challenge us to make sure that our families are built upon the solid Rock of Jesus Christ. I hope you plan to be there, as well as bring family members with you as we celebrate "Family Day at First Assembly."

I apologize that I have not written on my blog this week. I planned to, however, our condo didn't have internet of any kind. I felt lost the first couple of days, but it ended up being nice and relaxing. Let me share with you a thought this morning.

Through her books and lectures, Edith Schaeffer has become much appreciated for her insights into the value of life's ordinary days. When she and her husband Francis were first married, both sets of parents lived nearby. The newlyweds divided each Sunday afternoon and evening be-tween the Schaeffers and the Sevilles.

After a few years, Edith and Francis moved to Switzerland, where they could talk with their parents only once a year in a brief phone conversation.

Looking back half a century later, Edith wrote of being glad for the way they had used those Sunday afternoons. She noted that "proximity of loved ones is not an endless situation." She concluded that a package labeled "time to care for parents and exhibit love" doesn't just arrive someday. We must show love while we can.

The fifth of the Ten Commandments says: "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you" (Exodus 20:12). The command to love and respect our parents applies equally to children living at home, newly independent young couples, and empty-nesters.

Seize each moment you have to love and honor your family. The opportunity won't last forever.

Putting It Into Action

  • Plan a regular time to call a family member.
  • Help an aged relative with a project or housework.
  • Write a letter to someone you love but cannot visit.

Time is one of the greatest gifts we can give each other.

I love you guys, and hope you have a great weekend with your family. I look forward to seeing you Sunday morning in church, and please…BRING YOUR FAMILY!

Pastor Rusty



Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thankful for the Cross

Good morning! This is the day that the Lord has made, I WILL rejoice and be glad in it! As I mentioned yesterday, I have been thinking of reasons to be thankful. I have come up with MANY. But I want to share with you the greatest reason that we have to be thankful…the CROSS of Calvary.

As Christians, we understand the spiritual significance of Christ's sacrifice at Calvary, but it's easy to forget about the tremendous agony He endured there. The worst aspect was separation from the Father, but the physical suffering was also horrible beyond comprehension.

In his book Dare To Believe, Dan Baumann shares some thoughts that can deepen our gratitude for what the Savior did for us. He wrote, "We have perhaps unwisely and sometimes unconsciously glamorized the cross. Jewelry and steeples alike are often ornamental and attractive but carry nothing of the real story of crucifixion. It was the most painful method of public death in the first century. The victim was placed on a wooden cross. Nails . . . were driven into the hands and feet of the victim, and then the cross was lifted and jarred into the ground, tearing the flesh of the crucified and racking his body with excruciating pain. Historians remind us that even the soldiers could not get used to the horrible sight, and often took strong drink to numb their senses."

With a fresh awareness of our Savior's physical agony, let's thank Him anew for His sacrifice at Calvary. He loved us so much that He was willing to die for us—even the painful death of the cross.
We can never sacrifice enough for the One who sacrificed His all for us.

I want to share something with you that someone emailed to me yesterday. It is one of the most touching things that I have ever listened to, and goes along with how thankful we need to be for what Jesus did for us on the cross.

A remarkable phone call from a 12-yr old boy to Houston radio station KSBJ FM 89.3. So profound, the station has it posted on their website. Click below to listen to it. It's short.

Thank God for Jesus' death on the cross. May we be reminded, like this 12 year old boy, what great price that God paid for our sins! I love you all, and pray that you have a wonderfully blessed day. Blessings!

Pastor Rusty

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Never count the MIGHT HAVE BEENS!

Good morning! This is the day that the Lord has made, I pray that you started off your day rejoicing and being glad in it! We have much to rejoice about, if we just slow down long enough to think about it. Thank you so much to everyone that participated in our poll Friday, and for those who left comments. God used many of those comments Sunday, and we had four come to the Lord for Salvation in our services. Also, many were encouraged in the Lord because of the shared testimonies. To God be the glory great things that he has done!

When Dr. Robert Schuller, founder of California's Crystal Cathedral, was growing up, drought ravaged their family farm. They prayed for rain that never came. His dad, who normally harvested 100 wagon loads of corn, reaped only a half-wagon full. Schuller says, "I'll never forget it. His calloused hands holding ours as he looked up and prayed, 'Thank you Lord, I've lost nothing. I've regained all the seed I planted in spring.' While other farmers were saying, 'We lost 90 or 100 loads,' my father told me, 'Never count the might-have-beens or you'll be defeated. Never look at what you've lost, only look at what you've got left.'" Good advice! Too many times we get caught up in REGRETS and what MIGHT HAVE BEEN, and we don't give God the thanks that he is deserving of, and we find ourselves "wallowing" in self-pity and before long depression begins to settle in.

Today, why don't you purpose in your heart to be THANKFUL for everything that God has blessed you with. Do you know what the word CONTENTMENT really means? It means, "wanting what God has blessed you with." Not "coveting" what you do not have. Paul said that he had LEARNED to be content. You learn CONTENTMENT by developing an ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE towards what God has placed in your life. You will NEVER develop gratitude as long as you camp out in the land of WHAT COULD HAVE OR MIGHT HAVE BEEN. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Why not start it off with thanksgiving for you HAVE LEFT!

In Psalm 69:30, David said, "Praise… God… and… magnify Him with thanksgiving," because gratitude has:

(1) Driving power. Paul says, "Thanks be to God, who always leads us in victory" (2 Corinthians 2:14 NCV). Thanksgiving helps you make the hard decisions. It gives you courage to believe against all odds.

(2) Reviving power. Listen to what Paul says, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: "Don't
ever stop thinking about what is… worthy of praise…. And God, who gives peace, will be with you" (Philippians 4:8-9 CEV). Stopping regularly to recall God's goodness restores your perspective and strengthens you.

(3) Striving power. Gratitude gives you the "uumph" to move ahead. Paul could "press on" because his goals included:

  • knowing Christ
    (Philippians 3:14
    I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward
  • preaching in Spain (Romans 15:24
    I'm planning my visit. I'm headed for Spain, and expect to stop off on the way to enjoy a good visit with you, and eventually have you send me off with God's blessing.)

  • seeing a lost world saved (Romans 10:1
    Believe me, friends, all I want for Israel is what's best for Israel: salvation, nothing less. I want it with all my heart and pray to God for it all the time.
    ) What goals are you striving for?

(4) Arriving power. When you reach your destination, you'll find you've developed selflessness and humility. That's because gratitude is nothing more than telling God and those around you, "Thanks. I couldn't have done it without you!"

I woke up this morning thinking about how much I have to be thankful for. Even if you are going through a difficult time, why don't you take the time to do the following exercise, and realize how blessed that you really are.

Write down what you are thankful for in this acronym activity. Start your word, phrase, or sentence with each of these letters:













After you do this exercise, why don't you take the time to share with us some of the things that you are thankful for? I believe that your comments of thanksgiving will help and inspire someone else. I also will use some of the comments in a message about thanksgiving tomorrow (Wednesday) night. I love each of you, and I THANK GOD FOR YOU DAILY! Blessings!

Pastor Rusty

Friday, November 9, 2007

Is it hard to keep believing?

Good morning! Thank you so much for reading my blog today. I am excited about our services this weekend. Sunday morning we will be honoring our Veterans with a Video, and I PLAN to preach a message entitled, "Is It Hard to Keep Believing?" However, I need your help.

I love to read different christian blogs, and was reading one today that was discussing this very question. I began to think about that, and wondered what would be the responses if I were to ask the question on my blog, so that is what I'm doing today.

2 Timothy 2:13 says, “if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”

Because we are wrapped in this body of flesh (2 Cor 4:16-5:5), there are times that our “spirit is willing but our flesh is weak” (Matt 26:41).

I can look back at my life and realize that the Lord has brought us through many smaller battles that stretched our faith, each time using a brother or sister in Christ to remind us of His promises and to help us lift our eyes of faith once again. It is so important to come along side of a struggling Christian and share your faith with them when they have little of their own.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (MSG) All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.

I have seen in counseling with people that, SOMETIMES, it’s hard to keep believing. What is important to remember is that our moments of weakness do not disqualify us from being recipients of God’s love and grace. It is JESUS that keeps us secure, and not our faith.

So my question for you personally is, "Is it HARD to keep believing?" Is it hard to continue trusting God with your life when you don't see any type of answer? Is it difficult to sometimes "Be still, and know that He is God" when you feel He is not hearing you, let alone answering you?

Please share your thoughts and battles with me. Also, to the right of this blog is a poll that I want you to respond to. With your comments posted on this blog and the results from the poll, I can more effectively share my heart and your stories Sunday morning.

I love you guys, and look forward to your comments! Blessings!

Rusty L. Blann

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Shining for Jesus

Christ said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works…” Have you thought lately about how you might let your light shine?

Consider some of the following ways:

Possibly through…

  • …the courtesy of letting a driver merge in front of you
  • …the returned smile to the Wal-Mart greeters
  • …the generosity of your tip to the pizza delivery person
  • …the pleasant tone of your voice as you say, “Thank you” to the bank teller
  • …the offer of an apology when you are wrong (Even to your kids!)
  • …the time you give to a single mom’s child
  • …the thoughtful note you write to a parishioner or teammate (Just because!)
  • …the returning of your neighbor’s trash can that blew away during the storm
  • …the bottled water left in the mailbox for the mailman
  • …the giving of a hamburger and french fries to a homeless person, with a God bless you given with it

The result is as Christ said, “…that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”Why don’t you set out this week to bring glory to your Father?

If you will take just a moment to take the following quiz, then you will see the influence that you can have with people when you let your light shine...

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest.

4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer prize.

5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

6. Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.

Easier?The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.

This month we are reaching out to the people that God has brought into our lives. Remember, this Sunday you are encouraged to invite a VETERAN to come to church with you. Sunday, the 18th, you are asked to invite a FRIEND to church with you, and then on the 25th, we are going to invite a FAMILY MEMBER to come to church with us. I expect many souls to be won into God's we do OUR PART...Let the light of Jesus shine through us.

I love you guys, and hope you have a blessed rest of the day!

Rusty L. Blann

Monday, November 5, 2007

Divide and Conquer

We had a great weekend of services. Thank you so much to everyone that made an effort to attend. I believe that we are going to see many souls won into the kingdom of God in the month of November. But, we HAVE TO DO OUR PART. We are helping you do your part. We have three special Sundays scheduled for the month of November:

11th Veterans Sunday-Invite a Veteran to attend church with you

18th Friend Sunday-Invite a Friend to attend church with you

25th Family Sunday-Invite a Family member to attend church with you

Somewhere around 95% of those in attendance made a commitment before God to invite people to attend in each of these services. God will honor us as we do our part. Thank you in advance.

I want to share something with you that God has been speaking to into my heart.

I was watching the Discovery Channel with my family a few days ago. I LOVE the Discovey channel, and especially like to watch when they are showing lions chasing a wildebeest. Well, we were watching this take place on our television, and I was cheering for the lions to catch the Wildebeest, while Taylor, my eight year old daughter was yelling, "run deer, run." She was so upset about the lions trying to kill the "deer" that she was about to cry. She started saying, "turn it daddy, turn it, I don't want to watch the lions kill that 'deer'" I eventually turned the channel , but continued to think about what we had just seen on TV.

For you see, a lion will not go into a herd of wildebeest to attack. The herd could trample the lion. What he does, is wait until one of the wildebeest separates himself from the pack. When this happens, the lion(s) begin to crouch and prowl toward the "very much alone" wildebeest. The lions are hoping to "DIVIDE AND CONQUER." You then watch the Wildebeest trying his best to get away from the lion, and in many cases, attempting to get back to the pack of his friends.

My friend, that is exactly what the Bible says about the devil. It is said about satan, that he comes "as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." What is his strategy? DIVIDE AND CONQUER! The Bible says in Romans 4 that when Abraham didn't receive the promise of God for some 25 years, that he "didn't stagger at the promise of God." The word stagger in the Greek means, "to not separate oneself in a hostile spirit." Abraham refused to become offended and allow the devil (lion) to DIVIDE AND CONQUER. However, many people do fall for this trick of our enemy. They become upset, hurt or offended, and the first thought that comes into their mind is to "separate themselves from other people." They are deceived into believing that the best thing for them to do is to leave the fellowship of God's people. They decide that they can serve God at home better than being around people at church. It is a lie and a trick of the devil. God's Word plainly says in Hebrews 10:25:

Hebrews 10:25 (AMP) Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching.

(CEV) Some people have gotten out of the habit of meeting for worship, but we must not do that. We should keep on encouraging each other, especially since you know that the day of the Lord's coming is getting closer.

(KJVR) Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one
another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

(MSG) not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.

The closer we get to the Lord's return, the greater the deception is going to be by the enemy to try to get us to "separate ourselves" from our friends, church, and even family members. It is an attack of the devil that will only increase. The Word of God says that in the last days, that the "very elect" of God's people are going to be tempted to be deceived. Also, that the "love of many" will grow cold. Please hear your pastors heart today. We NEED each other. Don't be like the wildebeest and separate yourself from the HERD of God's people. The desire to do so is NOT coming from the Spirit of God, but from the god of this world, satan himself, the "roaming lion" who is seeking to devour you and your family.

If you have already separated yourself from others for whatever reason, why don't you ask God to help you get past your offense, and grow in the Lord. Some good folks, never mature in the Lord because they are always running from their problems. Oh, they may sound spiritual, but my friends, if they are separating themselves from God's people in offense, they are falling for the oldest trick of the enemy. Please know that you are WELCOME to come back to God's Herd. He is calling, beckoning you through this blog to, COME BACK HOME! God's Word tells you that "greater is HE that is in you, than he that is in the world."

I love you all, and pray for you daily. Blessings!

Pastor Rusty

Friday, November 2, 2007

Five Steps to Overcome the Fear of Failure

Good morning! This is the day that the Lord has made, I will REJOICE and be glad in it. What a beautiful day that we have been given today. I pray that you will enjoy every second of it, and bask in the blessings of God. We take so many of His blessings for granted. Let's slow down today, and savor every moment.

I look forward to our services this weekend. In our Sunday morning service I plan to preach a message entitled, "Coins, Sheep, and Prodigals." During this message I will show interviews of some people in our church as they share how they became a part of our church family. You don't want to miss it. Then Sunday night, I am preaching the message, "When Fact encounters FAITH" Are you facing a tough situation in your life, then you need to be here Sunday night. I will be showing a couple of videos. One of our Kids Fest, and another will be a testimony of how God put a family back together. I believe that it will be a great weekend.

I want to share with you this morning about how to overcome the fear of failure.

Failure … It is something we fear, yet we have all experienced. It is part of the human experience to take risks at times and risk implies failure.

In Matthew 25:21, the master responds, "Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master."

The master says, "Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master" (Matthew 25:23 NASB ).

"I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground; see, you have what is yours" (Matthew 25:25).

Five things to remember if you want to overcome this fear:

1.     Remember that everybody fails.

Everybody fails. It is a natural part of life.
"We all stumble in many ways" (James 3:2 NASB ).

"We all stumble in many ways ." How many? Many ways. We what? "All stumble."

"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). The fact is, all have sinned and fall short. Everybody fails.

2.     Realize that failure is not final.

Often, the fear of failure is worse than the experience itself.

Proverbs 24:16 says, "A righteous man falls seven times, and rises again."

"God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).

Failure is not final.
Galatians 6:9 says this, "Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary."

3.     Recognize that there are benefits to failure.

Psalm 119:67: "Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word."

  1. Failure educates us.


Thomas Edison had 10,000 failures before he perfected the incandescent lightbulb. At 10,000 failures someone asked him, "Aren't you discouraged? Don't you feel like a failure?" Do you know what Thomas Edison's reply was? "I don't call it a failure," he said. "I call it an education. Now I know 10,000 things that do not work very well."


B.    Failure helps us to discover our true talents.


I think of Raymond Kroc. Raymond Kroc failed at real estate. So he finally tried something different. He bought a hamburger stand from two brothers, whose last names happened to be McDonald. Kroc later spun that hamburger stand into a world-renowned fast-food chain.

  1. Failure makes us less judgmental.


When you fail, you become a lot more sympathetic, sensitive, and kind to others. When you fail, your arrogance is restrained.

4.     Redefine failure.

Failure is not that you didn't arrive at your goal; failure is not even making the effort.

"I realized that all we can do is be happy and do the best we can while we are still alive" (Ecclesiastes 3:12).

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7 NASB ).

Proverbs 14:4

"Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, but much increase comes by the strength of the ox."

5.     Replace fear with faith in Christ.

Philippians 4:13
"I have the strength to face all conditions by the power

"When I am afraid, I will put my trust in God" (Psalm 56:3).


I love you guys, and hope to see you Sunday! Blessings!


Pastor Rusty