A quick note that the leadership summit was awesome this year.
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Sorry that it has been a while since I last posted. I had a little surgery and other things have consumed my spare time. One of the things that I’m committed to is that blogging won’t take away from my family time or my quiet time with the Lord. Since I’m committed to that there will be times that I can’t blog. The reason I have made that commitment is that I want to be faithful to the Lord and my family above all else. I challenge each of you to examine the way you use your spare time. It may not be blogging, but it may be something else that is getting in the way of your relationship with God or your family. It is a good practice to examine your priorities every couple of weeks so that you make sure you are making the main things the main things.
So what have I been doing with my spare time besides blogging. I have been reading a ton. I hope to put some book reviews on here soon. The books that I have read in the last month are “The Calling” by Brother Andrew and “It” by Craig Groeschel. I am currently reading “Developing A Heart for Mission” by Roy Robertson and “Velvet Elvis” by Rob Bell. I have also been doing an indepth study of Acts. I love reading and God has been challenging me to be more ministry minded. In my reading I have developed a new life verse and I want to share it with you. My prayer is that this might challenge you in the same way it challenges me,
“But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24
The last thing I want to share is that for the last month my wife and I have been memorizing a ton of verses and then in the evening reviewing them together. This has been a great tool to not only grow in the Lord but to bond closer to my wife. I want to encourage you to start memorizing verses. I would start with John 3:16, Ps.19:11, or maybe 2 Tim. 3:16-17. I encourage you to start because God’s Word is awesome.
Lastly, since I don’t know when I’ll blog next, I’ll leave you a joke and a song.
Why did the tire get fired from it’s job?
It couldn’t stand the pressure. 🙂
Song: Audience of One
I finished reading the autobiography of George Muller and loved it. Many may not know who George Muller is and what a special role he plays in Classic Christianity. He was a man who simply trusted God and prayed for everything. George Muller is most known for the orphanage he created for children. He didn’t go around asking for money or taking out loans to provide what was needed for the children, he just prayed and God provided.
In reading his book I can’t go back living the same. Two things that changed in my life is the realization that debt is sin. He makes a statement that if you have to go into to debt to buy something then God doesn’t want you to have it. We have some debt but because of this challenge we have a plan to get out of debt and stay out. The other thing is to trust God in prayer. He makes the statement that if I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, then I can also can do nothing without Him. It is clear that the life of faith and the life of prayer go hand and hand. What would happen if you measured your life and ministry by the answers to prayer you have experienced? Are you willing to trust God with your life, your needs, and your ministry? I encourage everyone to read this book and allow God to challenge you to trust Him for everything.
One of my favorite preachers was Dr. Stephen Olford and he spent his life challenging preachers to preach God’s Word in the power of the Holy Spirit. In this article Dr. Olford shows us the power source for every believer. Our power comes from prayer. As you read this I hope that your prayer life is transformed.
“It is my conviction that we are never going to have revival until God has brought the church of Jesus Christ to the point of desperation. As long as Christians people can trust religious organization, material wealth, popular preaching, shallow evangelistic crusades and promotion drives, there will never be revival. But when confidence in the flesh is smashed, and the church comes to the realization of her desperate wretchedness, blindness and nakedness before God, then and only then will God bread in.
Yes, there must be the point of desperation but there must also be the point of intercession. Oh, that God would bring us to this place of intercession! We cannot think or talk, let alone taste of revival, without intercessory prayer. Indeed, the reason for an unrevived church in the last analysis is the sin of prayerlessness. Certainly there are individuals who are praying for revival, and God is graciously meeting them at the point of their need, but where are the prayer groups, where are the companies of intercessors, where are the churches united in an agonizing that God would rend the heavens and come down and cause the mountains of hindrance and sin and unbelief to flow before His presence? Yes, there is only one thing that will save us in this hour of desperation and that is prayer.”
I have a passion to see churches grow numerically and spiritually. Churches should be places where Christ is exalted and followed. Churches should be places where the hurting and lost find help and guidance. Churches should be making an eternal difference in our families, communities, and world. I long to make a difference in churches so that they can be all that God.
I am going to give you solutions to the real problems we face in the church. The first obstacle is love. Lets face the fact that most churches aren’t filled with loving people. We are doing something wrong when we think being a loving church means that we greet everyone during the welcome time. It doesn’t get any better when we say that we are a loving church because we have ran off everyone who was different.
I think most churches are filled with members who act like they should be on the Jerry Springer show. If you have ever watched the show it starts with someone admitting to an affair. Then they bring out the ‘victum” and the adulter informs them, “I love you and don’t want to hurt you, but I also don’t want anything to do with you. I am leaving you.” Churches are the same way. We love you as long as we don’t have to put up with you. It’s time for a change.
The reason churches fight is because they don’t love one another. How can we say we love when we don’t put others first. Normally we will put others first if they agree with us, but if they don’t then we forget about them. This has to change. Real love overcomes fights because it puts everyone first.
Love brings unity. Unity isn’t the absence of disagreement, but it is the presence of focus. If everyone has the same values then the fighting will stop. The main value in the church is loving the Lord Jesus Christ and each other. We must love not in word only, but in deed.
Read what the Bible says!
John 13:34-35, “I (Jesus) give you a new commandment: love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
1 John 3:18, “Little children, we must not love in word or speech, but in deed and truth.”
Why do we fight? We fight because we don’t love one another. Why don’t we love one another? Because we really don’t love Christ. How important is Christ to you? Is He more important than your hurt feelings? Is He more important that the bad preaching at Church? Is He more important than your comfort? Is He more important that your fame? Is He more important than everything else that gets in the way of you loving other people?
You might say, “D, this is why I left my church because it was a battle ground. I got hurt because I wasn’t loved.” I understand the pain you feel and I ask this as one who has been there, “do you love your church?” Make sure you aren’t guilty of the very thing you are condemning in your church. People leave the church not because they weren’t loved, but because they didn’t love others. I have fallen under this judgement many times. I’m not holier than my church. I’m not better than my church. I’m a member of my church.
Here is my call for you. Stop fighting and start loving. Do it because Christ is all that matters you. Commit yourselves to love Christ and others. This will stop the fighting and the churches will make the impact the world needs.
Let us never be ashamed of God or the gospel. Today worship Him as your treasure and Lord. There truly is nothing that compares with God.
I say again, this man John Baptist has no pattern before him. I believe this man walked up and down amongst the wild beasts, and there he is, he doesn’t eat much. Some big flies, you know, a bit bigger than these horrible things that eat my garden up, grasshoppers. Big, big things, he caught them, put them on a rock and roasted them. Three times a day he had locust burgers. Nothing else to eat except locusts and wild honey. And yet the people come near to hear him. I’ll say it again, for my comfort if not yours: You never have to advertise a fire. Whether it’s spiritual or a physical fire. The most self advertising thing in this world is a fire.
I remember getting home between one and two o’clocka morning in England. I said to my wife, “Sweetheart, one of the big mills in town is on fire, let’s go. It’s nearly two o’clock, there’ll be nobody there.” Everyone in the city woke up with the same idea, so they all went. We couldn’t get within three blocks of the place. I said, “Sweetheart, we’ll go ‘round…” We went around in our little car, you know, those tiny little things. Well, we got half way down the street it was so fierce we could not even stand there, the fire was so terrible in it’s majesty. This huge mill burning.
I wonder how many of us have really seen a man who is on fire for God.
John goes out, stands and ministers there. And they come to him. He is a success any way you count it. Geographically – they come from the North and South and East and West. He is a success socially. They came from all levels of society. . He said to the multitude that came to be baptized, “you generation of vipers.” Isn’t that pleasant? Do you know anybody who’d dare stand up in the First Baptist or the Last Baptist Church tomorrow morning and say, “You generation of vipers. I’m sick of talking to you.” Uh? They would sure take a love offering for him, wouldn’t they? To get him out of town! “Oh generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” He was not only condemning their sin, he was saying, “there is a gate, and when you get through it, it is eternal wrath from God.”
We have forgotten about the wrath of God. A friend saw a bumper sticker and you know what it said on it? “Jesus is coming and He is as mad as hell.” Sacrilege? No. II Thessalonians 1 says, He is coming in flaming fire in judgment on this world. In other words, He’s as mad as hell. May be it is a bad way of putting it, but it’s the truth. You see, we are all looking for “gentle Jesus meek and mild.” The attitude of the average Christian today is relax and be raptured. But He is coming with flaming vengeance on this world. There is a time when His Spirit’s forbearance runs out. There is going to be a day of the vengeance of God. And when God gets angry you’ve no idea what it is. Like a thousand volcanoes exploding. He has appointed a day in which He is going to judge the world and the poor blind world doesn’t know much about it, and the poor blind church doesn’t think much about it now.
The power of praise isn’t glorifing God when everything is going good, but when everything falls apart and you still trust God.