May 2014


Marriage is like living and working on a ranch

  1. God is absolutely necessary
    1. Ranchers (and Farmers) know just how much we all need God
    2. Rain, health, growing herd, finances
  2. Ranchers work hard to succeed
    1. Every day is a day of hard work
    2. Every day is a day of blood, sweat and tears
  3. Ranchers make a lot of sacrifices to succeed
    1. Early Mornings
    2. Late Nights
    3. Hard work
  4. Ranching requires love and devotion
    1. If you do not love the ranch life you will quickly depart from ranch work.
  5. Ranchers know how to deal with disappointment, stress, pain and failures
    1. And still survive, and thrive.
  6. Ranchers know how to plan and prepare
    1. Financial
    2. Farming – tending their crops
    3. Preparing for breeding, branding, vet visits and bills and heading to the sale.
  7. Ranchers know when it is time to let loose and have a little fun
    1. Whether it be a barn dance, board games, hunting, shooting or riding
    2. There are times a little stress relief is required.
Advertisements

We Stand WITH each other

Ephesians 4:1-7 “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.  But grace was given to each one of use according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”   ESV

James 5:19-20 “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”  ESV

Ephesians 4:11-16 “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,  to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God,to mature manhood,to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children,tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather,speaking the truth in love, we are togrow up in every way into him who isthe head, into Christ,  from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped,when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”  ESV

Do any of you have younger siblings?  That you used to torment?  Yes, me too.   But, do you also remember what happened if someone else messed with your sibling?   You came to their defense!  NOBODY hurt your brother or sister EXCEPT YOU!

Sometimes churches are like that.  We may fight and fuss, but when adversity rises us we come together.  THE CHURCH SHOULD STAND TOGETHER in all seasons!

  1. We are all in this together
    1. We need each other
    2. There should be no “Lone Ranger” Christians

i.               Even he had Tonto

  1. Our Church family helps us grow and mature
  2. Our church family should help us return to God when we have strayed away
  1. EVERY MEMBER has a MISSION
    1. The concept that you can be a member of or attend a church and not be an active part of the community serving together would have been foreign to the early church.
    2. A lazy western culture developed the “One and Done” concept of church.

i.               Being a member of a Church is not a SUNDAY ONLY event

ii.               Being a member of a Church is not a gift exchange

iii.               Being a member of a church is not a business contact session or a dating site

  1. Being a member of a church is binding together with like believing brothers and sisters to SERVE GOD
  2. Being a member of a church is agreeing that God’s Word is RIGHT even if it is not comfortable, convenient or cozy!
  1. We need each other just to simply WALK this earthly plain
    1. To urge us along
    2. To encourage us
    3. To correct us
    4. To help us
  2. We need each other to bear the work of Ministry together
    1. We all have a part to play
    2. We all have a position to fill
    3. We all work together to keep the church held together
    4. We all work together in unity to see God’s Work become fruitful and multiply
  3. We need our church
    1. We need to be faithful
    2. We need to be giving
    3. We need to be serving
    4. We need to be LOVING

Image

“The Rose”

An Illustration for a Woman’s Funeral

  1. We should all remember that this precious person is part of a growing, thriving plant
    1. From her time as a child to her parents
    2. To her time with her husband
    3. And on to her time as a mother, grandmother, ….
    4. She is part of a family, a church family, a community
  2. Her roots
    1. Faith
    2. Family
  3. Her Stem
    1. Her “shoots”, family

i.     Children:

ii.     Grandchildren:

  1. Her leaves (leaves take in water, food, oxygen, sun light)
    1. Her work:
    2. Her skills
    3. Her passions
  2. Her thorns
    1. Adversity

i.     Loss of:

ii.     Health Issues

iii.     Struggles:

  1. Her Flower
    1. The sweet smelling, beautiful parts

i.     Achievements

ii.     Honors

iii.     Blessings

  1. Her life is like the flower of a beautiful Rose displayed for us to admire and appreciate
    1. Just like the bloom of a Rose, her life had many folds

i.     Daughter

ii.     Wife

iii.     Mother

iv.     Grandmother

v.     Friend

vi.     Co-worker

vii.     Mentor

viii.     Example

ix.     Woman

x.     Christian

 

 

Image

DRAFT   –   13 Realities of being a pastor they do not teach you in Seminary.

  1. 10% of your membership will do 90% of the ministry.  80% will come to church…usually, but will rarely show up to witnessing, church work days, VBS, community events, etc.  10% you may never meet.
  2. Christians are people too.  The “heroes” of the Bible had real issues and so will your congregation.  Unfortunately, most will never tell you, and some will just leave without seeking help.
  3. There are people who will take advantage of you.  They will try to take advantage of your generosity, your time and your heart.  Yes, there are many “human parasites” out there and it takes a long time to be able to spot them.
  4. Everyone lies. (thanks House.)
    1. They may lie to make you feel good.
    2. They will lie to manipulate you
    3. They may lie to make themselves look good.
    4. They may lie for no apparent reason.
  5. People will not tell you about something then complain because you are not doing anything about it!
    1. Maybe it is a building problem.
    2. Maybe it is an issue with a church family
    3. It could be anything.
  6. You strongest “supporters” will turn against you to keep peace in their family or Sunday School class.
    1. This is hard to spot, but sometimes all it takes is one or two angry people to turn a family, Sunday School class or age group against you.
  7. Learn all you can about plumbing, electricity, carpentry, HVAC systems, grounds keeping, sprinkler systems, sound systems, video systems, computer systems, etc. before you enter ministry.  These will prove to be valuable skills!  You will need them!  Either to do the work yourself, to make sure your “volunteer” does not burn the place down or to make sure the contractor you hire is doing them correctly and isn’t charging too much money.
  8. There will be weeks you find yourself without time to properly prepare your sermons.  Ministry demands, meetings, emergencies, etc. will eat your time.
    1. Prepare ahead of time.
    2. Do not be afraid to revamp something from the past if needed
  9. People will expect you to do everything for them
    1. They want you to fix their problems
    2. They do not want to make any changes in their lives
  10. You will never be paid what you should be paid for all the hours, work and pain you deal with on a daily basis.
    1. A Non ministry person would NEVER do what the Pastor does for any amount of money.
  11. If you can do anything else other than being a pastor – GO DO THAT!
  12. Being a pastor is hard, difficult, shocking, freaky, dangerous, scary, inconvenient, frustrating, complicated and flat out IMPOSSIBLE work you could ever, ever do!
    1. It is harder on your family
    2. The ONLY way to do this work is to STOP TRYING TO DO IT YOURSELF!
    3. This work REQUIRES a bigger, smarter, more capable person than you.

i.     This work REQUIRES GOD!

  1. Let Him do this work THROUGH you
  1. When done correctly, being a pastor is the most rewarding, joyful work on the planet!

Image

DRAFT   We Stand WITH each other

Ephesians 4:1-7 “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.  But grace was given to each one of use according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”   ESV

James 5:19-20 “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”  ESV

Ephesians 4:11-16 “Andhe gave theapostles, the prophets, theevangelists, thepastors and teachers,  to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building upthe body of Christ, until we all attain tothe unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God,to mature manhood,to the measure of the stature ofthe fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children,tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness indeceitful schemes. Rather,speaking the truth in love, we are togrow up in every way into him who isthe head, into Christ,  from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped,when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”  ESV

Do any of you have younger siblings?  That you used to torment?  Yes, me too.   But, do you also remember what happened if someone else messed with your sibling?   You came to their defense!  NOBODY hurt your brother or sister EXCEPT YOU!

Sometimes churches are like that.  We may fight and fuss, but when adversity rises us we come together.  THE CHURCH SHOULD STAND TOGETHER in all seasons!

  1. We are all in this together
    1. We need each other
    2. There should be no “Lone Ranger” Christians

                                          i.     Even he had Tonto

  1. Our Church family helps us grow and mature
  2. Our church family should help us return to God when we have strayed away
  1. EVERY MEMBER has a MISSION
    1. The concept that you can be a member of or attend a church and not be an active part of the community serving together would have been foreign to the early church.
    2. A lazy western culture developed the “One and Done” concept of church.

                                          i.     Being a member of a Church is not a SUNDAY ONLY event

                                        ii.     Being a member of a Church is not a gift exchange

                                      iii.     Being a member of a church is not a business contact session or a dating site

  1. Being a member of a church is binding together with like believing brothers and sisters to SERVE GOD
  2. Being a member of a church is agreeing that God’s Word is RIGHT even if it is not comfortable, convenient or cozy!
  1. We need each other just to simply WALK this earthly plain
    1. To urge us along
    2. To encourage us
    3. To correct us
    4. To help us
  2. We need each other to bear the work of Ministry together
    1. We all have a part to play
    2. We all have a position to fill
    3. We all work together to keep the church held together
    4. We all work together in unity to see God’s Work become fruitful and multiply
  3. We need our church
    1. We need to be faithful
    2. We need to be giving
    3. We need to be serving
    4. We need to be LOVING

Mothers Day 2014

John 19:26 – 27 “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!”  Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.”

  1. I poses a question a few days ago that asked “Did Jesus love His Mother?”
    1. A question based on Luke 8:19-21 “Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.” But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”   ESV
  2. So the question, “Did Jesus TRULY love His Mother?”
    1. Of course He did, that is a silly question!
    2. In Context, Jesus was talking about the Family of God

i.     About being good soil, witnessing and faithfulness

ii.     Jesus was talking about doing the Word of God

  1. And few doubt that Mary did the Word and Work of God
  1. Yes, Jesus loved His Mother
    1. The first command with a promise is  “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise),  “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”   Ephesians 6:1 – 3
  2. Jesus would never leave His mother standing alone
    1. He made sure she was taken care of physically, He was already caring for her Spiritually
    2. He gave here purpose – To care for John
  3. Jesus will never leave you standing alone either
    1. He loves you
    2. He is providing for you Physically and Spiritually
    3. He has a purpose for you
  4. On Mount Calvary Jesus proved His love for His Mommy
    1. There, at the same place He proved how much He loved you and I as well.
  5. Stand with your Momma!
    1. After what she went through for you!?

i.     40 weeks of carrying you inside

ii.     2 years of carrying you outside

iii.     And, lets be real….18 years OR MORE of carrying you along life’s roads

  1. Don’t disrespect her

i.     Care for her

  1. Don’t talk back to her

i.     ENCOURAGE her

  1. Don’t ignore her

i.     Spend time with her

  1. I know many of us bought cards, flowers, candy, etc for our moms today

i.     And they appreciate these tokens I am sure

ii.     BUT, they would most likely enjoy spending time with you FAR MORE than those gifts

iii.     Take care of your Mom

  1. While there is still the Opportunity
  2. Jesus’ time on earth as human was over
    1. He made sure His Momma was taken care of
  3. YOU take care of your Momma NOW!
    1. Don’t you let her stand alone!

1544338_729614540392710_2183364018186521839_n

We stand WITH those who are different, who we disagree with, who do not believe as we believe.

“FBC – A Place Where Nobody Stands Alone”  “There is No Difference!  We Are All Dirt”

Those who do not believe as you do are NOT your enemy.

Our enemies are not the homosexuals, the addicts, the prostitutes, the homeless or the liberals.  Those dealing with physical or mental issues are not against us.  Those who belong to or even lead any of the various cults and false religions around the world are not the enemy.

They are sinners – JUST LIKE YOU!

They may need salvation but that does not make them our enemy.

They may not live a fully Biblical lifestyle – BUT NEITHER DO YOU!

Ephesians 6:10-14 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” ESV

Matthew 5:43-48 “You have heard that it was said,  ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  ESV

Take a stand with those populations who are being marginalized or bullied

Tolerance does not mean acceptance

Love those who are different than you

Matthew 22:34-40 “But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together.  And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.  “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Jesus made it very simple for us:

  1. Love God with everything you have
  2. Love your neighbor as you love your self
    1. Most of us think we are pretty good
    2. Some of us think we are AWESOME
    3. We do not perceive our skin tone as an issue

i.               Reality shows us that we all want to be darker or beach tourism, swimming pools and tanning salons would be closed.

  1. We love, well maybe like…or sometimes just tolerate who we are

i.               We should love others the same

  1. What if you were treated badly because of where you came from?
  2. What if you were marginalized because of someone else perceive you to have a disability?
  3. What if your skin color were a barrier to an education or employment?
  4. Love your neighbor JUST LIKE you love you!

Church. Some think it is a social club. What church should be is a hospital for the broken, the beaten and the belittled. A place of healing

Real church is not about denominations, pastors or people. Real church is about connecting people with Jesus and His Word. Find His Love.

Church is not a place of business. Church is a place for the overloaded and burdened to find rest for their souls and peace for their heart.

If you are a bully, in action or words, please stop. You are not perfect either and there is someone bigger. Light will shine your way. B +

Religious bullies point out the sins of others while ignoring their own faults.

Reach out to people who care about you, they are out there and will help, if you allow them. You are not alone. You are loved. You have hope!

No one can influence, belittle or control you if you refuse to let them!

Seek friends who are positive, enriching and helpful. Live happy!

Sometimes this old world is tough! Sometimes bad stuff happens. Christian, remember that you are an alien here. Your God is bigger. TRUST GOD

I am often amazed at man’s ability to condemn each other when none of us are perfect. Jesus was perfect and He does not condemn; Jesus is Love

You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there’s anybody you want to make happy, it’s God! – 8yr old wisdom

It takes work to build something

The more people that participate in the process of building, the easier the building becomes.

When a church is fitted together in the Body of Christ and actively loving God and loving others the body grows and builds itself up in love.

We can know our fellow believers by their LOVE

Genesis 2:5-9  “When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord  God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground— then the Lord  God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. And the Lord  God planted agarden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the Lord  God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.The tree of life was in the midst of the garden,and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”   ESV

Colossians 3:5-17 “Put to death thereforewhat is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity,passion, evil desire, and covetousness,which is idolatry.  On account of these the wrath of God is coming.In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.  But nowyou must put them all away:anger, wrath, malice,slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing thatyou have put offthe old selfwith its practices andhave put onthe new self,which is being renewed in knowledgeafter the image ofits creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave,free; but Christ isall, and in all.  Put on then, asGod’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,compassion,kindness,humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and,if one has a complaint against another,forgiving each other;as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put onlove, whichbinds everything together inperfect harmony. And letthe peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were calledin one body. Andbe thankful.  Letthe word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom,singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Andwhatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  ESV

  • Greek and Jew (non-Jew or Jew…Country)
  • Circumcised and uncircumcised  (law or not law…Religion)
  • Barbarian (Foreigner)
  • Scythian  (Savage)
  • Slave  (under bondage)
  • Free   (not under bondage – un restrained)

God formed us from the dirt of the earth and our skin color reflects that creation.  We are all formed by God, we are all of His creation.  To be a racist is to deny God’s sovereignty over creation.

Our skin color has ZERO effect on our CHARACTER!

“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”   Martin Luther King, Jr.