Pastor’s Blog

2 Tim 2:15-16, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”

I watched a TV show once that featured a number of guests who considered themselves to be “the lost tribe of Israel.” They were difficult to listen to because they were so harsh and abrasive. However, they were absolutely convinced what they believed was true. Apart from their beliefs, one thing I was amazed at was their command of Scripture. They knew the Scripture forwards and backwards. What alarmed me was the audience…the audience would try to refute the guest’s interpretations, but were unable to do so because they did not know the Word. The “leader” of the group would ask the guest in response to a counter argument, “Where is that in the Scripture?” The audience member would reply, “Well, I know it’s in there someplace.” The “leader” would then reply, “Sit down and shut up. You’re not qualified to speak.” Arrogant? Yup. Abrasive? Yup. But in reality, the man made a good point…how well do we know the Scripture? Would we be able to defend our faith from the Scripture? Would we be able to share Christ effectively? Is reading the Word an important part of the day? Or is it something that we do “whenever we get around to it?” if we get around to it at all…Moses wrote these words, “Observe carefully all the words of this law (Word of God); these are not idle Words, but your very life!” (Deut 32:47). Have you read the Word today? Is it your life?

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“Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” (John 5:19).

Dads, this is a sobering thought…if Jesus, the Holy One, the very begotten Son of God patterned His life after His Father, and did what His Father did, then how much more we as earthly father and our children? We as dads have an incredible opportunity, a frightening responsibility and a labor of love before us to raise our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. We need to train them in the way of the Lord. Listen, if we don’t teach them, someone else will, and we might not like what they learn. We need to teach them how to combat and overcome temptation. We need to teach them respect, the benefits of work, how to treat others….and listen, if we choose to make church a lesser priority, don’t be surprised if they don’t value church either! Our children will do what they see us doing. What life lessons will you give them? How will you equip them for the future? God is calling to you and to your children. How will you respond? God is faithful; let us be found faithful as well!

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Church family…tonight will be a special time of fasting and prayer. Join me at the church at 7:30 pm and other pastors around the city, our state, and even the nation as we fast (turn off TV, FB, computers, cell phones, etc) and seek the Lord’s will. Some have asked me what shall we pray about…pray in this way…

-forgiveness of sin (1 John 1:9)
-personal holiness and consecration (Eph 4:1-3, 5:1; Jer 18:1-7)
-for those who are spiritually unresolved ( Eze 33:1-7; Prov 11:30)
-our churches (Matt 16:18; Eph 1:22)
-church leaders (Rom 16:30)
-God’s sovereignty, will and direction in our churches ((Mt. 6:10)
-elected officials (1 Tim 2:1-2; Heb 13:17)
-our nation (2 Chron 7:14)
-Nation of Israel (Ps 122:6)
-our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world

Our churches have grown lethargic. Pray that God will awaken His people. We needs be about the business of bringing others to Christ. Many of our elected officials are corrupt, and those who still hold strong values are being persecuted. Our nation is divided, embracing unholy and ungodly values. Israel is under attack from all sides. Our brothers and sisters around the world are under the constant threat of death. No political party, no campaign promise, no government, no amount of money is able to do what only God is able to do. We need to seek Him with all hearts, forsaking all that distracts us, and pray as if our very lives depend upon it…it might! He is faithful; let us be found faithful as well.

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Some things I am (still) learning about prayer…

-Prayer is hard work. I understand what Paul must have meant when he wrote the he “struggles” in prayer. It is hard sometimes. It requires discipline, focus and time (something I am sure we all are short of).

-There are times I really don’t know what to pray about, or how. Somethings I have started doing are: reading the Scripture very slowly…there are always concepts, principles or ideas that give me an opportunity for a prayerful dialogue. Another thing is to read a devotional, or a commentary…this is not to replace the Scripture, but to raise awareness, give n understanding of the Scripture, again to give impetus for prayerful dialogue. (caution…a commentary is a great tool, but it never replaces Scriptures. And, it is only man’s interpretation and is subject to error. Scripture always interprets Scripture!)

-Use an older version of a hymn book. Some of the older hymns have great theology contained within them (something many of the new choruses lack). These hymns, written by folks whose hearts were on fire for Christ give me new understanding and new ways of speaking. Oh that my heart burned so…

-I still have a tendency to try and do all the talking during prayer. Prayer is a dialogue with the Father, not a monologue on my part. I have to learn to listen to Him as well. IF as I make my requests, I am listening as well, the Holy Spirit will give me how to pray, and If I listen well, God will answer my requests…an impression, a scripture, a course of action…

-Prayer is absolutely vital to the life of a follower of Christ. Without it we are lost, directionless, weak and powerless.

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My fellas are in the kitchen washing dishes…listening to them discuss their bible studies from Sunday morning. They are even discussing the pastor’s sermons! Once in a while they sing the praise songs they have learned…Parents, don’t think for a moment that your kids aren’t hearing the things you teach them. Many times, mine look like they are bored to tears, but they are in fact getting it! Teach them faithfully. You will see results.

Deut 6:6-9, “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”