Thoughts from the Pastor

What are you worth?

Scripture Reference1 Corinthians 6:20 “for God bought you with a high price.  So you must honor God with your body.”

What are you worth?  More exactly, what value do you add to the world; to your country; to your community; to your family; to your church?

For many people the answer is “nothing.”  We don’t see ourselves as being of “real” value in the overall order of life.  We don’t see ourselves as adding anything of significance to our world, our country, community, or family.  As individuals we try to avoid even thinking about our contribution to life because it makes us feel insignificant.  We pretend that we are important and in control of our lives, but down deep in the recesses of our soul, lies a feeling of helplessness and insignificance.  These feelings can become very prominent during circumstances such as we are experiencing right now.  We can feel very small.  Yet in our scripture today, you learn that you are of great value.  You have unlimited possibilities!  None less than our Creator God has paid a high price for you.  The value God has placed on your life was the life of His own Son.  Your potential is limited only by God’s will and your willingness!  God’s will has already been revealed to you.  All that is left is your willingness to accept His grace offered to you through Jesus. 

In the Broadway play, The Man of La Mancha, Don Quixote is near death.  He has been mocked and scorned because he is such a positive thinker.  Finally, in a splendid self-defense, he asks the ultimate question.  “Who is crazy?  Am I crazy because I see the world as it could become?  Or is the world crazy because it only sees itself as it is?”

If you are determined to be a significant contributor to life, you will be.  If you are determined to make a difference in your world, your community, family, or church, you will!  Every day is an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life.  Especially now when community has become so important to us once again!  I am not talking about the unknown things.  I am talking about a tangible difference in the world around you.  You are a Temple of the Holy Spirit by God’s plan.  If you don’t take the time to follow God’s will every day then someone loses.  You deny yourself, your family, community, and the world access to Him.  But more importantly you will continue your life in fear, feeling insignificant, lost and alone.  Open your life today to God’s plan for you.  Be willing to give, to be significant … make a difference!

Prayer

God of infinite mercy, in this time of bewilderment and fear, we ask you to give us the courage to take care of one another as Jesus did. In the midst of our own anxiety we ask you to give us the courage to support one another as you would.

In the midst of our struggle to ensure a healthy future for all who live on this planet, we ask you to give us the hope that surpasses our current understanding.

In the midst of our growing awareness that all life on Earth is connected, we ask for the heart to respect and cherish all life. That all people recognize that we are all your children and give thanks to you for the great value you have given to our lives.  Free us from our fear and depression. 

In the midst of our sadness and grief, we ask you to give us words to comfort one another. For those who are sick or dying from this virus, for those who tend them and for those with no one to tend them, hear our prayer!

For those who are unexpectedly unemployed, for employers who share what they can, for our government and financial institutions and those who lead them, hear our prayer!

Open our hearts to the great possibilities that are available to us, even during these anxious times!  We trust in you and your power working in us. Please hear and answer our prayers.  Amen!

Keep the Faith,
Bro. Tony

Posted by Dr. Tony Taylor

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.

Scripture ReferenceIsaiah 41:10 (NLT)
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

 There is no way to ignore the fact that we are living through a difficult time in our country.  The “Corona Virus” is upon us and it must be taken seriously.  We are having to adjust our lives to face realities that some have never faced.  For others, this is nothing new, it has just been awhile since we have been through it.

Many precautions must be taken to keep the spread of this virus from overwhelming our medical staff and facilities.  Our President and Governor have asked that we make further adjustments to our lives for the good of all people.  For some this has created a panic situation cause by fear.  There are many pictures being shared of empty grocery stores where people have begun to hoard all types of goods.  However, our scripture to day gives us the perfect way to handle this crisis.  We do it with calm and bravery, knowing that tomorrow will be a better day and the next day will be even better because we exercise good judgement and wisdom. 

God is with us!  This is His world and he is still on His throne.

While it is necessary for us to use caution and follow proper protocols during this time.  Concern for each other is very proper.  We do not need to panic or fear or allow our anxieties to reduce us to inhuman mobs of mindlessness.  These are the times when we rediscover community, goodness and true fellowship.  To those reading this article, we are neighbors and as such we will prevail with each other and for each other.

Here is a prayer that you may share if you wish.

Most merciful and compassionate God, Giver of Life and Love, hear our prayers and let our cries come unto you.  We weep with your people around the world; we feel the desperation and we are overwhelmed by the enormity of it all.  Our hearts are hushed, our minds are numb but let not our hands be stopped, our voices dumb.

Today, so many people are afraid.  They wait in fear for the next report.  Comfort them, Lord, in this time of confusion and uncertainty.  Father, at times such as this, when we realize that the world around us is not as solid as we had imagined, we ask you for peace, strength and courage. 

As the things we have built our lives upon begin to seem so fragile, we realize how small we truly are on this ever-changing planet we call home. Yet you have promised never to forget us.  Do not forget us now. 

Galvanize in us the act of continued caring.  Bond us to our sisters and brothers in need and open our hearts to feel your compassion.  Remind us of the value of prayer.

Comfort and heal the sick, strengthen the aid workers and medical personnel.  Bolster the resolve of governments and those with power to help and open through this tragedy pathways to partnerships and peace.

We are reminded that our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.  Blessed be the name of the Lord, now and forever.  For it is in Your Name of mercy, healing and compassion we pray.

God is with us so - Keep the Faith,

Bro. Tony

Posted by Dr. Tony Taylor

Second Special Notice!

 

March 20, 2020

Dear Members and Friends of The Chapel,

In light of the President's and now our Governor’s warnings, and the very specific public health and safety measures that are currently being advised, which continues the request that all Americans avoid groups of more than 10 persons for the an additional  14 days or more:

We are canceling all church meetings and programs for the next two weeks (until April 4th) and Sunday School and Chapel services for this Sunday, March 22nd and next Sunday, March 28th.

I will be holding live Sunday meetings on the church’s Facebook Page at 11:00 A.M. and these will be repeated on the church’s websitewww.hilltoplakeschapel.orgBro. Wayne will also be holding the Christ Life Bible Study on the Church’s Facebook page on Wednesday evenings at 6:00 P.M.

In addition, the office will also be closed to as well.  However, the staff and I are available if you need anything!  Please do not hesitate to contact us. 

I met with the Trustees today and we each agreed that these measures were necessary at this time.  We have also tabled any upcoming spending on projects until this crisis subsides.  The financial impact on our ministries at The Chapel, are of concern and we would appreciate your faithful consideration to that giving which God has asked of you. FYI, our website does accommodate online giving now.

However, this does not mean that we are suspending our fellowship and one-on-one ministry! In the days ahead, should you find yourself in need, please do not hesitate to call on us. As brothers and sister in Christ, we will be here to help each other.

I encourage you to be patient with those who are working hard to serve you.  These are difficult times for everyone, but we will get through this.  Let us do so as beacons of God’s grace at a time when we can truly reflect Christ to others.  THIS CAN BE THE CHURCH’S FINEST HOUR!  Let’s make it so!

I know you will join me in keeping our national, state, and local leaders in our prayers as they seek to help the nation and make hard decisions that are according to their best information and judgment. Also, keep our church and communities in your prayers as we make necessary adjustments. God is not surprised by any of this, and He will cause all things to work for our good. Remember Psalm 23 and live it.
Blessings,

Bro. Tony

Posted by Dr. Tony Taylor

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