Friday, March 31, 2006

I've really got to do better with this blogging thing!!

My blogging has been very sporadic to say the least here lately. I don't want this to become a ghost-town, so I thought I would just stop in and say a few words. I tend to be a shall I say this in a nice way...."stuffy." By that I mean that I tend to be (a little too) serious in my writings. I don't know why I take that stance when it comes to putting something in print, because I can be quite silly....ok downright goofy in person. Of course I'm serious when I need to be.

Blogging can get really boring if it's just a straight-forward devotional with no insights into the blogger's thoughts. So please be patient with me as I get more comfortable just writing some "light" stuff here in my blog. I want to make sure that I do post something edifying every time, but I need to relax too. Perhaps by taking this approach I will blog more frequently....because there won't be so much pressure to write something "profound" (not that I have many profound ideas.....but).

So- let me just say that I'm glad it's Friday- that I love you all- and that Jesus loves you (most importantly). Oh yeah and let me post one of my favorite scriptures about saying nice things to people. I often muse on this verse and I think it's such a beautiful word picture of how our speech should be used to edify others.

Proverbs 25:11 (King James Version)
11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Revival ends.....well sort of

We came to an end of our scheduled revival on Wednesday of this week. Pastor Tow (pictured left) did a wonderful job preaching a series of messages on "walking with God." Our congregation was greatly edified and blessed by the ministry of this tremendous man of God. It was a double blessing for me because I consider him one of my mentors in the faith. He imparted wisdom to me that I will take with me for years to come (should Jesus tarry that long). One of the most powerful messages he preached was "walking with God through hell." I can honestly say this was one of the best sermons I've heard. He shared of the deep burden that every true Christian should feel for lost humanity. We must understand and keep the reality of hell foremost in our minds lest we lose compassion and urgency in our personal witnessing.

This was a different kind of revival for us. It was one of stirring up the gift of God within the congregation. Paul told Timothy to "stir up the gift of God" within him (some translations render that passage "fan into flame" the gift of God). Sometimes we need a good evangelist to come "kick us in the pants" and fan those coals into burning flames. This is exactly what Bro. Tow did for us this week under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. I promised a few photos so here's just some that my wife found on her digital camera- hope you enjoy. I'm thinking of starting another blog exclusively for the church and posting some photos on there....we'll see :)

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

We're in Revival!

I haven't been able to blog as much as I'd like lately, but I wanted to keep you abreast of what's going on @ our local church. Right now we're in revival meetings with Rev. Jerry Tow. Brother Tow is doing a tremendous job and preaching a series of messages called "walking with God." Our revival will continue (Lord willing) tonight and conclude tomorrow night. I ask for all who will to pray for the Lord to move in this series of meetings. Also please remember Pastor Darrell Garrett and Harvest Church in Galesburg, IL who is also holding revival meetings during this same week with Evangelist and Pastor Neil Smith from Florida. They are currently experiencing a blizzard so let's pray that the adverse weather conditions will not affect their attendance. Pastor Garrett and Pastor Smith are both fine men of God and I'm expecting to hear great reports from their meetings as well. Well, that's about all I've got for today, but I didn't want you to think I had fallen off the edge of the earth or something. I'm going to try and post some pics later on in the week.

Be blessed!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

How Good It Must Have Felt

Philippians 4:3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life

I think there are many out there who struggle with assurance issues where their salvation is concerned. I find it is especially difficult for those who have come out of very rigid, traditional, legalistic upbringings. For those in the aforementioned category, it is often hard to grasp the concept of grace apart from human effort. The main goal of "religion" is to work hard enough to somehow be accepted by God. The criteria is forever changing, and so no one really knows exactly how many good deeds are necessary and what will be enough to help us cross the threshold. The Bible however, is a book about assurance. Paul obviously had no hangups about the assurance of his salvation. He told the Philippians (earlier in this same letter) that he was ready to die/depart and be with Christ. This is not a statement often heard from one who struggles with where he/she will spend eternity.

Sometimes admittedly, I have found myself in similar struggles. Despite what the Word clearly teaches, the enemy tries his best to make you "feel like you're not really saved" (as if salvation were a feeling anyway- we walk by faith ....not by sight!). I often think about that glorious book referred to in Scripture as "the book of life". I imagine my name being written there and how much I look forward to being "in that number." How good must it have felt for these individuals @ Phillipi to hear and read that their names were indeed written in the Lamb's book of life!

Is your name in God's book? If you're not sure, you can make sure it is today! Don't wait another minute-call upon the Lord today and ask Him to cleanse your heart and forgive you of every sin- He will do it!

God bless ,

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Face to Face

II John 1:12 I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete (NIV)

I recently had the good pleasure of meeting a few of my internet friends face-to-face. I hope that possibly some time before the rapture, I can meet many more of you with whom I have weekly (sometimes daily) interaction with via the world-wide-web. There's just something about putting a face with a name that brings joy to the heart. I am a bi-vocational minister, and I spend my weekdays talking with clients and salespeople over the phone on my job. Some of them- in fact most of them I have never seen face-to-face. I usually have some mental image of them in my mind's eye. Occasionally, I do have the privilege of meeting them....and they usually look nothing like I imagined them. However, it's such a joy to finally meet in person this individual with whom you have dialogued so many times before.

The apostle John stated above that he had lots to say, but he didn't want to write it. He wanted to be there with them in person so that their joy may be full. Sometimes I fear that in this technological age, we really don't spend as much time with each other as we should. Internet fellowship is wonderful, but it's no substitute for good company in person. I have heard some speculate that the churches of the future will simply be web portals that people log onto from their living rooms and listen to sermons and sing along with a webcast. I certainly hope that church doesn't degenerate into something so impersonal. The early chuch gatherings were called "love feasts" (or feasts of charity).

But I sure am glad that we do have this technology so I can stay in touch with all of you precious people in the blogosphere. Thanks for taking the time to read today and let me just say (with a big southern drawl) I sure do love y'all.

Have a blessed day!