A Day To Remember

We all have times in our lives that are more memorable than others. This weekend will mark a time in my life that is significant for me and my family.

 

On Sunday, June 14th, we will have a baby dedication for our son, Wesley. For more than twelve years my wife and I desired a child, but were unable to become pregnant. Finally after many trials and giving the decision to God, we conceived our precious little boy.

 

It was obvious soon after he was born, as is stated in Psalm 127:3, “Children are a gift of the Lord.” I believe that God granted us a child because we aligned ourselves more closely with God’s Will for our lives. (I wonder how many times in my life that I have had to make a decision, but failed to follow God’s Will for my life.)

 

This weekend, my family will be present as we bring forth Wesley to the church, asking for your support and encouragement as he grows up. As a child, I was not raised in church and didn’t come to know Christ until the age of 21. I hope and pray that Wesley will come to know Jesus early in his life and live a life pleasing to the Lord.

 

In VBS this week, the students made “Aroma cloths” to remind them that they should live a life that displays an aroma pleasing to God. I ask for you to help me and my family raise Wesley in such a way that his life will be pleasing to the Lord. God granted us this child because of the love He has for us; I ask you to help us glorify God through Wesley.

Acting up in church

I realized this morning that all work and no fun makes James a dull boy. Therefore, I’ve decided that it would be best to add some humor to our discussions. Here goes nothing:

One Sunday, a young child was “acting up” during the morning worship hour. The parents did their best to maintain some sense of order in the pew but were losing the battle.

Finally, the father picked the little fellow up and walked sternly up the aisle on his way out.

Just before reaching the safety of the foyer, the little boy called loudly to the congregation, “Pray for me! Pray for me!”

Defense or Offense?

Today, I wanted to speak about Football. Well, not really: I wanted to expand on a lesson that we had in Vacation Bible School about taking the Word of God into the world. I know a lot of us struggle with sharing our faith with others, especially close friends and family. For me, the time I had to tell my family about my call into ministry made me nervous. What would they say, what would they think? But what I discovered is that they were happy about my calling and supported me in it. I’ve found the same to be true for almost every encounter I have with others when discussing Jesus.

Many people don’t mind talking about religion, yet others people are rarely the first to bring it up. So how do you bring it up? Good question and I hope to answer that in a series of blogs that I plan to write over the next few days.

But first I want you to consider something. Are you on the offense or defense when it comes to Christianity? Do you openly go to people and tell them about your faith (the offense)? Or do you only speak about your faith when something happens against your beliefs (the defense)? Or…are you sitting on the bench because the one time you told somebody about Jesus, they “rejected” you? (Let me be clear, although you may think they rejected you, they rejected Jesus, not you).

There’s another category I haven’t mentioned – the sideline. Are you just on the sidelines watching others talk about their beliefs? Do you cheer for them, or are you the stick in the mud that won’t root for either team (for or against Christianity)?

Well, no matter which position you are playing (or sitting) on the field, there is good news. God called us to be disciples of Him. God commanded us to go into the world and share our faith, but He didn’t just say to do it…He gave us the tools to accomplish it.

There are numerous methods and programs used to teach people about Jesus [these will be discussed in future blogs]. However, the main way to reach people for Christ is having a relationship with the other person. This first step is already complete among your friends and family.

But how do you tell somebody on the street about Christ? You can’t just go up to them and talk to them, right? After all, our parents have told us “don’t talk to strangers!” Well, I’m sorry, but Matthew 28:19 says “Go…[to] all nations.” But remember the next verse reminds us that God is with us “always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). We don’t have an excuse for not talking to people about God.

Still it’s hard, but God gave me a neat little question to open a conversation with. I used this at Lowe’s the first time and it works great. When you approach somebody, simply ask them “Do you know of a good church around here?” This question doesn’t offend most people, but it will tell you a lot about that individual’s religious convictions. From here you can use a variety of questions to turn the conversation to Jesus.

I will follow-up this blog with another entry soon about how to use this question and the response(s) they give to steer the conversation into a witnessing encounter.

Let’s all get on the offensive and tell the world about Jesus!
 
 

 

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Please remember to say a prayer today for others. I have had many prayer requests come to me recently concerning medical, personal, and family financial needs.

Praise the Lord….

Many times we wake up – groggy, slow moving, or just having that “I don’t want to get out of bed” feeling. This morning was just that for me. I’m a little tired and can’t get started for the day.

Then….I turned to Psalms for a little uplifting message. Not expecting to find anything to get me going quickly, I was somewhat surprised in how God helped me out immediately!

I came upon Psalms 146:1-4: “Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.”

Last night, our VBS lesson was about “Focusing on Jesus,” not on the world. The disciples lost focus during the storm while on the lake two separate times (Matthew 8:23-27, 14:22-31). During the second time, Peter asked Jesus to command him (Peter) to walk on water. Jesus did, and Peter walked on water until he lost focus on Jesus. We also need to stay focused in all that we do and praise the Lord for He is worthy of praise.

Then I thought of the current song Undignified by David Crowder (the students will recognize this one):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aokWlnJ4d0

“I will dance I will sing
To be mad for my King
Nothing Lord is hindering this passion in my soul”

Suddenly, my day was brighter with this very uplifting and upbeat song. But I thought, “When was the last time I had NOTHING hindering my passion for praising the Lord?” This really hit me hard as many times I do allow things (even other people) to hinder me from praising the way I really feel I should. I’m going to use this song as a reminder to me to praise the Lord without hinderance.

But this call to praise the Lord also brought with it an encouragement to me as it lifted me up to begin my day. The Psalmist already communicated in Psalm 104:33 to sing praises to God as long as we live. Why don’t we start everyday with a song of praise to the Lord?

I enjoy listening to music, so on my way to work I listen to contemporary Christian music on the radio. It’s a great way to start my day; sing praises to the Lord today!

It’s 2 AM, why am I awake?

This morning, I woke up at 2 AM…worried. I know God tells us not to worry, but even I worry about things (Kimberly can verify that). Well, after getting this blog up and running, I stopped to pray and ask God to help me get through today. I quickly felt the need to have a short devotion to help me; and so I opened my Bible to a random passage of Scripture.

Guess which “random passage” God showed me…. 

Philippians 4:4-6 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Paul is telling the church (us) to STAY POSITIVE in all things, rejoicing during ALL times…not just when the good times are here, but ALWAYS!

I continually remind my students “when the Bible repeats something, it’s important.” Here, Paul says to Rejoice twice within the same verse. Must be important! Paul also reminds us that the Lord is near – He knows our trouble, He is in charge…we should be content to have the most sovereign ally on our side.

Paul also reminds us to pray “with thanksgiving.” We should thank God because it could be worse, but He has shielded us with His comforting hands. He will not allow us to endure anything that we are not capable of surviving.

As I continued my devotion, I read Phil 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” I don’t always understand how God will solve our troubles, but He does. Jesus reinforced this message during the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:25-34), reminding us that we are more valuable than the birds of the air, and yet God provides for them, why wouldn’t He provide even more so for us? 

There we have it, if we obey God’s Word and rejoice in Him, pray for our needs, and trust Him, He will give us what we really need. I will not question God, but instead rely on His precious and loving care to carry me through.

Have a good day everyone!

VBS kick-off

I just wanted to let everyone know that our first night of VBS 2009 was a success. We had a great turn-out, despite many students helping in other areas of VBS.

The Student Theme this year is Rock & Reef Tour. Tonight we had Nachos for dinner, an introductory lesson on Peter (the Rock), a few activities, and a game of soccer (with a 2 ft. soccerball). Too bad for you if you missed the first night, but you still have time to make it to Monday nights VBS (6-8 PM at Big Sandy Baptist).

We will have a really neat Craft that you won’t want to miss Monday night!

Why blog?

Why?

Ok, so some of you are wondering “why?” Good question, after all, it’s not like I don’t have enough other things to do, right?

Well, I’ve been giving a lot of thought and prayer into my ministry since school has been out. I’ve come to the understanding that one way to help further the Word of God and support the Great Commission is to expand my reach into the world using the internet. Although FaceBook and MySpace provide social networking tools, they have limited flexibility to provide the types of information I feel led to share.

Therefore I have decided to start this website in order to provide insights, Bible Studies, and other relevant information to whomever may desire to use it.

I plan to create a blog that can be used to provide open discussions concerning topics of all natures. I will also post Church events and upcoming Youth events for parents and students alike to keep up to date with our group.

Thank you for visiting this site and I look forward to your feedback in my blog.

Disclaimer

As a newcomer to blogging, I wish to address a few issues:

First, this blog is intended to expand the revelation of God (and other information) to people around the globe.

Secondly, all information contained herein is copyrighted and should be treated accordingly.

Finally, unless otherwise stated, the information stated is solely the opinion of each writer and should not be interpreted as the beliefs or opinions of any other person, employer, denomination, or other organization/member.

I highly encourage you to read this blog with an open mind. In religious matters, please use your Bible as the source of truth to deepen your knowledge of the topics listed, and reinforce it with the insights listed here.

Thank you for participating in our discussions!

May the Lord bless each of us as we truly strive to discover and follow His Will for our lives.

 

 

 

[…this blog is not intended for personal attacks. Please understand that each person is entitled to their own opinion. Anyone utilizing this blog to attack another individual may be banned from future postings…]

Hello world!

I plan to use this forum to post what the Bible says about life. Please come back soon as I begin to post Bible Studies from my research in a little book some people call God’s Love Letters to us (the Bible).