December 16, 2016

An Open Letter to Sandy Hook, by Amber McCarty

The following post was written by Amber McCarty over at  It's a very real perspective from a young woman who lives not far from Newtown, CT.

My wife and I first met her and her family a few years ago when I began serving as a pastoral assistant at First Assembly of God in Brookfield, CT, under Pastor Phil Morgan and 
Amber has given me permission to share this post that she wrote last year, in remembrance of those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

Earth has no sorrow...that heaven cannot heal.

Dear Sandy Hook,

The intercom came on in the middle of class. It never comes on in the middle of class. The principal’s voice booms over the loudspeaker: “There has been a shooting at the elementary school in Sandy Hook. We are currently on lockdown.” Eyes look around astonished searching for explanation. Hearts beat fast and everyone is at a loss for words. Questions race through each mind in the room, each mind in the school. And soon they start slipping out of our mouths: Why an elementary school? Why here? Who would do such a thing? But the gravest question was kept silent: How many lives were taken today? Rumors flew around and as the day continued, the full story was starting to form. The remainder of the day went by slower than time ever had. Televisions were broadcasting the news in the library, students were on the phone with parents and family members, and there was a looming cloud of fright over the entire school.
When I returned home that day, the news was on our television and my family was watching with intent, teary eyes. The numbers had increased since I last heard. From 10 children to 20 children. And from one teacher to six. Innocent lives had been taken in a blink of an eye: children who had their whole lives ahead of them, and adults who had families to come home to.
One word I can use to describe December 14 of 2012 was anxiousness. The feeling of not knowing was unbearable: not knowing who the shooter was or what his motives were, not knowing the amount of students and faculty who had their lives taken, and not knowing if any of those students or staff were someone I knew. My anxiety was at great heights but I cannot imagine the pain that the parents were feeling while awaiting reunions with their children. And I cannot imagine the pain felt by those who never received that last hug.
Needless to say, I didn’t know anyone who was killed that day. I had no personal connections in any way. But I would like to let the town of Sandy Hook know that I felt your pain…and I still do to this day. This world has become a place where lives of the innocent are taken daily. It’s hard to understand and I will never come to comprehend the reasoning behind some human being’s actions. But on December 14th, 2012, the world felt your pain. Losing a child in such a way is something no parent should ever have to go through. Heaven received the bravest angels that day…angels that became a symbol of hope for this world.
Ever since that day, the term community took on a new meaning in my eyes. The most unlikely people came together that day. Communities all over the world mourned the loss of 26 beautiful souls. A beautiful tribute was painted onto a bridge in my town, one that lasted until this past year. My family made it a tradition to place 26 ribbons with the names of the victims on our tree each Christmas season. My school made cards for the families in Sandy Hook for Valentine’s Day. And 26 Days of Kindness has become an annual tradition in honor of the children and staff.
Life has changed since that day. For me, it has become more of a mission to give to others. A simple act of kindness, they say, can go a long way. For many, that has now become a motto to live by.
Each day is a blessing. We must remember to cherish them. We never know when they will be gone. Not only should we cherish each day, but also every loved one in our lives. There may be a day where you won’t get that last hug, or kiss on the cheek. There may be a day that you won’t see that beautiful smile, or hear that beloved voice, again. Treat each moment like it’s the last. Because one day it will be.
Three years later, our hearts still reach out to you. There is no way we can feel the pain that you feel but we can continue to stand with you. Each child’s face plays in my mind this day, so innocent, so pure, yet so brave. The lasting twinkle in their eyes and the crooked smiles displayed across their faces are what they will be remembered by. The beauty of their simple lives are infinite. Sandy Hook, you are strong - stronger than you know. I pray for you this day that you have peace in your hearts and you’re striving to have the memory of your beautiful sons and daughters live on in your lives forever.

December 15, 2016

4 Years Later - Grief Counseling at The Home Depot

Early this morning at around 8:25 a.m., I received a phone call from one of the managers at The Home Depot in Danbury where I work, asking if I would be able to come in and assist with providing counseling, for anyone who wished to meet with me.

A psychologist was there from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. I arrived around 10:15 a.m., and stayed until 1:30 p.m.

I'm not a psychologist, so there is no way that I could have assisted under that capacity.  I think just about everyone whom I work with knows that I'm a pastor and this is why I was called.  To help answer any questions about the horrific incident at the Sandy Hook Elementary School the day before. 

When I arrived, I got myself situated in the employee locker room, positioning the chairs where I could sit and listen to anyone who wanted to sit down and talk about what they were grieving about.  None of the people I spoke to, or work with were directly affected by the tragedy, but they were all affected by the loss of such innocent children, which reminded many of them of their own children, or grandchildren in some cases.

One of the questions that was asked, but not really looking for an answer was this one, "How dark does someone's soul have to get to do something like this, to a defenseless little child?"

November 29, 2016

Quotes from Charles Spurgeon's book, All of Grace

I've read this book by Charles Spurgeon before, although I can't recall if I've read the entire book.  My Kindle highlights show that I've read portions of the book as far back as 6 years ago too.

But I'm reading the book now, as part of my teaching series at church concerning the grace of God found in Scripture.

A few months ago, I had taught a series of expositions concerning the Ten Commandments and then, I began a new series on the grace of God without realizing the great balance this teaching would bring to our congregation and anyone who would listen to our podcast in the future.

Here is a recent short list of studies thus far that you may find on the church's website to listen online, or add to your iTunes podcast.

November 16, 2016

It's been a long time

It's been WAY TOO LONG since I've written a post here and a lot has changed in my life and my family too.

From the time that I had resigned from my position as pastor at Central Assembly of God, in Arlington, TX, I had felt that I may not return to pastoring a local church ever.

Really, I had wondered how long it would be before I would be able to return.  The only problem with that was that it all rested in God's plan and not mine.  No matter how badly I wanted to return to the pastorate, I couldn't make that happen faster than God was willing to allow me to wait and be ready.

So, for a few months, I searched for employment in the business world, while I worried about how our bills would be paid.

During this time, which was in the Fall of 2014, God had really done some amazing things in our lives, most of which was that He provided for us, in ways and through people more than I could list, but it was truly amazing.  I'll always be reminded of His faithfulness to us and I'm thankful that such a time that we can talk about can be used to encouraged others who may be going through a similar situation.

During this time also, we found out that we were pregnant and so, Baby Michaelson #2 was only way and due in early June of 2015.

May 23, 2016

The Ultimate Purpose of God for All

“…and you will be my witnesses…”  Acts 1:8c

When a person comes to faith in Jesus Christ, having realized the great judgment that awaits them for the guilt of their sin, their salvation results in a regeneration of the spirit within them, meaning it was once dead, but has now been brought to life.  And because the Holy Spirit lives within the believer and bears a witness to the truth of God and of Jesus Christ, every believer becomes a witness.

In a legal sense, the Christian becomes someone who is able to testify concerning the truth of an event, or person.  But in a moral, or ethical sense, as the Greek word for witness is martyr, it means that a Christian may suffer and die for their faith in Jesus Christ.

The President appoints ambassadors for the United States around the world and those ambassadors are representatives of the U.S., one in each country around the world.  But we, as Christians are not restricted as just a single person going as a witness for Christ.  We are not limited to the places we can serve as God’s ambassadors.  

We are all called, not to serve as a witness, but to be a witness for Jesus Christ.

Whom are you a witness for?  When was the last time you spoke to someone about Jesus?  When was the last time you gave someone a gospel tract?  What kind of witness are you?  Are you a faithful, or a fearful witness?  Do you worry too much about what to say, when you should be relying on the power of the Holy Spirit within you to help recall what you know from Scripture and the truth about Jesus Christ?

Why is this the ultimate purpose of God for all?  Because we get to be God’s ambassadors.  We get to be used by the King of kings and Lord of lords, to go and tell others about the goodness of God!

The only problem, which is a big problem really in the church, which is that many people aren’t really willing to be a witness for Christ anymore.  

It’s true when Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;” (Matthew 9:37).

We, the church, cannot remain content in our faith as Christians when every day there are thousands of people who are dying and entering into eternity in hell.  We cannot assume that someone else is going to bring the Gospel to them.  We must do it.

We have been given the Great Commission regarding the purpose of every believer and the will of God, which is also the Divine Commission that every believer has concerning the power that enables each Christian, to go and fulfill the Great Commission, in their local area of living, beyond that and even to a place somewhere around the world.

Are you willing to be sent, or even to help send someone in partnership with your financial support and prayers?  Will you share the Gospel with someone today, praying in hope that the person you speak to, will repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ alone to save them?

I want to encourage you to be a faithful witness for Christ and to rely upon His power that has been given to you, to go and fulfill the Great Commission, for His glory, to the ends of the earth.

It's the ultimate opportunity for the church to win souls, for the glory of God. Will you?  Do you want to?

Pastor Kurt

This is an excerpt of the sermon I preached on Sunday, May 15, 2016, titled, The Divine Commission.  The full audio of this sermon can be found at

Here’s the million-dollar question: Will you go to Heaven when you die? Let’s do a quick test: Have you ever told a lie? (Be honest.) Have you taken anything that belongs to someone else? Have you disobeyed your parents, or said, “Oh my G-d!” or used the name of Jesus to cuss? Have you been greedy, or hated someone? If you have done these wrong things, one day God will punish you in a terrible place called Hell. But He loves sinners so much that He made a way for them to be forgiven and go to Heaven instead. He sent His Son, Jesus, who took the punishment they deserve by dying on the cross for them: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Then He rose from the dead, defeating death. Today, turn away from sinful (bad) things and put your trust in Jesus. God will forgive you and give you everlasting life. Then read the Bible daily, and obey it (start with the Gospel of John).

May 5, 2016

My Prayer for the National Day of Prayer

A few weeks ago, my assistant informed me that I had been invited to be one of the guest ministers to pray at city hall, for the National Day of Prayer, which is held today, May 5th.

I was incredibly surprised and humbled that I was asked to participate in this event and gladly accepted the offer to join the other ministers of the city of Port Neches, to pray.

I was assigned the opportunity to pray for our government and made sure to include as many of the city officials in my prayer.  While it is important to pray for our national government leadership, I decided to focus on praying for our local government leadership.

The program for the National Day of Prayer at City Hall was the following:

  • Prayer for our Government - Reverend Kurt Michaelson
  • Prayer for our Military - Police Chief Paul Lemoine
  • Prayer for Media - Pastor Francis Schroeder
  • Prayer for Business - Judge Morris McCall
  • Prayer for Education - Dr. Marc Keith
  • Prayer for the Church - Dr. David Birdsong
  • Prayer for the Family - Pastor Donny Robbins
Our closing song was Amazing Grace.

I decided to write out my prayer, instead of just winging it and risk forgetting someone, or stumble in my words to just get something out of my mouth.  It's not my normal practice to write out a prayer and some might even think that I wasn't allowing myself to be used by the Holy Spirit, to pray freely and I disagree in this one simple regard.

The Word of God in the inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16) and God's Word does not return void either (Isaiah 55:11).

After the introductory greeting, I was first to lead in prayer and began by reading Psalm 33:12-22 and then began my prayer for the government and my short manuscript follows below.

Psalm 33:12-22
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!
13 The Lord looks down from heaven;
he sees all the children of man;
14 from where he sits enthroned he looks out
on all the inhabitants of the earth,
15 he who fashions the hearts of them all
and observes all their deeds.
16 The king is not saved by his great army;
a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
17 The war horse is a false hope for salvation,
and by its great might it cannot rescue.
18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 that he may deliver their soul from death
and keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.

Almighty God and Father, Creator of heaven and earth.  You are the One true God (Gen 1:1; Jn 17:3).  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer (Ps 19:14). 

O Lord, we, your people are gathered here in this city, to cry out to you, for Your mercy upon our country.  We have severely gone astray from obeying Your Word and have fallen deeply into rebellion and sin against You and Your judgment upon this land would be just because You are Just, Holy and Righteous.  We have continued to do what is evil in Your sight and have served our own gods, forgetting You, O God (Judges 2:7,12).

Father God, I ask You, on behalf of Your sons and daughters through faith in You, our great God and Savior Jesus Christ that You would strengthen Your church to boldly proclaim the truth of Your Word, calling all people throughout this land, to repent of their sins and put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone.  Help us, by the power and gift of Your Holy Spirit, to be faithfully obedient to Your Word, declaring the glorious Gospel of Your Son, Jesus Christ to all people, as You have commissioned us to do so, in accordance with Your Word (Matt 28:19-20; Mk 16:15).

Almighty God and our Father in heaven.  Your Word calls for us to pray, intercede for and give thanks for all people, for those who are in high positions (1 Tim 2:1-2).  Therefore, by the authority of Your Holy Word and in obedience, we pray, intercede and give thanks for Mayor Glenn Johnson of this city, for each of the members of the City Council - Chris McMahon, Adam Anders, John Davenport, Robert Arnold and Julie Gauthier.  Lord, we lift these people AND THEIR FAMILIES that you would watch over them with Your Divine Hand, to protect them, lead them and guide them, in the fulfillment of Your will for their lives.  We pray for leadership and righteousness in Christ that will exalt this city before Your throne.  We pray for wisdom and discernment and that they would come to You, as the perfect source of wisdom and truth that leads them.

Father God, we also pray, intercede and give thanks for the City Manager - AndrĂ© Wimer and the Asst. City Mgr. - David Miller, for the City Secretary - Jamie Mendoza and the Finance Officer - Amy Guidroz.  Lord, may they perform their duties faithfully and continue to be good stewards of all that is entrusted to them, in their leadership positions of this city. 

For the City Court Judge, Mr. Bruce Gregory and his family.  Father God, may Judge Gregory faithfully and fairly execute his duties according to the law.  May you continue to give him the wisdom and discernment to judge every case fairly, for the honor of his office and the honor of Your Name.

Lord, we also lift up to you the Fire Chief - Chief Paul Nelson and every firefighter who answers every call of distress to rescue those in need.  May You protect them and their families in their service to this city.  Help them to arrive speedily and safely as they respond to calls for help.  

Lord, we lift up to you the Police Chief, Chief Paul Lemoine and every officer that serves to protect the people of this beautiful city.  We pray that You Lord would protect them in their response to calls for help and that justice will prevail in their work, for they are Your servants for our good (Rom 13:4).  May You O God, be a shield before them and behind them.  

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God (Ps 20:7).

We pray this in Jesus' Name.


May we all continue to pray for our national government leadership, for the President of the United States and his administration.  May we pray for them not just once a year, or occasionally, but it is my hope that we, as a nation, will return to faithfully and diligently praying on a daily basis, for our nation and our leaders.

Did you participate in a prayer gathering for the National Day of Prayer?  If so, where did this take place?  How many attended the prayer gathering?

Are there any particular books on prayer that you've enjoyed reading and have helped you in your prayer life?  What are they?

Some of the books that I have on my bookshelf, or on my Kindle regarding prayer are:

  • Kneeling Christian by Unknown Christian
  • Prayer and Faith by R.A. Torrey
  • Praying Hyde, A Man of Prayer by Basil Miller
  • Prayer and Praying Men by E.M. Bounds (Kindle)
  • Praying for Sunday by Dr. Michael Fabarez (Kindle)
  • The Path of Prayer by Samuel Chadwick (Kindle, recently added)
  • Discovering the Power of Christ's Prayer Life by Charles Spurgeon (Kindle, recently added)
  • Alone with God: Rediscovering the Power and Passion of Prayer by John MacArthur (Kindle)
I look forward to reading your posted comments too.  Please remember to pray for your pastor, as he continues to prepare his sermon for this Sunday and the church whom he serves.

Shalom Y'all! 

Pastor Kurt

April 12, 2016

Hail - the sign of God's divine judgment

Yesterday, there was a terrible hail storm in North Texas where a lot of homes and vehicles were damaged by the hail.

My wife and I moved to southeast Texas at the end of October 2015, where I now pastor a new church and we had a storm here not too long ago where it did hail, but they were the size of a quarter, not the baseball size hail that had fallen in North Texas yesterday.

Wylie, Texas was the hardest hit area too.

The storm and the news reports got me to thinking about what the bible has to say concerning hail and what so many people don't know about it, since it is more than just a weather experience.  Hail has a very specific meaning in the bible and we should all pay attention to it.

When Moses came to Pharaoh to tell him to let God's people go, one of the plagues they experienced was hail (Exodus 9:13-34). 

In Isaiah 28 hail is described as a sign of God's judgment and in another Old Testament book of Haggai, in chapter 2, it is mentioned as divine judgment and sadly in this chapter, the people did not turn back to God after this happened.

In the last book of the New Testament, Revelation, hail is used as a sign of God's coming judgment. At the first trumpet, in Revelation 8:7, hail and fire, mixed with blood are cast upon the earth.

Finally, in Revelation 16:21, John writes, "And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe."

Now, I am not implying in any way that the residents of North Texas are under any sort of judgment by God. These hailstones were not 100 lbs. in weight, but the size of a baseball. However, imagine if all of the United States experienced hail such as this, what would everyone think God was saying to us? Is that what is needed for God to get our attention?

This, along with other events that will occur in our lifetime, especially from Matthew 24:6-7, they are the beginning of the birth pains the world will experience before the Lord returns. 

And if this is a sign that return of Christ is imminent and more importantly unknown, it would behoove any person, to repent of their sins that Jesus Christ suffered the penalty of death for, which He did not commit, where His death on the cross is the satisfying atonement to God, to forgive you of your sins and by putting your trust exclusively in Jesus Christ to save you, you will escape God's condemnation of sending you to hell and be given the promise of eternal life with Him in his kingdom (John 3:16-18; 36).

Have you betrayed Jesus?

When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray ...