I have not posted in several days so I thought it was time that I say a few words. I have spent a lot of time thinking and praying in the past few weeks. First, I want to share this, I have come to the place of being reminded that God is not a religion, He is an experience and a relationship. I have become weary of motions and traditions that are not about the Word of God or about the Spirit of God. I recently heard someone teaching who said that the only difference in teaching and preaching is one is yelling and one is talking. It saddens me to think that a "Bible Teacher" lacks understanding to this degree. I believe that preaching is about sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul said I preach one thing- Jesus Chirst and Him crucified. Teaching is about discipleship or helping a believer learn and discover how to live the life that God has ordained for them and to find a way of life that pleases God and aligns with His word. So often preachers and teachers are presenting a message that they have heard and not what they have studied and learned. I certainly do not know or understand all the things of God. I do however try to study and seek out truth from the Word of God. I am sure it will ruffle some feathers when I share this next thought but here it is anyway. All of my life I have set in churches that "preached the standards of holiness" and recently that phrase has started to bother me. I have researched and found the word "standard" in the Bible (KJV) twenty- two times. Each time it is mentioned in Numbers, Isaiah and Jeremiah, it is talking about a defense such as a shield or barrier against an enemy which we need in our lives, no doubt. I have not yet found the word in the context of holiness. Please do not misunderstand, I believe in living a life that is holy and I believe we are to be set apart from the world, but I must ask who's standards are we preaching about? We should be careful that we are not being different just so we can say we are set apart. Our outward apperance alone is not where we must be differnce. I wish someone would teach us that living holy means that our thoughts, our words and our actions should bring glory to the God we serve. The command is to be ye holy even as I am holy. This speaks to me about taking on the nature of God. God, who loved us while we were yet sinners, God who sacraficed His own son to save us from Hell. I don't care if you have the perfect standard of dress and know how to look "churchey" if you are constantly sending everyone that looks differently than you to hell- you are missing what Holiness is all about. I am not satisfied to just look different I want to be different. I pray that my life will reflect a Holy God in the way I treat others around me. I want someone to see Jesus in my by the way I live and the way I love not by the way I dress. Jesus said by this shall all men know that you are my disciples that you have love one to another. I see more church folks in competition with one another, cutting each other down and showing anything but love. Once again, it seems I must stand and take the heat for not "going with the flow" I am not concerned if I am not asked to preach or sing or play at someone's church because I do not just "do what the preacher says" I would rather just so what the Bible teaches. God and not man called and ordained me to preach, he gave me the talent to sing and play for His glory and I am happy if I just preach Jesus to the people I meet everyday. I am not against anyone and do not mean to disrespect ones personal covictions. If the Holy Ghost convicts you in the way you live and dress, follow the leading of the Lord in your life. However be careful that what you teach and preach is based on solid scripture and not the "standards" of a man or organization.
May God Bless and Prosper you today in the name of Jesus!
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
I just want to take a few moments to ask for prayer for a few people and situations. First, my Aunt Jill in East Tennessee and her family need God's strength, peace and comfort as her Uncle Greg seems to be getting closer to the end of his journey on earth. Jill and her family have been met with so much death and heartache in recent months and only God understands the reasons why. There is also a dear brother in our chuch who was admitted to the hospital this week with blood clots- I have heard that he is doing better still we want to continue to remember Bro. Barnes in prayer. My wife's family also buried a family member. I also need my friends and family to join with me in prayer for direction. I enjoy my job but the pay is no longer sufficent. By not sufficient I do not mean we are unable to live a high class of life with lots of extras, I mean that our basic bills exceed my income. God always provides enough and He is faithful. Like most, the increase in fuel costs have hit us hard as well as higher food costs as well as an unexpected debt that has come along. I am also looking to be available for ministry and family time in the evenings that my current schedule will not allow. I am praying that the Lord will lead me in the direction that will be His will and that will keep me closer to my home. The severe weather this week has been a reminder of why I want to be closer to home. I know that there are many others to pray for, and please share with me so that I can join you in prayer as well. God Bless!
Thursday, April 21, 2011
As we approach this Easter weekend I am thinking of the ultimate freedom that was given to us by the death, burial and resurection of Jesus Christ. Every year our nation celebrates freedom on the Forth of July, yet true freedom goes all the way back to an empty tomb where our savior once laid. Thanks to the price that was paid at Calvary and the power of a risen savior we are free from sin, free from death and free from the grave. Many loved ones have left this world in this past year. As I think about my sister who left this world in November, I so thankful that Jesus has given us the assurance that the grave is not the end. When Jesus rose from the tomb he made a way of escape for us. Though we may be laid in a earthly grave, we only slumber. As you celebrate this Easter season remember that we are rejoicing in the fact that we are free and free indeed!
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
I have recently heard different people talking about various churches and it bothers me how they refer to a church as Brother so and so's church. I know it is petty and most people do not mean it the way it sounds but I feel that too often we make church about a man and less about God. The church should have a direct purpose, to take salvation to the lost, a place for prayer and worship to the true and living God and a place to train and equip the believers for Godly service. When I hear someone talk about Brother Joe Bob's church it feels like they are paying more attention to the man at the church than the God who is head of the church. When the church becomes a place for titles and postions and those things have more attention that our true purpose, there is trouble. I do not have anything against giving honor to the leader that God has appointed to a body of believers. I just think that it would sound better to say the church where Brother Joe Bob is the pastor. Too often we can fall into following a man of God instead of following God himself. I just pray that we keep our eyes on Jesus as we are being cared for by the pastor that God has given us. I recently heard someone make the statement that " Whatever my man of God tells me to do, I will do." I hope that a man like that is also studying the word and not following blindly. I aslo pray that a pastor never forgets the incredible honor and responsiblity that God has given them to tend to the sheep that belong to God.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Tonight I am asking that any of you who are reading this join with me in praying for God to show up and show out as only He can do. I need a special blessing from the throne of God. No major disaster is lurking and our world is not falling apart. My life and my household are blessed. However, there is a situation that is out of my ability to solve. It has been my experience that in times like this, God is the only answer. I know that with God nothing is impossible. This past Sunday I obeyed the Lord and preached the word under obedience to the Holy Ghost. I am very aware that when we obey God, the enemy (Satan) gets very nervous and he will try to come in like a flood. I am just glad that I know the Word of God and therefore I know that the Spirit of the Lord will raise up a standard against him. I am thankful for tools such as blogging and Facebook that allow me to call on my brothers and sisters in the Lord to stand with me and claim the victory. I am not alone when I face trouble, I have God's word, God's people and God's Hand that I can depend on. May God bless each of you and may His hand rest upon you tonight.
Monday, April 18, 2011
The weekend was good- enjoyed some time with Scotty and Tam after work on Saturday and did some good eating. Sunday was an awesom time in the Lord! I was so honored to preach the Word of God with perhaps the strongest anointing I have ever felt. So many made kind comments to me regarding the message but it was not me but the power of God using me that made the difference. Tonight we enjoyed some fellowship with our pastor and his wife. We had the chance to share some pictures of family and friends and it was bittersweet looking at pictures from the day that Sarah and I were married. I saw the many pictures of my sweet sister and I remembered how she smiled and how she laughed. I hold to these memories and I know that God must have His reasons but it is still a struggle to know that someone who was always been with you as a part of your entire life is no longer just a phone call away. I know that we are about to move into a brand new season of our life that is full of wonder and beauty and great excitement. Yet, I still bear a heaviness of the ones that will not walk the path with us for many different reasons. I pray that God will teach me how to release the things that are gone and hold to what he has given me now. I thank God for what He is doing in our lives as we submit to His will in our lives. In Closing I will just say to my sister, Rhonda, I miss you and I love you!
Friday, April 15, 2011
As I listen to the wind blowing so hard tonight and see the trees lean way over from the force, I can't help but think about Acts Chapter Two. The Bible says in Acts 2:2 "And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven as of a Mighty Rushing Wind and it filled the house where they were sitting." Wind the wind blows it touches everything. It does not even ask for an invitation or permission, it simply blows and no man can stop it. The Holy Ghost is like that wind it is ever moving and touching everything as it blows. I am thankful that the power of the Holy Ghost blows in and moves in my life. It is the power that the world is seeking and it is already blowing and moving if we will just take the time to aknowledge it in our lives it will really blow your mind!