Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Walking Circumspectly!

There are some wonderful and interesting King James words that get lost in the current translations. One such word that I like to say as well as live is the word 'circumspect(ly)'. When is the last time you used that word? Have you ever? Chances are if you said it people would stare at you with a blank look on their faces! Do you know that it is one of the most important words for a Pastor and Christians?

Ex 23:13 And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth. KJV

Eph 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, KJV

circumspect- Latin circumspectus, from past participle of circumspicere to look around, be cautious, from circum-'around' + specere 'to look' - 'specere' means 'to spy' (remember I Spy on TV or James Bond?)

Strongs- OT-A verb meaning to watch, to keep, to preserve, to guard, to be careful, to watch over, to watch carefully over, to be on one's guard. NT-Diligently, accurately, exactly, rightly.

My loose definition would be to look around and into (spy on) yourself, as to your state of being body, soul and spirit. For the Pastor it would also mean to look on (spy out) the state of your flock.

We are to:
1. conduct a thorough examination of ourselves. We spy on ourselves with God's heavenly microscope-His Word and Spirit.
2. keep ones self in the right direction. David declared he was blameless since he had kept himself from sin (2Sa 22:24; Ps 18:23).
3. conduct ourselves as one walking circumspectly- it will show forth in our speech, conduct, attitude, and other areas of our lives. Your friends, family, and Church will be 'safe' (protected) around you.
3. protect, pay close attention to, and care for God's people. Eli the priest continued to observe Hannah's lips closely as she prayed. What are your people saying and experiencing?

Why walk circumspectly?
Three young evangelists who burst onto the American scene in 1945. Their names were Billy Graham, Bron Clifford, and Chuck Templeton. All three were in their mid-twenties, and rose to quick prominence because of his speaking abilities. Each packed out auditoriums across the country.

One seminary president heard Chuck Templeton address an audience of thousands, and he was so impressed that he called him the most talented young preacher in America. One magazine featured him in an article and called him "the Babe Ruth of evangelism." It did not mention Billy Graham.

Bron Clifford was tall, dashing, intelligent, and elegant. He was so gifted that he was called the most powerful preacher in the church in centuries. People lined up for hours to hear him. At Baylor University he gave a discourse, and the university president ordered the class bells turned off so that nothing would interfere with Clifford’s message. For two and one-half hours the students sat on the edges of their seats, spellbound as he gave a brilliant dissertation. He was so attractive and charming that Hollywood tried to get him to play the lead role in the famous movie The Robe.

But a few years later, things had changed for two of these three men. In just five years Chuck Templeton left the ministry, declaring that he no longer believed Jesus Christ was the Son of God. He pursued a career in radio and became a newscaster. The "Babe Ruth of evangelism" gave it up entirely; today, his name resides in the annals of evangelical obscurity.

By 1954, Clifford had lost his family, his ministry, and his health because of financial irresponsibility and alcohol abuse. He left his wife and their two Down’s syndrome children. At the age of thirty-five, he died in a cheap hotel on the edge of Amarillo, Texas. Some pastors collected enough money to purchase a casket and ship it back east where he was buried in a pauper’s cemetery.

Only Billy Graham remained and succeeded- why?- he walked circumspect in every area of his life!

Examining ourselves regularly is not only necessary but disastrous if we don't!

Eph 5:15 So watch your step. Use your head.

Eph 5:15 Therefore, pay careful attention to how you conduct your life — live wisely, not unwisely. CJB

Learn the importance of the word 'circumspect,' meditate on it, speak it, teach it, and then practice it every day!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Repairer of the Breach-

I read an interesting statistic concerning Pastors. They generally leave a church because of conflict with just three people. Wow, if that were true I should have been gone in the first few weeks of my current pastorate here at the Vine! I have been here for 18 years. And I have had my fair share of conflict, breaches, and people leaving. (With multiplied heartache.) Fortunately, I don’t belong to the denominational flavor that threatens leaving people with excommunication and/or resigning them to hell! (Remember, they are God’s people- He gets the final say so.)

Isa 58:12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. KJV

Breach- It refers to a rupture, a tear, a breaking up or shattering of something: a breach created in a wall; the breaking or rupture occurring in the process of childbirth. It is used figuratively of separation created between persons or groups.

Breaches occur. People come and people go. I remember a group of close to 15 people that came to the church in mass and eventually left the church in mass! That is the nature of the church especially in this consumer driven church culture- you build it bigger, better, livelier, and on entertainment and they will come until the next church trumps what you are doing and then they go. But I digress… why do breaches occur?

1. Because I do big pieces of stupid! That’s right; sometimes it is the pastor’s fault. Hey, did I say clay feet?
2. Sometimes it is their fault. They do big pieces of stupid also. Like becoming pharisaical with a religious nature and spirit that won’t budge and is always right. "Your wrong"… they win by leaving the church. ("Take my toys (tithe and talents) and go elsewhere!")
3. People get their underwear in a knot and that becomes painful not only to them but to all those around them! ...ooops, did I really say that?
4. Contention and disagreements separate, period.

So, you might be able to add more but the truth is the Kingdom suffers, churches suffer, and families suffer. Nobody wins but the accuser of the brethren!

But God is the ultimate restorer and repairer of the breach. And we as His people are to be too. There is no greater triumph and a slap in the face to the devil than when two are reconciled! God is glorified, forgiveness received, friendships restored and unity achieved!

My Christmas present this year of 2008? To be restored to a dear friend.

Why aren’t more breaches healed? PRIDE continues to bring contention!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

God Come in the Flesh!

The coming of Christ gave us a living picture of who God is. Christ’s coming put a face on God.

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible” (Colossians 1:15-16).

The incarnation — God came to earth wrapped in a human body. The God of heaven came to live among us that we might know what He is truly like. He came to teach us. He came to die for us that we might be forgiven. He rose from the dead to help us know that we too will be raised. He promised that He will return so that eternal hope would burn in our hearts. He opened the doors of heaven.

May you experience a new revelation of God this Christmas. May the eyes of your understanding be truly open to behold Him - the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords!

Merry Christmas to you all. Please click here for my e-card to you.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Another Reason to Go to Church!

This is a time of the year when depression, loneliness, and despair is often rampant. The holidays are generally for family get togethers and friends. But there are lonely, cut off, and hurting people out there who have no family or are facing the first holiday after losing a loved one. It is hard! I try to get such people to connect to the church. Why? Because we are family and there are benefits!

A Parade Magazine article this past Sunday(12.21.2008) dealt with Spirituality and Health. There were interesting observations made in the article. Here they are:

1. People who attend religious services tend to be healthier than those who do not.
2. Weekly churchgoers have a lower risk of death than those who never set foot inside a place of worship.
3. Research has found that prayer and meditation seem to be associated with improved immune systems and fewer episodes of chronic inflammation.
4. People who identify themselves as more religious reveal lower rates of depression.
5. There are generally lower suicide rates among people who regularly attend religious services.
6. Religious people often take better care of themselves.
7. People who make church a habit—and the same goes for people who worship at mosques and synagogues—are more socially integrated, which means they have more friends and acquaintances and a better support system to help them cope with stressful life events.
8. Regular churchgoers are also people who don’t smoke, drink rarely, and see their doctors regularly.

Researchers conclusion: Praying, meditating, or attending religious services may not cure a disease, but those activities may make you feel better and contribute to a more positive outlook on life.

Where will you be this Sunday? If not, why not?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Stop It!

A training vid for all the Pastoral Counsellors out there. Enjoy!

I enjoyed this and loved this. Is that wrong? HeHeHe...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ed's Thoughts on Commitment-

What are the terms of my commitment to a friend?

How serious am I about commitment? What is the level of my commitment? Where did I get my example of commitment? At what point does my commitment stop? What happens when the people I am committed to have a different opinion? Am I willing to yield in my commitment? How do I decide when my commitment ends? Do the rules of my commitment change whether I am committed to a task or a person, a person or a group? Are my expectations of others’ commitment to me the same as my commitment to them? Can I be partly committed? What is the cost limit to my commitment? What is the time limit to my commitment?

Do I let others know that I have made a commitment to them, or do I assume that they know? Am I judgmental in my commitment? Do I have rules for my commitment, what are they? Do I believe others are confident in my level of commitment? Have I really thought my commitment through? Do I learn from my failed commitments? Do I try to reinforce my idea of commitment? Do I make a commitment because of peer pressure? Do I make a commitment because I feel it’s the right thing to do?

You are my friend; I am committed to you, and your benefit. I have considered all of these questions and many more about my friendship and commitment to you. You can be confident that you never have to look to see if I have your back, I am there. You never have to worry about your relationship with me because I am committed to you. My commitment is like driving a stake in the ground until it penetrates bedrock, it can not be moved. My opinion of you will not be changed by others or circumstances. Whatever you are going through, you can count on me. My commitment is not based on your choices, or behavior. I will not allow ill things to be said of you in my presence. I will always protect your good name when I speak of you. My commitment will never end; it is a personal challenge for me, and I am ever aware of my commitments.

Commitment should endure all tests against it, it should always be the last thing standing, it should never be made without all things considered, it should be protected with the fiercest fury, it should be my delight that others feel the benefit of my commitments. The things that I have learned about commitment came from my relationship with God, He is the one that created it, and so I know that I can follow His perfect example.

Given to me by a special friend after another dear friend and family walked out of my life and the church. We all need friends that have considered the cost of commitment, regardless.

Thanks Ed, I needed that!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What Type of Leader are You?

Good Leadership vs. Bad Leadership
by Chris Johnson

1. Passionate about one’s job vs. It is just a job
2. Values one’s team vs. Has employees
3. Knows one’s team vs. Should not be personal at work
4. Takes time to develop their strengths vs. Focuses on their weakness
5. Gives people a chance to fail vs. Controls every decision
6. Takes time to reward good work vs. It is their job
7. Leads team to believe they are the heart and sole of the organization vs. Only the boss matters
8. Spends time learning how to be a better leader vs. Got it all figured out
9. Creates a fun working environment vs. All work no play
10. Secure vs. Insecure
11. Admits mistakes vs. Blames the employees or organization
12. Confrontational vs. Ignore problems hoping they will go away

This was forwarded to me by one of my staff. He gave me a good grade! Whew!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Enough said!

This speaks to the issue!
Some of it wasted on the napkin!!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Party-

Jack wakes up with a huge hangover after attending his company's Christmas party. Jack is not normally a drinker, but the drinks didn't taste like alcohol at all. He didn't even remember how he got home from the party.

As bad as he was feeling, he wondered if he did something wrong. Jack had to force himself to open his eyes, and the first thing he sees is a couple of aspirins next to a glass of water on the side table. And, next to them, a single red rose!! Jack sits up and sees his clothing in front of him, all clean and pressed.

He looks around the room and sees that it is in perfect order, spotlessly clean. So is the rest of the house.

He takes the aspirins, cringes when he sees a huge black eye staring back at him in the bathroom mirror. Then he notices a note hanging on the corner of the mirror written in red with little hearts on it and a kiss mark from his wife in lipstick: 'Honey, breakfast is on the stove, I left early to get groceries to make you your favorite dinner tonight. I love you, darling! Love, Jillian'

He stumbles to the kitchen and sure enough, there is hot breakfast, steaming hot coffee and the morning newspaper.

His 16 year old son is also at the table, eating.

Jack asks, 'Son, what happened last night?' 'Well, you came home after 3 A.M., drunk and out of your mind you fell over the coffee table and broke it, and then you puked in the hallway, and got that black eye when you ran into the door.'

Confused, he asked his son, 'So, why is everything in such perfect order and so clean? I have a rose, and breakfast is on the table waiting for me??'

His son replies, 'Oh THAT... Mom dragged you to the bedroom, and when she tried to take your pants off, you screamed, 'Leave me alone woman, I'm married!!'

Broken Coffee Table $239.99
Hot Breakfast $4.20
Two Aspirins $.38
Saying the right thing, at the right time:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Coffee Wars- Taking the High Road?

When your #1, everybody attacks you! sound familiar? Now we have the coffee wars which should be good for all us addicts. From Dunkin' Donuts, 7-11, to McDonald's, Starbucks is under siege. Consider the McDonald's sign above.

The coffee wars have received much media and Wall Street trumpeting this year, but Starbucks has been mostly silent, maintaining that its customer base is different.

Starbucks could fire back that not all of its coffee costs four bucks, or that extra cents help pay for health care for baristas. (A 12-ounce cup of brew starts at $1.40 at Starbucks, a penny more than the average McDonald's brew price. A small McDonald's latte costs $1.99 compared with $2.45 to $3.15 at Starbucks.)

Instead, it is fighting back in a more subtle way. Executives have hinted that Starbucks is taking the high road.

Well good for them, but let the coffee wars continue- who wins? We do!!!

BTW, go to this link (By McDonald's) and play the pinball game- cool!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Blog #500- Things I've Learned in Life!

Well, who would have thunk it- today marks my 500th blog. No big deal to many of you - but for me it is! Blogging has challenged me in so many ways... keep at it, be relevant, love & help pastors as well as others, stay humorous, appreciate the people that do stop by...

So what do you post for your 500th blog? How about 10 things that I have learned in life...

1. Jesus really did save my life- literally, when I was bent on self destruction. (Jn 3:16-17)

2. Make your election and life's calling (job) sure- you will be tested on it many times. (2 Pet 1:10-11)

3. People will fail you and betray you- but Jesus is an ever present help in times of disappointment. (Lk 22:47-48; Ps 46:1)

4. Humble yourself often under the mighty hand of God- don't take yourself too seriously- it is Christ in you the Hope of glory! (James 4:10; Col 1:27-29)

5. Time does prove all things... and people. (I Thes. 5:21; kerrism)

6. When facing critical opposition, listen rather for the voice of God singing over you. (Zep 3:17)

7. Stay teachable and flexible... stay out of ruts! (Mt 9:16-17)

8. Stay true to the wife of your youth, be captivated by only her, be satisfied by her... cherish and nurture her. (I love you Debi, more!) (Pro 5:18-19, Eph 5:28-29)

9. Leave a legacy your children and God can be proud of. (Ryan and Jason, you have blessed my life.) (2 Cor 12:14; Eph 6:4; Pro 4)

10. Laugh a lot! (Pro 15:13; 15:15; 17:22)

So there you have it. Ten things that have influenced my life, molded my character, propelled me to finishing my race and receive the crown that is laid up for me in heaven.

To my readers, I am humbled by your continuing to read my 'Pastoral Ponderings.'

Friday, December 05, 2008

So, What are you Preaching Today?

“What are you preaching?” I get asked that a lot because I am a preacher! But I am not the only one who ‘preaches.’

As a matter of fact, most people preach more than I do. Everyday, in your daily conversations you tell others more about our faith than I, as the preacher, ever will. You see, we all preach to the world with what we do, what we say, and what our attitudes are. Whether it is face to face, or somebody just watching us or listening to us, or reading our blog- we are preaching!

I told Vine Fellowship this past Sunday that I spend a lot of time preparing for each sermon. Countless hours go in to everyone! I told them that I expect them to spend as much time preparing their daily sermon before they go center stage to the world!

I have to admit that I get frustrated trying to grow a church and add new people and then have some careless unprepared ‘church member’ run off a guest because of course, crude, and unloving comments! Yes sir, they preached, but it was the wrong sermon! AAAAGGGGHHHH!

Acts 2:36-39 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God hath made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified. Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?" And Peter said to them, "Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself."

From the passage above, I challenged the Vine members to concentrate on 3 things in their sermons everyday:
1. Talk about Jesus
2. Talk about salvation
3. Talk about the promises of God (hope)

The world needs to hear about Jesus, salvation, and hope. They are not beating the churches door down to get in and hear it. Every day we are taking our ‘sermons’ to the world.

So, what are you preaching today? I hope yours is one that blesses rather than destroys!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Religious Truths--

During these serious times, people of all faiths should remember these four religious truths:

1. Muslims do not recognize Jews as God's chosen people.

2. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.

3. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian world.

4. Baptists do not recognize each other at Hooters

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

And then the Fight Started...

This post may get me in a lot of trouble and... then the fight started....lol

Couples please don't try this at home....


When I got home last night, my wife demanded that I take her some place expensive.... So, I took her to a gas station.....

And then the fight started....


I tried to talk my wife into buying a case of Miller Light for $14.95. Instead, she bought a jar of cold cream for $7.95. I told her the beer would make her look better at night than the cold cream.

And that's when the fight started...


My wife and I were sitting at a table at my high school reunion, and I kept staring at a drunken lady swigging her drink as she sat alone at a nearby table. My wife asked, 'Do you know her?' 'Yes,' I sighed, 'She's my old girlfriend. I understand she took to drinking right after we split up those many years ago, and I hear she hasn't been sober since.' 'My God!' says my wife, 'Who would think a person could go on celebrating that long?'

And then the fight started.....


I took my wife to a restaurant. The waiter, for some reason, took my order first. 'I'll have the strip steak, medium rare, please.' He said, 'Aren't you worried about the mad cow?' 'Nah, she can order for herself.'

And that's how the fight started.....

Sunday, November 30, 2008

From Shepherd to CEO? - Pt. 4

Be not the first by which the new is tried,
Nor yet the last to lay the old aside. Alexander Pope

"You want to know what I most resent about these community megachurches?"

"These churches all seem to feel that the centuries between the time of Christ, the founder, and the time they started were just empty years of nothing." quote by Father Ambrose, O Shepherd Where Art Thou?, page 33

Funny how this seems to the current trend of thinking. There is a disappointing disdain for historical Christianity - like it failed or something!

Give me a break!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

'Thank You' to All- a shout out!

In keeping with the 'Attitude of Gratitude' post of yesterday, I want to thank...

-all my blog friends who make their way back here repeatedly, whether you make any comments or not, I appreciate your visits.

-to all my Facebook friends, some I hear from, some I don't- you are important in my life or I wouldn't have added you. Thank you for adding me. Trust the feeling is mutual.

-to the Saints at Vine Fellowship who love me, care for me, show up week after week, and laugh at my jokes occasionally. It is a joy watching you grow in the Lord.

-to Debi, my sons Ryan and Jason, Ryan's wife Charity, Jason's fiance Lina (wife Jan 31, 2009). You bring a daily source of love, comfort, encouragement, satisfaction, joy, sense of accomplishment, and trust to my life.

-to the Lord Jesus Christ who continues to touch me, change me, drawing me to Himself so that I might know Him with the eyes of my understanding being enlightened more and more to His extravagant love!

I am one thankful and blessed man!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Atittude of Gratitude

So many people have an attitude rather than gratitude. We have lost the fine grace of saying 'Thank you.' Now it is met with entitlement (a belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges - 'I deserved that' attitude) or you are just ignored. Hardly a 'thank you' is spoken anymore. Talk about a slap in the face!

There were ten lepers who asked Jesus to have mercy on them.(Lk 17:11) He did and told them to go show themselves to the priest. As they went they were healed. Of the ten only one returned to say thank you.

What was wrong with the other nine? They probably had these attitudes:
· One waited to see if the cure was real.
· One waited to see if it would last.
· One said he would see Jesus later.
· One decided that he had never had leprosy.
· One said he would have gotten well anyway.
· One gave the glory to the priests.
· One said, "O, well, Jesus didn't really do anything."
· One said, "Any rabbi could have done it."
· One said, "I was already much improved."

There was only one who returned to give God thanks. That demonstrated his gratitude.

I am amazed that few people say 'thank you' or even acknowledge a blessing that you give anymore. Whether it is given face to face, by a kind deed, through an email, or written as a comment on Facebook, few respond with gratitude. And these are Christians!

Find someone this Thanksgiving to express your gratitude to....

Monday, November 24, 2008

Texas Proud!

Texas 'Proud' is found everywhere!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lives Touched -

click pic to enlarge

We did our 'Thanksgiving in a Bag' outreach to the community today. Gave away 101 bags of Thanksgiving groceries and Turkeys.

We heard heart breaking stories and prayed for many of those attending. My wife, Debi, prayed for one lady to receive Christ- eternity is now in her heart!

I want to thank the wonderful crew of volunteers that came out and did 'the stuff' to make this a great success. God's love was demonstrated in a very practical way today!

Makes a Pastor proud!

Thanksgiving in a Bag - 2008

I am excited about this morning (Sat. Nov 22, 2008). We will do our annual Thanksgiving in a Bag outreach. It was a resounding success last year and I expect it will be again this year. I will publish pics of it next week.

Weymouth New Testament -- For when I was hungry, you gave me food; when I was thirsty, you gave me drink; when I was homeless, you gave me a welcome... Mt.25:35

You can visit our website for more info here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Go Figure - Are All Pastors Happy?

Career isn't the only factor in determining someone's overall happiness, but it's certainly a major contributor. So, what kind of jobs do the happiest people in the U.S. have? And, what about these jobs contributes to overall happiness in life? A University of Chicago study, "Job Satisfaction in the United States," offers some insight.

The study says the occupations where people report being happy overall, not just in terms of job satisfaction, involve helping others, technical and scientific expertise, or creativity.

Tom W. Smith, director of the General Social Survey at the National Opinion Research Center at UC, elaborates: "Happiness is determined by how much satisfaction you get from all domains of life, and work is an important domain, so it's one of the major components of overall happiness."

According to the study, the top occupation in general happiness is:

1. Clergy
Job Description: Conduct religious worship and perform spiritual functions associated with beliefs and practices of religious faith or denomination.

Very happy: 67.2%
Median salary: $44,102

Wow, I knew I had been chosen wisely and I am glad I followed the call! But there are those days......!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

From Shepherd to CEO? - Pt. 3

A comment was made when I started this series of posts about needing to read the book 'O Shepherd, Where Art Thou?' I have been reading it and wow, Calvin Miller has great insight to the 'dumming down' (my words not his) of Pastoral Ministry. I will be quoting some from that book in this series 'From Shepherd to CEO?'
But no matter how large a church grows, the church that only gets big but will not care for the sick and broken, is no church of Christ. As important as world evangelization was to Jesus, the gospels are filled with his compassion for the sick and dying. No legitimate pastor can delegate this concern. He may delegate the care of a specific person in need, but the moment he tries to delegate the concern, the church he pastors will be gone. page 16

Monday, November 17, 2008

Shout Out From An Empty Tomb!

The message was painted on the roof of a splintered and sunken house in Waveland, Miss.: "C. Moretz is alive. Pass it on." The message included a Tucson, Ariz., phone number.

Chris Moretz, 36, said he had decided to ride out the hurricane. "I was optimistic, naive, curious, dumb," he said.

He said he was in his house when water poured in. It went from ankle deep to hip deep in five minutes. When it got waist deep on the second floor he swam out a window.

He found a boat and took refuge there. He left the rooftop message so his Tucson family would know he was alive. It worked.

"I probably had about 100 calls," Gerard Moretz said. Some were from as far away as Puerto Rico and Canada.

Today one of the most visited places in the world is the garden Tomb in Jerusalem. People flock there to see nothing there! Because Jesus is not there!

Just as the roof message declared Moretz was alive, the empty tomb is a shout out that Jesus is too!

We as Christians must remember daily the Power of the Resurrection! He is alive and therefore we are too forevermore!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Power From On High!

‘We need the power in this last hour.’

The above words are from an old chorus we used to sing. I woke up singing this song in my heart this morning. I believe it was there because we studied a chapter from Bill Johnson’s book ‘When Heaven Invades Earth’ last night in our Life Group. It was his chapter on ‘Powerlessness: Unnecessary and Unbalanced.’

There were a few ‘ouch’ paragraphs in that chapter. ‘Ouch’ means a thought that struck deeply in my soul, made me feel uncomfortable, and I definitely got the point. Here’s one:
Many believers have made it their primary goal in life to be well respected citizens of their communities. Good character enables us to be solid contributors to society, but most of what is recognized as a Christian lifestyle can be accomplished by people who don’t even know God. While character must be at the heart of our ministries, power revolutionizes the world around us. Until the church returns to Jesus’ model for true revolutionaries, we will continue to be recognized by the world merely as nice people—while it is overcome with disease and torment, on its way to hell.

Many people think they are going to heaven because they live as good a life as the Christian they know. You hear it time and time again. They may be able to duplicate our good conduct, but they can never duplicate the power of God unleashed through us!

Even after being trained by Jesus Himself, the disciples were told by Him to wait in Jerusalem because they had need of power for the future task at hand. When they got it they knew it. It was an encounter with God that transformed them! We too are to receive that power not to help us overcome sin but to be active agents in changing the world around us!

Other ‘ouch’ comments from the book; Johnson states that too many Christians think they have to become better Christians before God can use them. That single lie has kept us in perpetual immaturity because it protects us from the power-encounter that transforms us. The result is we have converts trained and over trained until they have no life, vision, or ingenuity left.

Revolutionaries win because they have power. Saints, we need the power so that we can do what the disciples did, change the then known world. We deceive ourselves if we think we can do it without it!

They did it with power from on high!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tribute to America's Veterans

Just because the battle is afar,

Just because another rank you are...
regardless if you're active or reserve,
our respect and honor you deserve!

You've done what many of us could not do.
One day, alone, is not enough for you!
You have done what most of us would not--
thus, our admiration you have got!

Every branch of service...
every class or rank...
God Most High protecting,
God Most High we thank!
Your bravery outshining
emotions that are real;
our desire be that our
most heartfelt thanks you feel!
And that you be rewarded on
this day and every day
with words and deeds that,
deep appreciation, would convey!
Great is your reward, beyond
each worldly accolade
for your part assuring that
our liberty is made!

Tribute by Jim Busby

Friday, November 07, 2008

Surfer Rides 41ft. Wave

A daredevil surfer (Kerby Brown) is pictured tackling a giant 41 foot wave in a bid to win himself a prestigious award.

Moments after these pictures were taken, he suffered a devastating wipeout which nearly killed him. He said: 'Usually the wave never steps out or goes evil like that one, but it just went dry - the hardest wave I've ever had to surf.

'I went straight over the lip and did about 10 backflips and then pulled a muscle in my shoulder. It felt like I ripped my arm out of its socket, my leggie snapped and then I felt like I was the deepest I'd ever been.'

He's alive with torn shoulder muscles. Go figure!!!!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Great Fall Festival!

A lot has been going on at the church! On October 31st we had our annual Fall Festival. It was called Under the Big Top. A great circus theme. Here are 2 pics:


Bad lion needed a lion tamer with whip and gun! (Know who these are?)

Thank you Brooke for a great job!

For more pics go here.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Congratulations and an Apology!

Romans 13:1-2 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. NIV

Titus 3:1-2 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. NIV

This great nation overwhelmingly elected Barak Hussein Obama as our 44th President last night. My congratulations to him. I humble myself before God to pray for Obama accordingly as God instructs and requires of each of us as Christians. He is our President and even though I have expressed my concerns and alarm through this campaign season, it is now my responsibility to be a good citizen in the USA and in the Kingdom of God.

My apology to President George W. Bush. I feel I didn't pray for you enough. You have taken the brunt of my criticism and that of a nation. I know you had great intentions and aspirations. Your steady hand guided us us through one of the most tragic and difficult times in our nation's history- an attack on our great nation on our great shores!

Jeffery Scott Shapiro (an investigative reporter and lawyer who previously interned with John F. Kerry's legal team during the presidential election in 2004) wrote an article titled 'The Treatment of Bush Has Been a Disgrace.' He said:
The treatment President Bush has received from this country is nothing less than a disgrace. The attacks launched against him have been cruel and slanderous, proving to the world what little character and resolve we have. The president is not to blame for all these problems. He never lost faith in America or her people, and has tried his hardest to continue leading our nation during a very difficult time.

Our failure to stand by the one person who continued to stand by us has not gone unnoticed by our enemies. It has shown to the world how disloyal we can be when our president needed loyalty -- a shameful display of arrogance and weakness that will haunt this nation long after Mr. Bush has left the White House.
Please forgive me (and us as a nation) President Bush, I (we) let you down.

I know your approval ratings are down but in my heart, President Bush, I have great admiration and respect for you Sir! May God bless you richly.

It will not happen again from me regardless of who is President or what party has the power!

Monday, November 03, 2008

A 2008 Election Sermon-

Proverbs 29:2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.

Historically- pastors in this great country were involved in politics. They would give 'election sermons.' So in keeping that spirit and tradition alive, I did mine this past Sunday. This was a most critical sermon at this point in time! It was titled 'Somebody Do Something.' Those were the words of Mike Huckabees then 12 year old daughter after viewing the Holocaust museum in Israel. She wrote her name in the guest book and wrote, 'why didn't somebody do something?'

There are 60 million evangelicals in the U.S. Less than half- 29%- are registered to vote. What happened to the Moral Majority? Now, about half of that number (15%) actually voted in the last 2 elections. Think about it. 60 million votes can change an entire election! Hillary was proud of the 18 million she had....60 million! Christians should have no problems in this country...if we would just vote! How did our country get so far left? Why didn’t somebody do something? What's wrong with Christians that they are so detached from the most important civic responsibility?

Could it be that pastors feel intimidated or it is not their place to do so? We have a right and freedom to address our congregations on issues at hand. I taught on the importance of Christian values and voting according to that.

Christian values are important because they are:
1. Your anchor.
2. Your faithful friend.
3. Your compass.
4. Your basis for living righteously.

A very dramatic illustration is when I had all those born since 1972 stand. I asked all to look around. I said these standing survived the abortion holocaust since the passage of Roe vs Wade.. They are alive and with us now! 50 million plus are not!

An election is always about values! Until you know, and can clearly state the core values of your life, your decisions will be based on what's convenient, what's cheap and what's self-serving. We as Christians must refuse to live that way! Our values are clearly defined for us by the Word of God, not by some candidate, political party, or world system!

We then spent more than 30 minutes in the 'Harp & Bowl' style intercession session. Which is Music & Prayer intertwined. We had 10 people designated to pray for either our country, the elections, or our church. It was a dynamic and Spirit led prayer time!

I trust that you pastor friend encouraged your people to vote their values! Pastor, why didn't you do something? We get what we did or didn't vote for!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Facing Reality!?!

thanks to Rebecca--

Friday, October 31, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Enough Already!

Okay, enough with my election rants and commentaries! It is time to get back to the most important things- Jesus, His kingdom, and the church.

I need to lighten up a little (you think?). Maybe this will help. Some church bloopers, for real:

Two of our male pastoral staff members were out calling on people who had visited our church the previous week. When the people answered the door, the first pastor, being a little nervous and accustomed to introducing his wife, said, "Hi, I'm Mike and this is my wife, Steve." The couple they were visiting DID come back to church. (submitted by Jeff)

My Granddad once shared some information about missions during a Sunday morning service. He had arranged that a short film be shown at the end of his talk. When he was ready, he announced, "And now we are going to show the strip-film." (Meaning "film-strip" of course). There were sounds of choking laughter throughout all the congregation. (submitted by Christy)

My own blooper- it was Missions conference at the Vine a number of years ago- it was back in the days when we were still using transparency projectors. I was going to put a list of the missionaries and their support needs on the overhead. I said, "I am going to throw up on the projector a list of the missionaries." It was not until I heard someone say 'I hope not' that I realized what I said. Imagine how that 'throw up' would have looked on the big screen!

Be cool and laugh at yourself- it will keep you humble and away from pride!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Here sucker, sucker......

Man, I just realized how miserably I have failed to communicate on this election... this guy knows how to put it all in perspective!

Happy voting!!!!!


I just got back from standing in line for one hour to vote for the upcoming Presidential election.

I am fed up with Pastors who as the ‘blind leading the blind’ are voting race rather than morality and Christian ethics! I am fed up with church people who blindly are following these so called ‘Men of God.’ I am fed up with people who call themselves Christians blindly voting color rather than righteousness!

Now I am not a ‘racist’ as my above statements will be labeled and misunderstood. Check my congregation on any given Sunday morning and those Afro-Americans that are members of the Vine and they can vouch that I am not! It shouldn't be about race but one's morality and ethics or the lack thereof. But yet from what I hear it is not! It is about history making and race!

How can ‘Christians’ follow and vote a platform of child killing! Please spare me the argument of fetus versus child - that child is obviously created, fashioned, and purposed by God.

Ps 139:13-16 …Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all [my members] were written, [which] in continuance were fashioned, when [as yet there was] none of them." (KJV)

How can ‘Christians’ follow and vote a platform that attacks the sanctity of marriage! Jesus said about marriage that the basis of it was to God’s original design!

Mk 10:5-9 "But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.' 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." NIV

How can “Christians’ vote for a man they know nothing about and that keeps his past hidden. Aren’t you the least bit suspicious?

The church is divided over man’s kingdom. We have forgotten God’s Kingdom and His rule. He said He would write His principles on our hearts. Obviously some are discounting their Kingdom hearts and voting with their earthly ungodly bias!

Dr. Tony Evans, pastor at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, Dallas TX., said ‘white evangelicals tended to learn toward morality issues, while black evangelicals were often swayed by social justice issues. If we limit ourselves to that, we not only divide the church, but the nation. We need to rise above partisan politics. God doesn't ride elephants or donkeys.’

He’s right and so many are wrong! I am glad this is about over - and we can get our focus back on Jesus Christ - the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

I believe that God’s judgment is about to fall on a church or nation that rejects His Kingdom rule. This election may be the cataylst that will separate the wheat from the chaff! Lk 3:16.

I cry out, “God have mercy on us!”

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Unrepentant? Nope!

I did some things back in the 60's and 70's that I am truly repentant over - did I mention one big piece of stupid - like taking over a classroom bldg on campus?

But this guy - bombings??? He's not sorry!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Political Axioms Pt 2

If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free!- P.J. O'Rourke

In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other.-Voltaire (1764)

Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you!-Pericles (430 B.C.)

No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.-Mark Twain (1866)

Talk is cheap...except when Congress does it.-Unknown

The government is like a baby's alimentary canal: a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.-Ronald Reagan

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.-Winston Churchill

The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.-Mark Twain

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.-Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

There is no distinctly Native American criminal class...save Congress.-Mark Twain

What this country needs are more unemployed politicians.-Edward Langley, Artist (1928 - 1995)


A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.-Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Political Axioms Pt 1

'If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed; If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.'-Mark Twain

Suppose you were an idiot.And suppose you were a member of Congress....But then I repeat myself.-Mark Twain

I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.-Winston Churchill

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.- George Bernard Shaw

A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.-G. Gordon Liddy

Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.-James Bovard, Civil Libertarian (1994)

Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.-Douglas Casey

Giving money and power to the government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.-P.J. O'Rourke, Civil Libertarian

Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.-Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)

Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.-Ronald Reagan (1986)

I don't make jokes...I just watch the government and report the facts.-Will Rogers

Pt 2 to follow tomorrow...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hiddin' Marijuana-

'Hello, is this the Sheriff's Office?'

'Yes. What can I do for you?'

'I'm calling to report 'bout my neighbor Virgil Smith....He's hidin' marijuana inside his firewood! Don't quite know how he gets it inside them logs, but he's hidin' it there.'

'Thank you very much for the call, sir.'

The next day, the Sheriff's Deputies descend on Virgil's house.They search the shed where the firewood is kept. Using axes, they bust openevery piece of wood, but find no marijuana. They sneer at Virgil and leave.

Shortly, the phone rings at Virgil's house.

'Hey, Virgil! This here's Floyd... .Did the Sheriff come?'


'Did they chop your firewood?'


'Happy Birthday, buddy!'

Friday, October 17, 2008


"I had a pastor friend who went into the pulpit one Sunday morning wearing a pair of new bifocals.

The reading portion of the glasses improved his vision considerably, but the top portion of the glasses didn't work so well. In fact he was experiencing dizziness every time he looked through them.

He explained to the congregation that the new glasses were causing problems, then said, " I hope you will excuse my continually removing my glasses. You see when I look down I can see fine, but when I look at you, it makes me sick."
---George McCracken

Heading off to annual Men's Retreat today and tomorrow. Will post update of it when I return. Great group of men going. And, God will be there!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Barack Hussein Obama's Wrong Values

Let's see if this gets taken down---

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Word in Season-

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in network of silver. Pro. 25:11

"For I have put both of you in this place indeed, and it has not been easy. Many don't see failures and disappointments ... and voices who said, "I am with you indeed," only to turn their backs and walk away, you see.

I have hidden you in the depths of this place, indeed, that you would not get in the polluted stream, you see.

I have saved you for My glory and My honor indeed. So be encouraged this day and know and see that I will raise you up in this hour indeed and I will raise up a people who will come with thee.

For there are those who only wanted the ticking of their ears indeed-- and only wanted great projects for their family, you see. "What is your outreach that we may want to stay?" ... indeed, but you did not forfeit worship, or the presence of God, you see, and because of your faithfulness, I am faithful to thee.

For I tell thee that there is a lever that my hand is already on indeed, and I am about to pull the lever and release a river from my throne indeed, that is pure, and holy, and awesome full of power indeed.

You shall go back to the vision I have you indeed! You will lay hands on the sick and they will be healed indeed. You will break the stronghold of the enemy, you will open blind eyes, and declare who I am indeed.

For I tell you-- you would not settle for the GIFTS, indeed, but my PRESENCE became your priority...and because of it, I have anointed lives indeed.

Now, watch my gifts flow through thee: words of knowledge, and words that will set people free.

You will declare to the captives "come and let me touch you" indeed and I tell you REVIVAL will come to this place indeed.

For I have measured out a territory that belongs to thee. You will take a city and SET THEM FREE! Hallelujah! Glory to God! Glory!"

Word to David and Debi Kerr
delivered by Mary Ann Brown
September 21, 2008
at The Vine Fellowship
Arlington, Texas

Monday, October 13, 2008

From Shepherd to CEO? - Pt. 2

What does a shepherd do? I've heard of people asking how hard can pastoring be? All you have to do is preach once or twice a week. What do you do with the rest of your time? Golf? Tennis?

Here is a schedule of my week 10/5-10/12:

-Preached 1 year anniversary service for Impact Cowboy Church in Nacogdoches Tx.
-Drove home to Arlington.
-Stopped at hospital to visit man (Sam) in our church who had a heart attack while I was gone.

-Awakened with calls that friends of ours son and wife lost their 2 week old baby, Savannah.
-Drove to Dallas to comfort them at medical City hospital.
-Drove back to Arligton and visited Sam back by the hospital.
-Woman from church fell and broke her arm, in emergency room.

-In office doing administrative and financial work.
-Counseled a troubled marriage.
-Had staff meeting.
-Asked to do funeral of Savannah.
-Mike and Jane Bailey arrived for the week with us. He is Liberty Fellowship Church Plant director.
-Prepared for funeral.

-Drove an hour away to Frisco to do Savannah’s funeral.
-This was all day away.

-Met with Mike and Liberty Fellowship Pastor.
-Made LF calls and answered email.
-Drove to Glen Rose with the Baileys and attended Creation Science Museum.

-At hospital at 6:30am to pray with Sam and wife before his open heart surgery. They were spending the day at home- scheduled to be 5 hour surgery.
-Picked up Dr. Fred from airport, a counselor that was spending the weekend with a couple with marriage problems. To breakfast with him, checked him into hotel, then got him settled in my office for counsel
-To hospital to visit with Sam’s family and check on his progress. What was to be triple bypass for Sam ended up five.
-Out to dinner with Baileys and Dr. Fred.

-Tennis at 7am
-Went to Dallas Arboretum with Baileys.
-Home, nap, to hospital to see Sam. Talked with family.
-Out to dinner with Baileys and Dr. Fred.
-Prepared for Sunday’s message. To bed at 1am.

-Up at 5am to prepare for Sunday.
-Preached and attended church picnic.
-Home and CRASHED!

As you can see, not much going on that week. :>)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Closed - Open - Texas Style

This is the way we say it here in Texas!

BTW, I took these pics while in Nacogdoches, TX.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

SNL - Skit on the Economy???

Watch this before it is taken down!

From Shepherd to CEO? - Pt. 1

Where have all the shepherds of God's people gone? With the emphasis on growing BIG mega-churches, someone has lost out! And it is not the shepherds! It is God's flock!

I met a man this weekend that had served his church faithfully for many years. He cooked for them every week . In a freak accident he was run over by a truck and had to have both legs amputated. Ninety two days in the hospital and not one visit from the pastor of his church!

He lay there broken, confused, hurting, and questioning. A pastor friend of mine visited him, loved on him, and comforted him. He invited him to his church when he got out and was able. To which the man responded, "What the hell can I do for you!" My friend told him he didn't want anything from him but just to care and comfort him! He is now there at my friend's church and is a leader at that!

92 days - no pastoral visit - why? Because we have lost what a shepherd-pastor does - many have traded their call from God to care for His flock to that of running a ministry (church). CEO instead of pastor! They have relegated their care of the flock to someone else. That is their business but God's people still need genuine men who care for their souls!

Eze 34:1-2
The word of the Lord came to me: "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? NIV

Dake lists fourteen sins of the shepherds of Israel:
1. They feed themselves without feeding the flocks of Israel (Eze 34:2).
2. They eat the fat and clothe themselves with wool, but do not feed the flock (Eze 34:3).
3. They kill them that are fed.
4. They have not strengthened the diseased (Eze 34:4).
5. They have not healed the sick.
6. They have not bound up the broken.
7. They have not brought again that which was driven away.
8. They have not sought the lost (Eze 34:4,6).
9. They oppressed their subjects (Eze 34:4).
10. They scattered the flock (Eze 34:5).
11. They have not been true shepherds.
12. They caused flock to be destroyed.
13. They have not protected the flock.
14. They ignored the true condition of the flock (Eze 34:6).

Amazing how history repeats itself. My heart is broken for God's people!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Christianity - 'Neanderthal faith'

Well here you have it - what the liberal press really thinks of Christianity and now is willing to put it into print!

A recent Los Angeles Times story claimed that as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, Sarah Palin espoused young-earth creationism. The report prompted liberal Internet columnist Robert Paul Reyes to brand Palin a "religious fanatic" with a "Neanderthal faith" who "thinks that 'The Flinstones' is a reality show."

Reyes suggests that during tonight's vice-presidential debate, Palin should be questioned about her reported belief that God created the earth 6,000 years ago and that dinosaurs and men coexisted.

You know, I thought I looked funny to the world and now I know why!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I Don't Want to Go In

Let's see, this dog did not to go in to the room to see the vet!

Have you ever had the same feeling, like you:
didn't want to go in to see the dentist,
didn't want to go in to see the principal,
didn't want to go in to see the IRS agent,
didn't want to go in to the elders meeting,
didn't want to go in to the church on Sunday,
didn't want to go in to see the brain surgeon,
didn't want to go in to see how your 401k is fairing...

What are some areas you didn't want to go in?

Monday, September 29, 2008

New Church Playground - not for old people!

Last Sunday, I jokingly mentioned the new church playground. It was still under construction, but I told the kids, "You can't play on the new playground yet...Pastor Rob and I get to play on it first." Well...I guess the kids can play on it now! Check this out:

Would you like to see a picture of my bruised forearm after I pulled it on the monkey bars? Ouch! Painful and ugly!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Churches Closing--

It was with sadness that I read the following email:

"My church is coming to a close after many faithful years. It is not a bad ending, just time for our tiny church to go in a different direction. SO, they have a ton of stuff that needs to be sold to support our missionaries, or donated to a non-profit org. It is make a reasonable offer, if you are an individual who would like to purchase. Due to established law, items can only be given to a non-profit org, individuals must purchase equipment. There is a lot of sound equipment. Please email me if you have any interest or questions about any of these items. I am sorry this post is so long."

I remember my time in Scotland and was overwhelmed by the number of church buildings being used as furniture stores and disco halls. It was sad to note that at one time they were vibrant churches proclaiming the gospel. But became irrelevant and eventually when the last aging member died out the church closed.

Why do you think churches close? Any comments?

Here is one point of importance:
"People do not remain loyal to institutions when they no longer believe in their importance. The importance of the church is essentially tied to the reality of the Gospel. When people no longer believe that faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for salvation, the church becomes a time-consuming irrelevance. " Dr. Albert Mohler

Lord, help us to continually maintain the need of a Savior and not buy in to the lie of many pathways to God. If you believe that as a pastor, then you really have no reason to exist and you probably won't exist much longer as a church!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rejected Titles of David's Mighty Men-


7. Dave and his Posse (too modern)

6. The Warm Fuzzies (too cute)

5. The Whole Hee Haw Gang (too overused)

4. The Mod Squad (it had potential)

3. A Bunch of Really Great Guys Who Killed a Lot of People (pretty accurate but a little long)

2. The Imperials (everyone else has been a part of that music group, why not them?)

1. Dream Team (good, but Mighty Men was just a little better)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Supersized Churches Revisted!

A fellow blogger, Trey Morgan, had a great blog about Super Sized Church - read it here.

I commented to him from a book by Bill Johnson. Bill says the following:

"Most of the goals of the modern church can be accomplished without God. All we need is people, money, and a common objective. Determination can achieve great things. But success is not necessarily a sign that the goal was from God. Little exists in church life to ensure that we are being directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit."

Pastors, let's get back to making Jesus the main thing and 'building' true spirituality in God's people.

Saints need a personal relationship with Jesus Christ! Nothing dare not nor should not replace that!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What Can a Church do to Keep the Pastor from Resigning?

Pastors today are faced with more work, more problems, and more stress than any other time in the history of the church. This is taking a frightening toll on the ministry, shown by the (North American) statistics below:
--Fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout or contention in their churches.
--Eighty percent of pastors and eighty-four percent of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors.
--Fifty percent of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.
--Eighty-five percent of pastors said their greatest problem is they are sick and tired of dealing with problem people, such as disgruntled elders, deacons, worship leaders, worship teams, board members, and associate pastors. Ninety percent said the hardest thing about ministry is dealing with uncooperative people.

So we can see that there are unique stresses that pastors have to deal with not to mention the attacks of the Devil. What can a church do to keep the pastor from resigning?

Here is my top 10 list:
10. Help him grow the church by inviting your friends to church. The growth of the church is your responsibility too.
9. Don’t be a party to gossip and strife in the church. It destroys him and the church.
8. Understand your pastor has feelings too, so don’t be critical.
7. Give him the benefit of doubt when he makes mistakes or misspeaks. You expect it when you do big pieces of stupid!
6. Forgive him quickly when he needs it. Forgive period!
5. Don’t allow yourself to become offended at him. Offence causes a breach in trust and destroys relationships.
4. Give your tithes of 10% or more faithfully every week. Pray for the finances of the church.
3. Don’t keep him poor, ‘to keep him humble.’
2. Edify and encourage him regularly. Love builds up! Encourage him to get rest!
1. Pray for him everyday!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Kerr-isms #3 - quotes by yours truly!

Successful people -
doesn't necessarily mean they are more gifted, they're just more passionate.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tacky and Insensitive -

Obama and his campaign once again demonstrate their lack of understanding and sensitivity:

From the AP story about the computer illiterate ad:
"Our economy wouldn't survive without the Internet, and cyber-security continues to represent one our most serious national security threats," [Obama spokesman Dan] Pfeiffer said. "It's extraordinary that someone who wants to be our president and our commander in chief doesn't know how to send an e-mail."
Jonah Goldbergs comments: "Well, I guess it depends on what you mean by "extraordinary." The reason he doesn't send email is that he can't use a keyboard because of the relentless beatings he received from the Viet Cong in service to our country. From the Boston Globe (March 4, 2000):"
McCain gets emotional at the mention of military families needing food stamps or veterans lacking health care. The outrage comes from inside: McCain's severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes. Friends marvel at McCain's encyclopedic knowledge of sports. He's an avid fan - Ted Williams is his hero - but he can't raise his arm above his shoulder to throw a baseball.
Obama and clan just keep showing their true colors!

Friday, September 12, 2008

THE FUNERAL============

One day all the employees reached the office and they saw a big sign on the door on which was written:

Yesterday, the person who has been hindering your growth in this company passed away. We invite you to join the funeral in the room that has been prepared in the gym.

In the beginning, they all got sad for the death of one of their colleagues, but after a while they started getting curious to know who was that man who hindered the growth of his colleagues and the company itself.

The excitement in the gym was such that security agents were ordered to control the crowd within the room. The more people reached the coffin, the more the excitement heated up.

Everyone thought: 'Who is this guy who was hindering my progress? Well, at least he died!

One by one the thrilled employees got closer to the coffin, and when they looked inside it, they suddenly became speechless.

They stood nearby the coffin, shocked and in silence, as if someone had touched the deepest part of their soul. There was a mirror inside the coffin; everyone who looked inside it could see himself. There was also a sign next to the mirror that said:

There is only one person who is capable of setting limits to your growth: IT IS YOU!!!!!

Your life does not change when your boss changes, when your friends change, when your parents change, when your husband or wife change, when your company change, when your church changes, when your location change, when your money change, when your status changes...

Your life changes when YOU change, when you go beyond your limiting beliefs.

Examine yourself, watch yourself. Don't be afraid of difficulties, impossibilities and losses. Be a winner, build yourself and your reality. It's the way you face Life that makes the difference.

~Author Unknown~

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A New Low!!!!

Video entitled 'Lipstick' was removed from YouTube after CBS said it was copyright infringement - it showed Katie Couric talking about sexism in recent politics.

But you can see it here - at McCain's website!

So here is another video talking about it-


Lessons for Pastors from Football!

It’s Football Season! We were overwhelmed with all the pro and college games this past weekend. There were great triumphs and great defeats! In the midst of it all there were injuries and some that were season ending.

For instance, Tom Brady is out for the season with a torn ACL. Sportswriters, coaches, and fans are thinking about what could have been for him. Now he is facing surgery, rehab, and the bench. We hope all goes well for him and he has a speedy recovery.

Injuries do occur. It is a battle! For the Dallas Cowboys (God's Team) quarterback Tony Romo received a cut on the chin that required 13 stitches. Marion Barber has bruised ribs. It was a tough weekend for some to say the least.

I just thought about Pastors in all this. We are on the playing field in the most crucial game of all time - the battle between the Kingdom of God with our opponent being the kingdom of darkness coached by satan himself. It is intense!

We see and hear almost weekly now how satan is succeeding at taking ministers down and out of the game. Recently, in the Kingdom of God, a great healing revivalist is taken out making many even suspect the healing revival. Or, consider the man who wrote ‘Healer’ and sang it as he was ‘dying’ discovered to have faked it all even duping his family. A pastor here in the Metroplex travelled to another city to have sex with a 13 year old – or so he thought even as he was being arrested!

It becomes obvious from the above that the opposing team is out to maim, hurt, cut, bruise, and destroy you and me. And the opponent is well coached. Satan is watching film on you, has the game board mapped out, and is directing the attacks against you. Satan is always watching you just as he was Jesus – the Bible says that satan “left him until the next opportunity came…” (Luke 4:13 NLT) He will capitalize on every opportunity. We as pastors need to get this image in our minds and never take for granted our adversary. Leaders fall because they naively underestimate satan! If we don’t watch and keep to our Coach’s instruction and game plan, we too can be taken out!

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

I am praying for you today – please pray for me!