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Showing posts from 2018

The Changes in Lifestyle

Last Friday I had a heart cath.  One stent was inserted.  Got out of the hospital on Saturday, went to church on Sunday and experienced another dizziness episode on Sunday afternoon.  Slowly it is dawning on me that I can't resume life as usual.  Something has to change if I am going to function.  I have to believe that God has a plan.  He was not taken off-guard by my heart issues.  For some reason I'm still here.  My challenge is to discover a way to function that is in keeping with my current physical condition.  Some of the things that come to mind are:1.  Rest more 2.  Eat better 3.  Prioritize.  Do what only I can do and delegate the rest. 4.  Exercise by slowly building up stamina thru walking.
That being assumed, I am now seeking to find people in my church who will take on some of my current load.  I'm thinking of the Acts 6:4 plan.   "But we will devote ourselve to prayer and to the ministry of the word." If I can delegate pastoral ministry such as visiting h…

Being Thankful is a Choice

We base too much emphasis on emotions.  At least that is my observation.  I hear people say, "I just don't feel like..." whatever.  A much more dependable part of life is WILL.  I can choose to do things that I don't FEEL like doing.
During the week of Thanksgiving, I want to encourage you to CHOOSE to give thanks whether you feel like it or not.  As you persist in doing this, you will find your feelings begin to come around.  I read somewhere recently a question..."What if God gave you today only what you thanked Him for yesterday?  Food for thought.
The Bible even calls thanksgiving a SACRIFICE.  That means that it costs you something.  You can do it regardless of how you feel.  The reward for that choice may be delayed but is definite.  Thankful people enjoy better health.  Thankful people have more friends.  Thankful people are more productive.
So here's the challenge.  Everyday for the next month begin and end your day with thanksgiving.  When you awake…

Gleanings from the Kavanagh Debacle

Quite likely you are as sick of the proceedings in Washington as I am.  However, we should pause and reflect on what the words, actions and vitriol of the elected officials mean to the man on the street.  I read somewhere a quote "In a democracy we get the government we deserve." (Alexis De Toqueville)
Simply put that means the we elect them so we are responsible for their being in office.  If you vote for a person simply because they are in the party you prefer without checking into their personal stance on issues, then you should not be disappointed with their biases.  The reality is that those in office reflect the biases of their constituents.
One very sad result of the confirmation hearing is that our elected leaders have reversed a time-honored truth in America.  In the past we lived by the mantra "innocent until proven guilty".  Those opposing the confirmation have taken the approach that Judge Kavanagh is guilty unless and until proven innocent.  If that mi…

Back Story

Everyone has a back story.  That is a story of some event or incident in the past that shapes how a person is in the present.  We find back stories in the Bible.  Joseph's back story included being sold by his brothers into slavery, being falsely accused by his boss's wife, having someone he helped while in prison forget about him once they are out, etc.  You get the picture.  Somewhere along the line Joseph realized that God was the author of all that happened to him and he accepted it.  Not everyone figures that out though.  Paul had an enormous back story.  Can you imagine him showing up to preach, teach or start a church and his reputation preceding him there?  Somehow he was able to overcome his lurid past of subjecting believers to prison or worse and become effective as a disciple of Christ.

Some childhood trauma might make a person gun-shy when it comes to relationships.  An accident might make someone doubly careful when driving or make them a back seat driver when th…

Flip the Switch

I read a blog post today that asked the question "Is America Headed for Another Civil War?"  This was in response to the rancorous rants against our President and anyone in his cabinet.  We have reached a point where almost everyone has an opinion that they consider to be right and there is hatred toward anyone who doesn't agree with them.  When we hear or read of such rhetoric in other countries we anticipate that a coup is in the making.  There is a darkness that is spreading over America today.  The state of California is in the process of enacting a law that would forbid certain parts of the Bible to be read.  In our own Highlands County the commissioners are considering a tax upon houses of worship that is 4 times what other entities would be assessed in order to pay for 14 firefighters in the county.  Any church that fails to pay is threatened with a tax lien.  The darkness is growing!
It is in times like these that the church of Jesus Christ must be what Jesus sai…

Use it or Lose it

I had minor surgery about a month ago to remove the roots of a squamous cell from my leg.  The surgery was performed with local anesthesia and only lasted about 10-15 minutes. I was told to limit my activity and keep my leg elevated for about two weeks until the sutures had dissolved and the wound had begun to heal.  However, at the end of two weeks the wound was still oozing and there was a good bit of swelling.  Long story short, I limited my activity for almost a month as the wound gradually healed.
Today I went for a walk for the first time in a month.  My walk only consisted of about 1750 steps.  I noticed a tightening of the muscles in my lower back and fatigue beginning to set in. That short time of relative inactivity resulted in a weakening of my muscles and a depletion of my energy beyond anything I could imagine.  It occurs to me that many people have let their "prayer muscles" atrophy through the lack of use.  Some only pray when there is a dire situation or emer…

You've Gotta Tell Somebody

The lie that has held back evangelism in America is that no one wants to hear the gospel.  The reality is that everyone relishes "good news" which is what the gospel is.  The problem is that we think that the gospel in confrontational and accusatory.  For some reason we think that sharing the gospel is done by first and foremost convincing people that they are bad to the bone and then explaining a way to change that.  Here are some pointers that will help those who truly want to share the good news.

1.  No one can come to Christ without God the Father drawing them.  That means that our first step is always to pray for God to do what only He can do in the lives of those with whom we want to share the good news.  Also ask God to lead you to those whom He is drawing to Jesus.(John 6:44)2.  You are not the Holy Spirit.  It is His job to convict people of sin and convince them of judgment.  (John 16:8)3.  Those who are filled with the Holy Spirit will naturally praise and glorify …

We Are in this Together

Dr. E.V. Hill, long time pastor of the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in So. Central Los Angeles was also involved in local politics.  He mentioned once that if he were running for office, he would only need one block captain in each square block in order to carry the election.  Then he said that in So. Central L. A. which took in about 20 square blocks there were over 200 churches and yet they were not reaching the people for Christ.  Gangs and drugs were rampant.  I've thought of his words often as I pass church after church in our small town.  Every Sunday as I'm on my way to church I pass people out walking or riding their bike or hooking up their boat to head for the lake,  It occurs to me that if every church in Lake Placid were filled to capacity on Sunday there would still be 100's of un-churched people in our area. 
Part of the problem is that each church operates as if they are on an island all alone in trying to reach people for Christ.  Most of the membersh…

Thoughts on Revival

Our church has just completed 5 services designed to set an atmosphere for revival.  That may sound a little strange, but hear me out.  In the first place Revival is different from an series of Evangelistic services.  Revival is by definition dealing with those who are already believers.  Their Christian Walk has become hum-drum and there is little or no vitality, excitement or joy.  Revival is the process by which God energizes and revitalizes their life.
In order to seek to produce an atmosphere for revival, our meetings involved music and testimony.  Results of the series of meetings hopefully will be increasingly evident in the days ahead.  True revival will result in a quality of life among believers that will attract the attention of non-believers and create in them the desire to know what makes the difference.
There should be a greater hunger for God's Word and a greater desire to communicate with God through prayer.  There should also be a greater sense of being "on mi…

It All Begins at Home

In the aftermath of the horrendous shooting at a high school in Florida I’m seeing all sorts of knee-jerk reactions on the internet.  Some are calling for more stringent gun control laws while others are laying the blame on no prayer or Bible reading in the schools.  I’d like to raise another issue.  If we had fathers in the homes where children are raised, and if these fathers saw that the Bible was read and prayers were said in the home I believe that we would see much less violence in schools and in the work place.  Having been a Youth Pastor for 38 of my 59 years in ministry, I can tell you that when families are led by a father who is the spiritual leader the kids are more secure and less apt to act out.  Now admittedly there are some who break the mold, but largely the children of Godly parents follow the lead of their parents.  When a man treats his wife with honor and respect in front of his sons, they are far less likely to wind up on the bad end of the “me too” movement.  …

Happy New Year

I know that this is the time of year that many will be making "resolutions" that they will break by the first of February.  Not being cruel, just being honest.  Rather than making resolutions this year, I am making plans.  First on my "plan" list is to read through the book of Leviticus during my morning devotions.  That may sound like a strange book to use for devotions, but I'm reminded that Paul said in 2 Tim. 3:16-17 "All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."  Let me hasten to say, that is not all I'm reading, but it is an addition to my on-going devotions.  Also I'm going back to a plan I have used before by dividing my devotions into two parts using the Hebrew idea that a day begins in the evening. (Gen. 1:5, 8, 13. etc.)  That way my day is "bookended" by time spent with God…