Tag Archives: christian

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day

This is far more than a civil rights speech this was a Kingdom message, stretching much farther than just the color of skin or the disorder of culture. This was a message founded deeply in the principles of God, uniting His creation. Progress was made as a nation; but I believe if Dr. King were alive today, he would be greatly saddened at the regression that we have allowed. Our nation once mighty, not from wealth and power, but in unity and conviction is no longer better, but worse. Our division, hatred and anger used to at least be honest, out front and open, but now it’s subtle and deceptive. You hate your brother while smiling to his face and inviting him into your home. We continue to call a spiritual war, a race war and use fleshly tactics and weapons to fight a spiritual war that is immune to your artillery. The seed of racism was buried in the hearts of men, using man’s own ignorance to divide God’s creation. The spiritual enemy that we face, much like the ignorance embedded deep within many, is not racist. He attacks the black and white, alike, and fools us to blame each other. We must understand that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12 NKJV)”

Dr. King understood this because before he was ever a civil rights hero in America, he surrendered himself as a servant of the most high God and an ambassador of God’s Kingdom. Whether you are white or black, your brother of another color is not the issue, it is the condition of your heart. You must cease from fighting a spiritual war with fleshly weapons, it’s weak and lazy. Put down your chosen weapon of hatred and pick up a spiritual weapon that’s proven..love. Love is so powerful that it can both connect and conquer. It unites the greatest of friends and overcomes the fiercest of enemies. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure that you can really call it love until it is an enemy. “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. (‭Luke‬ ‭6‬:‭32-36‬ NKJV)”

If you really want to celebrate today and what this great man stood for, don’t throw a party in his honor or parade his name, live in accordance to the principals that he lived by, the principles of the Kingdom. You are fighting a war, but you must choose who and what you are fighting for. Not black or white, but evil or good. Choose your side and your weapons wisely.
You are fighting a war, but you must choose who you are fighting for. Not black or white, but evil or good. Choose your side and your weapons wisely
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New Church Makes It’s Home In Anderson Mall (Anderson Independent Article/Saturday, December 27)

By Abe Hardesty/Anderson Independent

Sixty-five stores were open for business in late December at the Anderson Mall.

Only one offered free products.

That store, near the entrance of J.C. Penney and across the hall from Books-A-Million, is the Rejuvenate Church — the newest tenant in the 42-year-old mall.

What seems an unlikely location for a house of worship is one that Anderson County native Jason Wilson considers ideal. From the time it began meeting in homes in the Powdersville area a year ago, Wilson had been looking for an Anderson location, preferably one in an easy-to-find spot that would foster diversity.

The Anderson Mall, he discovered, meets all those criteria.

“The mall is a great place to find a cross-section of the population. Shopping doesn’t discriminate between age, financial status or anything else,” said Wilson, who serves as pastor.

“I knew that if we were located at the storefront of a mall, we’d get all types of people walking past,” Wilson said. “And that’s where I wanted to be.”

The church began meeting at the mall in late September. Its meetings usually draw about 30 “regulars.”

It marks the first full-time ministry for Wilson, a 1996 Wren High graduate who attended college at both Clemson and Troy State of Alabama.

After earning a degree in health sciences at Clemson in 2001, he worked as an employee health coordinator at the AnMed Health System and served as a youth leader at New Image Church in the Powdersville area before making the commitment in 2013 to form a new congregation.

Wilson’s goal is to “create a culture of ultimate diversity.”

He had initially planned to use a school or theater as the meeting place for his new ministry, but came up with the mall idea while shopping last year with his wife, Serena, and two children.

The unusual venue, he said, “puts us light years ahead” of the typical pace of growth for a new congregation.

“We believe that the church is the bridge that connects divides,” Wilson said. “There are very few places that everyone visits, regardless of age, race and socioeconomic status. The mall is that place.”

Wilson, in a post on his website, added that the location gives the new church a chance to reach some shoppers who otherwise might not stop by for congregational meetings or Bible study.

“We’re not convincing people to come to our church; they’re coming to (the mall) to buy their jeans and we get to love them while they do it,” Wilson wrote.

Wilson hopes to add Sunday-morning services in January.

Wilson, 36, felt called to the ministry at age 18, just before his sophomore year of college. He spent the next seven years “dodging” that calling, but said he eventually “realized he couldn’t continue to escape it.”

About two years ago, Wilson made the commitment to form a new church and become senior pastor about two years ago.

“In January 2013, I felt like God was speaking to me,” said Wilson, who announced to close friends at a Christmas party in December 2013 that he felt called to start a new church.

Wilson is well-acquainted with full-time church ministry. His in-laws, Gary and Cindy Cannon, have served more than 20 years as youth pastors at Greenville’s Tremont Avenue Church of God. An uncle serves as a minister in Alabama and his great-grandfather once served as pastor of the McDuffie Street Church of God.

Wilson married the former Serena Cannon in 2001. They have two young children.

The family ties to the ministry offer no guarantees when it comes to starting a new church, Wilson said.

“Starting a new church is the second-most failed business venture — only about 20 percent succeed,” Wilson said in mid-December, as he worked to install a sound system in the mall storefront.

In an effort to reduce expenses, Wilson and others in the group have become do-it-yourselfers to an extent.

“My grandpa was a carpenter. I worked with him a little, but it is not my gift,” Wilson said of the renovation project, which turned into a group effort.

Wilson is a big proponent of teamwork, and often uses the team-building techniques he first came to appreciate as a student of football.

“Football closely resembles life. I call it the ‘godliest’ sport,” Wilson said. “There are a lot of biblical principles involved in football.

“The way a successful church body comes together, with each member fulfilling its roles, and working together as a team, and facing adversity is much the same way a successful football team functions,” Wilson said.

Article taken from Saturday, December 27, 2014 edition of the Anderson Independent

Article By Abe Hardesty/Anderson Independent

Photos By Ken Ruinard/Anderson Independent

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Are You Taking The Bribe?

Hook of BriberyAs resurrection morning has passed and life afterward carries on, I want to bring your attention to the same scenario, a couple of thousand years ago.

As Jesus was taken from the cross and laid in the borrowed tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, a guard was placed at the burial site to ensure that none of the followers of Christ would attempt to steal His body, hide it and create an elaborate scheme claiming Christ’s resurrection. Turns out, the guards were useless in their attempt to safeguard the tomb, because the resurrection was an “inside” job. The guards were forced to witness prophesy being fulfilled and were rendered helpless of power to change the inevitable. The Bible actually says they “shook with fear and became like dead men.” Their only option was to return to the high-ranking religious officials, now get this, carrying the TRUTH of what happened at the tomb, after all they had just witnessed it for themselves. Matthew says it like this, “some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened.”

What happened next was just plain dirty politics, guided by the hand of the enemy. Matthew writes, ‘When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.” So they took the money and did as they were instructed;” By definition, what took place with these high-ranking officials negatively influencing the guards through money for their own gain, is called a bribe.

These men, who not only knew, but witnessed the truth, were bribed into trading the truth for deception, and living with it. This reeks of satan; lies, money, deception. Just as these men, post-resurrection, were bribed into giving up what they knew to be right and true, the enemy does the same to you with each day. I challenge you to be discerning, hold on to the truth and don’t take the bribe!

Two ways in which we are daily challenged with a bribe:

  1. You know God. You know what’s right, just and true; His word is clear. You have a testimony. You have witnessed what God has done in your life and the lives of those around you, but culture doesn’t want to hear that. So you’re bribed by culture, you’re bribed by media, you’re bribed by your environment; you’re pleasures and the lust of your flesh dangle opportunity in front of you; corporate and economic success throw in their cash; bad attitudes and selfishness make a play, all to keep you silent about the truth. They don’t want you talking about the God you know is real, the God you know is alive. Although you know the truth, you’ve experienced the truth, you’ll accept a bribe to not take a stand for what’s right, the precepts of God.
  2. You have promises of a plan from God for your life. You have incredible gifts, talents, abilities or at least the potential of these things, in order to fulfill the God-given dreams and plans for your life. You know what’s right. You know the truth about what God’s told you and led you to become, but it’s easier to take a bribe and quit. It’s easier to accept a bribe to stay put and give up, rather than pay the price to fulfill the dream. So many are taking bribes everyday, that keep them from pursuing their best life now, the life that God intended you to live; the purpose God intended for you to fulfill. You’ll accept a bribe of doubt, guilt; Bribes of laziness, bribes in the form of settling,  a bribe that tells you that you’re too old or too young, a bribe that looks like ‘quit’ because it’s too hard. You’ll take a bribe to escape the trials of becoming something, even though there’s a truth in you that’s real and seeded by God.

Stop taking the bribes and live for what you know is true! I challenge you to reflect on self. Allow the Holy Spirit to examine you and expose to you the bribes that you’ve been accepting that are keeping you from standing for what’s right and/or investing in yourself to become all that God has called you out to become. Do not settle for a little upfront money to believe a lie that will keep you from Kingdom success. The resurrection brought life. Don’t take a bribe to remain in the company of the dead.

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Are You Not Tired of the Attack?

There has never in my lifetime been more of a time that we need God.  Bodies are being ravaged by attack & disease; homes & lives destroyed by an angry earth; economical destruction that’s leaving families without homes and refrigerators and cupboards without food.  I’m sick of it!  The Kingdom doesn’t live this way! Whether you have realized it yet or not, doesn’t change the fact that we desperately need His mercy and His power!  It’s time to turn our occasional acquaintance into a passionate pursuit of God; our wishful prayers must transform into prayers of bold belief!  In order for us to see “breakthrough” we must, by Kingdom force, “break” a demonic cycle!

You may be ok with where you’re at today.  Things may be well in your life, but I’m ready to see disease die because it cannot overcome the anointing and power that covers a body, under the grace of Jehovah Rapha (The Lord that heals).  I’m ready to see Momma’s and Daddy’s with a roof over their heads, blessing their children, having an abundance in the pantry, gas in their cars all in the face of global economic destruction, because of the unexplained favor of Jehovah Jireh (The Lord that provides)!  I’m ready to hear of stories where it seems earthly destruction is imminent because of the expulsions of the land; tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunami’s, attack, etc, but not one board moves from your house or your business because of the power of Jehovah Shalom (The Lord is peace) that’s holding it together.  I don’t need to explain it to experience it, but I’m ready!

If you’re reading this today and you have a need in your life or healing in your body, I pray the power of Jesus to overcome that which is seeming to overwhelm and destroy you.  I believe the best news of your life is only a moment a way.  I believe your greatest days of living are in front of you.  Christ’s blood wasn’t shed in vain, but for exactly this moment in your life!  As I agree with you speak, with belief, healing over yourself; provision for yourself; favor for yourself! I love you. God loves you! I want to see God do major miracles in your life. I want to rejoice with you in those miracles.

Don’t wait for the walls to fall for your shout! Shout for your walls to fall!

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A Quick Thought on Matt. 28:19…

Have you really read Matt. 28:19? Let me challenge your thinking for a minute…… This passage says, “Go therefore, and make disciples….teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you…”

Notice he didn’t say “go and make believers”…he said “go and make disciples…”  What if we did exactly what he commanded? Leaders, pastors…I’m challenging you!  What if we put as much emphasis on making disciples as we do believers?  Now I know some of you religious folk think I’ve lost my mind and you’re ready to give me hell, fire and brimstone for challenging the “make believers” mentality, but I want to question your mentality.  I’m not taking anything away from reaching lost souls, as a matter of fact that is a huge goal, but I am challenging your mentality for getting there.  Are you really Kingdom minded?  Let me show you why…

The concept of just making “believers” does two things: 1. It makes you a poor steward of what you’ve been given (think parable of the talents)… 2. It creates a vicious cycle of constant repentance/salvation.

Let me address the latter, first.  If we focus only on making “believers” we’re producing citizens of the Kingdom, but not productive, law-abiding citizens of the Kingdom.  If we spend time only making “believers” what do we do after we convert the “believer?”  At the rate we tend to go, absolutely nothing.  We move them to point A and that’s where they stay, in a constant cycle of touching point A.  If we make “believers” rather than making “disciples”, as we were commanded, we get them into the Kingdom, but do not teach them how to live in the Kingdom.  God’s passion was for us to reproduce His culture.  If we make “disciples”, then we teach them how to live the life, how to follow Christ, how to be inheritors of the throne and they move past point A down to B, C and so on. But never making them disciples leaves them in a cycle of A all over again, because they continue to make the same mistakes, face the same issues, deal with the same problems and continue to go down the same path.  Our job is to move them out of the mouse wheel & onto a straight path.

Going back to number one, when Christ told the parable of the talents, the idea was investing for multiplication, the two that did were rewarded and so was the master, the one that kept what he had, was reprimanded and stripped of his blessings.  Kingdom mentality is multiplication.  A “believer” mindset creates addition, a “disciple” mindset creates multiplication.  I can win souls all day long and add souls to the Kingdom, but if I can make disciples, teach them the culture and operations of the Kingdom, then they can make disciples.  The parable of the talents show us those that valued what they had been given, invested it and multiplied the return for the master. 

If I’m really interested in the Kingdom, if I’m really interested in what Christ had to say and if I’m really interested in using what I’ve been given, I’ll take that, invest it in others and watch the return multiply.  I’m challenging you!  Winning souls is important, but it’s what you do with them after you win them that’s Kingdom.  Christ’s message was “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand..”, don’t quit preaching, teaching repentance…but make sure you follow it with Kingdom!

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Learning To Say “No” Might Just Be Biblical

Many ministers, leaders and just service oriented people in general, often suffer from a disease called “I’ve Got To Help Everybody!”  If you’ve got this disease, keep reading……

We have this feeling that the world is going to stop, if we don’t get involved and help.  Let me remind you that the world does not revolve around you. It’s not going to fall apart, over-tilt on it’s axis or spin out of control.  I’m pretty sure that God’s got this without our help at all, yet He still chooses to make us a part of His plan.  Given that this life of yours is His plan, you must be wise about the choices you make in offering your time, gifts and services.  Some people are like leeches and have a black hole relationship with you.  If you’re not careful they will suck you dry of every bit of time, resource and talent that you have.  Hear this: if you do not value your time & resources, nobody else will.  God did not just give us this life, but He also requires us to be good stewards of all involved with it.

Check out Mark 1:32-29: Two things stand out with the decisions that Christ made in this passage, related to his time, his priorities and his ability to say “no.”  After spending time at Peter’s mother-in-law’s house, healing & teaching, the Bible teaches us that the “whole city” was gathered to see him at the door.  In the next few verses we find something very interesting about how Christ valued His time.  Verse 35, teaches us that He arose early to get with the Father.  He realized the importance in, not making decisions based on emotions, not making his choices based on demand, not being affected by his popularity & pride, but He arose early to find out what the Father wanted; where the Father was working & where He was needed most.  The following verses are interesting. After arising from time with the Father, rather than continuing to tend to the needs of “everyone that was looking for him”, he valued his time, God’s time, God’s moving and his resources enough to tell them, no, I can’t help you right now. 

Mind boggling, right?  Jesus Christ, the one we’ve been taught is the ultimate helper, told those seeking help, “no!”  Can you believe the audacity? Here’s the congregation, needing their preacher; here’s the sick needing their doctor and He tells them no!  Verse 38 says “BUT, he said to them, Let us go…”, leave, bye, talk to the hand! Lol

Christ teaches us many things in this short passage.  We need to value our relationship with God, our quiet time with Him, our time, our giftings and most importantly, the greatest & most effective place we can ever be, is where God is and where he’s moving.  It’s important to take those moments when everyone is tugging on you and at you, to find out from God, “Am I positioned where I need to be?”  And then make the necessary adjustments to get there, regardless of who or what is in your path or how many people “need” you.  Your provision, your anointing and your greatest opportunities are waiting for you, at your proper position. 

If you find yourself overused, overextended and stretched, take time to reevaluate your life. Remember to value your time, your gifts, your resources and most importantly where God’s moving.  That’s where you’ll find your greatest peace, joy and effectiveness.

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