Archive | May, 2012

Putting God first

7 May

In all of the hustle of life, how hard is it to put God first??

I mean, after all, baseball season is starting!!  Spring is here!  Grass to cut.  Skin to burn in the sun and shells to collect.  Places to travel.  People to see.  It’s gonna be hard… right??

When the business of life replaces God as number one in our lives, in has effectively become our god.  Whatever we allow to preside on the throne of our lives is our master.  None of this makes the stuff in the sentence above wrong … but if it is more important to us than our relationship with Jesus Christ, THAT is a problem.  Yesterday we heard a quote from Jesus that is is “harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.”  Have you ever thought about that??  How hard would it be for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle??  IMPOSSIBLE!!

Is Jesus shouting down wealth??  If I were a televangelist, I might slip a sly line in here like “SOOO, brothersandsisters, send ALL of your evil wealth to me and I WILL DISPOSE OF IT FOR YOU!!!  PRAISE THE LAUD!!!”  Good thing I’m not like that ..

Jesus is not shouting down wealth, but He IS shouting down us putting ANYTHING in our lives to be more important than God.  When God comes first, everything else finds it’s appropriate place in our lives.  And the things that do not belong find their way OUT of our lives.  The best thing we can do today is put God first!!

Today’s sermon – Redemption

6 May

Cinco de Mayo

5 May

Popular opinion believes this is celebrated date of Mexican independence … but we Wikes celebrate it for another reason.   (By the way … after writing this, I learned this is NOT Independence day for Mexico, which is Sept 16.  It is the date of the victory of the Battle at Pueblo!!)

But, we Wikes celebrate because TODAY is Drew’s birthday!!  Today, my son turns 17 years old.  And I cannot believe it.

I still, quite vividly, remember the very day he was born in Ochsner Hospital in New Orleans.  Two weeks before graduation from seminary.  Four weeks before we loaded up everything we owned and moved to Florence.  And, while Drew claims his cajun heritage (and I agree, he’s got a whole lot of N’awlins in him), for all practical purposes Florence is his home.  It always has been.  He has literally grown up at Ebenezer Baptist Church.  Poor kid, probably more than any other if you add up all the hours spent on campus (more than any except Krissy, Paige Self, and Tyler Self perhaps).

So today, we join our brothers South of the Border to celebrate.  But we Wikes celebrate for a different reason.  Happy Birthday, Drewbie Doobie!!!

You might not believe this, but …

4 May

I realize some who read this will never believe it.  But what I write I KNOW to be true.  I also cannot speak for every church, but I know plenty of pastor friends who operate under these same ideals.  But now, I tell you a couple of things about the staff at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

I am privileged to work with the staff at EBC.  And I can verify to all that we are a praying bunch of people.  We pray FOR each other.  We pray WITH each other.  We try to help each other SOLVE problems in our respective ministries.  We operate as a TEAM.  And we do not operate on our whims or desires.

In fact, there have been many times collectively or individually when we pray, God gives us an answer, and we go back to Him and as “Are you SURE, Lord??”  I know that to be true for me.  I know that to be true for Ed, Justin, Andi, and Pam as well.  But Ebenezerites can rest assured that when we make a move, we are following the Holy Spirit to the best of our abilities.

What about mistakes??  What about wrong moves??  We are human and imperfect.  We do make mistakes from time to time.  I am thankful God forgives us for that, and thankful for the most part that Ebenezer does, too!!  😀

Again, I cannot speak for other churches, although I know plenty of pastors to ascribe to this same pledge.  But those of us at Ebenezer are dedicated to following God’s leadership in EVERYTHING to the best of our abilities.  Not our opinions.  Not our whims or desires.  The church is HIS.  He calls the shots!  He sets the timing!!  And I wouldn’t have it any other way!

It’s funny, but it’s not

3 May

This is the first time I’ve sat still today. This has been an exponentially bad week about which I cannot blog. But rest assured this week WILL make it into my book.

This week I’ve walked down a difficult and familiar road with a good friend. And I’ve seen the mercy and grace of Christ pour out of him and his son like a flood.

God knew I needed to see that this week. I’ve walked this road with many families and it is a difficult road. When I see a family in one of the lowest places in life and they are sharing His light it reminds me of why we are here. It reminds me of what a church really should be. And I really needed that this week.

If we walk in His light we will reflect that light. Even in the darkest days, His light shines like a bright beacon. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.