Archive for December, 2010

Jesus

Posted: December 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

As the holiday season comes to a close and another year is coming to an end I am ever reminded of those things that I am most thankful for. As I have written about over the past few weeks I am truly blessed with friends and family who love, support, and encourage me through the good times and the hard times. I am blessed to have several true men of God believe in me and the ministry that God has called me to also. They have and continue to love, teach, support, and invest into my life and ministry.

As I have reflected on these blessings over the last few weeks, and especially the past few days, I am of course reminded of the one blessing that I am most thankful for. Jesus. Why should I be so blessed? Why did God become a man and offer Himself in my place? Why did He choose to save me? Why does He love me so? Why does He still choose to fill my heart and life with His presence and joy? In moments of happiness, contentment, and excitement I know Him. In moments of sorrow, weakness, and depression I know Him. There have been times when I have turned away and all but ignored Him. There have been times I have had to simply rely on the promise of His word, that He would never leave or forsake me, to know He is here. There are times that I cry out to Him through prayer whether in thanksgiving, petition, brokenness, or repentance. Then there are those times that His presence is so strong that I think my heart may burst and all I can do is praise Him. Why? It has everything to do with who He is and nothing to do with who I am. That’s why I’m so thankful.

This week I will be on the mission field in Mexico with a team from my church as well as from several other churches. We have only one task this week; to share Jesus. I can think of no better way to end the year than to tell others about what God has done for them. My prayer is that as we begin a new year, those of us who call ourselves by His name would make it our task to simply share Jesus with others, through our words, deeds, and attitudes.

I wish everyone a happy new year, filled with the joy of knowing Jesus, and the blessing of sharing Him with others. See you in 2011.

 

Family

Posted: December 20, 2010 in Random Thoughts
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The other morning I got up early to drink some coffee, pray, read my Bible and spend some time with God before the day got started. The night before the kids asked if they could sleep in the living room so we pulled the hide-a-bed out from the couch and they piled in. That morning I put a log on the fire and started the coffee. As I sat there in my chair before the fire with the lamp on I found myself just watching the kids sleep, all snuggled in the covers under the glow of the Christmas tree lights, and I thought about how blessed I truly am. I have a great marriage to a beautiful wife who is also a devoted mother and committed Christian (sleeping soundly in the other room). This will be our sixteenth Christmas together (she only experienced eighteen before we met). We have three healthy children who have grown up in church and with the knowledge that God so loves them that He sent His Son to die for them so that they might have eternal life. Two of them have professed their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and my youngest one simply has the faith of a child at this point in her life. I don’t have much money or prestige in life. I’m not famous or important but that morning I knew I was among the wealthiest and most blessed men who have ever lived.
AsI sat there and just praised God for His goodness to me I also began to think about my extended family. I won’t try to explain all the details of the relationships within my extended family, like many of yours it gets kind of crazy. I thought about my parents, stepparents, sisters, stepbrothers and stepsisters, grandparents, in-laws, aunts and uncles, and cousins. I thought about all the Christmases in the past and the times I have gathered with this part of the family or that part of the family; at this one’s house or that one’s house. I thought about the food, and the traditions, and the laughter. No family is perfect and I’m sure we all have our moments but that’s not what I remember. I remember the good things. I remember the love and the joy.
Our families are a part of who we are and we’re a part of them. Family was God’s idea and I’m thankful for all of mine. I love all of you and wish I could see you all this Christmas.
Take time to enjoy your family this year.
Merry Christmas 🙂

Pastors

Posted: December 4, 2010 in Random Thoughts
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The other day I woke up thinking about the friendships that I’m thankful for. This morning I was reading from The Holy Spirit in Today’s World, by W.A. Criswell and was reminded of some other people who I am truly thankful for, my pastors. Here’s what Dr. Criswell wrote concerning the pastoral gift:

“Strangely enough, the word ‘pastor,’ the fourth gift of the Lord to the churches, is used only once in the entire New Testament, here in Ephesians 4:11. The Greek word is poimen, meaning ‘shepherd.’ The New Testament uses three titles to describe the same office in the church: episcopos, meaning ‘overseer,’presbuteros, meaning ‘elder,’ and poimen, meaning ‘shepherd.’ The word ‘bishop’ (episcopos) refers to the work of the pastor. The word ‘elder’ (presbuteros) refers to the dignity and rank of his position. The word ‘shepherd,’ ‘pastor,’ (poimen) refers to his relationship with the flock. All three words are refered to in Acts 20:17,18. The qualifications of a pastor are written in I Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9, and I Peter 5:1-4. Pastors are to be obeyed and to be held in high honor (Hebrews 13:17). Those who are worthy are to be held in double honor (I Timothy 5:17). This is the gift of the Spirit that is most preciously cherished by the people of Christ. A worthy pastor is a true benediction from heaven.”

Amen Dr. Criswell. I praise God for these men who are not only my friends but have been my pastor as well. They are all worthy of double honor.

Roger Tarver
Davies Vanpool
Rick Monds
Raymond Tenpenny
Benny Thompson
Jack Maddox (my current pastor)
Ty McCoy (my worship pastor)

Thank you for answering the call.

 

Friends

Posted: December 2, 2010 in Random Thoughts
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This holiday season has got me thinking about friends and family and how much I truly have to be thankful for so I thought I would share a few thoughts about the subject of friendships.

How many friends do you have? If you look at those who follow you on Twitter you may say several. If you look at your friends list on Facebook you may say several hundred. You may even go a little further and say I have a lot of friends but only a few close friends, or maybe one best friend. I guess it really depends on how we define the word friend. It’s one of those words that we use in a really broad sense. We all call people friends simply because we know them but that doesn’t necessarily mean we would call them if we were broke down on the side of the road. We also have friends that we know we can count on no matter what. These are the people we can call anytime for anything. There’s a difference and I think it’s just a natural way in which things happen. We can surround ourselves with a community of people that we like and are friendly with and care about but there will always be just a few that we have a special friendship with. The Bible puts it this way:

“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24 ESV)

Some relationships are simply built on circumstance while others transcend any circumstances. Sometimes we reach out to others only to get hurt in return. I’m reminded of a line from the Rich Mullins song Elijah that goes, “There’s people been friendly, but they’d never be a friend, sometimes this has bent me to the ground.” I’m sure most of us have had an experience like this at one time or another. The question is, is it worth it? The answer is yes. We all need some real friends to go through this life with; people we can laugh and cry with; people we can be open and honest with because we know that they love us. We all need a friend that sticks closer than a brother.

Of course this verse is ultimately fulfilled in Jesus. He’s the one that will always fulfill all the requirements of being a true friend. In fact He said that the greatest love someone can show for their friends is to die for them (John 15:13), which He has done for all of us. I’m truly grateful for the friend I have in Jesus, He’s like no other. I’m also grateful for those special friends that God has given me to go through this life with. I have been blessed with many true friends. Some I have only known for a few years while others I have known for many years. Some I see and talk to regularly, others I speak with just every so often but I know when I call we will pick up right where we left off. I appreciate all of you and hope I’m as good a friend to all of you as you are to me. After all, if you want to have a true friend you have to be a true friend.