Showing posts from November, 2022

Let The Holiday Fights Begin!

" Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." ~Ephesians 4:32   I said in a message I delivered last week that the Bible talks so much about forgiveness because unforgiveness is so toxic to us. It's true, and you'll never see a better example than around the holidays for many families. The holidays can be a very stressful time of the year.  Often we find ourselves together around the table with friends and family members that we don't get along with very well. I used to dread seeing these people every year. The vitriolic remarks. The condescending tone. The attempts to bait me into a debate. And too often, I'd fall for it. We make that decision whether we're going be dragged into a conflict or not.  Whether we're going to allow somebody that will never be our biggest fan to continue to steal our peace year after year is completely up to us. When you learn to truly forgive, you will find peace. Peo

Part 4: Never Say Never . . .

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.   ~Proverbs 19:21 (continued from Part 3)  I've preached many times since that first time.  In fact, I preach every Wednesday night at our mid-week service, and fill in regularly on Sunday mornings.  One thing that changed is I don't get nervous anymore. That is gone completely. I'm not suggesting God gave me a wink that first morning when I preached, but what I do know is that coincidence caught my attention and shifted my perspective.  It certainly made me wonder.  It made me question whose decision it really was what kind of ministry I was going to be involved in--it's not my ministry at all, it belongs to God.  It reminded me that I've spent far too much time in my life depending on my own understanding.  I've spent far too much time planning out my own life, and what I was missing was truly understanding and accepting that my life is just a very small part of God

ReCharge Message: What Does It Mean To Repent?

  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. ~1 John 1:9 When we repeat the same sins over and over again, we’re not taking the sin seriously.   We’re not dealing with it.   We’re treating prayer like the county clerk’s office.   We get a ticket for not putting money in the meter.   We go pay the fine at the clerk’s office, and the next day we do the same exact thing.   There’s people that see sin that same way.   They pay the sin fine, and then go out and do the same sin the next day.   They’re skipping the repentance part.     The part that says what I did was wrong, I’m not going to do that again, and the next day and every day after they put money in the parking meter. It’s like this.   If you don’t do the crime, you don’t pay the fine.   Our society has not made life easier for a Christian.   You can’t look at social media more than a few minutes without seeing inappropriate content.   There’s hardly a T

Part 3: Never Say Never . . .

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”  ~Isaiah 30:21  (Continued from Part 2) I've always had a favorite hymn--" Blessed Assurance ." It was a favorite in the first church I attended, and we sang it frequently. That church is gone now, but every time I hear " Blessed Assurance " it takes me back to when I found God in that little church so many years ago and was baptized.  For me, nothing takes me back to a time and a place so quickly as music.  It's remarkable to me how music speaks to us in a language all its own. It's no wonder that music is such an important part of our worship--especially in the Baptist church.  So there I was sitting in the front row, next to my friend John, waiting for the time to come when I was to go up and deliver the message. I was nervous.  I was sweating.  I was feeling a little nauseous at times. All pretty common for me every time I had

ReCharge Message: What Is Christian Character?

1  Lord , who may dwell in your sacred tent?      Who may live on your holy mountain? 2  The one whose walk is blameless,      who does what is righteous,      who speaks the truth from their heart; 3  whose tongue utters no slander,      who does no wrong to a neighbor,      and casts no slur on others; 4  who despises a vile person      but honors those who fear the Lord ; who keeps an oath even when it hurts,      and does not change their mind; 5  who lends money to the poor without interest;      who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things      will never be shaken. Warren Wiersbe, the great bible teacher and scholar said what we need to focus on when it comes to Christian character is contained in verse 2 of Psalm 15.   2  The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart.   Weirsbe breaks it down like this.   “Three basic areas of life are named in Verse 2—blameless character, righteous conduct, a