Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
This week in our 40 Days of Praise devotionals we are focusing on the names of God in the Old Testament. The Hebrew people often named places or gave God characteristic names after some significant event. These refer to God's acts or His character. Today we praise Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord our Healer. In Exodus 15, after crossing the Red Sea, the Hebrews came to a place called Marah where they found water that was bitter. Unable to drink the water, the people whined to Moses who cried out to God, who showed Moses a tree that he could put in the water and it would take away the bitterness. At Marah, God made a covenant that if they obeyed His voice, they would not suffer the diseases that had plagued the Egyptians, for He Himself would heal them. He is Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord who heals.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Today was one of those special days when I realize how blessed I really am. This morning started out with our traditional Sunday ritual, breakfast at McDonald's. We started doing this on Sunday mornings as a way to motivate our kids to get up and ready for church. It has been such a blessing because we have an opportunity to talk and enjoy each other and not have to worry about cooking or cleaning up. We also have a good time cutting up with one another and it just puts us in a good mood as we prepare for worship.
Today was different because I was invited to preach at Bulls Gap Baptist for their Homecoming service. I pastored Bulls Gap from 1994-1998 and we had not been back there for a long time. It was wonderful to see some familiar faces and to remember some wonderful times of ministry. I remembered a lot of things about our time there: ministering to people in crisis, fellowship times, worship times, baptisms, weddings and funerals. The years at BG were years of growth for me, and God brought some wonderful people into my life to help me grow.
After the service we had a wonderful lunch and fellowship time. Then we came home and cleaned-up and got ready for our small group, we call it Family2Family. Normally our girls do childcare, but we didn't have any little ones tonight so the girls got to participate in the Bible study, and it was real blessing to have them in on the discussion. I'm amazed at how they are growing in the Lord. I remember when I was their age and I had virtually no relationship with the Lord. I was saved, but I was not growing in the Lord. My girls are much farther along spiritually than I was at their age. It blesses me to see how God is at work through them.
I'm thankful for our small group. We're usually not a very small group but tonight was different and it gave us a chance to really share our hearts. We discussed the story of David and Goliath, which Bill preached on this morning. There are so many lessons in that story; it was great to hear different perspectives from different people. Each time we meet I learn something new about the people I worship and serve with. God is doing some great things in my life through the small group.
I am a blessed man.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
“This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.” 1 Timothy 3:1
I’ve been teaching on leadership in the local church and working through Paul’s first letter to his apprentice Timothy. Chapter three really stirred me up. Paul begins saying, “This is a faithful saying.” It’s the equivalent to Jesus saying in the Gospels “Truly, truly or Verily, verily.” When Jesus said those words He was saying, “Hey! Pay attention! This is important!” That is what Paul is doing here as well. Then he says, “If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.”
The word “desire” really jumped out at me in this passage. It appears twice in my translation, but it is actually two different words in the Greek. The first word translated “desire” literally means “to stretch oneself” or “to reach out for.” The image is that of a child reaching out for his mom or dad. The second word translated desire means “to set your heart upon.” It has to do with the inward emotions and this word is also translated “covet” or “lust after.” So the Bible says, it is a good thing to "stretch yourself" and "set your heart" on a place of service for the Lord.
In the tradition I have grown up in, those who served the Lord were those who received a specific calling to serve. It’s still part of our tradition – you ask people about doing things in the church and you may get the response – “I haven’t been called to do that.” That is a legit response and we shouldn’t force people into positions they are not qualified for nor passionate about. But it is also a response that is often abused. The next question to ask is, “What have you been called to do?” and the answer may be, “I don’t know?” It seems it’s easier to identify what we’re not called to do than it is to identify what we’re called to do.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Great Bible study last night! We talked about “A Leader’s Passion”. Paul was passionate about truth, about Jesus, and about relationships. He was especially passionate about Jesus. As he was writing to Timothy about what Christ had done in his life and what Christ meant to him, he broke out in the wonderful verse of praise above. He was so moved for his love by Christ, he couldn’t help but praise him, even in a letter.
What are you passionate about? When was the last time you were so overwhelmed by the grace and goodness of God that you broke out into a song of praise to Him. May our hearts be hot for Jesus, the Savior of our souls and the redeemer of our lives!
We welcomed Lilli Roberts to our family of faith last night. Lilli prayed to receive Christ as her Savior a couple of weeks ago at a First Priority event at her school. Her dad, Trevor will baptize her this coming Sunday morning.
I can’t wait for Sunday! Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, worship and praise and a word from the Lord! A few years ago one of our former Youth Pastors preached a sermon on Elijah on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18). He titled it, “When You Show Up, God Shows Out.” Often all God is waiting on to do something great, is for His people to show up. I wonder how many miracles we’ve missed being a part of just because we didn’t give God a chance to work.
I hope you’ll show up in faith expecting God to do something supernatural this weekend. God is just waiting to show you how great He really is.
See you Sunday!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
In 1 Timothy 1:15, Paul writes, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” Notice he says “I AM chief.” Paul was still a work in progress; he never saw himself as being better than a sinner. He knew the Gospel still applied to his life. He was passionate about serving Christ, because Christ was at work in Him!
Many of us today have lost our fire for serving the Lord because we’ve forgotten what the Lord has done for us. We’ve forgotten what it means to be saved. We’ve considered the task at hand greater than the God who saved us.
As we approach the Memorial Day holiday, and as we remember those who paid the ultimate price or our freedoms as Americans, I want to challenge you to also remember the One who gave His life that you would not only go to heaven when you die, but that you would have the power and the passion to serve Him till you die.
I look forward to seeing you soon.
Monday, May 24, 2010
- We need prayer warriors to be praying now for children to come, hearts to be open and lives to be changed!.
- We need floaters to be available to help out where needed. We won't know all of our needs till the week begins, so we need people just to show up with a "how can I help" heart!
- We need ENCOURAGERS who will love on our workers and our kids. Encouragers are kind of like the oil in a car engine, they keep things running smooth.
Monday, May 17, 2010
The writer of Proverbs draws a parallel between an activity of the Lord and a process used for refining or purifying precious metals. In his day, a silversmith (or goldsmith) would use a metal pot over a hot fire to purify the precious metal. He would heat the melted metal until the dross or impurities would rise to the top where he would sweep them off. He would then increase the temperature and repeat the process until all of the impurities were removed from the metal and he could see the perfect reflection of his face in the melted metal. The process separated that which was of no value from that which was of greatest worth.
As the fire tested the purity of the metal with increased intensity, so the Lord tests the purity of our hearts. He does so by allowing the circumstances of our lives to be “heated-up.” We may find ourselves faced with a temptation or a crisis; we may be facing a difficult decision or a troubled relationship. In each instance we have the opportunity to allow the Holy Spirit to remove the dross or impurities in our hearts in order that the image of the Savior may be seen more clearly. God’s goal is always to help us become like His Son Jesus, therefore everything He allows into our lives is for our good (Romans 8:28-29).
I was about three-fourths of the way through writing this devotion when there was a power surge and the computer shut-down. My initial reaction was … well … in the flesh. But then I realized God was just illustrating for me what I was hoping to convey to you – that He is at work in all the circumstances of our lives to bring out and remove those “fleshly” impurities so that we can be more like Him. It was a small “test”, as many of them are, but a test none-the-less. As the old song says, “He’s still working on me…”
Friday, March 26, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
If you would like to learn more about Patrick and his life and ministry, here is a brief but good article from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: http://ow.ly/1nouy . Thomas Cahill's "How the Irish Saved Civilization" is also a great resource about the evangelistic work of Patrick and his fellow missionaries.