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Monthly Archives: September 2014

“The Good News About ISIS”

I know you have seen the news. I know you have read the paper, and read the internet articles. ISIS is scary. If you are like me, it breaks your heart a little more when you hear of another act of violence. It breaks your heart even more when you realize that you are becoming (a little bit) numb to the news. What a sad situation it is that it is now normal to read of these acts of violence.

Can I please share some good news with you about ISIS?

  1. ISIS will fail.

Acts 5:34-39- But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law, respected by all the people, stood up in the Council and gave orders to put the men outside for a short time. 35 And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you propose to do with these men. 36 For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a group of about four hundred men joined up with him. But he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. 37 After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census and drew away some people after him; he too perished, and all those who followed him were scattered. 38 So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.”

In this text we see that some disciples were in some hot water because of their faithful preaching. Many wanted to kill them. Then a wise council member reminded all who would hear him that any movement that is brought about by men will fail.

This does not mean that they won’t cause damage, and that they won’t strike fear in our hearts. What is does mean is that they will, eventually, be defeated.

  1. ISIS cannot take away our hope.

Just this morning, news broke about another murder. This time it wasn’t on foreign soil. It was in Oklahoma. A woman was beheaded, and the story is that the offender was a recent convert to Islam. Whether this proves to be true or not is not the point. The point is this: I watched as instantly many members of the church were commenting on news stories with comments of despair.

Please do not misunderstand me. I am not in any way trying to belittle this tragic situation. What I am trying to gently remind us (and myself) is that the evil actions of this group or any individual cannot rob me of my hope. Phil 4:7 talks about the peace which surpasses all understanding. In the face of such evil, let us not forget the God that we serve.

  1. ISIS cannot keep me from talking to God.

No matter how great the evil, our God is greater. I have the ability (as do you) to talk to my heavenly Father. Too often I am guilty of worrying, complaining, and talking with others who are worrying and complaining. when what I need to be doing is getting on my knees and talking to the only One who can make a difference.

  • Let us pray for peace
  • Let us pray for God to soften their hearts
  • Let us pray that God strengthen us, so that the love of Christ shines
  • Let us pray for our leaders, that God will guide them
  • Let us pray for our children. Praying that they will place their faith in God, and that when they look at our faith, they will see an example.
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Posted by on September 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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“I Need to be Better”

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Monday and Tuesday of this week I had an incredible opportunity. I attended the “Better Conference” in Lewisville Texas. This is a conference for preachers to attend, make new connections, and learn how we can be better in ministry. I am truly thankful for this conferences, as well as those who put it together and made it possible.

I want to be better.

I need to be a better Christian:

There are times in my life when I am weak. I occasionally find myself battling with greed or being discontent. I think about my prayer life and my study habits and I cannot think of a word that describes them better than”inconsistent”. There are things that I know I shouldn’t do, but I do. There are things that I know I should do, that I don’t. I want to be better.

I need to be a better husband:

I am convinced that my wife it one of the most amazing people on the planet. She teaches Bible classes,mine is a coordinator for our younger age groups at Northwest, she cooks, she cleans, she takes car of our children, she teaches our children, she plans parties and events, she loves me. I think about all the things that the great woman does and has done for me, and I can not help but think, “I want to be better.”

I need to be a better father:

My precious children hold my heart. When I returned home from the conference, they wrapped their arms around me and screamed, “Daddy! We missed you!” When they are misbehaving, I discipline them, and then try to determine where they picked up this behavior. It would be a lie to say that I have never realized they picked that behavior up from their dad. I desperately want them to be in Heaven. There are some days that I forget to talk to them about God. There are days that we didn’t open our Bible to share a lesson from God’s Word. I want to be better.

I need to be a better minister:

My first day in the office of my first position in ministry was exciting. I dressed up in my finest clothes, I even carried a briefcase. (Not sure if anything was in it, I was just trying to be professional at the age of 19). I remember knowing that I would not be able to “save everybody” however, I thought I would come pretty close to it. Throughout the years I have struggled with being consistent in my preparation, study for Bible classes and sermons. I am not always as involved in the lives of the people the way I want to be. I don’t teach or preach as effectively as I want to. I want to be better.

How about you? In 1 Thess 4:1 we read where there was a congregation who was doing good things, but it wasn’t enough. They were encouraged to “excel still more” in other words, “Do better.”

What areas of life can you improve in? Are we growing as Christians, or just trying to maintain what we have already accomplished? May I challenge you, as I have been challenged to “do better.” Pick one or two specific things that you know you can improve in your life to better glorify God, and then, do better

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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“Sick and Tired”

  I am sick of it. I am tired of it. I am sick and tired of it! Each day that I get to go home for lunch I look forward to turning on ESPN and relaxing while I eat my lunch. This has been taken away from me the past two weeks. For those who might be living under a rock, and are not sure what I am referring to, let me explain it BRIEFLY.

There have been several high profile NFL players who have been charged with domestic violence in various forms. There have been several MLB players that have tested positive for steroids (shocker) and there are a handful of college football players that have had personal conduct issues off the field. The media has sure taken these stories and run with them. Running with them to the point that there is a NFL game on television tonight, and if it wasn’t for my TV guide I wouldn’t even know who was scheduled to play.

I am not writing this post to discuss the troubles that these players find themselves in. I am also not writing this post to talk about the amount of coverage they have been receiving. I am writing this post to address one thing that has been uttered over and over from various media outlets that really just makes my blood pressure rise.

What is it exactly? Well, I have heard several variations of this statement. In general, it goes something like this, “(Insert players name here) is going through a rough time right now. This is just one of those trials and tribulations that we all have to go through. It will make them stronger in the end.”

I would like to start by saying that I believe it is possible for us to learn from mistakes, and to grow beyond them. With that being said…

I fear we have an ever growing problem within our culture today. This problem may even be in the church. I hate that when someone makes a terrible selfish decision, they are no longer “wrong” or “selfish” or “criminal”. They have moved to the category of “Going through a tribulation.”

Might I suggest we make it clear to our children (as well as ourselves) that when we sin, we are at fault. When we sin, we deserve punishment. When we sin, we do not deserve pity or sympathy. I type these words as a man who is a sinner, in need of the grace of God. I am eternally grateful for His grace, love, and forgiveness. I need it. At some point however, we must realize that society owes us nothing. God owes us nothing. Let’s lead our children by showing them how to take responsibility for our actions.

1 Corinthians 16:13- “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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