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

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

Sunday Scripture

On this Sunday in March in Homestead Florida several churches in town announced cancellations of some or all of their regularly-scheduled services, but as our Lead Pastor stated today – “We’re a family”. Our weekly celebration together must continue on.

And so we did with 4 songs of Praise & Worship to Christ. In-between the 1ST and 2ND songs I greeted our church family, and I proclaimed these 3 verses from the 91ST Psalm (Verses 9 to 11):

If you make the LORD your refuge – if you make the Most High your shelter – no evil will conquer you – no plague will come near your home. For He will order His angels to protect you wherever you go.

Our Lead Pastor preached a very relevant and timely sermon titled, “The Horses Are Coming … What Are We Going To Do ?”

It was based on Revelation 6 – Verses 1 to 8. He told us about the Four Horsemen – and the significance of the white horse, the red horse, the black horse, and the pale green horse. They represent war, violence, economic imbalance, and death.

Revelation-6-1-8

It kind of sounds like the times that we’re in today. We’re in a very uncertain era.

The end is near, but have no fear, for our Lord will be here.

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

Weekends Begin On Thursdays

Greetings my friends. It’s Thursday March 12TH 2020, and it’s the start of a fresh new weekend of blogging here at #CountUp.

This blog is currently experiencing great growth worldwide, so it’s time again to explain what I do here and when I do it. I blog on Thursday and Friday mornings, Sunday afternoons, and Monday mornings. My blog posts go LIVE at 3 AM U.S. East Coast Time on Thursdays, Fridays, and Mondays, and by 3 PM on Sundays – following my time spent with church family. I don’t blog on Saturdays at all. That’s my day of rest with Christ and His Word. I generally do Bible Study and Sermon Writing on Saturdays. I occasionally blog on select Tuesdays during the year – generally when Monday is a U.S. Federal holiday.

My Thursday blogs can be about anything that comes to my mind at the time. They are my most spontaneous blog posts of the weekend. My Friday blogs go RETRO, as I look back at my life and the music that shaped it. My Sunday blogs reveal the God I know – the 3-in-1 God – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. My Monday blogs highlight God’s music on the radio – my Top 10 hits of the week. It’s the continuation of a weekly music chart hobby that goes back 45 years.

This blog is currently nearing the end of its 13TH year online. It started on Myspace in May 2007, and then it moved over to WordPress (right here) in November 2007. It began fading away during the early 2010s, and that’s because I was tweeting on Twitter way too much before most of my friends even knew what a tweet was. All of my friends kept urging me to join them over on Facebook, and I finally (and hesitantly) did so on Easter Sunday of 2013. My blog was eventually resurrected on Facebook, but not too many of my friends were actually reading it. I ended my blog on Facebook on the final day of 2017, and just a couple of weeks later I brought it back here to its original home.

This is a political-free blog. I’ll never discuss politics on here. I don’t discuss anything that may be controversial on here. (I’m the same way in public.) This blog is essentially about my life of almost 53 years – then and now – 39 years before Christ and 14 years in Christ. I know that it’s not for everyone, but if you like what you see then I thank you for coming, and reading, and liking, and coming back again. As long as you keep coming back – I’ll keep blogging more.

I try to keep my blog posts short. Most of them can be read in 3 minutes or less. Your time online and offline is valuable. I thank you for spending a few minutes with me.

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

My Top 10 Hits – Week 160

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 08TH 2020:

  1. “Almost Home” – MercyMe [# 1 last week / 12TH week on chart]
  2. “Your Name Is Power” – Rend Collective [4 / 9TH]
  3. “The God Who Stays” – Matthew West [2 / 16TH]
  4. “Rescue Story” – Zach Williams [3 / 22ND]
  5. “Waymaker” – Michael W. Smith Ft. Vanessa Campagna [5 / 7TH]
  6. “See A Victory” – Elevation Worship [6 / 5TH]
  7. “I Will Fear No More” – The Afters [7 / 7TH]
  8. “One Day” – Cochren & Co. [8 / 7TH]
  9. “Amen” – Micah Tyler [9 / 3RD]
  10. “I Know” – Big Daddy Weave [10 / 4TH]

# 1 One Year Ago This Week:
“Red Letters” – Crowder

# 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

This blog was on hiatus last week, so this chart wasn’t published. You didn’t miss much. There were no new entries last week and 5 non-movers (the entire Top 5) with minimal movement within the bottom 5.

This week is similar with no new entries again and 7 non-movers. Rend Collective’s 3RD hit on my chart – “Your Name Is Power” – ties their 1ST hit – “Rescuer (Good News)” – at a peak position of # 2. It could very well be my next # 1 smash.

MercyMe continue at # 1 with “Almost Home”, and I got to sing it out loud with 7,000+ brothers and sisters this past Friday night at the Hertz Arena in Estero Florida. The last time I got to sing along with thousands to my current # 1 smash at the time was when “Maybe It’s OK’ was # 1 almost 13 months ago, and We Are Messengers performed it LIVE during their set.

This was my 2ND MercyMe concert in 10 months, and it was also my 2ND Jeremy Camp concert in less than 7 weeks. (Jeremy opened for Franklin Graham at this same arena.) Both artists put on an awesome and inspiring show, and it was great and glorious to be part of that church body experience for 3½ hours. David Leonard opened the show at 7 PM, and Mark Stuart – the longtime (former) lead singer of Audio Adrenaline – hosted the show in-between each of the acts.

Next up on the concert scene – Casting Crowns and Matthew West in about 4½ weeks. Casting Crowns have a new song out – “Love Moved First” – and it’s sitting just outside of my Top 10.

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

I have returned from out-of-town. My 628.8-mile road-trip came to a close yesterday (Saturday) morning. I’ll share details of my combined business and leisure trip today, tomorrow, and Thursday here on my blog. This is the Spring Season Premiere here on #CountUp !

Today was my 5TH Anniversary with my current church body. After 8 years and a month with my previous (much larger) church body I left for a much smaller church body a mile down the street – knowing only one person at the new place. I began a season of much-needed rest at the new place. 17 months later I was asked to take over and lead our monthly Communion. Today I led our 45TH Communion together. Here’s how it went:

Let us now transition into our monthly observance and celebration of Communion. It’s an observance. It’s an opportunity – that allows us to slow down, and reflect, and honor, and remember what our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ did for us on that cross on that day. It’s a continuation of this celebration that we enjoy together as a church body every Sunday morning when we bring the church from out there to in here. For we know that the church is not this physical building. The church is us.

This past week I spent 4 days – Monday to Thursday – up in Orlando – celebrating Christ – with 5,000+ Pastors, Preachers, Ministers, and other Church Leaders. We were in Communion with one another. We were a Community of fellow believers in one place at one time discussing the many ways forward to go forth and advance the Kingdom of God in this world. We met together. We prayed together. We sang together. We learned together. We listened together. We got closer to God together. And then – we were sent out into the world together.

The overall theme of this conference was the entirety of the Gospel According To John – Chapter 17. In Christ’s final prayer to the Father – before His suffering and death – He said this in Verses 20 and 21:

I am praying – not only for these disciples – but also for all who will ever believe in Me through their message. I pray that they will all be one – just as You and I are One – as You are in Me – Father – and I am in You. And may they be in Us – so that the world will believe You sent Me.

See the Son – was – and is – praying for all of those of the world who do not yet believe in Him. He wanted believers from anywhere and everywhere to become one flock with one shepherd.

2,000 years later we believe that when we are one with one another – it’s an extension of the union that we have with Christ Himself. It’s a union that’s modeled on the Oneness of the Father and the Son. And through the power of the Holy Spirit we are intimate with the Father and the Son. We are transformed by this renewing.

This is our believer’s Communion. We believe that we have one living and true God – in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. 3 Persons – 1 God. Each is God individually; yet, they are one God together. One God who is almighty. One God who never changes with the times. One God who is eternal.

And so this believer’s Communion is open for everyone who hears me – everyone who believes that we are better – together. We must be in unity – as a community, so that when we go out there – the world will see the love of Christ in each of us.

(I’ve asked Larry and Shirley to serve us these elements today, so as they make their way up here to retrieve the elements) I invite you to join me in honoring our 3-in-1 God – who reigns – now and forever.

At this time come forth to accept this bread and this juice. Take them back to your seat – and remain standing (if you can). After everyone is back at their seats – we’ll accept these elements together as a church body. Come forth.

Communion

Let us take this bread, and know that it represents the sacred body of Christ that was given up for us on that cross. We take this bread in remembrance of Him.

Let us take this juice, and know that it represents the precious blood of Christ that was shed for us on that cross. We take this juice in honor of Him.

Let us bow our heads. Let us pray:

Thank You God for this Glorious moment – in this place – at this time. Thank You Lord for being the loving God that You are – Creator, Christ, and Spirit as One.

Thank You Lord for Your awesome presence in our lives – and Your intentional purpose for our lives. May all of Your blessings and miracles constantly strengthen our faith in You, increase our love towards others, and unify our hearts and our souls. We honor You Lord. We praise You Lord. We worship You Lord. We celebrate You Lord. We love You Lord – on this day – and with each new day. And we confirm this by saying – AMEN.

(Please be seated.)

As the Bible says in red letters – Son to Father:

I have given them the glory You gave Me, so they may be one as We are One. I am in them, and You are in Me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that You sent Me, and that You love them as much as You love Me.
(John 17:22-23)

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

Take A Picture

(Good song by Filter from early-2000.)

Well Happy Thursday February 27TH 2020 my friends. It’s the final Thursday of February, and it’s the start of another blogging weekend for me. But this weekend will be curtailed. In lieu of the usual 4 new blog posts I’m only publishing 2 – this one right here -and tomorrow’s RETRO. After that I’m going on hiatus for a little over a week to hang out with church pastors, preachers, planters, ministers, leaders, and disciples up the road in Orlando. I’ll also be singing and dancing in the middle of the Hertz Arena in Estero Florida with MercyMe and Jeremy Camp performing their greatest hits. That’s how I “Spring Break” at nearly 53 !

So here’s where that Title above (“Take A Picture”) is significant. Last weekend (Friday in fact) I posted original material on Facebook for the first time in 13 months. It was actually quite benign (or so I thought). I swapped out my profile picture. That’s it. I replaced a picture from 2018 with a picture from 2012. It’s a picture of me up on stage with my former church family with a wireless mic hosting a Sunday morning service. I didn’t think anything of it really when I posted it. Some friends recently asked me to change the picture, so I did. In the next few days it garnered 35 likes and loves and 15 comments. It’s one of my most reacted-to Facebook posts ever (since I created my account in 2013).

Incidentally – other than the occasional profile picture and cover photo swap – I don’t post much on Facebook anymore. I still have friends (lots of them) who are only on Facebook, so I keep in touch with them on there and sometimes post a comment on something that they have posted. But this is where I really live on social media – right here on my own blog.

And so – here’s that profile picture that went viral on my Facebook account for a few days. Enjoy, and I’ll be back tomorrow for my Winter Season Finale.

LPC 20120205

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