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Showing posts from June, 2008

Celebration Picnic

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We had a blast yesterday at Stuart Beach. Here are a few pictures from the day. Enjoy and see ya soon!

Turning Point

Pastoring in south florida has it's own unique challenges of which summer time is the toughest. Every summer I have pastored through has always been different. Truth be known, most of them were bad. So I approach every summer with fervent prayer. I have to say that if todays is any sign, and I think it is, this summer is going to be great. We had a great service this morning. Praise and Worship was powerful and is just got better from there.

Welcome!

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Meet Collin William Reed. He was born at 10:59 Tuesday evening weighing in at a large 8lbs 11oz , 22 " long. Thank you Lord for such a beautiful lil boy. Collin is Eric and Lori Lusts grandson.

You Need A Laugh!

Paul Grabill posted this video today from Christian comic Tim Hawkins. Thanks to Jeff Leake for posting this! Click Here

An Interview with the Devil

Craig G. does a great job here!

Jobs or Adventures?

Barna Group just released a study on the American Dream, which you can read here. But a few things I noticed were: 75% of American adults in 2008 want to have a close relationship with God in the future (5th most desired outcome in ‘08). 59% of American adults in 2008 want to be deeply committed to the Christian faith in the future (11th most desired outcome in ‘08). 45% of American adults in 2008 want to be personally active in a church in the future (14th most desired outcome in ‘08). 3 in 5 Americans (59%) want to be discipled, but they need churches with leaders that can spur them to act on that desire. 9 in 20 Americans (45%) want to be involved in church, but they need church leadership that can encourage and motivate them to volunteer, participate, and become personally active in church. All of these stastics are up from previous years. It would seem that people do want to become part of a church if, and this is a big if, the leadership of that church will spur the

Alligators

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If you haven't heard. A young man in Okee. lost his arm to a 11 1/2 foot alligator. Keep him and his family in prayer. We know his aunt and uncle. You can read the whole story here.

Choices

Integrity is a choice. Did you know that the most looked up word in the dictionary is the word integrity? Interesting to say the least, yet I believe is a sad statement about our society and culture we live in today. I have seen men and women who have made horrible mistakes in their lives. They were guilty and rightly so. How they reacted to their guilt was a matter of integrity. Hold it Pastor? If they had integrity then they wouldn't have made any mistakes! Well, yes that's the goal, but we all have fallen short and failed at one time or another. Haven't we? I have seen men and women admit guilt with humility and shame. It was at that moment that they needed integrity the most. I have also seen people admit guilt with a cavalier heart and a sense of entitlement. Acts of integrity may be offered, but it's heart is missing. When we are guilt we need to lose something. It's the only way to deal with the guilt. The only way to get rid of our guilt on

Poll Results

Tough Question About God just sweaked by How To Choose Your President. So we will start with the Tough Questions. We've got a little time before we have to choose a president. So here is what I need from you. What are your tough questions about God? Either comment below or email me. Send them in as soon as possible so I can begin to prepare. Thanks to everyone who voted!

Did you Know . . . ?

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There is a great revival taking place in Cuba? That over 500,000 Cubans hear the Gospel message in Assemblies of God churches, house churches and cell groups on any given Sunday? The average wage of a Cuban is $12 a month of which over half is used to obtain electricity. Did you know that many Cuban ministers were doctors, engineers, attorneys who have left their professions to obey the call of God to preach the Gospel? These people need our prayers!

I Remember When . . .

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I remember when Pastors and staff did everything they could to not live in a glass house. Everybody knew what their pastor and his family did and when they did it whether the they liked it or not. (Most of the time - not.) Now there is something called Twitter. If you don't know what it is, it's micro blogging. From either your computer or texting device you enter up to 140 characters at a time. Letting people know what you are doing at any given moment. I haven't done this yet, Betty twitters about one or twice a day on her Facebook. But there are other people who do it a dozen or more times a day. Interesting? Sometimes they twitter stuff that make no sense to me. Other times I read stuff that is so relevant that it causes me to pray. For example. A friend of mine was at the hospital, sitting with his dad who was being prepped for surgery. Have we come full circle? As a culture that once enjoyed block parties and sitting on front porches then moved to seclu

Christianity in America

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The Pew Forum recently released a study about Christianity in America which you can read in detail here. But what I found interesting was this. CBS gleened from this report that up to 70% of Americans don't feel their religion is the only way to eternal life - even if their faith tradition teaches otherwise. What are your thoughts?

Global Evangelism Facts

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Here are some interesting facts about Global Evangelism I think you will find interesting. Read it here.

What Do You Think?

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In Georgia, it is now illegal for a sexual offender to volunteer at church no matter what they do. You can read about it here . What are your thoughts?

Ladder to Success

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I am at presbytery today and as we do at each June meeting we credential new ministers and advance others. This involves a 1 to 2 hour credentialing seminar. Today, District Secretary Steve Powell shared this with us. This of each of these points as a rung in a ladder leading you to success. #1 Think right kind of thoughts. Phil. 4:8 tells you what you should be thinking on. Don't focus on the negative and don't loose perspective on the positive. #2 Say the right kind of words. Eph. 4:29 - Be an encourager and hang out with encourager's. #3 Be specific in goal setting. Both in long and short term goals. #4 Be responsible for the decision that you make. #5 Seek the right kind of friends. #6 Take hurts, pains and setbacks and turn them into your strengths. Don't waste tough times. #7 Go the second mile. Don't allow yourself a sense of entitlement. #8 Never give up and don't' quit. #9 Character Still Counts. #10 Live life by faith phenomenas.

Keep A Lid On It

In Zech. 5 we read about a woman in a basket and that she is confined by an lead lid. How the basket and is carried away to Babylon and there the woman will reside. The woman represents sin and Babylon represents the home of sin. In the book of Revelation Babylon is the home of the godless worldly system that is run by Satan. I am especially impressed by the angels action against the woman. He lifts the lid then puts it over her mouth. There is nothing that the woman has to say that is worth hearing. She cannot speak the truth unless of course it is to her favor. Her mission is to convert everything she meets over to her way of doing things. She is sly, crafty, sneaky, underhanded, slithering snake in the grass type of con artist that doesn't care about you or anything that you love. She wants to torment, posses, overwhelm and destroy everything you have, everything you love and then you for the duration of eternity. Bottom line, do yourself a favor. Keep a lid on i

Yes, I Missed Her

Betty has been gone for the last few days at a Southern Living At Home Convention. It's been Anneka and I for the time being and we have had a blast. But it is time for mommy to come home. In fact, as I write this blog she is on the plane headed here from Nashville. So it is going to be great to have her back.

Out All Day!

Left for Lakeland this morning at 7 a.m. Had a 10 a.m. meeting. The All Church Ministries Convention is on track and going to be great! Tried to leave Lakeland around 3 p.m. Mother of all thunderstorms hit the area. Got out a 5 p.m. and drove straight home. Tired. See you tomorrow!

Celebrate the Small Stuff!

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In Chapter 4 of Zech. it says, "Who despises the day of small things?" We tend to miss little, unimportant details. It isn't a sin, but a fact of life. We just don't notice everything. I do most of the driving in the family, not that Betty doesn't, but she prefers that I drive. So most places I go to I do so from the perspective of the drivers seat. On occasion I will ask her to drive and while going somewhere I've been a hundred times, I see something that I have never seen before. I am in the passenger seat and it's a totally different world over there. In Zech. 4 Zerubabbel is going to take the plumb line out and mark off where the temple is going to be rebuilt. You've seen surveyors go out in a field, plant stakes with the little orange flags. Same thing. God said that men will rejoice when Zerubabble does this. Now I can't recall of a party going on in the middle of an empty field while a couple of guys are pounding stakes in the g

Fashion Faux Pas

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Have you ever watched red carpet events for movie premiers or those award shows? Then as you are watching person after person walk up the red carpet someone stands out like a sore thumb? You wonder to yourself, "Did you dress yourself in the dark or what?" Your begging the fashion police to come a do something! When we stand before God, we don't want to make a faux paux like that. The tragic truth is, we will. In Zech. 3 the high priest, Joshua is standing before God in dirty clothes. As a result, Satan was standing there accusing Joshua of ever sin he had committed. (Satan has a good record keeping system) So God becomes the fashion police and fixes the problem. He puts a new set of clothes on Joshua. So what are you wearing before God today? At the end of the chapter there is a prophecy about how Jesus is going to come and put on our dirty clothes and then die in them. Thus, we will never have to wear our sinful clothes ever again. There is no reason to ma

Change is Good!

Last week I was blogging how God is changing FFWC. One of the things that I have noticed is the deep desire by some to have quality Christian relationship with others. The early church made it clear that the good of who we are on the inside is to be expressed in the good we do in our relationships with others. Helping each other in times of need and building relationships with each other. For many people that is tough. It really pains me to see someone move here from a part of the country where people were nicer. Now I'm not saying that people in Florida aren't nice. I'm saying that you going to meet a few who are not - quite often. New people get beat up fairly quickly and then they get a jaded POV (point of view) about the world. It's where we live people. But when we let that POV into our church - it kills community. That's why we recite the FFWC Pledge: "You will never knowingly suffer at my hands. I will never say anything or do anything kn

Fight the Good Fight

Paul tells Timothy to fight the good fight of faith. (1 Tim 6:12) I don't like to fight. Fighting seems to me to be a bad thing. Where there is a fight, someone is going to get hurt. But then Paul tells us to fight the good fight. Is there such a thing as a good fight? The only fight I know that is good is the one I'm going to win. So the choices are, don't fight, fight to lose or fight to win. Well the middle option isn't a option is it. What's the point if you're going to lose. So it narrows our choices down to one or the other. Now I have preached before that God has a plan for us and that Satan has a plan for us also. We assume that they both involve a fight. News Flash! Satan doesn't want to fight you! He will lose! Satan doesn't want you to do a thing. He doesn't want you to fight, pray, give, serve, worship, believe or have hope. As long as He can get you not to fight, he wins. People often ask me, "Why don't peo

What is Your Glory Within?

In Zech 2:4 Jesus says that He will be a will of fire and the glory within Jerusalem. Obviously this is a prophetic statement to a Jerusalem during the millenieal reign. But it got me to thinking, "What is Your Glory Within?" For Jews, the glory within Jerusalem is its people, the temple, it's culture and heritage. But it isn't away going to be that way. There is a day coming when Jesus is going to be it's glory from within! Who are you from the inside out? When people look at you what do they see? What is your passion from within? What is it that you do and say that let's people see inside your soul? Jesus said in Matthew 12:34(b) that from the abundance of our mouths the heart speaks. Keeping the main the, the main thing is harder that it looks. There are so many distractions to our lives that keep our attention off of Jesus - so let's see what we can do about that. Remember..... ... where you end is where Jesus begins. We pray for God t

Sunday Night Reflections

Fathers Day was a great day! I really enjoyed giving those gifts away! I thought that todays sermon was tough. But I think God made men tough for a reason. Yes, I said the word, "ducky" today! The ladies had a lot of fun opening those boxes after church! What a spread of stuff for the church! WOW! For Fathers Day I got flowers from Anneka and virtual gifts online from her. My name is now Arkansas Jones.

Lighten up will ya!

I was recently reminded of someone who takes life very seriously all the time . Everything about their life was a BIG deal ALL the time! Every little nuance was EPIC! Get the picture? Now I know people who live their lives right out in front of everyone. What you see is what you get. What's the difference? The epic has no room for anyone else's life, unless of course you make their life the center of yours. It's a form of control. These people know everything about everything. In reality they know little about anything. People who live their lives out loud for you to see and experience don't rely on your attention to feed their need for self worth. The epic will be your friend until you disagree with them. They send you on you way, "After all they really don't want my help." The person who isn't afraid of life isn't afraid of you either. But they don't take rejection personally. They don't want to control your life, they wan

Why don't we have fun?

Alright I am going to show my age here. I can remember when it was a sin to go to the movies or to the school dance. I can remember the gas crisis of the 70's and the big hair of the 80's. I remember when it was cool to listen to disco. I remember when I saw a kid smoking marijuana at school lose his mind when he laced it with angel dust. I remember being the smallest kid in school (everyone say awwww!) and getting the living daylights pounded out of me. I remember watching my friends get hooked on drugs, other friends (who were girls) becoming prostitutes. I remember watching families fall apart for one reason or another. I remember friends and acquaintances contract mysterious diseases which they died from (now they call it AIDS). I remember when the KKK made their first public appearance in over 50 years in my home town. I remember wondering if the world was going to end before the year 2000. (LOL) What got me through it all? My home church in Rogers, Arkansas.

Vision

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When leadership can see down the road, usually farther than anyone else, it is a good thing. Sometimes leadership cannot see as far as they need to, problems and difficulties arise that prohibit that. But when vision is clear, it is a good thing. Honestly put, we can see better now that we have ever before. The only thing I have ever discovered that could cloud vision is ourselves. When we get so focused on us, then we cannot see past ourselves. Churches can become myopic and thus destroy themselves from the inside out. We focus on God - Experiencing Him We focus on each other - Enjoying our relationships We focus on life - Live the life He has in store for us. We focus on our world - Giving back to our world what He has given to us. What are you focused on?

Small = Better

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In the land where bigger is better - we have to think smaller is better. Two areas have been on my heart for quite some time. But trying to improve their influence and raise their value has been a struggle. That is discipleship and small groups. For years we built bigger churches to hold the big crowds and do the big events. Now we have mega churches, who for the most part don't have huge sanctuarys, just multiple services, off site campuses and small group ministries. The difference is that the latter is building small communities that care for and teach one another the truths of God's Word as it relates to everyday life. So how is FFWC changing? This September I am going to do a month long series entitled, "Feed Yourself" At which time, we desire to launch a new and updated Sunday School, 2 faithSKILLS series and even a home group for small group studies. I have been approached by a couple of people who would like to open their homes for such a adventure.

He's 4 years old!

Think your smart? Let's see if you can recite the books of the Bible - backwards.

iPray

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"Prayer changes things." I cannot remember the first time I heard that phrase. But it has stuck with me ever since. How is prayer changing at FFWC? It's becoming more personal and more intensive. When we pray it shakes things up. When we don't pray, we get shaken up. There seems to be a kind of laser beam focus to our prayers, they hit the target every time. It is an awesome thing to see and experience. The iPray Team is something that I came across a few weeks ago. These are people who regardless of whatever else they do, when asked they will say, "I Pray". People called to pray and fast. People who believe that God can and should change things. People who will call out your name and intercede on your behalf. So who of you can say that you are called to pray? One idea that someone asked me to consider was using the sanctuary, during the Sunday School hour, for prayer. One or two people who will intercede on behalf the leadership, the service

Worship

Worship is a big part of who we are. As Pentecostals our worship is informal and relaxed. We follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and sometimes He will lead the service in a different direction. So how is God changing our worship? I don't know that He is changing worship so much as He is changing the worshippers. Worship is taking on a deeper meaning for many of us and the quality of our personal worship seems to have more value. I don't get nearly as many complaints about worship as I use to. Now I hear more compliments about it. We didn't change worship, worship is now changing us! One of the things that God has put upon my heart to do is raise up worship leaders. After doing this for over 21 years God really wants me to share what I know with others so they can do it too. It doesn't take someone with a professionally trained vocal talent or have a great knowledge of music to do this. It takes someone called and wiling to lead people into the presence of

Get on the Bus - UPDATED

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As I had promised last Sunday, before I was so rudely interrupted by that nasty virus, I want to share with you how I am seeing God change FFWC. First of all I want to say I can't keep up with it all. God is doing things faster than I can deal with it. That is a good thing! It means that He is raising up leadership to do more than either I or Betty can do on our own. I was reminded the other day of a book entitled, "Good to Great" by Jim Collins. Before you go out and buy the book, it's about how good businesses went to being great businesses. One of the keys to building great businesses, and the same is true in churches, is getting people on the right bus. If we are all going to the same destination, reaching the same goal, then we have to be on the right bus and we have to be seated in the right place. Some people are going to get off the bus, some are going to get on, some are going to change seats. But the key is getting the right people in the right plac

UGH!

Well, Anneka's puke and poop fest migrated to her mom and dad today. I'm going to leave all the sordid details out for an after school special someday. Suffice to say, Yuck! I was not as intense as it was with Anneka, but still it has been bad enough. This is the first time all day that I have been able to sit at my computer and not go to sleep. ZZZZZ!

Follow God

Some of you have heard me say, "Find out what God is doing and get on board with it." I consider this statement to be the opposite of "Lord, bless my mess." There is nothing wrong with having goals and plans to achieve those goals. But if there is anything that I have learned over time is this. God will determine what those goals are - and even when I am doing my best to follow Him, He will lead me to do something I didn't even consider or even believe would be possible at that point and time. Now I say all of this to prepare you for my next statement. God is changing FFWC! Now I would speculate on the how's and why's but suffice to say, God is doing something and we need to make sure that we are on board with it! This I will speak to the rest of this week - so check back often - I have a feeling I will be blogging a lot this week. What is God doing in your life and what are you doing to get on board with it? Anneka update: Other than the f

Sunday Night Reflections

Anneka is doing a lot better! While she isn't at 100% it is much better than it was yesterday. I've learned that preaching about divine healing is harder than I thought it was. The truths are good, but they are very deep! Tom Rogers started an outreach service in the park where he lives. 13 people attended and 1 person got saved. The Sunday Night healing service was a great success. God really moved! I am going to try to get some people to tell you about it this Sunday! God is good and I love this church!

Tomorrow

I just wanted to let you know that I am really excited about tomorrows service, both morning and evening. We are going to have a great time in the morning service. What's the Big Secret? Unraveling the Secrets of Divine Healing has the potential to launch your faith and help you achieve what you have been praying for! Sunday evenings service is going to be great also! We're going to enjoy some great praise and worship and then I really do believe God is going to meet people at their point of need! Know someone who needs help? Be their friend and bring them to Jesus!

Kmart??

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I haven't been to a Kmart since they closed the one here in town over a year ago. But something I picked up from stufffchristianslike.blogspot.com sure peeked my interest today. Yes, you can for $16.99 proclaim to everyone that you know that "True Love Waits". Nope, I didn't see this one coming either. But it is the real deal. Go to www.kmart.com and see for yourself. Now do I think that if you buy this for you teenage daughter she will practice abstinence? I doubt it. It's an attitude not a marketing slogan. There is no doubt in my mind that if someone were to wear this it would strike up a conversation that could be a witness for Christ. Would I put this message on my daughters read end? No way!

Puke

For those of you who have been looking for an update from me, sorry! Anneka suddenly went down sick yesterday evening and it has been one round after another of puke. She puked all night, she puked all the live long day. I hate puke. The only person that I know that hates puke more than me is Anneka. She pukes just because she puked. It is sad. The doctor said for $70 that she has a viral infection. It will probably go away. So for $58 we finally found the prescription that she needed to quit puking! I'm puked out. Bye!

Who Reads This Blog?

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I found this feature in my tracking system and was shocked to find out who has been reading this thing! Most read blog? Nehemiahs School of Leadership. Click on the pic to see a larger version.

Need a printer?

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I had to change printers a few days ago. So my Epson Photo R380 is available. It is used, but it works and is in good shape. If you want it, email me. Click here for printer specs.

Healing Service

I'm telling you that I am excited about this Sunday evenings healing service. There is no doubt in my mind that God is going to do some great things for people this Sunday night. The question is, "Do you want Him to do something for you?" What can you do? 1) Begin to pray and fast now! Prepare for what God is going to do! 2) Focus on Him, not on the problem. Work the solution, don't wallow in the problem. 3) Who do you need to bring? Remember my sermon Sunday? You know some one who will not come if you don't help them. 4) Be ready to surrender to God. Give it up and let Him deal with it. 5) Expect the unexpected. Don't try to tell God what to do, ask God what He wants you to do.

Holy kiss!

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Paul was always greeting people with a "holy kiss". Rom. 16:16 for example. I have known a few people in my lifetime who took that admonishment seriously. Every time I met them, I would get a wet one on the cheek. Both men and women! To be honest, I don't like it. I'm not a kisser (my wife will take exception to that statement as she should), but I don't go around kissing people. Then again, Paul admonishes "holy kissing!" (and to my singles and teens, don't read more into that than you should.) Then I was reading in 1 Peter 5 where he tells everyone to greet each other with a kiss of love - and I get it! All these years and the light bulb goes off! First of all kissing is a cultural thing. Some cultures use kissing to express many different things. Hello, goodbye, appreciation, etc. When Peter and Paul tell people to greet with a holy kiss they were admonishing Christians to do what they already have been doing, but to it with a new rea

I've Joined Facebook

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I finally broke down and did it. I got a facebook page. I've struggled for months whether or not to do this. I really didn't like myspace and Shoutlife just couldn't get the job done either. However, this thing should come with a surgeon generals warning. "Joining facebook will cause you to have flashbacks to your adolesence and early adulthood. You will be forced to find your old yearbooks and you will be challenged to remember people whom you haven't seen in a long time." I am not joking. If I had known this earlier, I wouldn't have done this. A few days after I joined facebook someone asked me to be their friend. (That's how you network on facebook) I looked at the name. I looked at their face. I don't have a clue. This person thinks that they went to high school with me. High School! Ouch! Oh the flashbacks! Oh the pain! I got my senior high school yearbook out. More flashbacks! More pain! I studied names and faces. Nope!

This is why . . .

This is why you should always listen. Clarity to communicate is an art, isn't it?

This gets filed under...

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This gets filed under, "I will never be able to look at a Pringles can the same way again." The following news report is from NPR. "The man who designed the distinctive Pringles potato crisp can died a month ago. On Monday, a portion of Frederic Baur's ashes were buried — in a Pringles can."

LaQuinta

For those of you who know me. I cannot get into a hotel and get on the internet. It has been a curse going on for over a year. But the curse is broken!! God Bless LaQuinta!!

Sunday Reflections

We really did have a great day today! But the best part of the whole service came at the end. When I prayed for Mark I knew that God was there is a real and powerful way. It was the same exact anointing that we experienced a few weeks ago when God moved. I mean the exact same! Nothings changed. I really believe the healing services on the June 8th and June 22nd are going to be very, very powerful! I am headed to Lakeland tonight and will be back tomorrow. It's for the All Church Ministries Convention. So I'll let you know if the internet service at this hotel works.