Thursday, July 21, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Why I Do Missions!

If you're interested, you will do what is convenient; if you're committed, you'll do whatever it takes. 
-J Assaraf

I attended Liberty Bible College for pastoral ministry. Little did I know how my world view would change at my first Missions conference. That is where I first met and heard Wayne Myers. My life's direction changed in that meeting! World Missions=The Father's Heart!

Upon graduation I journeyed with my wife Debi and two other great couples to Scotland. A thriving church was planted. I returned back to work as Assistant Director of Globe under the direction of Bob Bishop. I travelled extensively to churches promoting world missions. Many didn't have a missions vision or it was minimal at best. During these times I was making observations that guided me and the establishment of a 'Missions minded church' that I now pastor, The Vine Fellowship. Our vision statement...connecting to God, other Christians and the world defines who we are as a church and guides where we invest our time and finances.

Rescue the perishing, don't hesitate to step and help! Pro 24.11 TMB

Three things guided me these 20 years here: 1. An annual Missions Conference; 2. Involvement of the members in World Missions; 3. Care for the Missionaries during the conference.

1. Annual Missions Conference- This is what I consider the highlight of our year. We have a set date for it every year. We establish a theme, hang banners, invite missionaries, hold a 4 day conference, do Faith Promise giving, and enjoy the results. The Sundays before and after the conference are always given to Global Missions messages. I understand thoroughly that the Pastor is THE KEY to a successful Missions vision in his church. No vision + no program + no involvement=no heart of the Father demonstrated! I do not delegate missions to another!

2. If you relegate your Missions program to a budget item then your people will not have a heart for it nor be missions minded. We stress to our members that we focus on reaching the world through support of world missions. Through the missionaries we preach the love of Jesus, help feed hungry children, send students to school, teach people how to grow their own food, raise up and train indigenous pastors, plant churches, and train more missionaries to go out and do the same. We believe in and support world missions. Our people are directly involved by prayer, provision, and participation. We keep the missionaries and their respected needs before the people via Sunday, small groups, Bulletin boards, and prayer for them being incorporated on our published Church calendar. We give them the opportunity to be personally involved with a missionary through their giving. As Wayne Myers said, "Do your giving while your living that way you know where it is going!" Their participation is by attending the missions conference, meals and fellowship with missionaries, and short term trips to visit them.

3. Our care for the missionaries when they are at our Missions Conference can best be described as doting! We are compassionate, sensitive and caring to their needs. We make sure their time with us is a stress reliever not a means of added stress. We are light hearted, fun loving with them. We encourage their laughter and do fun things with them: we give them 'fun money' as they arrive to spend on what they want while with us, we take them shopping, do lunches and dinners with them and our staff, visit places around the area i.e. Dallas Cowboy Stadium, Dallas Aquarium, Ft. Worth Arboretum, Ft. Worth Cowtown, etc. We take them to game places i.e. Alley Cats, Dave and Busters, and give them game tokens and play Laser Tag, etc. When they leave we give them a generous honorarium!

But probably the biggest thing that our church does is consider the missionaries true heroes of the Faith! Standing ovations, cards of appreciation, hugs, and tears are demonstrated to them and for them! We love our missionaries!

The Vine Fellowship is committed and we do whatever it takes! Shouldn't we all???

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tennis Entertainer- Mansour Bahrami

Thank you Tim for this video- amazing!

Can't see video, click here

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Knowing To Do Good and Not Doing It = Sin!

I enjoyed watching Novak Djokovic's tap his racket in appreciation for a good shot that Rafael Nadal made during the finals of Wimbledon yesterday. That is what gentlemanly tennis players do to show they acknowledge what a good shot an opponent has made. Even when you are winning, you still take time to acknowledge the efforts of others! I play with a guy who hardly ever acknowledges any good shot or barely shakes your hand after winning or losing a set. His rudeness is his problem, but it did get me to thinking.

Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. 
James 4:17 (New King James Version)

If you look at the passage in the Bible, you see that this sentence comes at the end of the paragraph about planning what you will do tomorrow. As James highlights the need to turn every day over to God, he reminds us that God has a positive agenda for our lives. God has not simply told us what to avoid, He has told us and modeled for us what we should be doing.

The puritans classified all sin into 2 categories. There are the sins of commission. The things that we do that we aren’t supposed to do. When we commit a sin, when we do something that is wrong, it is a sin of commission. But from James 4:17 and others they recognized that there are also sins of omission. These are the good things that we know we should do but we don’t do them. When we don’t do something that is right, we commit the sin of omission.

So in any given day and any given opportunity, we must respond accordingly:
1. If we need to give someone a cup of cold water, we do it.
2. If we see someone worthy of praise, we do it.
3. If someone has done a great thing, we acknowledge it.
4. We congratulate others. To keep quiet is rude and sin!
5. We don't withhold encouragement for a job well done or shot well made! I think you get my drift!

(Here is a thought provoking question for all you Facebook peeps- Is failing to congratulate or acknowledge a birthday or make comments on Facebook sin?).

I tweeted this the other day, 'A wrongdoer is often one who has left something undone, not always one who has done something.'

Jesus told a story about a man who was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. He was robbed and beaten and left for dead on the side of the road. Before long a priest came along and saw him lying there. But there was temple worship to be done, and the priest had an appointment to meet. Besides, he could walk past and not break any of the 613 laws, but if he helped the injured traveler, he would become ritually unclean and not be able to participate in temple worship. Realizing it, he walked on by. A Levite was the next to pass. He was in a hurry to get to worship also, and if he helped, he might not make it in time, so he moved over to the other side of the road. The third to come by was a Samaritan. If Jesus were telling the story to us today, He might use a gang member or an illegal alien for the last one to walk past. To the Jews that Jesus was speaking to, a Samaritan was a nobody, somebody to be avoided. But to the injured man that Samaritan was a savior. He cleaned the crime victim up, took him to a holiday inn, paid for his room and came back to check on him. The point that Jesus was making when He told that story was that the person who was being obedient to God wasn’t those guys who were in such a hurry to get to a worship service. The one who was obedient to God was the one who understood the second greatest commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Who was right in this story, it was the one who knew to do right and did it. Those who knew to do right and didn't were wrong and guilty of sin!

So, this thought process has made me keenly aware that I need to practice blessing others with a 'Thank you,' 'Great job,' 'Congratulations,' etc. For me to withhold that, it is sin.

How about you? It is sin for you too!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Today is Our 40th Wedding Anniversary

Today is the day- 40 years ago I married my best friend, my last girlfriend. She agreed to be my princess, mine tomorrow and the day after that, forever! I find great delight in her and her only. Every day is a new discovery of how unique a creation God made her. She remains the best marriage manual a man could read; turning every page is full of exhilaration, excitement and passion. She lavishes me with her love.

Debi, thank you for these wonderful years, may God grant us many more! I love you!

David, your knight in shining armor.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Countdown to Our 40th Wedding Anniversary- July 3rd

Dedicated to the woman I love, Debi! I dellght in her!
'There's something in the way she moves,
or looks my way or calls my name,...'

view video here
James Taylor
There's something in the way she moves,
or looks my way or calls my name,
that seems to leave this troubled world behind.
And if I'm feelin down and blue,
or troubled by some foolish game,
she always seems to make me change my mind.
And I feel fine any time she's around me now, she's around me now
almost all the time.
And if I'm well you can tell she's been with me now,
she's been with me now,
for a long, long time,
and I feel fine.
Every now and then the things I lean on lose their meaning, and I find myself careening,
into places that I should not let me go.
She has the power to go where no one else can find me,
yes and to silently remind me,
of the happiness and good times that I know.
But I said I've just got to know that...
It isn't what she's got to say,
or how she thinks or where she's been.
To me the words are nice the way they sound.
I like to hear them best that way,
it doesn't much matter what they mean.
Well she says them mostly just to calm me down.
And I feel fine any time she's around me now,
she's around me now,
almost all the time.
And if I'm well you can tell that she's been with me now, she's been with me now, 
quite a long, long time.
Yes and I feel fine.