Saturday, April 29, 2006
Living in the FOG!
Wow what a blur the past two weeks has been... in preparation to go to Sri Lanka. Andy Ardoin from Healing Place Church, Nick Rogers and Shawn Pike from California have joined me to make a whirl wind of ministry and meetings in Sri Lanka and India. Sri is in turmoil again with lots of bloodshed and uncertaintity but God is faithful and everything about him is certain, Jeremiah 29:11!
We arrived today @ 6pm and hit the ground running in the FOG... I call this the Favor of God but most call this a serious case of jet lag. We went to our dear friends Loni and Monica Delanerol's wedding anniversary dinner with their family. I think Nick and Shawn were blown away by the Sri Lankan hospitailty and cuisine.
Tomorrow we are all scheduled to minister to differnet type churches in Sri so it will be some good stuff to tell about! I know you wish you were here... we will be here through May day holiday (May 1st) then off to India and the cities of Delhi, Hyderabad, Mussoorie and back to Colombo in less than a week. Talk about daylight burning... Please pray for us as we travel and work to advance the kingdom of the Lord Jesus.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Avoiding the Traps
My son Andy and I were in Fayetteville, AR for Easter weekend attending the University of Arkansas Srping football game. Andy was invited to AR junior day as he has gotten to be a pretty good size specimen of a young man and has gotten some college football schools attention (pray the Lord guides his path as we go thru this decision process). Anyway we got to play golf with some special people, Pastor Casey Henagan, Pastor Steve Dixon and Pastor Terry Nance who wrote the book "God's Armorbearer". Golf was never one of my favorite past times until the Lord asked me to take up the sport when I was in a small city in the mountains of Sri Lanka that had a golf course. I walked by the course doing my usual "golf bashing" and the Lord asked me to learn to build relationships. Well out of obedience I tried to play this crazy game and have grown to enjoy the beauty and complexity of the game.
While we were playing Terry Nance was seeming to get every shot in a bunker (that is what we commomly call a sand trap) and I said we need to learn to avoid the traps by directing our aim just enough to steer clear. This is easier said than done but Terry acknowledged this was good preaching material. I pondered this for a few days about avoiding traps and sterring clear of obstacles. The Lord was gently urging me to stay focused and obedient to his leading. Too stay kingdom minded and not Luke minded, hello! Jesus tells us to pray to not to be lead into temptation and to be delivered from evil. Basically we can be lead to avoid the traps that seem to come our way from the world and the enemy of our soul.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
And he said them be not frightened: you are seeking Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is Risen: he is nothere: behold the place where they laid him.
But go your way, tell the disciples and Peter that he goes before you into Galilee.
He is Risen! Jesus is alive and sitting on the throne ever living to intercede for us! After experiencing so much idol worship in the nations, I am just humbled and sooo happy to know in my heart that Jesus is alive today.
From our family to yours we pray that power of the Lord to bless you with this Easter day and the days to come.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
New Ten Commandment Movie...
I watched most of the new style tem commandment movie the past two nights. I will admit it is hard to not want to see Charlton Heston playing Moses...
I thought it would be cool to get some input as to your thoughts on the Big 10! My kids were polling students and teachers @ Zachary High School as to who could tell them all the commandments. there findings were incredible as to how many kids knew them but adults (my generation) could not get them correct. Wow...
OK take the test now... can you write them all down? Let me know how you did...
Take care of your pastor...
I just found a wonderful article on Christianity today about 8 ways to support your pastor. Whether you know it or not, at times we could all use a little "shout out" to encourage us. I think you'd feel it was worth a read. I'd love to get a randy discussion about this article started here, so post all the comments you want!!Oh, instead of the link, I'll just post it here! Some of you might be like me and not want to click through?8 Ways to Encourage Your PastorSimple acts that feed a shepherd.by Victor ParachinSometimes pastors are the loneliest people in the church. Often their hours are long, the pay minimal, the criticism considerable and constant. Feelings of disappointment, discouragement, and defeat may begin to plague the best of them.Paul's admonition to "serve one another in love" (Gal. 5:13 ) should encourage us to remember our shepherds. Here are eight ways to make their lives better.
1. Cut the criticismPresbyterian minister Fred Rogers, creator and host of television's "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood," recently gave an address describing the time he was a student at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and attended a different church each Sunday in order to hear a variety of preachers.One Sunday he was treated to "the most poorly crafted sermon (he) had ever heard." But when he turned to the friend who had accompanied him, he found her in tears."It was exactly what I needed to hear," she told Rogers."That's when I realized," he told his audience, "that the space between someone doing the best he or she can and someone in need is holy ground. The Holy Spirit had transformed that feeble sermon for her—and as it turned out, for me too." Unlike most workers who are evaluated once or twice a year, clergy are often critiqued weekly after each worship service. It's not unusual to hear people say "the music was poor," "the hymn selection was awful," or "the sermon was boring." We would do well to remember that most spiritual leaders work hard to make worship a unique celebration each week.
2. Pray regularlyAsk God to shower your pastor with an abundance of love, hope, joy, faith, peace, power, wisdom, and courage. Pray for your spiritual leader's maturity and growth in the faith. As you pray keep in mind this wisdom from German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: "If you treat a person as he is, he will stay as he is; but if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be, he will become what he ought to be and could be."
3. Express appreciation in writingA spoken compliment is always welcome, but a written one can be read over and over again for years. So, when you hear or see something you like from your minister, write an appreciative note.
4. Use your skills to blessAre you proficient with computers? Help your pastor master the church's new computer. Are you a mechanic? Offer to service the car free of charge or at a reduced fee.One pastor I know recalls: "I was pastoring my first church—a small congregation with limited resources. While there, I developed a series of dental problems and could not afford treatment. What a joy it was when a dentist in the church offered to treat me for free. Correcting my dental problem involved nearly a dozen visits. He treated me carefully and cheerfully each time. I have thought of that dentist many times since then and the memories of his kindness continue to bless my life."
5. Squelch gossipIf you hear a negative comment, respond with a positive one. If misinformation is being spread, correct it with the accurate information. Or, if people are gossiping, just walk away. Remember the Bible soundly condemns gossip and careless speech. James 1:26 says, "If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless." And Psalm 34:13 reads, "Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies."
6. Offer to meet a needSome people make their spiritual leaders defensive and angry by saying, "You need to … " That approach is seldom welcome and almost always counterproductive. If you see a need, approach your spiritual leader by saying, "I'd like to help by … " If you see an area that can be improved, take responsibility for working on it.Be an active participant in your church. Get involved by teaching a class, leading a workshop, singing in the choir, feeding the hungry. Ask your spiritual leader where and how you can employ your gifts.
7. Be openly responsiveNothing so animates and excites a spiritual leader as seeing people respond to the preaching and teaching. Imagine the surprise and delight of a pastor in Virginia Beach, Virginia, who, when greeting a visitor to his church, found she came because of the kindness of a church member who was her neighbor."I'm recently divorced, a single parent and new to this community," she told the pastor. "To keep up with rent and provide for my three children, I must work two jobs. That leaves me very little time for yard work. I was relieved when the weeds didn't overrun my yard as I had feared they might. However, when I made an unscheduled trip home in the middle of my workday, I discovered the reason why the weeds had not taken over my yard."My 86-year-old neighbor—a member of your church—was on his hands and knees pulling my weeds. I barely knew this man and he was embarrassed to be caught in this anonymous act of kindness. He explained that he heard you preach a sermon on the importance of living a life of compassion and kindness and decided to put that sermon into practice by weeding my lawn." One pastor's heart filled with joy when a group of women in Washington, D.C., responded to a sermon preached from the words of Jesus—"Do not judge, or you too will be judged" (Matt. 7:1). After hearing the sermon, the women decided to give a baby shower for the young woman who provided childcare while they met for Bible study. She was unmarried, close to going on welfare, and without support from her family or the father-to-be. The young woman was moved to tears by the surprise baby shower.Later, the women explained to the pastor, "Your sermon taught us that it's possible to reach out to someone in need—in this case, an unwed mother—without judging or condoning the situation."
8. Throw away the measuring stickDon't expect that your present spiritual leaders will do things the same way their predecessors did. Lay aside personal agendas and preferences. Instead, focus on how your leader is being used by God to do effective ministry now. By serving your shepherds, you will ensure that they will not only be encouraged but will feel appreciated and continue to minister with enthusiasm and energy.A friend is someone who stays with you in the bad weather of life, guards you when you are off your guard, restrains your impetuosity, delights in your wholeness, forgives your failures, does not forsake you when others let you down.The friendship of Jesus enables us to see others as he saw the apostles: flawed by good children of the Father.—Brennan ManningA Christian Reader original article.Copyright © 1999 by the author or Christianity Today International/Today's Christian magazine.Click here for reprint information.September/October 1999, Vol. 37, No. 5, Page 35
Now, don't get to worrying that we are bummed out are anything,I just was looking for a devotion on encouragement and came across this article. It really ministered to me about keeping the encouragement level up for Joel. Anyone have any ideas how we can encourage those who are serving as leaders around us? Come on-- I know you want to post your opinion!
Angel Dyke is the wife of Pastor Joel Dyke, http://joeldyke.blogspot.com/. This article was too good not to C&P (Cut & Paste).
Here is her bog link...http://lifechick.blogspot.com/.
Angel is an incredible artist too; check out her website...http://www.neworleans-paintings.com/
"Don't Look BACK!"
8 months later... Sandy and I were on the gulf coast of Mississippi ministering at New Life Church in Long Beach this past weekend. We were driving down and discussing our plans for the summer and told her I felt the Lord wanted us to connect to some people in California. We got to the church and a team from Chowchile, CA was there helping with clean up. We were so happy to encourage the church and this team to "Don't look back..." taken from Jesus response to the attitude of Lot's wife. The Lord has a special future for each of us and we must know he has taken us out of many troubles and places of compromise in out lives. The best is he is still working on us, hello!
Sandy and I rode down to Waveland, MS where the brunt of the eye wall of Katrina hit. There is nothing left but house slabs. We rode through this area again and debris was still piled high in Slidell but life was creeping back as the old Live Oak treess had buds of new leaves. We need to be like these old giants in Faith as no matter how hard the storm blows... Jesus is the giver of life.
Got to go...
Monday, April 03, 2006
For the past week I have been in Kiev, Ukraine and what an exciting time to be in the country. The 1st protestant mayor of Kiev was elected while we were in country! Wow God is moving with revival in the Ukraine...
The Ukraine is the "blue collar" county of the former Soviet Union. the bridges and land marks were all dotted with the hammer and sickle reminding of the Cold War and the old threat of communism. Communism has left it's mark on Ukraine society with the great gap between the rich and the poor. While in Kiev, we visited orphanages, street feeding ministries, the 700 Club, Hillsongs/Kiev and Pastor Sunday Adelaja's church (The Embassy).Yes sir we were moving... on Sunday I was in church close to 12 hours and loved every minute of it!
Pastor Chris Hodges invited me to come and learn about the impact of social service ministries affecting this nation. Chris was in Kiev with his son Michael training leaders with Equip, John Maxwell's million leader mandate. I was blessed to be in attendance and to hang out with such great men of God.
Another cool thing was the Lord connected me with a professional basketball player from Texas named Mike Harris. Mike was so happy to hang with someone from the south that said ya'll!
God is good and the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord!
Where is God ordering your steps today? Got to go...