Sunday, September 27, 2009

Your Family: Your Choice

I was reminded of how much pressure we live with in America. A Pastor friend of mine who is 47 just had a major heart attack! Wow! How does that happen? Answer: stress. I am concerned that we Pastors think we have to "save" the church. Is that really our calling? Aren't we supposed to support the work of the ministry and love those who are ministering? I think we have come to believe that we are the ones keeping the church afloat. I remember Jesus saying "I will build my church.." If it is His church then maybe we should remember that He is in control. Let me share this with you.

As Pastors there is a pressure all about us to take care of everyone around us, and by doing this neglect our family. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. The most important member of your church Pastor is your spouse
2. The most important children of the church are your children
3. If you take care of your family, you will have a rich ministry
4. Finally, if it comes down to "saving" the church or taking care of your family; opt for taking care of your family.

Let me say that I am not advocating neglecting our duties as Pastor, I am advocating prioritizing our lives. You will always be glad that you put your family first.

Monday, September 21, 2009


It has been a few days since I last posted, why? Because I didn't have anything to say. Sure, I could have come up with something. The question is would you be alright with that? Okay, here we go.

I have noticed that since it has been a few years since my Masters Degree, I am not in shape for studying! LOL! I forgot (read, chose not to remember) that you actually had to plan ahead in order to get your "homework" done. Planning is a huge help to avoid the last minute cramming of whatever it is you were supposed to do two weeks ago. I have burned the midnight oil a few times this last week, then I wondered why? So today I have laid out a schedule where I will spend two hours a day studying. This is of course a noble attempt to avoid procrastinating. Just kidding. Really I can't afford to procrastinate when my plate is pretty full, and neither can you.

Planning is boring, it even sounds boring. Planning is not spectacular, but it allows us to break big things down into smaller more palatable pieces. Let's talk practical for a moment.

We have no idea when Jesus is coming back to earth again, but we must plan to be ready. How? By staying ready until quitting time. I mean we can make our plans, but only God knows whether we will accomplish them on our schedule.

Let me challenge you today to make your plans, but ask God to help you line up your plans with His will.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Death of Ivan Ilych

I read a short story online today for my Principles of Research class. The title is "The Death of Ivan Ilych". It is a short read, but definitely one that is worth reading. The story is by Leo Tolstoy, and it is much shorter than "War and Peace"; also by Tolstoy.

The main idea of the story is that we choose how we live. Living does not only consist of working and doing chores and sleeping, etc. Living is how we respond to those closest to us, it is how we spend time with the Lord. Listen to Ivan Ilych:

"Maybe I did not live as I ought to have done," it suddenly occurred to him. "But how could that be, when I did everything properly?" he replied, and immediately dismissed from his mind this, the sole solution of all the riddles of life and death, as something quite impossible.(

I would encourage you to read this story( to more fully understand the above quote. But let me see if I can give you the gist of the story.
There are many of us who at the end of our life will have regrets, and realize that it would have been more important that we had a good relationship with our family than how much money is in our bank account. Just because we do everything proper, does not mean we have done the proper things.

Can I encourage you to not work so many hours if it is at all possible? If you have to work a tough schedule maybe you can make some time for your family. If you are not careful just when you blink your kids will be grown. Let your life be one of authenticity. Spend time with your family, you won't regret it.

The life that we live is not one that we have no control over. Start taking back the control of your life, and choose the way in which you will live.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Childlike Innocence

The other day we were passing through town, and my son said "Dad that's a body shop, should we pray that God shuts it down?" I responded "No son that is a car body shop, not a PEOPLE body shop." I guess I need to tell you why he responded the way he did.

We have made it our practice when passing Adult bookstores or the like to pray and ask Jesus to save those people and shut that place down. My kids know how to pray passionately when we pass these places. So when my son saw the sign for "body shop" he was thinking this was one of these other places that we pray for God to shut down. Isn't innocence wonderful?

The Bible says in Romans 16:19 that we should be excellent in what is good, and be innocent of evil. How nice it would be to see things through the eyes of childlike innocence.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Today, I experienced a relatively quiet day. I found out later I did not have reception for my cell phone! I missed some important calls when I was supposed to meet my nephew for lunch in Moses Lake. Guess what I never got his four calls! I got to thinking about this, and realized one thing.

My disconnection was an inconvenience, and I would be okay. But, if we are disconnected from the source of life we will miss a lot more than just telephone calls. Make sure you are connected to the vine.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Second Thoughts

Have you ever had second thoughts? Has there ever been a time when you made a decision only to realize all of the reasons why you shouldn't have made that decision? How about something you said, do you wish you would have used that filter between your brain and your mouth before you spoke? Welcome to the human race.

It seems all too often I am guilty as much as anybody else in saying or doing things that I did not think through. I should not be so impulsive, or hasty in making a decision. Here is some good advice.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."

So whether it is second thoughts on that last piece of cake or words that you wish you could desperately take back, trust God. His thoughts are higher than ours.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What Is In a Name??

I just finished my message for Sunday. I am speaking from the 16th chapter of Romans. If you are familiar with the chapter you know that Paul takes 16 verses and greets his friends. First, that is a lot of friends, and secondly why would he take up precious time in his book to address his friends? I think I have a better idea about this after reading voluminous amounts on this chapter. Here are my thoughts.
  • The Bible is filled with ordinary people doing extraordinary things for God
  • This was a personal letter as well as a letter to us
  • We can see ourselves in each one of these people
These people were those who had accepted the good news about Jesus Christ and then did something about it! They risked their lives, they labored for the church, they ended up giving up their lives for Jesus in martyrdom.

What about you? What would be said of you and you are gone? Would your name make it in some one's book? What we do on this Earth will not be eternal, but the things done in the name of Christ will last for all eternity.

It matters not if your name is any book here on Earth, but it does matter if it is in the Lamb's Book of Life. Make sure your name is in the book!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I was thinking today about how doing the right thing for the right reason is the right thing to do. Did you catch that? Okay, let's put it another way. Faithfulness has its own reward.

My son is very sensitive towards people that are having life controlling problems. He was telling me what his friend said about men who are unfaithful to their wives. His friend told him it was pretty common. My son asked me if there was something that would happen to these men. I told him that the Bible says that this is like playing with fire, and that these people would get burned. He didn't quite understand, so I explained it this way. I asked him "what would happen if Daddy was to take hot charcoal embers from the grill and put them in my jacket?" He said "it would be hot?" I said I would get burned. I then told him about the man that sleeps with his neighbor's wife is like the man who is putting hot coals inside of his jacket. This man will be burned.

Faithfulness doesn't get much press. You do the same thing over and over. You cut the grass, take out the trash, and even do the dishes. Then you go to sleep and do it over again the next day. No medal of honor here. But here is what we need to hear. God is speaking to your family as you are faithful to do the things that you always do. God is keeping record and He will reward you for your faithfulness.

So for the guys that are doing the "same old thing." Keep doing it, and refuse to listen to the siren voices of the world that are telling you to break free and enjoy life. God has a life prepared for those of us who love Him, those who are faithful.