Saturday
Jul042015

This Sunday at Bristol - The Joy of Being Free

The United States of America . . . is a blessed nation. On Saturday we will celebrate our 239th birthday. No small feat.

Our founding fathers were willing to put their lives, if necessary, at stake to make  the United States of America a reality. This is what John Adams said, “Whether we live or die, sink or swim, succeed or fail, I stand behind this Declaration of Independence. And if God wills it, I am ready to die in order that this country might experience freedom.”

It was that kind of patriotism which led men like Adams, Patrick Henry, George Washington, Paul Revere, Sam Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and others, armed with nothing more than hunting rifles, to engage in battle with what was, at that time, the most powerful nation on the globe. In the closing words of the Declaration of Independence are these words, “With a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

These early leaders knew that if they were going to prevail, God must be on their side. Throughout the writings of these men, again and again they make reference to the Lord. Patrick Henry said, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians - not by religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Without a doubt, our founding fathers, proved their dependence of the Lord.

The nation of Israel need to be reminded of the solemn warning to not forget the Lord when they left their bondage in Egypt. Read Deuteronomy 8:6-14. The Lord knows that our propensity as a nation was also to forget, therefore a reminder, like these words in Deuteronomy and Proverbs 14:34, and the anniversary of the birth of our nation, provide just that.

I hope to see you tomorrow as we celebrate our independence as a nation and as a people who love God!

You are loved in the Lord.

Pastor Terry

Friday
Jun262015

This Sunday at Bristol - Jesus' Perspective on Integrity

This Sunday we continue our current summer series, “If It Matters to Jesus,” with our fourth lesson. Our scripture text will be Matthew 6:33-37.

Some believe that Jesus’ teaching can be summarized in the Sermon on the Mount. When reading Matthew 5-7, we come to understand that Jesus had some very difficult things to say. He addresses subjects like: Living Godly in an evil world, divorce, giving, murder, adultery, prayer, trust, and more. This Sunday we will examine what Jesus had to say about integrity.

We live in a world where people are seldom believed anymore. People have been lied to and defrauded so many times that when someone speaks, it is not expected that the person speaking is truthful. How sad!

This was problem in Jesus’ day, especially the religious leaders, and that is why He addressed this important subject. In some cases righteousness was not working in the daily lives of some people because they were not letting godliness work. The Pharisees used all kind of shenanigans (trickery) to sidestep the truth and the rank-and-file knew this.

Jesus teaches us, in our Bible text for this Sunday, that our words are to be always honest. We do not need anything, other than the truth, to get people to believe us when we are people of integrity. As Warren Wiersbe says, “Words depend on character, and oaths cannot compensate for a poor character.” How true.

The big question: Can people believe what we say? Does our “yes” mean “yes” and our “no” mean “no”? If we say we are going to do something, do we do it? If we say we are going to be someplace at a certain time, are we there? Simply put - Do we keep our promises? That is the gist of what Jesus is saying in these verses from Matthew 5. And it is a good reminder for today!

I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we focus on Jesus’ perspective on integrity.

You ARE loved in the Lord!

Pastor Terry

Friday
Jun192015

This Sunday at Bristol - Our Faithful Heavenly Father

How many promises do you think there are in the Bible? 100? 1,000? 10,000? Would you be shocked when you read there are about 30,000 promises in God's Word? These promises are meant to be claimed.

Our friends have good intentions, but sometimes they break their promises. They tell you they are going to do something, but they do not follow through. You were depending on them, but they disappointed you. Sometimes when promises are not kept, it really is no big deal. Life keeps on going. Sometimes when promises are broken, there are catastrophic consequences.

One thing, among many, that separates our God from a well-intentioned family member or friend is that He NEVER breaks His promises. The Book of Numbers 23:19, "God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?"

Peter says that God's promises are "great and precious." (2 Peter 1:4) And what makes His promises "great and precious" is that these promises come from Him and He can and will fulfill each one.

This Sunday we will examine some of the promises of God as we focus on the subject on our Lord being the greatest Father ever. I believe you will be an encouraged as you reflect on some of the 30,000 promises of the Bible.

I look forward to seeing you this Sunday as we celebrate Father's Day. We will begin at 9:30 with "Pancakes with Pop" in the lower level following by worship. It is going to be a great day!

You are deeply loved in the Lord.

Pastor Terry

Friday
Jun052015

This Sunday at Bristol - The Only Way To Live

Several Sundays ago our lesson answered the question, “How should we live?” from Matthew 5. This Sunday we look at what Jesus said in Matthew 6 as the only way to live.

This Sunday we continue with our second lesson in this summer teaching series, “If It Matters to Jesus,” as we look at some of the verses of the Sermon on the Mount from the Gospel of Matthew.

Anxiety is a universal problem that affects people everywhere, in all walks of life, regardless of their faith. To worry or be anxious means that your life is being strangled or choked out of you and that certainly contributes to the loss of emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being.

I read about an archbishop who was afraid that someday he would become paralyzed (Why, I do not know). And then it happened, he was at a dinner party and said in a mumbled voice, “It has finally happened. I am paralyzed. I cannot feel my right leg.” The woman sitting next to him, who heard what he said responded, “Your grace. It may comfort you to learn that it is my leg you are pinching.”

Worry get us nowhere and that is exactly what Jesus reminds us of in Matthew 6:25-34. Jesus tells a story about the birds who do not plant a crop, cultivate, or harvest a crop, and yet they have plenty of food. He goes on to say that since the Lord takes care of the birds, He will certainly take care of us. He says the same for the flowers of the field. Since He takes care of them, He will certainly take care of us.

This Sunday we study the importance of trust (the antithesis of anxiety) and how the Lord says He will take care of us just as He does the birds of the air and the flowers of the field.

The Sermon on the Mount is about the Lord explaining to His followers how they can live victoriously in this world - the way He desires us to live!

You are loved in the Lord!

Pastor Terry

Friday
May222015

This Sunday at Bristol - How Should We Live?

This Sunday we begin a new teaching series that will continue through the summer. Our theme, “If It Matters to Jesus,” will be a study of some of the verses of the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew 5-7.

Jesus’ words in these three chapters form a collection of sayings emphasizing the moral way in which we are to live. The teachings of the Sermon on the Mount have been a key element of Christian ethics for centuries and have formed the recipe for moral conduct for those who follow Jesus. Matthew 5:20 seems to be the key verse and everything else builds around these words.

This Sunday we study the importance of light and salt and how these simple elements teach us how we are to live. Read Matthew 5:13-16 to get a sneak peek.

This series will help us in understanding how the Lord expects His followers to live. When we take what Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount seriously, we win. We will find ourselves drawing close to Him and He, in turn, will draw close to us. In fact, others win too!

You are loved in the Lord!

Pastor Terry