Friday, July 20, 2018

Friday, July 20, 2018

JOHN Good Morning! I’m John Branning, the Lead Pastor of Central United Methodist Church. Sometimes, the more significant, powerful, or influential someone is, the less you know about him or her. There are some people of influence whose names most of us have never heard, and about whom we know almost nothing, yet they make decisions which affect millions of lives. Enoch is a Biblical character about whom we know hardly anything besides his age and genealogy; but we do know this -- that Enoch walked with God -- and then God took him. What an example! Is there anything greater that can be said about someone than, "He walked with God"? Enoch's life was eternally distinguished by this one characteristic: his personal relationship with the Lord. He somehow maintained a degree of divine fellowship that was so pleasing to God and everyone could tell something was different about him. We may never hit a homerun in a major league game or catch the winning touchdown pass, but we can strive to leave a legacy like Enoch and simply be known as a person who walked with God.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Thursday, July 19, 2018

BENJI Good morning! I’m Benji Riddle – Director of Youth Ministry at Central United Methodist. There is an old story that goes like this: Three burly biker fellows on huge roaring motorcycles pulled up to a truck stop restaurant where a truck driver, who happened to be small of stature, was perched on a stool quietly eating his lunch and enjoying a break from the days driving. As the three fellows came in, they saw him, decided to be mischievous and grabbed his food away from him and laughed in his face. The truck driver said nothing. He got up, paid for his food and walked out. One of the three bikers, unhappy that they hadn't succeeded in provoking the smaller trucker driver into a fight commented to the waitress: "Boy, he sure wasn't much of a man, was he?" The waitress replied, "Well, I guess not." Then, looking out the window, she added, "I guess he's not much of a truck driver, either. He just ran over three motorcycles leaving the parking lot." Today, lets treat others as we want to be treated, with grace instead, not the destruction of property!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

JOHN Good Morning! I’m John Branning, the Lead Pastor of Central United Methodist Church. When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, I'm sure several million people were wondering, "How am I going to be fed? How am I going to survive in this wilderness?" Imagine the logistical nightmare. An incalculable quantity of food and water were needed to survive in the desert. Where would it come from? Yet, in this seemingly impossible situation, God provided! He provided Manna from heaven. When the people first saw the Manna on the ground, they wondered in amazement saying to each other, "What is this?", which is exactly what "Manna" means in Hebrew -- "What is it?" But we know what happened as time passed...the people got used to this miraculous provision, began to take it for granted, and even be bored with it, and, of course...the wonder of God's supernatural provision evaporated. Each and every day is a miracle from God. Each day of our lives we walk through a world filled with the wonders and glory of the Lord. But we, too, can become dull and lose the wonder of all that He has done and provided for us, even our very salvation. We need to awaken to the daily miracles of life, and to the never-ending opportunities the Lord is opening, to pour His love into us, and through us.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

TIM Good morning, I’m Tim Wise, Senior Adult Minister and Sanctuary Choir Director at Central. In the world today, you will encounter folks, both Christian and non-Christian, who have good intentions and are good people. They may have different political beliefs than you do. They may have different practices than you do. They may be of a different faith than you. Do any of these circumstances make them bad people? No. Should we abandon these people no? We can be friends with all types of people! However, you should be leery of people who try and distort the Gospel. (And yes, often, this can even include followers of the Christian faith too.) Galatians 1:6-10 says this: “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently, some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” When someone presents something to you that you know is in opposition of the Gospel, be brave and defend your truth! Don’t try to win that person by agreeing with them when you know it’s wrong. You can believe differently and still love each other. Don’t sacrifice your faith to please a person - who is not serving Christ.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

TIM Good morning, I’m Tim Wise, Senior Adult Minister and Sanctuary Choir Director at Central. In the world today, you will encounter folks, both Christian and non-Christian, who have good intentions and are good people. They may have different political beliefs than you do. They may have different practices than you do. They may be of a different faith than you. Do any of these circumstances make them bad people? No. Should we abandon these people no? We can be friends with all types of people! However, you should be leery of people who try and distort the Gospel. (And yes, often, this can even include followers of the Christian faith too.) Galatians 1:6-10 says this: “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently, some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” When someone presents something to you that you know is in opposition of the Gospel, be brave and defend your truth! Don’t try to win that person by agreeing with them when you know it’s wrong. You can believe differently and still love each other. Don’t sacrifice your faith to please a person - who is not serving Christ.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Monday, July 16, 2018

BOB Good morning! This is Bob Peden of Central a United Methodist Community here in Meridian, Mississippi. In the 7th Chapter of Matthew: “Jesus told the crowds, ‘Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.’” Have you heard from any false prophets lately? I am sure you can name a few. It is pretty easy to spot the false prophets in this world who are spouting off and saying things with which we disagree. But those are not the false prophet Jesus warns us about. No, the ones in sheep’s clothing who come like ravenous wolves are the ones who tell us what we want to hear. Those who call to our baser desires. Those who appeal to the lowest common denominator. So, how do you know which prophets are false? Stay in touch with the voice of Jesus Christ. Hear Him as he calls for us to be in unity with the least ones of this world. Hear Him as he calls to us in the cry of the needy, the forgotten, and the downtrodden. The true prophet calls us to deny ourselves and to follow him where we do not wish to go. False prophets are among us like ravenous wolves.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Friday, July 13, 2018

JOHN Good Morning! I’m John Branning the Lead Pastor of Central United Methodist Church. Psalm 105:5 says “Remember His marvelous works which He has done.” On July 3, 1776, following the signing of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams reflected on that important day. The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward, forever. You will think I’m transported with enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost to maintain this Declaration and support and defend these States. Yet, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is worth more than all the means; that posterity will triumph in that day’s transaction, even though we [may regret] it, which I trust in God we shall not. Today, let us celebrate the freedom God has authored for us.