Friday, October 26, 2012

Vote Jesus.

Today is the last Friday in the month of October.  That means Election Day 2012 is almost here!  Finally!  If you're rejoicing that all the political ads will soon end, please raise your hand.  If you'll enjoy driving around and viewing our beautiful landscape without having to look at a thousand political signs littering the ground - shout Hallelujah!   I see your hands and I hear your voices and I agree!  At least mostly.  

One thing you may not know about me is that I am a HUGE history fan and I'm especially fond of U.S. history.  (Don't get me started on the parentage of Abraham Lincoln!)  I've always been fascinated with the political process in America and have even entertained thoughts of being involved in government one day, so I love this time of the year more than most.  My wife and I will even be working at the polls on November 6th, so I may even run into you on Election Day!    

As a Pastor who has an interest in local, state and federal government, I am often asked about party preference.  The popular question is: "Are you a Democrat or Republican?"  My reply is always the same:  "I'm a Christ-Follower!"  Sometimes they'll push a little more.  I still answer the same.  I tell them I always vote for the candidate  I believe best represents a person who follows Christ and that's why I've never voted a straight ticket.  According to God's Word, it shouldn't be about a particular party for any of us.  It's about choosing a candidate who best walks with God and supports legislation that does the same.  

Recently, I was asked to consider being the Chairman of a particular political party.  I had lunch with some leaders I love and respect and listened to what they had to say - but I had to respectfully turn down their offer.  I told them a particular party isn't the answer, because no political party is flawless.  While I may lean more heavily towards the beliefs of one party over another, I always look at the candidates based on God's Word and then vote.  The color of their skin doesn't matter to me.  The condition of their heart does.  Do they have wealth and stature in society?  Unimportant.  Do they have Godly character and a desire to impact society for the kingdom of God?  Infinitely important!  Are they an eloquent speaker who handles their words well?  Obviously, those are desirable traits, but more critical is how well they handle the Word of God!  Have they been led by God in the decisions they've made in their own lives and the lives of their families?  Remember, if a man or woman has a problem leading their own family, they certainly can't lead a Board of Commissioners or a State and certainly not a Nation.  Do they care more about being popular - or striving to be holy?  I love how the bible addresses these issues in Acts 10.  Verses 34 and 35 say: “...I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism  35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears Him and does what is right."  

So why do you vote the way you do?  Will you be ashamed when you have to explain to God why you've voted the way you have?  Are you led by God or by a party?  When your vote is cast, do you value family tradition more than the leadership of the Holy Spirit?  I'm shocked at the number of people who vote a certain way because their father, or grandfather - or even great-grandfather - voted a certain way, with no regards to what that party currently supports whatsoever.   Again, I love history, so I know the value of tradition, but you and I won't stand before relatives when we get to heaven.  We'll stand before God.  So as much as I love my family, I will follow God first.  (Read Matthew 10 and you'll see God's warnings about following family traditions before Him.)      

I once read that the problem with American politics is that we've lost all our statesmen and are left with nothing but politicians.  Their definition of a politician was someone who would do or say anything to be elected and then do all they could to stay in office by appeasing the loudest or wealthiest sector of society - regardless of what that sector of the population believed.  But a statesman realized they were divinely appointed by God to serve Him first and the people second.  A stateswoman realized they would stand before God one day and answer for their actions.  I guess what we need are more statesmen and stateswomen and less politicians. So my advice is to do what I've already done.  (I voted last week!)  Study the candidates, see who best fits Acts 10: 34 - 35 and vote for the candidate that fears God and does what is right.  Leave the results to God.  Romans 13:1 reminds us that we are to respect those in leadership over us and that God is still in control.  He is the One who appoints those to lead us - even if you disagree with them.  

I encourage you to please vote on November 6.  And may God be pleased with our selections.  

My name is Scott Limerick.  
I am your Worship Pastor and I approved this message.  :)

Friday, October 19, 2012


If there is one thing that scares me more than anything it is my fear of heights. 

Just climbing a step ladder makes me tense. 

On October 14th, 2012, Felix Baumgartner accomplished something that I would never even think about. He successfully completed the highest skydive ever. Jumping from 128,000 feet above the earth and reaching a speed of 834mph, Fearless Felix made it safely back to earth after a 4 minute free fall.

Watch it here: 

Right before Felix jumped he made this statement: 

"I wish the world could see what I can see... Sometimes you have to go up really high to understand how small you really are." 

Our point of view or perspective is something that is so valuable right now. There are so many people wanting to capture our approval and gain control of our point of view. 
If we are not careful, our perspective can get so clouded. It is no secret that times are tense in our country about this upcoming election. You cannot turn on the television or even drive down a street where the evidence of this is not everywhere. As a christian, I think the way to make sense of all this is to change our perspective. The solution is to begin to see our world as God sees it. If we could have his perspective on the world we live in, how would that change how we do life? It scares me to try to have a perspective from God’s point of view because when I do have that perspective, it challenges me to consider what is truly important in my life. It means that the Gospel and making it known has to be priority number one. 

When Felix jumped, he put his faith and trust in one thing to get him back safely home - his total trust was that his parachute would work. The same goes for us as Christ followers when it comes living by God’s perspective. We have to give God complete trust with our lives and our point of view. It is wise to trust the only One who has the ultimate perspective!

"My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." - Proverbs 3:1-6

- Marty Burgess
College Pastor, BCC

Friday, October 12, 2012

Am I Who I Was Created to Be?

How do you know if someone is good at what they do?

If I wanted to know if an artist was good at creating art, how could I find out? If I wanted to know if a hairstylist was good at cutting hair, how would I know? If I wanted to know whether or not a builder was a good at constructing houses, how could I know? I would look at what they have accomplished, right? I would look at the things they have created, the hair they have cut, and the houses they have built.

Well the bible says that when it comes to God there is a way to know if He is what He says He is. And that is by looking at the lives of the people who claim to have a relationship with Him.

Ephesians 6&7 says “For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.  So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of His grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.”

When we accepted God into our lives, He rescued us from death so that when people want to see who God really is, how powerful He is and what He is capable of, all they have to do is look at us and the way we live our lives. I don’t know about you but when I read these verses, it’s a little overwhelming to think that I am going to be what God points at to show the world who He is and what He is capable of. And after reading this, the question I am left with is, are people in awe of God and who he is after they see what it is he has “done” in my life? Because the reality is if they’re not then I am portraying the wrong picture of who Jesus Christ is.

Few of us would disagree with the fact that God is awesome but the issue is not whether or not God is awesome; the issue is whether or not my life is showing how awesome He really is. It is important to understand that displaying God’s grace by the life you live is less about what you do and more about who you are. We were created to be an example of what God is capable of; the question is, what do people see when they look at you? Do people better understand who God is? Are you living the life God created you for? 

Today, before you step away from your computer and go on with your day I would challenge you to ask God this:

“God am I living the life you created me for am I a positive example of who your are and what you are capable of. If not what is keeping me from being who you created me to be?”

Ask Him; you may be surprised by the answer.

-Brad Snipes
Middle School Pastor, BCC