Posts

Showing posts from July, 2008

2 days for the price of one

Image
You know your day is too busy when you don't even have time to blog. Wow, was yesterday a whirlwind experience. But we got Anneka signed up for homeschool - this is going to be fun. She starts K5 which is equal academically to first grade. She is excited. So let me see if I can give you two days blessing in one Romans 3 contains the famous verse, "...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Justice is something that we hear about and care about all the time. We want to do what is right and we want people to treat us the same. The world we live in really does believe in the golden rule, whether they know it or not. The problem is, injustice happens. Life isn't fair. Someone hurts us and may do so knowingly and willingly. We catch them, confront them and they say, "So what?" Where is the justice in that? How can we right the wrong? The truth is, we can't. When someone shouts out, "Justice has been served here!" I

Question of the Week

Image
So the question I asked this Sunday was. How is Jesus going to change you this week? I don't know about you, unless you comment or email me, but WOW have I been getting a tune up this week. A little painful, yes - but well worth it. So how has He been changing you this week?

Romans 3

Image
Paul, through the book of Romans, gives us such insight into ourselves that sometimes you have to think, "Is this guy standing right beside me?" Well, he isn't. But if you think that your thoughts and feelings are your own, they're not. The people of the New Testament were thinking the same things we are thinking today. As in Romans 3 - Will our lack of faith change what God has said to be true? Paul quickly responds with - NEVER! But there are those who do think that because their situation is "special" and "unique" that the truths of His Word - The Bible - don't apply as much as they would with anyone else. King David tried this. He slept with another mans wife. She got pregnant from that encounter. To cover up the sin he tries to manipulate the situation by "arranging" an encounter between this woman and her husband. But because this man was a solider in Davids army and because they were at war - his integrity would not

This ought to be interesting.

Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in California and author of the Purpose Driven Life is going to interview Obama and McCain! I'm going to keep my eye on this one, it ought to be interesting. Click here

Stressed!

I have been thinking about the month of August and the new Sunday Series, "Stressed" for the last few days. To be quite honest, even though we have 5 Sundays in August (FYI - the last Sunday is Labor Day weekend) There really isn't enough time to deal with this subject adequately. But I do believe that you will be able to understand the value of stress and know the difference between that which should and should not stress you in your daily life. I am going to challenge you to do accept some challenges that I believe will help you discover the joy that God has prepared for you. I am convinced that stress (the bad kind anyway) and burnout is nothing more than a wet blanket on the Joy of the Lord - which is your strength to live. Keep checking back, August is going to be a great month for us at FFWC.

Thoughts pt. 2

I want to finish some of the questions I asked yesterday. If sinners can see God in creation, do those of us who know Jesus personally bother to look too? A beautiful sunset, a gorgeous flower or a animal of beauty. Ever gone to the zoo and discovered that God's imagination is limitless? Have you ever looked at an animal and said, "God, what were you thinking when you did that?" Do we see the beauty in the people that are closest to us? It's easy to get caught up in this worlds practice to view those who God gave us with disappointment and criticism. Roman culture was full of paganism (worship of false gods). So are we surrounded by sinners who sin or pagans who are worshipping false gods? Do we even need to know that there is a difference? I think so. People who live in sin are looking for a better life. One with peace and hope. Pagans are just sinners with a strategy. They think that they have found hope in some kind of religion or philosophy. Somet

Right Place Right Time

Image
At my computer last night (to answer the title). Mark Batterson, author of In The Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day has authored another book. Wild Goose Chase. This ought to be good. Anyhow, last night he wrote in his blog that the first 300 bloggers that sent their name, address and website to the publisher would get 2 free books - if they would write a review after reading it. So I did, well see if I get to do a book review.

Thoughts on Romans

Romans, in my opinion, is one of the richest books in the Bible. There is so much packed into a small package here. So as you read it if you feel that you are jumping around from one subject to another - you are probably right. Here are a few of my observations from Rom. 1:18 - 32. If sinners can see God in creation, do those of us who know Jesus personally bother to look too? Roman culture was full of paganism (worship of false gods). So are we surrounded by sinners who sin or pagans who are worshipping false gods? Do we even need to know that there is a difference? I don't know how many times I have said, "But for the grace of God go I." So why didn't I go down the wrong path and walk away from God? Why does Satan have a better PR department? He makes being depraved, even it if sends you to hell, look better than serving Jesus.

Ministry Oxymorons

Oxymoron: Two concepts {usually two words} that do not go together. I learned a lesson about Paul the hard way one time. The key verse to the book of Romans is verse 16. (I'm adding verse 17) 16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith." As a young minister you get a few opportunities to preach on Sunday morning. When you get them you want to make sure that they are good. A lot rides on a Sunday morning message. So one Sunday the pastor was out of town and he asked me to fill in for him. Great! I worked hard and preached a message from the Rom. 1:16 - 17. The essence of the sermon was, don't be ashamed to embrace the Word of God, the Good News of Jesus - or you will be powerless to liv

Christian Rights

There isn't a day that goes by that someone somewhere doesn't complain about something that is wrong. Someone has wronged them in some way. Life isn't being fair. As I listen to them I am just waiting for the line, "Am I right or what?" The right answer here is, "or what?" Christians are called to something higher than a sense of justice. Some want to live their lives based upon what is right or wrong in their given circumstances. Survey says? BZZZZZ! WRONG! As Christians we are called to live for Christ. Right vs. wrong are included as well as wise vs. unwise, action vs. inaction and, well you get the picture. In Romans 1 Paul hits the ground running. He says that he is a servant of Jesus. That addresses his relationship with Him. He says that he is a apostle for Christ, which addresses the purpose of his life. Then he says that he is set apart for Him. You might have missed this one. Ask yourself the question, Set apart from what?

Kristy Dykes

Image
Many of you have been praying with me for Kristy Dykes. She is healed now and in the presence of Jesus walking on streets of gold. Please keep her husband, children and grandchildren in prayer. I have included the bio from her blog for you to read. “Pizzazz! Enthusiasm! High energy! Those are a few of the words that describe Kristy Dykes. From the moment she steps up to the platform, she captivates your attention. As both a writer and a speaker, Kristy is moving and motivating. She will touch your heart with love and laughter.”-- FLORENCE LITTAUER. A former newspaper columnist, Kristy Dykes is an award-winning author of 10 Christian fiction titles as well as over 600 articles in many publications including two New York Times subsidiaries. Her titles have been on the Christian bestsellers list and Top 20 List at christianbook.com, and have won many awards including Second Place in the 2007 Barclay Gold, Third Place in the 2007 Inspirational Readers Choice Contest, and Third Place in

Common vs. Uncommon

Image
It's easy to get caught into the trap of thinking that you are common, average and unimportant in the grand scheme! We may feel like a cog inside a huge machine that doesn't know that we are here. If we break, we will be tossed aside and replaced by another. The world we live would have us to believe this myth. As Christians we have to know better. In Zechariah 14: 20 - 21 we read how everything, even the cooking pots, will be consecrated to Jesus. That nothing will be common, but everything will serve Him. But we don't have to wait until then to be removed from this world of common and unimportance. When we accept Jesus as our Savior - we are forgiven of our sins. But we also accepted Him as Lord of our lives (It's a package deal people you can't do one without the other.) The Lord of our lives set us apart from this world for His reasons and purposes - to serve Him. We are consecrated, set apart for Him. The world that we live is dedicated to making yo

Vacation Day 3 - The End

Image
Well we are home after sleeping in and enjoying a relaxing day. Rode the Jungle Queen, saw a alligator wrangler wrestle a 6 foot gator. The Goodyear blimp flew over us. Saw some of the most expensive real estate you can imagine. Saw yachts so big that when you say, "fill it up" you better have $40,000 handy. Did you know that it is cheaper to ship these yachts around the world than to drive them there? Average cost of shipping your favorite boat to the Mediterranean? $250,000. The best part of the day was when Anneka got in the ocean and she wasn't afraid of it. After splashing her feet in the water a few minutes, she just sat down and had a good time. But we wished we had packed the swimsuit. Oh well. After spending most of the evening fighting Broward traffic jams (I will never gripe about traffic snarls here ever again.) We finally made it home. Whew! I need a vacation!

Vacation Day 2

Image
Betty and I had been to the Miami zoo years ago. Either I'm a lot older or that zoo got a lot bigger. Anneka had a blast. Feeding a giraffe was the highlight of her day. But we cannot get Anneka to say Miami. I say Miami and she says yourami or mommiesami as if the city belongs to us. We're working on it. Enjoy the pics and there are more at Facebook.

Vacation Day 1

Image
Finally made it to Ft. Lauderdale and we are staying at a place called The Forum. As it turns out Book of Hope has a lodging and conference center here. Nice room at a price that fits your budget. I wasn't here a few minutes and I ran into one of our AG pastors here in Broward. Hi Matt! Went to the Museam of Discovery and Science. Sounds boring I know. But Anneka had a blast. There is a Imax theatre which has a 5 story screen and we watched a 3D movie. We had cajun, hot, garlic wings with susie Q fries at Wings Plus. My mouth was numb from the experience.

Patience Please!

Image
I know that I haven't blogged in the last couple of days - but please be patience. This week is going to be a little odd. I've got a strange schedule and it's going to be a little difficult for me to keep up. So keep checking back. And the picture of the lawn mower to the left? We just bought a reconditioned Toro Z4200 for $1620.00 It was $2,500.00. We're never gonna get Tim off the thing. Need your yard mowed?

Personal Vision and Mission

Image
Every successful company, church and organization seems to have a mission and vision that means something to them. In very basic terms a mission statement describes what you are doing and a vision statement is a description of on how your going to do it. Having a personal mission and vision statement isn't bad idea either. It doesn't have to be lengthy or complicated. Once you know what God wants you to do - put it down on paper. Mission and Vision statements are useful during the rough times of our life. When we loose a job or find ourselves struggling with life. A review of a Mission and Vision statement will help us remember and refocus our attention on what is really important. For example: If your mission statement is "To be a Godly (parent) and (spouse)" and you lose your job at Wal-Mart does that change anything? No, not really. While the circumstance may be painful, you can still be a Godly example to your family. If your mission statement is a lit

Are You Healthy or Successful?

I had started this a few days ago and then got distracted. I want to tie up some loose ends before I start addressing the questions series. So which would you rather be, healthy or successful? Some people say both, others say you have to choose. What do you think? Well when it comes to Christians, what is healthy and what is successful? The prophets of the Old Testament were successful, yet most of them were murdered by someone who didn't like their sermon, (boy am I glad we don't do that today.) Samson was healthy, but he wasn't successful until he lost his eyesight. King David was healthy and successful. So here we go. Do you know why you are here? Are you doing what God wants you to be doing right now? Knowing your purpose as a Christian both in general and specific terms is important. Jesus knew that he was sent to the people of Israel who didn't know His Father. That He was here to heal their diseases and give them hope. But specifically He was he

You Are Worth 6.9 Million Dollars . . .

Image
. . . and you have gone down in price. Approximately $900,000 according to the EPA. Now this doesn't seem like a very important statistic, does it? Who in the world would put a dollar figure on the value of a life. The US Government, that's who. You can read more about it here . But suffice to say, the government weighs how much money it spends to save human lives against the cost of saving them. Bottom line, if it costs more than 6.9 mill - bye, bye! As long as speculators keep driving the price of gas up and the value of the dollar keeps going down - well you are going to keep getting cheaper and cheaper. This is where you thank God that someone isn't in heaven speculating on the value of your life. That Jesus paid the $6.9 million + (and that plus is BIG) for you. It doesn't matter if your value goes up or down here on earth because your value in heaven will never change - as far as Jesus is concerned - your priceless!

Be Amazed!

God doesn't like . . .

God doesn't like two things in Zech 13. The first is idolatry. Idolatry is anything that receives what belongs to God. God does ask 5 things of us that we should honor Him with. Our talents, tithe, time, testimony and temple. Talent - These are ability that are given naturally or supernaturally to be used in service, motivation or leadership. Tithe - God gives us resources to do His work and will. He desires to keep those resources in circulation. Time - We are to spend our time, or invest our time into His work and will. Testimony - We have been sent to this world to tell them about Jesus. They are in great need and we have a great answer. Temple - Our human body isn't our own to do with as we please. It, as well as our soul, has been redeemed through Jesus sacrifice. The second is false prophecy. False prophecy is lying in the name of God. In the Old Testament false prophets would put on false prophets clothes - thus making them a prophet in the eyes of th

The Five Questions

The Questions that I will begin blogging about are: 1. Are we living in the end times? 2. Can I loose my salvation? 3. How can I know God's will for my life? 4. Is it OK for Christians to drink alcohol. 5. Can any religion get you to heaven?

Who is God?

Image
Zech. 12 is the Old Testament version of Revelation. Verses 1 - 9 are the battle of Armageddon and 10 - 14 declare the Jews repentance for their sins and for crucifying Jesus. But verse 1 is what caught my attention. 1 This is the word of the LORD concerning Israel. The LORD, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him, declares: Who is God? He is the one who made the heavens, set the stars in place and the planets in motion. He is the one who the dreamer, designer, architect and builder of the earth. He forms the spirit, that which is within all of us that makes us unique. Now you missed it so look at this again. The same creating force, power and uniqueness that made the universe and this planet was used to create you. Now you see it? The same care, the same heart, the same God! Only in our limited understanding would we think that God creates life like Ford creates cars. No way! I don't understand

Healthy vs. Successful Pt 2

Rev. Benson went on to say: Stats On Pastors From Fuller Institute: 90% work more than 46 hours per week...a high percentage works more than 60 hours per week. 90% felt they were inadequately trained to cope with ministry demands. 75% reported a significant stress-related crisis at least once a month. 40% reported a serious conflict with a parishioner at least once a month. 70% do not have someone they consider a close friend. 70% say they have a lower self-image than when they began in ministry. 50% felt unable to meet the needs of the job. There is no way that this can be healthy. But why are things this way? I've heard some say it is the pastor's fault. I think you need to take another look at the stats. Are some pastor just loners? Sure they are. You have loners in every crowd. But these numbers are way to high for that. Now get this. This study was done in 1991. I can tell you it isn't any better. According to a 1998 study done by Focus on the Family and e

Poll

I want to get started on the "God Questions" series this week, but I need your help. Many of you have looked at the poll, but you haven't voted yet. The top 4 are, Are We Living In The End Times?, Can I Lose My Salvation?, How Do I Know The Will of God For My Life? and Can A Christian Drink Alcohol? The Bible and Homosexuality questions are dead last. Could some of you choose from the rest of the list so I can get my 5th question? Appreciate it!

Healthy vs. Successful

I originally started this entry in order to ask the question, "Would you rather be healthy or successful?" After a few minutes the Holy Spirit brought back to my memory a blog entry from a few weeks ago on Jeff Leake's blog Launchpad. Jeff is a pastor in Penn. whom I went to college with and here part of his entry. You can read the whole entry here. Quoting Wayne Benson current president of Emerge Ministries, previous pastor of a great church in Grand Rapids, Michigan and former president of Central Bible College. Here is his definition of success: "Success = The progressive achievement of God's goals in God's time. Success is progressive, not instantaneous. Success is about God's mandates, not about our goals. Success has to do with timing. Getting from E to F in God's time." Being a healthy church is success! Whether you have 50 or 5000 people - if you are not healthy, you are in trouble. So, what is a healthy church? More later

John McCain and Evangelicals

Image
Regardless of your stand on the upcoming presidential election or your party affiliation, things just got interesting. Here is an article from Charisma mag concerning a meeting of evangelical leaders earlier this week. True, from their perspective they are making the best of a bad situation, but I think it's one that is going to make a difference.

The Fourth of July

There is so much of our history that is rewritten or ignored. Mark Batterson writes an excellent blog on this that I would suggest that you read and read to your children. I guarantee they are not going to ever hear this in school. Click here

The Cost of Jesus

In Zech. 11:12 we see the prophet representing the Messiah and asking to be paid what they think His is worth. The price paid is 30 pieces of silver. Most of this chapter concerns Israel's rejection of the Messiah, thus breaking a covenant that God has established with them if they would accept Him. The ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy happened in 70 AD when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem. What is remarkable about verse 12 is that they paid Jesus what they thought He was worth. 30 pieces of silver, the price of a slave. (A freedman was worth twice as much.) The question is, what did Jesus want to be paid? Our love - Jesus wants all of our love. To worship Him with everything that we have, body, soul and spirit. An agape love that will do anything for Him without expecting anything in return. Agape. A Relationship - Jesus wants to be known and He wants to know us. He desires to pour His best into us at all times. Invest in our lives and enrich it with what He has to o

Breaking Hearts

"We will never be the Church God wants us if we will never let our hearts be broken." Seeing is how I cannot find anyone who said that, I'll take credit for it. But Perry Nobles blog makes this truth a reality, loud and clear. Click here.

Battles Come and Go

Life is full of battles. Good ones and bad ones. As I was reading in Zech. 9:14-17 I was reminded for this. Here are a few thoughts about life's battles. #1 - When God shows up you will know it. That isn't to say God isn't here all the time, but when God does something you will know it's God. #2 - You will win. God isn't a loser and God doesn't lose. #3 - God will get the credit for the victory. People will say, "Only God will do this." #4 - It will get better. God doesn't do what He does and then leave a mess behind to clean up. So why don't we understand this? Because we ask 4 questions that sap our strength, joy and victory. #1 - When is God going to show up? We get discouraged if God doesn't move on our timetable. #2 How long do I have to fight? Again, any perceived suffering that goes on longer than we think is should will sap our faith. #3 What do I get out of it? Old fashion selfishness that desires some credit for