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Pastor Bill's OLD Blog

Communicating With You Makes My Day!!!

January 2008 - Posts

  • Passion - It's an Inside Job

    Matt Ramey, an ordained minister and former pastor of the Freedom FWB Church in Plain City, and his family have decided to make Hillview their home.  We are blessed by God to have them in our fellowship.  When I was talking to Matt three weeks ago about his passion and what he wanted to do here at the church, he asked me a question that has gnawed at my brain ever since.  His question, “what ministry of Hillview is in need of help desperately?”  Which ministry is crumbling?  After I paused for a moment, I had to say that we really don’t have what I would say is a ministry that is “falling apart.”  I believe all of them could be better.  I could do a better pasturing and preaching.  We all could and should.  That question, though, is still dogging me and I believe I now know why God has not allowed that question to be at rest in my mind.  I now have an answer in a broad and general perspective that I want to share with you.

     

    If you were to ask me what area of Hillview needs the greatest amount of attention – my answer would be - are you ready for it?  “WE ARE NOT SPIRITUAL ENOUGH!  There it is.  Now, let’s talk about it.

     

    Why do I say that?  Well, first and foremost as your pastor, God has laid it on my heart.  Practically speaking, I just don’t see it.  We don’t say, “let’s pray about it” very much when we talk about facing the challenges of life and ministry.  I haven’t heard of any of our small groups having a powerful prayer time that touches everybody’s soul.  Our PASSION gauge seems to be at half a tank rather than spilling out all over the place.  New people aren’t breaking down the doors to get in to our services because they’ve not seen a passion for God.

     

    I’m not throwing the baby out with the bath water.  As I said, we are functioning well in our ministries and our spirit of giving is way up.  At Christmas, I estimate we helped more than 10 families directly and over 30 indirectly.  But that’s money.  Some of the riches people in the world give millions of dollars to help people yet the Holy Spirit doesn’t live in their heart.  I’m talking about something you can’t see – you have to feel this one.  I’m talking about passion that drives us to our knees, to fasting, to unparalleled worship, to confession; I’m talking about REVIVAL and that’s an inside job.

     

    This daily devotional Hillview is doing called “REGAINING BALANCE” has taken hold of me.  I want you to feel it like I do.  I want all of us to focus over the remainder of this 91 day devotional on the inside – the real us!  Keep up on the daily readings.  If you lag behind, catch up.  This devotional has the potential to change, not only Hillview, but YOU!  Wouldn’t it be awesome to bump up your passion gauge to FULL?  Those are the times in my life I have been closest to God and I want it bad!

     

    Bow your head right now with me and pray to God for PASSION!!!!  It’s an inside job that only God can do but we have to allow Him the freedom to do it.

     

    I’m praying for you.

     

    Love you all and humbled to be your pastor!

     

    Bill

      

     

  • It's New Years! (but it feels like Halloween)

    Preparing for this Sunday's sermon on Lucifer is creepy.  I generally plan sermons one to two months in advance.  I knew when God encouraged me to preach on this topic things would get freaky.  It seems every time I do a sermon or talk on this subject, I am "beat to death" by the Devil's evil imps.  I really don't think Luci wants me to tell people what he's really like. 

    Well, he is very real.  As much as I believe in Jesus Christ, I believe the Devil is real.  His influence and prowess is evident everywhere.  Even the big guy in Rome can see it.  In today's edition of "Daily Mail". the lead article says, "The Pope has ordered his bishops to set up exorcism squads to tackle the rise of Satanism. Vatican chiefs are concerned at what they see as an increased interest in the occult. They have introduced courses for priests to combat what they call the most extreme form of "Godlessness."   (check it out: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=504969&in_page_id=1811&Satan=Santa)

    The increased interest in the dark side is seen everywhere.  Movies like "The Ring" and the "Harry Potter" series can and do influence interest in Satan's kingdom.  I'm not saying it's wrong to watch them but persons with certain types of personalities are more influenced than the rest of us.  Just sit in the mall or go to your local high school and you'll see demonic influence in what kids wear.  On our mission trips to the Dominican Republic, we have a lot of interaction with Haitians who have fled to the other side of the islands.  They freely talk about the voodoo and pagan satanic practices in Haiti.  I spoke to a young man who is a waiter at a local restaurant near the church who was in the Navy.  I was telling him about our trips to the Dominican.  He was on a ship that docked in Haiti while in the Navy.  Though he never got off the boat, he said you could "feel the darkness" even before you get to the island. It is probably one of the most satanic regions in the world.

    The devil appears as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14) and if we would take off the cultural blinders he has created you can see his influence is very strong.  You can see it in music, movies and the news of the day.  We need to live with the understanding that his influence is everywhere and extremely strong.  Remember, he is as a roaring lion looking for prey (1 Peter 5:8) and you are not immune to his tactics.

    Pray for me as I plan to speak against him the next two Sundays.  Don't just pray for the sermons but that God the Holy Spirit would keep me very close as Lucifer tries to trip me up so the truth would be concealed.

    Bill   

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