Think About How We Approach God

Dear Central Members & Friends,

I hope this weekly note finds you and your family doing well!! If your week is like mine, it has been extremely busy. I am in D.C. this week returning home on Friday. However, as I was engaged in my morning devotion God impressed on my heart in this note to think about how we approach Him!! We have noble intentions in our prayers and devotions as people, but often what we pray about is all related to our desires for ourselves and what we want for other people. 

Most of our prayers center around God helping us, our family, friends and intercessory prayers for others. Very little of our devotional time is centered on asking God what He desires of us. If we shift our devotional focus to spending more time listening to God and asking Him what he desires of us, you will be amazed at what you will learn from God as He speaks to us through His Holy Word and the extra sensitivity and insight you will gain from being sensitive to the Holy Spirit.

I would like you to ask God three questions about yourself for the next several weeks and you will be amazed at what you will learn about yourself as God speaks to your heart.

Here are the three questions:

1. God, can you completely trust me to obey you? If not, what am I doing that I need to change??

2. God, as your servant, what do I need to do in order to enhance my relationship with you and please you more??

3. God, how can I become a greater blessing to others in my family and community??

Taking the time to hear from God about the three questions above will have a transformational impact on your life if you are honest and courageous enough to listen carefully to God’s instructions and obey Him.

Let’s go on this journey together of listening to God and discovering new areas of our lives in which we need to enhance our relationship with the Holy Father. Enoch comes to mind for me as a biblical character who is someone that had such a rich relationship with God that our Heavenly Father did not allow him to taste death but took him to heaven. Now we are unlikely to walk with God like Enoch did, however, we all have the opportunity to enhance our relationship with the Heavenly Father by being someone He can trust to obey Him!!

Let’s start this week on enhancing our relationship with the Heavenly Father as you are aware “Relationships Matter” !!!!!!!

Grace & Shalom!!!!

Pastor Perry Stuckey

Rick ZimmermanThink About How We Approach God
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Holy Week Note

Dear Central Members & Friends

I hope that you are engaged like millions of our brothers and sisters around the world in various celebrations for Holy Week!! This is the greatest and most important weeklong celebration in the life of devoted Christians!! We Honor and celebrate our Lord this week for His sacrificial love toward us on Calvary!!

If we are not careful, this week can become like other weeks where we are engaged in a flurry of activities without real reflection and examination of how blessed we truly are because of the unconditional sacrificial love of Jesus Christ toward us!!  When I stop and reflect on this alone, just how much my Lord loved me that he died for me despite my sins, failures and shortcomings, I feel bad for complaining. If you have experienced His sacrificial love, then you understand exactly what I am talking about.

During my low points and believe it or not I have them just like you do, I take a moment to reflect on His grace, mercy and sacrificial love toward me!! During these reflective moments, I repent and apologize to God for my behavior and realize that no matter what I am going through it is small in comparison to what He did for us on Calvary!!

This week I am going to challenge and encourage you to do three things: 

1) Take several reflective moments throughout each day this week to thank Him for His grace, mercy and unconditional love toward you!! 

2) Secondly, be intentional about attending the appropriate Holy Week Celebrations that will be transformational for you and enhance your spiritual walk!!

3) Thirdly, do something nice for someone this week that is not in a position to do anything for you.

I believe if you do the three things above this week, you will feel better about yourself and in some small way make a difference in the life of someone.

Visit the sermon page and you will find my slide deck from the Sunday morning lesson “Preparing for the Difficult Seasons of Life.”

I am excited about meeting you in bible study on tomorrow night and request that you bring a friend with you. I have a special surprise for you that I didn’t mention in this note.

We also look forward to you joining us at Central at the end of the week where we will have a marvelous Resurrection Sunday experience on April 1st.

Grace & Shalom!!

Pastor Perry Stuckey


Rick ZimmermanHoly Week Note
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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

Transparency As A Christian – Lesson 2

Rick ZimmermanTransparency As A Christian
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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!!!!

Pastor Perry

Rick ZimmermanThe Battle For Our Mind
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“Stay Fresh” in 2018

Dear Central Members and Friends,

I pray and hope on day two of the New Year that you are still happy!!!! One of the ways to ensure success in 2018 is to spend each morning as you awake reflecting on what you are thankful for!! Our life will be filled with many challenges in 2018 like all years are. However, a great way to keep your joy is to start each day reflecting on what you are Thankful to God for!!!

We can always find something negative to complain about. Let’s do something different this week. Why don’t we all start by seeing if we can go the next seven days without complaining about something. Let’s hold each other accountable for this. The reason so much of our joy is stolen, is directly related to the environment we live in today. From television, to employees, to family members we can always find something to complain about.

On Wednesday night during our bible study, I am going to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and deviate from our current study series on “Relationships Matter” to cover “Seven Critical Steps We All Must Take to Enhance Our Spiritual Growth in 2018.”

You don’t want to miss these seven critical steps to enhance your spiritual and personal growth in 2018. Bring a friend with you and come prepared to take notes and leave our session with a nice study handout that will be instrumental in your spiritual growth during 2018.

Remember “Stay Fresh” and don’t allow complaints to rob you of your joy for the next seven days!!!!

Grace & Shalom!!

Pastor Perry Stuckey

Rick Zimmerman“Stay Fresh” in 2018
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Summer Reflections

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

Rick ZimmermanSummer Reflections
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Second Cornerstone of 2017: Witnessing

Dear Central Members & Friends

As I pen this letter to you I pray that you have been diligently applying all that we have learned from our biblical studies and the sermons on “Modeling Grace” one of our four cornerstones for 2017. We are now camped-out on our second cornerstone “Witnessing” and will be learning and growing together in this study for the balance of the 1st quarter of 2017.

One of the best ways to apply what we are learning about witnessing is to actively engaged in the process by bringing a guest to church each Sunday. This will require courage and discipline on your part to find a family member or individual who doesn’t have a church home and invite them to ride with you or join you for our worship service each Sunday. I am counting on all of us to be diligent and engaged in this process for the building up of God’s kingdom. The most effective way to learn and grow as a Christian is to be actively engaged in applying all the principles outlined in the word of God by obeying that which God has commanded us to do as believers.

Please don’t be disappointed or give up when you invite someone and they turn you down. This is part of the growth journey for you and the person. I am so grateful for all of the people who actively engaged in witnessing to me when I was lost and didn’t realize that I was only hurting myself when I said no to the invitation to discover Christ as my Lord and Savior.

Our role is to be faithful and loving so they can see the light of Christ in us. As I reflect on Jesus words about the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 we must remember that He commissioned not only the eleven apostles, but all who were present, more than five hundred disciples. However, note something of crucial importance: it was impossible for that generation to reach the whole world in its lifetime. Therefore, the commission given to the first generation of believers extends beyond to all generations of believers. The very same charge given to them is given to us. Our Lord charges us with the very same words, “Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all nations…..”

This requires active engagement from all of us individually and collectively within the Body of Christ, not just the church leaders. Therefore, I am counting on all of us to do our part in learning how to be an even more effective “witness” for Christ. I can’t wait to see you each Sunday during service as we “dig a deeper well and grow together during this series on witnessing”.

Sincerely Your Brother In Christ!!

Pastor Perry Stuckey


Rick ZimmermanSecond Cornerstone of 2017: Witnessing
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Modeling Grace part 3 – Philippians 4:8

Dear Members and Friends of Central,

As we are now approaching lesson 3 of my “sermon series on modeling grace” I pray that you are truly engaged in asking God what you can personally do to be a better person and working each day to model grace to our membership and others you come into contact with. God does not want us to hear the Word of God and turn around in our daily lives and conduct ourselves in a manner that is contrary to the word of God. Life is not easy and filled with many challenges. However, God is pleased with us when we take what we learn in each sermon and do our best to live out the sermon in our interactions with other church members and people we come into contact with on a daily basis within our local community.

Often I find that we can’t see our own shortcomings and unintentionally we are a lot harder on the behavior and conduct of other people than we are on ourselves and our family members. A great way for us to model grace is to see people through the eyes of Jesus. Consider this  thought for just a moment, if Jesus gave all of us what we deserved we would all be condemned to hell!!!

I am extremely grateful for a God who looked beyond our faults to see our needs and sent his son to reconcile us back to himself!!! As we  prepare for Sunday and approach the third message in my series on modeling grace ask God to help you see people through the eyes of Jesus and focus  the remainder of this week on the below scripture found in Phillippians 4:8.

I can’t wait to see you on Sunday and I am praying that you will join me for the remainder of this week trying to model grace in a way that would please our Heavenly Father.

Your Brother In Christ!!

Pastor Perry Stuckey


andreaModeling Grace part 3 – Philippians 4:8
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