I came across this video a bit ago. It describes a “healthy church member”. Are you one?
As I type this, we have less than 364 days left in 2017. How many New Year’s Resolutions have you broken already?
Yesterday morning, I challenged our church to read through the New Testament in 2017. Together. We’re going to use The Navigators’ Discipleship Journal 5x5x5 plan. You can use this link for the YouVersion Bible App to track your progress.
I also challenged the church to memorize twelve passages from the Bible in 2017. Together.
We’ll start with Joshua 1:8:
Joshua 1:8 (ESV)
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
In a mixed blessing, I received a text tonight from one of our members who suggested that my book had a typo. OUCH! And I thought my first book was inerrant. Not quite! As I said, this was a mixed blessing; at least I know that one person is reading my book! And it’s a good reminder that there’s only ONE Book that’s inerrant!
If you’re interested in having a copy, please use my contact page (donations will be appreciated). I hope to have an eBook version available in a couple of days. Go ahead and start reading the New Testament and memorizing Joshua 1:8, the book will just add a little fuel to the fire to encourage you in your pursuit of God this year.
I’ll update you here, Facebook, Twitter, and the church website when the eBook (and Sunday’s Sermon) is available.
Sunday’s sermon is now online at the church website, as well as iTUNES! You can subscribe to my podcast here!
Will you join us in reading through the New Testament together and committing a few Bible verses to memory together in 2017? God has some pretty powerful promises of success and prosperity for those who do! Join us!
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!
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.
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.
A friend asked me on Facebook to comment on an article, “Let’s Stop Singing These 10 Worship Songs“. Here’s my response.
Setting words to music has always been an appropriate way that God’s people have worshiped Him and “testified” of Him. In contrast to what “non-instrumental” church leaders say, the Bible (especially Psalms) does an excellent job of including every known way and every known musical instrument to praise God. Paul links the results of singing of “Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” with both “being filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:18-19) and “letting the Word of Christ dwell in us” (Col 3:16).
Several decades ago, the Christian band “Glad” presented “Variations on a Hymn” that brought out how people have used contemporary music of the day (whatever the generation) to sing their words of worship and testimony.
I believe that music without lyrics cannot *adequately* express the heart cry of worship. But unless we’re setting Scripture to music, we run the risk of inaccurately expressing the heart cry of worship. And there’s the rub.
As one of my seminary professors pointed out oftentimes worship songs express words of deep intimacy. Terms of endearment sometimes come across as uncomfortable-sounding to people who are not as used to such word pictures. And that’s unfortunate. The result is that a “preference issue” is presented as a “Biblical issue”
There are many traditional hymns as well as modern “praise and worship” songs that express deep and rich theology. And there are some traditional hymns and modern songs that express bad theology as well. One “traditional” song that comes to mind is “Love Lifted Me”. Not only is it a bad mix of a happy-sounding melody with a discussion of the unhappy topic of sin, the first verse is just plain wrong! I wasn’t simply “sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore, very deeply stained with sin, sinking to rise no more”. The Bible tells me that I was dead and at the bottom of the ocean of sin with absolutely no hope of life. I was not only “deeply stained with sin”; I totally and radically corrupted by it.
The article my friend linked to points out some of the issues with modern songs. I felt the writer was not just a little nit-picky in her critique. As an example, she says “Lord I Lift Your Name on High” presents only a “small fraction of the fullness of the gospel story”. I honestly wonder how she would attempt to present “the fullness of the gospel story” in any single song, sermon, or book. In looking at her bio and a list of her website’s other articles, I would tend to classify the website as belonging to someone on a witch hunt, a website more inclined to criticize than edify. Unfortunately, “preference” issues are presented as “Biblical” issues.
Bob Kauflin, one of the original members of the Christian band Glad, has written some really good articles on worship and music. His website is Worship Matters. I recommend reading his insights on the issue.
So, what do you think?