I think about the recent terror scare regarding explosives discovered in packages destined for Jewish houses of worship. It’s sent the world into a new frenzy of terror. It has TSA and FedEx into a scurry about security along with everyone else from DHL and UPS as well as USPS.
Imagine if they weren’t Islamic terrorists. What it they were evangelical extremists? I am talking about some Bible-thumping, gay-bashing, King James-only, moral flag wavers. What if that was the case?
How quiet is it kept that hate crimes can be committed in the name of Christ just like Allah? How much of an uproar is stirred up when Christians blow up abortion clinics or attack others for their “sins?” Paul said that we are all like “filthy rags.”
Where is the love?
The hate is evident. It is surely visible.
Where is the love?
The fruit of the Spirit should be pouring out from us.
Think about it and be real honest with yourself.
What if the tables were turned?
Evangelical extremists? Could there be such a thing?
This year Halloween falls on a Sunday. Don’t allow your congregation to fall prey to the subtle idolatry that may slip as “for the kids’ sake” or “just having some good, clean fun.”
Archive for October, 2010
Trust me! I am being totally honest here. The rest of this study will not take so long, but I must tread through this slowly.
Genesis starts with an opening phrase that presents God already in existence “in the beginning.” It does not presume Him to be existent. It states that He was there “in the beginning.”
God was already on the scene “in the beginning.” Elohim was present. Henry M. Morris says that
Elohim, the “Creator” name of God, also speaks of God as “uni-plural.” John opened the first chapter of the Gospel that bears his name by stating that the Word was in the beginning with God and as God, and then restates it again in the second verse of the first chapter. Therefore, we see that God’s existence from the beginning is necessary to establish the deity of Christ (the Word) for the Gospel of John that was written so that people would believe in Him.
Belief is critical at this point. There is no middle of the road here. You either believe that God exists or you do not. You either believe in a big bang theory or a big “G” (God) theology. The Bible is not seeking to prove God’s existence. The Bible affirms our notion of a “higher power” being more than something. No, it is someone. It is the One. It is the true and living God. It is Elohim. It is the triune God.
From the very beginning, the Bible requires that you believe God to be true or it’s not even worth continuing to read.
Posted in business, church, leadership, management, ministry, nonprofit, pastors, stewardship, street ministry, tagged calling, church, discipleship, ministry, relationship, service, support, work on October 29, 2010| Leave a Comment »
23 Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds, 24 for riches do not last forever; and does a crown endure to all generations?
Tom Peters named it “Management By Walking Around.” It sounds silly. It seems like it is something that everyone should do. Unfortunately, most do not do it. In fact, many do not do it at all. Peters dubbed it the “technology of the obvious.”
How well do you know the condition of your flock?Is it your ministry team? When was the last time that you saw Sister Fletcher’s husband at church? Was it before he was laid off or not? Think hard. Can you recall?
Have you kept tabs on Brother Edwards? He used to be one of your most faithful and devout Sunday school teachers. Have you sent a card? Have you paid a visit? Since when?
Why hasn’t Anne Marie sung a solo lately? Is she back on the streets? Is she back on drugs? Is she hooking again?
How would you know the answers to any of these questions if you have lost touch with your flock?
Develop a means for leading God’s people beyond a set schedule of meetings and appointments. Carve out time for “pastoral care” that includes home visits as well as lunches and coffee breaks with members and ministry leaders throughout the week. Be sure to reserve some time for drop-in emergencies. You never know when Ann Marie may come on her own. It would be a shame if she was turned away because you were too busy or she didn’t have an appointment scheduled.
Know the condition of your flock.
Pay attention to those under your pastoral care and leadership.
Stay in touch with them and love them as if they were your own.
“The true shepherd spirit is an amalgam of many precious graces. He is hot with zeal, but he is not fiery with passion. He is gentle, and yet he rules his class. He is loving, but he does not wink at sin. He has power over the lambs, but he is not domineering or sharp. He has cheerfulness, but not levity; freedom, but not license; solemnity, but not gloom.” Charles H. Spurgeon
Posted in belief, Bible, creation, daily, doubt, faith, family, From Eden to Egypt, manhood, relationships, study, truth, tagged Bible, daily, exhortation, theology, Word on October 29, 2010| Leave a Comment »
Some will be obvious. They’ll be right before your face. They may be sitting right in your own backyard. You will simply have to recognize them as opportunities.
Some will be more obscure. They may appear to be obstacles or challenges. Yet, you will discover an opportunity to put your talent and skills to work on discovering a solution.
Some will need to be created. When I didn’t find much success in peddling my self-published books through online resources, I decided to turn my lessons learned into resources that drew people into me. I wrote a blog and published a newsletter where I could get people’s attention and inform them about tidbits of what I had already published and what I was currently working on with my writing. it does work, but I had to find a way to make the opportunity work out for me.
Preparation: How you prepare will impact how you perform. If you are lackluster in preparation, don’t expect to tap into some hidden gem of enthusiasm and energy that wasn’t present before it is time to perform. Go full strength with your preparations.
Promotion: You have to talk it up and take it up a notch. You are to talk it up to get others talking about what’s coming. If you don’t show any enthusiasm about what you are putting on, then you won’t see many people rushing to get there. Talk it up and take it up. Introduce something new. Innovate it. Put a new spin on an old idea. Let it wow your audience.
Presentation: Small budgets don’t have make your events small-scale ventures. Get others to partner and support your efforts. Look at your vendors for discounts. Do you always use the same caterers or order from the same local restaurants? Ask for a discount and offer premiere signage. See where you can cut costs without cutting corners. Keep your presentation flawless and fantastic.
God is Available: Go to God. The curtain separating us from Him has been torn. He opens access to Him through our Advocate. The Holy of Holies is no longer limited to the line of Levi. Access has been granted to all who believe.
God is Answering: He answers in many ways. He can give us a direct and obvious answer. He can give us indirect answers. He can show us our answer. He can lead us to our answer. But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases. God has answer for us. We just have to accept it.
God is Awaiting: He awaits you. Will you go to Him with what plagues your heart? Will you run to Him with all that you have in you? He awaits you. Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore.