Friday, November 30, 2007

In El Paso -

Debi and I are going to El Paso today to do a Marriage Conference for Pastors Buster and Judy Russell. We were there last year and they invited us back to do another one. I will preach for them on Sunday, Dec. 2.

We enjoy Buster and Judy. They are good friends and we have ministered for each other over the past couple of years. Buster has done 2 Men's Retreats for me, Judy a Ladies Retreat and both of them have preached for me. They both are great communicators and well received by our congregation.

Next week I will be attending the International Coalition of Apostles(ICA) Conference at the Gaylord Texan Resort as a guest of Bobby Hill (Vanguard Ministries). Meetings will be Wednesday - Friday and then Bobby will minister for me that weekend.

So, we are in a busy time of year. Love the season!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ouch! This hurts!

I guess I am a delusional 'published' author! But 'psychotic inmate'........??

Not sure!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007



This is a dreaded word for a pastor but one that he hears all too often.

1: not approachable: physically inaccessible
2: discouraging intimacies

Granted there are times when dealing with the presence of God or your own personal issues (that no one seeming even cares about or recognizes) that one may be unapproachable; i.e. Moses on Mt. Sinai.

But let’s face it that is the exception rather than the rule. We as pastors are in the approaching business, if we don’t want to be then we need to go live in a Monastery or better yet, get out of the ministry. God is an approachable God and He expects His servants to be too.

So if our heart is pure why do we continually hear those words?

  1. We are sending signals all the time – people are receiving the signals we are sending. So we have to be careful what we are sending. That is more than words: body language, gestures, eyes, time, and responses. It is a stacked deck.

  2. But then there are those times when people don’t even try to approach you that they use the ‘unapproachable phrase’ as a cop out for not dealing with problems. These are the hardest times when you are surprised to find out that you are when they have made no effort to approach you. But, in their mind, you are bound to the dungeon of inapproachability. It is set in concrete and you just have to suck it up because their mind is made up.

Regardless, you just live with another wound that will eventually heal, become a scar, which will forever remain as a reminder of the dreaded ‘unapproachable curse.’

Monday, November 26, 2007

Absurdity #31 - Gator Bait

A sign at the lake warns people: "Danger Live Alligators."

A man who jumped into a lake to flee police was killed by an alligator more than 9-feet long, officials said Tuesday.

The man, whose name has not been released, was allegedly burglarizing a vehicle in the parking lot of the Miccosukee Resort and Convention Center on Thursday. Police captured one man, but another fled on foot and dove into a retention pond.

Eyewitnesses said they were shouting to the man to swim back to shore. When the man finally spotted the alligator, eyewitnesses said he screamed but then disappeared under the water.

Tribal police divers searched for the man that night, then again Friday morning and afternoon. During the third dive, the body was recovered 50 feet below at the bottom of the lake. It bore alligator teeth marks on the upper torso.

The Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner Department said the cause of death was an alligator attack.

Evidently the gator didn't know this was an 'alleged burglar' and took matters into his own 'jaws.'

Saturday, November 24, 2007

This is Scary!

Whoa- this is scary! Me on a motorcycle- dangerous! I have a complete respect for those that own and ride them. We have number of men in the church who ride. They all rode to the Men's Retreat- thought we were having a rally.

The latest addition into the cycle world is my Administrative Pastor Rob Hurt. You can see his bike here.

I will stay in my comfort zone in my new car and leave the road to those fearless warriors. They are increasing my prayer life!

Does that mean I am old and no longer courageous?

Friday, November 23, 2007

"If I die before you wake"... God bless our Troops!

Song written in Iraq by three soldiers and sung by one of them.

To listen to this song click here...

If I die before you wake...

Back home now I know you're probably sleepin'
Over here it's the middle of the day
I finally found the time to write a letter
Sittin' here a half a world away

I heard about all them folks protestin'
As if I really want this war
But that don't stop me from believin'
There's just some things worth fightin' for

And if I die before you wake,
I pray the world will take
A good look at what God's given us
That we could only understand,
everything is in his hands
All we need is a little faith and trust
I want you to know it ain't too high a price to pay
If I die before you wake

Tell everybody that I miss them
And I can't wait to get back home
But until then I'll serve my country
And be proud to wear this uniform

No it ain't too high a price to pay
If I die before you wake

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope you find the Turkey or you may have a meatless Thanksgiving.

Debi, Jason, and I drove to Kansas City, KS, on Tuesday to be with Ryan and Charity for Thanksgiving. We will spend the day with her parents and family. We are thankful that we are invited in to Charity's wonderful family life. The Bunces are tremendous parents to Charity and a delight as an extended family.

We had dinner at a wonderful Pizza restaurant, Shine Neapolitan Pizza, sampling such delights SPINACI E AGLIO(Spinach & Garlic)...Baby spinach, roasted garlic, fresh mozzarella, toasted pinenuts; PATATE(Roasted Potato)...with pancetta, roasted red peppers, goat cheese, scallions; and the standby pepperoni pizza. Loved it! Today we are heading out for some infamous Kansas City BBQ at a local gas station- Oklahoma Joe's BBQ! We had the Z-Man Sandwich- brisket, smoked provolone cheese topped with two onion rings on a Kaiser bun. Out of this world!

We love our family times together- God has truly blessed us with great children! It was a joy raising them.

What is a key for parents raising their children? Example, Example, Example

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thanksgiving in a Bag --

The last time we were at Deaver Park was to hand out Back to School Backpacks. Saturday, Nov 17th, we handed out 'Thanksgiving in a Bag.' The saints at the Vine took paper bags with shopping lists on them and filled them with items for a Thanksgiving meal. The church bought Turkeys with the help of a local Krogers.

A lot of work went into the preparation, setup, and the facilitating of the event. A big thanks to Brooke, Rob, and the great crew of volunteers that showed up and made it happen. Not only was there food but bounce houses, face painting, football, soccer, and just horsing around!

We were able to give out 100 'Thanksgiving in a Bag.' We had an opportunity to pray with over 90% of those that received the groceries for whatever needs they had.

Check out more great pictures of the outreach here!

It is definitely an outreach that we will be doing again!

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Little Potty Humor?!?

Saw this on America's Funniest Videos - missed recording it; but thanks to the Internet marvel YouTube, here it is:

I see, hear, and feel their pain!!!!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Satan’s Beatitudes!

If the devil were to write his beatitudes they would probably go something like this:

* Blessed are they who are too tired and busy to go to church on Sundays and Wednesdays, for they are my best workers.

* Blessed are they who are bored with the minister’s mannerism and mistakes, for they get nothing out of his sermon.

* Blessed is the church member who expects to be invited to his own church, for he is part of the problem instead of the solution.

* Blessed are they who gossip, for they cause strife and divisions that please me.

* Blessed are they who are easily offended, for they soon get angry and quit.

* Blessed are they who do not give their tithes and offerings to carry on God’s work, for they are my best workers.

* Blessed are they who profess to love God, but hates his brother, for he shall be with me forever.

* Blessed are the trouble-makers, for they shall be called the children of Satan.

* Blessed are the complainers, for I am all ears to them .

Pastor, how many of these people have you pastored?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

'The Mom Song' - for all Mothers!

In this video, Anita Renfro, Christian comedian, musician, author, and speaker, sings her own lyrics to the tune of the William Tell Overture.

You can get the lyrics here!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Veteran's Day - Thank you to all !!!

Pittance of Time
Click the above link!

Anatomy of a Fall - Pt 3

• Who was physically the strongest man in the Bible? (Samson)
• Who was the wisest man in the Bible? (Solomon)
• Who was the one in the Bible called “a man after God’s own heart?” (David)
• What did they have in common?

The strongest man in the Bible…
The smartest man in the Bible…
The godliest man in the Bible…
…All of them struggled with sexual temptation and LOST.

Think about it! What does it say to you? It says that we are not so strong, not so smart, and not so godly that we can defeat sexual temptation, on our own. We are NOT beyond falling into this temptation, and when we think we are, we become the most vulnerable.

"If you think you are standing strong, be careful, for you too may fall into the same sin." (1 Corinthians 10:12)

How does one protect oneself from falling? Are there steps that we can take to maximize our efforts not to become one of the many fallen, a casualty, or a statistic?

Maintaining a ‘Security Fence:’ (protecting your borders)

1. Maintain your marriage covenant!
2. Speak often and publicly of your affection for your wife, when she's present and when she's not. Do it from the pulpit often.
3. Be obedient to God’s word! Keep mind pure! Guard your heart!
4. Remove any and all sources of temptation. Don’t go anywhere that arouses passion. Locally (porn stores, x-rated movies, TV movies and shows) or Internet wise (porn sites, chat rooms, email affairs)!
5. Don't be ruled by passion. Be self-controlled. Dogs have no control, people do!
6. With the opposite sex compliment character or conduct, not hair style, clothing, weight loss, looks, etc.
7. Do not meet in a closed room with opposite sex nor ride alone in a vehicle with them (other than your spouse).
8. Be accountable for your time and actions to your spouse and a person (same sex). Lengthy, unaccountable hours with numerous temptations available is a recipe for failure.
9. Don’t be ashamed to ask for counseling or outside help. (If you are ensnared by porno, emotional attraction or an ongoing affair - get out now and seek help- this is bigger than you can handle alone).
10. Make your ‘security fence’ public. Hang a 'No Trespassing' sign on it. Let others know, especially the congregation.

There may be other things to do (you can add them in the comments); this is just a sampling of my ‘security fence.’

1Ti 3:7 Furthermore, he must have a good reputation and be well thought of by those outside [the church], lest he become involved in slander and incur reproach and fall into the devil's trap. AMP

May God grant us the ability to live life ‘above reproach!’

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Anatomy of a Fall - Pt 2

2Sa 11:2-4
It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking upon the roof of the king's house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, "Is not this Bathshe'ba, the daughter of Eli'am, the wife of Uri'ah the Hittite?" So David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her. RSV

When the ‘connecting’ (emotional attraction) with another person of the opposite sex begins the dangerous path to a fall has begun. Let this be a warning, it happens all too easy and will ultimately result in sexual immorality if not stopped at this point.

Here are the road signs on the road to destruction:

  • You talk with the other sex about your marital problems.

  • You tell them you are sharing only with them deep intimate things for their ears only.

  • You enjoy their company more than you do that of your spouse.

  • You anticipate seeing them and begin to arrange being near them or actually in their presence.

  • You begin to act silly in their presence, actually flirting with them.

  • You begin to use email or instant messenger as a means of secretly communicating with them.

  • They become to you all the things your spouse is not fulfilling at that time.

  • They begin to press your ‘needs’ button. You enjoy the ‘strokes.’

  • You begin to fantasize about that person.

  • Even though your spouse knows you are ‘distracted,’ you keep them in the dark about your feelings of attraction to the opposite sex.

  • You convince yourself that this new relationship is okay; after all they are Christian or a friend ‘walking you through this tough time.’

  • You try to hide your friendship from everyone and when people become suspicious you cover it up.
Pastor or Pastor's wife (or anyone for that matter), if you see yourself in any one of the listing above – you have begun on that deadly road of destruction!

More to come on how to guard against it-

Monday, November 05, 2007

Anatomy of a Fall - Pt 1

(This a continuation from my thoughts on Character Crisis in the Pulpit. )

The eventful revelation that a pastor is involved in sexual immorality is a stunning and troublesome revelation. How could it happen? Did it just happen overnight, was it entrapment, or was it premeditated?

In my experience in dealing with pastors and church people most often it is not a premeditated one night stand or long term decision. In fact, most ‘victims’ are surprised that it happened at all. “Sure,” they say, “their marriages had some clich├ęs but not enough to cause one to pursue an extramarital affair.”

So what happened and how did it evolve to a full blown affair? In many cases it began with a seemingly innocent enough “flirting.” I have talked with men and women who have had an affair with a person at work and it played out this way. Friends, laughing, flirting, discussing their marriages, and ‘bam,’ they are lying in bed in a motel with both parties disbelieving that they went that far.

Or, for a pastor or professional counselor at some point in a counseling session with a woman their eyes meet and there just seems to be chemistry. Nothing is said but something is happening that is like electricity between the two. I had an experience like that once early on in my ministry. I had been counseling a staff member a couple of times. We were sitting at a distance apart and had been looking at one another in the course of the conversation. But all of a sudden out of no where our eyes met, there was something happening and I knew it and so did she. Not trusting my flesh and looking for wisdom, I was reminded of Joseph and how he fled. In an instance, I said that our time today was over and dismissed her. I was shaking after she left. It was after prayer about it that I determined never to counsel a female alone again.

Nine out of ten times it begins with an emotional attraction which leads to an emotional involvement which leads to a physical affair.

EMOTIONAL - attraction --> involvement --> physical affair

What we fail to realize is that it is easier to fall into an emotional affair than we want to admit or even guard ourselves from.

Next post we will look a how it happens and how to avoid it.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Funky Town happenings - -

Sonny and Cher showed up at our Fall Festival ‘Funky Town’ this past Wednesday night. Actually it wasn’t the real Sonny (deceased- had a run in with a tree while skiing) or the real Cher. It was yours truly and my lovely wife Debi. See photos to believe.

The fun began Sunday morning in both services as the lights dimmed, the announcer heralded our arrival, and we proceeded town the aisle to the tune of ‘I Got You Babe.’ Debi was stoic and cool - a true Cher and I was, well, Sonny, grinning, shaking hands, hugging the women, and making noise!

We arrived at the front where we proceeded to tell what we were there for and give the information for 'Funky Town' on Wednesday night. True to form Sonny called it ‘Monkey Town’ and was sternly corrected by Cher as she tossed her hair behind her.

Wednesday night was a great success! Thanks to Brooke, Rachel, and all the wonderful people that made it a night that our children and the neighborhood children won’t forget for a long time.

You can see more pictures on our church flickr site.

If you remember we dressed as pirates last year.