Family Matters Part One
Transparency As A Christian
Dear Central Members & Friends
As we focus on our bible study series regarding “Transparency as a Christian”, Proverbs 28:13 clearly indicates “He who cover his sins will not prosper”, we have to be very intentional about behaving differently than the world. In our society we are taught to hide our shortcomings and failures; however, God tells us to share and confess our sins. I have been engaged in ministry for over 30 years and have discovered that one of the most difficult things for Christians to do is admit their shortcomings and failures!! Paul clearly tells us in Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” This verse should help us see that we are all flawed individuals regardless how good we might think we are!! Because of Adam’s sin we are all born into this world as unrighteous, sinful human beings and we are all prone to cover up and create deception about our sins.
The key to becoming more transparent as a Christian is to admit we are flawed and to stop acting self-righteous!! We cannot “Model Grace” to others until we realize that we are as flawed as the individuals whom we encounter on a daily basis. In this series on transparency, we must allow the Holy Spirit to place us under the microscope and show our individual flaws instead of our focus on someone else’s flaws. We must practice transparency in order to improve, model grace and enhance our walk with Jesus and others.
On last night during our bible study, I shared the attached handout from the internet. I added seven questions on the last page that each of us should consider during our private devotion time, taking inventory of our own conduct, praying seriously, and asking God to give us the Grace to walk in the footsteps He has ordered for us. Additionally, I created the power point slide so that each of us can consider the walls we have created to cover our flaws and the masks we wear unintentionally.
The way to remove the unintentional masks we wear is found on the last page of the slide deck. We must seriously engage in the three (3) R’s and they are: Recognize, Repent and Return.
I hope this summary of our bible study from last night is beneficial to our in state and out of state friends on our mailing list and the members who were not able to attend our study on last night
May we each walk in the footsteps God has ordered for us!!
Your Brother In Christ,
Pastor Perry Stuckey
Senior Pastor, Central Baptist Church
Transparency as a Christian Slides
The Battle For Our Mind
Dear Central Members & Friends,
As I type this letter to you, I am out of town on a business trip. God has been dealing with me about a number of topics lately and I am so grateful that I am better able to discern at this stage of my life, His invisible hand at work on so many fronts in our lives, community and even in our nation, despite the weekly chaos we are constantly seeing on television!!!
We are constantly engaged in a battle, which at times these battles are both visible and invisible. Satan is a very skilled solider and knows how to launch his attack against our nation and community, while also engaging personal attacks against us individually and collectively.
One of the things we need to understand is that typically his battles start with our minds. Satan is clearly aware that if he can control our mind, he can determine our actions. Our actions are directly related to what we believe in our minds!!
God has impressed within my Sprit to start a new sermon series titled “THE BATTLE FOR OUR MIND” on Sunday. I will start the introduction to this sermon series and please know we will be camped out as a church for a while on this series. I am confident that if you engage spiritually and put into practice the sermon material from this series, that it will result in a transformational impact on your life and also in your relationship with people.
We must remember that we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood but our war is against Satan. When people behave badly, they are just being used by Satan at that moment to work his darkness. He is the prince of darkness. Therefore, we must turn our focus from people to the real source of the problem!!! This doesn’t mean that you don’t address people when they are wrong. What it does mean is you don’t write them off because God’s grace is sufficient for us as well as for them!!
I informed the Bible Study students who were in attendance on Wednesday night that we will also be engaged in a new bible study series on Wednesday night. It will be required attendance for all leaders. I will share more about our plans for Wednesday night on Sunday morning.
Remember to go to bed a little early and your clocks will spring forward one hour at 2:00 AM so you don’t want to be late arriving for our Sunday service. I would encourage our out of state guest on our mailing list to acquire a copy of each message from this sermon series. All of our local members should be in attendance and bring a guest. You don’t want me to win the most invited guest award for the month of March!!
As I close please pray for our brothers and sisters who have been hampered by the major storm surges in the Northeast and my safe return home on Saturday evening!!
Grace & Shalom!!!!
Church’s Role In Ensuring Reconciliation In Our Community
Dear Central Members & Friends,
I wanted to take a moment and share with you what we have planned for Sunday and encourage you to arrive on time. Fort Robinson will be joining us along with their church membership body for our Sunday service. We will continue our celebration of Significant Contributions made to our country by African Americans. On Sunday, you will hear from an outstanding young woman, Delia Mwinyelle, who won the Area High School Oratorical contest sponsored by Eastman. Delia is very impressive and you will enjoy her presentation.
We will have a combined choir to celebrate the beauty of unity in the Body of Christ and join them for a powerful time of Praise & Worship!!
Dustin will minister to us and I have requested that he speak on the theme of the Church’s Role in Ensuring Reconciliation in our Community. This will be a wonderful service and fellowship for not only our members but the entire community. Please invite a friend and bring a special guest with you as part of our community outreach!!
I am confident God is going to speak to our hearts collectively and individually during this powerful service!!!
Let’s keep all of our members lifted up in prayer especially those experiencing challenges on many fronts like an illness or dealing with the loss of a loved one!!
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday for this special service and you are in my prayers and thoughts!!!
Grace & Shalom!!
Dear Central Members & Friends,
Summer is moving fast and the kids will be returning to school soon!! TIME has a way of escaping from us if we don’t focus and continue to be relentless about prioritization!! This newsletter is a reminder of all the wonderful things God is doing for our church and what He has allowed to transpire in such a short time period.
Reflect for a moment on the Women’s ministry conference and their trip to Knoxville to enhance their spiritual walk and the fellowship that occurred by the women riding together on the bus!! The men’s ministry and how quickly they made a decision to enhance the media capabilities in Stokely Hall with a large screen and projector that can be used for church ministry, movie night and fellowship. Please don’t forget about the wonderful Animation Ministry that is absolutely fantastic for our children between the ages of 3-6 years old to enhance their spiritual growth.
There is still much work to do as we implement our strategic plan for Central. However, I am proud of what we have accomplished together and encouraged by all the new members who have joined our church, completed the seven week new members course and actively engaged in ministry within our Church. When I see James leading a song in the choir and the members of the Hill family praise dancing and meet the people in our community who are blessed by acquiring a manna meal on Saturday, I am reassured by God that what we are doing is right and vitally important for our community.
Central, your prayers and grace sustain me and I pray you are more determined now than ever before to run this race with patience and endure hardship like a good solider and know that your labor is not in vain!! God understands every tear, every pain and will never leave you nor forsake you!!
Let’s continue to work together to Model Grace, Fellowship, Witness, and Worship our Lord and Savior while uniting our community for the good and glory of our Heavenly Father!! This journey is never easy; you will be challenged and sometimes disappointed. However, remember the battle is not ours “but God’s!!!!
I pray as you read this newsletter you are motivated and encouraged by all God is doing in our mist. We are not a perfect people, we are simply a determined people who recognize we all fall short in many areas, but because of God’s grace we continue to strive to do His will and extend grace to a society that is in desperate need of Jesus Christ!! What we need from you is a desire to serve and help us!!
As you labor in love with us please look at us through the eyes of Jesus, who looked beyond our faults to see our needs!!!
Your Brother In Christ and Co-Labor Servant in Ministry!!!!
Pastor Perry Stuckey