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Showing posts from August, 2007

Spiritual Challenges

In preaching circles we call them Altar Calls. It's that point at the end of the sermon when the preacher or evangelist challenges you to respond in some way to what God has said through the message. It is a challenge to change, obey, sacrifice or even just change your POV (point of view). The source of the challenge isn't the pastor or preacher but from the Holy Spirit. That person whom you invited into your life when you asked Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. He is the one who speaks to us, challenging us to become more like Him. Sometimes when pastors give a spiritual challenge, someone takes it personally. "How could he ask us to do that?", "Doesn't he know what we are going through?", "This isn't fair!" Believe me I understand. I've been on the receiving end of as many spiritual challenges as I have had the privilege of giving. But I would like to purpose something here. Everyday is an altar call. Everyday is a spi

Multiplication

If you were in this mornings service, you know that I preached on multiplication. It wasn't hard to see where God was leading us this week. After all our DVD series on Wednesday night and Tommy Barnetts sermon on Friday night (at ACMC) was on multiplication. There was something that I missed this morning that I wanted to share with you. There is a difference between brokenness and division. Brokenness comes from a heart of humility and surrender. Division comes from a heart of pride. When the disciples gave Jesus the bread and fish it says that he broke it and blessed it. If we want God's blessing, we must be broken. If we want God to multiply His blessings through our lives, we must have His blessing. To many times we think that we are doing a "holy" thing when we determine how things are going to be done around church or home. In our "holiness" we manage to isolate ourselves from our friends and family and cause division in our church or home.

All Church Ministries Convention

This week we have been attending the All Church Ministries Convention and what a conference is has been. Betty got to teach two workshops about Financial Peace University and Tommy Barnett knocked it out of the park. Ever thought of yourself as a molting eagle? The workshop presenters have done a stellar job. Some of our people from church have been attending. I am looking forward to hearing about their experiences.

What a Service!

No two services are ever the same. Personally I thank God for that. Each address the needs and challenges of our lives relevant to the moment. Sometimes the worship is outstanding, other times God moves during prayer in marvelous and miraculous ways. Well today the worship was wonderful, prayer time was fruitful but it was the Word of God that impacted our lives. There is something about the truth of His Word that challenges and changes us. While I strive to see that every sermon challenges me in some way - today's really took me to task. I don't think that any of us in church today will ever forget that God will always come first.

Hurricanes

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I don't like them, I never want to go through another one. They are expensive. They raise your insurance rates. They change your world as you know it every time. When someone says, "I hope we get another hurricane!" I just want to have them committed. How about we strap you to a palm tree where its makes landfall and see what you think about it. It takes every bit of your patience, hard work and persistence you have in you to recover from one of these things. You pray. I mean you really pray to God and beg Him not to put you through it. Even when you meet someone with the same name of the hurricane you lived through - you look at them funny, like they had something to do with it. Every time one makes landfall, you feel sorry for the people there, you pray for them, and then you thank God it isn't you. By the way, only those who have lived through a hurricane get the right to do that. Weathermen make every hurricane seem like the end of the world as we kno

The Girls Are Home!

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For the last week Betty and Anneka have been in Indiana visiting her mom. Now I have to tell you that the first couple of days were ok, but after a while I had enough of it. I spend most nights telling those two to be quite so I can get some sleep, then I couldn't get to sleep while they were gone. Someone explain that to me! Anyhow, they are back, safe and sound in warm sunny florida. Tonight it will be 56 degrees in South Bend. BRRRRR! And for my friends "up north", yes that is cold! Welcome home to my girls!

God Has A Way

God has a way of delivering us in ways that we would have never thought of. God has a way of getting our attention at the most unusual times. God has a way of changing our destiny without us even knowing it. God has a way of blessing us when we don't deserve it. God has a way of giving hope when there is none to be found. God has a way of loving us when we are the most unlovable person there is. God has a way of helping us through our problems instead of delivering us from them. God has a way of imparting faith to us from places in our lives where we can't believe. God has a way of being there for us when we forget Him. God has a way of taking our pain so He can turn it into joy. God has a way of . . . . can you finish the sentence? Click on comments and let me know!

Scapegoats

Everyone, at one time or another, has been the scapegoat. Someone needed to be blamed whether they deserved it or not. In today's culture we seem to make a career of seeking out people to blame for our own mistakes. We are quick to point the finger, but slow to take the blame. In Lev. 16 we read about the "scapegoat". It says that on the day of atonement. (The day annually when the nation of Israel repented of their sins) the High Priest would lay his hands on the head of a goat and confess the sins of the nation. It isn't recorded exactly what the priest said, whether he spoke to specific sins or general behavior, it had to be painful. I could imagine him saying, "Lord! Please forgive Frank for cheating on his wife this year!" That's embarrassing. If he said, "Lord! Forgive our king for living out of your will therefore bringing calamity on our land." That's not popular. I imagine that the people either individually or colle

Being Content

Paul writes in Philippians 4:12 "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." (NIV) Point being, don't get greedy. Whether your have much or little, God knows and He will meet your needs. Then I read in 1 Timothy 6:6 "But godliness with contentment is great gain." In our time today there are many people who are content with their, "religion". "Religion" being whatever it is they have determined will satisfy their souls needs for God. I talk to people who are seemingly content in their relationship with Christ. Then I speak to others who strive and even struggle to grow. Now at first one might be tempted to think that the latter is less spiritual than the former. But in reality the opposite is true. Christians should never be content in experiencing God through their every

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I really don't like asterisks. They imply something that I don't like. It's like, "You've won a million dollars! * " In fine print some where it tells you the bad news. Barry Bonds just hit number 755 tonight. Some of the fans held up signs with of an asterisk. Implying that his past possible steroid use is the reason why he hit number 755. No matter where you stand on that issue, I have a question for you. Is there an asterisk by your name? What could it mean? Lousy tipper? Can keep a confidence? Talks big, but does little? Watch him around money? Do not give her any authority? Now you may say, "How rude!" Well let me ask you this? Don't you have an opinion about most people you know, placing your own mental asterisk by their name? What's my point? In Matthew 7:12 it says, "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you,..." My point being if you don't want people to put an asterisk by your n

Bridges Falling Down

Watching the chilling video of that bridge in Minneapolis collapse is something I will not forgot for quite some time. I've known a few people over the years who have phobias about going over bridges. So much so that I have had to either purchase medication to get them over it, or drive an hour out of my way to get around it. The I-35 tragedy led me to not only pray for the people involved. But to also pray for people who are afraid of Jesus. Christ died so that he could bridge the gap between us and His Father. But how many people have you known that were afraid of this bridge. No matter of coaxing could get them to cross over to meet their salvation and eternal life with Christ. Some people are mad at the bridge, saying that it is the cause of all of their problems. Some just ignore the bridge, saying they might cross it some day. There are lots of bridges that promise a better life, but none of them actually make it to the destination that they promise. I wouldn&#

God of the Moment

We cannot understand everything about God and we had better be thankful for that. Because if we did, then we would be exactly like God. Yes, we are made in His image, but that doesn't imply that we are an exact duplicate. So when it comes to His presence in our midst, what can we understand? We can understand who God is in that moment. I reference again the book we are studying in LifeSkills, "In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day". Author Mark Batterson references a Hebrew word from the Bible, "paniym". It can refer to the split second before something happens and the split second after something happens. Even though we cannot exist in either moment, God does. In Ex.20:18-19 God's presence is in thunder and lightning. In 1 Kings 19 Elijah experiences God' presence as a still small voice. Two very different moments. But if it were left up to us, we probably would have traded the experiences. Some people think God was too harsh in Exodus -