And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

10 Things I am praying in 2011

People ought to make resolutions. Ministers are no exception. We often, not just at years beginning, set about looking at our lives and evaluate them. This is part of the practice of taking the sacraments. As Paul said, "we ought to examine ourselves" as not to partake in an unworthy manner.

Therefore, as the new year is about to begin I have pondered and considered these following ten items to pray about as a daily petition.

1. That every week I would lead and disciple a person in the saving grace of Christ.

2. To not say anything dumb. Yes, that only wisdom come from my mouth.

3. For personal holiness for the church's sake.

4. That He lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil. Thus progress in sanctification.

5. For my thoughts and actions to be redemptive with all people and situations.

6. God minded/centered thinking in everything would become my heart nature.

7. To stop and worship daily.

8. That I measure the success of myself, my church, and "heroes and others" by God's standards.

9. That I be faithful in all endeavors.

10. That joy permeate all things giving God the glory.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A few reasons why you should not cuss

A few reasons why you should not cuss

While shopping in the Christmas season I have encountered people with heightened emotions. Distracted and aggressive drivers are causing problems on the road. Aggravated shoppers more fastidiously claim their spot in the aisle, and bristle. Many greet one another more joyously, and tune in with the music being played.

One particular fellow I encountered stood out. While shopping in Lowe’s he began a dialog with a salesman helping me. I truly believe if counted at least ten percent of his words fell into the swearing category. One in ten. Ten for every one hundred. A full six minutes of blatant expression every hour. I walked away wondering why he even cussed at all? His over use of emotive words has me pondering. Thus, I have come up with a list of reasons not to cuss.

Swearing reveals your hard heart. It says that you can be difficult to deal with.

When expressing oneself with such language, others may simply write you off as being an exaggerating pessimist.

Vulgarity offends and reveals that you have little consideration of others

It reduces your ability to express anything that truly deserves exclamation. It is akin to an e-mail in all caps.

It does not garish any sympathy for your situation nor elevate you to a position that we should awe or respect.

Cussing simply shows a lack of being able to convey the emotions you have in an educated manner.

The use of such language does not solve any problem. It may, in-fact, compound the situation. It also wastes time. People who are problem solvers will fail to ascribe a value to your opinions, thus it removes you from the group of solution oriented people.

From a God-centered point of view, it is a blasphemous decree against the sovereignty and plan of God. It fails to recognize His goodness and lacks faith to trust in Him to work good from the situation. It is an affront to His ways, purposes, and joy.

I am sure this list will promote two things.: create thoughts of reform on the subject in our own lives, or incite more cussing. Emails will surely follow, some attempting to push the envelope of toleration. But regardless, our words reveal our hearts. What do we want others seeing within us?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Who said this?

Who made the following comment,

"There is a common worldly kind of Christianity in this day, which many have, and think they have enough- a cheap Christianity which offends nobody, and requires no sacrifice, which costs nothing; and is worth nothing".

It is not whom you would think of first.

Stay tuned for the answer.

The answer is J C Ryle, in the 1880's.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Out of the Loop

Due to many factors I have not been able to do much writing lately. This week however I actually have a large amount of time to work on the book for encouraging pastors.

What I am finding by way of experience is that I am inadaquate for such a book as a canoe is for crossing the ocean. With pains I have been embattled against the self. How can I give "advice" to pastors when the struggles continue. Perhaps here is the rub. The book is not on mere theory, but applied scriptures with the embodiment of relying upon Christ. It is the gospel applied, for everyone. Yet I will write specifically to those in ministry.

The journey in writing this tome has been fascinating. Stories and interviews are opening my eyes and bringing humility. The stalwart giants that I have sponken with have merely revealed the truth: no one is capeable without God.

Stay tuned, more ministry ahead.