Thursday, August 30, 2007

Songs of Worship

I think about songs that we sings in church both "traditional" (older) and "contemporary"(newer); I am always up lifted and drawn closer to God. I sing the song whether it be traditional or contemporary. When leading singing I lead both equally contemporary and traditional. As we enter worship on Sunday mornings I try to get our congregation focus on God the One reason in which we come. Yes, as I (the Christian) worship God, I get uplifted, encouraged, strengthen, challenged in my faith and relationship with God; but the focus is on God. He is the One we are giving our praise. In some churches, I am glad that it doesn't happen at our Church, but some I have visited; Christians refuse to sing newer songs. Why? Is it the right attitude to have? If you think about it, "Amazing Grace"; "The Old Rugged Cross"; and "How Great Thou Art" where once new songs. We must have the right heart and attitude when we worship the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We must remember that it is not about us. It is about God and His Son Jesus Christ who died and rose on the third day so that we might have life abundantly.

What song do you like to sing to God? What is your favorite song? Is there a song that you remember as a child that has influenced your life and relationship with God? What is your favorite traditional song? What is your favorite contemporary song? Is there a song that you like to be sung before the Lord's supper, if so, what is it? Is there a song that touched your heart and made you think about becoming a Christian? What invitation song did you respond to the Lord?

What do you think?
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Monday, August 27, 2007

The Power You Have In Christ

Have you ever just thought about who you are in Christ Jesus and the power that you have in Christ?
Consider these scriptures:
2 Timothy 2:7 "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but of power, of love and of self-discipline."
Philippians 4:13 "I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
1 John 4:4, "You, dear children, are from God and have over come them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."
Romans 8:37-39 "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Do we understand that God is for us? We have the Holy Spirit living within us to help us in life. How does the Holy Spirit living within us give us not a spirit of timidity but of power, love and self-discipline? How does it give us the strength we need in times of trouble? How does it feel to know that God has made us more than conquerors? How does it feel knowing that you have something within you that his greater than he who is in the world? How should that make us feel as Christians? The Church?

What do you think?
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Monday, August 20, 2007

The Benefits of Pain

I haven't posted in a while because I have been in a lot of pain. The pain some nights has been so severe that the hardest medications don't work. I went to the neurologist and he told me that the pain was good. "Good pain?" I thought. What can be good about pain? He told me that the pain was a sign of my nerves regenerating themselves. It was a sign that something good was happening to my body. One night at 3 a.m. I was in so much pain in my legs and feet that I was crying and my wife was rubbing them. She was searching in desperation and longing for something to do to ease my body from the torment I was in. I had to keep thinking in my mind that it was good pain. Over the next few days I experienced fatigue. I rested. The pain was finally tolerable and I slept; my body getting the rest that it needed.

I then thought of the spiritual connection of pain. We all experience pain in our lives in one form or another. As Christians we suffer because of our faith. It comes in many different forms and ways. The pain my seem severe at times. It may keep you up at night and have the ones you love longing for ways that they can help. But listen to me, it is good pain. Good pain? What do you mean good pain? The pains that we go through in life strengthen our faith and relationship with God. It renews. It restores. It refreshes; strengthens us. Listen to what God says about suffering and hardships:

1 Peter 4:12-16;19 "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trials you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even a meddler. However if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful creator and continue to do good."(NIV)
James 1:2-3;12 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers when you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete lacking nothing. Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." (NIV)
2 Corinthians 1:3-ff, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; and we are comforted, it is your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer." (NIV)

So going through painful circumstances in life can help us grow in our relationship with Christ. Have you experienced pain lately? How has it affected your life? Has it made you closer to God? Why or why not? Do you pray and lean on God when you face painful situations in life? Why or why not? What happens to a person when they don't learn that pain in life is something good spiritually? How does pain strengthen our faith? Our relationship with God? What would happen if we never did experience pain in life? What would life be like? When you see your brother or sister in Christ suffering is there anything you can do to help them? Do Christians do that today in the Church? Should they?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Entertaining Angels

Hebrews 13: 2 says, "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing people have entertained angels without knowing it." I remember one time when I was in Kansas a man came by the church needing some clothes and a meal. We had a clothes ministry and gave him clothes and I went down and got him some KFC and visited for a while. We had a wonderful visit. My wife was church secretary at the time and I was youth minister and were between ministers. He gave me and my wife encouragement that we really needed to hear at the time. After a long visit and done with his warm meal; he said he had to be on his way. I always gave Bibles away to those who came by the church so I went to my office to give him a Bible for his journey. When I returned he was gone. No cars had been in the parking lot to pick him up, a field of wheat was the only thing for a quite a while. He was there and then gone.
Have you ever thought you might have entertained an angel? Do you want to share your story? Do you think we still entertain angels do today? Why or why not? Should we as Christians be more generous to others because strangers could be an angel? What if the angels reported to God that we are were generous or not? Should we as a Church as a whole be more benevolent? Can angels check to see if churches to see if they are generous or not? Should this passage change the way we are towards those in need and practice hospitality?

What do you think?
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Monday, August 06, 2007

Walking With God

I truly believe that life is about God. God created us to have a relationship with Him. Yes, he gave us a choice. I read in a book by Max Lucado but it is a common thought that many of us share, "love is only love if chosen". So, God created man to choose to love Him, to have a relationship with Him. One of my favorite people in the Bible is a man by the name Enoch. Enoch chose to have that relationship with God. Enoch is has shown me in the text what it is like to really walk with with God more than anything else in life. Gen 5: 21-ff "Enoch had lived 65 years , he become the father of Methuselah. And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away." Enoch is talked about in Hebrews 11:5-6 "By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."

God wants us as Christians to walk with Him every day. Talk with Him, praise God for who He is, what he has done in your life, share with him how you feel, what you need, what you want. God cares about you. 1 John 1: 7 says If we walk in the light as he (God is in the light), we have fellowship with one another (his people) and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." Galatians 5:25 tells us, "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."

Let us as Christians walk as Enoch did. May we enjoy our God. May we know him personally and seek his will in every aspect of our life: work, family, play, hobbies. God wants to bless our lives more than anything. He wants to give us life abundantly here on earth. Listen to this promise for your life in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you, " declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Praise God that He allows us to walk with Him now and on into eternity.

God, may I have the faith of Enoch and walk with you each day. Amen.

What do you think?
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Saturday, August 04, 2007

I've Been Tagged By Terry Laudett

The rules are you tell eight interesting things about yourself and tag eight other people and have them share eight things about themselves.

1. I have had GBS twice in my life once when I was five and again this past year. The first time I had it I almost died. This time they had medical treatment for the disease. It is very rare for a person to get diagnosed twice in life.

2. When I was a junior in high school, I almost died of carbon monoxide poisoning. It was a cold night and the heater in our house broke. It was a Saturday night. If we had not been Christians and not woke up to go to Church on Sunday, the fire department said just a another hour or so and we all would have been dead.

3. I grew up in Abilene and went to graduated from Lubbock Christian University. I really enjoyed living in Lubbock. We lived in an apartment right across from Day Break Coffee Co. & you could open the windows and smell the beans roasting.

4. Next to God, family, ministry, I love coffee. I am what you call, "a coffee conisueor".

5. The latest book I read was last night. It was "Green Eggs & Ham" by Dr. Suess. The boys love that book.

6. As I sip on a cup of coffee, I cherish each day that God gives me. The time that I have with family, making it the best experience with them that I possibly can. Relaxing. Taking one day at a time. Teaching my children the things I want them to learn and making my wife understand how much I love and appreciate her. The time I have with the Church, in sermon preparation, I cherish every passage. I mediate pray and think how it might apply to the lives of those in whom I am teaching and preaching. In Blogging, I try to getting others to think about their faith and letting others know just how much God wants to have that relationship with them. Everyday is a gift.

7. My favorite book is the Bible. My favorite book in the Bible is 1 John. My favorite person in the Bible is Enoch.

8. I would like to see books written by and speakers at lectureships like: Trey Morgan, Matt Dabbs, Darin Hamm, Wade Tannehill, Josh, Alan, and others. I think from your blogs you have alot of great thoughts that could be great books and lectures.

I tag: Darin Hamm, Wade Tannehill, Josh, Alan, Laymond, Don Neyland, and whoever else wants to be tagged who reads my blog. I in school never really liked the game tag because I was so slow but this is kind of different.

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Friday, August 03, 2007

It's My Spiritual Birthday

I become a Christian on August 3, 1986. I am 21 years old in Christ. I am going to celebrate today by reading and feasting on His word, being with my family, praying and giving God thanks for all that He has done throughout all the many years. Do you remember the day you became a Christian? Who was there? What it was like? Do you celebrate the day you were born again?

What do you think?
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