Monday, October 22, 2018
JOHN Good Morning! I’m John Branning the Lead Pastor of Central United Methodist Church. Early African believers were earnest and regular in private devotions. Each one reportedly had a separate spot in the thicket where he would pour out his heart to God. Over time, the paths to these places became well worn. As a result, if one of these believers began to neglect prayer, it was soon apparent to the others. They would kindly remind the negligent one, "Brother, the grass grows on your path." Prayer is a time when we can be completely intimate with the Lord. We can share all our burdens, heartaches, situations, and life struggles; but sometimes, we need to get away into the thicket, alone, and be intimate with Him! The Lord loves to be intimate with us! He doesn't want a superficial relationship of recited prayers but a deep relationship with Him the One who loves us with a love that is everlasting! If grass has begun to grow on your path, take some time out and find your way to that spot in the thicket today. If you want a better life, come and follow Jesus with us at Central.
Friday, October 19, 2018
GLENDA Good Morning: If someone asked me what my favorite story from the Old Testament is, I’d have to say the story of David. His life was one adventure after another, but one thing was certain—he was chosen by God. He was chosen as a boy to save his country by fighting the giant Goliath; he was chosen by God to bring comfort to King Saul with his soft, pleasant singing voice and his harp; he was chosen by God to be a great military leader and eventually to become king. But the best thing he was chosen for, in my opinion, was to lead his people back to God. What we need today is someone to lead our country back to God. In Psalms 33:12, David says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” Let’s pray for our country! Have a wonderful day!
Thursday, October 18, 2018
MATT FARMER Good Morning! I’m Matt Farmer, Associate Pastor at Central United Methodist Church in Meridian. Have you ever asked someone how they are doing when you really didn’t care to know the answer? If we are really honest with ourselves, we could probably all agree that we have. While there’s nothing wrong with being cordial and asking someone how they are, I often wonder what would happen if we really desired to know and care for our neighbors. The Bible tells us that our neighbor is anyone who crosses our path, but it also says that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. If our neighbors are anyone who cross our path and our job is to love our neighbors as ourselves, then maybe we should consider placing a little more heart behind our southern hospitality. Maybe instead of hoping for the generic “fine, and you” response when asking how someone is doing, we strive to make a real connection with that person so that we can be the vessel God uses to help our neighbor along the way.
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
BENJI Good morning! I’m Benji Riddle – Director of Youth Ministry at Central United Methodist. I want to get into better shape, and anyone who has made the same choice knows that it is not something that happens overnight. The same can be said of our spiritual strength. Working out and spiritual growth have some principles in common. As you dig into Bible study, Christian fellowship, you will see (I’m sorry to tell you) that there’s no 30-minutes-or-less, just-add-water routine for growing deeper in Christ. You may love fast food for its convenience, but there’s no such thing as a quick diet of Jesus. I know some people who have fast food faith, but typically their faith doesn’t last or make a difference in the world. If you’re going to grow and be a follower of Jesus, you’ll have to invest time and discipline. Spiritual growth requires something from you. But know this also, it is so worth it!
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
SABRINA In this very moment we come together as many things — parents, grandparents, community leaders, entrepreneurs, sinners, and saints. God only sees us as one thing: His beloved. Many of us struggle to truly believe this. Deep down there is self-talk we don’t always see driving many of our decisions and emotions; many of us, though grown, still carry around those voices deep within telling us that we’re not enough, we need to be more, do more, and be better. Theologian Henri Nouwen once gave a speech about this. He suggested the “beloved child” creed in which each day you look into the mirror and remind yourself: “I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved child of God. No one can take it from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust Jesus and share His love with the world.” We can let go of our fears of worthlessness and live every moment with joy and belonging, because we ARE children of God, and we DO belong! So, go into this day knowing no matter where you are in your journey, you ARE a child of God and are precious in His eyes!
Monday, October 15, 2018
BOB Good morning. This is Bob Peden of Central, a United Methodist Community here in Meridian. Can you imagine how frustrated Jesus must have become with His disciples? On their way to Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked his disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" Their answers must truly have amazed him – John the Baptist, Elijah, one of the prophets! Even after hearing his parables and observing him preach and work miracles among the people, his disciples were hesitant to say aloud, "…the Messiah." Finally, Peter answers him, "You are the Messiah." This scripture reminds us that we as Christians are often hesitant to acknowledge aloud Jesus as our Lord and Savior – our Messiah. Let us not be hesitant to sing, dance, preach, and declare the truth that Christ is, indeed, the Messiah, the One who loved the world so much that he gave His life that the world might have life. And may we always be ready to share with all people that great love and amazing grace which comes to us through Jesus Christ.
Friday, October 12, 2018
BENJI Good morning! I’m Benji Riddle – Director of Youth Ministry at Central United Methodist. Os Hillman shares these thoughts about defining moments. Moments where God moved people outside their own comfort zones and boxes. And when He did, their lives were never the same. For Moses, it was the burning bush. For Peter, it was walking on water. For Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, it was walking through the burning furnace untouched. For Paul, it was being blinded and spoken to by Jesus on the Damascus road. For Daniel, it was deliverance from the lions' den. For Joshua, it was parting the Jordan River and crossing into the Promised Land. There have been many defining moments in the lives of human beings that changed their lives forever. These defining moments often set the course for the balance of their lives. Once you have had a defining moment, you are never the same. I pray that you have eyes to see and ears to hear when our Lord brings a defining moment into your life and that you would have the support of fellow believers to support in that moment. I invite you to join us at Central this Sunday at 8:30, 9:45, or 10:55. You will experience community and see that life is better connected.