Pastor's Blog

Judgment or Grace?

Jesus, Matthew 7:1-2 Do not judge lest you be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged

In High School I wore long hair. This may be hard for some of you to believe especially now with my Arcadia flat top, but all the same, it was 1972, and I was not alone. I will also never forget the day I decided to have my long hair parted down the middle at Dots beauty shop. I was afraid of my dads response (which wasnt that bad by the way), so I decided to drive my 73 Nova SS over to my see my Papa Mabrey and I will never forget what my grandfather said to me in all sincerity and truth when he stepped out onto the carport and I stepped out of my car, he said Louie, Thats lovely!
The same grandfather who would often teach me the Scriptures by word taught me a great truth about judgment and grace that day as reflected with his tone and actions. Take the person where they are and love them first and foremost with the love of Christ, no matter what they look like and no matter what they have done. And the words of my grandfather calmed and soothed my soul that day because I respected both the authority and the love from the one who spoke these words of grace to me-the one who had often taught me right from wrong.
READ and feed in context, Matthew 7:1-5
A very blessed and thankful Pastor Louie

The God of All Comfort

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies an

Here, Paul offers both a receiving and a giving.
Recently my wifes father, LeRoy Ringsmith, passed away peacefully at the age of 87 in Melbourne, Florida. The great comfort that Nancy and I have received, along with her sister and her brother and their families, is not only the reality signifying their dads entrance into what the Bible calls Paradise at the time of his death, but also the tremendous outpouring of love, prayers, cards, delicious food, and tender comments from our Christian community and friends. LeRoy was a Christian, and the Bible says that although his body had given out, his soul had been healed the moment he received Jesus as His Lord and Savior, the One the Bible says is the true Resurrection and the Life!
In this passage of Scripture, Paul also addresses the ministry of comfort. This past year, Nancy and I have been touched by the tender and gentle way in which her dads caregivers at Salus House where he lived in Melbourne, attended to his every need. One caregiver told me the day of LeRoy’s memorial service that he was the grandfather she had never had. Blessings received, blessings, given!
Pastor Charles Stanley, in commenting on this Scripture says Whatever the level of affliction, God’s comfort is available and adequate to meet the need. There will be trial, sorrow, and grief in the Christian life, but Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort!
Praise to the Comforter and the Call to Comfort Others,
Pastor Louie

The Power of Prayer

James 5: 16b The effective (fervent) prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

The Bible is clear. Oftentimes, not much is accomplished because we pray so little.
Prayer is never to be sought out as a magic formula, a Christmas wish list, or treated as a cold and dull religious exercise. Prayer is conversation with God and, as effective conversation goes, requires both speaking and listening with the anticipation of seeing what God is up to as you enjoy your relationship with Him even when He is pinpointing something in your life that isnt right. What a difference our Christian walk, witness, and service would be if we were to spend more time in prayer because we want to spend more time in prayer.
As a matter of fact the best way to deepen your prayer life is to pray and to circle others in prayer. Read what Jesus is doing now in Hebrews 7:25.
I have a dear friend by the name of Charles Dirr who recently said to me, Reverend Mabrey, remember, it is impossible to stumble when you are on your knees.
James 5:17 tells us that Elijah was a man with a nature like ours and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain. See I Kings 17. Literally James 5:17 says Elijah prayed praying that it would not rain!
Thank you Jesus for your ever-present prayers and the joy of prayer!
Pastor Louie

Blessed Assurance

Hebrews 10:19-24

Since therefore brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he inaugurated for us through the veil, this is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds Hebrews 10:19-24

This morning, the Lord brought the blind gospel hymn writer, Fanny Crosby’s 1873 hymn to my mind, heart, and voice, Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! O what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, born of His Spirit, washed in His blood. This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long; this is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long.

Take some quiet time with God and with a sincere heart in full assurance of your faith in Christ, feed upon this Scripture and hymn in praise, adoration, and thanksgiving to God for His blessed assurance. Put your name in both Scripture and Hymn. Have you been washed in the blood? Oh how blessed the thought, the life, and the forever!
Let this be your story, let this be your song!
Pastor Louie