Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Who Am I Working For???

As I sit praying and thinking about the vision God has for me in the coming days, weeks, months and years...I am struck by the thought that if the work being done is of my doing, then the labor is futile. In Psalm 127:1, the KJV version states..."Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."

So, what this says to me is that if I am laboring on my own, nothing tangible will come of it, right? Not only do we need to be working in His plan, but also be watching to see what He sets before us.

I am reminded of a blog post I read yesterday by Kyle Campos at his blog Our Rising Sound. He was talking about how horrible the whole musical part of worship went and how down he was about it, but during the invitation how humbled he was because he was reminded how it's not about what we do, how good we perform or sound - but rather what He is doing through us.

Isn't that the way we see things too often? We let our selfish pride stand in the way of God working through us...(realize that when I say we, I include myself). Our special on Sunday morning was sung by my wife Lindsey. She sang Laura Story's arrangement of "Mighty to Save". I am reminded of the line..."take me as you find me, all my fears and failures...fill my life again"

Think about those words today...remind yourself...it's not about you!!! Lay your fears and failures at His feet and ask Him to fill you again...I am doing it as I write these words. Ask for the opportunity to share and ask for the discernment to say the words that will show Him...

Please let me know if there is a special prayer request I can word on your behalf today!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How complicated must we make it???

As I focus on the coming weeks that lead to Easter, I have been searching for something that tells about the true meaning of the season. I came across the following video originally at Beamer Films, then again at tangle. If you are looking for quality sermon or worship illustrations at affordable prices, I would suggest adding Beamer Films as one of your search options. (That was not a paid advertisement)

The Simple Complexity of Easter

I thought that was a well put piece! Deep, yet amazingly simple...

Okay, now I have a question and a few thoughts for you...Are we making Easter and all our other "religious" holidays too difficult for people to understand? Easter is a time of great hope, right? I don't think that making Easter more complicated brings glory to anyone does it? Is it necessary to show the love of Christ? I think too often we try to make things a bit too "intellectual" to make ourselves seem like a "better Christian" or more "spiritual than the Joneses". But, what the world needs is not more intellectuality (if that's really even a word), but rather just the simple truth that we are all sinners in need of a Savior!

I am thankful that all my sins are washed away by the blood of the spotless Lamb!!! Do you know Him? What does your faith and hope rest in?

Remember if we are hoping in our own goodness, Isaiah 64:6 states..."But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;..." If our future is dependent on what good we have done, our hope is fleeting at best. I am secure that my hope endures because of the cross of Calvary!!! Jeremiah 17:7 says..."Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is."

If you want to know about that "blessed hope" I speak of, please let me know...

Please let me know if you have a special prayer request that I can word on your behalf today!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Are We Reaching Them???

Okay, It has been a couple weeks since I have posted. It has been quite a time! Finished up my first 8-week online semester with results above what I expected. Then, we had our Spring Revival this week with Rev. Sam Dyer speaking and Paul and Christy Newberry leading our worship. What an exciting time in the life of our church!!!

This has also been a great time of re-focusing my eyes and heart on the work God has for me. Why is it that it is so easy to be sidetracked? It's so easy to get caught up in the job aspect rather than the ministry side of our calling. I have found that I need to focus more on the people we are trying to reach than the songs, instruments, lighting, sound equipment and other usual concerns.

But the focus of everything I do must be to show the love of Christ to others, right? One of the key points I got out of the revival was this...God doesn't tell us to only take the sinners who are "A-listers" or will be beneficial to us either. He tells us to reach out to sinners, point blank!

The verse that comes to mind is Romans 5:8..."But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." That means every sinner, regardless of their personal sin nature, status, or upbringing.

This is a battle we all face...reaching out to ALL!!! I have heard from so many people that visitation just doesn't work anymore. I don't believe that completely, but rather than the methods used for visitation need to adapt. We need more of a personal evangelism. Get to know them and let them get to know us. When they see a difference in us, that could allow us a chance to share with them more openly. Here is a neat little video from BluefishTV that runs quickly through the Roman road (road map to salvation) that we can share with others...

How are you doing at reaching to those who are hurting around you? Do you only focus on the "good" sinners, as if there really is such a thing. Or, are you willing to reach the drug addict, the prostitute, the homeless, and the ones with a rap sheet a mile long? This is a challenge I am taking personally. Will you join me?

Please let me know if you have a special prayer request I can word on your behalf today!!!