LIFE LESSONS STILL NEEDED
I am learning (slowly... very slowly) how not to be so OCD on Saturdays for worship. Now, I am not convinced that this compulsion needs to completely disappear because 1 Corinthians 14:40 states ...everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. My experience has taught me that unnecessary distractions during worship are not from God. You may ask, what is the difference between necessary distraction and unnecessary distractions? Here are two examples...
- NECESSARY DISTRACTIONS... We have a wonderful family who has an autistic son who might blurt out something during the worship. People moving from their seat to the platform to serve in the capacity for the worship. These distractions are necessary due to his autism and we as followers of Christ will understand this and love and support this family if such occurs. Because we understand the need for people movement to complete all the dynamics of our worship. We will refuse to let this keep us from focusing on God.
- UNNECESSARY DISTRACTIONS... Once worship has started, God's people need to do all they can to not call attention to themselves. Moving around... talking... starting late... being unprepared... I think like a pastor (go figure) and in doing so, I worry about someone who is with us during the worship who is lost and needs to experience God's call to Himself. Unnecessary distractions, I believe, are the number one cause for people to lose focus on God speaking to them. Do you know why the authorities do not want you driving and talking on your phone at the same time? Because the distraction can cause a wreck, which could take a life.
With all this said, let me close this part of my thoughts with this. Will you help me in not being a distraction during the worship hour? There is a time to mingle and a time to remain still. There is a time to get ready and a time to go live. Will you help me by coming prepared to worship, not only for you but for everyone around you that God brings our way?
I love my church, so much. I love my God even more. I love every lost person that worships with us and long for them to know the Jesus I know. Lord teach me to not be a distraction.
I HAVE A HARD TIME WITH THIS
There are many reasons to make sure we get enough rest in life so we can be most effective for Jesus. Yet, I find so many reasons to not take time to rest. It is so easy to wait too long and then when I take that break, I am too tired to enjoy it. I plan so much on the break that it really doesn't become the break I truly need.
If anything, I simply need your prayers on this. I ask myself...  Why do I not take the time away I am allotted?  Am I afraid of being away?  Am I too proud to think the church cannot survive without me?  Do I see myself as a Superman type of guy that I am invincible?
Here are the answers to the above questions...
 I love my work and I love my people. I hate being away from them.
 Yes and no. Yes... I admit I think that if a church can live without me for a month or more, they probably do not need me. No... I trust the Lord for my every day and have been without and He has remained faithful.
 This one hurts as I must say, I do battle this in my mind. I convince myself God called me here because without me the church might collapse. This is dumb thinking. It is a lie. I know this but pride slips in, as I open the door for it too.
 Of course. This is simply another pride issue.
So, I am hoping Pam and I can take a few day break in the near future. I am also hoping that when you need a break you will take it. Taking a break is not a "one person" thing but an "all people" thing. Take them when needed... Work hard when not on break... G|ive glory to God because He teaches us that breaks are not only needed, they are OK. Jesus took breaks... We can always learn from Him.
LIFE ALTERING MOMENT... FOR ME
It has been a long time and I do not remember if I heard someone teach this or I read it somewhere. I do know this one simple comment which came to me has never left me... continues to bother me... always challenging me to tell others about Jesus.
I had the opportunity to give a short message at the Glory Kids Concert for 2018 this past Friday night. I spoke from Luke 16:19-21, sharing the familiar story of The Rich Man and Lazarus. In this brief time, I asked three questions and gave three answers about the story. I wish to share them here and specifically draw attention to the last question and answer. I intentionally directed the questions to the concerns of the rich man.
- Who was this man?
- God does not give this man a name. He describes him as rich. It can be easily assumed that he was a well known man and that people would have known his name. So why did God leave this man's name out of the story? I think it was done so that the picture of this man represents every person who is lost. This man (regardless if we are rich or not), represents lost mankind. Also taking into account here that Matthew 7 speaks of God not knowing people, a reference to their name also. He knows the name of all who are His. If He does not have a name for you, you are lost.
- Simple, to be specific to sripture, this man went to Hades... a place of torment and fire. This is where all lost people go... forever... intellectually sound and knowing that torment is your eternal destiny.
- This man wanted Lazarus to be given the opportunity to be sent back to tell this man's five brothers about God so they would not end up where he was. This man wanted his family to come to know God in a personal and eternal relationship. Note these things.
- This man wanted the lost saved more than most Christians today do.
- This man understood that his destiny was set but that those still alive on earth needed to hear the gospel.
- This man, forever, will live in torment, knowing his rejection of God is a reality in his brother's lives and they are destined to the same place if someone doesn't tell them and show them they can have eternal life in Jesus.
- This man has the heart to see the lost saved that we need... now... on our watch... in our time.
- It is too late for this once rich man to make a difference for Christ but it is not too late for us.