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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Worship is every believer's responsibility

Last night's "Pure Worship" was a the type of worship service where you walk out of it going, "God fell down."

People lifting hands in worship.  Praising God.  Crying.  Weeping before the Lord.  Repenting.  Experiencing the presence of God.

We believe that it is but a foretaste of what God wants to do.

Incrementally, in our church, we are seeing and experiencing God's presence in a powerful way.

We desire more of His ministering presence, more of His power in our lives!

How will we see this happen?

Praying together is a key.  I would encourage you to come to our church-wide prayer meetings on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M.  (Followed by "Pure Worship")

Living in unity is a key.  Psalms 133 tells us that the anointing flows from the unity of believers.

Taking personal responsibility is the last one I would leave you with today.

We live in a day and age where vibrant worshipers are rising everywhere.

Where does that come from?  It comes from an understanding of the royal priesthood and a willingness to be focused, involved and discipline during the worship event.

Jack Hayford once said that, "today the Holy Spirit is directing our appointment to priestly worship for the release of Kingdom advancement."

As we (you and I) grow in participating in worship, and focus on Jesus and His glory, we come into agreement. we do....the Lord is free to move, both among us and on our behalf.  And God begins to do great things!

Ask yourself as you leave this Sunday's worship these questions:  How did I do?  Did I please you Lord?  Were you blessed by my worship?

Just a thought for a Thursday.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Changing and growing in Christ

I am excited about tonight's teaching (from Romans 6:1-7), because it teaches us how to actually change.

We repent, and that's great.  But we also need to realize that because of Christ's work we are dead to sin.  We no longer have to sin.

Here's how we change:  Change happens when we consider ourselves "dead to sin" each and every moment of each and every day - and let that fact and God's power keep us from sin.

Paul writes in Romans 6:1-7, "What shall we say then, are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?  By no means.  How can we who died to sin still live in it?  Do you not KNOW (what are we supposed to know?) that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were buried, therefore, with him by baptism into death in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too, might walk in newness of life.

For if we've been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.  We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would not longer be enslaved to sin." 

You've received forgiveness for your sins - and that's great.  You will have eternal life.  But Jesus didn't die and rise from the dead to simply forgive you.  He rose to live his life through you.

Paul writes in Romans 6:8, "Now, if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him."

I can overcome sin by Christ living in me.

Galatians 2:20 says, "I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me."

We live by means of Christ.

We change by means of Christ.

We live in a world that is quickly changing.

Listen to this:  From 1960 to 1990 all the information available in the world had doubled.  Then that number doubled in five years, and the amount of information in the world continues to grow at a staggering pace.

The CEO of Google recently said that by the end of the year the amount of knowledge will double every two days.

That one statement alone just boggles the mind.

But here is the bad news:  Everything is changing but Christians are not changing.

Most statistics indicate that Christians are no different from non-Christians.  They are living for the same reasons, they have the same level of happiness, and they struggle with the same things.  Yet they are not different.

I read today that 100 people were asked to name something that Christians do instead of changing.

Here are the four most popular answers.

1.  Rituals.  As Christians we go to church, sing songs, raise our hands, do our little routines, but they really don't impact our life or the way we live during the week.

2.  Debate.  The survey said that most Christians will debate, not non-Christians, but other Christians who don't believe exactly like they do.

3.  Remember.  People states that Christians (instead of changing) will remember (with sentimentality) and reminisce about their "glory days" in God.  The fact that their walk with God was better in the past than it is now.

But the final thing people said Christians do instead of changing is number four.

4.  They live sinful lives


Jesus didn't die and rise from the dead simply to forgive you.  He rose again for your transformation.

My suggestion to you today? 

Let the Holy Spirit change you today by realizing what God has done for you on the cross and at the resurrection - and letting Christ live through you.

Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  (Philippians 4:13).

"Father, live through me this day.  I can't live the Christian faith alone.  I need your Holy Spirit.  I need to remember who gives me the power to walk a walk of holiness.  Live through me, Jesus Christ.  In your name I pray.  Amen."

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Crutches and the Christian faith

Every once in a while I come across someone who says that Christianity is only an emotional crutch for needy people.

On an academic level, the roots of that concept finds itself in the teachings and thinking of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, a movement that popularized the theory that unconscious motives control most of our human behavior.

He taught that God is a creation of the human mind, a creation that comes from some kind of human need and desire rather than some kind of objective reality. 

Instead of you and I being made in God's image, so the theory goes, God is made in our image.

Yet, let me suggest something to you:

A desire for God and for the meeting of our needs exists precisely because we have been designed and created by God to desire them. 

Here's an analogy.  A person floating on a raft in the ocean is thirsty beyond human imagination, but he doesn't get a drink of water just because he is thirsty.  The very existence of the fact that he is thirsty shows that the way for his desire to have his thirst quenched exists - by drinking fresh water.

C.S. Lewis once wrote, "Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists." 

What am I saying?  Leaning upon God during difficult times does not mean that he is a crutch and does not exist.  It is a logical, reasonable response if God himself is real - and He is.

How do I know?  I am leaning upon him.

Just a thought for a Tuesday.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Thoughts from the weekend

Thoughts from the weekend:

After the second service, Debbie and I (along with our guest speaker, Bob Menzies) had lunch at the Filipino life group.

I can't express in words how much we enjoyed the fellowship and the food.

Our Filipino's brothers and sisters in Christ are so loving and kind and generous and positive.  It is truly a joy to be around them.  Again, it is like a breath of fresh air to be around positive people.

And their life group is growing!

We all agreed that they would bring Filipino food to the mission's banquet!

One of my God-given goals is that we increase the diversity in our church.  God is granting that desire!

May we truly be open to all everyone - no matter what their race, ethnic background, or financial status!

It was wonderful to hear of what God is doing in Southwest China.  The way people are coming to Christ!  Lord, bring in the spiritual harvest!

Saturday night:  A powerful time of worship and praise

I really appreciated everyone who came out - a Saturday evening and a beautiful evening outside at that. 

God is looking for people who hunger and thirst after him!

Bob Menzies gave a wonderful teaching from Luke 10 and Luke 24, taking us then to Acts 2.  The main thesis - God gives us his Holy Spirit to empower us to bring people to Christ!

It was a joy for me to watch as God's people took the time to pray for one another during the altar time after the teaching.

Had a very, very profitable meeting with all of the adult Bible teachers on Saturday morning.  We are blessed with a very mature group of teachers who enjoy bringing God's Word!

Thanks to Anita for her leadership in this!

Please know that the new title of the adult Bible ministry is:  "My Journey With Jesus."  Chosen by the teachers themselves, it states the mission of our Sunday morning Bible Classes.  To further our journey with Jesus.

A reminder:  All church prayer meeting:  Wednesday, August 28. 2013, at 6:00 P.M. in the church chapel.

A reminder:  One service this Sunday.  10:30 A.M.  Church Picnic to follow.

Love you all!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Mirror, Mirror in my hand......

Snow White. 

At the beginning of the story of Snow White, a queen wishes for a daughter as "white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as that wood of the window frame."

Soon after, the queen indeed gives birth to a baby girl with skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, and hair as black as ebony.  They name her "Snow White", and not long after, the queen dies.

After a year has passed, the King takes a new wife, who is beautiful but also unutterably wicked and vain.

The new queen possesses a Magic Mirror which she asks every morning:  "Magic mirror in my hand, who is the fairest in the land?"

And the story goes on.

In one sense, the Word of God is that mirror.

The Word of God reveals who we really are, not on the outside, but on the inside.  Our character.  Our spirituality.  Who we are in Christ.

Pastor James writes this in James 1:23-25: 

"Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says I like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.  But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it - he will be blessed in what he does."

What is the purpose of a mirror?  To evaluate ourselves.  We look in a mirror to asses the damage from the night before.

Then we do something about it. 

Let me ask you this question:  what good is a mirror if we don't do anything about what we see?

A mirror reflects what we're like on the outside.  God's Word reflects what we're like on the inside.

Hebrews says, "God's word detects the thoughts, intents, motives and desires of the heart."

So we are to, as James writes, we are to "look intently into the perfect law that gives freedom."

The word "look" there (in the Greek) means to research what you are looking at.  To investigate what you are reading. 

To not only glance at the mirror (the word of God) but to gaze at the mirror (the Word of God).

Here are some questions that I encourage you to ask as you read God's Word on a daily basis.

Is there a sin toe confess?

Is there a promise to claim?

Is there an attitude to change?

Is there a command to obey?

Is there an example to follow?

Is there a prayer to pray? 

Is there an error to avoid?

Is there a truth to believe?

Is there something to thank God for?

That's how you look intently at the word of God.  It is the mirror to the soul. 

Just a thought for a Thursday.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Great grace

Let me share with you a thought that I found today in studying Romans 5:20,21 (our passage for this evening in "Pure Worship").

Paul writes in Romans 5:20, 21 "The law was added so that the trespass might increase.  But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

The law does not restrain sin (the commands in the Old Testament).  The law increases our desire to sin.

When someone sees a sign, "wet paint - do not touch", our first inclination is to walk up to the thing that is painted and touch it to see if it is truly "wet paint."

That's what the law does. 

"The law was added," Paul writes, and the word "added" has a negative connotation.  In other words when God gave the law, it was "added to be secondary and not primary in our walk with Hi."

The law as given not to make us sinners, but to show us how sinful we are before a holy God.

The law is like a mirror that you hold up to see what you look like.

Paul writes in Romans 7:7, "Indeed, I would not have known what sin was except through the Law."

Yet, here is the supreme thought that I would like to share with you today.

Paul writes in verse 20, "But where sin increased, grace increased all the more."

When Paul says, "but where sin increased," the word increase uses a prefix that means addition.

When Paul writes, "grace increased all the more," the word increase uses a prefix that means multiplication.

The thought of the day:  Where sins are added one by one, grace is multiplied a thousand times over.

Sin abounds and adds up but grace super-abounds and expands exponentially.

Let me share with  you this story as I close this blog:

"As a 17-year-old Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of Billy and Ruth Graham, was involved in a car accident. Speeding carelessly down a windy mountain road, Anne smashed into her neighbor, Mrs. Pickering. Anne was too afraid to tell her father about the accident, so for the rest of the day she kept avoiding him. When she finally came home, she tried to tiptoe around her dad, but there he was, standing in the kitchen.
Anne tells what happened next:
I paused for what seemed a very long moment frozen in time. Then I ran to him and threw my arms around his neck …. I told him about my wreck—how I'd driven too fast and smashed into the neighbor's car. I told him it wasn't her fault; it was all mine. As I wept on his shoulder, he said four things to me:
  • "Anne, I knew all along about your wreck. Mrs. Pickering came straight up the mountain and told me—and I was just waiting for you to come and tell me yourself."
  • "I love you."
  • "We can fix the car."
  • "You are going to be a better driver because of this."
Anne says, "Sooner or later, all of us are involved in some kind of wreck—it may be your own fault or someone else's. When the damage is your fault, there's a good chance you'll be confronted by the flashing blue lights of the morality police. But my father gave me a deeper understanding of what it means to experience the loving, forgiving embrace of my heavenly Father."
I like what Corrie Ten Boom once said, "There is no pit so deep that the love of God is not deeper still."
Just a thought for a Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

God's choices and my response

Sometimes, as followers of Christ, we can act like rebellious two year olds.
"I don't want to do that!"
"Why do I have to do this"?
"Why can't I do that?"
I was reading today of an umpire named Babe Pinelli who once called the great baseball player Babe Ruth out on strikes.
When the crowd booed with sharp disapproval at the call, the legendary Ruth turned to the umpire with disdain and said, "There’s 40,000 people here who know that the last pitch was ball, tomato head."  

Suspecting that the umpire would erupt with anger, the coaches and players braced themselves for Ruth’s ejection.
However, the cool headed Pinelli replied, "Maybe so, Babe, but mine is the only opinion that counts."
We as Christians need to realize that God’s judgment is the only one that counts and resist the temptation to argue over disappointments.

We need to rely on God’s sovereign choices for us regardless of whether they seem popular or not at the moment.

And maybe, just maybe, when God sometimes says in response to our objections to His will for our lives by saying, "Because I told you so," we need to listen - and obey.

Just a thought for a Tuesday.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Thoughts from the weekend

Thoughts from the weekend:

After any given Sunday, I am thankful for what God has done.

However, there are some Sundays that are especially meaningful.

Yesterday was one of those Sundays.

There was a wonderful sense of God's presence.

New people attended.

One woman sent a report of accepting Christ.

It was wonderful to see the people of God praying for one another.

Several couples married 15 years or less signed up for the "young couples" life group.

I am thrilled.  I am praising God.

We had a great time at the men's golf outing!

Many thanks to Bob Konrath and Hal Kaufman for putting the outing together!

Lots of prizes handed out.

It was fun to hang out with the guys.

Augie Insalaco can hit the golf ball a ton.

Went to John Schwider's 60th birthday party.

I shared with John, "my only daily comfort is that you will always be older than me."  :)

Happy 60th John!

Last evening, Debbie and I attended the Nigerian life group summer barbecue. 

It was a beautiful evening, wonderful time of fellowship and great food!

We love the Nigerians who are coming to our church!

I am sensing a real moving of God in our midst!

Praying for all of our young people going to college this week.  You will be missed!

Don't forget this Saturday evening, August 24th at 6:00 P.M.  Worship.  Presentation of the Word.  Topic is the Holy Spirit - Dr. Robert Menzies.  Child Care provided.

Love you all!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Projecting an image of God

Let me ask you this question:

What kind of God do you worship?

The God of the Bible?

Or the God of your own making?

It can be called "projectionism".

It is projecting upon God a view of His character and His being that are more like us as human beings than we would like to think.

It is where we can only view God from the place of some major influence in our lives.  Like a mean Father, or a teacher whom you could never please, or a friend who runs out on you during a time of need, that kind of God is a God who is always there to put us down, pointing at us with a finger of disgust.

Blaise Pascal once wrote, "God made man in his own image and man returned the compliment."

Brennan Manning writes, "The mechanism of projection is a process of unwittingly ascribing to God our own attitudes and feelings as an unconscious defense of our own inadequacy or guilt."

Now, I am not a psychologist nor I am I the son of a psychologist, but I do know this:  As children, our view of God can be strongly influenced by the way we have been parented.

From his or her parents, a child learns of a God who strongly disproves of disobedience - for example - hitting a sibling or telling lies.

Then the child goes to school and finds that his teachers share those same concerns, furthering their project upon God of these attitudes.

And finally, when the child goes to church, he finds out that God is obsessed with what he can't do - rather than in what he can do (in most churches).

James Burtchaell writes, "After he (they) emerges from his youth altogether he discovers - sometimes with resentment - that God has been used as a sanction for all those who were responsible for his discipline.  When he used to cavort a bit mischievously at home, his mother might reach the end of her patience and persuasiveness and threaten, "When your daddy comes home, he'll take care of you."  But if Mommy and Daddy are both at their wits' end, there is always the eternal spanking to which they can do allude.  God is thus unwittingly associated with fear."

So what is the result of this type of God?  Self-hatred.  Unhealthy guilt.  Perfectionism upon ourselves and others in the church.  Legalism.  Bondage.  A lack of joy.

My God is a God of forgiveness and love and restoration.  My God is a God who is always there, ready to put his arms around me and encourage me on.

While he is a holy God (I put that in there as almost a disclaimer for those of us who are rightly concerned about holiness), at the end of the day, God is far more loving and forgiving than we give him credit for.

God is more than ready and willing to forgive you than you are to forgive yourself.

So don't project your view of God from your mom or your Uncle Billy who were mean, or a dad whom you could never please.

Let God be God - and let Him have control of your life.

Just a thought for a Thursday.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The power of spontaneous unity

I have always found it very, very interesting to note that on the night that Jesus was arrested, he prayed in John 17:20-23:

"My prayer is not for them alone.  I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.  May they also be in us so that they world may believe that you have sent me.  I have given them the glory that your gave me, that they may be one as we are one:  I in them and you in me.  May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."

Incredible things happened as we come together in complete, total and even (or especially) spontaneous unity.

Reaching out to those in need. 

Stopping to pray with someone.

Inviting a guest (to our church) out to lunch on a Sunday afternoon.

Giving someone else the benefit of the doubt.

Forgiving others.

Letting someone else have their own way.

Here's what I know:  everyone has a unique instrument in the body of Christ, and a unique sound, but together, playing together, working together, ministering together, loving one another, it makes a beautiful Rhapsody.

An example of this is the video of a little girl, who stops to give money to a street performer and unwittingly begins an outdoor concert that brings joy to the life of others (the song is the hymn, "Joyful, Joyful, we adore thee."

I encourage you to click on this video:

May God help us to walk in unity!

Love you all.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Is the Antichrist alive today?

We are living in the end times.

The next great prophetic event will be the rapture of the church of Jesus Christ.

I believe that the rapture is going to take place sooner rather than later in our lives.

In fact, I believe that Jesus will come within my lifetime.  As my father believes this and his father before him believed it.

We are to constantly be on the watch for the return of Christ.

The rapture will be followed by a seven year period of tribulation - in which the last half will consist of the Antichrist ruling the world politically, economically and religiously.

The entire world will give him allegiance or suffer persecution and death. 

Do I believe that THE Antichrist is alive today?

Well, no one knows for sure.  In fact, ultimately, the Antichrist will not be revealed until after you and I as followers of Christ are ruptured to be with the Lord.

However, the domino's are all falling in a row for that one world leader to step up.

At no time have we seen the world advance in a global way as we have the last twenty five years.

We've seen the end of the cold war in 1989.

The rise of the Islamic faith.

The speed of travel from one continent to another.

Incredible advances in communications (world news programs, computers, the Internet and satellites bring instant communication).

Modern weapons of mass destruction.

Modern surveillance technology (we've seen that from our own government - the NSA - the past couple of months).

The interlocking of world markets, currencies, stock markets and economies.

Terrorism and the rise of rogue states.

Global problems such as starvation, pollution and climatic instability (hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis).

We are truly living in a global world that is shrinking before our eyes - a world that is ripe for a one world leader to step in.

The Antichrist will be an "in place of" Christ.  He will be the counterfeit Christ, the substitute Christ, the mock Christ, the pseudo Christ - in short - an imitation Christ.

We don't know for certain who He is - but we can say for certain that the Spirit of the Antichrist is alive and well today!

A spirit of wickedness, evil, greed, manipulation and control.

So, follow my reasoning:

I believe the next great event in prophecy will be the rapture of the church.

I believe that the rapture will take place within my lifetime on this planet.

If that is so, then the Antichrist is alive today, being prepared by the enemy to step up and take control.

At the same time, we don't need to worry about that!

As Christians, we aren't looking for the Antichrist, we are looking for Jesus Christ!

Marantha, even so, come Lord Jesus!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Thoughts from the weekend

Thoughts from the weekend:

I don't know about you - but I am excited about Jesus.

I am thrilled about what is happening in our church.

I am "so looking forward" to the fall, beginning in September.

God is up to something great!

One of the events I want to share with you is that we are rebooting "Pure Worship" on Wednesday evenings (beginning August 21st) at 7:00 P.M.

You will enjoy the experience of worship, a devotion and praying for the needs of our church.

But here's what we are also doing:  We are beginning a church wide prayer meeting, beginning at 6:00 P.M. on Wednesday nights!

I have felt an urging in my spirit lately that we gather together as a people of God to pray.

We encourage you to come at the timing of your choosing for the prayer time - and then join us for "Pure Worship"!

Once again - it was great to see newer people in our services yesterday, folks who are returning for the fourth and fifth time!

I would also ask that you pursue the tables set up in the foyer this coming Sunday - announcing life groups, adult bible studies, and other ministries of the church.

Repentance is a message that we all need from time to time.

Gets us back to our moral and spiritual foundations.

We are never to "spiritual" to repent.

Can't wait for football to start in a few weeks!

Debbie and I saw our grandchildren this weekend (and Christie and Andrew - their mom and dad).

Applause to their parents for being such great parents to my granddaughters!

Love you all.......

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Cancer and church life

"You have cancer," are some of the most horrific words that anyone can say to a person.

Friends have told me that when they hear those words, hundreds of negative thoughts go through their minds.

It is one of the most debilitating diseases of our day.

Cancer is made up of cells that don't want to go with the program.

They aren't connecting with the vision or mission of the body.

They have their own agenda.

Now, this would be just fine - if they would leave your body.

The problem with cancer is that these deviant cells still want to hang out in you.  They don't want to go anywhere.  They poison everything around them.  They want to be independent - and as a result they destroy the good cells in the body - and eventually kill a person if that person is not treated. 

Cancer cells still want blood, they still want to eat, and they still want oxygen because they want to grow. 

But what makes them even more horrific is that they not only want to grow, they want to spread and metastasize their negativity.

So, in other words, they want to siphon off the body, but the don't want to contribute to it.  And if they do contribute, their negativity destroys any positive work that they might do.

Four minus five equals a negative one kind of thing.

And ultimately, unless addressed radically, the whole body is in trouble, because they will kill the body.

In church life, people like this want the sermons, they want the songs, they want the ministry to them, they want events for their children, they want counseling for their problems, but they don't want to be a part of the body's direction and goals.

They just want to hang out in the body.  And complain.  And criticize.  And gossip.  And cause division.

My encouragement to you today is to become a part of the solution and not a part of the problem.

Just a thought for a Thursday.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Present peace

One of the things that I struggle with is the ability to have presence peace.


It is within my DNA to always keep on pressing on, reaching new goals, obtaining more for the Kingdom of God.

In my walk with Christ, I am in a continual state of learning how to experience God's peace in the present.

To rejoice and be glad for what I have - and what God is now giving me.

Here's what I know - and trust will minister to you today:

In our troubled situations, Jesus breathes calm.

In a raging storm, Jesus said to his guys, "Peace, be still!"  (Mark 4:39.

In the worst of storms, Jesus is there to give us emotional peace.

Madame Guyon once said poetically:

To me remains no place nor time;
My country is in every clime;
I can be calm and free from care
On any shore, since God is there.

Today, know, without a shadow of a doubt, that God is there, gives me present peace.

In our troubled situations, Jesus breathes unity.

Paul writes in Romans 5:1, "We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."

What unity are we talking about?  Unity with the Father.  Unity with the Holy Spirit.  We are "knit as one" with Jesus Christ.  In Jesus we "have an anchor" that securely positions us permanently in a safe harbor.

To know that I am united with God himself, gives me present peace.

In our troubled situations, Jesus breathes reconciliation.

Paul writes in Ephesians 2:14, "He Himself is our peace, who has made both one...."

I say this a lot:  With Jesus in me and Jesus in you, Jesus isn't going to argue with Jesus.  The God of Peace can reconcile us to anyone with whom we have experienced relational challenges. 

We vastly underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit to bring healing in broken relationships.

To know that God can heal broken relationships, gives me present peace.

May God give you His peace today.

Just a thought for a Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Being a winner

Everyone loves a winner.

I know I do.

God wants you to be a winner in Him!

Here's what I desire to share with you today:  Becoming a winner in the faith is a process.  Accepting Christ is instantaneous.  It takes time and discipline to become a mature and powerful believer.

Let me give you some positive principles to becoming a winner:

Focus on God.  Center your thoughts on God and His Word.  It is one thing to cleanse your mind of negative and evil thoughts, it is another to replace those thoughts with an attitude of the godly.  If you are around me for any length of time you will hear me say, "if you take something away, you replace it with something else."  Replace negativism with positivism.

Pray.  Have conversations with God on a moment by moment basis.  Schedule an appointment each day with God as well.  Ask, and then thank God for the answers.

Read the Word.  Take notes.  Don't miss a single day.  Feed on the positive promises of God.

Hang around godly people.  People who are on fire for God.  Be selective about who you are friends with.  Friends will either add to or take way from you being a winner.  Ask yourself, "will this friendship bring me closer to Jesus?"  You are who you hang around.

Have a teachable spirit.  Let every moment of your life be a teachable moment, especially when God is trying to speak to you.

Have a winner's mindset.  Get  your focus off the negative and start thinking about the opportunities that God is giving you.  Speak creatively.  Positively.  Think good things about yourself and others.   Stop complaining!  When Satan plants the "seed" of a bad thought in your mind, immediately resist it.

Exercise your authority.  Say:  "Satan, I bind you and resist your ungodly suggestions.  I am a child of God walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.  I cast your thought back to you.  I am a new creation in Jesus!"  And then thank God out loud for good thoughts.  Godly thoughts.

Do you want to be a winner today?

Take charge of your life and put yourself in the hands of God.

Just a thought for a Tuesday.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Thoughts from the weekend

Thoughts from the weekend:

I don't know about you, but Debbie and I have been enjoying the cool evenings the past few days.

It has been so nice as we have been taking a walk about the same time in the evening.


One of the many reasons why we love living in Chicago!

Had a great birthday last Friday.

Many, many thanks to all who called, emailed are sent a card of congratulations!

I appreciate your love!

57 years old!

In some ways, I feel like I am just "coming into my own" concerning ministry.

It is one of those things that we say, "If I knew then what I knew now," kind of thing.

I hope you noticed the two T.V. in the foyer yesterday.  These have been placed there in order for our church family to listen to and take note of the important announcements of events in our church (BTW, the TV's were donated).

Our philosophy is that we have two primary goals for our Sunday morning worship experience:  To emphasize the Word and to emphasize our Worship.

We desire to do everything we can to promote and facilitate the teaching of God's Word and our Worship before an almighty God.

It was interesting yesterday.  "Tons" of people gone on vacation - however - we had "lots" of visitors!

People coming and people going on vacation.

It is that time of year.

Great staff meeting today.

I am thankful for a great staff - one of the best I have ever ministered with.

I can sense it - and I pray that you do to - that God is going to do a GREAT THING this fall!

Please put these two events on your personal calendars:

Saturday evening, August 24, 2013, at 6:00 P.M.  - Holy Spirit Revival service.  Worship and a teaching from Dr. Bob Menzies, the foremost Assemblies of God theologian on the subject of the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, September 1, 2013.  One service at 10:30 A.M.  Church picnic to follow.  Teen Challenge will be with us that day in ministry.

Love you all!

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Power and machinery

The early Church had little machinery, but they had power.

Jesus said in Acts 1:8, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." 

Methods are needed.

Administration is needed.

Vision is needed.

Mission is needed.

Purpose statements are needed.

But nothing can or should replace the fact that we need the power of the Holy Spirit (Some people read and study and know the church constitution more than they study the Bible).

One pastor writes, "A young woman, a member of my church, worked in a large umbrella factory (in Philadelphia), at that time considered the largest umbrella factory in the world.

She said to me one say, in a discouraged manner, "Pastor, I'll have to hunt another job."

"What's the matter?"  I asked her, "Have they discharged you?"

"No, they haven't discharged me."

"Well, hasn't your factory enough orders to keep going all the time?"

"No, not that at all.  They have more orders than they can fill; but they haven't enough electricity to keep all the machines going at once, and my machine has to lie idle part of the week, and I lose so much time and pay.  The trouble with the factory is, they have more machinery than power."

Great stuff.

My dear friends, let's not forget that we need the "gas of the Holy Spirit" to run the "car of the church".

A car without gas won't go anywhere.

Why not reinvest yourself in giving more of your energy to receiving God's power - and let God take care of the rest?

Just a thought for a Thursday.