101616 | Making Room for Offense | Jacob Hickman

October 19, 2016

Offenses will come.  Unfortunately, it is part of life but they don’t have to be.  We are all born into a fallen, selfish, egotistical and inconsiderate life.  Yes, Yes, I know that sounds somewhat harsh but the truth is when Adam and Eve fell the one thing that they became was self-conscience.  We have been self-conscience ever since, so much so that we have turn being selfish into an art form in our modern times.  With this ancient modern human characteristic mixed with today’s culture and media saturation we have a recipe for conflict and offenses.  Whether they happen in marriages, work relationships, or even between nations it seems there is no getting around offense.

The good news; there is a way to live above offense and constant conflict.  Jesus outlined it in his sermon on the mount found in the gospels.  Jesus talked about your heart being the seat of conflict and offense more than just the words coming out of our mouth.  He not only talked about not being offensive or being offended but also gave us specific instructions as how to resolve these conflicts.  

Young Adult Pastor Jacob Hickman vividly and humorously share how Jesus’ principles are to be applied to our daily lives in order to not just avoid conflict but to heal the broken relationships because of offense.  He end with a call to action, to resolve the offense by taking communion with the one we have offended or be offended by and thus bring healing and hope to the relationship.

100916 | Buildiing Blocks | Part Five | What are we leaving behind? A Legacy | Allen HIckman

October 11, 2016

Whether we like it or not we will leave a legacy.  The hard question we must ask ourself is; “will that legacy bring life to the world or be a determinant to it?”  Wow, that is pretty hard, but true.  Jonathan Edwards a puritan preacher from the 1700’s left a legacy of life to our country and world, 1 U.S. Vice-President, 3 U.S. Senators, 3 governors, 3 mayors, 13 college presidents, 30 judges, 65 professors, 80 public office holders, 100 lawyers and 100 missionaries and much more just 150 years after his death.  In comparison a known criminal Max Juke in New York City during the same time left a legacy of 7 murderers, 60 thieves, 50 women of debauchery, 130 other convicts. 310 paupers (with over 2,300 years lived in poorhouses) 400 who were physically wrecked by indulgent living.

We will never leave a legacy of love, hope and honor to God if we don’t live a life of love, hope and honor to God ourselves.  We don’t reproduce who we want people to be but we will reproduce who we are as parents, leaders, workers, and Christians.  Our first and foremost task is to walk a life close to God so that our families will walk close to Him as well.  In order to leave a legacy of life it must be on purpose.  It doesn’t just happen.  Of all the millionaires and billionaires in the world that are self-made all did it on purpose.  None of them just stumbled into it.  They are not surprised at the money they have made because they did what was necessary to make it.  We must be as intentional in leaving a legacy.

Pastor Allen end this series on the family by talking to us about what we are leaving behind us.  The most important thing we can give our children and family is not an inheritance of money but an inheritance of integrity and Honor.

100216 | Building Blocks | Part Four | Generational Cursings and Blessings

October 3, 2016

God and Satan think generational and so should we.   Generational curses are real.  They are not just a mystical and spiritual doctrine.  Yes, they are spiritual with great impact in the physical world.  Generational curses are passed down from generation to generation.  That is why medical doctors say that medical conditions of the previous generation are hereditary.  Why is that?  Because they are passed down.  It’s not just physical conditions that are passed down but spiritual ones as well.  Satan is a legalist and only goes where there is an open door.  That is why we must be careful what we say and do.  Satan does not care how the door is opened just as long as it is opened.  As Christians, we don’t live in fear of the enemy but we are to stay sober and attentive to his “devices, and schemes.”

There is hope for the generational cursed people.  Jesus has broken those curses and we can live in freedom from those curse and live in His blessings.  How?  First we must identify who we are in Christ.  Once you realize in your heart & head who Christ is in you and who you are in Him you will begin to walk in a new found confidence that the world marvels at.  Second if you realize that you are walking in a curse or in sin you must repent and renounce.  Thirdly realize that you are not just fighting for yourself but for the next generations.  Lastly, ask God to reveal your weak areas so you will be aware of them so the enemy does not get a foothold.

May the God of all peace and hope open the eyes of your understanding to know and break the generational curse and start living in His generational blessings.

092516 | Building Blocks | Part Three | Children: Heritage or Hindrance

September 27, 2016

Children are a heritage of the Lord according to the Word of God.  However, the current world view of children is they are more a hindrance than they are a heritage.  One the of the most unselfish things you could ever do, is to intentionally have children.  Why?  Because you realize that you will have to lay your life down to see them fulfill their destiny in God.   We, as Christians, followers of Jesus Christ, are to raise godly children that have a positive impact on our communities and our world.

There are three things we must do in order to raise children that are a blessing.  First and foremost we must LOVE them.  They must be convinced, assured and overrun with your love.
They can walk knowing they are loved.  Second they have to be corrected.  If we truly love our children we will correct them.  Discipline is not a bad word.  Dr. Doug Weiss of the Heart to Heart counseling center in Colorado says that “Desire is the result of discipline.”  Third, we must give them identity.  We let them know who they are, where we come from, and what we do, it will gives them security.

Let your children know your story of how God has changed your life and impacted your marriage.  Spend time at your table with your children.  That is part of impartation.  Whether we believe it or not, we as their parents are the most influential people in our children’s life.  We can raise godly children but only as we depend on God and His strength to parent and love them.     

091816 | Building Blocks | Part Two | Marriage: One Flesh

September 20, 2016

Marriage is more than an institution it is all about a relationship that is divine.  God set this whole thing up.  It is not a man-made idea.  God made Adam and Eve for each other and when they are walking in God they are living and thriving as one flesh with each other as well as with God.  The action is that we are one flesh  and we work together as one. 

After love is established there are some things that we must understand  and have the correct attitude toward each other and toward marriage.  Men need respect women need safety and protection.  As we are walking and living in God we are able to give each other what we need.  The attitude is that we live for each others success.

God is a God of order.  There is an alignment in marriage.  Because marriage is the foundation of all other relationships and society it is absolutely necessary for our marriages to be in alignment.  When we live out of alignment everybody is affected.  That is why we have so many issues and problems in our societies around the world because our marriages are out of alignment.  We all have positions and responsibilities that come along with that position.

Has the Father, Son and Spirit are one so we as husband and wife are to be one, one flesh!

091116 | Building Blocks | Part One | The Transcendence of Marriage

September 12, 2016

The family is the foundation to all societies in our world and marriage is the foundation of families.  If we have successful families it is because we have successful marriages.  What does a successful marriage look like?  It is never having conflict? Never having problems?  Always being kind and gentle to one another?  Yes and no!!  Reality tells us that because we are human we are going to have difficulties but if we truly understand that marriage is about a covenant that God established and not a man made idea or institution we will give it the proper place of value in our society. 

In part one of this 5 part series we deal with the transcendence of marriage.  Apart from our relationship with God there is no other relationship greater.  Marriage is highly esteemed in God’s eyes and so it must be in ours.  We have allowed the world around us to dictate to us the value or non-value of marriage.  It, marriage, has been reduced to nothing more than a boyfriend, girlfriend, junior high romance relationship.  You jump in and you jump out.  God doesn’t look at it that way. 

If we want strong healthy families we are going to have to have strong healthy marriages.  Building a strong marriage is one of the first building blocks we must work on.

090416 | What is a Christian? | Allen Hickman

September 6, 2016

Since the beginning of the Christian faith the rest of the world has called the followers of Jesus “Christians”.  After two-thousand plus years though some of the meaning has gotten lost.  So what does it mean to be a “Christian”?  Is it going to church on a regular basis?  Is it doing what Jesus did?  To act like Him, talk like Him?  Is it keeping all the rules and laws that the Bible has in it?

NO, to all the above.  To be a Christian is not about doing but about being.  Not everyone is a child of God, only those who have been born into His family.  We are Christians because we have been “born again.”  We now have the very blood of God flowing through our veins.  We act like Jesus because it is our nature, not because we choose to.  If it is all about our choices then our hope still rest with us and not with God.  But if we have His blood flowing through us, then His nature is our nature.  We are joint heirs with Jesus.  We are a brothers and sisters to the Son.

We have a personal relationship with our Father God.  He has done all that was needed to give us the right and privilege to be call His sons and daughters.  Being a Christian is more than doing what your culture says.  Being a Christian is about being a son or daughter.

082816 | How to be a Titus | Allen Hickman

August 30, 2016

We all need each other.  Whether we believe it or not or whether we distance ourself from others in hopes that they will leave us alone, the truth still remains, we need each other.  Have you ever be going through a difficult time in your life; divorce, death of a loved one, job relocation, a prodigal child, etc... and someone gave you an encouraging word or they just showed up and were there?  If you have, then that person was a Titus.  Titus in the Bible was one of the many young men that the apostle Paul mentored.  When Paul was going through a difficult time in his life Titus was there to encourage and lift him up.  Paul was eternal grateful for that.

We are all in need of others.  Even those of us that think we are just fine on our own.  God designed us to for each other.  He said “its not good for man to be alone.”  Yes, He was talking about creating Eve but He was also talking about relating to others as well.  We were never meant to be alone.  That is what lifegroups are all about.  Connecting with others and growing in our relationship with God together.

Pastor Allen share several principles about relationships and what it take to be a “Titus”, in this weeks message.  We pray that the mercy, love, joy and wisdom of God rest on you as you watch and/or listen to this weeks message on encouraging and being there for one another.

082116 | Why So Downcast? | Allen Hickman

August 23, 2016

Life can get a little hectic and overwhelming at times and can be taxing on the soul.  We can get a little downcast and depressed when things don’t seem to go the way we thought they would or we make bad decisions that have detrimental outcomes.  We as followers of Jesus Christ have a hope that the rest of the world doesn’t have.  This is a hope that give us a joy that is unspeakable, a love that is unimaginable, and peace that is incomprehensible.  That will only come as we put our hope in God and not the current affairs of this world.

You may ask, “how did I get to this place of being so downcast?”  There are a few things that if not dealt with will drive us to a place of being downcast and depressed.  First make sure you pay attention to the “rest” that you get.  When you are tired physically you are more susceptible to the attacks of the enemy.  Second you have to allow God’s love to cast out the fears you have within.  When you don’t you start to believe the lies of the enemy and you take up offenses.  Lastly don’t allow the conflict in your life to steal your peace no matter whether they are within your control or not.  

God is near to those who are downcast and He wants to lift them up.  Why so downcast? Put your hope in God.  He and He alone can bring you the joy, peace, and love that can change the world.  

081416 | The Walking Dead | Todd Goodwin

August 17, 2016

Jesus came that we might have life and not just mere existence but an abundant, adventurous and exciting life.  We, as Christians were not called to the mundane, boring, cold, and stiff life.  That's what the walking dead is all about, mindless and imbecilic lives. 

We will become the walking dead if we don't do a few things.  First we must check our vital signs or a least have the people around us check them for us.  That's why small groups are so important.  It's hard to see pride in the mirror. 

Second we must pay attention to the details of our life.  Nobody ever dreams of getting divorced or becoming an addict but because they did pay attention the details of their life the enemy crept in and slowly and intentionally destroyed them from within. 

And lastly if we are to not become the walking dead we are going to have to live our life in rows and not circles meaning its not about Sunday morning attendance but the small groups and connections of our lives that will keep us safe from becoming the walking dead.

The walking dead always consume and never brings life to others but the followers of Jesus alway bring life because life flows to and through them.