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Monthly Archives: December 2012

A Resolution That Matters

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As the New Year is right around the corner, (tomorrow at this writing) my Facebook news feed is blowing up with resolutions. Some of them are typical resolutions.

“I want to lose the weight I’ve gained in the last 2 months.”

“I want to get better grades this semester”

“I want to be better with my money.”

“I want to get a girlfriend.” (no, this is not mine. Yes, it was on my News feed.)

“I want to find a better team to cheer for, because I’m done with the cowboys”

All of these, and many more are what my Facebook friends are currently talking about. Some of these are very good resolutions, some of them are just plain funny. I wanted to spend just a moment, encouraging you to make a resolution that truly matters.

(Note: I am not downplaying the importance of resolving to improve fitness, health, money handling, and relationship strengthening, just simply wanting to add something for your consideration.)

One Soul

If you are like me, you are surrounded by a sea of people on a regular basis. You go to the grocery store, and people are everywhere, you sit in long lines at stop lights. You go to the movies, bowling alley, bank, gym, coffee shop, repair shop, and many other locations on a routine basis. All of these places that we go to, they have something in common, there are eternal souls there, that will spend all eternity in Heaven or in Hell.

How easy it is for us to get so caught up in the here and now that we lose sight of the fact, that we come into contact with individuals every day who will not spend eternity with the one who gave His life for them. It is easy to get complacent with our lives both physically and spiritually, but allow me to encourage you to add this to your resolutions for 2013. Let us lead one soul to know Jesus, and submit to Him.

Step 1: Write it down. As I have heard my whole life, a goal isn’t a goal until it is written down. Make a commitment on paper that you will do everything within your power to lead a soul to Jesus this year.

Step 2: Pray about it. It wouldn’t make much since for us to set a goal that Impacts eternity without soliciting the help of the one who created all that there is. 1 John 5:14 teaches that if we ask God anything according to His will, he will give it to us. 2 Peter 3:9 teaches that God does not want a single soul to perish. If you pray an honest prayer, asking God to help you fulfill His will, by leading a soul to Jesus, He will help.

Step 3: Open your eyes. The opportunities are everywhere around us. Sometimes, we just fail to look. Do not just simply go through the motions of the day. Treat people who you meet, like people, with a soul.

Step 4: Deny yourself. Why do we not reach out to the lost more? The majority of the reasons given in response to this question could be eliminated if we simply accepted the fact, that as Christians, we do not live for ourselves any longer. We live for Him (Luke 9:23, 2 Corinthians 5:20)

Step 5: Plant the seed: We know the passage 1 Corinthians 3:6. Discusses our responsibility in evangelism is to plant seeds. God gives the increase. It is not your job to convert the world. It is your Job to plant the seeds, so Jesus can convert them. I have something amazing to tell you, I have not been able to grow a single watermelon this year. Due in large part to the fact, that I have not planted any. I wonder how often we wish that we were “growing converts” but refuse to do the necessary planting?

I hope that each of you have a blessed new year. I hope the Lord blessed you abundantly, and you do not lose your focus on Him whatever 2013 may bring to you. I also hope that you will consider adding the resolution to your list. You will be blessed for your efforts!new year

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Posted by on December 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

“What is NOT to like about snow?”

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As I am sure you were able to gather from the title, I like snow. Like is not a strong enough word, I love it! When I was growing up, I felt the same way. I was always told by those mean adults “once you get a job, and start driving, you won’t like it anymore.” Well, I’ve been driving for quite sometime, I have a job, and a wife, and children, guess what? I still love it!

For more info: I am not the guy who only stays in his house when it snows. In the 09 blizzard on Christmas Eve, in Oklahoma, I drove all around the state to visit family, and this years Christmas, I’ve been doing the same. I am speaking as one who has had to drive on the stuff a lot.

When I see the snow, it brings back memories of no school, and quality family time. We used to make snowmen and then decided that was way too lame and (with my dads help) constructed a massive igloo for us to play in. Good times! I also think about the secret recipe for snow ice cream. Man, that’s good stuff!

As I woke up this morning, it was snowing again. My daughter was so excited watching it fall at the back door. I flashed back to my early childhood excitement for snow, and realized that I am just a big kid, because it hasn’t changed much 🙂

Why do we like snow? Of course there is the obvious, no school and it is fun to play in. However, for me, there is something else. The snow is so beautiful. Not only does the snow look beautiful, it makes ugly things look beautiful too. My back yard has a big patch of dirt, no grass. Just dirt and holes that my dog likes to dig. When it snows, I don’t see the dirt, or the holes, all I see is a clean level slate that sparkles. The snow even makes my husky look more beautiful.

There is one thing I hate about the snow. It melts. It goes away, leaving a nasty mess behind and the ground muddy and uglier than it looked before the snowfall. I wonder, how often we are guilty as Christians of simply allowing a little spiritual snow to fall on our lives. Maybe around Sunday and Wednesday.

When the snow falls:

We hold our Bibles close.

Spend time in prayer.

Put on the right clothes.

Brush up on our smile, and our patented response to the question “How are you?” – “fine.”

Sing songs in worship.

we leave feeling sufficiently “snowed on” in our minds eye, we look pretty.

Then the snow melts.

We put our Bibles away, not to look to them until the next snowstorm.

Stop praying, because after all, we just did that on Sunday.

Put away our nice clothes, and sport that item that we would never wear in front of Jesus.

Put our relationships with our church family on hold until the next time we are snowed in together.

Decide it would be better to sing the new Justin Beiber song instead of “How great thou art”

The snow has melted, the beauty is gone.

I know many who read this posts, are very dedicated to The Lord, and I want to thank you for all that you do. This post is meant to be a cause for reflection for any who might find themselves living for the spiritual snow. Nothing more.

Psalm 51:7- Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

“Sin-X”

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I am taking the first step. I am ready to admit that I have a problem. I, Troy Rogers, am addicted… to Germ-X. I don’t know how, I don’t know why, but the last 4-5 years of my life have heavily involved Germ-X. I started small, just a drop here and there for the really tough jobs, then, it escalated. I have a bottle of Germ-X in my house, my office, and both of my cars, so that it is there wherever I go.

 

When my wife and I had our interview process with the last congregation we worked with, on our drive home, she was asking me what I thought. At some point soon after her asking this question, I told her I loved the fact that they kept HUGE economy size bottles of Germ-X all throughout their building. (As I said, I have a problem.)

 

When our daughter was born, I was prepared. Not for parenting, but for germ fighting. We had at least 5 big bottles of Germ-X lining our fireplace in our home. Anytime someone came over to hold our little girl (even if it was grandma) they had to wash their hands. Even if they had held her 10 minutes earlier, they had to do it again.

 

I became obsessed with this idea that one could possibly be “Germ-free.” I loved the thought of being clean and having no fear of germs. Some of you are thinking “He is a city boy!” I must tell you, I am nowhere close to being a city boy, like I said, this just happened to me.

 

 

Isaiah 51 tells us that sins separate us from God. Romans 3:23 reminds us that every one of us have sinned. In other words we are dirty. We are stained, in need of cleansing.  As stated earlier, I love Germ-X, but I have to break the news. It doesn’t matter how much or how often you use Germ-X, it can never get you clean from the filth of sin which you and I struggle with routinely.

 

Jeremiah 2:22- Though you wash yourself with much lye and use much soap, the stain of your guilt is ever before me, declares the Lord.

 

No amount of soap, Germ-X, or bathing can take away our guilt. However, coming into contact with the blood of Christ through baptism is our Sin-X. It is much more powerful than Germ-X. It does not eliminate 99.9 percent of our sin, but guarantees to eliminate 100 percent.

 

While I am thankful for Germ-X, I am much more thankful for our Savior who provided the only way for us to truly be clean.

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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“Will God Destroy America?”

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Disclaimer: This is not a political post. This is a post about our God, and His nature.

 

          I remember it well, I was terrified. I was a young child when I first heard those words spoken from a Bible class teacher on Sunday Morning. The words were something like this, “If a lot of changes don’t happen, and soon, God will destroy the U.S.”

 

          Now picture the effect that such a statement can have on a 10 year old child. I was devastated. I left worship Sunday morning with my parents and sister, and I wasn’t even excited about watching football when I got home. I thought “What is the point? God will probably blow up the football field before the game is over.”

 

          Allow me to say before moving forward that I understand the sentiments expressed by this Bible class teacher. I also understand those same or similar statements being made by numerous Christians all around. It is not hard to see problems that are surrounding us. We see more and more sin that is not just legalized but embraced by our nation. We see attacks on the authority of scripture, the church, and Jesus Himself. We also see examples in Scripture such as the infamous Sodom and Gomorrah, along with others that show the end of great cities and nations because of moral decay. It can be very depressing. Let me be clear, I do not think we should simply dismiss these issues and pay them no attention. They are of legitimate concern. I would however caution us to not dwell on the bad and neglect the good (Phil 4:8)

 

           I would like to draw your attention to 2 passages of scripture that reveal to us a great deal about our God.

 1.   Jeremiah Chapter 5

 

There isn’t a preacher anywhere around here that has had to put up with the degree of problems that Jeremiah was facing. Jeremiah, as you know was God’s chosen messenger to a people who had turned their face away from God, and were living solely for self. He was proclaiming the words that God put within him to the people. It was a tough message to digest, but it was a message that begged those who used to be God’s people to repent.

 

            Jeremiah 5:1- “Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, look and take note! Search her squares to see if you can find a man, one who does justice and seeks truth, that I may pardon her.”

 

Isn’t it interesting that to a people so lost, so hard of heart, that this would be a message to them from God? The message preached was that God would pardon/spare this people if they could find A MAN who was living right. Not millions, thousands, or hundreds. A man.

 2.   Genesis 18:22-33

 

In this passage we read about Abraham interceding on behalf of Sodom. One might deem this strange that he would do such a thing. It is important to remember that Abraham’s kinsmen Lot was dwelling there. Abraham was afraid for his relatives when he was told what was about to happen to the cities. Wouldn’t you be?

 

Abraham begins asking God, If I can find 50 people there who are righteous, will you spare the city? God answers that if Abraham could find 50 righteous He would spare the cities. After some thought (perhaps doubting himself that he could find 50) Abraham asks God, if I can find 45, will you spare the city? God affirms that He would not if Abraham found 45. Abraham, wasn’t satisfied, he continued “bargaining” He worked his way all the way down to 10. He asked God, if I find 10 who are righteous, will you spare the city? God said that He would spare it, if Abraham could find 10.

 

What is the point?

 

          It is so easy to be discouraged in the world in which we live. We read about violence, we see the depressing stories on the news, we suffer personal setbacks and loss. There is never “enough” money in the bank. Our leaders are not who we want them to be, as you know the list could go on and on. In Philippians 4:8 Paul tells the church to think, on the good things. It is easy to see the bad, the bad is all around us. Just like the bad has been all around God’s people throughout the history of this world.

 

Will God destroy the United States? Yes, just like He will destroy the entire world (2 Peter 3). However, we should be cautious in our predictions that because of the men and women in office, a bill that was passed, the latest story of violence, and such things, that this means God is going to wipe the U.S. off the map.

 

I am not suggesting that sin has no consequence. I am suggesting that we have the same God that promised to not destroy Sodom if there were 10 righteous people. We serve the same God, that said he would pardon Jerusalem if there was a man found who was upright.

 

Living in constant fear, and constant mourning over the evils in this world, is not only spiritually damaging, but a tool of Satan. If Satan can discourage us, weaken our spirits and our hearts to the point that we feel all is hopeless, he has done his job.

 

  • I am blessed to work for a congregation that is heavily involved in ministry working with our military. We sponsor a weekly worship service at Ft. Sill and average around 4-6 baptisms a week.
  • I participate in a preacher training camp every summer. My first year at this camp, there were 15 campers. This past year, there were around 60.
  • Each summer I serve as a camp counselor and watch as year after year, hundreds of young people are giving up their time to work on their walk with God.
  • I participate in a LTC circuit where several thousand gather each year.
  • I attended a youth rally this past Lord ’s Day where there were over 1,000 in attendance.

 

 

I say all of this without an ounce of bragging (since I have very little to nothing to do with many of those works directly) but rather to encourage. You see, these are just a sampling of a few good things that I personally experience on a routine basis.

 

I encourage/challenge you to do as Paul says and to control what you think. Think on the good, think on the positive; think on the good works that are being done. Think on those who are sharing the gospel. Think about the God we read about in Jeremiah chapter 5, and the God we read about in Genesis 18. The next time you hear those words “God will destroy America.” Think to yourself, “Not if I can help it!”

 

How much different would YOUR world look, if you no longer allowed yourself to dwell upon the evils in the world, but rather focused your time, thoughts, and energy, into making this world a better place?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

         

 

          

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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