Monday, December 27, 2010

Prince of Peace

Prince of Peace

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

I like Isaiah's description of the upcoming Messiah that would be coming. He gives many names, but one stands out to me: Prince of Peace!

Peace is for more than just hippies and anti-war protestors. I would think most people in their sane mind, would like to have peace. There is a peace that only God can bring to our lives. It cannot be found anywhere else. Only God!

The peace of God came in the form of Jesus Christ. The bible describes this as a peace that passes(KJV) or transcends(NIV) all understanding. Peace is one of the fruits of the spirit as well.

Jesus brought peace into the lives off all mankind by becoming our sin and providing a way for us to have HOPE that we can only get through Him. That hope of salvation gives us a peace that only be felt through a relationship with God.

There is nothing in this world, no substance, no relationship, no hobby, form of entertainment, drug, drink, or pleasure that can give you the peace that only comes from the Prince of Peace.

Peace of Mind, Peace of conscience, peace of spirit, peace. God can bring peace to your relationships, your job, your feelings, emotionals, and even your baggage, struggles, and problems.

Would you seek His peace today? Maybe you need to be reminded of it today? You can enjoy His peace everyday. Find rest in Him.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas 2010

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Well a lot has happened in my life since last Christmas. This time last year, I was ending my ministry in Huntingburg, Indiana at Central Christian Church and packing up to move back to West Virginia at the end of 2009. Well I got moved back and here I am a year later.

I left full-time ministry, but never leaving ministry and always open to returning to full-time ministry. I have been able to do some fill-in preaching and youth speaking periodically to keep from being totally rusty. I have been able to speak to a variety of churches in West Virginia.

Ofcourse, I was dating Cheryl last year and we got engaged in April and got married on June 18th. I just passed my 6 month anniversary and she hasn't left me yet, so, so far so good, haha. It has had its challenges for both of us, and we are still in transitation with all the things going on, but there is no doubt God brought us together and has blessed us.

We are still looking for a church home and trying to decide where we want to eventually reside. Please be in prayer for us in that. Currently we are living in Glenwood, in Cheryl's parents old house. The kids are liking their new schools. Lindsey turned 10 this fall and is in 4th grade at Ashton Elementary and is cheering for Ashton in little league basketball.
Josh is 14 and is in 9th grade at Hannan.

Josh was diganosed this summer with Asperger's syndrome ( a high functioning form of Autism) and we are currently looking into resources to best help Josh, because He is also ADHD along with some other issues, so please be in prayer for Josh as we try to best Help him.Josh killed his first "buck" deer this year, a 3 pointer on the first day of deer season, I wasn't as lucky, I harvested a doe, but we are enjoying eating our kill.

Cheryl quit her job at the accounting firm last month in hopes of finding a new job, so currently she is collecting unemployment and job hunting and being full-time mother and housewife until she finds employment. Please pray for her to find a job and if you know of anyone hiring accounting/office manager type people, please let me know. Cheryl also has been going to school online/part-time to try and work toward a CPA. I've been volunteering with the Hannan athletic boosters and doing some announcing for jr high basketball games at Hannan this winter.

This past May Cheryl's dad Johnny lost his 2 year battle with cancer. Also, her grandfather John, Sr. passed away in November, so the Barnett family has experienced alot of loss in 2010. Please continue to pray for their family, as some have had a difficult time dealing with the loss.

I know it seems there has been a lot of bad news this year, but there has been lots of good news. My dad retired the end of July, I got married, and I have been working at Jenkins Fenstermaker Law firm in Huntington, WV as a Courier.
My brother-in-law Tom got back in church. The Reds won their division and made the play-offs, so it's not all been bad, haha.

We are blessed and we are thankful this Christmas! Thank you for being our family and friends. I pray you all have a most blessed Christmas and a Great New Year in 2011.

Love to All,

Jason, Cheryl, Josh, and Lindsey



Agenda by nature is typically what people use in meeting, as to go over different topics and issues to make sure they are covered. However, agenda is also what some people have which is an underlying plan.

I know it's hard to believe but not ever person out there in this world has pure, honest, and sincere motives, many of them have a hidden, personal, or selfish agenda. And even bigger heartache is that many people in church and church leadership have these hidden agendas.

Let me explain, some are well meaning, but they are still incorrect in their motives or plans. Many preacher's spend have their sermon's complaining about other pastors and churches, yet I'd bet most of them haven't even talked to them or stepped foot in their churches. There agenda is to tear down other churches and pastor's. It's one thing to condemn sin, but it's another to judge another pastor or churches methods because you don't agree with them.

Some churches and it's members spend their entire ministry trying to prove other churches wrong, claiming they are liberal, letting the world in, using instruments, using "rock n roll" music as they call it, or using a different version of the bible, or having programs or things that aren't old fashion enough.

Too many preachers and churches spend way too much time talking about others and not enough time talking about the love of God. Preach Jesus. Jesus confronted sin while He was on earth when it was appropriate, but most of Jesus ministry was healing, helping, and teaching.

We need to put our personal agendas aside. You can believe what you want about worship music, bible versions, church programs, and doctrinal opinions, but more people are known for what they are against than what they stand for.

Some churches or pastor's are only known for their views on homosexuality, government, eternal security, end of times, pre-destination, music, bible translations, and the list is endless of the topics and soap boxes we get on. I would rather be known for just simply preaching Jesus, loving people, and teaching people to know Jesus or grow in their faith.

I am not talking about having no standards, ignoring sin, or anything goes mentality, but I am also saying, we need to chill out and stop being so dogmatic, judgemental, and stop trying to hate, pressure, guilt, and dumb people into Heaven.

There is a reasons churches don't grow and people seem to always have animosity, turmoil, and drama in their ministries or churches, it's because they are focusing on the wrong things and many times with wrong motives.

We need church leaders to step up and stop these members in their churches with hidden agendas. We need our pulpits in our churches to stop beng platforms for our own personal agenda's on our favorite subject we are passionate about. Church members need to be trained, taught, led, and fed. They don't need to hear the same old same old every week about the same old soap box you are harping on because people don't preach and teach and agree with you.

Our agenda should be Jesus. Our goal should be to reach lost people, and disciple and help thosse who become and are christians mature and grow in their faith. We need to build up the church. We need Christians who read and study their bible, who pray daily, and who serve in the church using their gifts.

We cannot agree on every subject or topic. Not everyone is going to agree with our views, and not every church and pastor is going to teach, practice, or be how we think they should be, that doesn't always make them wrong, sinful, or an abomination. We can serve One God and still have one way to God through Jesus, He is the only way, however, our methods, programs, and even preferences and opinions can be different.

I don't always agree with my parents, my wife, or my kids, but they don't stop being my family and I don't stop loving them, and vice versa. I don't agree with many of the things in every church I visit, or every christian I am friends with, or every preacher I hear, but that doesn't keep me from calling them christian, fellowshipping with them, or getting something positive from them.

I know the road to God is narrow, but that doesn't mean our minds and beliefs have to be so narrow, that only people who agree with us can get to heaven. Drop your agenda and start preaching the love of Christ and see how you and your church may change.

All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Change your mind

Change Your Mind

"There is never anything to change but our own perspective." Karen Casey

Karen Casey wrote a great little book called "Change your mind and your life will follow". It was a great read, I read it 3 times, but I really like the title of the book.

Really if you think about it, if you are going to make any change in your life it begins in your mind. You have to have an attitude to change, or you never will change a thing.

If you can't change your attitude, perception, mindset, or viewpoint, it's very difficult to make any changes, whether it's personal, spiritual, relational, or anything for that matter.

It's true, admitting you need to change it's half the battle. We get so stuck in a rut, a mindset, an attitude, that we have a hard time seeing that we need to change or that nothing is going to change until we do.

Churches are dying because people refuse to change. Relationships end because people refuse to change. Businesses close down because they refuse to change. People don't change for many reasons.

First, they don't see they need to change or a need for change? You know the old mentality if it's not broke don't fix it? Secondly, some don't change because they blameshift and say others need to change. Thirdly, some don't change because they are very self-unaware. Fourthly, some don't change out of fear or anxiety. I'm sure their are other reasons, but if we aren't willing to change, we can guarantee ourselves alot of heartache, problems, and unresolved battles and issues.

I think God expects us to change. Maturity is changing, progress is changing, growth is changing, healthy relationships is changing, grace is changing. God wants His church to constantly change in order to reach a rapidly changing world with his unchanging message. God wants His people to change so that we are better children, spouses, siblings, employees, and servants.

It's hard work, it's difficult to make changes when we are stubborn, set in our ways, narrow-minded, won't listen, live in denial, are comfortable, unaware, angry, scared, or have a bad attitude. But, we can overcome all these things with God's help. And God's help sometimes means asking others for help.

We can make changes, but we first have to change our minds. When we change our minds, our lives will follow.

Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Do you Hear what I Hear?

Do you Hear what I Hear?

James 1:22-24 (NIV)
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

We like God to listen to us don't we? We go to God with your complaints, gripes, wants, desires, etc...and of course God's word tells us to ask, seek, and knock(Matt. 7:7-8) and we do. Nothing wrong with asking God for things, but my question is are we doing all the talking?

Do we take time to listen to God speak? Or are we doing all the talking? Do we take time to listen to what God has to say through prayer? His word? Worship? Others? God is constantly speaking to us. We may not hear an audible voice, but God is not always silent. There are times where God is silent, but that doesn't mean He never speaks to us, most cases it's because we fail to listen, or hear Him.

I am guilty of this, obviously, that's why I am writing about this subject today. Learning to listen is a skill we have to learn. Not only do we have to learn it, we have to discipline ourselves to listen, especially when there is distractions, noises stress, trauma, sin, tragedy, trials, problems, etc...

It's easy to not hear God when we instead listen to things that keep us from hearing God. It's easy to not hear God when we are busy doing all the talking. Take time to reflect, take time to ponder, take time to be quiet, and listen to God. Read His word and listen. Pray for a time and then stop and just listen.

God is speaking all around you and me. God has something to tell us. Maybe He wants to encourage you? Maybe He wants to comfort you? Maybe He wants to discipline you? Maybe He wants to give you some direction? Stop. Listen. Hear.