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Showing posts from 2010

Rising to meet Christmas Challenges!

You see it on the faces of people. You can hear it in their voices. It is clear by the way they walk through the crowds at the mall, stand in the long lines, or even try to smile at a passerby. Once again we find ourselves surrounded by the challenges of Christmas. There is real fear in people’s lives that challenges their finances, their families, and even their faith. Will this Christmas live up to its billing? Will everything get accomplished? Will there be hope in a new year? God…are you there?

Mary understood these feelings. When the angel came and announced what God had chosen to do in her life she was probably filled with more questions than answers. She faced real challenges relating to that first Christmas event. However, in reading scripture she faced these challenges in several ways that might be good reminders to us this year.

Mary heard the announcement of the angel and she trusted God with action. She said, “I am the Lord’s servant. . . May it be to me as you have said (L…

Move from Commercialism to Contentment the Christmas!

During the Christmas season, people all around us are assaulted with the message of discontentment, commercialism, and materialism. Marketers spend most of the holiday season trying to convince us that we cannot live without their products, our children must have the latest and greatest toys, and we must give these “precious gifts” to our friends and family. The result is that we spend a holiday focused on materialistic things instead of the Master of all things.

So what do we do about this in our own lives? How can we beat materialism this Christmas?

1. We must intentionally be grateful to God.

The first thing we need to do to is to realize just how much we've already been blessed with individually, as believers, and as a nation. Everything that we are and everything that we have are gifts from God. Many people in our churches and communities struggle with this. They believe they worked hard for what they have. But we must help them see that God is the one who allowed them to do th…

God can speak through YOU!

In July I returned from another exciting mission trip to Brazil. On one particular Sunday night, I was preaching at the FBC of Heliopolis in Rio de Janeiro. Imagine the scene for a moment. I am preaching to a building full of people in my best Arkansas, southern English about choosing to walk on the narrow road from Matthew 7:13-14. I am being translated by Pastor Davidson Freitas into Portuguese. Additionally, an interpreter is translating what we are both saying into sign language for about 30 deaf and hearing impaired people of the church. When the invitation was given, a young man who is totally deaf came forward, and in sign language prayed and asked Jesus into His life to be His Savior and Lord. What an amazing God we serve!

Did you know all around us Satan has deafened the ears of many people to the truth? However, God’s Word is still powerful and effective. In Romans 10:14, Paul asks how people will hear the gospel without someone sharing it with them. If the gospel is powerful…

Follow me on TWITTER!

You can now follow me on TWITTER! Start following me today at http://twitter.com/clayhallmark

THE JAMES EXPERIMENT

Starting Sunday, September 26th and going through Sunday, November 21st, I will be preaching a new sermon series called, "Does FAITH Work?...The James Experiment!" This will be a practical study in the book of James that will challenge us to live out the faith we profess in practical and relevant ways each day. We will learn how our faith works in the everyday situations of life!

We got this idea from Northwood Church in Texas. We believe it is going to be life changing. Messages will be uploaded each week to the Your Life Matters podcast. You can subscribe by going to http://www.fbcmarionark.org/?q=node/14.

People reach People!

The Biblical command to tell others about Jesus is a command that has been replaced in many churches by slogans, marketing plans, programs, and websites. While all of these things are important and beneficial, these things will not win the lost to faith in Christ. From the very beginning of the church, the plan for reaching the lost was simple: People must reach people!

The problem is that this plan requires sacrifice on our part. We will have to give some time, face rejection, move outside our comfort zones, and become obedient to the Lord's agenda rather than our own agendas. However, people will not be won to faith in Christ by slogans, but by soul-winners. They will not be won to faith in Christ by becoming more favorable like the world, but by faithful witnesses. It will never happen because of a program, but because of people who might choose to use a program. Verbal networking of your personal story of how Jesus changed your life will change the lives of others! Now...let…

Help understanding a man in time for Father's Day!

When a man says “IT WOULD TAKE TOO LONG TO EXPLAIN”
He means: "I have no idea how it works"

When a man says "TAKE A BREAK, HONEY. YOU ARE WORKING TOO HARD’’
He means: "I can’t hear the game over the vacuum cleaner"

When a man says ’THAT’S INTERESTING DEAR.’
He means: "Are you still talking?"

When a man says: "IT’S A GUY THING"
He means: "There is no rational thought pattern connected with this, and you have no chance at all of making it logical"

When a man says "CAN I HELP WITH DINNER"
He means: "Why isn’t it ready yet?"

When a man says "UH HUH, SURE HONEY,” or “YES, DEAR"
He means: Absolutely nothing – It’s a conditioned response.

When a man says "YOU KNOW HOW BAD MY MEMORY IS."
He means: " I can remember the theme song to ‘Hogan’s Heroes’, the phone # of the first girl I ever kissed & the vehicle identification numbers of every car I ever owned – but yes, I forgot your birthday"

When a man…

Hear Rob Rash talk about the new FEMA Flood Insurance Scam!

The Crocodile and the Cross!

Have you ever seen the Izod Lacoste logo that looks like a little alligator? You’ve probably worn something with the alligator logo, but do you know the true meaning behind the alligator? First, it’s really not an alligator; it’s a crocodile. In the 1920s the world’s leading tennis player was the Frenchman Rene Lacoste. He won Wimbledon, the French Open and the U.S. Open multiple times and had been given the nickname “Le Crocodile.” Some say he got that nickname because of his ferocious tenacity on the court!

At the time, tennis players were still wearing stiff, long sleeved shirts with ties. But when Lacoste played in the 1926 U.S. Open, he wore a shirt of his own creation–a white, short-sleeved cotton shirt with a small crocodile embroidered on the chest. It started a fashion revolution and by 1933 Lacoste was mass producing cotton shirts with the little crocodile. It was the first time a logo appeared on the outside of a garment. Now it’s quite possible you have personally sported t…

Let's think about making some Changes!

Do you ever give much thought to change? Many people are uncomfortable with the whole idea of change, but at the same time they recognize that in their lives some things need to change. Much of the things in our lives that need to change are nothing more than a result of poor choices we have made in response to difficult circumstances or temptation. So for real change to come into our lives, we really need to change our focus. There is a principle you need to know: The way we think determines how we feel. How we feel determines the way we act. Therefore we must change the way we think by changing our focus.

This principle is true because we are often guilty of focusing on the undesirable things in our lives such as pain, hurt, anger, disappointment, addictions, and habits while we neglect to focus on the things of life that really matter. So when it comes to change, there are several things on which we need to focus. What are these things?

First we need to focus on the process of chang…

A New Challenging Journey for your life!

Many years ago the great explorer, Sir Francis Drake, was attempting to recruit a number of young men for an upcoming exploration. He gathered them around and told the group that if they came with him they would see some of the most marvelous things their eyes could ever behold. Sandy white beaches, juicy fruits, foreign peoples, priceless treasures, and gorgeous landscapes. And he told them that this wild adventure could be theirs if they came with
him. Not one of them enlisted for the journey.

The next day a different group came out. Drake told them that if they came with him they would encounter storms that would terrify them into tears. Tiger winds would hammer them and blow them off course for months. Water would frequently be scarce. At times they will be so thirsty that their very souls would cry out for simply one drop of water. In short, danger would always be their constant companion. Drake concluded by declaring that if they could handle these things, the joys of exploration …

Unpack those Bags!

Have you ever tried to outrun or hide from your past? A lot of people are like the driver of the 18 wheeler speeding down I-40 in Arkansas. The trooper pulled behind the truck, turned on his lights, and the trucker did not stop. The trooper got right on the truck’s bumper, but the trucker kept right on going. The trooper turned on his siren, but the trucker only sped up. Finally, the truck ran out of gas and rolled to the side of the road. By now the trooper was beside himself in anger. He marched up to the trucker and yelled, “Sir, did you not see my lights?” “Yes sir, I did!” replied the trucker. “Did you not see me on your bumper for miles?” demanded the trooper. “Yes sir, I did!” the trucker said calmly. “Did you not hear my siren blaring?” the trooper asked. “Well, yes sir I did!” the trucker replied. In exhaustion the trooper finally said, “Then please explain to me why in this world you did not stop this truck?” The trucker actually looked relieved and replied, “Well you see ab…

A New Year requires Courage!

A new year with new possibilities requires courage

Each New Year brings new possibilities – opportunities for growth. These are exciting times to be alive. As we begin a New Year and a new decade, I’m sure that God wants to do great things in your life- but it won't happen automatically. You've got to step out in faith. There's always an element of risk. Hosea 10:12 says, "Plow new ground for yourselves, plant righteousness, and reap the blessing your devotion to me will produce!”

What are you planning to harvest in your life in 2010? Three hundred sixty five days from today, how will you be any different? If you want to be different, you've got to start cultivating some new habits, activities, and relationships now! Success doesn't just happen. It takes effort.

What do you want to be different in your family.... your finances...or your walk with Christ? Whatever you sow you'll reap. If you don't sow anything, you won't reap anything. I dare you to…