Archive | February, 2013

The Reality of it all

25 Feb

God has called US (the church) to share His Good News with the world.  The world STARTS next door to us and moves out.  One day, He will hold us responsible for all of the opportunities we had and how we responded…  The REALITY of it all is this:  We’d better GET BUSY.

We actually bear witness of His reality in many ways:  The words we say, the actions we do, the ethic with which we work, the way we play… THEY ALL bear witness of how REAL Christ is to US!!!  And you had better believe those that do no know Him are watching!!  They want to see if He is real to us before they will ever believe the words we say about Him!!!

So the challenge for today and for this week is this:  START SMALL.  Concentrate on one way to LIVE FOR HIM today.  Completely turn one aspect of your life over to Him, and watch what He does with it.  And I will warn you:  This is contagious!  Once you turn one area over to Him, it will be so much easier to turn the next, and the next, and before you know it you ARE a LIVING WITNESS to Him, and your life is a SPIRITUAL ACT OF WORSHIP.  Just like Paul challenged us to live in Romans 12!!!

Test this and see if it is true …

Today’s sermon: Traveling the Romans Road

24 Feb

Traveling the Romans Road from Ebenezer BC on Vimeo.

Do you care??

21 Feb

Last night in prayer meeting we were discussing I Corinthians 5 & 6.  Talking about sin..  Specifically, Paul was writing to the church in Corinth about sexual immorality and their condoning of it within the church.

The question quickly arises, “What is the right thing to do if we know we have a friend or family member engaging in sin?”  In this world of “MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS,” Paul clearly shows us we have a responsibility to our friend, to the family, and to the church.  IF YOU CARE.

This is a difficult subject to consider… The world and society tells us to mind our own business.  That what someone else does is between them and God, and we have no place doing this…  So, WHY did Paul write those two chapters of I Corinthians??

We are NOT OF THIS WORLD.  If Christ is your Savior, then your nature should be like that of His.  And if you have a friend doing something destructive in his/her life, you WILL try to help them.  IF you care.

Not too long ago, a push-lawnmower did not have the safety bar that will not allow it to run unless you are holding the handlebar.  You could just crank it up and it would run as long as it had gasoline.  Remember??  Suppose you cranked such a lawnmower and had to run back into the house for a second, and came back outside to find a toddler from next door stooping to reach under that lawnmower to retrieve a ball.  IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WOULDN’T SAY OR DO TO STOP THAT???  Because you know the terrible damage that could cause the child.  Personally, I would yell, scream, and run to grab that child.  Because I would NEVER want to be the one who could’ve stopped such destruction and decided not to do it.

If someone I care about is doing destructive things, I’m going to try to stop it.  This is EXACTLY what Paul is challenging us to do.  In LOVE, and NOT in judgment.  If you approach such a thing with a judgmental attitude, you will most assuredly do as much damage as the sin will do.


What are YOU gonna do about it??

18 Feb

So far, 2013 has been an interesting year for me.  And not entirely in a good way.  And here I sit at my desk thinking about what a Monday usually consists of for many pastors:  Tidying up from Sunday.  Literally and figuratively.

Remembering the two air conditioning units that were not working right yesterday… Remembering some of the feedback from people that were in areas where their heat WAS working properly … A prayer request here … A reminder about surgery there … And, all the while, knowing that I am human and WILL FORGET something.

Next, who is in the hospital??  Who was in last week and needs a call??  What will happen this week??  Did I leave the iron on??

Then there are the personal items.  None that I will list here, but thinking about Dad and Mom … about my kids … about my bride …  about life.

So many details spinning around in my head.  Too many for any morning, let alone MONDAY (which is the one day on which a pastor is NEVER supposed to make a permanent decision).  Then, a verse came into my sights… One I’ve seen and quoted many times over:

Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (NIV)


Good question … Think I will work on that!!

Today’s sermon: The Big Picture

17 Feb

The Big Picture from Ebenezer BC on Vimeo.

One of those places

13 Feb

You know it is easy to talk about the promises of God and study the truths of God for me.  It is something I not only study on a regular basis, but I also witness His strength and miracles in the lives of others on a weekly basis.  I am thankful for that.

However, this post is a confession.  There are times in my life when I step into one of THOSE places where I must completely trust Him and His plan, and I must relinquish all control of situations and allow Him to handle them.  And today I must confess that this can be difficult for me, too!

GASP!!!  The PASTOR has trouble with this?????

Well, I AM human … And I am in one of those places with SEVERAL things in my personal and professional life.  But I am trying … And when I fail, the best thing to do is ask for His forgiveness and get back on the horse.  So that is what I’ll do!!

In the words of Michael W. Smith, “Pray for me.  And I’ll pray for you!!”

A Mystery

11 Feb

You’ve got to love a mystery!!  I can almost see Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby Doo pulling up in their green van right now …  But this is not THAT kind of mystery.  It is a good mystery, and one on which we can depend!!

There are mysteries in God’s word, in the history of His interaction with His people, and mysteries in His very nature.  That we DO NOT understand.  And that is OKAY!!!

Yesterday we brushed by one of them while in Genesis 6.  Who were the Sons of God, the Daughters of Men, and the Nephilim?  I am NOT blogging to answer and talk about the THREE prominent theories.  Those kinds of things are fun to talk about and think about, but none of them change the result:  The earth was in a state of growing sin, walking farther and farther away from God.  That is why God chose to flood the earth!!

As much as I like to understand EVERYTHING, I’ve come to this conclusion that really helps me:  There IS a God, and I am NOT Him!!  And it is okay for me not to understand EVERYTHING about Him.  After all, if I could define God and draw His specifications on a blue print, would He really be God??  The mysteries of God are absolutely real and it really is OKAY for us to have FAITH because if He really IS GOD, we WILL NOT understand everything about Him.

Perhaps the greatest mystery is WHY DID HE LOVE US SO MUCH THAT HE SENT HIS SON??  I really don’t know the answer, but I am so glad He did!!

He is real, He is alive, and I am forgiven by His grace.  Thank God for His mysteries!!

Today’s sermon: Serving without Swerving

10 Feb

Serving without Swerving from Ebenezer BC on Vimeo.

The ONLY thing you can control …

4 Feb

Over the past week or so I’ve encountered several events in my life that point back to the same theme.  It’s something I’ve been thinking about for quite a while … And, although it might be easy to think about and even write, I, too, struggle with what I am about to tell you:

Life is like a box of chocolates:  You NEVER know what you are gonna get.  (OK, many thanks to my mentor, Forrest Gump, for that line.)   Life is FILLED with good and bad.  Situations for which you are thankful, and situations you’d rather not experience.  You will prosper … you will make mistakes … life is LIFE.  None of us is perfect and we will all ride the roller coaster up and down.

You (and I) CANNOT CONTROL other people.  You cannot control when others are rude, mean, greedy, crooked, selfish, hateful, this list can go on and on … The bottom line is, you cannot control how others treat you.

You CANNOT CONTROL the situations you face in life.  Many of these are the imperfections ALL of us face and we ALL must struggle through them.  Disease, financial ruin, accidents … they ALL happen.

There are SO MANY THINGS in life you CANNOT CONTROL that I will stop here.  I think you get the picture.  But there is ONE THING you CAN CONTROL:  HOW YOU RESPOND TO THEM.  YOU can control YOUR attitude.  And YES, your level of happiness in life is directly related to HOW YOU RESPOND to these things.

And the BEST RESPONSE???  TRUST IT ALL TO GOD!!  Share your life with God the Father.  Allow Christ to carry you in the valleys.  Allow the Holy Spirit to empower you and pull you through!!!!  He has walked through the TOUGHEST that life has to offer … and He will walk WITH YOU through the same!!!

Proverbs 3:5-6 (The Message)  Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own.  Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track.



Today’s sermon: Reverse

3 Feb

Reverse from Ebenezer BC on Vimeo.