Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday Night and the Trip Home

Well, we finished up the series of revival services at Siloam Baptist Church last night. On Tuesday night I began preaching a message that I have used with my DC on Tuesday nights, "What's New For A Christian?". I preached the first two points on Tuesday night: A New Position and A New Possession. God truly blessed.

Last night I preached the final two points of the message: A New Product and A New Purpose. I spent a large portion of the message talking about the "fruit unto God" (Rom. 7:4) that is to be the new product of the Christian life. God has invested His very best in us as He deposited the Holy Spirit into us at the moment of redemption, and God expects a "return" on His investment. The "return" God is looking for according to John 15:8 is "much fruit." Bearing fruit brings honor and glory to God. Guess you should have been there.

Our new purpose is found in John 15:4. There is a command there that leads to the natural, effortless production of fruit. It is the command to "abide in Christ." I encourage you to check it out and give it a try.

Morgan and I made the long treck home today. We left about 10am and arrived safely about 4:30pm. God kept us safe as we traveled and I thank Him for it.

Hopefully we'll see you tomorrow at Trunk or Treat at HGBC from 6-8pm.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Monday & Tuesday Services

I have enjoyed preaching at Siloam Baptist Church so much this week, in a way I hate to see it come to an end tomorrow. "Time flies when you're having fun." The last two nights have been especially sweet as the Holy Spirit has blessed us in a special way with His presence. He has spoken in ways that only heaven knows the eternal outcome. But I know He is at work.

The people have been such attentive listeners, many taking notes as I preach. I know God will honor their efforts and mine. I have thoroughly enjoyed the hospitality of Jason, Alison and Jacob as well as that of the entire church. They have cooked for us each night, and they have done an excellent job of it too. Thanks to you for your graciousness.

I especially enjoyed my study/preaching time this week. The Lord has led me to preach some messages that I haven't looked at in quite a while, I began preaching one tonight that I have never preached before; I will finish the last two point Wednesday night. Thanks Bro. Herb for the material (What's New for a Christian? John 15:1-11). I have to thank Melissa also; she told me before I left that I should preach it. I didn't think I would, but thanks, honey, for reminding me of it.

When I finish tomorrow night I will load the car and drive to Mom and Dad's for the night, then Morgan and I will head for Florida as fast as the law allows on Thursday. Melissa says "we better be back before she gets home from work." And I promise we will. I love you honey and have missed you terribly. I can't wait to see you in a few days.

Monday, October 27, 2008

the Weekend

I have a had a great few days. I left Wednesday and picked up Morgan in Florence, SC before heading to Pageland to see my family. We did what we usually do when we're together: ate together, played golf together, etc... It was fun and relaxing. I was able to spend the afternoon with Granddaddy and Grannie; hopefully I'll get to see them this coming Thursday before heading back home.

I left Friday night and drove to Ninety Six, SC to the home of one of my best friends Jason Webb and his wife Alison and their little boy Jacob. We got up Saturday morning and went to our reunion at NGU. It was great seeing some old friends and catching up on life. Then we headed down to the Homecoming festivities for a few minutes before taking a trip to Sky Top Apple Orchard. Sky Top is about 30 minutes from NGU, and it is absolutely beautiful up there. The leaves are beginning to turn those amazing yellows, reds, and orange colors. (We serve an awesome God!) We picked some apples, enjoyed the view, and then started back to Jason's house.

When we got back I was able to watch the Florida Kentucky game on TiVO. Go GATORS! Let's just say it wasn't pretty if you're a Kentucky fan; I, on the other hand, thought it was great

Sunday morning began the revival services at Siloam Baptist Church with Jason. He has a great church. The people were so kind and welcoming to me. From the very beginning of the service the Spirit of God was all over the place. Sound Doctrine, a local singing group was there and did an excellent job preparing the way for the message. The music minister Marc did an awesome job with the congregational music as well. I had such liberty in preaching. I pray that God was honored in my attitude and spirit as I proclaimed the TRUTH: the Lord Jesus Christ and his word.

My mom and dad came over and brought Morgan to hear me preach. It was good seeing them in the service.

Last night was a little different, with me that is. As I got up to preach a fly started dive bombing my forehead and nose. I couldn't kill him, and he agitated me the entire message. I felt like I was distracted, but the people were attentive and receptive as I struggled my way through. After church we went to hang out with the youth at Subway (eat fresh).

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

And do I mean early! I got up at 5:15 this morning to ride with my dad in his sand/rock truck. We left at 5:30 AM with a load of sand (that Morgan helped pick up last night; she loves to ride in Granddaddy's big truck), then we delivered 8 loads of rock. We got back home about 3pm. I'm exhausted; I haven't had to get up that early in a long time. I'll be heading to Ninety-Six, SC in a few hours to get ready to preach a revival meeting at Siloam Baptist Church Sunday through Wednesday.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tick him off!

I love it when we, the church, tick him (the enemy) off. I know that he is pretty ticked right now. Melissa and I led a young lady to Christ last night in my office. "And the angels rejoice..."

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Highlight of the Week

This week has been a pretty average week. I had 3 days of at least 10 hours each. Today was my day off; Melissa was at work and Morgan was at Booger's house with Karen. Booger came over and helped me pressure wash my house. WOW! What a difference a little bleach and some pressurized water makes. I also cut the grass and trimmed the hedges. I worked pretty hard today too.

But the highlight of my week came this afternoon. I had the privilege of doing the devotion for CHS football before their Homecoming game. I had a blast talking with them about the Lord. I was pumped; it was "off the chain." I pray that God does amazing things with the "seed." Bless it Lord!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

This is a "borrowed" post from JD GReear. He is the pastor of Summit Church in Durham, NC. He has been a friend of mine for about 15 years.

What to do when there's an obstacle in the way of a vision God has given you...
The following is an edited reposting of something I worked through several weeks ago. It is what we believe, as a pastoral team, that God has laid on our heart about the future. It is the grid through which we process what lies before us. Summit members, this is how I believe God is guiding us toward the future. I also hope it helps you process what is going on in your own life...

1. Always Ask

We should always be asking God for His continued direction. Rarely in Scripture do we see God giving "once for all" directions or a detailed picture of the "final plans" up front. In fact, to not always be asking, "God, is this step right?" or "Are you trying to tell me to go a different direction?" is, in my opinion, presumptuous, arrogant and potentially disastrous. We see it with Joshua in Joshua 9-10... if anyone ever had a clear word from God about what God's will was, it was Joshua's instructions to go into the promised land. Because he did not inquire of God about each decision along the way, however, he made a disastrous mistake.
Our leadership team at the Summit tries not to be so arrogant that we think that our "plans" for the future cannot be altered. We are clear on the central vision God is calling us to, but are trying to listen to and follow God about the details of how to get there.

2. The Sheep Prayer

Praying "the Sheep prayer" is a recurring theme for me. Basically, the sheep prayer is where you acknowledge that God says He relates to us like a Shepherd to sheep.
Sheep are idiots. They don't learn quickly, they rarely understand, and you never depend on them to figure out on their own which way they should go. Praying the sheep prayer means you say to God, "God, I'm not smart enough to figure out what step to take. There's so much I can't see. I need you to make the next step clear to me."
Sheep never get to the place they are supposed to go because of their skill in understanding, but because of the Shepherd's skill in leading. That's why God tells us to "lean not on our own understanding" but to simply "acknowledge God in all our ways" and "He will direct our paths." (Prov 3:5-6). God gave up on my decision making ability back at the garden of Eden. I don't even depend on my ability to "hear God." I depend on God's ability to make Himself heard.
When we wonder, "Is God trying to say something to us?," I trust that if God is trying to say something to us, or trying to redirect us, HE WILL MAKE IT PLAIN. In Deuteronomy 8:5 Moses tells us "As a Father disciplines his children, so the Lord our God disciplines you." Bad discipline is where you discipline your child and don't tell them why. Good discipline always makes plain to the child why they are being disciplined and what you want them to learn. Needless to say, God will be a good discipliner. Trust in Him, and if He's trying to say something, He'll make it plain.

Your pastoral team depends not on their own insights, but on God's compassion as a Shepherd to lead us.

3. When in doubt, PRESS FORWARD

The last consideration I'd like to give on this topic is more of a practical one, and that is that a general attitude to take when unsure about what to do regarding a dream you have about doing something in the Kingdom of God is "always forward."
What I mean by that is that, practically speaking, many of the greatest victories in the Kingdom of God happened when it looked like the door was closed. The door was "closed" on getting the children of Israel out of Egypt. The door was closed for Elijah to demonstrate to Ahab and the children of Israel that Jehovah was the true God. The door was closed when it came to Paul getting to Rome. If each of these man had not pressed forward despite the closed door, a strategic victory in God's Kingdom would have been forfeited.
I love how Paul says it in 1 Cor 16:9, "A great and effective door for ministry was opened to me, AND there were many adversaries." Not "but there were many adversaries," but "and." "Adversaries" and obstacles were for Paul opportunities to trust God, not signals that the door was closed.

It is very likely that a lot of what God intends to use to "feed the world" is ALREADY in the hands of of an unbelieving church. The bread and fish did not multiply until the little boy stepped forward to give it; Moses' staff did not turn into a snake until he threw it down. (Imagine how nervous Moses must have been with that staff in hand... because if he threw it down in front of Pharoah and nothing happened, that was sure to be rather awkward... "uhh... excuse me, I dropped my stick.") The key to releasing a deluge of God's power in the world is most likely already in our hands, and we won't see the miracles until we step forward despite the obstacles.
While I believe there is CERTAINLY the danger of running ahead on God, especially for impatient people like me, I think a greater danger for most of us is failing to believe in God's willingness to bless the world. So, when I am following a God-given dream and come to an obstacle, if He has not made clear to me that this door is shut, I keep pressing forward until He locks and deadolts it. And even then I give it one more swift kick for good measure.

God is capable of shutting doors He doesn't want us to grow through. After all, you did just pray the sheep prayer in step 2. Just as God told David, "Thanks for the offer to build the temple, but that's not for you," God can tell us, "Good intentions, but wrong timing. Go be zealous somewhere else."

Always forward. So don't let the closed door discourage you. Keep believing and knocking and asking and seeking and pushing and beating and wailing and slobbering.The fervent prayer of a righteous man avails.

The Summit Church's plan is to church all of RDU and plant thousands of churches around the world or die trying. We're going forward. Summit members, you have a part of that. Believe God with us and let's go forward.

Thanks JD.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuff Days

Ministry often has many "tuff" days. Sometimes there are tuff weeks, months, and years. I can't imagine being one of the prophets in the OT: Isaiah, Jeremiah (reading now) or any of the others. They faced a life of "fruitless" ministry. They were sent by God to proclaim a message nobody wanted to hear, or at least the vast majority didn't. By todays standard of success in ministry, most if not all of them would have been considered a failure and a nobody. They wouldn't have been speaking on the platforms of any "big" conference, they would have been rubbin' shoulders with the "big boys." It appears, from the pages of Scripture, that they had a "tuff"life. But the one characteristic I see in all of them is a quiet confidence and stable determination do obey God AT ALL COST! God may I have that single focus and determination in the midst of tuff days!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Dentist

One of the funniest things I have ever seen is a part of Bill Cosby's comedy routine in "Bill Cosby Himself." He does a bit about going to the dentist. It's hilarious, you should watch it sometime. I have a vhs tape of it, and I break it out every now and then when I need a really good laugh.

I said that to say, Morgan had her first dentist appointment today and it went great. Melissa took her. They wouldn't let Melissa go back, and Morgan just took the lady by the hand and walked right back to the chair. She did great. I don't think there is much she is afraid of. I'm so proud of her. I have the same pride for my church when we step out, even in scary times, and just take God by the hand.

See ya tonight at church.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

It's Been a Good Day

I got to sleep in just a little (Morgan stayed at Booger and Karen's last night). Got up this morning and cut the grass. I finished up just in time for kickoff of the Florida/Arkansas game. Let's just say they played better today than last Saturday. Go GATORS! Then Melissa and I took Morgan to her first rodeo. We didn't get to stay to the end (it didn't get started til after 8:30), but she really enjoyed it. She got to ride a pony, which she absolutely loved. She had her friend Kirsten (and parents) along for the show. We just had a good 'ole time. Hate you missed it.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Common Sense Fix

Just read this from Dave Ramsey.

Years of bad decisions and stupid mistakes have created an economic nightmare in this country, but $700 billion in new debt is not the answer. As a tax-paying American citizen, I will not support any congressperson who votes to implement such a policy. Instead, I submit the following three steps:

Common Sense Plan.


A. Insure the subprime bonds/mortgages with an underlying FHA-type insurance. Government-insured and backed loans would have an instant market all over the world, creating immediate and needed liquidity.
B. In order for a company to accept the government-backed insurance, they must do two things:
1. Rewrite any mortgage that is more than three months delinquent to a 6% fixed-rate mortgage.
a. Roll all back payments with no late fees or legal costs into the balance. This brings homeowners current and allows them a chance to keep their homes.
b. Cancel all prepayment penalties to encourage refinancing or the sale of the property to pay off the bad loan. In the event of foreclosure or short sale, the borrower will not be held liable for any deficit balance. FHA does this now, and that encourages mortgage companies to go the extra mile while
working with the borrower—again limiting foreclosures and ruined lives.
2. Cancel ALL golden parachutes of EXISTING and FUTURE CEOs and executive team members as long as the company holds these government-insured bonds/mortgages. This keeps underperforming executives from being paid when they don’t do their jobs.
C. This backstop will cost less than $50 billion—a small fraction of the current proposal.


A. Remove mark to market accounting rules for two years on only subprime Tier III bonds/mortgages. This keeps companies from being forced to artificially mark down bonds/mortgages below the value of the underlying mortgages and real estate.
B. This move creates patience in the market and has an immediate stabilizing effect on failing and ailing banks—and it costs the taxpayer nothing.


A. Remove the capital gains tax completely. Investors will flood the real estate and stock market in search of tax-free profits, creating tremendous—and immediate—liquidity in the markets. Again, this costs the taxpayer nothing.
B. This move will be seen as a lightning rod politically because many will say it is helping the rich. The truth is the rich will benefit, but it will be their money that stimulates the economy. This will enable all Americans to have more stable jobs and retirement investments that go up instead of down. This is not a time for envy, and it’s not a time for politics. It’s time for all of us, as Americans, to
stand up, speak out, and fix this mess.

No that makes much more sense to me that $700 billion.

The above link will provide this article with instructions concerning passing it on to your family, friends, etc... especially passing it on to our elected officials telling them how we want them to respond to this situation.