Monday, January 30, 2006

Texas Hold 'Em- Got 'Em

I knew I had their attention when I mentioned the amount of time they spend playing Texas Hold 'Em.

My wife and I were teaching the Young Marrieds at their Saturday night meeting. We were teaching on Parental Responsibility. We were at the point about spending quality AND quantity time with their children and spouses.

I said that you make time for what is important to you. Job, Sports, TV, and then I dropped the bomb- Texas Hold 'Em. It has become a Friday night ritual with our Young Married Men. The point I was making and did make was I hope you spend as much time during the week with your children and spouses as you do on that Friday night game night. It can last 6 or 7 hours into the early morning.

The silence was revealing and the uneasy laughs told me I had made my point!

Children are a gift from God and our spouses are to be our delight. They deserve so much more from us dads and husbands.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Got Eternal Life?

Question: "Do you have eternal life?"

Answer: The Bible presents a clear path to eternal life. First, we must recognize that we have sinned against God: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). We have all done things that are displeasing to God, which makes us deserving of punishment. Since all our sins are ultimately against an eternal God, only an eternal punishment is sufficient. "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23).

However, Jesus Christ, the sinless (1 Peter 2:22), eternal Son of God became a man (John 1:1,14) and died to pay our penalty. "God demonstrates His love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Jesus Christ died on the cross (John 19:31-42), taking the punishment that we deserve (2 Corinthians 5:21). Three days later He rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), proving His victory over sin and death. "In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Peter 1:3).

By faith, we must turn away from our sin and turn to Christ for salvation (Acts 3:19). If we place our faith in Him, trusting His death on the cross to pay for our sins, we will be forgiven and receive the promise of eternal life in heaven. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son so that anyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9). Faith alone in the finished work of Christ on the cross is the only true path to eternal life! "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).

If you want to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, here is a sample prayer. Remember, saying this prayer or any other prayer will not save you. It is only trusting in Christ that can save you from sin. This prayer is simply a way to express to God your faith in Him and thank Him for providing for your salvation. "God, I know that I have sinned against you and deserve punishment. But Jesus Christ took the punishment that I deserve so that through faith in Him I could be forgiven. I place my trust in You for salvation. Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness - the gift of eternal life! Amen!"

Have you made a decision for Christ because of what you have read here? If so, please email me and I will get back to you.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Speck vs Log (Plank)

I wear one bifocal contact in my left eye (at my age you get to do this). It is a soft disposable contact that is supposed to last for 30 days. I get more mileage on mine wearing it day and night for a lot longer. I only take it out when I play tennis.

The way I know that it is time to take it out and put in a new one is when it begins to bother my eye and causes it to get sore and reddened. I did that the other night as Debi and I were driving. My contact had become a source of irritation.

I was reminded of Jesus teaching about judging others. He mentioned our desire to remove a speck in others eyes while missing the log (plank) in our own.

Matt 7:1-3
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? NIV

I wish the plank in our own eyes would be as bothersome and painful as the irritation from my contact. If it were we would be more concerned about removing it than going around trying to get others to remove their speck.

Matt 7:4-5
How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. NIV

I lost a close friend and church member recently because he concentrated on another's speck and failed to see his own plank. He was sincere but sadly mistaken!

If only that plank had caused him pain and discomfort, our friendship might have been saved.

If only......

From Postmodernism to Faith

Recently I was introduced to the 'Clergy Letter Project' that was trying to enlist 10,000 clergy to convey that modern science and the Bible could coexist but that the Bible had nothing to say regarding the origin of things and only science could speak to that issue. 'The Bible is to transform hearts, science is to explain our existence via evolution,' they state.

What amazed me was that they got over the 10,000 desired signatures! And these are Pastors! It seems these pastors are taking a step back while others in the scientific community are taking a step forward.

A case in point is this excerpt from Chuck Colson's Break Point:
"One of the most dramatic cases is Antony Flew, whom I met this summer when I was lecturing in Oxford. Flew was perhaps the leading atheist philosopher in the world. But at 81, he was introduced to the intelligent design movement and the works of Dr. Michael Behe, who found that the human cell structure is irreducibly complex -- and therefore could not have arisen by evolution and gradual natural selection. Flew also realized that some of the things that the early writers of the Scripture had written could not have been humanly known at that time, but have subsequently been vindicated by scientific discovery. Flew was a man of integrity, and rather than just changing his mind and going away quietly, he announced to the world that he was now a Deist, believing that there was an intelligence in the universe that created this world." Nov. 25, 2005.

Lord, thank you for your timeless, inerrant Word and help the unbelieving Pastors to discover the truths it holds as Mr. Flew did.


It started as many other Sundays with the exception that I felt I had a word that would minister to God's people in a powerful way. It was titled 'See Them No More.'

After preaching it in the first service and calling the people forward for prayer the response was overwhelming. Most of the congregation came forward. I proceeded to pray for each of them, lost my voice, and felt physically drained.

By the start of the second service my voice and strength were returning. Again I preached and again the congregation responded overwhelmingly with rows of people waiting for prayer. Again I prayed for each one, lost my voice and strength.

But the Lord spoke into my spirit, 'Well done faithful servant.' A word from my Heavenly Father has a distinct way of bringing a refreshing and strength to me. I rested that afternoon with peace and a quiet confidence in God. His love overwhelms me!

You can listen and download sermons from the Vine Fellowship.


This was posted on another site-Oct. 26, 2005

This morning I was reflecting on the missions trip that Debi and me went on with other members of our church in the summer of 2005.

It had been awhile since I had been on a trip of this nature. I did frequent trips as Assistant director of Globe Missionary Evangelism ( I made some occasional trips to Germany and Scotland since my time here as Pastor, but mainly stayed by the stuff.

I was all I anticipated it to be- the sights, sounds, and smells. It assaulted the senses. We entered into a world of neglect, need, and necessity. For some on this trip it was the first time out of the country and into a place like this. They were confronted with fear and fright. As time marched on each dealt with their issues and rose to the task assigned us everyday that we were there. I was so very proud of them and Brooke who led the team.

It made me realize what a spoiled and rotten group of Christians we have become in the US. We are critics, complainers, coarse, and crabby in the church. We have forgotten what life is all about. We think it is about us. We are a sorry representation of the Kingdom of God.

I was awakened to my own self-centered and selfish ways in a land of plenty. It was all about Pastor David. Lord help me keep your perspective of the world. Let me live as a Kingdom man and not for myself. Please forgive me.

Special thanks to a special Lady, Sandy Carter-