Thursday, November 30, 2006

Remember To Read
This morning I received a devotional that quoted Dr. H.A. Ironside and John Wesley concerning the importance of reading, especially when it comes to believers and ministers in particular. From the time I was a child I've loved reading, read at an eighth grade level when I was is second grade. It has been my habit over the years to read everything I can get my hands on, often having books next to my bed, in the bathroom, in the family room, and at the office...I didn't say I finished them all, just read lots of stuff. Over the past few years I've slowed down some, gotten busy, and to be truthful, I've gotten lazy, by the time I get home from the office I don't want to think, so I sit in front of the television or even the computer, but don't stretch my mind. Today I was reading some blogs and came across the profile of one man who under the tab of favorite books put, "Love To Read". It stirred something in my spirit, the Bible teaches us to give attendance to Bible reading, the Apostle Paul while prison asked for books to be brought to him...I've never seen a bookstore that didn't absolutely have something I needed...or wanted at least...I'm going to give myself to a fresh dedication to reading! When our oldest daughter was entering kindergarten she wanted to know if she would learn how to read. For Kaitlin it was the highlight of her educational life to learn how to read, and now she reads all the time, is a straight A student and has determined that her life goal is to be an attorney...a mind is a terrible thing to waste! So my challenge today is Remember To Read!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Where Are Your Accusers?
I read something today that has got me thinking, the question was asked if the male prostitute that exposed Pastor Ted Haggard for homosexuality and drug use had been arrested...after all, while Pastor Haggards acts were illegal and sinful, so were this prostitutes...And, someone has to pay, it's the American's the way of humanity...exposure requires recompense! Don't get me wrong, I think Haggards acts are shameful, that he should be removed from the ministry and restored...and restored...and restored...To God, the church, and prayerfully his family, let's do it in this order: God, his family, and the church. Chances are he will never be in the limelight again, he may never have a national audience, and perhaps should never, but what a loss to the body of Christ it would be if this man was lost for eternity and if after a period of restoration, a time in which his issues are resolved, his family and marriage restored, and his wife in total agreement...was not given the opportunity to minister to others from the lessons he has learned from this tragedy in his life! Ted Haggard is out of the limelight now, forgotten by the media, and so is his accuser, he had a moment in history and now he's forgotten too. I wonder if anyone reached out to him? Do you think anyone shared with him the power of the Blood of Jesus and the Gospel to set him free? Wonder if he will face the music for his actions, for his sins, or will he ride into the sunset, laughing at the stupid christian that couldn't control his emotions? Should this man get away scott free? I don't have an answer that I can share, I'm asking you...what do you think? If it were you, where would your accusers be?
In The Mood Yet?
For some strange reason I am having a difficult time getting into the Christmas spirit. Our lives are fine, my wife and I are getting along and I even like my kids this week...but I just can't find myself in the mood for Christmas. Perhaps it's the thought of going to the mall and stores, the rummaging through racks and piles, looking for the perfect gift, or at least the gifts my wife has listed for me...I'm just not in the mood. Julie announced last night that tonight is the night for the Christmas trees to go up, notice that I said to have one for the living room and one for the den, and then we'll probably have to have them for the girls trees, but trees none the less! Am I sounding like Scrooge yet? I'll get over it and eventually into the Christmas spirit...about January!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Home Today
After a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday I'm home today with a sick wee one! My youngest daughter has been running a fever for a couple of days, I thinks she's worn out, so we've stayed home from work and school. A day of pampering and the Disney channel should cause her to feel better, and for me, a day of boredom from the Disney channel will cause me to appreciate work!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Friday
Well, I did it...said I wasn't going to, promised that anyone who did was crazy, but I did it...Went shopping this morning! Now, I didn't go at 4:00 AM, or even 5:00 AM....No, I woke up at 7:45, was out the door by 8:00 AM, eating coffee and a doughnut by 8:30AM, and back home by 9:00 AM! Pretty good huh? I went to Walmart, got a couple hot items, went to Lowes, walked right in and out....took longer at the local BP station to pay for my refreshments, thanks to some lady who needed to discuss everything from her credit card not working, her smoking history, and her dogs bone...why is it that people need to leave their stuff on the counter when others are standing in line and yap? Perhaps my day of shopping has ended, I got the things my wife felt were important, so maybe I can be never knows these things...but I did it and survived! Let me admit that it really wasn't all that bad, Walmart where I live is always crazy, especially when our northern friends have ventured south...and they are here....but that's a totally different post, one that will more than likely be written after a day of hazardous driving, one when my now low BP rises...Today it's all about shopping...I did...I'm Done! My next adventure will take place just before Christmas, when all in one fatal swoop I venture to the mall and stores to buy for the only person I buy for...My Wife...Takes 1-2 hours, all I do is go where she tells me, buy what's on the list, try to remember the clothes that she actually put my hand on and said, "This is the one I want!" After that, it's done for another year...I'm tired just talking about it!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Freezing To Death
It's only 60 degrees here in Sunny Florida! Last night it got down into the 40's, and I don't mind telling you that I am freezing my Yankee Butt Off! We turned the heat on last week and last night I turned it up to 75 degrees, so this morning at 5:46 AM every smoke alarm in my house went off, evidently the heat got the vents and lints warm enough to create a bit of friction and off they went! Our daughters were coming out of their rooms, I'm running, (Yeah, Right!) to turn the heat down and make sure we weren't really on fire...My wife, didn't phase her one bit...we did this last winter too! Hopefully we're going to warm up by the weekend...I have turned into a Floridian, came to the office this morning with layers of clothing, a t-shirt, a shirt, a lined jacket, and I wore socks! What is this world coming to?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What Is The Average Price For A Soul?
Gerald Fraller of Tampa is having some financial problems, as of November 13th he is no longer employed, his car blew up, he is unmarried, and has done all that he can to amass the necessary finances to no now he's selling his soul...Really! It is a contest and the reward is his soul, to the lucky person who wins Gerald's soul and helps him change his life goes the reward of: Certain control over his life such as: a percentage of his taxable income, at least 500.00 per year, the ability to plan his wedding, even the setting of the date, a profit ownership of any intellectual business he comes up with, the right to choose his children's first names, and much more, you can read it all on his web site: Of course, there is a buy back clause, Gerald can buy his soul back for the price of 1,000,000.00 I heard this on the radio this afternoon and thought certainly this must be a joke, I then read his web site and was amazed...How do you sell your soul? It then dawned on me that many have sold their souls for much less. Jesus said, "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and then loses his soul?" It makes one wonder what will you give in exchange for your soul?

Monday, November 13, 2006

My Greatest Florida Fear
We're having cold weather this week at night, it's supposed to be in the 70's in the day and the high 40's at night. My wife is already asking should be we turn on the heat...I fear I'll wake up to see my palm looking like this!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

USF FootBall Versus Oasis World Outreach Men
The University of South Florida played Syracuse this afternoon in Tampa athe Raymond James Stadium...It is a massive and quite beautiful stadium, I think it seats 60,000+ people, has exspensive but good food, and great seating all around...but I'm not sure they were ready for the 24 men from Oasis World Outreach. We converged upon them with excellent tickets given to us by a friend...two things in life you never pass up: 1) Free Food; 2) Free Ballgame Tickets!
We arrived around 11:00 AM for the 12:00 Kick-Off...mind you, I am not a sports fan at all, in fact, as we left we saw a Tampa Bay Buccaneers player, I didn't have a clue who he was, Rando somebody...nice Escalade though. Our seats were in section 133, rows C-E, on the 20 yard line, on the Syracuse side...needless to say, our group, a couple in particular ranted and raved, were actually louder than the cheerleaders, and we had a blast...and to top it off...USF Won!
What a delight it was to spend the day with friends, I hope to do it again sometime...I'll get my wife to tell me more about football before I go!
Several months ago I came to the realization that my health had entered a crisis point, my blood pressure was 176/110, my chest was hurting, my left arm was hurting, it was a constant thing, something had to be done. Over a period of years I had allowed this thing to get out of hand, I researched blood pressure, heart disease, symptoms of heart attacks and strokes online, knew what was coming my way...and I truly believe I was headed that way until I had a right now experience. My family and I were on vacation in Chicago, staying with my mother, I checked my BP, was in pain, got scared and started walking. That week I began to walk twice a day, for at least thirty minutes, pumped the water in, drank apple cider vinegar with water, all the herbal supplements like garlic and cayenne pepper, daily aspirin...and I prayed and promised...and for the first time in my life I followed through...I had to make a difference....Now!
The Bible is filled with Now moments, you read phrases like: "Now it came to pass", or "Now Faith Is", or "Today is the day of salvation, Now is the accepted time!" There is something about living and moving in the Now. The old saying never put off until tomorrow what you can do today really does make sense, but not to us procrastinators...we like to wait, put it off, look for a more opportune moment, hope for something to change...I had been telling myself what I needed to do for years...but there came a moment when I had to make a decision.
In the Kingdom of God I sense that same spirit arising within my spirit, that this is a Now Time. That God is calling us to do things we've known He wanted us to do for years...Now! That this is a prophetic season, things in our world are changing rapidly, and if we're going to make a must be Now!
By the way, I checked my BP this week it was 138/88, not ideal, but for the first time in several years I'm in prehypertension range rather than secondary stage...I'm still working on it, going to get where I need to be, I've lost around 30 pounds, got 5-7 to go...I'm appreciating the process...Now!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

If Not For Grace
I've finished reading an article by J. Lee Grady concerning the fall of Ted Haggard and the response we should have concerning this vital matter to the body of Christ. As I was scrolling down the page I saw the add for a book by R.T. Kendall on the subject of grace...and my mind stopped there...If not for the grace of God where would I be? If not for God's grace where would you be? Would you be reading this blog? Would you be concerned with the things that concern you now? Our nation has come to an intersection, a crossroads of sorts, it is a political crossroad as the power base of our nation shifts. It is a spiritual crossroad as the Body of Christ enters a time of shifting, the church as we know it is changing, it is shifting and adjusting itself to the times we are living in, the spiritual climate of our day is different than ever before...If it were not for God's grace and His keeping power...none of us could stand. This afternoon our worship pastor came into the office, she has been through more than most could stand, her kidneys began to fail when she was a teen-ager, over the past year she's been on dialysis, and in June she had a kidney transplant. Since that transplant she has been in and out of the hospital, dealt with kidney stones, calcium issues and other things. This afternoon she came in rejoicing, sharing of God's faithfulness and of His goodness...she spoke of how God has been faithful to keep her, of what she learned in the darkness of her's been the grace of God. Today my mind is strained, I'm stressed, my spirit is stretched...but God is faithful and His grace is sufficient. I am thankful that when we are struggling, His grace is sufficient, that when life is difficult...His grace is sufficient...when we don't what step to take next...His grace is sufficient...If not for the grace of God where would we be? I am thankful for God's grace, goodness, and faithfulness...and I encourage each of you to rest in His grace!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Shout One
Some Times You Gotto Shout!

Monday, November 06, 2006

The News
My addiction to CNN Online, Reality TV, and several news boards is beginning to wane, especially to church related message boards...I am frustrated with the religious crowd, the secular crowd isn't quite as lethal and at least you know what you're up against. Please forgive me, I don't mean to be negative, but I am continuously amazed at the attitudes of Christians, it's as if they gloat in another person's failures, are quick to draw conclusions and pass judgements, I sometimes wonder what is the difference between the believer and the non-believer...and then I remember...there's still good news amongst the bad news.
Two days ago Ted Haggard was the big story, he's out of the pulpit and out of the picture now, today's news is Iraq and the upcoming midterm Thursday my left shoe could be the never knows!
There is good news, it never changes, it is always relevant, it always works...Jesus is Alive, He is in Control, and His Word remains the best news we can ever hear. I'll get over my frustration with message boards and politicians...but I will always need to hear that Christ is the answer!
John the Baptist went through some frustration, found himself in prison and needed to hear a word from the Lord. The word was: "Even though you're in prison, and things are looking bleak, the blind still receive their sight, the lame still walk, and you're blessed if you don't get uptight and all offended in Me!" (NPS Version)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Who Will Stand?
1 Peter 4:18 (The Message) 17-19It's judgment time for God's own family. We're first in line. If it starts with us, think what it's going to be like for those who refuse God's Message! If good people barely make it, What's in store for the bad?So if you find life difficult because you're doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust him. He knows what he's doing, and he'll keep on doing it.
This morning I awakened to a devastating news report, Ted Haggard, a leading evangelical, charismatic pastor, has been accused of a three year tryst with another man along with an accusation of some type of substance abuse...laying in bed this morning I literally screamed...NO!
Understand my words here, I'm not sentencing the man, condemning, or saying that I have made a judgement of his innocence or of his guilt...I'm saying, not Ted Haggard...and then I'm saying, O God, let it not be me...while I believe in God's keeping power I also understand my personal responsibility to guard my heart...there are some things God isn't supposed to do...I am responsible for me, to me, to my family, and to those around those that I lead.
The thing that is impressed upon my spirit today is that this man has been accused of something horrendous, and that it is subtle reminder that all of us are a target of the enemy and of our own flesh...don't be offended, but you have to keep the little preacher in the pulpit! One man said that there are three things that will destroy a minister: 1) Self; 2) Sex; and 3) Silver
The things we are seeing today are nothing new, David had issues, one of his sons raped his half sister, and Solomon, wise as he was had women problems. Gehazai had money problems as did Achan, Judas, and Annanias and Saphira, and there are plenty of biblical examples of men and women in scripture that were full of themselves, pride destroyed their lives simply because they forgot God desires to be first.
I'm no judge nor jury in this case, I pray that this is a case of a man with a vendetta trying to destroy some preacher, and that he will be exposed and Pastor Haggard will be exonerated. I also pray that each of us will guard ourselves, pray for the protection of the Holy Spirit, and that we will remember that these last days are filled with opportunity, we decide which ones we'll partake in!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Being Missional
Ok, I sound like a broken record, talking about the same thing...again...Being Missional! Have you ever noticed how faddish we are in America? Have you ever noticed that few people, especially churches, follow through and simply become what they started out to become? It seems to me that we're constantly trying to reinvent the wheel and that it must be confusing to the people we minister to because one minute this is the way it should be, the next minute we were doing it all wrong and need to do it this way...and we wonder why we aren't getting very far.
Being a believer is totally about change, being new creations, about going from glory to glory, from one level to the next...but it's also about knowing who we are, what we're all about, and getting there...bringing as many with us as possible. It seems to me that being missional is about having a clear cut understanding of who we are, of what God desires for us to accomplish and developing that mission as our will require tweaking and adjustments, it will means some things remain and some things have to go, nothing in this life last forever, even the good stuf...I mean afterall, the chalk board was cutting edge at one point...not anymore...But being a missional person in my opinion means that I have identified who my loyalty is to, and am committed to carrying out His plan, adjusting my life and methods...but never losing my identity in that my ministry, the church or ministries I am associated with never lose sight of the goal, it never becomes lost in the is always clear...Or I am I just dreaming?
After almost 28 years in full time ministry I still want to win people to Jesus, to build a multi-ethnic congregation that has destroyed the barriers that have hindered previous generations. I desire to see people worship in total abandon to the Lord, for dynamic praise and worship to pour out of the lives of a people totally consumed with God. I pray for a church that is missions minded, one that reaches out of itself into the lives of others, a generous church, that loves and lives to give...a church that provides for others and itself all the things necessary to minister to the people that are presently in attendance and for those that are to come...a prophetic church, one that hears the voice of God and one that speaks like a lion roaring, sounding out the message of apostolic church, one that is not content to keep what it has inside, but sends out ministers, members, and missionaries into the harvest...a training church, one that understands the need to prepare before propelling...Am I dreaming? Am I missional?