Archive | June, 2013

Putting Family First

19 Jun

I really, truly believe God calls us to put HIM FIRST and FAMILY NEXT.  Perhaps to a fault, but I will not apologize for that.  When my children were smaller, I would build my schedule (as much as I was able) to spend time with them … To see their ball games … To help them with homework … ANYTHING they needed.  Because I firmly believe that was/is my calling as a dad.

Will you take criticism for that??  YES.  WHY??  Because, at the very base of his strategy, the devil wants to tear the family unit apart.  ESPECIALLY a family that lives for God!!  Think about it:  The devil’s tricks really haven’t changed much over the past few centuries.  He is still about the business of wanting to topple the Kingdom of God, and that happens by attacking families of those serving in that Kingdom.

So, if you put family first, you can expect the world to criticize … to attack … to never understand.  To apply peer-pressure.  You can expect the devil to do anything he can do to distract you and me from doing what God has called us to do.

That can be scary … HOW DO WE FIGHT THIS??

FOLLOW GOD.  OBEY HIM.  Do whatever He leads you to do, in spite of what the world says.  Do what you KNOW is right in God’s eyes.  He won’t let you down!!!

One more thought about RESPECT

17 Jun

RESPECT.  It must be earned.

People will respect your title or position, only for a while.  It might buy a little time until you prove yourself deserving of their respect.

I think that is part of where Paul was headed in Ephesians 5 & 6 when he wrote about Fathers, Mothers, and Children.  Specifically, FATHERS, you MUST live a life that is respectable.  Do you want your wife to really respect you?  To FOLLOW your lead?  Make the lead RESPECTABLE.  Do you want your children to HONOR you??  Live a life worthy of their admiration and honor.

And, again:  NO ONE IS PERFECT.  You won’t be, either.  But be enough of a man to realize when you’ve made a mistake and MAKE IT RIGHT.

Today’s sermon: 5 Things Every Dad Needs to Know

16 Jun

Five Things Every Dad Needs to Know from Ebenezer BC on Vimeo.

Today’s sermon: Stand Strong

9 Jun

Stand Strong from Ebenezer BC on Vimeo.

Tips on using Smart devices in worship at EBC

8 Jun

Yes, I WANT YOU to use your iPhones, iPads, and Droid devices in worship.  At least, to PARTICIPATE in worship.  And YouVersion (a FREE Bible app) has made an engine available that allows us to provide some enhanced content for the sermon.  So, here are a few tips:

1.  If you do not already have it, add the YouVersion app to your device.  You might also consider a donation to this awesome ministry, but it is not necessary.  YouVersion DOES require an internet connection to access all content, but we have FREE WiFi at the church.  On our church campus, log in to ANY of the “Guest” hotspots with this password:  8436691802

(Does that password look familiar??  It is the church phone number)

2.  If you’d like, create a free YouVersion account and join the Ebenezer Baptist Church group.  Not necessary, but would make the content easier to access within the app.  You can also open the app and it will list geographically any new events that are happening.

3.  If you do not want to do any of that but still want to access the enhanced content, just pull up our church Facebook page and click on the published link.  It will take you to the event.

The enhanced content might ask additional questions, will publish the used scripture, and give you windows where you can take notes.  Hopefully it might take your consideration of God’s word to a deeper place.

If you have any questions. let me know.  This is a developing project and will change (and hopefully get better) as time goes on!!

18 Years ago .. Today …

5 Jun

I just realized a few minutes ago.  It was 18 years ago TODAY when I drove in to Florence in a U-Haul, loaded with stuff, my family, and my calling to Ebenezer as the Minister of Youth and Recreation.  WOW!  Drew was one month old.  Krissy was 4 and a half.  And I was MUCH, MUCH younger… and had a mustache.

In some ways, it seems like a lifetime ago and in other ways it seems like only yesterday.  When I think about all that God has done since June 5, 1995, it really boggles my mind.  And I am thankful for it all!!

WHY are people playing on their smartphones?

3 Jun

DURING WORSHIP???  I mean, REALLY … THE NERVE!!  People all around me are playing on their phones.  And, the preacher even has the nerve to USE HIS iPAD WHILE HE PREACHES!!!  We never did it that way before!!!

Well, then a confession is in order … I have been preaching with an iPad for over THREE years now.  Quite frankly, it is so much easier to manage my notes with it than with regular paper.  And, if there is any question about whether or not that iPad is the REAL Bible, then I’ve got to tell you I have access to about 11 Bibles on my iPad.  And a few commentaries.  It is a great study tool.

A couple of weeks ago, we jumped into a different pool with technology.  YouVersion (a FREE smartphone Bible app) provides community tools for worship.  FREE tools that enhance worship and allow feedback DURING worship.  And, all you have to do is bring your smartphone or device, hit the link on the church Facebook wall, and VOILA!  You are transported to the event that was created to accompany the sermon.

IF you go to youversion.com and create a free profile, you can join the Ebenezer community and find the event within your app.  But you don’t have to do that…  All you need to do is click on the posted link on Facebook and it will take you there.

WHY DO THIS??  Is this just another way of trying to be hip or cool??  NO.  I have already had feedback from visual learners who say “THIS HELPS SO MUCH!!”  It’s another avenue through which the truth of God’s word might be communicated in our worship.  So, WHY NOT???