Psalm 34:8

Get a fresh taste!

No Crying He Makes

While singing Christmas carols at a rehab facility last week, I actually paid attention to the words I was singing. “Away in a Manger” is wrong!

“…but little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes… “

Seriously?

In the words of my good friend, David Terry, “We have so deified Jesus, we have dehumanized Him.” Yes, little Lord Jesus did cry. He may have even been colicky. Not only that, little Lord Jesus had stinky diapers!

The Incarnation Message of Christmas is not only that God became man, but God became a helpless little baby.

In the next few days, try to put away the Christmas Card Theology that you’ve been fed (even/especially in church!). Read the Christmas story in Luke 2 through fresh eyes.

You might just learn something new.

 

The Election is Over

WOW! Not many people saw it coming. We have a President-elect who is clearly an outsider with no political experience. He overcame vicious lies propagated by the liberal left and lapdog Mainstream Media. As I have said here on my blog, from my pulpit and on Facebook, Donald Trump has major character issues. He was not my candidate of choice.

 

However in light of Hillary Clinton’s very radical ideas, Trump became the only viable candidate to stop her agenda. (Yes… radical: outside the view of even mainstream pro-choicers). Her views on abortion would allow for late-term, partial-birth abortion up until just before delivery; she said in the last Presidential debate that she would litmus-test her SCOTUS nominees in order to politicize the Court in order to push her very radical views.

 

 

Our Nation’s Founders set up a Democratic Republic. We do not have a true democracy…. by design.

 

For better or for worse, this is America. If you don’t like the outcome, voice your objections at the voting booth in two years and four years; that is exactly what happened in 2014 and this past Tuesday. The People have said that enough is enough; we are tired of the political and media elites telling us how we should live our lives. Anyone who disagrees with the narrative has been dismissed and ridiculed. The former “watchdog” media has become the lapdog of the DNC and other leftists. The People have said “ENOUGH!”

 

It’s time for us to realize that the choices have been made. We must come together. As President Obama said several years ago, “Elections have consequences.” It’s time for the left to adjust to the populist views. It’s time for the Republican Party to deliver on what it says it will do and reduce government, reduce spending and protect our nation’s interests.

 

It’s time to come together. Our real enemy isn’t the people on the other side of the political aisle. Our real enemy is Radical, Jihadi, Shariah Islam which seeks to eliminate the US and the only Democratic nation in the Middle East, Israel.

 

It’s time to come together.

 

But mostly, it’s time for the Church to be the Church. It’s time to PRAY!

 

 

Character Still Doesn’t Matter

It’s been a while since I posted anything of political nature on my blog. However, I think I need to weigh in on the recent Presidential Campaigns.

We, as a country, decided in 1992 that “character doesn’t matter”. In 2016, both the Republican and Democrat Presidential Nominees reflect that we, as a country, still believe that “character doesn’t matter”.

Both Nominees are failures in terms of character. Both are despicable and both are possibly criminals.

Let’s move on from the “Your Candidate is flawed, unqualified and would be dangerous to this country” arguments and look at the differences of the policies and goals of the Candidates.

Regardless of who you want to be our next President, these are our options. This is a binary election. In January 2017, the US will have a President Clinton or a President Trump. A non-vote and a third-party vote are not options if you care about the future of the country. A lot is at stake. Possibly more so than any other election in our Nation’s history.

  • National Security
  • Foreign Policy
  • Immigration
  • Supreme Court vacancies
  • The Economy
  • Abortion on demand

We need to pray a LOT in the coming days. (Ephesians 6:12-18; 1Timothy 2:1-6).

Read up on the issues. And vote. (Romans 13:1-7)

 

Growth and Witnessing

Oftentimes, spiritual growth and sharing the Gospel are not seen as being related. Well, of course you have to have embraced the Gospel message to be born spiritually in order to grow spiritually. However, I’m talking about once you’re saved, there’s not a lot of emphasis on witnessing. At least for many church-goers.

Last week, we looked at the issue of spiritual growth and sharing the Gospel. We looked at the context of Jesus’ comments about “the fields are white for harvest” from John 4: the Samaritan “woman at the well” went to invite the townspeople to come meet Jesus who knew all sorts of things about her (as well as her friends and lovers). As they were coming to Jesus, He told His disciples that, “the fields are white for harvest”. (John 4:35)

Our job is to pray to the Lord of the Harvest, asking Him to send His workers into the harvest (Luke 10:2). By the way, that doesn’t mean that we pray for somebody else to come along and do the work for us. The idea is that we ask God to send others to help us bring in the harvest. So how do we do that?

One plan is called 4xFour and it was developed by Greg Wallace of Woodridge Baptist Church of Kingwood, Texas. He suggests the first step is to Identify four “unchurched” (i.e., lost) people within your circle of influence, whom God wants you to share your faith. To do that, we have to realize that there is a harvest, we are called to be involved in bringing in the harvest, and that now is the time to be about the Lord’s business of bringing in the harvest. And that requires that we pray, asking God to lead us to our “four” (we don’t just pick out four random people).

This is just the first step of one plan, which I suggested for Fellowship Baptist Church. You may not like this plan. That’s ok. So what is your plan? How is your plan working for you? (I assume you have a plan)

God hasn’t called anybody to win the entire world to Christ. But God intends all of us to witness to some (1Cor 9:22). We can start by Identifying your “Four”.

So have you identified your “Four”?

Pastor Craig
Luke 10:2

Out of the Ashes…

I was privileged to take part in a meeting today that many from my first pastorate will find very good. First, a little background.

 

Like many Baptist Churches, Bethel Baptist Church formed as a split from another church. After meeting at several locations in Weatherford, the church body obtained property just off FM920 northwest of downtown Weatherford in the late 1970s. Several men served as pastor of the church as the attendance numbers ebbed and flowed.

 

In late June/early July 2007, I received a call from the deacon chairman asking if I was available to preach on the following Sunday. The one-week invitation turned into an interim position which turned into my first pastorate which lasted just over six years. We had good days and we had bad days. Although our numbers were shrinking, our depth was growing.

 

In October 2013, we knew that we could no longer to afford to keep the doors open and it was clear that God was leading us to close the doors. Our bylaws stated that the building and property would be given to the Parker Baptist Association, so after removing my library and other personal items, we handed over the keys to my long-time friend and fellow seminary student, John Thielepape, the Director of Missions of Parker Baptist Association. During our last meeting, some members voiced fears that the Association would quickly dispose of the property, putting to death the legacy of our church. But I knew it would be OK. I reiterated that God was leading us to do this and that I trusted John and the members of the Association’s Executive Board.

 

A few months later, God opened doors (literally) for ministry to continue at the property. Among other ministries, MercyHeart, a ministry founded by a friend of mine began ministering to the Parker County families of inmates on Tuesday Nights. A local church had sold its property to developers and the new building wasn’t ready to move into, so they began to meet on Sundays and Wednesdays, bringing their air conditioners to replace Bethel’s broken units.

 

Ministry continued.

 

After serving in several interim pastorates in Parker and Wise Counties, this past July I was called to be the pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church, five miles north of Weatherford. Yesterday, John (back from a sabbatical) called to welcome me back to the Association and to tell me of the meeting this morning. The meeting would consider the proposal to enter a lease-to-purchase agreement with a young church. A related proposal would take proceeds from the lease payments to designate for funds for church planting and missions. John said he’d like for me to be there.

 

Today’s special Called Meeting of the Association’s Executive Board required 20 attendees to form the Quorum. I was the last person to walk into the meeting and signed the attendance sheet in the twentieth position. We had a quorum. Both proposals passed unanimously.

 

I must give a big shout-out to the Parker Baptist Association Executive Board and its Director of Missions, my friend John for their wise stewardship of the property and their vision of extending the ministry on the property.

 

Those who feared the worst in closing the doors of our church should feel a great peace because God continues to use our former church building to do ministry and extend His Kingdom. And that’s a really good thing! God is good!

 

Please join me in praying for Pastor Joel Kindberg and Grace Covenant Church as they begin ministering to the people of Weatherford from their new address at 201 Kathey Street in Weatherford. MercyHeart will continue their ministry alongside Grace.