Branch News

September 2017

22
Sep

The Amazing Mind-O-Matic!

The Amazing Mind-O-Matic!

This week I found a great deal on a Mind-O-Matic Reader Drone! This is just like you’ve seen on TV. It has all the options and it is amazing. You will be surprised when you get to church next week. We will have that little baby hovering by the front door and it will be reading the mindset of every person who walks through those doors. It was 50% off too! Can you believe it?

Better yet, because I ordered by midnight they threw in the handy-dandy prophetic schedule for Jesus’ return. Whoa! Just like that I am in the know and that new series on prophecy is shaping up to be killer! Well back to the Mind-O-Matic. When we have it set in default mode it sounds a buzzer, well more like an angry gong with accompanying flashing lights and a siren when anyone with a negative, whiny, complaining, petty, jealous, fearful, bitter, angry attitude comes walking in. If you’re really in a great mood and you are feeling content, joyous, excited, peaceful, confident, loving, positive and happy then this amazing machine begins to play the Hallelujah Chorus!

You’ll want to get there early and get a good seat so you can see what it reveals about your friends. Plus if you’re there early then, well, they won’t be there to see what your mindset is – well, just in case things haven’t gone too well that morning.

Ok, so I didn’t really buy a Mind-O-Matic Reader. Thankfully they aren’t on the market yet. It would be really bad if you could see my mindset and what I’m thinking sometimes except that actually you can see my mind in action. No, you can’t see what I’m thinking but you are going to have a pretty good indication by how I act, what I say, and my attitude.

You really can’t judge a person’s heart. That’s what Jesus meant when He said, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” But then He said, “By their fruits you will know them” and “every good tree produces good fruit and every bad tree produces bad fruit.” Beginning to get the picture?

God has given us all a “Mind-O-Matic” and we didn’t even have to listen to some slick salesman and pay three easy payments of $79.95 to get it. It comes standard from the factory of souls. It comes straight from the mind and heart of God. His heart is for us and He wants our lives to be filled with joy and wonder and praise and worship. Too often our hearts are filled with bitterness and anger and pain and heartache and embarrassment and… the list goes on and on.

So do something for yourself. Stop and take inventory. Look back over all your posts on instagram and twitter and face book and any other social media you are on. Review the things you have said to your friend, your wife, your brother, your mother, your teacher, your student, your boss. Here is one red flag – if your life is full of drama then it’s probably because your life is revolving around you.

Now, if you’re a normal human being then you are going to have good days and bad ones. But what is the overall direction of your heart and your mind? What do you see as your overall attitude about God and life and where you are in it?

Some may not be able to figure this out by yourself. You may need someone close to you to help. But do this for me. Before you put them on the spot with the request to tell you the truth about you assure them that you really want to know. Let them know that you won’t be mad if they speak the truth and it is uncomfortable. Then do it.

But most important of all, more than any self-inventory or even bringing a trusted friend into it, turn to your Creator and ask Him to speak to your heart about what He sees there. Don’t do it lightly. Do it when you have time to sit and read the Word and pray and repent and rejoice and let Jesus transform your mind. Let Him tear you down and then build you back up.

It is amazing to me that God cares so much about us that He wants our life to be filled with everything good – with Him. I pray that God will speak to you and that you will not turn away but you will receive it. I pray that you experience His life in a fresh new way during this season of reviving and growing.

Your Pastor,

Bro. Tim Hobbs

 

“God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore the joy of your salvation to me, and sustain me by giving me a willing spirit. Then I will teach the rebellious your ways, and sinners will return to you.” (Psalm 51:10–13, CSB)

03
Sep

Death Comes Unexpectedly!

Death Comes Unexpectedly!

This is not a Charlotte’s Web story (or Pollyanna for those who caught that reference). I’m just saying that this one is a bit more grim. Okay, maybe that’s more than a little melodramatic when we’re talking about the death of a spider.

It showed up in my window this summer. Trapped between the screen and the window it lived its life. It was a stubby black spider with really big front legs. He was a muscled up guy who was living large off all the bugs that were attracted to the light coming through my window. I watched him for several weeks. Every day he was moving and actively seeking out his next meal. I watched him grow and get larger. He was king of his little domain. Until today.

As I was working on several projects on my computer in front of my window I glanced up perhaps at some movement. What I saw was a bit shocking. My spider was backing away from the upper right corner and another spider was charging at him. The new spider had longer legs and a thinner body but the battle if you could call it that was over in a few seconds. The new spider skillfully cast its web and almost magically it appeared and completely bound my spider. I was rooting for my guy. I’d been watching him for several weeks and it was over in a moment. I felt like a Florida State fan when ‘Bama comes to town.

The new spider wrapped up his prey and started carrying him over to his lair. It was over. The violence of it and the quickness of it surprised me. But that’s the way life goes. There are so many times when we think we have it all together. We think we are in control. But suddenly a new enemy shows – maybe it is cancer, maybe it is an unexpected issue with our finances, maybe it is a marriage that is crumbling.

Be sure of this. We do not live in a world of peace and safety. We live in a fallen world. We live in a battle zone. We have an enemy. “Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.” (1 Peter 5:8, CSB) He will steal your freedom and wrap you in chains. He will rob you of your vitality and suck the very life out of you.

“A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” (John 10:10, CSB)

And there is this powerful word of assurance: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11, CSB) If you belong to Jesus then He has already laid down His life for you. His victory over sin, death, and hell is your victory. You can’t lose.

“My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27–30, CSB)

As for my spider, well, I’m still a bit upset about that. Oh sure, I know, Garfield whacks one every week in his comic strip. I stepped on one in the bathroom the other day and it didn’t bother me a bit. I guess I had just kind of enjoyed watching the little guy. So I’m sure that with counseling and extensive therapy, I’ll get over it someday. Maybe I’ll go see the new Spiderman…