Monthly Archives: April 2013

This Week!

This Wednesday, we will not be having our regular services here at church.  Instead, we will be leaving the church at 6:15 p.m., or meeting at the Portsmouth Movie Theater for a 6:50 showing of the movie Home Run.  It is a movie with several Christian values, and it teaches us that freedom is possible.  The evening should prove to be a great night for everyone.  Come and join us!!

Large Inflatables and games from 3:00 to 6:00. Food, Snacks, and Drinks for sale at the Snack Shack from 5:00 – 6:00 pm Sign campers up for camp in the camp store with Brenda! Worship will be in the gym from 6:00-7:00 p.m. with ReGeneration Church & Tracy Tooley. WalkFM Christian Radio station will also be doing a LIVE remote Broadcast at camp and interviewing some staff, deans, and campers to see why HMCA is such a special place.

Getting What We Deserve

I usually don’t talk about my dreams, because rarely do I ever remember them, and even rarer, do they make any sense, even to me.  But, I had a dream the other night.  I died and went to Heaven, and there was an angel waiting for me there.  As I stood in line, in front of me was a man wearing blue jeans, a wild shirt, and tattoos all over his body.  As we approached the angel, it asked him, “Who are you, and what do you do?”

The man in front of me responded, “My name is Joe Kingman, and I am a cab driver in New York City.”  With that, the angle ran its figure through the Book of Life, came to Joe’s name, and then awarded him a silk robe and a golden staff and told him, “Well done good and faithful servant.  Enter into Heaven.”

Then came my turn.  Nervously, I stepped forward, but based on what I had just seen, I was excited to see the welcome party that was about to break out for me.  I told the angel, “My name is Josh Book, and I am the minister of the Sciotoville Christian Church.”  The angel ran its finger down the list in the Book of Life, and sure enough, there was my name.  The angel then awarded me a cotton robe and a wooden staff and told me, “Good try.  Go ahead and enter into Heaven.”

Now, I have to admit, I was a little puzzled by the scene.  And I know, I know, you’re not supposed to question God.  But I thought to myself, “This must be a case of mistaken identity.  Surely I deserved better than this.  After all I had done for God, this is the thanks I get.  I deserve better, surely.”  I didn’t quit understand, and so I asked why the cab driver got silk and gold, and I got cotton and wood.

The angel looked me dead in the eye, let out a little chuckle, and said, “Well…, up here we reward based on results.  When you preached, people slept, and when he drove, people prayed.”

Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t do that?  We live in a world that screams, “Give me what’s mine.  I deserve this, so give it here.”  But aren’t you glad God doesn’t listen to us and give us what we “deserve?”

Romans 3:23 assures us that, “… all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”  That’s the results of our lives.  And if we want to be awarded based on what we deserve, then Romans 6:23 reveals what we deserve.  “For the wages of sin is death…”  Now do you still want what you deserve? Do you really want what’s coming to you?  Of course not.  But thankfully that very same verse goes on to say, “For the wages of sin is death, BUT… the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Or what about Psalm chapter 103?  It tells us that God is slow to anger, and abounding in love, and then in verse 10 we read, “He (referring to God) does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.”

Understand this, we “deserve” death.  But because God loved us, Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God demonstrated His own love for us in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Because of His death, we get life.  So aren’t you glad that God doesn’t give us what we deserve?

In Christ,


Committed Attendance

With this past week being our Easter celebration, or resurrection celebration, depending on what you call it, we saw many new faces, yet they were familiar faces.  They were the holiday faces!  You know, the faces that seem to show up each Easter, Mother’s Day, perhaps Father’s Day, and Christmas.  And it’s so easy for us to sit back and wonder where their commitment is.  We think to ourselves, “Do they really believe that showing up at church a few times a year is really doing anything for their relationship with God?”  Or perhaps we think, “Why don’t they attend church on a more regular basis?”

But…, could that same question be asked of you?  Too many people lack a real consistency to showing up to church.  For many, church is just something they do, if and when it fits into their schedule, but it’s not really who they are.  But when you are a committed follower of Christ, attending church should be part of who you are.  Now I understand that work sometimes gets in the way of that, and we all need our vacations, and none of us are exempt from getting sick.  But can you honestly tell me that you work, are sick, or are out of town during all the opportunities there are to attend service?

Growing up, my family was heavily involved with church.  If it was Sunday or Wednesday, you didn’t have to question where we would be.  If it was Sunday school, Sunday morning worship, Sunday nights, Wednesday nights, special events, basically, whenever the church doors were open, you could count on us being there.  But today, too many followers feel that once a week is more than enough.  Or they like to say, “Well…, Sunday school and Sunday morning are the most “important” services.”  But what about the other opportunities that we off, are they not “important” enough?

Consider this, if you only spent time with your spouse once a week, how would that relationship be doing?  If you only fed your physical body once a week, do you think you would survive?  Or what if you only went to work once a week, would your paycheck be very rewarding?

Then why is it that we think once a week is going to keep our relationship with God where it needs to be?  And why are we satisfied with feeding our spiritual bodies only once a week?  And what makes us think that a once a week kind of faith is going to get us any kind of eternal reward?

The Bible says in Romans 10:17 that, “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”  How are you hearing it taught, if you’re not here?  Or what about Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”  Don’t you want to be here with God’s presence?  Or maybe you need to hear Hebrews 10:25, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the day approaching.”  And lastly, in Acts 2:42 the church is encouraged as it says, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

So, what’s keeping you from attending?  What wall needs to be knocked down?  Are you really “busy” each week during Sunday school, Sunday morning worship, Sunday nights, Wednesday nights?  I challenge you to make a commitment to be here more, and see if you don’t experience growth in the process.

In Christ,