Monday, November 28, 2011


Good morning everyone. I pray this finds each of you doing well and enjoying the blessings God continues to pour out upon us day by day. I  pray that your Thanksgiving was one filled with God, family, love, food and fun.  I want to thank each of you for your contributions, whatever they may have been, or are, to helping me get to this point in my life, and let you all know that you are very special to me. THANK YOU

"It's all lies"! Have you ever heard someone say, "it's just a little white lie"? Or, have you heard someone say, "I just told a little fib, I've never lied"? Have you ever been caught up with the word "little"? Like that is suppose to make the deed less than what it is or was, because it was "little". We all have done this and been guilty of lying. If you disagree, then I guess you have never told a child about Santa, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy. Maybe you don't have kids. Ok then, have you ever seen someone who just had a haircut and you thought it looked terrible, but for the sake of their feelings you tell them how good it looks? Sure, we all have lied at some point in our lives. Honesty can be painful.

What does God think about lies? If you will read Exodus 20:16, which by-the-way is important enough to be one of the Ten Commandments, it says, "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor". What does this break down to?

All of us can and should understand the beginning of this commandment, "You shall not". There is no wiggle room or gray area left to play around in. It does not say, "you should not lie, unless it is absolutely necessary". It does not say "you should not lie unless it will get you out of trouble". It does not say "you can tell a small one, if you have good intentions". It says, "You shall not". The dictionary defines the rest of the words as follows.
Bear: to transmit or spread; to render; afford; give:
False: uttering, or declaring what is untrue
Witness: to bear witness to; testify to; give or afford evidence of
Neighbor: one's fellow human being

Proverbs 12:22 says, "Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight". James 2:8-11 says, "8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well; 9 but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For He who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law." God shows us the importance of not lying, by including the commandment to not, in the Ten Commandments and telling us in James that if we lie and break that commandment, we are guilty of adultery, murder and breaking the rest of the commandments.

Lying is a hard habit to break and it can be the poster child for the term "snowball effect". When we tell one lie, it almost always leads to another, and another and they get bigger and worse as they go. James 1:26 says, "If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless." 1 Peter 3:10 says, "For "He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit." Have you ever met someone who lied so much and so often, that they began to believe the lies themselves?

Lying is as prevalent in our society as is air. It should not be that way and that was not God's intention in the beginning, but that is how we have made it. I just want to remind you that the Bible tells us that everything done in secret will one day be brought out in the open and that God is everywhere and sees everything. So, let's seek God's help in cleaning up our mouths and hearts, so that one day when we stand before the King of kings and Lord of lords, we will have a few less things to be ashamed of and answer for.

Remember:  “He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time till at length it becomes habitual.”   Thomas Jefferson.

Until next time, please pray for each other and me, as I continue to pray for each of you. Love in CHRIST,

Brian Hanvey
Associate Pastor
Bethel Baptist Chruch

Monday, November 21, 2011


Good morning.  I would like to say thank you again to each of you that take the time to read these, to those of you who forward them on to others to read and those of you who offer feedback.  I am thankful to be a mouthpiece for God.

I watched a movie loaned to me by a friend, “Grace Card”, and heard a man say something along the lines that I have heard a thousand times, “Christianity is a crutch”.  That statement provoked me to much thought.  Who do you know, including yourself, that does not lean on something?  Some lean on cigarettes.  Some lean on alcohol, pills, powder, rocks, liquid and grass.  In each case the “user” is looking for a quick fix.  In reality, nothing is ever resolved by “leaning” on the above mention items and we just end up making the distributors wealthier and our money is quickly burnt up or flowing down the drain.

The bottom line is, we ourselves are going through some of the trials listed above, or we know someone fighting with them and it is how we cope with them that I am talking about today.  For some, it is a cigarette. People believe they calm the nerves.  For some it is a drink.  For some it is a drug or we take it out on someone else.  While these things give a false sense of security and a temporary escape from reality, after a moment these “problem solvers” are gone and the trial is still there.
The Bible tells us that in this world we will have trouble, but God has overcome the world and our faith and hope is found in Him.  God is incapable of lying.  He never has and never will.  His word promises that if we will put our faith and trust in Him, that He will be our Father.  His word also reminds us that He will never put more on us than we can bear, without making a way of escape.

But wait.  I hear some of you thinking out there.  How can all this be true?  Look at the shape the world is in.  Well there is a reason for this.  God’s promises are for His people.  They do not apply to those who have chosen to reject Him and depend on these other “crutches”.

If you are not one of God’s chosen, you can be right now.  All you have to do is admit you are a sinner and need forgiveness.  Believe Jesus died for your sins and arose on the third day.  Confess your need of a savior to do for you what we cannot do for ourselves.  Repent of your sins and ask God to come into your heart and live, and the Bible says you “shall be saved”.

If you are one of God’s chosen already, but you are hanging on to one of the above mentioned vices and relying on their help instead of God, I pray today will be the day that you give them up and ask God to fulfill that void.

Walking with God does not mean the rest of your life will be smooth sailing, what it does mean is that when the storms of life come along you are with the One who can carry you through them and see you safe to the other side.

Remember:  The next time someone says, “Christianity is a crutch”, try to help them recognize the difference Christ can make in life and eternity compared to the “temporary fix” worldly vices offer.

Until next time, please pray for each other and me, as I continue to pray for each of you.  Love in CHRIST

Brian Hanvey
Associate Pastor
Bethel Baptist Church  

Saturday, November 12, 2011

“WHAT IF???”

Good morning everyone. We are blessed to be at the beginning of another week and fresh off the heels of another Sunday's worship services. Looking at the glass that is half full, sort of speak, in two days we get to go to Wednesday's services. I pray that you take advantage of the privilege you are afforded to worship in a church of your choice. That privilege may not always be here.???????

What if????,,,,, This is a questions that has kept a lot of psychiatrist living the good life. We live in a life of paranoia, asking ourselves "What if". What if the car breaks down? What if I lose my job? What if I do this or do that? I used to suffer from this as well. I would not walk around the block with my wife. I would say, "What if a dog is lose?" I had a terrible fear of dogs and because of that, I missed a lot of walks that I can never get back. Today, I want us to give some thought to what really matters in life and that is God's prospective on our lives and "What if?" we died today. I want to provoke you to thought. The Bible tells us that, God's ways and thoughts are not our ways and thoughts. They are higher and eternally focused. Knowing this about God, I would ask you to consider these questions and the possibility of God's "What if".

What if, while driving through a bad part of town late one evening your car starts acting up and you call out to God, "Please help me just get a few more blocks to the service station" and God's reply was "Why should I do that? Did you give Ms. Jones a ride to church this week? Did you take Ms. Smith to the doctor Friday? "No, I don't think I will help you today."
What if, while sitting in your house, you look up and say, "Lord, I wish you would give me that big house over on Madison Street, you know it is in a better neighborhood and bigger and better than this one and I think I deserve it for all the hard work I do" and God's reply was, "Why should I do that?" "Did you let the Browns stay with you when their house burned, knowing you had more than enough room?" "Did you take in the Thompson's when their house flooded?" "No, I don't think I will do this for you".

What if, when you sit down to chicken for supper tonight that you have had two other times this week, you said, "Lord I wish you would give me shrimp today instead of this chicken" and God's reply was, "Is it not enough that you have something to eat?" "Mr. Davis lost his job and his family would be happy with some chicken, did you offer to share?" "No, I will not do this".

What if, while you are on your way to work today you called out to God and said, "God I hate my job, won't you give me something else" and God's reply was, "Why should I do that?" "Do you know how many people who have been praying for me to give them your job?" "Do you know the problem and heartache involved with the job you think you want?" "Did you complete MY will and purpose where I have placed you at this point and time?" "No, I will not do this for or to you today".

What if, while at your next doctor's visit, you are told you have only weeks to live, or maybe even days and you cry out to God, "Please give me more time" and God's reply was "Why, what have you done with all these years you have already had"? "Did you share the plan of salvation with Ms. Clark all those times I urged you to?" "Did you serve as a Sunday school teacher all those years I tried to get you to?" "More time, no, I don't think so".

My point is, these are the types of "What ifs" we should be concerned with. Not what if someone sees me talking to so in so. Or what if I have a bad hair day and someone should see.

We buy a house knowing that we have to pay on it for 30 years and then keep up the taxes for it to be ours. We buy a car, pay on it for 3,4,5, or maybe even 7 years and invest in maintenance to make it ours and keep it going. But we do little to nothing for God, and expect Him to pop out of some sort of magic lamp and perform whatever we think we need whenever we think we need it. We expect Him to save us, prosper us and give us all our hearts desires all the while everyone else is on their own. God does not save us and pour out His blessings on us so that we can open up the "First National Bank of Brian". If you are blessed, and you are whether you know it or not, you are blessed so you can be a blessing to others.

In Matthew 15 we are told that the blessings of God are for His own. In Matthew 25 we are told that those who are faithful will be rewarded. And in Mark 8 we are reminded that if we are ashamed of Christ and His words, He also will be ashamed of us. Please read these chapters when you can and see what God is trying to reveal to you.

So, there it is. "What if" Christ came today? "What if" you were to die today? Would you be one of His? Would He be ashamed of you? Would He say, "welcome home thy good and faithful servant", or would He say as He did in Revelations 2, "I have a some against you"? I started out telling you I wanted to provoke you to thought today, and I pray this has and has spoke to you as it has me.

Remember: What if, you woke up tomorrow with only the things you asked and or thanked God for yesterday???

Until next time, please pray for each other and me, and I will continue to pray for you. Love in CHRIST,

Brian Hanvey
Associate Pastor
Bethel Baptist Church

Monday, November 7, 2011


Good morning to all on this wonderful and unseasonably warm day.  To any of you who took the time to recognize your pastoral staff last month, (Oct.) pastor appreciation month, I thank you.  I am blessed to be a part of the staff at Bethel and am thankful for all the cards, calls, pies and smiles I received.

This week I want to look at “Life”.  One of our church family members is fighting for her life as I type this very message.  Life is so fragile, and yet we choose to waste so much of it on nonsense, things that have no eternal value.  Today marks 26 years ago that I ask my wife to “be my girlfriend”.  26 years of “Life” have passed.  When you look back over your life, can you say you have lived a life that has honored God and one you are proud of, or would it be a life of shame and embarrassment?  Let’s look at a few quotes from God’s perspective.

Job 7:7 says, “Oh, remember that my life is a breath! My eye will never again see good.”  Psalm 144:4 says, “ Man is like a breath; His days are like a passing shadow.”  James 4:14 says, “whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”  2 Corinthians 5:14 says, “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died.”  Mark 8:35-37 says, “35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Have you ever said, “it is my life, I’ll live it the way I want to”?  Are you the type to take chances, “live on the edge” because you have the attitude that you only live once, so you should try anything and everything?  What is important to you?  Do you live a life that distinguishes the differences between the here and now and eternity?  If you were told today, that you had a year to live, or maybe six months or even a month, what would you do different?

The Bible tells us that our lives are like a “breath”, “a shadow” and “a vapor”.  So, why is it we live like we are never going to die and we do what we want like there will not be any consequences? 

We were created by God to have fellowship with Him and to be of service to Him.  We were given wives, husbands, children, other family members, churches and other things to make us happy and so that we would have support.  God expects certain standards and actions from us.  Knowing this, are we living to please God, or self.
I was at the mall this weekend picking up a card for my pastor and took a little time to window shop.  I am surprised still when I go out into the public and I see some women in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s dressing like their children and grandchildren.  Low rise jeans, fish net tops.  Some single women in this age group have even become popular with names such as cougars, or panthers.  Instead of being the example to their children, teaching them to dress respectfully and modest as the Bible tells us, they are following their children and basically putting a stamp of approval on their promiscuity.

Before you start throwing stones at me, let me say, I am not singling women out.  Some men are just as bad.  You see some men in the same age category with sagging pants, unnatural looking hair colors, using words and slang that really sound silly.  You have some men in the 40-60 category that just refuse to grow up.  They refuse to walk away from the drinking and partying that most grow out of in their 20’s.  Some are more worried about being their children’s friend, when what they really need is a father.  A leader to teach them right from wrong, respect for women and how to live a Christ honoring life.

What will it take for us to realize how short life is?  How we need to be the Godly servants, fathers, mothers, grandfathers and mothers, workers and examples to this lost and dieing word that we were created to be in the first place?  If you were told today, you had one week to live, what would you regret the most, the time you didn’t have to be at work?  Of course not.  Would it be time lost from a family member or friend over something trivial?  Would it be words that have been said in anger? 

Remember:  Life could be described as, L-ove I-nspires F-orgiving
Each other.  Live a life with no regrets when you meet the maker of life.

Until next time, please continue to pray for each other, as I continue to pray for each of you.  Love in CHRIST,

Brian Hanvey
Associate Pastor
Bethel Baptist Church