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Hess's Headlines January
Jan 09, 2019

Life is short. That's what 2018 taught me. I used to think that if I lived 80-90 years, I wouldn't think life is short, but that's simply not true. What's true is what the Bible says, "Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make profit' - yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes" (James 4:13-14).

Some may read this and think, "Well pastor, that is discouraging." However, the opposite is true. When we realize that our life is short, we become more diligent to accomplish what really matters with great urgency. It also is comforting to know that when we face difficult seasons, hardship, loss, or persecution; all of these things are temporary. This good Word from the Lord forces us to think about the after-life. It forces us to consider the promises of God that He has given us a great gift of "eternal life." For example, Paul writes, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23). The gift that has been given to you in Jesus is eternal life. If the Lord allowed us to roam for all eternity in brokenness, shame, pain, and sorrow, that would be discouraging. However, the Lord, by His grace, has promised us eternal life.

Our eternal life starts the moment we surrender to Christ. So temporarily, we wander in the world of sorrow, brokenness, and grief; however, we do not endure these things like the rest of the world. As 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 says, "But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep." Romans 8 informs us that we are more than conquerors of all these difficulties and that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So, life here is short. However, life with Him is eternal. Let's act with urgency here so more people may join in what is eternal. Praying that 2019 will be a year of blessing for you. On those difficult days of 2019, remember His grace, love, His presence, and eternity! Prayers and Blessings!

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40 Days of Prayer
Jan 03, 2019

1/6/2019 Live Out Adoption: Thanksgiving for His Adoption (Rom. 8)
1/7/2019 Live Out Adoption: Submissively Surrender to the Father (Gal. 2:20)
1/8/2019 Live Out Adoption: Sacrficially Surrender to the Father (Rom. 12:1)
1/9/2019 Live Out Adoption: Certainly Surrender to the Father (1 John 5:13)
1/10/2019 Live Out Adoption: Thank Him for His Provision (Matt. 7:11)
1/11/2019 Live Out Adoption: Thank Him for His Shelter (Ps. 46)
1/12/2019 Live Out Adoption: Thank Him for His Protection (Ps. 47)
1/13/2019 Holy Love: Thanksgiving for the Holiness of God (Isaiah 6:3)
1/14/2019 Holy Love: Thanksgiving for the Love of God (1 Jn. 4:9)
1/15/2019 Holy Love: Repent and Confess of Hidden Willful Sins (Ps. 25:18)
1/16/2019 Holy Love: Celebrate God's Grace in Forgiveness (Rom. 8:1)
1/17/2019 Holy Love: Pray for Accountability (James 5:16)
1/18/2019 Holy Love: Thanksgiving for Christ'sRighteousness (2 Cor. 5:21)
1/19/2019 Holy Love: Pray for Boldness to Share the Gospel (Rom. 1:16)
1/20/2019 The Faithful: Praise God for His Faithfulness (2 Thess. 3:3)
1/21/2019 The Faithful: Ask the Lord, that by His grace, you would be faithful (1 Cor. 4:2)
1/22/2019 The Faithful: Pray for Your Friends (Prov. 27:6)
1/23/2019 The Faithful: Pray for the Staff/Future Staff at WBC (1 Thess. 5:12-13)
1/24/2019 The Faithful: Thank God for faithful deacons, teachers, leaders at WBC (Gal. 6:6)
1/25/2019 The Faithful: Pray that Christ would be WBCs Confidence and Cornerstone (Eph. 2:20)
1/26/2019 The Faithful: Praise God for a Heavenly Reward for the Faithful (Rev. 21)
1/27/2019 Refocus: Thanksgiving that the Gospel is for All People of the Earth (Matt. 28:18-20)
1/28/2019 Refocus: Ask the Lord for a Personal Mission Calling in 2019 (Mk. 16:15)
1/29/2019 Refocus: Ask the Lord to set your priorities (Matt. 6:33)
1/30/2019 Refocus: Rejoice in Redemption of the Father (Eph. 1:7)
1/31/2019 Refocus: Pray for the Wandering/Pray for the Proud (Luke 15:11-32)
2/1/2019 Refocus: Pray for the Mission Opportunites of WBC and CLBA (Acts 1:8)
2/2/2019 Refocus: Unity -- Keep Satan's Distractions Away (1 Peter 5:8)
2/3/2019 Known: Praise God for Your Identity in Him (Gal. 3:26)
2/4/2019 Known: Praise God for Life (Romans 6:11)
2/5/2019 Known: Praise God You Have Been Made a New Creation (2 Cor. 5:17)
2/6/2019 Known: Praise God for the Spiritual Fruit (Gal. 5)
2/7/2019 Known: Praise God for the Person who Introduced you to Christ (Phil. 1:3)
2/8/2019 Known: Praise God for you are Loved (John 3:16)
2/9/2019 Known: Praise God for you are secure (John 10:28-29)
10-Feb Sealed: Thank God for the Indwelling of Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:14-17)
11-Feb Sealed: Celebrate His Forgiveness; Forgive Others (Matt. 6:14-15)
12-Feb Sealed: Celebrate His Blessings; Be a blessing (Eph. 1:3)
13-Feb Sealed: Celebrate His Sacrifice; Sacrifice for others (Mark 10:45)
14-Feb Sealed: Celebrate Unity in Him; Help Preserve Unity (Eph. 4:1-3)

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Happy New Year
Jan 01, 2019

Happy New Year! I pray you and your family experience Jesus in new and exciting ways this year! With the excitement that 2019 is ringing in, I have been reflecting on new goals, and past memories... which has lead me down a rabbit trail of reflection on the perspective that l keep. Perspective paints a tint on each area of my life, so it's pretty important that I know where mine is focused!

I recently learned about a hidden gem tucked into Jeremiah 15. In this passage, the Lord instructed Jeremiah to give some pretty terrible news to the people of his land that were caught up in sin. So, naturally, Jeremiah wasn't exactly thrilled with his task! He did his fair share of complaining about the position he was in, But the Lord's response to him was astonishing and life changing. He told him,

"If you return, then I will restore you-
Before Me you will stand;
And if you extract the precious from the worthless,
You will become My spokesman. (NASB)
You must influence them;
do not let them influence you! (NLT) (Jeremiah 15:19)

I love this pattern of thinking that the Lord encouraged Jeremiah to have! Life is filled with some pretty "worthless" things. These situations and circumstances have a way of shifting our thinking to the problem instead of the problem solver. The Lord commands Jeremiah to do that here. By "Extracting the precious from the worthless" I can settle in on an eternal perspective of what the Lord can teach me from any and every situation. If I will have the right perspective of the situation, my Father can use these moments, and turn them into lessons in my life to grow my faith and allow me to be used for His glory.

Another point I love here is how the Lord tells Jeremiah to be the InfluencER not BE influenced. That preaches to me! It is so easy to fall into whatever mood (or conversation) the people around me are in, but the Father commands me to rise above. The key is that I can only do that THROUGH him. Again, if my focus is in His gaze, that desired pattern of living will become a natural habit. This conscious effort to shift my perspective will keep me focused on who God is, not the circumstances I am in.

I'm praying for you too, as you learn to "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. Then the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace."

Happy New Year!

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"Names of the Lord" Tree
Nov 30, 2018

A few years ago, I pinned a Christmas activity on Pinterest that has become one of my most favorite traditions! I changed it up just a little to mesh with my world, but the idea is still the same. I wrote a few different names of the Lord on some ornaments. At night, before I go to bed, I choose one of the ornaments. I then look up scriptures about that name, reflect on it, and thank the Lord for His goodness in that Character I see through His name. This simple activity “resets” my mind in the middle of the Christmas craziness to reflect on who the Lord is, how powerful He is, and how above my circumstances He is.

We have actually made a “Names of the Lord” tree in Room 10. Come check it out and reflect on who the Lord is! Here are some names we are using, their simple definitions, and scriptures you can use to help you study more about that particular name.

“The Good Shepherd”- He (Jesus) saved us, not Himself from death. He watches over us, takes care of us, and does what is best for us. (John 10:7,11, Psalm 23, 1 Pet 2:25, 5:4)

“Lion of Judah”- Jesus is King of everything. He defeated death and is worthy of our p raise and worship. (Genesis 49:9, John 5:22, Revelation 5:5, Isaiah 31:4, Hebrews 13:7-8)

“Jehovah”- The Lord is our banner. Only in Him can we have victory. (Exodus 17)

“Emmanuel”- means “God with us.” When Jesus was born, He was human and God, 100%- full in each form at the same time. (Isaiah 7:14, 8:8, Matt 1:22-23)

“Prince of Peace”- Jesus brings peace in our lives like no one else can. We can trust that He is always in control. (Isaiah 9:6)

“Lord”- God is in charge of everything. He is King, controller, Boss (Psalms 135)

Merry Christmas! May you know Jesus in a new way this season, and may your 2019 be enabled out of his abundant grace.

Our Blog

Hess's Headlines December
Nov 20, 2018

Jesus, there is something about that name. As believers, Christmas brings about that time when we celebrate the birth of Jesus; or Emmanuel, God with us. For many, this time will be spent surrounded by a crowd. Crowds in the house, crowds in the stores, crowds of traffic, and crowds of around television sets watching their favorite Christmas movies, football games, or parades. Some experience a loneliness in this season, so “God with us” is good news. When you study the Scriptures, Mark 3 brings about an interesting account in the life of Jesus.

“Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, ‘He is out of his mind.’” (Mark 3:20-21 Emphasis added)

This account gives us an interesting perspective to the family of Jesus and their perceptions of his work. Not only did they question his work, but they questioned his mental stability. The family had several misconceptions of Christ. For one, they were annoyed by the large crowd following Jesus. They wanted to pull him away from the crowd, or better said, pull the crowd away from Jesus. They missed the fact that Jesus Christ had been sent to seek and save that which was lost. He came to bring salvation; how could the family try to thwart the plan of God? Another misconception was that the family thought they could “take charge” of Jesus. Many of us today think that we can force Christ to do what we want, instead of submitting to his leadership. It is foolish for us to think that we could control the one who is in control; to think we can make him do things as the Maker of all things. The final misconception, they thought he was out of his mind. We often do not understand the ways of the Lord, His plans, His path, and His story that He is writing in our lives. That doesn’t mean something is wrong with Him. Instead, it proves that there is something wrong with us, our hearts and minds are fallen and tainted by sin. That sin has caused us to have a selfish focus. I cannot help to imagine that the reason Jesus’ family reacted in such a way is to protect their own reputation, their own story, and their own plans. However, later in the passage, there is another section where Christ’s reverses our thinking about his family as well:

“Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him and they told him, ‘Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.’ ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ He asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.’” (Mark 3:31-35)

This response from Jesus to his family would have tough. However, for us, this is great news! The promise is that we are a part of God’s family as we do His will. Romans 8 echoes this promise by explaining that if we are “in Christ” we are joint heirs with Christ. His inheritance is graciously ours. You are a part of this great faith family. Do not lose hope, do not despair, and do not fear. We have a faithful Father, a faithful Groom, and a faithful Savior. Here are some more take-a-ways for this holiday season:

1. Don’t be annoyed at the crowds – the Lord has placed you there among the people to do His work.
Don’t think your family is too crazy – We by nature are tainted by the sin of Adam; however, no one is too far from the grace and mercy of God’s grace – keep praying, don’t lose hope
Don’t forget to renew your mind – In the busyness of the holiday season, it’s easy to neglect the Word of God and our time with Christ. Remember what we celebrate at Christmas; don’t just celebrate Jesus, spend time with Him. This will prove to be a source of joy and strength. Also, renew your mind so you may see clearly the plan and will of God and not miss those opportunities.
Know you are loved and never alone – Emmanuel, God with us – Great news; you are never forsaken

Merry Christmas!
Chad Hess

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