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by Pastor E. Keith Hassell | January 1, 2021
Sometimes circumstances are so bleak that it seems we are doomed. Such was the case with four leprous men outside the city of Samaria. Samaria was barricaded by the Syrian army. The people inside the city were starving. These lepers were dying. Leprosy was a slow and grievous death. They were starving. If they went into the city, they would die. There was no food. If they did nothing, they would die. They agreed that the only hopeful option was to surrender to the Syrians. Either the Syrians would take them as prisoners and feed them, or else they would execute them and they would die. They determined it was better to surrender to the Syrians than to do nothing and die. When they arrived at the camp, they found that the Syrians had fled, having “heard” the sound of an approaching army. It was a miracle! Not only did they find food to eat but there was enough food for the entire city of Samaria. In a similar way, it may seem that we are doomed and that there are no good options. We may be tempted to give up and die. However, with God there is always one good option. That is to take a risk, step out in faith, and leave the miracle to God. Regardless of what we are facing today, let’s not give in to discouragement and do nothing. Why sit here until we die? It is time to get up and do something in faith and trust God for a miracle!
by Pastor E. Keith Hassell | December 1, 2020
Romans 11:4-5 (NKJV) “But what does the divine response say to him? ‘I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.’ 5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.”
On Sunday, December 6th, Grace Fellowship will celebrate 35 years as a church. Our first service was held on Sunday, December 1, 1985. Grace Fellowship was birthed with a vision for revival. We were not called to be like other churches. We are not called to conform to the status quo. We are not called to build a “nice little church”. We are called to be a revival remnant who can influence revival in other places. We are called to be a catalyst for revival. One of our founding verses is 2 Chronicles 7:14. Therefore, we are called to be a humble people who will pray. We are called to seek God. We are called to turn from our wicked ways, to be a holy people unto the Lord. We are called to hold up the righteous standard of God’s word and to call people to repent of anything short of that standard. We are called to participate with other believers and churches who share in a passion for “holy revival”. We are not a perfect church and never will be. We are not more loved by God than any other church. We have simply been called with a special task. If you are a part of Grace Fellowship, you know that you will not be able to “relax” for very long. You will be confronted by the Spirit and the Word. You will be challenged to get out of your comfort zone. You will be compelled to be a world changer beginning right where you are. We celebrate 35 years, but we are not looking back. The future is ahead of us and the best is yet to come! Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!
by Pastor E. Keith Hassell | November 1, 2020
Do you belong to God? In the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares (Matthew 13:24-30), a man planted wheat in his field, but then an enemy planted tares among the wheat. In their infancy the wheat and tares are hard to distinguish. The owner decided to let the two grow together until the harvest. At the time of harvest, the two could be distinguished. First he gathered the tares followed by the wheat. Many profess Christ but not all belong to Christ. The tares are false converts. They imagine themselves to be saved because they are surrounded by true believers. Their great delusion will be evidenced by a great apostasy. The adage is true: “I may fool you and you may fool me, but no one fools God.” The Lord knows those who are His. How is the wheat distinguished from the tares? By their fruit. The wheat develops a head of grain that causes it to bend over. The tare bears no fruit and stands straight up. The wheat represents those who are fruitful and humble toward God. The tares represent those who are fruitless and proud. False converts tolerate sin in their lives while genuine converts depart from iniquity. A holy and humble life is clear evidence that they belong to God. Those who live for themselves bear no fruit for God, and yet, insist they are saved. They are self-deceived. Granted, you and I don’t know who belongs to God, but He does. However, if we do claim to belong to Him, let us bear the fruit of a holy and humble life which testifies that our profession is real.
by Pastor E. Keith Hassell | October 1, 2020
Do you plan to vote? If so, are you registered? How will you vote? This year’s election is not about allegiance to a political party. It is about whether or not the foundations upon which this nation was founded will remain. Our Founding Fathers established this nation upon biblical foundations so that true righteousness, justice, and truth would prevail. The truth found in God’s Word is the foundation upon which of our liberties are established. When biblical foundations are removed, the standard is removed by which to discern every other issue. Without a biblical GPS, people become lost and disoriented about issues of right and wrong, good and evil, justice and injustice, gender, race, politics, religion, sex, marriage, family, education, money, government, law enforcement, etc. Lawlessness is exalted in its place. Good is called evil and evil is called good, light is called darkness and darkness is called light, and bitter is called sweet and sweet is called bitter. (Isaiah 5:20) Lies, hypocrisy, corruption, and double-standards are normalized, thus destroying the foundations of trust. Grievance, anger, and bitterness reach a boiling point. Vengeance, retribution, violence, and war result. When the foundations are destroyed, the righteous have no defense against the wicked. (Psalm 12:8; 82:5; 87:1; 119:152) I want to encourage you to register to vote and then to vote biblical values. If the righteous do not vote to uphold biblical values, then we let the ungodly remove the foundations of our liberty. We must take a stand now lest there be nothing left to stand upon. We may never have another chance. We love you! Pastor Keith & Sheila
by Pastor E. Keith Hassell | September 1, 2020
In the midst of the confusion, desperation, evil, and turmoil of the 1960’s and early 1970’s, God began to move in a lost youth and yount adult generation. As unlikely as it might have seemed, out of the chaos created by Marxist ideology, drugs, alcohol, sexual freedom, rebellion, riots, and violence, people began to hunger for God. In 1973, Black Gospel Artists Andrae and Sandra Crouch introduced a song that resonated with the hearts of young people across America. That song was “Jesus is the Answer”. In some ways, it became a theme song in the Jesus Movement which reached many young people for Jesus. Interestingly, things have come full circle. This Millennial Generation is at a similar place today. Although we might be inclined to believe there is no hope, the good news is that all sin and rebellion eventually leads to disillusionment, emptiness, and despair. People then begin to long for true hope, answers, and meaning to life. If we pray, seek the Lord, and reach out in love to this broken generation, God can move like He did before. Jesus was the answer for a former generation and He is STILL the answer for this current generation. Time is running out, but there is still hope. Let us not give in to despair. Let us rise up and fight for our families, for our churches, for this generation, and for our nation. If God intervenes by His mercy, we will see the news cycle change from “riots” to “revival”. Now that is a news cycle worth praying for!
by Pastor E. Keith Hassell | August 1, 2020
Who are you serving? No one? Think again! We are all created by God to serve somebody. We cannot serve two masters. In 1979 Bob Dylan released a song entitled, “Gotta Serve Someboy” on his album “Slow Train Coming”. The repeating chorus says: “You're gonna have to serve somebody, yes you're gonna have to serve somebody. Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you're gonna have to serve somebody”. You might say, “Well, I may not be serving the Lord, but I am sure not serving the devil!” The Bible identifies the devil as the god of this age. The devil offers this world and everything in it as a substitute for God. The devil offers money, wealth, success, fame, fortune, land, houses, free time, hobbies, entertainment, music, sex, drugs, alcohol, pleasure, and a host of other things to keep us from loving and serving God. By serving these things, we serve the devil who uses them to steal away our love and service toward God. God has blessed us with things that people living in other places of the world cannot imagine. God promised to bless His people Israel when they came out of Egypt, but He warned them not to forget Him once He blessed them. If they did, they would surely perish. God will have no other gods before Him. Don’t make the tragic mistake of allowing the blessings of God to steal away your love and commitment to the God of the blessings! Serve God alone and use the blessings that He gives to bring glory to Him!
by Pastor E. Keith Hassell | July 13, 2020
Recently I was in a discussion with a few pastors. During the COVID-19 isolation so many in the churches talked about how much they missed being in the church gatherings. They couldn’t wait to get back. Even those who didn’t go to church regularly talked of their need to get back in church. It sounded like revival. Bewilderment set in as churches began to open up. Where were these enthusiastic people? The faithful were there, but what about the others? I am not surprised. You see I have seen this time and time again. God sets off the fire alarm and His people wake up in a crisis. Then when the crisis seems to be over, they go back to their regular routine. When entering the Promise Land, Israel had to make a choice. Would the LORD be their God, or would they serve the gods of the people around them. Joshua called them to choose. Serving God is not a feeling. It is a choice. Joshua said he had made his choice—as for him and his house, they would serve the LORD. You and I will never be committed to God if we base our lives on feelings. When we feel afraid or feel inspired, we run to God. When we feel secure or unmotivated, we don’t live for God. Stop basing your relationship with God on circumstances and feelings. Don’t live a “fire alarm” Christianity. Be like Joshua. Make a decision that you and your family will serve the LORD in the good times as well as in the tough times. Then it will not matter what comes. You are committed. I want to challenge you to make your choice. Your family and your future depend upon it.
by Pastor E. Keith Hassell | June 1, 2020
FROM THE PASTOR
Psalm 24:7 (NKJV) “Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in.”
On Mother’s Day, May 10th, our church opened with public morning services with social distancing for the first time since March 15th. We had a very good turnout on that day and everyone who attended seemed glad to be back. The Sunday morning service will continue through the month of May. Prior to opening, I had been on Zoom calls with other pastors to hear from Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. At that time they affirmed that the requirements for other businesses, schools, etc. are not required for churches. They simply asked churches to do what they think is best to both meet and keep everyone safe in light of CDC Guidelines. Recently, Texas Governor Greg Abbott approved the next phase in regard to opening child care facilities, camps, etc., all by the end of May. After consideration, the Elders have decided that, provided that there are no setbacks, beginning in June, the church will resume regular meetings for Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, and Wednesday nights. This includes re-opening nurseries and children’s church. The first Sunday night will be Family Food, Fun, and Fellowship outdoors (weather permitting) with the church providing the hotdog meal. If you are sick or have symptoms—or if your children do—then please stay home and enjoy the service by live stream. Please maintain as much social distancing and contact as possible in the beginning. Remember to cover any inadvertent cough or sneeze and practice handwashing and sanitizing. If everyone works together, we can make this re-opening successful for us all. Please continue to pray for a smooth and safe transition.
by Pastor E. Keith Hassell | May 1, 2020
Joshua 3:3–5 (NKJV) “and they commanded the people, saying, ‘When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests, the Levites, bearing it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it. 4 Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before.’ 5 And Joshua said to the people, ‘Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.’”
On Saturday, April 12, I awoke and went into prayer. It was during this time that I heard in my spirit the phrase “The New Normal”. This time of quarantine has brought many changes to the American way of life. It has affected businesses, schools, jobs, social gatherings, sports events, conferences, government operations, the home, and the church. People are now asking, “What will be the new normal after this is over?” Obviously, things will be different. The trauma brought about by this pandemic has scarred the American psyche. People will approach social interaction in guarded ways, at least in the beginning. What about the church? Church life has been affected. What have we learned about being the church? What should we do differently, if anything? We cannot afford to simply go back to things as they were before. This has been a time of spiritual reset for the church. We are realizing what the church is about relationships and Christian community. Christian community is the new normal. May we embrace the new normal when we come back together not “in” the church but “as” the church. I look forward to a renewal of Christian community. I look forward to the new normal!
by Pastor E. Keith Hassell | April 1, 2020
Currently our church is adapting to a different way of worshiping and communicating as a church. This was in some way forced upon us by a little microscopic virus and the recommendations of our government. We are cooperating. We will not have physical gatherings but will live stream our services on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings on our website and church Facebook page. We will also have a live conference call prayer/share meeting on Sunday evenings. Be involved! Get others involved! Check our church Facebook page and website for details. I don’t like change. I know you don’t like it either. But change is sometimes required. We like our “customary” worship venue and often believe it is required. Can we worship God outside of the “building”. Can we adapt? Will the Lord bless it? The Lord is reminding us that the church is not the building. It is not even the Sunday morning worship hour. The church is you and me. It is about relationship with God and one another. Relationships can grow outside the building. Paul and Silas had to learn to worship God in a prison cell. They worshiped and others noticed. Sometimes our worship has become so customary that no one notices anymore. But now, what will these “Christians” do when they can’t be in their “building”? Does the church die or thrive? Because Paul and Silas were willing to worship in a different setting, those outside the church were impacted. We must learn to adapt with the season and let our light shine. The world is listening. The world is watching. A harvest of souls is waiting.
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