Sunday Scripture

(Continued from last Sunday.)

I think a lot of people will never know my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ because they think that they are too far gone – that they’ve done so many bad things in their lives that God doesn’t want to have anything to do with them. As believers and followers of Christ we know that can’t be further from the Truth. We know that our God loves everyone, and He wants a personal relationship with everyone. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done. It doesn’t matter what you look like. It doesn’t matter where you came from. We know that nobody in this world is too far away to be reached by our Almighty God. Don’t underestimate our Almighty God. He can reach you – right where you are. He’s already accepted you. He’s waiting on you to accept Him.

Isaiah Chapter 59 Verse 1:

Listen !  The LORD’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is His ear too deaf to hear you call.

First Peter Chapter 4 Verses 4 and 5:

Of course your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do, so they slander you. But remember that they will have to face God – who will judge everyone – both the living and the dead.

You know during my reckless teens, 20s, and 30s – I was made fun of – I was slandered here and there and everywhere – for just being myself in the world and of the world. But it doesn’t really compare – not at all – to the slander that I’ve received over the past nearly 14 years as a born-again / evangelical / Christian. I mean that’s a triple-threat right there. (Remember that this is a WWE-inspired sermon.)

I think that most Americans still acknowledge that they are a Christian. I think that we’re still above 50% there – maybe even 60%. Just 30 years ago coming out of the 1980s we were up around 85% identifying as Christians, so the numbers are way down. Our nation has slowly moved away from God.

And then there’s “born again”. I am born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. (My) new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal living word of God. (1 Peter 1:23)

1 Peter 1-23

I’m a 100% – all-in – 1 Peter 1:23 believer. About 35% of Americans identify as being “born again”, so a little more than half of all self-described Christians. Personally I don’t understand how one can believe and follow Christ, but not believe in being born again. I really need to explore that concept further. (That can be its own sermon right there.)

Finally – I am an evangelical. I am proud to evangelize – to preach the Good News of the Lord. I proclaim and teach online and offline. I preach to my brothers and sisters of my church family, and I preach to strangers I’ve never met. About 5% of us Americans identify as an evangelical. We’re clearly in the extreme minority. 95 Americans out of 100 are not like us. There’s a lot of slander to go around since we’re so different than most everyone else. We are radicals. We are extremists. Just like Jesus.

The Bible says that everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. (2 Timothy 3:12)

You’re going to suffer for being a Christian – especially if you proclaim that you are “born again” – and definitely if you preach the Gospel to the world. I’m not one to knock on neighbors’ doors and preach the Gospel to them. You also won’t find me on street corners, or in shopping center parking lots, or inside malls, or outside arenas preaching God’s Word – or trying to convert you. I didn’t like it when I encountered those radical extremists during my teens, 20s, and 30s when I was wild and destructive. I believe that there are times and places for God’s Good News. This blog is one of those many places. This is my online ministry. I thank you for being part of my ministry here.

The First Letter Of Peter is almost entirely about suffering and persecution against Christians. I really like these 2 verses from First Peter Chapter 3 Verses 15 and 16:

Instead – you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope – always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you – they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.

That’s something that many of us Christians can do better at – preaching in a gentle and respectful way – towards those who do not yet believe and follow Christ.

I’m going to close Part 2 of this multi-part sermon with this Scripture from First Peter Chapter 4 Verses 7 and 8:

The end of the world is coming soon; therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all – continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.

There was once an annual WWE PPV (pay-per-view) titled “Armageddon”. It was the final pay-per-view of the year – held on the middle Sunday of December. In fact I attended “Armageddon” for 2 years in a row in 2002 (Sunrise Florida) and 2003 (Orlando Florida). Part of the stage was literally a blazing fireplace, and you could feel the heat from the fire if you sat close enough to it (which I did).

It was the WWE’s vision of the end of the world – absorbed into its storylines at the time.

The storylines of today’s news cycle suggest that the end of the world is coming soon. Some believe that it’s the end of the world as we know it, (and I feel fine).

I believe that we are in the last days. As such we should be earnest and disciplined in our prayers. We must pray intentionally and specifically during these uncertain times – and at all times. We must continue to show deep love for everyone – including our former friends who slander us because we surrendered to the 3-in-One God we know. We must completely forgive them for what they have said or done to us.

You know that my greatest enemy (happens to be at my workplace) is the one who I consistently pray for the most after my family and church family ?  He intentionally damaged my career forever, but he was one of the first that I forgave during the early years of this fantastic journey. And I continue to forgive him. My God commanded me to forgive. He forgave me, so I must forgive others. That’s Grace – a gift from God. It’s a gift that we must never stop giving, for He gave.

(To be continued next Sunday.)

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

My Top 5 Hits RETRO – 1990

Every Friday I post the Top 5 of one of my classic hit music charts based on personal preference and influenced by radio airplay from either 15, 20, or 30 years ago this weekend (rotating each week).

It’s the 4TH Friday of the month, so I go back 30 years ago. Here it is – for the week ending Sunday March 25TH 1990:

  1. “I’ll Be Your Everything” – Tommy Page Ft. New Kids On The Block
  2. “The Price Of Love” – Bad English
  3. “Sometimes She Cries” – Warrant
  4. “Roam” – The B-52s
  5. “Dangerous” – Roxette

30 years ago this week Tommy Page was high atop my secular pop chart at the time with his song that he cowrote with Jordan Knight and Danny Wood of New Kids On The Block. Jordan actually wanted it as a solo single for himself, but after working on the song for awhile Tommy fell in love with it and asked if he could record it for his own solo project. Jordan agreed, and he even helped produce the song along with Donnie Wahlberg. The result was an instant “out-of-the-box” smash that blew-up the all-request lines at U.S. Top 40 radio stations nationwide. It hit # 1 in its 5TH week on my own Top 40 chart at the time, and 3 weeks later it was # 1 from coast-to-coast on the Billboard Hot 100.

I wish they still made pure pop songs like that.

Tommy Page:  1970-2017

It’s halftime my friends. I’ll be back on Sunday and Monday with 2 more blog posts for this weekend. Enjoy your Saturday. Thanks for going RETRO with me !

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Home Sweet Home

Home Is Where The Heart Is

That’s right, and I’ll be at home for awhile. My kitchen is now my professional workplace. Due to the current real-world conditions I brought my job home with me earlier this week, and it will stay here at home indefinitely. It could be a few weeks. It could be a few months. But I’m determined to continue working here at home in my kitchen to support the mission – whatever that mission may be. (I don’t discuss my job in public other than the fact that I’m a 35-year employee of the United States Air Force.)

Incidentally this is a COVID-19-free blog. I won’t talk about it on here in any way because this is also a political-free blog, and you can’t talk about COVID-19 without getting political.

My goal over these next few weeks (or months) is to – believe it or not – lose a few pounds (by eating less), and get more physically fit by engaging in my favorite exercise – walking. This past Sunday morning at dawn I actually did something for the first time in a little over 3 years. I walked around the entire perimeter of my own neighborhood – 1.37 miles in 23 minutes and 21 seconds. I hope to do more neighborhood walks early in the morning, as long as weather conditions permit.

Well this is my spontaneous Thursday at 3 AM blog post. I have no idea what I plan to write until I actually write it. My Friday, Sunday, and Monday blog posts are programmed. You pretty much know what you’re gonna get from me on those 3 days. Incidentally this upcoming Sunday I’ll present Part 2 of my multi-part sermon titled “Faces & Heels”. Part 2 will pick-up where Part 1 left-off this past Sunday. This is shaping-up to be a 4-part sermon, so it will culminate on Easter Sunday (April 12TH).

Over on my Flickr site I’m posting photos of my January 19TH 2020 visit to the Edison And Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers Florida. I love that place. If I lived over there in that region I’d probably hang out there on a regular basis if not volunteer there and give guided tours. It’s one of the coolest museums that I’ve ever visited – even cooler than the last museum that I volunteered at inside Everglades National Park.

Well this concludes my Thursday blog post. I’ll be back again tomorrow morning for my weekly RETRO. This week I’ll be looking back at Sunday March 25TH 1990. A 19-year-old had the # 1 smash on my chart, and it eventually hit # 1 nationwide on Billboard’s Hot 100. He got help on the song from the hottest band in the world at the time. Find out who he is when I turn the page on a new day.

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

My Top 10 Hits – Week 162

Every Monday I post my all-new Top 10 Christian hit music chart based on personal preference and influenced by radio airplay. Here it is – for the week ending Sunday March 22ND 2020:

  1. “Almost Home” – MercyMe [# 1 last week / 14TH week on chart]
  2. “I Will Fear No More” – The Afters [4 / 9TH]
  3. “Alive And Breathing” – Matt Maher [9 / 2ND]
  4. “See A Victory” – Elevation Worship [3 / 7TH]
  5. “Your Name Is Power” – Rend Collective [2 / 11TH]
  6. “Amen” – Micah Tyler [8 / 5TH]
  7. “The God Who Stays” – Matthew West [5 / 18TH]
  8. “Rescue Story” – Zach Williams [6 / 24TH]
  9. “Waymaker” – Michael W. Smith Ft. Vanessa Campagna [7 / 9TH]
  10. “Love Moved First” – Casting Crowns [10 / 2ND]

# 1 One Year Ago This Week:
“Confidence” – Sanctus Real

# 1 Two Years Ago This Week:
“No One Like Our God” – Lincoln Brewster

# 1 Three Years Ago This Week:
“I Have This Hope” – Tenth Avenue North

MercyMe spends a 5TH week atop my chart with “Almost Home”. It’s at # 2 nationally on Christian radio at big-market stations, and # 1 nationally for the 6TH week in a row on Christian radio at small-market stations. It’s my longest-running # 1 smash since Building 429’s “Fear No More” last November.

And speaking of “Fear No More” – “I Will Fear No More” jumps to # 2 this week for the long-running band The Afters. They are one of the few bands that originally charted during the “Salvation Era” of my chart from 2006 to 2010. They’ve been together for about 20 years (since they were teens working at Starbucks in North Texas), and they’ve been singing God’s music on the radio for 15 of those 20 years.

How would you like the song “I Will Fear No More” for free ?  The Afters are giving it away for you to enjoy and share. Simply go to FREECCM.COM to download it.

istillbelieve_hdv

Good News on the movie “I Still Believe” based on Jeremy Camp’s life story. Since movie theatres are now shuttered nationwide you’ll be able to pay to watch it starting this Friday March 27TH in the comfort and safety of your own home via your favorite video-on-demand platform. I’ll be doing so this upcoming weekend.

This concludes another weekend of blog posts. I’ll do it again next weekend – with 4 new entries on Thursday, Friday, Sunday, and Monday. I don’t blog on Saturdays. That’s my day of rest.

Your likes, follows, and comments are always appreciated. Thank You for being part of my online ministry to share God’s Good News and win souls for Christ through His music. I’m also on Twitter @ChrisMDay, and I’m the man behind the tweets for my church @LivingWatersHFL.

Enjoy this new week my friends !  May the God of hope fill you completely with joy and peace as you trust in Him.

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Sunday Scripture

Greetings Church Family !  I’m going to try something new here. I’ve never done this before. We’ll see how this goes. If I feel good about it after all is said and done then maybe this is the start of a new trend here on my blog, (or maybe not). The important part of all of this is that my Almighty God must get all of the glory, and I must get none of it, or it’s not worth doing any of this.

So what am I about to do ?  I’m going to preach a short sermon on here (from start to finish), but not all at once. In keeping with my “3-minutes-or-less” theme of reading my blog posts I’m going to do this over the course of the next 4 Sundays – leading-up to Easter Sunday.

This is a sermon that I’ve never preached before in public in front of my church family (or anywhere), but it’s also not a brand new sermon. This sermon is one that I wrote during my first full year of preaching in 2017. God has given me wisdom to get much better since then.

I never thought that this sermon was appropriate or practical or relevant to preach to my church family over these past 3 years, so it just sat idle on my computer completed, but never delivered. Now it’s going to get delivered to a different audience – those of you who read my blog. I’m also reading it, praying about it, listening for wisdom, editing it, updating it, and enhancing it as I go along.

I’m a blogger, so this sermon will be in the form of a blog. That’s what I do. I’m not a podcaster, and I’m not a YouTube star. I don’t have a microphone. I don’t have a web camera. I don’t really want any of those things. I just want to write sermons, and then preach them in public – whether “in public” is to my own church family, other church families, or online where the audience is unlimited and eternal. Once it goes online – it’s out there forever.

So let’s begin this sermon:

Let’s see here. Yep. I think that we are all faces on here. I think that we are in fact babyfaces. Lovable babyfaces. That’s a good thing. We’re good people. Don’t let the heels tell you otherwise. They are miserable. They are up to no good. They are slaves of the world. They deliver those dirty deeds done dirt cheap.

So you may be thinking to yourself, “What on Earth is Pastor Chris talking about here ?”

The name of this sermon – is “Faces & Heels”. Let me tell you something that you probably don’t know about me. I am an avid fanatic – of World Wrestling Entertainment – the WWE (once known as the WWF).

My little brother – 26 at the time (I was 34) – somehow coerced me into attending two LIVE televised shows with him on back-to-back nights in mid-June of 2001 – “Raw” in Tampa and “Smackdown” in Orlando. I had never seen wrestling on TV before those two shows, but my brother prepared me for them by explaining how storylines work on the shows. He essentially sold it as a “soap opera for men”. I was skeptical, yet strangely intrigued.

Well long story short I thoroughly enjoyed my two-night induction into the weird and wild world of professional wrestling, and I was instantly addicted to the “soap opera for men”. Over the past nearly 19 years I’ve seen nearly every single WWE telecast and pay-per-view produced – most on TV – some in bars (when I used to frequent bars) – and some LIVE in person at the arena where it was televising or taping from. That’s right – I’m a 19-year member of the WWE Universe.

So this sermon is inspired by my WWE hobby. (OK we can call it a habit – perhaps even an addiction – of the past 19 years.) This will be a fun sermon, but also a life-changing one. And just like the WWE this is all scripted, but let me tell you this – this script comes straight from the Bible – and that’s the bottom line – because Stone Cold said so – and Pastor Chris too.

First Corinthians Chapter 15 Verse 33, and as the Bible says in various translations:

Do not be misled:  “Bad company corrupts good character.” [NIV]
Do not be deceived:  “Bad company ruins good morals.” [ESV]
Be not deceived:  Evil communications corrupt good manners. [KJ]
Don’t fool yourselves. Bad friends will destroy you. [CEV]
Stop being deceived:  “Wicked friends lead to evil ends.” [ISV]

1 Corinthians 15-33

Proverbs Chapter 13 Verses 20 & 21:

Whoever walks with the wise will become wise. Whoever walks with fools will suffer harm. Trouble chases sinners. Blessings chase the righteous.

Who wants to be chased by trouble ?  Anyone ?  Anyone ?  No one ?

Who wants to be chased by blessings ?  Me !  You !  We all do !  We all want blessings. We all want blessings to follow us in everything we do – and in everywhere we go. And only God delivers blessings – at all times – in His time.

I wanna be wise. I wanna be righteous. I know I’m not alone. I’m surrounded by faces. It didn’t used to be that way. I used to surround myself with fools – with sinners. I’m still a fool at times. I’m still a sinner. But God’s Grace and His Mercy is awesome !  He’s doing a work in me – one day at a time. With each new day I strive to get closer to God. I strive to move further away from the dead man I used to be.

First Peter Chapter 4 – starting with Verse 3:

You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy – their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.

YES – I can relate to all of that – as recently as a decade-and-a-half ago. It ruined my health by the time I hit my late-30s. I was rescued and saved by my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ at 39 during the Summer of 2006, but I was still doing some of those evil things more than a year into my salvation. You see I came as I was. That’s what God wants. He wants you to come as you are. He can clean you up from where you are – if you just believe and follow Him.

(To be continued next Sunday.)

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

My Top 5 Hits RETRO – 2000

Every Friday I post the Top 5 of one of my classic hit music charts based on personal preference and influenced by radio airplay from either 15, 20, or 30 years ago this weekend (rotating each week).

It’s the 3RD Friday of the month, so I go back 20 years ago. Here it is – for the week ending Sunday March 19TH 2000:

  1. “Bye, Bye, Bye” – ‘N Sync
  2. “Private Emotion” – Ricky Martin & Meja
  3. “Better Off Alone” – DJ Jurgen Presents Alice Deejay
  4. “It Feels So Good” – Sonique
  5. “He’s All I Want (All I Need)” – Angelmoon

This Top 5 chart is actually identical to the Top 5 chart that I presented last month for February 2000 with the exception of the # 2 hit, as “Blue” from Eiffel 65 is replaced by “Private Emotion” from Ricky Martin and Meja. It was the 6TH and final single from Ricky’s self-titled album (which is one of the best-selling albums in the history of the rock era).

#RETRO EXTRA – 20 years ago last weekend I saw “Drowning Mona” at the movie theatre during its 2ND weekend. I gave it 4.0 stars (out of 4).

Drowning Mona

This was one of the most hilarious movies I have ever seen in my entire life, and I still talk about it 20 years later. I actually haven’t seen it in many years, but if I get the opportunity to do so again I will take it and laugh all over again. #Yugo

It’s halftime my friends. I’ll be back on Sunday and Monday with 2 more blog posts for this weekend. Enjoy your Saturday. Thanks for going RETRO with me !

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

The Hot Water Heater That Lasted Two Lifetimes

Happy Thursday March 19TH 2020 – the first day of Spring here in the U.S.A. Spring starts at 11:49 PM EDT / 8:49 PM PDT tonight. It’s our earliest Vernal Equinox since 1896. You can read all about why that’s the case at one of my favorite web sites – SPACE.COM.

So on to the weird headline for this blog post. This past Sunday morning I noticed something quite peculiar with the water coming out of my shower with the dial set at its usual position. The water was scalding hot !  I simply turned the dial clockwise a bit to allow more cold weather to breakdown the hot weather, and then I didn’t think much of it after that. Later in the day I turned on my kitchen faucet, and the water was scalding hot with the handle set at its usual position. The same was true for both of my bathroom faucets. It was then when I figured it all out.

My longtime hot water heater was dying. It’s common knowledge (apparently) that some hot water heaters gradually lose their effectiveness to produce hot water over an extended period of time. And then there are others that suddenly start to malfunction by near-boiling the water inside the tank just before they completely die. Mine was obviously the latter type. It was going on one final super binge before eventually burning out.

The next morning (Monday) – after a mostly sleepless night and actually dreaming vividly about my dying hot water heater – I took one final quick shower with great care. After that I called my favorite local plumbing company to schedule a service call to remove and replace my old hot water heater – which incidentally was manufactured in 1993 !  It was 27 years old !

A standard 40-gallon electric hot water heater isn’t supposed to last that long. You’re lucky if you get 10 to 15 years out of one. Mine somehow lasted twice that long. It was the hot water heater that was already in-place when I moved in to my current home back in 1995. I estimate that it provided me at least 8,500 hot showers over the past 25 years.

So it’s out with the old – and in with the new.

My favorite local plumbing company came through for me in my time of need, and they were in and out in almost exactly 2 hours. Normal hot water began flowing again within an hour after that. No more worries for awhile in the hot water department of my home.

My weekend of blogging is just getting started. I’ll be back tomorrow (Friday) with an all-new RETRO from March 2000.

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

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