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)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Notes for Sunday


Here are my rough notes for the sermon of July 31st. I hope these will help you go back throughout the week and garner the specifics God has for your life.

Where is your faith?

Luke 8:22-25

This is not a trite nor complete answer to your storms. But it is the first and general step in gaining the right path to abiding in Him for living.

Please note: we can not walk by faith if we are too busy, not giving God the priority of our lives.

Those that walk by faith do not trifle with God.

Describe the situation at sea.

Describe similarities to life.

Show parallel in John 11 with the death of Lazarus “Lord, If you had been here”

Faith is now a running theme in Luke

  • Centurion had great faith as Jesus had not seen in Israel.
  • John Baptist faith was weak and Jesus said to look to evidence he had given by example.
  • Woman weeping at His feet was forgiven.
  • In Ch 9, He will send out apostles by faith.

We often amble in life. I do- this is what happens when we are not pursuing God by faith but at a minimum by religion.

Faith requires that we address God as He is.

3 Steps to Faith Building

But notice lately 3 components of the Christian life keep coming up


1. Read the word and look at the world. (Word aspect) See God in all of it.

Your past, in nature, and in hope.

2. Apply the promises of God to your life. (Prayer aspect)

Get specific from the time in the word to apply truths to your needs.

Pray the scripture you have found.

Exercise Trust

· In God’s holiness

· In God’s provision

· In God’s fighting your battles

· In God’s right judgment upon your enemies.

· In God’s providence.

3. And thank Him for what He has done. (Worship aspect)

  • Take notice when promises are fulfilled
  • Take notice of battles fought.
  • Take notice of bad things working out for good.
  • Take notice of the forgiveness of your sins and of ann the second chances the day has provided.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Where are all the photos?

Persevering Pastor friends,
It seems that for some unknown reason we are having technical difficulties with Blogspot. Many of the photos I have posted have vanished. After googling solutions, it appears this may be a Blogspot server issue.
I pray they get fixed soon.

Mission Trip

My head is spinning. Or maybe that is just my calendar. After a wonderful week of Vacation Bible School we went on a mission trip to the Baptist Children's Home. Both adventures were well worth the energy we spent. Neither one could have been completed without the faithfulness of our youth group. As a matter of fact, it has served me in a personal sense as a reminder of the talents these people posses.

In VBS they decorated, acted, directed, taught, and cleaned up. During the mission trip they repaired volley ball courts for a fundraiser, cleared brush, pulled weeds, and even split firewood. Much of this work was done in the heat of the day.

It seems to me the older guys most enjoyed displaying their muscular wielding of axes and mauls in the firewood splitting work. Wood flew left and right and it was a pure display of testosterone.

Over the course of these last ten days it seems to me that everyone participated by displaying servant hearts with great attitudes. It is the markers of life like these that make a pastor proud of his flock.

After reflecting on these events today three important truths come to mind.
1. Given the opportunity to lead and the encouragement to do so, most youth will exceed expectations and muster up participation in other youth where adults may have failed.
2. If youth are not given the opportunity to serve they perhaps never will. Youth love to serve and strongly desire to do so. Serving brings them into an identity of belonging to the church body.
3. If adults do not step back and let youth lead, direct, and maybe even fail, then we have harmed both the youth as a future in the church, and ourselves as a humble servant experience would provide.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Five Men From History Whom I Would Want as My Pastor

I love to read. Yesterday in celebration of the the United States independence, I took a day off. Part of my day was to not fix anything, as is the norm. I actually had many things done previously, so I was able to sit and read for an extended session. Typically many books are often in the process of being read at the same time in my life. As I perused over the titles that had been begun, I began to ponder the writer' influence upon my life. Writers can be friends. If we read enough of particular people we will begin to develop an affinity for them. We also begin to be influenced by their logic, reasoning, and emphasis on matters.

Of the books I read, I love biographies most. Not only do i want to read from a person, I want to know about who it is I am reading from. I tend to be one of those persons who reads the introductions, and author's biographies within a book. If a movie has director's commentary I am likely to indulge in that also. The backstory to me is often more interesting than the story itself.

Thus in the pondering on my vocation. The question of whom would I want to be my pastor came up. I have found these men to not only be pastors whom I would want to be under had I lived in their town, but I do find that I allow them to shape me even today as I read their works.

#5 Would be John Newton. Former slave trader, hymn writer, self described wretch. Few have been known for more repentance and self sacrificing love.

#4 Is John Calvin. He has often been the center of much debate. However, he led an entire city to fashion itself around the gospel. His influence today is still very strong, and to neglect his writings is to deprive oneself of vigorous spiritual exercise.

#3 J C Ryle fills this chair, and I am glad. Only in the past 4 years have I come to know about this wonderful self sacrificing pastor. I estimate I have only read about 12 of his books, but praise God there are many more to be mined and reread. He is essentially the pastor I read daily before I begin my personal time of devotions.

#2 Is certainly Jonathan Edwards. Few ever had that discipline, wisdom, mind, and passion as Jonathan Edwards had. America would not be what it is today without God using this man.

#1 Martyn Lloyd Jones. This man exemplifies the pastorate. Theologian and care giver to the flock. He has a wonderful exegesis of the Bible. He can reason with children as well as the most learned. He gave up a promising career in medicine to take on a humble pastorate.

All these men have elements that I find I need and learn from. The marks of their ministry have several things in common that I wish to have.
  • A resounding deep priority to have a prayer life before all else.
  • A passion to be filled by the Holy Spirit
  • Suffering through trials of life as well as ministry only to rely upon the strength of God.
  • A diligence in ministry duties.
  • Humility and a hatred of sin.
  • Care for their flocks by love rather than by assignment.
When I am weary, worn and spiritually low, God often has used these men to minister to me.