What We Believe & Why

What We Believe and Why.001This Sunday morning we will continue the “What We Believe & Why” series by looking at nine essential beliefs that are critical in determining what in means to be an evangelical church.  The Leadership Team at Hillview Christian Church believes that this series of messages are like laying a foundation one brick at a time for the future of Hillview.  We believe that God is doing something special at Hillview and this series of messages will serve as a foundation for the future.

The nine essential beliefs that we will be discussing on 9/4/16 are as follows:

1.  The Infallibility of Scripture

2. The Historical Creation of Man

3.  The Sinful Nature of Man

4.  The Absolute Deity of Christ

5. The Virgin Birth

6.  Substitutionary Death of Jesus Christ

7.  The Bodily Resurrection of Jesus from the Dead

8.  The Literal Return of Christ

9.  The Resurrection and Assignment of all people to Heaven or Hell.

This list may seem like a large amount of information to get through in just one message.  Have no fear we promise the sermon will not be more than a few hours in length (just kidding).  I wouldn’t want to hear myself preach that long either (Haha).  These topics will be discussed in an overview format and in the weeks to come we will dig deeper into the subject matter as we discuss “What We Believe & Why”.  We look forward to seeing each of you tomorrow and hope that you invite a friend to come out as well.  God is moving at Hillview and the Leadership Team is thankful to be a part of “A Gospel Centered Family. Loving God. Loving Others.”

Have a blessed day.

-Paul Walerczak Senior Minister.

Thankful to Call Hillview Home!

Easter Family LOWRES

The Walerczak Family

As I begin to type this first blog post, of which I hope to be many more to come, it is hard to know where to even start.  I believe the best and most appropriate way to start would be to simply say that we are thankful.

Lisa and I are simply thankful to be a part of the Hillview family.  We feel blessed beyond words for the opportunity the Lord has provided for us to lead Hillview Christian Church as your Senior Minister.  In February of 2015 Lisa and I were in Philadelphia, PA.  We were there in order for me to speak at an outdoorsmen event.  On that particular Saturday night close to 800 men where in attendance as I brought the keynote message.  After the event Lisa and I were traveling home and she said “Paul, as I watched you on stage tonight, I began to feel the Lord say it is time for you to be preaching on a regular basis again.”  Little did we know that 15 months later we would now be a part of the leadership team at Hillview Christian Church as your Senior Minister.  It is humbling to say the least, and we feel the Lord has been in this for sometime now.  I am thankful for the help mate that God has provided for me in Lisa Walerczak.  Lisa is such an inspiration to me and her support of me will be a tremendous asset to the Hillview family in the years to come.

Over the past couple months it has been a real pleasure getting to know the many people that make up the Hillview family.  Many of you we know personally from simply living in the area and others we are getting to know better through worshipping together on a regular basis.  One thing is for, God has put us here together for a reason.  I believe that reason can be found in Acts 1:8 which says “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Lisa and I are looking forward to taking the Gospel to Crawford County and beyond as we serve along side each of you as we do our part as the Hillview family in fulfilling the Great Commission.

In staying with the theme of our current sermon series, let us remember to keep things simple.  Remember that we want to be “A Gospel Centered Family. Loving God. Loving Others.”  There is no need to complicate how we work together to be the church that Jesus said 18 “………….and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18b NKJV).   We have a great opportunity to push back that which is dark in the world today and expose those who will listen to the saving knowledge of knowing Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord.

In closing the Elders, Ministry Staff, and myself are excited about the future of Hillview Christian Church.  We are even more excited to see how Jesus will use Hillview Christian Church in the days, weeks, and years to come to impact Crawford County and beyond for the Kingdom.  We want to thank you in advance for the time, work, and investments you have already made and will make in the future in order to serve the Kingdom through the efforts and ministries here at Hillview.

Blessings on your week.  Lisa and I look forward to many years of serving you as we grow together as “A Gospel Centered Family. Loving God. Loving Others.”

In His Service,

Paul

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Lift Up or Tear Down

encourage
If you spend enough time in church you will soon be enlightened to the fact that sometimes we, as Christians, are not very nice to one another. You see Christian tearing down Christian. You hear gossip from one believer about another believer. You see people in the church gang up on an individual in the church for no apparent reason other than they are human. In this crazy day and age that we live in with society turning away from God and the church no is the time to stop the madness that is tearing our brothers down. What is the point? Who really gains from hurting people that are around you, especially in the church. (Full disclosure: I was reading in I Thessalonians 5 today and it brought this post, nothing specific.)
I Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up.” This is pretty straight forward. This verse starts with the word ‘therefore’ so hat was said before is important. Paul is talking about the second coming of Jesus and eternal life. Verses nine and ten say this, “For God has not destined us for wrath, but obtained salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with Him.” Paul is saying here that a time will come when it is all over, and we are either in Christ or not, and Paul follows that up with encourage one another. Paul is telling the Thessalonians that in order to be sure that our brothers and sisters in Christ remain in the faith we need to encourage them.
One of the biggest complaints about the church is that the people within it are so judgmental and mean. I have been in church all 31 years of my life and I fully understand where that sentiment comes from. It definitely does not come from God, Jesus or the Bible. The Bible tells us over and over to encourage each other, just like in the verse from I Thessalonians that we just read. There are many others; Hebrews 3:13, “encourage one another daily.” Romans 1:12, “We may be mutually encouraged by one’s faith.” Acts 11:23, “encourage them to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.” On and on, throughout all of the Bible.
How great would it be if the people of the church would build up and encourage the people of the church. Instead of griping and complaining at someone they said thanks, and good job. How awesome would it be if the church was know for being welcoming and nice instead of judgmental and mean. It is the duty and responsibility of all believers; ministers, missionaries, and people that come on Sunday morning, to be encouraging and uplifting to everyone they meet, but especially to the brothers and sisters in Christ that they know.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples—if you love one another.
John 13:34-35
Until next time, God bless.

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Sing to the Lord

sing to the lordHave you ever noticed how much the Bible talks about singing? It is all over the place. The words sing to the Lord, or some form of that, appear over seventy times in the Bible. If you read just the book of Psalms it is full of commands to sing unto the Lord, which seems fitting because the word ‘psalm’ literally means song. Psalm 96 and Psalm 98 are both psalms that call for singing before God. Psalm 96 starts like this, “Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord all the earth. Sing to the Lord and bless His name; proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all peoples.” Sing. Over and over, sing.

What is the deal with singing? Why would the psalmist command us to sing to God? Why can’t we just say how great God is, why does it tell us to sing? Why can’t we just write how awesome God is, why are we commanded to sing? We are commanded to sing because music is the universal language of the world. Think about it, every culture and society has some form of singing or music, from ancient times to today. No matter where you are in the world, there is some form of singing from all peoples. Think about the differences between cultures across the earth right now, currently in 2016. From one culture to another we have different codes of conduct, ways to behave, dinner time etiquette, wedding and funeral ceremonies but one things that all cultures have is music and singing.
My Freshman year of college I went to Guatemala for the third time. Between my second and third trip I learned how to play the guitar. So the whole time I was in Guatemala that third time I was playing the guitar and the children flocked to it. They sang, they danced, they clapped; it was something that they understood.We may not have been able to speak to each other because we did not speak the same language, but we all spoke the language of music. It didn’t matter if I was playing an American praise chorus by Chris Tomlin or Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett, the children and even the adults were into it.
The Bible calls for us to sing to God sing of His praises and His goodness. This is a very simple command that costs us nothing yet it is so powerful. All people from all cultures across all times understood music and singing, and that is why God calls us to sing a song to Him. So keep singing and praising the name of God.
Until next time, God bless

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Tomorrow

AnnieLittle Orphan Annie sang a song about tomorrow. “Tomorrow tomorrow, I’ll love ya tomorrow, you’re only a day away.” This seems so fun, light and innocent, and it is, but there is a small passage of Scripture that talks about tomorrow. This small Easter egg is found in the book of James. The Epistle of James was written (more than likely) by James, the brother of Jesus. This is a hard hitting book that reads more like a passionate sermon than a first century letter. James brings some serious illustrations that explain some big aspects of truth. James takes on testing faith, treating everyone the same, taming the tongue, worldliness, warning the rich, patience in suffering and of course the most famous from the book of James, faith without works being dead. But there is a four verse tidbit thrown into the middle of all of this that doesn’t seem to fit. But this four verse passage is such a huge part of living the Christian life.

The four verse tidbit is found in chapter four verses thirteen though seventeen. This passage says this, “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” How awesome is this little bit. There are two different ways that we need to look at this passage. This first is the more obvious one, and that idea is that tomorrow is not guaranteed. Today could be it. At any point our time on earth could end. A grave medical event, a fatal accident, or a freak accident could end our lives in a heartbeat. The moral of this would be to live everyday like it is our last, don’t put off important things to the next day, and take nothing for granted. If today was your last day on earth, who would you go out of your way to say, “I love you,” would there be last minute things to tell, or would there be some one that you needed to tell about Jesus.

The other way to look at this passage is with eternity in the equation. James says that our lives are just a mist that appears and then is gone. This is a perfect way to view our lives in the scope of eternity. But here is the thing, if you are a follower of Christ then you should always be looking at life within the scope of eternity. As Christians we should have a long-term view of existence. The way we handle daily life, the decisions we make should all fit into the plan of eternity. As Christians with the promise of eternal life with God in heaven we should be focused on that. At the bottom of this blog is a link to a youtube clip with Francis Chan talking about this topic, enjoy.

Until next time, God Bless