Saturday, June 26, 2010

Excuses

We’ve heard the excuses that people give for not coming to church. Here is a pastor’s excuse for not going to athletic events. “Every time I went, they asked me for money. The people with whom I had to sit didn't seem very friendly. The seats were too hard and not at all comfortable. I went to many games, but the coach never came to call on me. The referee made a decision with which I could not agree. I suspected that I was sitting with some hypocrites -- they came to see their friends and what others were wearing rather than to see the game. Some games went into overtime, and I was late getting home. The band played some numbers that I had never heard before. It seems that the games are scheduled when I want to do other things. I was taken to too many games by my parents when I was growing up. I don't want to take my children to any games, because I want them to choose for themselves what sport they like best.”

The Old vs. The New Cross

A.W. Tozer once wrote: "Why do we build our churches upon human flesh? ... For we teach men not to die with Christ but to live in the strength of their dying manhood.... But if I see aright, the cross of popular evangelicalism is not the cross of the New Testament. It is, rather, a new bright ornament upon the bosom of a self-assured and carnal Christianity.... The old cross slew men; the new cross entertains them. The old cross condemned; the new cross amuses. The old cross destroyed confidence in the flesh; the new cross encourages it."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Our Strong Tower

Remember when you first came to know the Lord. The excitement, the vigor, the "I'll do anything for Him" period of your Christian walk? I do, but I've found that being on the "front lines" for the Lord gets a little tiring at times. It's after the continual bullets start flying that we start longing for peace, relaxation and a job in the "rear" somewhere where it's safe. It's not an overnight decision but one that is reached out of shear exhaustion. That's when we need to remember that He is our "strength and shield". He is our "strong tower"!

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart exults and with my song I shall thank him." Psalm 28:7

"The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe." Proverbs 18:10

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Faith

The Bible says in Hebrews 11:6, "And without faith it is impossible to please God..." With that in mind, when we fail to enter the realm of faith in our prayer life and service to God, everything we do or accomplish remains in the realm of the flesh.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Back Azimuth Ministries

I have reached a point in my ministry where I am absolutely open to whatever the Lord's wants of me. I've been involved in pastoral ministry now for almost twenty years. If the Lord wills and I live another forty years, that means that I'm a little more than a third through my "active" ministry years. I've served Him as a music director, worship leader, associate pastor, assistant pastor, senior pastor, missions pastor, missionary and now a campus pastor. I've seen so many different sides of the ministry. I've been given a bird's eye view of the proverbial good, the bad and the ugly of it.

I'm simply at a place in which my planner is open for God to write in it anything He wants to. Right now, I'm teaching at the CCBC Peru and I really do enjoy it. I love being able to minister into the lives of these young people. I also love it here in Peru because the Lord has given my boys a place where they can serve, be loved and challenged in their spiritual walks. The Lord has surrounded them with people who are "truly" Christians. I couldn't help but put "truly" in quotes because I've seen so many claim to be so even though the fruit coming out of their lives smells absolutely atrocious.

I do believe that the Lord has given me the ministries of evangelism, edification and encouragement. However, I also believe that he has placed a tremendous burden in my heart for the church. She is a church that is beautiful on her best days and horrid on her worst. She is the church that Christ died, established and will return for. She is also a church that is constantly being challenged from within and without. It seems that bad doctrine is flowing like water between her pews totally unabated.

I had a student who made the observation that years ago, counsels were held when even the slightest hint of heresy was in the air. I.e. Jerusalem, Trent, Nicaea, etc... And yet today, for the most part, nothing is done about it. Our "tolerance" has spilled over into our religion.

That brings me to the new ministry that I believe that Lord is calling me to launch: Back Azimuth Ministries. Back Azimuth is a term that is used in orienteering. One of the reasons that it is used is to determine where you came from or your original point of origin or departure. It is used to see if you have gotten off course. All you need to do is take the current azimuth (bearing) that you are following, add 180 to it, and arrive at your back azimuth. That gives you the exact direction you came from so that your course can be adjusted if necessary.

I believe that the church needs to shoot a back azimuth from time to time to see if they've gotten off course. Thus, I believe that God has called me to supply the compass. I.e the Word of God through Back Azimuth Ministries. Please pray that He'll show me how to precede.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sleeping in Church

If you were to lay everyone who falls asleep in church every Sunday from end to end...they would be more comfortable!