Letter from Pastor Stuckey on “Family Matters” and “Giving your Best in every Aspect of Your Life.”

Dear Central Members and Friends,

As many of you are aware, I have been teaching on a new series called “Family Matters.” We know our immediate family and broader Christian family matters but with the best of intentions we often take them for granted or allow our busy schedules to prohibit us from connecting with one another as often as we should. As I prepare to teach on lesson four of this series on Sunday, we all got a reminder on last Sunday of just how fragile life can be. As we experienced the tragic news surrounding the helicopter crash that resulted in nine people being killed, including legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant, our thoughts and prayers go out to all of these nine individuals and the sadness their family, friends and fans are experiencing.

This is a powerful reminder for us all about the importance of family and how unpredictable life is!!

One of the greatest gifts we can give God as well as our family and friends is by living a life where we are giving God our best effort as well as our family and friends. Now reflect for a moment and ask yourself, are you giving God your best effort as well as your family?

If we would all be honest with ourselves, we would say that on many occasions we often fall short in demonstrating our best effort for our families and for our Heavenly Father. A great lesson we can learn from Kobe Bryant’s life is that he wanted to be the best basketball player on the court every time he played the game. He always gave his best effort when he stepped on the court and put in the work to ensure he would be remembered among the greatest players to ever play the game. Obviously, he was blessed with great basketball ability. However, he had a tremendous work ethic to go along with that ability.

One of the principles we can all take away from Kobe’s life is giving God and our family our best effort every day that we wake up!!

Please implement this principle starting today and we will all be amazed at how much we will grow both personally and spiritually. Our families will be pleased as well since they will benefit the most from our transformation!!

Grace & Shalom!!

Pastor Perry Stuckey

Leslie GravesLetter from Pastor Stuckey on “Family Matters” and “Giving your Best in every Aspect of Your Life.”
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Letter to Members and Friends 01-2020

Dear Central Members & Global Friends,

I pray your New Year is off to an excellent start and you are staying focused and spiritually centered on what really matters!! Staying centered and spiritually focused requires effort and dedication. For me this means getting up early and spending appropriate time at the start of my morning in communion with God so the Holy Spirit can order my steps throughout the day. If you are like me, I need to be focused right from the very start of the day. Otherwise, I find myself being driven by the agenda of the day, which is often the source of a lot of our personal frustrations in life.

I started a new sermon series which is our theme as a church for 2020 “Family Matters”. Families are the foundation of the Christian life and God took a special interest in ensuring families were given a solid foundation starting with Adam and Eve in the garden. He granted them dominion over every creature and instructed them to be fruitful and multiply.

Satan recognized this special privilege and has waged a war on the family to disrupt our relationship with God. We must remain vigilant and alert as Christians to ensure we don’t become a casualty of Satan’s destructive influences on our families. Remember he is a crafty enemy of God and we can’t defeat him in our own strength!!

God selected us before the foundation of the world and adopted us into the family of God through His Son Jesus Christ and granted us the rights and privileges of heaven as adopted children. God made these provisions for us  and bestowed His unmerited favor on us before we were born. The unfortunate tragedy is that many of us behave more like orphans instead of adopted sons and daughters of the King!!

As we unpack this new sermon series it is my sincere prayer and desire that you will become more enlightened about who you really are as a child of God and walk in the light and the privileges you have as sons and daughters of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

May you be inspired and encouraged by the sermon outline and PowerPoint slides from the introduction of this sermon series on “Family Matters!!”

Your Servant In Christ!!

Pastor Perry Stuckey

Leslie GravesLetter to Members and Friends 01-2020
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Let’s Pause to Give Thanks!!

As we find ourselves moving at warp speed and within six weeks of the close of another year, that might make us question on many fronts how much did we really accomplish of eternal value in 2019?? Let’s pause to “give thanks to the Holy One” who made our very existence possible.

Like many of you, I have found myself consumed by life issues and other work-related activities that in many ways take us off course or away from some of the things we love doing. I have not written to you for quite some time and wanted to get this note out before the Thanksgiving holiday to encourage you to pause and give thanks to the Kings of Kings and Lord of Lords who sacrificed His very life to give you the gift of eternal life!! Let’s take a moment out of our busy schedule and pause for a moment and reflect on what it means to give thanks. The Bible is filled with commands to give thanks to God (Psalm 106:1, 107:1, 118:1, I Chronicles 16:34). Most verses go on to list reasons why we should thank God, such as “His loves endures forever” (Psalm 136:3), “He is good” (Psalm 118:29), and “His mercy is everlasting” (Psalm 100:5). Thanksgiving and praise always go together. We cannot adequately praise and worship God without also being thankful.

Therefore, please take some time out of your busy schedule to pause and give thanks for all the awesome love God has bestowed upon you despite the challenges you have encountered during 2019. Feeling and expressing appreciation is good for us. Like any wise father, God wants us to learn to be thankful for all the gifts He has given us (James 1:17). It is in our best interest to be reminded that everything we have is a gift from Him. Please take a moment to inform your family during the Thanksgiving holiday just how grateful we should all be for the precious gifts God has given us!! Now allow me to thank you for all that you do around the world and for all of you who partner with us in this ministry from both within and outside the Tri-Cities!!

With Sincere Thanks & Appreciation!!

Your Brother In Christ and Fellow Servant!!!

Pastor Perry Stuckey

 

 

Kotinna ThompsonLet’s Pause to Give Thanks!!
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Letter From Pastor Stuckey

Dear Central Members & Local Friends,

I pray your week is going well and you are walking by faith and trusting God despite any issues you or your family may be encountering!! Please know that you and your family are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. One of the most significant callings as a Pastor is to be an Under-Shepherd for God’s flock and I take this job and calling seriously. This is the primary reason why I am always calling, checking-in, writing, encouraging and praying for God’s people. Jesus is the Chief Shepherd and he said “My sheep know My voice.” I pray you are listening to Jesus’ voice through the Word of God and following the leading of the Holy Spirit moment by moment and day by day. This will be the hallmark of your success as a Believer listening to the will of the Father instead of the voices in our society and on many occasions your own voice.

Allow me to share some insight with you that will help you prepare for the sermon series on the book of Revelation that I will minister and teach on for the next several Sundays. There are several things highlighted below that will help us get the most out of this series.

We must first understand that the book of Revelation is the Revelation of Jesus Christ given to John the Apostle to be shared and studied by all Believers. The author John identifies himself four different times ( Rev. 1:1, 4, 9, 22:8). He calls Jesus Christ the “Logos’ which means the Word.

God gave John three primary purposes for writing Revelation:

  1. The Immediate Purpose: to allow Jesus Christ to proclaim, “Behold, I come quickly”  as noted in ( Rev. 2:16;3:11; 22:7. 12, 20). The reason for this was that the seven churches of Asia and their world needed a word of encouragement, of counsel, and of warning.
  2. The Historical Purpose: to allow Jesus Christ to proclaim to His followers and to the world of every generation “Behold, I come quickly”  (Rev. 2:16; 3:11; 22:7, 12, 20).  God knows that every generation needs a word of encouragement, of counsel, and of warning.
  3. The Godly purpose: to give the church and to the world, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:1). This revelation is both the unveiling of the person of Jesus Christ as the central figure of history and the unveiling of the message of His heart. He is both the content and the unveiler of the revelation. What is the revelation of Jesus Christ? The revelation concerns “things which must shortly come to pass by God’s standards” (Rev. 1:1). It concerns the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself who is the Lamb of God, who alone is worthy to open and oversee….

* the book of destiny.

* the book of the future of the world

* the book of God’s redemptive purpose.

Revelation is “An Apocalyptic Book.” It is the only book of Scripture that is often classified as Apocalyptic.

All of this will be covered as we examine the seven churches in this study series. In order to get the most out of this sermon series it is important that you come with a pen and notepad every Sunday to take notes and pray in advance for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to give you insight. This  will be a deep study series that is paramount for the serious believer.

Please note that my objective for this series will be to only present what the Scripture says, not to give personal opinions. The beat of my heart in approaching this series is to be true to the Word of God and to let the Word speak for itself. Please pray for me that I do this to the best of my ability. We will not engage in the declaration of denominational and theological positions that can often cloud what the Word is saying.

We will allow this book of Revelation to speak for itself. Jesus clearly indicated in this book, not to add nor take away from the message of Revelation. We must do exactly what Revelation says. We must always be mindful and remember the great danger that we face in adding to or taking away from the Word of God as Believers of the bible. Those who disbelieve the Word of God tend to deny certain parts and teachings of the Bible. But we who believe the Word of God face the danger of adding to the Word and going beyond what God has actually said. This is the reason Scripture warns us to guard against adding to as well as taking away from the message of Revelation. Some of you have heard me quote the phrase “ a good steak makes it’s own gravy.” This is what we will allow this study series to do as we exegete on this sermon series starting on Sunday. I am highly confident that God will unpack new things for you that will enhance your spiritual walk if you come prepared and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart. Please remember to bring a friend or guest!!! 

Remember our 2019 church theme: “Everyone Reach One.” If you gave yourself a report card grade on how well you have personally done this year on outreach and making our theme a priority, what grade would you give yourself?

As we celebrate Independence Day in the United States, remember that as much as we love America, it is Jesus Christ who should be the central figure in history for us as Believers. Please keep this deeply in your thoughts and mind as you celebrate with family and friends on the 4th of July. I can’t wait to see you on Sunday!!

May God overshadow you with His Loving Grace!!!

Your Brother In Christ!!!

Pastor Perry Stuckey

 

 

 

Kotinna ThompsonLetter From Pastor Stuckey
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Character Matters

Dear Central Members & Friends,

As I reflect back on our Father’s Day service and the lesson I taught from Philippians 2:19-30 we discovered that Timothy and Epaphroditus had two significant attributes that stood head and shoulders above other men that Paul encountered in his ministry.

They were distinguished by Paul for their obsession with doing the things that pleased God and for being trustworthy. These two attributes distinguished their character and put them in a category of men where it doesn’t take long to call the roll.

There are two questions all of us should be asking ourselves about our own character. 

  • What does my character reveal about me in my private moments when I am not in the

public eye?

  • What is my real obsession? What am I spending the vast majority of my time on?

Character is who we are when we think no one is watching. What we are obsessed about is revealed by looking at what we spend the vast majority of  our time doing. By taking an honest inventory of ourselves and answering the above questions we will gain a lot of insight about what we need to work on in our spiritual transformational journey.

All of us have work to do in order to be more like Christ in our character. Therefore, please realize this is not an attempt to embarrass anyone or make you feel unworthy. However, it is a note geared to make you focus on being more serious about your spiritual walk and to respect the Holiness of God. Our greatest blessings occur from our obedience to God.  Why don’t you focus on enhancing your spiritual walk by examining your current spiritual level utilizing these basic questions in your life today. You will be amazed at the impact it will have on your transformational journey.

Remember character does matter and our character is revealed in every interaction we have with people!!

I hope you enjoy the slide deck from my sermon on Sunday and study them in more detail during your personal devotional and quiet time!!

Grace & Shalom!!

Pastor Perry Stuckey

Kotinna ThompsonCharacter Matters
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The Good Guys | Gary Thomas

Dear Church Family & Friends of Central

I apologize upfront for allowing my schedule to become so hectic and busy that you have not heard from me in quite some time. Like many of you summer has landed on my door step and I haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy it as I should. Please take some time this summer to rejuvenate, relax and rejoice about the many blessings God has bestowed upon us!!

As we approach Father’s day I wanted to take a moment and share with you an article that was sent to me by one of the women in our church. The below article deeply touched me and should be read by all of us. We live in a society that consistently points out individuals who are deeply flawed, and are ridiculed on social media about their mistakes and bad decisions.

The below article is meant to draw attention to the good guys that are often overlooked in our society. Please read the article in detail and ask God to help you become less critical and take a moment to acknowledge “A Few Good Men” as the Marines would say.

Grace & Shalom

Pastor Perry Stuckey

http://www.garythomas.com/the-good-guys/

 

Kotinna ThompsonThe Good Guys | Gary Thomas
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What It Means To Be Profoundly Grateful

Dear Members and Friends of Central,

Although I have not had an opportunity to pen a letter to you in a number of weeks, please know that you have been in my thoughts and prayers. I am extremely grateful for all that I see God doing in and through us.

I started a new sermon series last week about what it means to be profoundly grateful. In our text (Luke 17:11-19), we discovered that Jesus healed ten lepers. But, only one of them was grateful enough to return and give Jesus praise and thanks for healing him. I’ve often wondered why the remaining nine didn’t have the same response.

But before I delve into that, I must first acknowledge the faith of these men. They knew that Jesus possessed the power to heal them. So, they cried out for His help. When Jesus “saw” them, He told them to show themselves to the high priest. His instructions served more than one purpose:

  1. It informed them of what they needed to do to be healed of their dreadful disease. Faith without works is dead (James 2:26). Jesus gave them instructions and they demonstrated their faith in Him by obeying Him.
  2. The priest would “see” that they were healed and grant them the legal access they needed to return to their homes and resume normal lives.

All ten of the men followed Jesus’ instructions and were cleansed as a result of their obedience. However, when one of them “saw” that he was healed, he was profoundly grateful.

As I read the scriptures about this miracle, forms of the word, “see” stood out to me. I recognized that our perspective–the way we “see” people and things affects how we respond to them. I believe that the man who returned to thank Jesus realized that his healing would not merely help him physically, but it would positively impact every aspect of his life. In those days, it was customary for lepers to be cast out of their villages, considered unclean and treated as spiritually dead. Since this man was a Samaritan, life had been even harder for him. That’s why he was profoundly grateful for the Lord’s mercy and miraculous power on his behalf.

Likewise, many of us praise and thank God when blessings first manifest in our lives, such as when we receive a job offer; when we say, “I do”; when we recover from an injury; when we receive a favor from a friend or family member; or when we confess Jesus as our Savior. We are profoundly grateful when these events initially happen because we “see” the benefits of these blessings. But, as time goes by, the newness wears off and we are tempted to take our blessings for granted because we aren’t “seeing” through the same lens. When we see through a lens of gratitude, we can clearly see our blessings as benefits, advantages, victories and miracles. But, when we see through a lens of pride or selfishness, our perspective is clouded because we are focusing on shortfalls, imperfections, irritations and frustrations. It seems that the more some of us get, the more ungrateful we become.

We have to be intentional about maintaining an attitude of gratitude. Just as it takes effort and energy to maintain our appearance and good physical health, it requires effort for us to enhance our spiritual health and express gratitude to God and the people He uses to bless us.

There is a deep warning within this text to everyone, especially those of us who reside in America, where there is an abundance of resources. The warning is: Appropriately acknowledge your blessings.

Let’s collectively and individually put forth the effort to maintain a grateful heart; to “see” our glasses as half-full instead of half-empty; and ask the Lord to enable us to show Him and others that we are truly and profoundly grateful for all of our blessings, especially the gift of eternal life! This will require us to become more diligent, thoughtful and spiritually sensitive than we are today. But, thank God, we can do all things through Christ which strengthens us!

I hope that you will take on the challenge of becoming profoundly grateful and enjoy the attached PowerPoint slides from my sermons over the last two weeks on this topic.

Grace & Shalom!

Pastor Perry Stuckey

Kotinna ThompsonWhat It Means To Be Profoundly Grateful
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Allowing Anger to Govern Our Behavior

Dear Central Members and Friends,

I pray your week is going extremely well. But, if you are frustrated for some reason, I urge you to thank God for His marvelous grace in the midst of your circumstances. You may be facing a challenging issue right now. But remember that God has a supreme plan for your life and nothing can hinder that plan, if you obey His will for your life!

There are times when our intentions are to do what is right, but we allow anger, jealousy and other emotions to govern our behavior. This is what happened with the Pharisees (Please read John chapter 8:1-12). The Pharisees were so angry and frustrated with Jesus that they tried to ensnare Him in His words and find a justifiable reason to get rid of Him. The sad tragedy is the lengths they were willing to go to prove their point and get their desired outcome. They were willing to stone a woman, who had been caught in the act of adultery to her death! However, their issue was not with the woman for breaking the law. That was a smokescreen. Their real issue was with Jesus and their hatred for Him motivated them to use the woman as a sacrificial lamb.

You see, the Jewish law required that a person who committed adultery to be stoned to death. However, the Roman law would not permit someone to be stoned to death for such an act. So, if Jesus had said, “Stone her,” they would have accused him of being in violation of the Roman law. If He had said that she shouldn’t be stoned, they would have accused Him of violating the Jewish law, which Moses gave.

Jesus knew their real motives were to trap him, and in this case He made a profound, but simple statement: “Those of you who are without sin, cast the first stone.” They were all convicted by His statement and dropped their stones. From the eldest to the youngest, the crowd departed and the woman was left alone with Jesus. Jesus was the only person qualified to judge and punish her. Yet, despite the fact that she was in violation of Moses’ law, Jesus told her that He didn’t condemn her and to go and sin no more.

Jesus extends the same love, mercy and grace to us every day! All of us have sinned. But, thank God, forgiveness is just a prayer away (Please read 1 John 1:9)! By God’s grace, we are forgiven, and, if we ask Him, He will give us the grace we need to forgive others of even the most hurtful offenses.

Forgiveness is not optional for followers of Christ. It is an act of obedience that is necessary for our freedom and wellbeing. Our failure to practice forgiveness causes physical, mental, emotional and spiritual problems and hinders our ability to have healthy relationships.

The next time you are frustrated about something or frustrated with someone, pause and reflect on the love, grace and mercy that the Lord has extended to you, despite your shortfalls. Consider how Jesus modeled grace as referenced in John chapter 8. Just as it’s important for us to nurture our relationships with family and friends, it’s vital that we spend quality time with God. Doing so helps us overcome our frustrations and allows us to be led by the Lord instead of our emotions.

I pray that you will benefit from the slides and observations outlined in the slides on my Sermons page.

Grace & Shalom!

Pastor Perry

Rick ZimmermanAllowing Anger to Govern Our Behavior
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THRIVING OR DYING

Thu, Oct 18, 1:15 PM

Dear Central Members and Friends,

 

Sears is making headlines. The mail order catalog company that grew to become a thriving retail giant has now declared bankruptcy. The store that was once a strong, progressive American icon somehow lost its way and became irrelevant. As I read the attached Wall Street Journal article about the decline of the Sears Corporation, I recognized that similar circumstances can occur in our lives as believers when we lose our way. Sears became financially bankrupt, and we can become spiritually bankrupt if we lose our focus and buy into the death sentence of believing that we are doing enough, that we are alright as we are, and that others need to grow and develop instead of us. There is no place for complacency in the life of a Christian. We are either moving forward or backwards; therefore, we must be intentional about our spiritual growth.

In Science class we learned that living organisms are either thriving or dying; the same line of reasoning applies to us as Christians. We are either thriving or dying spiritually. Many things can help us identify where we stand, our behaviors, motives, successes and even our failures. Ultimately, our decisions and our attitude toward God reveal whether we are thriving or dying spiritually.

At one point in my life, I was dying spiritually. I didn’t recognize it because I was busy chasing everything that I thought would make me successful, but I am so grateful that God used people to minister to me and help me to realize that the abundant life I desired, the life God desired for me, could only be found in Jesus (John 10:10). Attending church and giving offerings was not enough. In order for me to experience my new life in Christ I had to make the conscious decision to make Christ the Lord of my life, deny my selfish desires and embrace a new way of living. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). I have since learned that when we are faithful and completely dedicated to God, success is inevitable (Joshua 1:8).

We want to experience all of God’s promises, but it is difficult for us to position ourselves to receive them because our natural inclination is to be the master of our own lives. That’s why we have to surrender our lives to the Lord and obey Him daily. Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). As we follow Christ and make it our business to be about our Father’s business, we will thrive in every area of our lives.

 

Grace and Shalom!

Pastor Perry Stuckey

 

I thought you would be interested in the following story from The Wall Street Journal.

Sears, Once Retail Colossus, Enters Painful New Era

https://www.wsj.com/articles/sears-once-americas-biggest-store-collapses-into-bankruptcy-1539595803?emailToken=a248402cddbe17338616fa0299654bbadNkE0WN37bKSddwc1kA96qBBZfXI38SRIi0SZnTOjtuxTIYIFl2dTs6snZ8p2Qfd386vnH3nFMcXO/+6/KalBxL/PcpWaICg09ooh50YjrVfZbId6rJEQEbfW3A29Z3n&reflink=article_email_share

Download the Wall Street Journal app here: WSJ.

 

Stephanie StevensTHRIVING OR DYING
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