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Monthly Archives: December 2010

“I Need a iPad for Christmas”

I have been trying to plead my case (without success) to my friends and family over the last month or so, as to why I “need” an iPad for Christmas. I mean, they are really cool. I would use it all of the time for both work and for play. It would be so convenient when I travel somewhere, for me to take an iPad instead of always packing up my computer. It would be so much easier, and far less cumbersome for me to take into meetings to take notes, and it would be very convenient for me to be able to take it as I’m sitting in a doctors office, or in a waiting room at a hospital, or to take it on trips, or for a lunch presentation, or… you get the point.

Just the other day I was relaying the story to someone about why about this time last year I “needed” to buy a truck. You see I was driving a station wagon, not exactly my style of car. I had a lot of reasons that I needed an upgrade. You see, I really needed a truck, I couldn’t hardly haul anything in that old wagon. The interior door panels were falling off, the dash and windshield were both cracked, the interior was old and worn out, the windows stopped rolling down, there were dents covering the body, and to top it all off, one cold November afternoon, I was loading some tools in the back to go and help my sister with a home project, and just as I shut the back hatch, the glass decided it was tired of staying in the same place for the last 20 years and jumped right off the back hatch and crashed down to the driveway. That was the last straw. I bought a used 2002 Ford F150. I was happy with the purchase. Until the other day a 2010 Chevy Silverado cut me off on the interstate, and instead of being angry, I just admired the beauty of that truck, I would like one of those for Christmas as well. (sound familiar?)

Now, it is time for a reality check, definitely for me, maybe for you.

Jesus said in Luke 12:15- And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”  I wonder to myself how often I fall into the trap of believing that my life is about things. How often do you? That is the society we live in, is it not? If you do not have the newest phone, fastest car, latest gadget, you are behind the times and need to catch up. Just this morning I had the blessing of holding my healthy, beautiful baby girl in my recliner before leaving for the office. And as she finished eating, she started “talking” to me. With a tight grip on my finger, she smiled from ear to ear. Life, brothers and sisters, is NOT about things. It is about service to God, family,  friends, and as we are reminded by the words in Ephesians 2:10- we are created for good works. Have you ever wondered what your purpose is in life? It is to do good works. That is why you were created.

Phil 4:11-Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.

We are taught by Paul that contentment is something that is learned. We will not wake up one day and all of a sudden be content. It is something we must make an effort at. I encourage us all to make an effort to learn contentment. We are in a season, that is often loved for “receiving gifts” lets make it a season of giving. Lets remember, that we have nothing to receive that is better than the blood of Christ that was shed for our sins, and we have nothing better to give, than to tell those we love about what we have received.

In Him,

Troy

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Posted by on December 6, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Did you know that there are hypocrites in Wal-Mart?

Time and time again, like many of you, I have spoken with some “out of duty” Christians. Those men and women who used to be faithful warriors in the kingdom of God. They used to be very active with many good works, and active in all the Church programs. They truly were good people. They had their priorities in the right place. Unfortunately, something happened. ..

We have all heard the stories about why brother or sister so-and-so no longer worships with us. It is because Brother X said or did something that was dirty, underhanded, sinful, and these actions deeply hurt someone else. As a result, Brother Y no longer attends because of the actions of Brother X. and the explanation is often capped with the statement, “I just can’t worship in the same place as that man,” or “I quit going to church because, there are so many hypocrites that worship in that building.” when I hear these statements, it breaks my heart. I believe it breaks God’s heart as well. After all it was God who sent his Son to die, so that the body of Christ (The Church) could be established. In Ephesians 5 the Church is described as the bride of Christ. Husbands, think of how much love you have for your bride. How would you handle someone continually running your brides name into the ground? Now, consider Christ’s feelings toward those who belittle His bride, the Church.

A word to Christians: There is a quote that has been around for many years, maybe you have heard it before, “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, and walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”-unknown. I believe there to be some truth in this statement. In almost every atheistic argument, book, or article that is out there today,” hypocrites in church” are mentioned. I have a two-part plea for all Christians regarding this subject. #1. Realize how blessed you are to be a member of the body of Christ, and thank Him for that daily! #2. Do not give anyone an excuse to not come back. We have all heard of these stories, do not allow yourself to be on the negative end of one of those stories. If you already have been, go to your brother and make it right (Matt 5:24)

A word to “Out-of-Duty Christians“: Exercise forgiveness (Col 3:13) remember, that you are forgiven, as you forgive others. If we wish to be forgiven, we must forgive. Remember that the Church, is NOT about the people in the building. The Church is about obedience to Christ. Remember that there are hypocrites everywhere! They are walking around wal-mart, but we still go. They are at ball games, but we still go. They are at work, but we still go. They are at family gatherings, but we still go. It seems that the Lord’s Church that Jesus paid for with His blood, is the only thing that we allow “hypocrites” to keep us away from. Let us again place first things first, (Matt 6:33). If you stop going to Wal-mart you will miss out on some groceries, if you stop going to ball games, you will miss some entertainment. If you stop going to work, you will miss out on some money, if you stop attending the Lord’s Church, you miss out on the blessings that are found in Christ.

 Let us all strive for unity and peace within the Church, and make this the Church that Jesus died for.

Matthew 5:23-24- So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Matthew 18:15- “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.

Ephesians 4:3- eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

In Him, Troy

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

“fanning the flame”

 

I recently had a chance to spend a lot of time near a camp fire. I took a few of our youth group to a area wide  retreat for a weekend. We had a good time. We had a lot of fun, we had a lot of fellowship, and we had a lot of time for a fire. You see, it very cold this particular weekend.  When we pulled in to the camp site, there was already a huge fire burning. This fire was burning at night, in the morning, and afternoon… It never went out the whole time that we were there.  We would warm up near the flame in the morning, we would feed the fire in the afternoon for fun, and we would huddle in close at night in order to feel the warmth as we sang songs of praise and listened to a message from God’s Word.

It has always amazed me as we watch a fire that is burning strong. How powerful, how memorizing,  and how awesome those fires are. They are able to bring warmth to our bodies when we need it. It is able to consume once proud trees and bring them to ash. There is something so fascinating about fire.

I once heard a preacher relay a story from his early childhood, he was playing a game of basketball with some friends, when all of a sudden a boy ran by yelling out to him informing him that “The church was on fire” this preacher took off running, he had to see for himself, because he had never seen a church that was on fire. Obviously the two boys were thinking about two different kinds of fire.

But this little story did remind me yet again of one of my favorite verses in scripture.  Jeremiah 20:9- ” If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.”

Regardless of what any of our “firefighter brethren” may say, we must start this fire, and it must never be put out! If you want to see a change in our congregation, if you want to see more church growth, if you want more people to come to know Christ, it begins with you. It begins with the fire that you have to teach the gospel to those who haven’t heard it. It starts with me.

In Him,

Troy

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2010 in Uncategorized

 
 
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