Archive | August, 2010

Five things

10 Aug

I’ll start with five things that bug me …

Dangerous topic.  Could be a dangerous post.  Could make some folks mad at me.  What’s new???  (Disclaimer: These are things that have been on my heart for sometime.  So don’t think that YOU are the reason I am writing it)

Five things that bug me:

1.  The craziness that has been going on for MONTHS NOW with the alarms and phone lines around here.  We have beaten our heads against the wall until mine has a permanent mortar line … Our lines seem to work perfectly.  Sometimes the alarms do, and sometimes they don’t.  Could be some of the roadwork going on around here, but we won’t know that until it is all finished, and I might be retired before that happens.

2.  Apathy among God’s people.  There are some fired-up people around this place, ready to charge the gates of Hell with a water pistol.  And then, there are some that ARE NOT.  Some that would just be happy if all that was required of them was sitting in a pew once a month or so, never having to give a dime to anything, and being thoroughly entertained (because, after all, worship is about OUR ENTERTAINMENT, RIGHT???).  I know that disappoints God.

3.  Failure to take responsibility for life.  Too many things I could write here, but the bottom line is IF YOU DID IT, MAN-UP (or woman-up) and TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN LIFE.  You will never grow in life if you don’t.  Your momma or daddy will NOT be around forever to get you out of messes.

4.  Gossip.  If you need to talk to someone about an issue you have with them, please do it.  Sharing it with your Sunday School class, co-workers, or any other group that will lend you an ear is not always the best thing to do.  I have several friends who believe in hitting things head-on, and honestly that IS the best policy.  It might seem abrupt or in your face, but it really is the right thing.  See Matthew 18 if you don’t believe me.

If you DO NOT have an issue with someone, and are just passing along juicy tidbits, please stop.  Gossip acts like a colony of termites in the foundation of any church.

5.  Realize that EVERYTHING you put out on Facebook, Twitter, and any other type of social media IS OUT THERE.  For the WORLD to see.  If Christ is your Savior, be aware that you now have a SOCIAL MEDIA WITNESS to maintain.  Look at your act, and clean it up if necessary!

NOW that those are out of the way … How about five positives and possibilities for Ebenezer:  (be reminded that these are things on the top of my heart and head … nothing official here, just some speculation)

1.  What if we started worshiping in the FLC for more space??  Even if it were at 8:30, with 11:00 still held in the Sanctuary??  Some will like this idea.  Some will hate it.  All it will take is the greenlight from God and people willing to help make it happen (logistically)!!

2.  What if we started a second Sunday School hour??  Maybe we would shift our schedule to something like this:

Early Worship, Children’s Church, and 1st SS – 9:00am

Late Worship and 2nd SS – 10:30am

(And we can beat the Methodists and Presbyterians to the restaurants!!)

3.  What if we started a bus ministry to Creekside?? Maybe another locale??  Would we accept our new guests???

4.  What if we changed some things in our programming and really made a commitment to GO DEEP with our relationship to Christ??  What if we went to a year-round small group format on Sunday nights??

5.  What if we REALLY believed that Jesus IS the only way of salvation and started living like it??  And TELLING like it??

A long-overdue update on Dad

9 Aug

I know it’s been too long since I posted anything about Dad.  Honestly, you can assume that no news has been good news …

Dad came home from the rehab hospital on July 1.  Once again, they were doing in-home therapy.  Mom restarted her search for a wheelchair accessible van.  And life rolled on …

On the weekend we went up to take Mom to Montgomery, the folks at Carolina Mobility in Spartanburg called us.  They found a van that was what we wanted and in the price range we specified.  We drove out and looked it over, took it to a local mechanic for a checkup, and ended up negotiating and buying the van.  Honestly, I thought this was just a token purchase to give Mom a feeling of freedom.  BOY WAS I WRONG.

This van has allowed Mom to discontinue in-home therapy and begin outpatient therapy at Roger C. Peace, which is much better for Dad.  They have more equipment and are able to push him harder.  And he is doing pretty well in it.  The van has also given both of them more mobility.  They are now able to go to places and do things with family and friends (on a limited scale).

So, this van has been the best purchase we could’ve possibly made.  Mom says it is a real answer to prayer.  I tend to agree!

Premeditated Sin, part deux

4 Aug

Yes, I know I’ve written about this before.  But I had a great discussion with a friend yesterday about this very topic … And it is on my heart this morning.

How do you think God feels when we decide we are going to protect one area of sin in our lives and claim to be His??  As if we were saying, “I feel the need to steal.  All of the time.  And I intend on continuing to steal, regardless of what the Bible says and regardless of what God thinks about it.  After all, He made me this way …”

Anyone who says this should be aware of LIGHTENING striking SOON … So, if you plan on saying this, please do it OFF church property.  We’ve had our share of lightening this summer!!!

Seriously, do you REALLY think this kind of living puts you in good standing with God?  With His church?  We have to get to this place where we BELIEVE GOD’S WORD.  And if God’s word says it is sin, IT IS SIN.  And if anyone openly plans on continuing in sin, and yet claiming Christ, they are openly disregarding the blood and sacrifice of Christ.  So you do the math on where they stand with Him …

Realizing there is MORE to His church than just me!!

3 Aug

One of the common mistakes made by people all over the world is the belief that what THEY are doing for the Kingdom of God is the ONLY THING GOING ON IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD!!!  Wow … we couldn’t be more wrong.

Paul wrote to many churches about the multitude of gifts God gave each local church.  And when a church gathers together, and begins to use the gifts God gave them, many great ministries blossom and grow.  And the Kingdom of God flourishes.  And, I believe He smiles BIG!!!

I look at the garden that is Ebenezer and I see MANY THINGS that glorify Him:  Children’s ministry, Youth ministry, Weekday Ministry, Worship ministry, mission projects (Angel Food, Creekside, Honduras, Haiti), and the list just KEEPS ON GROWING.  I’d better stop here, because I cannot possibly name all of them.  And all of them have a place in the kingdom.  And all of them co-exist at EBC.  (And, at many OTHER churches, too!!)

I pray EACH of them will continue to grow, continue to bless God’s name and build His kingdom.  And I pray that HE will help US co-exist for many, many decades to come!!!

Tired of the games??

2 Aug

I get tired of the games people play.  Sometimes I can’t even form words about the games people play.  I SURELY cannot blog about them in detail, because I would get into so much trouble.  But I see it all:  People playing games with each other, with love, with God, with the church, with their jobs, and with their pastor (just to name a few).

There are times when I get full … filled up and cannot take it any more.  And just when I think I can’t do it anymore, God reminds me of a couple of things:

1.  As long as there are people, there will be games.  Of course, the games will decrease and disappear as maturity grows.  But our nature is to play games, to work angles, to negotiate.  Games, unfortunately, are a fact of life on earth.

2.  God called me to love people.  Regardless of the games.  And that call is still alive, still loud and clear.

I take comfort in knowing that God is still in charge, regardless of the games.  And He is doing something special at Ebenezer Baptist Church.  I am just glad to be a part of it!!!