Warning: session_start() [function.session-start]: Cannot send session cookie - headers already sent by (output started at /home/matth58/public_html/blog/index.php:4) in /home/matth58/public_html/blog/wp-content/plugins/si-contact-form/si-contact-form.php on line 1997
Warning: session_start() [function.session-start]: Cannot send session cache limiter - headers already sent (output started at /home/matth58/public_html/blog/index.php:4) in /home/matth58/public_html/blog/wp-content/plugins/si-contact-form/si-contact-form.php on line 1997 Church | Reflections – Matthew Smith's Blog
As I sit here at youth prayer night, I am amazed at what God has done in out youth group. It is not the same group that I was a part of when Paige and I started helping Tessa and Wilson about a year ago. God has done so much! Each of the youth has been impacted by God in an indescribable way. He has transformed them. They are on a great journey towards something bigger and better. He has put a spirit of worship and praise in their hearts. He is teaching them how to pray and communicate with Him. Awesome!
Thank you O Lord for the work You have begun. I ask that you continue to work in them and through them. God give them wisdom and power to do great works in Your Name. Let them impact those around them at school, in their family, their friends, and even us a their youth leaders. O God do a work! Yes Lord move like a mighty wind. Transform us into the creation that you want us to be, the way You designed us to be.
God, You made us in Your image; You gave us the ability to love; and You gave us the freedom of choice. Help us to choose to serve You. Help us to love you and to love others-even our enemies. Help us to love like You love and forgive like You forgive. Lord, let us bless others. You have surly blessed us; now let us bless others!
I am thankful for the position God has place me in at Harvest Church. He has place me and my wife in a place where we can impact the lives of teenagers.
Over the past few years, God has taught me many things. He has often used certain people to teach me different lessons that he wants me to learn. I am thankful for those people. Just to list a few (in no particular order): Bill Baldwin, Harry Jones, Dwight Mabry, John Huneycutt, Jesse Herring, Daniel and Helen Seagraves, Ruby Benge, Karen Marthers, Robert and Wendy Britt, and Lonnie Bateman. These individuals have taught me what it means to be a youth leader.
Now, I get an opportunity to serve with my wife alongside Wilson and Tessa Moore and Jimmy and Laura Anderson. We have an awesome youth group that is growing in the Lord. Over the past year, these teens have come a long way. They learned so much about the Bible, loving and caring for others, worshipping the God of creation, and so much more!
It means so much to me to see these guys growing in faith. God is truly raising them up to be worshippers, disciples, and servants. God is adding more and more youth to our group every month! It is so great to see visitors come into our weekly youth meeting.
God loves young people so much and He can really use them for the building of His kingdom. And it is an honor to be used by God to train these teens up in the love and power of Jesus’ name.
I love and care for each of the youth that I get to serve with!
Praying for Harvest Church today as they have a joint service out at Amhurst in Albemarle. Harvest on Hwy 52 and Harvest@Amhurst will be worshipping together as one body under a big tent that has been rented. Church is not a word that describes a building; Church is an action of going out to be Jesus and show Jesus to those around us, those in our nation, and to those in every nation!
Harvest Church has been holding Tuesday night services at Harvest@Amhurst at 6:30pm since July 12th. Amhurst is where God has specifically called us to. We are bound and determined to fulfill the will of God there and to show that community that God loves them as much as He loves us. Read more about the Tuesday night services here.
For those that are not familiar with Amhurst, Amhurst is an area in Albemarle, NC that is known for drugs and violence. Harvest Church believes that Jesus Christ is bigger than that! We believe that God can change that community to be known as a place where people love the Lord. God is a Healer, Restorer, Provider, and Savior!
Two Harvest Church congregations to worship together
Harvest Church, located at 24238 U.S. 52 S., Albemarle, holds special services in the Amhurst area of Albemarle.
According to Pastor Bill Baldwin, Harvest Church is making an effort to plant an outreach church in Amhurst.
Baldwin, members of the church band, other members of Harvest Church and members of the Amhurst community gather on Tuesday evenings at a ball field to share a message, praise music, prayers and refreshments.
“It’s been a real good thing,” Baldwin said.
Harvest Church plans to purchase land in the area for a permanent church building in the future.
This Sunday, Harvest Church’s Sunday morning crowd and Tuesday evening crowd are coming together for a special service.
“We’re putting both of our congregations together this Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m.,” Baldwin said.
“It’s going to be a good day. We’re going to worship together.”
Both Harvest Church groups will gather on the ball field near Bell Avenue in the Amhurst area.
“We’ve rented a tent,” Baldwin said.
“I’ve never done a tent meeting in my life, so this is going to be interesting.”
The special service will include worship time, praise music led by Harvest Church’s band and a picnic afterward.
By Marina Richardson, Staff Writer
CNHI | Friday, September 2, 2011 | source
Pray for Harvest Church as we are lead by God into the mission field that He has called us to. This opportunity is not for us (Harvest Church) to gain any glory; the glory belongs to the One that deserves ALL honor and All glory. To God be the glory forever and ever, AMEN!
For more information on Harvest Church or Harvest@Amhurst you can contact the church by email (email@example.com) or by phone at 704.986.0505.
Harvest Church hosted there first anual kids camp this month. The camp took place August 11-13. At this camp, the kids were involved in devotions, putt-putt, skating, swimming, worshipping, praying, and listening to biblical teachings.
Satan tried so hard to prevent this event from taking plan, but God had great plans for this camp and was determined to make things happen! That is how great and mighty our God is!
8.11.11 - Group praying
The kids actively prayed for God to do great works. They believed with faith that God heard their cries and that He would answer their prayers!
8.11.11 - Worship: Going after the Lord in song
The kids sang songs like “Deep Cries Out”, “Praises”, “You Are Good”, and “How He Loves” as they worshipped the Lord. It was a joy to see young kids sing, lift up their hands, and dance before the Lord. God is raising up a generation of unashamed worshippers!
8.11.11 - Jordan, Andria, and Jodi dancing
8.11.11 - Jordan, Andria, and Jodi dancing
On Thursday and Friday night, the kids observed a dance synced to music.
8.11.11 - Leaders praying over the kids
The leaders had a chance to pray over the kids. It was a great time with the Lord! Not only did the leaders pray for the kids, but the kids prayed for other kids and the leaders.
In addition to all of this, the leaders made the kids a 20 ft. long banana split. And, on Friday night they had a camp fire and had a lock-in.
VBS 2010 has been a blast so far. I am excited to see what God is going to do in the last three nights. Pray that God will use this week to touch the children and their parents.
We are walking through the Bible and learning about the Life of Joseph in Egypt. Joseph trust God through what he experienced. Following Joseph’s example, we learn how important it is to trust God and believe in God’s timing.
I have been talking with my friend Jesse through a few Facebook posts about Jude 1:4. It talks about people in our churches, even today, that twist the Word of God. They change the truth to make themselves and others feel better. Jesse states in his blog post that “people in the Church who are using Christ as a get out of hell free card, not as Lord and Savior”. I fully agree with him. People try to work there way into heaven, pray their way into heaven, preach their way into heaven, tithe their way into heaven….
“For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” -Jude 1:4
There is no way that we could even be good enough, give enough money, pray enough, or work/serve enough to be able to have eternal life in heaven. It is only by the grace and mercy of God that we can have salvation. Grace and mercy have two different definitions. Mercy is God withholding what we do deserve, which is death; grace is God giving us what we do not deserve–eternal life in Christ. Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:8 that “for by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”
In the video below, Nate Pfeil elaborates on this point.
Jesus died for my space in Heaven, but He also died for your space in Heaven. “He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His stripes we are healed” [Isaiah 53:5]. When I think about Jesus dying, I am reminded of what Simon Peter said: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God ” [Matthew 16:16]. Who is Jesus to you? To me, Jesus in my savior that died in my place to take away the burden and consequence of sin, all of my hurts and pains, and He delivered me from the doom of eternal death (complete separation from God). Paul tells us in Romans that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Paul goes on to say that “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Like everyone else, I am not perfect. I have had my own downfalls, and for many years I had no one any greater than me to help me back up. It was a struggle to go through life each and every day. One day things could be fine and then the next they were what seemed to be the worse that they could get.
Thanks to my maternal grandparents, I am in a better place today. They showed me Gods love, and they started taking me to church each Sunday when I was very young. I am so glad that they did. I seriously doubt that I would be where I am today without their influence. I also am thank for other family members, my church family, and my pastor that prayed for me and encouraged me. They all have been there for me through everything that I am going through.
Since becoming a Christian. I have surrendered my life to my Savior Jesus Christ; even my thoughts, actions, and my reactions. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” [Galatians 2:20].
However, I am still not perfect, but I am going to strive to my best to model my life after Christ’s life as He loved here on Earth. With His example, I am able to keep my self in check each day.
’Cause Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.
I have heard the question asked before, “what if when you die you find out that there is no heaven, no God, no Jesus. What if you just wasted your time?”. My friend, I tell you that my life will have been much better off than if I had lived my life for myself and my own desires. I would have been into so many things. Who knows; it may have been drugs, alcohol, a life full of living off of sexual desires, or even suicide. But my faith in God has given me strength and a purpose for living. Jesus tells us in New Testament that “…mandoesnotlivebybread alone, butmanlives byeverywordthat comes from the mouth of the Lord” [Deuteronomy 8:3]. This is very true–I would not be able to have the joy that I have without God’s Word.
Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
God has definitely changed my life for the better, will you let Him change yours?
If you would like to talk with me about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, then please contact me.
You can also call me and leave me a message.
I will get back to you as soon as possible. Be sure to leave your name and contact number.
What are you doing for God in your daily life? Are you doing Kingdom work or is it just church work?
Kingdom work is acts done that result in the growth of the Kingdom of God. Your acts benefit the Kingdom if you are spreading the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Are your acts winning souls to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ?
Church work consist of acts that only benefit the physical requirements in a church. Many people today are holding several different roles in church and believe that they are doing work that is pleasing to God. They may be very busy doing this and that and going here and there, but their acts do not bless God unless they are impacting lives for Christ.
James 1:27 tells us that “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
Christian, if you are not committing your days to serving God by serving others, then you need to re-examine your life purpose. The Bible makes it very clear that God is more worried about the spiritual than the physical. God has blessed us in so many ways that we need to share those blessings with others.
Our world is full of sin and lost people that are in need of Jesus. Church work will not show them Jesus. Church work will not bring them to following Jesus and surrendering their life to him.
It is only by doing Kingdom work and loving people to Jesus that will bring sinners to the foot of the cross. If we were to live our life and only do church work, then that would have the same effect on the world as if Jesus had only came to earth and did busy work and did not die on Calvary’s cross and raise from the dead.
In Matthew 28, Jesus says,
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Jesus said “GO and Tell”. He did not say “DO”. We have to go to our neighbors, loved ones, friends, enemies, co-workers, and others and tell the about Jesus and what He has done for you and what He can do for them.
We have to love people to Jesus. You have to show them that you love them just like Jesus does. And that your care for them just as Jesus does.
LORD I pray that you will help use to live for You and let Your Son live through us each and every day of our lives. LORD teach us how to love like You love. Teach use to live like You live. Give us a compassion for others like you have. Grieve our hearts for what grieves Yours. Be our guide. Amen.
Go make an impact for God’s Kingdom today and everyday.
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35
I spent most of my day yesterday working on the mission trip video that will be presented in church on Sunday. I had like 500-600 pictures to go through. My goal was to keep the video under 10 minutes for time sake (for both time limit at church and time limit to upload on YouTube). I had to borrow down my picture selection to around 145 or so. That would allow me to display the photos for 4sec and also have time to put other pictures, video, and effects on the begging and end of the presentation. I am not sure how many hours I spent on editing pictures and video. [view video HERE]
When I got ready to burn the DVD, my DVD burner decides that it is not gonna work for me. I have had it for many years now, and in the past year or so it has been acting up. It will make really loud grinding noises may or may not read/write the data to/from the disk. So, I finally broke down and ordered me a new internal LG DVD burner from NewEgg that I am going to put in an external enclosure. I cannot wait to finally have a drive that will operate correctly again!