August 31, 2009
Sometimes our dreams seem to be stuck in the “pause” mode.
In an age of instant gratification, delay doesn’t seem normal. However, in the economy of God, life grows over time and bears fruit. It takes time for roots to go deep; time for fruit to grow; God-given dreams take time.
Some dreams are God-given. Others come from flesh—flesh that is trying to prove something. If we listen (during the delay) we can tell the difference.
Time purifies; Time clarifies; Time intensifies; or Time distorts; and Time discourages.
So, here’s the question: “am I on the path that God intends for me?” Yes, He does have a path for me (“that I may finish my course …” Acts 20.24).
If I know I’m on the path of His calling, I just look for the mile-markers He offers to keep me encouraged. It’s not a sprint….it’s a marathon—“run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Heb. 12.1); with an incredible finish line—“keeping our eyes on Jesus…” (Heb. 12:2)
We may finish the race tomorrow….or, we may not. But until then, let’s get up tomorrow and ask Him to lead the way …and then run—run with Holy Spirit given endurance!
August 24, 2009
God blessed our weekend services and it was my great honor to be with many of you in worship. Any Sunday we have 21 people give testimony of personal faith through the waters of baptism…it’s a great day!
Today (Monday) was a real encouraging time for me as I met with several pastors and listened to their perspective on the Great Commission Resurgence (GCR).
Speaking of the GCR, tomorrow (Tuesday) I leave for Northwest Arkansas for the 2nd meeting of the SBC’s Great Commission Resurgence Task Force. We will have a pastor’s forum and then the Task Force will meet for the second time this month. We will only meet but a couple of more times this calendar year (that is face-to-face). We will have video conferences and conference calls in the coming weeks…but I won’t have to travel. Thanks for praying for us as we face this huge challenge.
Have you told us that you’re praying for us? The list has crossed the 3,000 mark and we are praying that at least 5,000 people will join us in the movement of prayer. You can sign in at www.pray4gcr.com Periodically, I read through the names and I am encouraged.
This week is a little unusual for me. When I return from the GCR Task Force meeting in Arkansas, I am going on a retreat with the Conexion 10/40 Board. Pray for Steve Nolen and this strategic ministry and read more about Conexion 10/40 by clicking here.
If you’d like to keep up with what’s going on…take note of the “twitter” entries in the right hand column. Thanks for being my prayer partner.
August 21, 2009
Our friend J.D. Greear posted this video on his blog yesterday. I watched it and….wow! You need to take a 5-minute prayer break and watch it some time this weekend.
Turn up the speakers on your computer and click here to watch it
August 17, 2009
“…Who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation…” (2 Cor. 5:18)
God gave us the ministry of reconciliation and committed to us the “word of reconciliation. (2 Cor 5:19) This calling and responsibility moves us to share the Gospel in our spheres of influence and care for those we send out to share the Gospel in other places.
Yesterday, there were many reminders of our responsibilities as “senders.”
- We welcomed home a family who have been serving in a war-zone. We have the chance to love on them during their months of state-side assignment.
- We sent out a teacher to serve two years in South America.
- We remembered our missionaries returning to Southeast Asia.
- We had an update from our member who serves in India.
- We remembered our team in Kenya.
- We prayed for our church planters in Boise and Baltimore.
Notice I said “we” every time. Some of these we could discuss in public and some we could not. However, we (the Body of Christ) are in this together. As we think about the Sent Ones let’s remember how desperately they are depending on us…the Senders. We must pray for them, communicate with them and keep our lives tied to theirs…together we fulfill this ministry of reconciliation–the Sent Ones and the Senders.
August 15, 2009
A few months ago I spent some time reading through the “benedictions” found in the N.T. Looking at these passages reminded me that too often we have the wrong focus. ( Here’s some of these benedictions)
Webster’s gives this etymology for benediction: (Middle English benediccioun, from Late Latin benediction-, benedictio, from benedicere to bless, from Latin, to speak well of, from bene well (akin to Latin bonus good) + dicere to say).
When the New Testament writers ended their letters, or a section of a letter, they would remind the readers of the goodness of God, the good work that He is doing and the nearness of His presence.
As a kid, I remember my pastor raising his hand saying some words as the service came to a close. The 21st Century Baptist Church does not usually end with this kind of benediction…but maybe we should. If you let these good words sink in, they will change your focus!
I’m raising my hands today and believing the Word of God. He is a good God and He’s working good purposes; He is worthy of my attention, allegiance and affection:
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:24-25)