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Thursday, February 27, 2014

unique church

I spent some time in a funeral service yesterday and within moments was........"intrigued" by the sermon stations located on the platform. This guy must have lost 4lbs just moving from station to station. Let me give you a glimpse. Center stage front was empty but in back was a large cross hanging from the ceiling and prominent looking. To each side of the center were pulpits with large coverings both equipped with microphones. Center rear was a long "bar like" desk that held papers and hymn book etc. things used during the service. As we went from prayer to sermon to scripture reading to invocation, benediction and constitution, he moved from place to place, sometimes almost running. The one thing that grabbed my attention more than anything else, sorry it wasn't his message, was during the service there were a couple of times where he kept his back toward us and faced the large cross. I have thought about worship teams leading from the back and know of churches that do that so as to not be distracted as if they are at a rock concert, but the thought of preaching that's original. My wife's comment was that it was as if he went from leading us to joining us. Now there are many different kinds of churches and pastors out there but I can see the value in the congregation seeing their pastor and elders worship with them and not be some sort of focus to see if they are doing it right. Come on, admit it, we watch to see if our pastor and their family take communion don't we? I think that's why people get upset when we sit in the back so they can't watch us. I believe that there can be a fine line between leading and showing off. participating and spectating. I can't say I'm advocating a pastor giving a sermon standing backwards because his roll is to instruct and the congregation is the recipient of that, but I can say there are times our congregation needs to see us joining in with them to praise God. I'd be interesting in hearing of unique things that happen in your church, send me a comment when you get a chance.
See you in the pews

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Devotionals aren't created equal.

I must admit that I don't typically use a devotional. I have tried and have just never really felt it effective. I must also admit I have never read Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick published by Multnomah publishers, or any of Stevens writings for that matter.
That being said I was somewhat skeptical with that mix trying another devotional. I received a complementary copy for my review from blogging for books.
My first impression was the quality of this hardbound book with a colorful cover. I remind you that at this point I was still skeptical. Upon opening and over viewing it quickly caught my eye that each day of the 40 days had a theme but more importantly a scripture. Not just some afterthought but at the top of the page for each day is the scripture. as I began to read the first days devotions, I was pleasantly surprised, in fact I really appreciated the personal testimony of how each days vision touched  Stevens life. Steven gives a short teaching and application and at the end of each page a prayer focus. If you are ready for a 40 day challenge and willing to give it the attention you would your TV show or favorite coffee delight, you will be a different person at the end. As is true with any book if you commit to going through this and personalize it this devotional is worth its weight. Besides it is only 40 days and takes less than 10 minutes, no one should be so busy they can't spend 10 minutes on personal growth, especially closer to the lord.
see you at the shelf
By the way if you'd like to read a chapter just click.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Creation vs popular perspective.

Let me just start out by saying, "Atta boy Ken Ham"!! I am proud of my Christian faith and the grace God has shown me, but tonight watching the debate I was so proud of Ken Ham.
Let me back up. I mentioned several blogs ago that tonight would be a great debate between Bill Nye the science guy and Ken Ham the creation museum guy. The question of, is creation a viable scientific say to approach science. I messed up the question but you get the idea, it really boils down to creation verses evolution.
I was amazed at Ken Hams positive demeanor of dealing with Bill Nye. I almost feel guilty for letting my kids watch Bill's science show when they were little. The cool thing is all three of my kids, 2 here and 1 in MN with her husband were able to watch and see how a real scientist will follow the facts. If you weren't sure it was Ken Ham I am referring to. Bill Nye was trying to pick a fight, I presume to take the focus off the questions, but Ken kept strong and used the Bible as his strength.
Ken Ham also clearly shared the gospel multiple times!! I hope Rick Warren was watching so he can be encouraged to do the same next time he gets the opportunity. Creation is the logical choice.
If you missed the debate here is the link to see it as it will be on for a few more days.
Nye Ham debate.

Why not drop me a comment and share what you thought about it?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Four C's

I've been going through the book of 1st Samuel and have really appreciated the contrasts we see.
Hannah, Samuel's mother is full of faith and so thankful for God's provision in her life, specifically a son. While Eli seems to forget he even has sons. Samuel begins at a young age ministering before the Lord as Eli's sons devour the sacrifices and threaten force on anyone who would oppose their demands.
Through all of this we see four principles quickly emerge and will continue to be present throughout the remainder of the book.
Character, Conduct, Context and Consistency are all vital elements in our lives but I will sum it up for you in one sentence. Your actions speak louder than your words. Regardless of what your mouth says your actions tell people what you stand for or don't stand for.
Let me give you an example. Let's say that you live in a country that has certain unalienable rights, and that government begins to overflow like a backed up sour and starts mandating and controlling private enterprises. Sure they will give you some sort of fluffy, "it's for your own good" excuse but you know better. Next thing you know is this government has shut down factories for "save the earth" type of reasons which make no sense other than a padded wallet and controlling more industry.
If such a government were to exist, ah hem, then would it be reasonable to say that we wouldn't trust a word from the "gas bags"? I think so! You can see the importance of consistency in behaviors, character and conduct as you place things within the proper context.
Thank fully we live in the United States where we can speak freely until they shut your website down, carry guns without ammo, run a business as long as it is the way they want you to run it, and raise your children as long as they are on loan to you from big brother.
Just a warning my friend these are the signs of the times. If it smells like a skunk, looks like a skunk ....
anyone care to argue that character, conduct and consistency have to be a priority. The context and filter by which we process must be through the eyes of truth. That is one thing you will not find in Washington but you will in the Word of God. Pick up a copy and start reading today before it is taken from you. Think I'm being extreme, look around the world and check your history!
Don't give up, you cannot quite, to much is at stake. Follow Christ!
Till next time