Monday, July 30, 2007

It's Okay To Say, "I Don't Know."

When it comes to our lives as Christians, and especially as ministers, people think we have all the answers to the questions that they have about God and life.
I do believe scripture tells us we should give an answer to why we are Christians. I think we should give an answer to why we have faith in Jesus Christ; because of hope of eternal life.
As a young minister I thought I had to have an answer for every question that was asked. I would shoot off a cliche, scripture that was out of context thinking that it might sound like I knew what I was talking about. "All things work together for good...,"etc.
I now know that it is okay to say, "I don't know." Sometimes it is even more helpful and beneficial to the individual to say, "I don't know." God knows all things. Man on the other hand...
We must be humble enough to admit what we do not understand and good enough ministers to say, "Let me look that up and I'll let you know what I find." Isaiah 55:8-9 says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." May Christians and especially ministers be humble enough to say, "I don't know."

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Going To The Extreme

Ecclesiastes 7:15-18 "In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these:
a righteous man perishing in his righeousness, and wicked man living long in his wickedness.
Do not be overrighteous,
neither be overwise-
why destroy yourself?
Do not be overwicked,
and do not be a fool-
why die before your time?
It is good to grasp the one
and not let go of the other.
The man who fears God will avoid all extremes."

What do you think of this passage?
Share your thoughts?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Uniformity and Unity

It is easy for us as Christians to confuse uniformity as unity. We go to church and we dress the same. The order of worship is the same (traditional churches (2 songs prayer etc) progressive churches 5 songs standing, prayer, etc). The uniformity of everyone thinks the way I do or else. We must as Christians understand that there is a difference. People in our churches come from different back grounds, different family make-ups, conversion experiences (some raised in the church, some not, some switching faith traditions, others no religious backgrounds at all). We need to understand that their differences in our churches that have different political views. So, with so many differences what makes the church united? Love?

Why does uniformity different than unity? How are they different? How can uniformity damage unity in the Church? What are we to be united about as Christians? What was Jesus prayer in John 17 was a it a prayer of uniformity or unity? Why would Jesus pray for unity? Why was it so import for Jesus to pray for unity before he went to the cross? Do you see more people striving for uniformity or unity in the Churches of Christ today? What do you going on in the church you attend? Will unity ever be possible? Why or Why not? How does it effect the world when there is not unity in the Church in a town, whether it be big or small? Do bigger towns strive for unity with each other? Meet together? Fellowship with each other? How does it effect a small town when there is no unity in the Church? I know I asked alot of questions again; discuss what you like.

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

Monday, July 16, 2007

I Thank God For An Injured Opossum In Our Church Building

I believe God provides doors of opportunity every day for us to share the good news with others if we seek the doors he provides. Sometimes the doors that he opens are so strange.
The story that I am about to share with you is the door that God opened this morning for me. I went over to the office. I opened the door of the church building and noticed that one of the tiles had fallen through and an animal was curled up in the corner on the floor. I didn't know what it was at first. Being from the "big city" of Abilene, I knew the animal was wild and could possibly have rabies.
I called a man from our congregation, who called the city public works director who is a member of our church and does animal control. He came over to the building. He had with him a girl who was working a summer job and asking some questions about Jesus. She told me that she used to be Catholic, and was attending a Pentecostal church in town. A woman was coming through town claiming to be a prophet who had died and rose from the dead on the 3rd day.
The girl said the prophetess was going to tell the future about her life. I told the girl that I can tell you about a God who loves you more than you can begin to imagine. A real prophet named Jeremiah that tells us in his book that God wants "to prosper you, to give you a hope, and future." I had a good discussion with the girl about Jesus Christ, gave her an NIV Bible, and gave her some scriptures to read about false prophets.
She is a very smart girl, top of her class, NHS, etc. I told her to read the red letters of Jesus. I told her to think for herself and to read the passages I gave her. I invited her to church any time she would like to come she was welcome.
Later during his lunch break, the man from the city came over. He said, she was really thinking about Jesus Christ and was excited about the Bible I gave her.

I thank God for the opossum in our church building today. Have you ever seen strange doors of opportunity open before your eyes? Do you look for those doors of opportunity? Do we look so long at what we think might be the right kind of door that we miss the door right in front of us?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Physical Health or Spiritual Health

Do people focus on physical health more than spiritual health? Why? or Why not? If our soul lives for eternity why aren't more people concerned about the spiritual? Asking more questions? Seeking answers? Why aren't churches full if people aren't concerned about the after-life? What do you think, should we be reminding the world that their is a hell? If so, how should it be done? Should we more focused on the spiritual and see people as souls? Should study and preach more about the supernatural (spiritual warfare, angels, demons, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit).

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Good Report

I had a good report yesterday at the neurologist. My reflexes in my legs are back and he has put me on a high dosage of vitamin b 12 to help with my nerves. The pain that I have been having in my feet have been a good sign as my nerves have been rejuvenating and healing themselves. I have may have more pain for a while and more migraines but that is just a part of the healing process. I praise God for what He has done in my life so far and what I know he will continue to do. I want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers. Please continue to keeep me in your prayers as I continue to have pain and migraines. Please continue to pray for a quick recovery. Today I am remind of Psalm 103 which was quoted to me in the hospital.

Psalm 103: 1-5 "Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."

Monday, July 09, 2007

Are There Topics That We Are Afraid To Preach?

In Galatians 1:10 Paul says, "Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." He tells his young apprentice Timothy in his letter to him in 1 Timothy 4:12-ff "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come; devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you." In his 2nd Letter to Timothy Chapter 4: 1b-ff "I give you this charge: Preach the Word: be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead , to suit their own desires , they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardships, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry."

The questions for discussions: Are there some issues we avoid as ministers? If so which ones? Why? or Why not? What would you consider sound doctrine? Has what the Church of Christ considers sound doctrine changed over time? Why? Has your view of sound doctrine changed over time, too? If so why? If not, why not? What should be our guide for sound doctrine? Are Churches hiring preachers to preach topics on what they want to hear? What happens when sound doctrine isn't preached in the Church? What happens to Christians too? As ministers, how are our lives and our doctrine closely related? What are myths that teachers might teach? Do we hear myths today? What are they? As ministers how do we keep our head above all situations, endure hardships, do the work of evangelists, and discharge all the duties of our ministries? Have you had the elders lay their hands on you pray a blessing over you and your ministry? If so, how did it feel? Should it be practiced today?

I know I asked a lot of questions that we can discuss. You can pick any of the of questions that I have asked regarding these passages. I hope this will be a great discussion for us all.

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Power of God's Word

We have the word of God with us at all times. The Bible. Scripture. How amazing! How wonderful! We can read it anytime. We can meditate on it any hour. In doing so strengthens us. Builds us up in our relationship with the Almighty God. It reminds us of who we are in Christ Jesus. Helps us live the Christian life. Enables us to live an abundant life in a sinful world. Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Paul tell the young minister Timothy in his second letter to him in chapter 3:16 "All Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

As I was in the hospital and going through physical therapy I would think and meditate on a passage of scripture to get me through. As I lay in ICU I prayed the passage. As I was going through physical therapy and took steps I would re sight it in my mind. It was also the first thing that I wrote down on a paper for occupational therapy. The passage was Philippians 4:13 "I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

What passage of scripture has gotten you through tough times? How have you seen it in your life? What is you favorite passage? Why?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.