Thursday, September 17, 2009

God is Faithful

The past two weeks have been incredibly intense, and I am so glad the Lord has a sense of humor. Our Associate Pastor had surgery on his broken elbow. Our Church Administrator is out on vacation. Two other clergy are on vacation. We began a new worship schedule on Sundays adding a new service at 7:45 a.m. The A Word from the Lord office is in the process of moving. And I have had eleven serious pastoral situations with individuals in crisis. All this on top of the normal schedule. Fortunately, the Lord has been His GRACious Self and given me and others around me His Presence and Anointing to be His servants in the Kingdom.

The last part of this week I have taken my wife, Allison, to join some other parishioners for a few days to a house at the Beach. We had bought a week together at our Youth Auction last February. Although I have just returned from a Sabbatical, I wish I could say I was resting and relaxing here, but the reality is that I am working. However, the scenery is wonderful! The food is great!! And my breaks are good -- a walk on the beach. Just finished my sermon prep for Sunday entitled: "Humble as A Child," a sermon about how God calls us to live and serve in His Kingdom.

Interesting Quotes from my reading.....

John Stott on Genesis 3:16-17 -- "Adam and Eve went into hiding, and the greatest of all tragedies began, namely that human beings made by God like God and for God should now try to live their lives without God."

Steven M. W. Covey -- "You can judge a person's character by the way he treats people who can't help him or hurt him."

Immanuel Kant -- "In law, a man is guilty when he violates the rights of another. In ethics, he is guilty if he only thinks of doing so."

"People don't listen to you speak; they watch your feet"

Steven M. W. Covey -- "The truth is that in every relationship -- personal and professional -- what you do has far greater impact than anything you say. You can say you love someone -- but unless you demonstrate that love with your actions, your words become meaningless."

Jesus -- "I tell you the truth that unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3,4)

Friday, September 11, 2009

God Bless the U.S.A.

As we hear calls which politicize September 11 (i.e., our president's call to ask Americans to give a day of service to the State, and then those who criticize him for it), let us take a few minutes and thank God for the incredible nation in which we live.

Yesterday, I participated in the dedication of the Strickland Memorial Chapel at Gwinnett Medical Center in North Atlanta. Mr. Clyde Strickland got up to speak after hearing a hindu, a muslim, and a rabbi speak about their perspective. Mr. Strickland said: "Only in America can this happen today. America is about freedom. Freedom to worship God in your own way. This could not have happened in most countries of the world." So let us thank God for the incredible nation in which we live.

But let us also take a few minutes and remember those who have suffered because of the attacks on our country that day. Let us remember the families of the over 3000 who died on that day. Over 700 children lost their parents that day! Let us remember those who sacrificed so much so that we all could overcome and move forward individually and as a nation.

A friend, Doug DeBolt, who used to be with Acts 29 Ministries put together a video from his time of ministry in New York days after the attack. It is worth a watch.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


What a great week!!!

I have been blessed to hear from our church staff about all that the Lord has been doing this summer while I have been gone. Wow! The Lord has confirmed again to me that to obey Him is always right. While I was away on Sabbatical, the church remained strong, people came to the Lord, attendance held, giving remained strong, people served, and lives were touched in the name of the Lord. I am blessed to be surrounded by a great staff, gifted clergy, a dedicated Leadership Team, and a congregation of people seeking to serve the Lord.

This weekend I had a wedding, two baptisms, and preached two times. I preached on "Working for What?" In honor of Labor Day, I attempted to share the beginnings of a Christian Work Ethic for those who are followers of Jesus. It should be available online at within the next day or so.

One humorous event from the wedding yesterday... A woman came up to me and said she listens every Sunday to our weekly broadcast, but I DIDN'T LOOK ANYTHING LIKE SHE THOUGHT I WOULD! (I am not sure if that was good or bad). She went on to share how much the weekly sermon ministers to her. I was deeply touched.

Colossians 3:22-24 -- "Servants, do what you are told by your earthly masters. And don't just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from your heart for the real Master, for God, confident that you will come into your inheritance. Keep in mind that the ultimate Master you're serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being Christian doesn't cover up bad work."

Martin Luther: "The Lord’s blessing does not come upon those who are sluggish . . . I would not want you to indulge in inactivity and idleness; I want you to work. For God does not give His blessing to those who snore according to the flesh; He wants the flesh to be exercised and mortified . . . Therefore although it is not this work that accomplishes what the blessing bestows, yet God wants us to do our duty and to work diligently, in order that the flesh may be exercised and may not snore and become listless from inactivity . . . Accordingly, we should not give ourselves to ease and laziness; but with all zeal and diligence we should submit to the labors which the calling of each and every one requires. And to these labors there should be added at the same time a cheerful spirit in every trouble, exertion, and tribulation. In this way a blessing should be expected from the Lord."