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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Still powerful in 2011

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It has been quite the week for me. I have had so many thoughts, so many feelings, so many emotions, and no words to truly express how I have felt…

This week is the 10th annual preacher training camp in Lewisville Texas. This is the camp that changed it all for me in my life. Now that I am blessed to be on staff, all of those feelings that I had as a 15 year old, all came rushing back to me this week.

I remember distinctly toward the close of the camp session, I believe it was Thursday evening, we had a evening devotional as a camp. (All 17 of us campers) and one of the staff by the name of Kevin Langford was leading us in that devotional for the evening. He challenged us, convicted us, and called us to ministry. I remember seeing the fire that Kevin had in his heart for preaching (much like the rest of the phenomenal staff) and I decided, that moment, while still sitting in the pew, that I wanted to preach.

Now, I am on staff at this camp. I am surrounded by men such as Tad McGalliard, Jonathan Crowell, and Spencer Ross. Each of which were campers with me at this camp, and have since went on to full time ministry for the kingdom of God. I am surrounded by many of the staff that were my counselors when I was a camper, and continue to mentor me today.

This camp has meant so much, to so many…

This week we have had more than 60 campers attend preacher training camp! From 17 to 60+ is quite the growth spurt! I have been blessed this week by so many great young men of God who have a desire to serve Him with all of their heart.

This evening I listened to several of our campers speak. They began to share their dreams of one day becoming a gospel preacher, what an aspiration! I also was blessed by many who wanted to “practice” their sermons in front of me tonight. As I listened to these young men begin to proclaim God’s word with power, conviction, and enthusiasm, my heart began to swell with joy, and my eyes began to flow with tears.

It hit me. These campers, are going through the same thoughts, emotions, and decisions that I did when I was in their shoes… The same as those who were my counselors, and we could continue going further and further back. Our world is rapidly Changing. Things do not remain the same very Long. I take comfort in the fact that we can always rely on Jesus Christ and His Word! It still carries the ability to mold, shape, and completely turn lives upside down! Yes, even in 2011.

Hebrews 13:8-Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Romans 1:16-For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

In Him,

Troy

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Posted by on July 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

“WOW!”

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Here I sit in my favorite chair within my living room, it is 10:36 P.M on July 14th 2011….

All day one thought has been on my mind… “Wow!” I can’t believe it. This day has seemed surreal to me in many ways. You see, I was sitting in my office this morning working on some Bible class material when it happened. I knew it would happen eventually, but I never expected it to be today.

My wife showed up at the church building (not unusual), she was there to do some decorating (also not unusual) however, what she was there to decorate for was what was so usual. She (and her sisters) started setting out pink and white table cloths over all of the round tables in our fellowship hall. They placed animal print handkerchiefs on the center of the table, and started hanging streamers from the ceiling…. The list goes on and on. (The place looks great)

Then I saw it. The High chair sitting in the middle of the room, where my little tiny baby girl will be sitting as she eats her first birthday cake. Can it really be?!? I have heard from so many “Been there done that” parents who remind me not to blink, because time flies. I have done my best to listen to their advice. However, it REALLY HAS flown by! How can my little baby girl who was born yesterday weighing 6lb 9oz born @10:16 a.m. On July 15th 2010, be turning one tomorrow? I really am amazed, as she is “talking” walking, crawling, properly operating cabinet doors and drawers (O, goody! 🙂

This hard reality that time is flying has caused me to ask a few questions of myself, I thought I would share…

#1. Am I being the Husband God wants, and my wife needs?

Just as I know time is flying with my little girl, it also seems like just yesterday I met my beautiful bride. Am I striving to utilize my time to lead her in the way God would have us to go? Am I taking time each day to say “I love you” with my words, and my actions?

#2. Am I being the father God wants, and my daughter needs?

Too many fathers today have (knowingly or nor) abandoned their God given roles within the home. Have I shown my daughter (daily) that I love her? Do I give her my undivided attention? Do I spend time (daily) talking to God about her?

#3. Am I being the Christian God wants, and the world needs?

Our time is “running short” (James 4) each and everyday, do I make a conscious effort to be the light in “my world” shining as an example for all who are a around me? We hear so many negative comments about “fake Christians” today. Let’s show the world what real Christians look like. After all, our time is flying by, and running out!

In Him,
Troy

Ephesians 5:15-16- Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,
making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

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Posted by on July 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

“The Week That Changed My Life”

 

 

 

I was 15 years old, not exactly sure what I wanted to do with my life. But then again, what 15 year old does? All I knew was that working with my dad in the summer heat is not what I wanted to be doing for the rest of my life.

I received an invitation from a dear friend of mine, to attend a Preacher Training Camp in Lewisville Texas. I decided that i would go. My life has never been the same since.

 

This is truly a unique camp. It is a camp that is not just “centered on” the Bible, but starts with the Bible, ends with the Bible, and is filled up in the middle with the Bible. I had an opportunity to sit at the feet of so many great men of God. I sat there, wishing that one day I could influence lives the way that they were influencing mine. I have had an opportunity to be a part of this great camp (If my calculations are correct) for 9 years.

Preacher training camp will be this upcoming week. I am extremely excited, because this is by far my favorite week out of the year. I love having the opportunity to sit and learn, be encouraged, help younger guys learn how to develop their thoughts into sermons, and spend time with ministers who are my age, older, and younger.

I wanted to just put a note on this blog about PTC for 2 reasons:

#1. It is my plea, that all who read this post, will take time to pray for this upcoming week.

Take time to pray for the campers that will be present. Pray that  their hearts will be open and receptive to God’s word, and His will for their lives.

Take time to pray for all of the great staff that will be part of this week.

Take time to pray for the Lewisville Church, and the great works they are doing for the kingdom.

#2. I want to encourage young men to consider how they can best serve God.

Probably one of the most memorable statements that I have heard over and over throughout the years by the staff is this.

“Do not preach, unless you have too.”

Let me explain. This is not a statement meant to discourage young men from preaching the gospel. This is a statement meant to teach the importance of developing a desire to serve God. You see, these men were encouraging us to decide, “could I be happy if I wasn’t preaching?” I must tell you, that for me the answer is NO.

I do not want to imply that you have to be “A preacher” to serve God. There are many ways that you can serve. It is my hope and my prayer that you will serve.

 1.     Rise up, O men of God! 
	Have done with lesser things. 
	Give heart and mind and soul and strength 
	to serve the King of kings. 

2.	Rise up, O men of God! 
	The kingdom tarries long. 
	Bring in the day of brotherhood 
	and end the night of wrong. 

3.	Rise up, O men of God! 
	The church for you doth wait, 
	her strength unequal to her task; 
	rise up, and make her great! 

4.	Lift high the cross of Christ! 
	Tread where his feet have trod. 
	As brothers of the Son of Man, 
	rise up, O men of God! 

2 Timothy 2:15- "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth"
 
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Posted by on July 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

“Our Purpose”

While I was at reach week, I was asked to present a sermon over the topic “Our Purpose” after presenting this lesson, I have had several request to put it in “writing form” so this is my feeble attempt.

“Our Purpose” is such a broad thought. There are so many ways that one could answer this question. However, if this question is directed towards a Christian, I would hope that their answer would be a little different from the world. In short, our purpose as Christians, in it’s simplest form is to show Jesus to the world.

This is much easier said than done. As I was planning for this lesson, I began to ask myself “How can we show Jesus to the world in the best possible way?”

#1. We show Jesus to the world by what we say.

Have you ever been asked the question, “Where do you go to Church?” rather than “Do you go to Church?” chances are if you answered yes to this question, you are doing something to show the world that you are different. My guess would be, your words have something to do with that.

When I was younger I worked for my dad who was a carpenter. (After all, Jesus was the son of a carpenter 🙂 We didn’t go around the job sites “quoting scripture” but we did have a different kind of speech than many around us on the construction sites. For no reason other than our language I cannot count the number of times we were asked “Where we went to Church.”

I want to call your minds to Peter in Matthew 26. Peter is the apostle that many of us can relate to. Because Peter would be on fire for Christ one minute (cutting off an ear of one of the guards in the garden of Gethsemene) and turn his back on Christ the next (denying Him 3 times later in the same chapter)

But I would ask you to consider how he denied Jesus. First he simply said “I do not know Him” then whenever he saw that this was not convincing those who were questioning him, he began to “curse and swear” instantly disassociating himself from Jesus. Because even Jesus’ enemies knew, that Jesus would never speak in this way. When People hear you speak, which thoughts do you think would come to their minds first, “Where do they go to Church?” or “That person couldn’t be one of Christ’s disciples.”

Another aspect to using our words to show Jesus to the world is simply this, what do you talk about? What do you talk about more than anything else? I’m afraid when you get a bunch of Christians in a room they talk about football, baseball, golf, movies, tv shows, the weather, family outings…. But there is rarely a mention of Jesus. Let me ask you, if Christians are not talking about Jesus, who is? Why is it that we find it so hard to talk about Jesus? I believe Jesus himself has the answer for us– Matthew 12:34-“…For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” if we don’t talk about Jesus, maybe it is because, Jesus isn’t in our hearts.

#2. We show Jesus to the world by what we watch/listen to.

Does it really matter what we watch on tv or listen to on the radio?

YES!!!!!!!!!

It is such a depressing sight to watch as people sit and watch television program which contains language that they would “never say” themselves. Or when parents allow their children to watch movies, or listen to songs that have strong sexual themes and undertones, then wonder why their children struggle with remaining pure.

When I was working with youth groups, I had a rule for van rides, a very unpopular rule. I allowed the youth group to choose what to listen to, however, as soon as the first curse word came through the speakers, it was time to turn off the radio for the rest of the trip… We had many trips where the radio was on for a grand total of 25 seconds.

Let me ask you to consider honestly… Can we say with honest hearts, that we are fulfilling the “greatest command” and loving God with all of our hearts, and minds if we are continually putting garbage in our minds?

Consider this.. What effect could it have on those around you if you refused to watch filth on tv? What would effect would it have if you made a determination to never listen to songs with un wholesome themes/language in it’s contents? Do you think it would open a door for conversation about why your standards are different?

#3. We show Jesus to the world by changing our lives.

I want to call your minds to one man that we read about in scripture. The example that I am thinking of is found in Mark 5. We read of a man only known as legion. You see, legion was a man with a problem. He was demon possessed, he had so many demons inside of him, and he was so strong… All of the people of the town were terrified of this man. Until one day, something happened, one day his life changed, one day… he met Jesus.

After and encounter with Jesus, this man was cured. The demons were gone, and the men of the city found the man formerly known as legion “clothed and in his right mind” according to the text, the men of that area were terrified, as they began to wonder what power could have brought about this change within this man.

Legion wanted to go with Jesus. Wouldn’t you? After pleading with Christ, he was turned away. Jesus commanded him to go into the city and tell all that he had done for him. Mark 5:20 makes a statement that when the people of the land heard his testimony they “all marveled”

Why did they marvel? Unfortunately I do not believe they were amazed at what the man said. Because many men have proclaimed Christ before, and after, and sadly people do not typically stand in awe when they hear the message of Christ. However, they marveled because of the man who was speaking to them. They knew who he used to be, and they know who he is now. They may not have understood all that legion was trying to explain to them, but they understood one thing very clearly. This man, has changed.

Let me ask you, when you became a Christian, what changed in your life? There are too many who have committed their lives to God verbally, been baptized for the remission of sins, then walk out the door of the building, and use the same speech, watch the same movies, listen to the same radio station, their lives are unchanged by the commitment they made to their God. I hope you have changed your life. No matter how high, or how low you were when you first were named a Christian. I hope your life is different than it was then. Do you want to show Jesus to the world? Change your life.

Phil 3:20- “for our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ”

We are aliens in this world. A people who do not belong in this world. Do you fit in?

Let’s show Jesus to the world! It starts… With me.

In Him,

Troy

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Posted by on July 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

 
 
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