Thursday, December 30, 2010
Went to Luther Britt to take some year end family photos. These were originally intended for the Christmas card, but did not get a chance to take them. Every day I had off, the rain would start.
Hope everyone had a merry Christmas and we are praying that you have a wonderful New Year!
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Since we woke up to a little snow today, we decided to make a snowman. After a little thought, a regular corncob pipe just wouldn't do.
Introducing the most feared man in the Galactic Empire: Frosty the Darth Vader Snowman.
May the force be with you in the upcoming year!
Friday, December 24, 2010
Christmas is tomorrow. We are going to celebrate the birth of the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
It's the night before Christmas and I can think of no better time to think about the words concerning John the Baptist in Luke chapter three.
Here the words of the voice calling out:
Prepare the way of the Lord,make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
John was crying out, "Stop running from God and start running to Him instead. Make your hearts ready for Him. You need to be rescued and guess what . . . the Redeemer is coming! Yep! Your King is coming back for you!"
As we prepare for the coming of our Rescuer as a tiny baby, don't get confused when people ask you if you are ready for Christmas.
Whether or not you have bought all your presents matters very little if your heart is not prepared to celebrate the Son of God.
Getting ready for Christmas should mean that I am making straight paths for Him.
Begin to listen to the voice coming from the wilderness and heed his advice.
Prepare your heart for the King and let Him be celebrated this Christmas.
Friday, December 17, 2010
AW Tozer once said, "If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference."
Acts 1:8 says that we receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon us and we become witnesses in the earth.
That is the test. Look at your church and your life.
Is there power and are you a witness? Is there evidence of the Spirit in your life?
We talk about being filled with the Spirit back in '98 or '65 or 2002, but what about last week or this morning?
If the Spirit was withdrawn from your life, would anything change?
Friday, December 10, 2010
Have you ever seen those NutriSystem commercials where a guy or girl weighed 350 pounds and now they weigh 150?
The best thing about the commercials are when the people stand up and put their old pants on and hold them way away from their bellies?
That is the proud moment of the commercial. The time when they say, "That was me!"
But, are we the same when it comes to our faith and our walk with Jesus?
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new is here!"
If we are a new creation, why do we struggle so much with the things we dealt with before Jesus saved us? Why do we keep getting angry? Or using bad language? Or dealing with sexual immorality?
It's probably because we want to keep putting on the same pants that we wore before we were saved.
We still have not accepted the fact that we don't need those old habits anymore to satisfy us.
Our satisfaction doesn't come from the things of this world, but from the giver of every perfect gift, our Almighty Father.
If you loose weight, I guess you can keep the old pants as a reminder of where you've been, but once you accept Christ, clean house.
Throw away those old "pants" and be the new creation Jesus has called you to be.
Friday, December 3, 2010
I was reading in Genesis about the life of Joseph and something struck me, so I thought I would share.
In Genesis 40 verses 1 and 4 it talks about Joseph's stay in prison. The way the ESV Bible reads is that he was in prison for "some time."
Have you ever been at the point where "some time" was just a long time?
When you can't get ahead at work. When you know your kids are heading down the wrong path. When prayer seems pointless and Bible study is a waste of time. When your marriage seems as if it can't get worse. When you feel like you are all alone doing battle by yourself.
Yeah, some time can be a long time.
In 40:22, Joseph's some time turned into forgotten. In fact, it was over two years.
But, God was with him. Through pain, trial, hardship, and even being forgotten, God was with him.
God turned Joseph's some time into a growing season. You just have to see it from God's perspective.
What man meant for evil, God used to save a people.
If you change your perspective, what will God do with your "some time?"
Friday, November 26, 2010
This is the first commandment. Do we take it seriously?
As a Believer, we have had a heart transplant. We should have a different heart beating inside of us than when we were born.
Honestly, we should have a passion to pursue God more than a passion for eating.
I just don't see it. Don't get me wrong, I know it is out there. I just don't see it enough. Not in the world, not in churches, and more times than I would like to admit it, I don't see it in me.
I want it and my prayer for you is that you would have a vibrant relationship with Jesus and REFUSE to get in a rut.
I want us to surrender EVERY part of our hearts to the King and REFUSE to let the world back in.
I want God in the center of my heart.
How we line up our priorities determines how close He is to our heart beat.
How we see the world in which we live determines if we see with God vision or our own glasses.
Help us God. Let us fight to stay out of ruts. Let us stand and refuse to let the world back in. Let us pursue you with all that we are and see with your eyes. Be our center. Amen
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
I read an interesting encounter between Albert Einstein and one of his students the other day.
The student asked Einstein, "Professor, how many feet are in a mile?"
In response, the genius said, "I don't know." The student was absolutely stunned and thought him to be joking.
So, the student pressed him about knowing the answer. Finally, Einstein said, "I don't know. I don't trouble my mind with the trivial facts of life that I can look up in any book in 5 minutes."
Einstein was more consumed with searching out the deep things of the universe. That was his passion.
We are called to a similar passion. To know God.
Psalm 42: 2 says, "My soul thirsts for God, the living God."
Unfortunately, our appetite for the trivial things of life hinders us, gets in our way, and tries to consume us.
In fact, few of us are in danger of being consumed by our passion for the living God.
Can we say that our thirst for more and more of God is our driving passion in life?
I wish it was more of mine.
God, please ignite my heart for a greater passion for you. Make me thirst after you. Make me desire you more and more. Amen
Friday, November 5, 2010
Last Friday was one of those days. Everything was going wrong at work. If it could mess up, it did. When I finally got home and sat down on the couch for a few minutes, the phone rang. The alarm was going off at the store.
Yep, it was one of those days.
Jesus says in John 16: 33, "In this world you will have trouble! But take heart, I have overcome the world!"
Think about a piece of grain for a minute. A piece of grain is pummeled and pulverized before it can be used to make bread.
Could we be the same? Do our bumps and bruises prepare us to be the light of the world.
In this world we will be pummeled and pulverized, but we can take heart.
Jesus has overcome the world and He is shaping us and transforming us into His likeness.
The problem is that we lose our Kingdom mindsets. We start thinking that our existence is for this lifetime only.
We forget that the world and its trappings are not about us.
The KINGDOM is the MAIN EVENT! The world is just our training ground.
We must not put our hope in this world, but in the one who has overcome it.
I like what Matthew Henry said: "This world is our passage, NOT our portion."
Let us live like it.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
This is a painting by the famous artist, Rembrandt. He included himself as one of the figures in the scene.
Many painters have included themselves in renderings of the crucifixion. Usually, as spectators.
Where would you be if you painted yourself in the scene?
Rembrandt placed himself right in the center: as a man helping to raise the cross.
We tend not to take sin very seriously. Especially our own.
You know, the pet sin that really isn't that bad. The pride, the unforgiving attitude, the little lie, the whatever.
Well, that little "whatever" caused the extremely violent killing of God's son.
And that is the severity of sin. So, why do we treat it so carelessly?
1 Timothy 1:15 says, "This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" - and I am the worst of them!"
Never forget the cost paid for you!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
We took Caleb and Isaiah to the Morris Pumpkin Patch. They picked out some pumpkins for the front porch and found some gourds that they thought were cool.
We took a few pictures. Isaiah didn't mind too much. But, Caleb is obviously getting a little old for the pumpkin patch picture session.
Friday, October 15, 2010
I started thinking about the little saying, "there is no I in TEAM."
When you think about it, that is a funny little statement. In one sense, it is very true and in another, it is very false.
If one player tries to win the game all by himself, he soon finds out he is going to get clobbered.
But, if I don't do my part for the team, the lack of my "I" will cause the team to fail.
Sometimes you hear people in churches saying, "WE have a good little church." "WE have a great youth ministry at my church." "WE have a wonderful outreach program." "WE have an amazing prayer team." "WE, WE, WE."
I was just wondering, how do WE spell WE? Many of us spell "WE" without an "I".
"We preach the gospel." Did you?
"We do this" "We do that" What part did you take?
Ephesians 6:13 says, "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."
This is what "YOU" need to do for the "TEAM".
Honestly, we need to be people that are willing to pick up the mop and the broom, put on our shoes and open our mouths, stand with the sword and the shield.
We need people who will do these things before they talk about "WE" and "OUR".
How do you spell "WE"?
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
We decided to try carving pumpkins this year. We went and let the boys pick out their pumpkins and we found some stencils online.
I wanted to do the Darth Vader. Had to do the hardest thing imaginable for our very first time carving pumpkins. It took about an hour, but it was fun.
Caleb and Isaiah want to know every night if the pumpkins are "lighted" up.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Last Saturday afternoon, we decided to play a little baseball in the backyard. Caleb and Isaiah were taking turns swinging at pitches until it was too dark to see.
Caleb was up to bat and Amanda tossed a nice underhand pitch right across the plate. Caleb took a huge Babe Ruth cut at the ball and made contact. The ball went up high in the air and Caleb's eyes followed the ball until it landed.
Right BEHIND him.
He turned around and instead of being disappointed, he shouted, "HOME RUN! HOME RUN!"
In the eyes of a lesser baseball enthusiast, his home run would have been called a foul ball.
Romans 8: 35-39 says, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Sometimes we let life, the trouble, the hardship, the persecution, the bills, our health, our job, our family, our kids, . . . basically we allow all of the foul balls in our lives to interfere with our trust and dependence on Jesus.
We have to remember that no foul ball will keep us from shouting that we have the HOME RUN love of Jesus Christ and we are more than conquerors because His love hit a HOME RUN for us.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Have you ever thought about the things you do every day without even thinking about it?
Things like getting your shoes on or putting your keys away when you get home.
What about kissing your spouse and telling them, "I love you" when you are leaving?
Is it routine? Is it mindless? Or is it special?
Is that "I love you!" a real message from your heart to theirs?
Psalm 19: 1-2 says:
1 The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The skies display his craftsmanship.
2 Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known.
In everything, God wrote, "I love you!"
In the sky, on the ground, in the water, everything is screaming, "I LOVE YOU!" He has written it everywhere.
Not in the meaningless way most of us say it as we walk out the door going to work, but He has written in His creation.
The way fish swim, the way dogs run, the way birds migrate, the way stars twinkle. It is all shouting, "I LOVE YOU!"
God made everything to reflect Him like a giant mirror. He wants us to see just how magnificent He really is and how magnificently He loves us.
The question is this: Do you know God is saying from His heart to yours, "I LOVE YOU!" or are you just walking out the door going to work?
Friday, September 24, 2010
Caleb is afraid of dogs. He used to love them.
One day while playing a dog snapped at him and ever since, he wants nothing to do with them.
At grandma's house, there is an outside dog and that dog will chase and jump all over you.
One day while we were visiting, the dog started running after Caleb and trying to jump all over him.
What did Caleb do? He took off for Daddy. He jumped in my arms with tears rolling down his face.
At that moment, no dog in the world was going to mess with my boy.
His weakness was met with my strength.
Psalm 5: 1-2 says, "Give ear to my words, O LORD; consider my groaning. Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray."
The enemy has attacked and continues to pursue, but we have run into the arms of our Almighty God.
When we let our cry, our groaning, our weakness appeal to the strength of our almighty King, no dog in hell can or will overtake us.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Our family went to see a Star Wars exhibit at the museum in Durham recently.
It had me thinking of the wisdom of Yoda a little.
I know I'm a nerd but, I actually thought about an exchange Yoda had with Luke.
Yoda said, "Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size do you? And well you should not! For my ally is the Force. And a powerful ally it is."
What a cool guy.
We don't serve the Force. We serve God. We don't look to see who is doing better or worse than ourselves. We don't seek to be the big dog, because size matters not. We don't turn our heads to the left or to the right to find our strength.
We look up. That is where our help comes from. And a powerful ally the Lord is.
The problem comes when we start worrying about everything around us rather than the God who surrounds us.
When Luke was having difficulty learning the ways of the Force he said, "I don't believe it..."
Yoda's response, "That is why you fail."
It may be a little green man, but Yoda is right. When things are tough and life is crumbling, stop looking left and right and start looking up.
Speak what you know is true. Read scripture. Pray.
Jesus is the most powerful ally you will ever know.
And may the LORD be with you.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Psalm 135: 5-6 says, "For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps."
We took a short trip to the beach last weekend. As I was sitting on our balcony looking at the ocean, I did a quick word study on oceans. I did it with my phone - they are amazing little jokers.
I looked at about five or six verses and this one jumped off the page. I started thinking about what we think makes God great and what the psalmist thought made the Lord great.
What makes God great to you?
Sometimes, I imagine we all think God is great when things go the way we want. When God doesn't make our lives too terribly uncomfortable.
But, this is the exact opposite reason according to this verse. The Lord is great because He does what pleases Him.
And the amazing thing is this: it pleases the Lord to take care of His children.
How great is the Lord.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
I was thinking about a play I read in college called "Fences" by August Wilson.
It has been a long time since drama 16, but if i recall correctly, one of the characters says, "Some people build fences to keep people out and other people build fences to keep people in."
I was contemplating this idea and thought that the key to the fence is the gate.
That lead me to Matthew 16: 18.
"And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
The funny thing about gates are that they are not attacking tools. They are protective and preventative.
The only way for the gates of hell to prevail is if they are not being attacked and broken down.
We can still feel the effects. The barrier and the resistance. We still know the hindrances. But, the enemy will not win, Jesus said so.
Since we know the outcome, we should be active and tear the gates off the hinges.
Satan's throne has been destroyed and the gospel will continue to cause the gates of hell to crumble today.
As the church we have been given the authority to “tread on serpents” (Luke 10: 19) and no matter what the enemy throws at us, we will be victorious in the end.
So let's get to stompin'.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Everybody knows the story of Joshua and the battle of Jericho in Joshua 6.
We think about the people marching around the huge walls of the city and on the seventh day, they send up a mighty shout and trumpet blast.
Some people talk about how the marching loosened the soil and the shout caused vibrations in the walls to cause them to crumble. Some people say it was an odd earthquake.
But Hebrews tells a different story. It was by faith.
As crazy as it seems, they were promised that if they obeyed, the walls would come a tumblin' down.
The walls didn't come down by the action of men, but because the people believed what God had promised He would do.
This is persevering faith. When things seem overwhelmingly against you, there is full knowledge that God is who He says He is and He will do all that He has promised to do.
Despite glaring impossibilities, God honors those who are obedient to Him.
Faith like this will put the enemies of God to runnin' and the devil to hidin'.
Look at what is happening in your life and see if the enemy is at work. If he is, shout that your trust is in the Devil Destroying Power of God.
Have faith to watch the walls crumble.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Caleb and Isaiah both had Batman shirts, so Amanda bought us one, too. Then we decided to all take a family "Batman" portrait.
I made a chart so you could recognize the Hero Crew.
Grey Shirt - OLD Batman
Pink Shirt - HOT Batgirl
Black Shirt - Cool Batkids
Now you know your local crime fighters.
Friday, August 13, 2010
1 Peter 2: 9-10 says, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy."
What makes a "church" lifeless, dull, and empty?
Some say it is the music. Some say it is the speaker. Some say it's just because the Holy Spirit isn't there.
Then you have some nut saying it is because they painted the walls brown instead of yellow (don't be that guy).
All but the last seem pretty reasonable, but music doesn't save anyone and the speaker doesn't save anyone.
If the building is full of believers seeking God, the Holy Spirit should be there, right?
That is where my question lies.
I don't want to step on toes, but I believe that if your desire is for a vibrant church fellowship, you have to decide who does the choosing.
"But you ARE a CHOSEN people. . ."
The question is WHO chose them?
If it is a lifeless (not necessarily small, just dead) church, the people are probably doing the choosing. Choosing not to sing, choosing not to pray for each other, choosing not to help the poor, the orphan, the widow. You get my point.
In a vibrant, live (not necessarily big, just truly alive) church, God has chosen a people who were not a people. God has chosen a people to show His mercy, His love, His grace. When God chose you to step from darkness to light. BOOM! You became alive and your church should too.
If God chooses, the church is alive. If man chooses, the church is as good as dead.
If you are chosen, belonging to God, you can declare His praises today and your church fellowship will never be the same.
If I am wrong about this, still, don't be the crazy guy fussing about paint color.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Last week, we decided to make freckled lemonade. The boys and I bought some lemons and strawberries. Caleb and Isaiah used their super strength to roll the lemons and make them nice and juicy. We added the strawberries, sugar and water and it was done. They did a terrific job. In fact, it was so good we hardly had any left the next day.
Can you look at Isaiah and tell the lemonade had sugar in it?
Friday, August 6, 2010
I have been pondering this question:
Do I have enough faith to fail?
In this life, people are evaluated on their ability to accomplish great things. Some fail and some succeed, but even those that have great accomplishments are not satisfied for long. There is always a thirst for even more.
Our desire to fulfill the purpose of our lives IS a gift from God, but sin has twisted us so dramatically that we put ourselves on the pedestal and our desire for purpose is really a self centered lust for a trophy in our honor.
But when we come to Christ, all of that should change. We should embrace a spiritual philosophy that sits counter to the ways of the world. Contrary to the prosperity gospel, success for the believer, should be opposite of that of the world.
Luke 9:24 says, "For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it."
When Jesus died, it seemed He was a discredited, rejected failure while the wealthy and successful ordered Him to the cross. It took three days to show them that the magnificent Creator was the victorious one and the governor had utterly failed.
Have we still not learned any lessons? Does the "church" measure success according to man or God?
It has been said that no man is worthy to succeed until he is willing to fail.
Our exceeding joy is to be found in being just like Jesus was and is.
One day Jesus will show all who won and who lost.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
Have you ever wondered why prayer is one of the most difficult disciplines for believers when it should be the easiest?
I believe that this could be the key: Legalism is the enemy of God.
Legalism is strictly adhering to the letter of the law (the rules) rather than the spirit. Basically, the idea that if I follow all the rules, God will like me and do what I want Him to do.
Many of our brains are so wrapped up in what prayer "should" sound like (the rules of prayer) that we just get bored with it and feel like we are wasting our time.
It has to start with "Dear Heavenly Father" and end with "In Jesus Name" and we have to put a lot of spiritual phrases in like "lead, guide, and direct" or "yea, though thou theeist the thou."
There is nothing wrong with any of that, but how many of your kids talk to you like that?
Again, legalism is the enemy of God.
Luke 11:9-13 says,"And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
God tells us to come like a child.
The REAL messy you with all your junk and with all the wrong things to say and with all the bad attitudes needs to, no, has to meet the REAL God in a REAL way.
Legalism says clean your self up, get on your knees, say the right things, and your prayer life will be awesome.
I say you will never be able to clean your self, you will never be submitted enough, you can't say the right things, because legalism and false words only bring death.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Lately, I've been thinking about temptation.
Isn't it amazing that the Son of God was tempted? The one through whom all things were created. The one whose very food was to do the will of the Father. God in the flesh. The Father's spittin' image as we say in the south.
He was taken to the wilderness and tempted like us. We may not be as strong as Jesus, but, should we expect less temptation than what He faced?
Many of us believe that the answer is yes, but I am not so sure. Temptation is all around us and we act as if we are invincible or worse act as if temptation doesn't exist.
At this moment, you may feel like you have the glow of the Holy Spirit on your face, but the minute you let your guard down. . . the lion starts to roar and you give into temptations.
At this moment, you may feel that you are on fire with the love of Jesus, but if you don't allow God to keep putting logs on the fire. . . Satan will bring your temperature down to around lukewarm and we give into the temptation of just getting by.
As believers, we must stand and protect our hearts and minds. We need to allow God to continually fill us with the Holy Spirit and continually allow God to stoke the fire of Jesus in our lives so we don't become lazy and complacent.
Lastly, if we are to walk out of the wilderness victoriously (like Jesus) we have to be warriors and sleep with our helmets on.
Friday, July 16, 2010
I thought that was pretty funny, but when he told me that I jotted it down in my phone. Later, I started thinking that this statement of immaturity and mediocrity paralleled the members of most congregations.
We want God to bless us enough so we don't quit and we do just enough to feel like we won't get fired.
If God gives us what we want like the great vending machine in the sky, we won't pout or fuss. And if God tells us what we want to hear like a good little god, we won't whine or complain.
In response we give only 10% (if that much is not an inconvenience), we bring our Bibles to church on Sunday (if we can find them), we pray sometimes (if we get into enough trouble), all so we can feel like we have some "fire insurance."
1 Cor 13: 11 reads, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”
If we are really going to follow Christ with all of our hearts, minds, souls and strength, it really is time to grow up.
My prayer for the church and myself is that we would remain childlike, but stop being childish.
Friday, July 9, 2010
I like the way this version reads a lot.
When under pressure, I tend not to thank God for difficult circumstances, but it is a great gift for our growth and maturity.
I would dare say I am not alone, most of us need to man up, grow up, and let our faith show up.
The gift is showing us our true colors. . .
What color is your faith? Cowardly yellow, Wimpy pale pink, Misguided Duke blue (had to do it)? Or is it Calvary's Red, Heavenly Gold, or Snow white?
Our God is huge and He is alive and He loves you. If you see Him as the sovereign Lord of creation, all of the tests and challenges of this life are His gifts to strengthen and force us to grow up.
So, stop whining while calling it prayer and seek God in faith. Try thanking Him for tough situations. Try and walk out a mature Christian faith.
You may just start seeing your colors changing.
Monday, July 5, 2010
After the pool, we let the boys have a couple of ice pops. Isaiah has a huge sweet tooth. He loves them. Caleb and Isaiah are taking swim classes at UNCP. Isaiah loves to go under water and Caleb is learning to swim and is doing a great job. Today, Caleb was moved up to the bigger class. We are really proud of them both.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Last Sunday, my grandfather preached his last sermon as Pastor of New Center Baptist Church.
Grandpa (Pa) is 87 years old and he has been the pastor of this church for the last 24 years. We were talking yesterday about his time in ministry and he told me that he became a pastor when he was 27 years old. Sixty years as a pastor.
Pa preached many sermons over his lifetime. Sunday mornings behind a pulpit are probably the most comfortable times in his life.
Matthew 5:16 says, "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
He was and is a great pastor that has preached many great sermons, but the Sunday morning services will never compare with the sermon he has and will continue to preach with his life.
He is a tremendous pastor, wonderful husband, great father, and an amazing man.
For that I praise my Father in heaven.
"Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
Friday, June 25, 2010
Amanda had to do all this on her own because I was working 9 to 6.
When I got home around 6:30, the boys were still there. Amanda had given them a choice to go to VBS or spend some time with Daddy.
The boys chose Daddy time over friends, food, fun (even though I am quite the life of the party).
In Luke 6:12 it reads, "One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God."
Jesus' life was pretty chaotic and hectic. Pharisees, healing the sick, raising the dead, bringing the Kingdom of God. A little more complicated than filling prescriptions and mopping floors.
But in all the chaos, He never forgot to choose Daddy time.
He desired it, He needed, He lived for it, He depended on it.
Can we say the same?
Friday, June 18, 2010
Every year about this time, I start thinking of the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15. This is a great story and image of the love God has for us and the love earthly Fathers should show their children.
Luke 15:20 says, "But when he (the son) was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him."
The son who disconnected from the father, wasted everything, played with pigs, comes to his senses and decides to start back home.
Even though the son was far away, the Father ran.
He didn't wait for an apology or for his kid to get cleaned up, he ran.
I can imagine the old man hiking up his robe and with the most excitedly, undignified run imaginable, he takes off and grabs hold of his son (still stinking from the pig pen) and hugs the fool out of him.
We have an amazing Father that loves us like that.
But do we as earthly fathers love our children in that same way?
Many of todays children have yet to see their fathers running and have chosen to walk down a different road.
I would encourage all fathers and mothers to RUN.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Just thinking about this.
Romans 1:24-25 says, "Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen."
In these verses, whether they like it or not, everybody is worshiping.
We will worship something or someone because you and I are worshipers. It is what we do. We can't help it. We can't stop it.
Every day, there is a battle for our worship.
Money, entertainment, food, alcohol, sports, sex, popularity, the list goes on and on. . .
We call them addictions, but really it is a worship problem. We have chosen to run to these other things to meet our needs and desires rather than the Creator who is blessed forever and ever.
We may not be able to stop worshiping, but we can choose to make our worship count for today and for eternity.
Friday, June 4, 2010
This is a very familiar passage. Unfortunately, many Believers don't practice the directive.
We take way too lightly our enemy and worse, our God. If we didn't, we would value His Word more.
If you look at the armor, it is not just the sword that deals with the Word.
The whole armor is based on the Word and the Word become flesh.
You learn truth through the Word.
You build righteousness through the Word.
You grow faith through the Word.
You understand the gospel through the Word.
You experience salvation through the Word.
Luther said, "Satan hates goose quills!"
I believe it because the Word has definitely done much damage to his kingdom.
But, if you don't know the Word, Satan will do much damage to you.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Over the holiday weekend, Amanda and I took the boys to Chapel Hill to see where Mommy and Daddy went to school. We walked around the Arboretum, ate on Franklin Street and visited the Old Well.
While on Franklin Street, Caleb said, "Daddy, I want anything with Carolina on it. I love Carolina!"
I said, "How can I resist?" I bought them a shirt and a hat before the Old Well.
All I can say is GO HEELS!!!!!
Friday, May 28, 2010
If you are reluctant to forgive others, you are out of sync with God's character. And if you are out of sync with God's character your prayers are not going to be consistent with God's purposes for your life and this world.
Here is where my focus gets a little foggy.
When I am in a tough relationship with someone, sometimes I think Satan's warfare against me focuses on my relationship with the person.
But that really is a secondary problem. If he can cause bitterness or resentment in our hearts (no matter who is right), Satan hinders our relationship with God. This is what he is after.
Satan's desire is to destroy our relationship with God, regardless of the collateral damage.
Don't let Satan win, live a life of forgiveness.
Friday, May 21, 2010
For example, we don't talk about the Virgin Mary very much (except Christmas) because Catholicism has placed so much emphasis on her life. Even though she was a great example of faith.
We don't talk a lot about works because we don't want people to get the idea that we are saved by works thanks to many other religions. Even though our works show our faith.
And we don't talk about the law of God because we don't want to be involved with legalism.
I ran across a curious passage in Proverbs.
Proverbs 22: 28 says, "Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your forefathers."
We shouldn't shy away from anything in scripture, but, especially the law of God.
The law of God is a mirror for us to see our sin. It is a restrainer to help guide us. It is a schoolmaster leading us to salvation.
The law of God is an ancient boundary stone that we would like to move sometimes, but nothing can humble us like looking into the holy character of God through the law.
Remember, Proverbs 19:7 says, "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul."
Nothing will bring us to our knees before God like seeing who we are before a HOLY HOLY HOLY God.
Don't move the stones.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Isaiah loved the jacuzzi on the beach. Caleb thought it was so so. On the way to dinner one night, Caleb found a little coconut. It was his new best friend and the boys fought over it. They took a quick picture for Daddy in the beach hut, but the coconut had to be in the photo.