I love young people! Actually I love people of all ages, but as a grandfather I seem to look at children through another set of eyes. When we had our Summer Blast Sports and Crafts Camp I was impressed by what many of our children knew about the Bible. I was also very concerned about the beliefs that other children had due to the instruction of what I am sure are well-meaning, yet very misinformed parents/guardians.
Working with and watching these kids was a reminder to me of why we do what we do. We work to train children, youth, and adults in God’s Word. We use a variety of methods in our work, but the goal is always the same—Evangelism, Discipleship, Ministry, and Worship. Until the Lord returns may we always be faithful in that service!
Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14).
I guess everyone feels this way from time-to-time. For some this feeling has to do with family. For others it has to do with their job. Far too many feel this way about their marriage. Many pastors will quip that they feel this way every Monday morning. For me, the feeling is most prominent after Business Meetings; but honestly, I feel this way after a lot of Sundays as well!
What is this feeling? It is the feeling that you would like to QUIT! Quit the job. Leave the marriage. Check out on the family. Walk away from the ministry. Forget your friends. Why stay? Nobody cares anyway, except for the people who have a gripe. They are the ones you will hear from!
Then you read Psalm 37:23-24 – “A person’s steps are established by the Lord, and He takes pleasure in his way. Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, because the Lord supports him with His hand.” Somehow Lord, I have to trust that You have established my steps. Somehow or another You take pleasure in my way. Every time I fall, even if the words of others threaten to overwhelm me You won’t allow it because You are the One who is holding my hand. So right now, even though my feelings are telling me to QUIT, my faith is telling me to CLING to Your hand.
Dear ones, may God give you the strength to cling to Him in your trials!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY U.S.A!
The celebration of a birthday does not take into consideration the process that preceded the birth. We celebrate a person’s birthday, but there is about a nine-month process from conception to birth. Mothers can attest to the difficulties of this process.
Our forefathers’ decision to break from the British monarchy began in 1765 with the Stamp Act. The corresponding Revolutionary War lasted from 1775-1783. We celebrate July 4th, 1776 as our nation’s “birthday.” History records the difficulties of this process.
Our Statue of Liberty stands in New York Harbor on Liberty Island. This statue is a gift to the U.S.A. from France. It is a symbol of the freedom that this nation is blessed to have. The idea for this gift began in 1865. The process began in the early 1870s. It wasn’t completed and dedicated until October 28, 1886. History records the difficulties of this process.
Life is about process, and so is your walk as a Christian. The process is difficult. Be patient, but be persistent! “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” – 2 Peter 3:18.
Out of the Ten Commandments, six of them have to do with how people are to treat each other. The first of those six commandments deals with the parent-child relationship—“Honor your father and your mother. . .”
Father’s Day was started by a daughter of a widower who had raised six children. Her name was Sonora Smart Dodd. Her father was for a time a single parent and a Civil War Vet.
History is full of ordinary men who have overcome extraordinary obstacles for the sake of their families. My hats off to you men who work, serve, sacrifice, and pray for your families every day. Happy Father’s Day, and God bless you men!
“Halftime” – An intermission between halves of a game or contest (as in football or basketball).
Typically the halftime is seen as a time for competing teams to rest. The reality is that, while the athletes are “resting” they are also discussing the game-plan adjustments they are going to make during the second half of the game. While their bodies are resting their minds are still very engaged. Church can be the same way! June can be thought of as our halftime of the year.
During the summer months we will not have AWANA, or MOPS, or some of our other regular ministries that accompany the school year. We will still have summer camps, and summer sports camp. We will also begin to turn our attention to the second half of this year, and do some fine-tuning for what is coming up. Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established.” May we work to be a blessing to God’s will rather than asking Him to bless our will. His will is always best!
When God led His chosen people across the Jordan River to inhabit the land promised to them, Joshua instructed them to set up a pile of stones (Joshua 4). These stones were to serve as a memorial to future generations. They would be a reminder of how God parted the waters of the Jordan River to enable His people to cross over into their new homeland.
We have men and women who serve, and have served this nation to provide and protect our freedom. Some of these men and women sacrificed their lives for this cause. Across this country you will find beautiful displays with the names of America’s fallen engraved in stone. These are our memorial stones! We also have Memorial Day as a day set aside to remember those who lost their lives in service to this nation.
May God bless the families of those who sacrificed their lives in their service. And may God bless the USA to the extent that we are willing to bless Him!
This past week was National Police Week. May 15th has been set aside as Peace Officers Memorial Day. This day is set aside for remembering federal, state, and local officers who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty.
There are stories too many to number of officers who “ran in while others ran out.” Some of them survive to tell the story. Others do not! The next time you are pulled over try to remember that the officer giving you a ticket may be the one pulling you from a flooded car in the future!
Let us not forget to pray for those who protect us. May we also pray for family members who have lost a beloved peace officer.
From the cross our Lord was taking care of His mother. After all that He had already experienced and the agony He was going through at the time, He looked down at the woman who bore Him. I am sure He knew that His wasn’t the only heart breaking! In compassion He told the apostle John to take care of Mary, and to treat her as if she was his own mother.
When a child hurts, a caring mother’s heart also hurts. Conversely, there is no joy and pride equal to that of a mother who celebrates her child’s accomplishments. Today we celebrate this high calling to motherhood. Ladies, I pray that this day will be the fuel you need to press on. May your family rise and bless you!
“As goes the family, so goes the nation” is a quote that I have heard many times, and I believe it to be true. One of the saddest statements in the Bible is found in Judges 2:10, “After them another generation rose up who did not know the Lord or the works He had done for Israel.”
The book of Proverbs has much to say about what we are to know as worshipers of God. What many do not realize is that it is primarily a book compose of words from a father to his son(s) about how to live their lives in a way that pleases God. It outlines the personal benefits of loving and obeying God. May our faith and our families be strengthened as we probe the proverbs.
As a more seasoned pastor one of the things that I love to see is young adults involved in ministry. Such is the case with some of our collegiate students who served at Beach Reach during Spring Break.
A couple of weeks ago the church held an outreach at Album Park where we saw 538 registrations and eleven documented salvations.
In the midst of all of that there was a small group of people helping a church member clean up some rental property.
This morning we will celebrate these and possibly other ministry events by way of testimony. Such times of testimony were common throughout the New Testament. I hope that we will not just be blessed by what we hear, but also motivated to do whatever we can to do the work of the ministry.