Friday, August 31, 2007

Labor Day

I find it interesting that "Labor Day weekend" is most noted as a time to get off from work. Don't be mistaken, I am looking forward to horseshoes with my family, country music on the river in Conway and fireworks.

Labor Day is a celebration of the appreciation of workers. It is a time to stop and enjoy a little time off from our labors. I think this is good!
God set a pattern of working and resting and declaring it all good.

Jesus invites us to rest even while we are working. He gives us all an invitation to learn what it means to walk with Him and let Him shoulder some of our load. Do you hear Him?

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light." Matthew 11:28-30

Enjoy the weekend. Praise God we have entered into His rest through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Just Thinking

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Trust in the Lord

This morning I contnued to work on my plans for an upcoming trip that involves six churches in five states and several other meetings. I like to have everything in line and confirmed but there are still several things, including what car will I take, that are up in the air.

I was looking at Spurgeon's Morning devotion for today. He started off with, "It may seem an easy thing to wait, but it is one of the postures which a Christian soldier learns not without years of teaching. Marching and quick-marching are much easier to God's warriors than standing still. There are hours of perplexity when the most willing spirit, anxiously desirous to serve the Lord, knows not what part to take. Then what shall it do? Vex itself by despair? Fly back in cowardice, turn to the right hand in fear, or rush forward in presumption? No, but simply wait. Wait in prayer, however." Psalms 27:14 encourages us to: "Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD."

You have probably had one of those times when you acknowledge what God has shown you in His Word but then begin to move forward without applying it. The Lord and I had quite a time getting this one to sink in and bring peace to my restless heart.

I have always said we often act like professing Christians and practicing atheists. God can be trusted and He will show up "in the fullness of time." Had a great day and I am looking forward to what the Lord has in mind in those areas that aren't nailed down yet.

Waiting, Worshiping and Working without Worry

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dwell on these things

The past year has been one of, if not, the most difficult years of my life. I have been physically exhausted, emotionally depressed and spiritually challenged. After experiencing what I can only describe as a physical/emotional breakdown, I resigned a ministry that I believed was what I would be doing when the Lord came or I went home. I moved our family away from a place they all loved and watched their hearts be torn as they left behind friends and moved to a strange place for no aparent reason except that "dad is having problems."

I am now stronger but still tend to dwell on the rubble of the past year. The uncertainty of the future and the regrets of the past often eat away at living in the present. In responding to a co-worker this morning I encouraged her with Philippians 4:4-9. I wanted her to have a joyful day in the Lord. I decided to revisit the passage myself. It was a good visit! I knew I needed to not be anxious, I understand I need to pray and be thankful, and I knew that God wanted me call upon Him with my requests but I was especially impressed this morning with the: "and finally brethren."

The passage basically says, "Hey, if anything good is happening, dwell on that." There is always going to be bad stuff happening and stuff that is hard to understand. Dwelling on that stuff can really mess a guy up!

God has been good this year. He has met our needs and given us grace sufficient for the difficulties. He has placed us near to our son's family, led us to a great church family and is working things out in our daughter's life and our youngest son's life that are best done at this location. The past is hard to understand and the future is uncertain but God is faithful! Look for the diamonds in the rubble and rejoice as you discover them. Dwell on God's faithfulness and again I say, Rejoice.

Just Thinking.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


I have been considering the function of the local church lately and doing some study and prayer about what the church in the 21st century should look like. We seem to get caught up in the busy schedule of the organization and, if we were truthful, find very little of the fruit that we all long to see. By God's grace I am involved in a local church that is seeing fruit and is struggling to fight the pressure to just "do church." Our mission statement is "Changing Lives to Change the World." My masters thesis was "The role of mission statements in service organizations." I found that there is usually a disconnect from the mission statement in the day to day operation of the organization. This leads to people and leaders pulling in different directions instead of the single direction of the original vision found in the mission statement.
While I was focusing on what we should be doing, I attended my connect group which was studying the book of John. I was once again inspired by the power of Christ's resurrection of Lazarus but was also made aware of what Jesus said after He performed the miracle of bringing a dead man to life.
Here is how it went: When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth." The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go." John 11:43-44 NASU
Jesus gave him life and then ask those around him to unbind him and set him free. We need each other to assist us in removing the grave clothes of our lost lives. Changing lives seems to be the process of helping those who have been made alive by Christ to get untangled from their grave clothes in order to be free to serve. As a matter of fact, we are all about putting off our grave clothes and being clothed in Christ.
What is your "mission statement" (The thing you really want to accomplish) ? Is there a disconnect from it? In my research I studied a city police department. After doing my preliminary internal and external audits (surveys) I had the police read their mission statement at every shift briefing. A different officer read it each time. We also put the essence of the mission statement on the bumpers of the cruisers. After six weeks I redid the audits and saw a significant realignment with the mission of the department that was even demonstrated in the external audit (people outside the organization). Maybe the command of Christ in John 11 to help people get out of their grave clothes would be a worthy calling. Whatever your mission statement is, it should guide today and not just be a dream of yesterday.
Just thinking.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Whatever it takes!

Our church is lifting up Christ in North Myrtle Beach. We will do what has to be done to face-off with the attention getting tactics of the culture in our area. We have declared "all out war on hell" and you need to see this video to understand what I am talking about.

When we read about the men who tore off the roof of a house to lower their friend down so he could see Jesus, it demonstrates radical faith and true concern for a lost friend. That is what we have at Barefoot Community Church, radical faith and true concern for the lost.

Check out "Great Car Move" at Sometimes we have to stretch in order to reach the lost.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Spiritual Development and the Church

I started my day at a meeting that has been playing in the background throughout my various functions in the office. It was a challenging meeting that raised interesting questions about the purpose of church leadership and what happens to people once they enter the church culture. How do people become teachers rather than remaining is a position where they need to be continually fed?
What does the journey through spiritual development look like?
I tend to see most people presenting Christ as a means to a better life and an escape from hell. This seems to have germinated in our western marketing culture. The problem is that people continue to depend upon the church to show them that better life and rarely give thought to the escape from hell.
The Scriptures teach that if anyone is going to come to God he must first believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. It would seem that when we seek a better life that we are seeking the wrong thing. God is a rewarder of them that seek Him. I wonder how much our Christian worldview has drifted away from the Creator God who is and the fact that Jesus Christ came to reconcile us to God.
Just Thinking.