Showing posts from June, 2014

Obedience, not Negotiation

There seems to be a rising consensus in religious circles today that certain parts of the Bible are up for negotiation.Of course this is in perfect alignment with the idea that there are no absolutes.The concept of the Ten Commandments as only suggestions that God made and that they are open for negotiation is gradually eroding the church today.Already whole denominations have opted to scratch out Biblical admonitions regarding marriage, sexual behavior, divorce and abortion under the guise of being “inclusive”.Anyone who stands on Biblical foundations is quickly labeled as “intolerant”. The reality is that when we begin to think that we have a better, more enlightened idea than what God put forth in scripture, we have moved into the realm of idolatry.  We have set ourselves up as god, at least on a level with if not elevated above the God of the Bible.  We are not the first of created beings to do this.  It all began with Lucifer and his 5 fold declaration in Isaiah.
Isaiah 14
12   Shin…

Monday Musings...

Monday is always tough for pastors.  Replays of the Sunday sermons run through their (at least my) head.  Woulda, coulda, shoulda is the thought process.  However, life goes on (interesting title for a blog) and the focus must turn to next Sunday's messages.  The truth of the matter is that there is no score card so far as God is concerned.  There are no stats (decisions recorded, points made, etc.) in God's play book. Yesterday is gone.  I can't change it, but I can learn from it.  I can decide to be better prepared spiritually and from the standpoint of preparation next week.  I can re-order my priorities so that I give adequate time to study and preparation.  Whatever I do, it must be in the "now".  Planning is wonderful, but the greatest plan in the world is of no use unless it is implemented moment by moment, step by step.  This applies to every area of life.
An example is establishing a healthy lifestyle of eating and exercise.  I ate a healthy breakfast th…

What I Learned in Vacation Bible School This Year

This year our church resumed VBS for the first time in about 10 years or so.  It was an amazing week.  We enlisted leaders without a clue as to how many children to expect.  God orchestrated everything beautifully.  Here is a list of things I learned. ·It makes no difference how old your workers are.If they love Jesus and kids, they will do well.·There is no such thing as too small a group.Quality time with a few kids can change lives for eternity.·The old adage, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care” is really true, especially with kids.·There will always be a few who will find something to gripe about even when things are going well.·I can’t do my job well if I’m busy criticizing how someone else is doing their job.·Seeds sown during VBS need to be tended with prayer and follow-up until God gives the increase.·VBS doesn’t end, it just extends.

At age 75 I’m still learning.  I recognize that I’ll never get too old to “Discover, Decide and Defend” so …

The Closer; a Book Review

I was given the book The Closer by Mariano Rivera with Wayne Coffey for review by the B&B Media Group.
What a delightful read!  I felt that I was sitting with Mariano Rivera listening to him reminisce about his baseball career with the New York Yankees.  Though not a Yankee fan, I was almost persuaded to become one.  Mariano's experiences from his home in Puerto Caimito, Panama all the way to the Big Apple are relayed in mesmerizing fashion.  I often felt I was sitting in the bull pen with him as he awaited the inevitable call from the manager to get ready to enter the game.  I learned that closers did not start the game in the bull pen, but usually showed up there around the fifth inning.
The story of how his faith developed as his career progressed is equally captivating.  The simple belief that he was where God had put him and for a specific purpose is something that any reader can benefit from.  There is even a touch of the mystic in how his signature pitch, the cut, appea…

Discipling from the Pulpit

I am a Pastor-Teacher-Shepherd.  I see my call as to make disciples as I go about my normal traffic pattern of life.  As a Pastor/Shepherd I visit, encourage and pray for my people wherever they are and whatever their need.  As a Teacher I speak from the pulpit two times each week with the goal being to "teach them to observe" all that I've been commanded.  I teach (vs preach) chapter by chapter and verse by verse.
It is as important for me to see spiritual growth happening in the lives of my people as it is to see new believers being ushered into the kingdom.  After all, the Great Commission specifically says, "go and make disciples" not "go and make converts".  This is not to say that evangelism is not important; it is vital as one of the commands that is to be "observed".  The question then is how can spiritual growth be quantified?  Here are a few ways that I evaluate the spiritual growth of my people.

Are people seeking, discovering and d…