Tuesday, February 23, 2010
In the past days, the blogosphere has been abuzz with people questioning Ergun Caner's past, James White's credentials and Tom Ascol's motives.
GOOD GRAVY, PEOPLE!
I thought we were all on the same team.
I have only had the privilege of meeting one of the men mentioned. I enjoyed our conversation. I have not yet had the privilege of meeting the other two men mentioned. I am sure I would like to get to know them, too.
What I am very concerned about is the way in which supposedly "Christian" blogs writers are blasting one or all of them with no regard to any one of them being brothers in the Lord!
What was it Jesus said, oh yea, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
Jesus also said, "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:35
The world is watching. I don't think they are benefiting from what they are seeing.
(I refuse to link to blog posts that I feel are in grievous error, but you can do a Google search and see for yourself.)
ADDED LATER: And you should be ashamed of yourselves for writing some of the junk you guys have written about these men. Take down your yellow-journalistic posts immediately!
Friday, February 19, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
a pastor shows up to the weekly pastors' conference in boots and spurs!
This is actually Tom Gragg, the pastor of our newest church plant in the Muskogee Baptist Association, the Three Rivers Cowboy Church.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
The book, in pre-release form, is called "Jackpot". That, of course, is subject to change at the descretion of the publisher.
It is a story of greed, lust, revenge and redemption.
I expect to be finished with the first draft this spring.
fromThe U.K. National Lottery
dateFri, Feb 12, 2010 at 9:41 PM
hide details 9:41 PM (13 hours ago)
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Friday, February 12, 2010
I get tickled when I see young preacher boys calling themselves "Senior Pastor". Did I say tickled? I meant bothered.
Why do preachers instist on being called anything other than "Mister"?
"Reverend Wills" or "Pastor Greg"
Are they in it for the title?
I realize that some people have problems with calling their pastor "Rick" (especially if their name is Bill, but I digress), so my suggestion is: if you have to give your pastor a title, call them "Brother".
Brother is the great equalizer. Brother puts your pastor on the same spiritual level as you.
Your pastor may have a doctorate (earned, honorary, or bought over the internet). So what?
Are we not fellow laborers in God's harvest?
By a differentiation of titles, we subconsciously begin to think that the pastor is more important than us to God or to God's work.
We are a royal priesthood of BELIEVERS. Each of us are saved by grace. God didn't give you a title, He gave you salvation.
Preacher-boys, get rid of your high faulting self-puffing titles. Senior pastor? Yeah, right.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Webster defines emissary as:
Yesterday, a retired pastor was telling me about how he believes every church has a Devil's Emissary; an unregenerate member of the church sent there to cause problems, dissensions, and grief. He told me, that while it would be wildly unpopular, the best thing to do, since they are unregenerate, would be to ask the congregation to look around, identify the Devil's Emissary, and tell them to leave the church!
He said that tongue-in-cheek, but I think he was wishing he would have/could have done that in the churches he pastored.
He said that the church probably already knows who it is, yet continues to allow them to function as that source of contention for fear of hurting their feelings.
He said, that while it would be painful, in the long run, it could be the best thing that could happen in the life of a church.
What do you think?
OK, perhaps it's not new, but most of us haven't heard it put quite like that.
I have been in "the ministry" for quite some time now, but only a vocational pastor for a little over two and a half years.
The honeymoon's over.
While it's not a pleasant mind-picture, if I removed my shirt, you could see the big target painted right on my chest. If I turned around, you could see on on my back. I don't even want to talk about bending over....
As our church is taken off the bench and gets back in the game, so to speak, several different dynamic forces are in play.
- The group of people who were comfortable sitting on the bench prefer to remain on the bench and gripe at the quarterback for wanting to play the game.
- The group of people who weren't content to sit on the bench find that they either don't remember exactly how to play the game or find that their bodies ache from the stress of activity. They also gripe at the quarterback.
- The group of people who are new and don't know the rules gripe at the quarterback because the game doesn't feel anything like the different game they played on their other team and think we ought to be playing it differently.
- The group of people who played for a long time gripe at the quarterback because he's calling audibles instead of them. They think that since they've played the game for so long, that, even though they are linesmen, they should be making the calls.
- The group of people who want to play, but don't want to come to practice gripe at the quarterback because he won't throw the ball to them, despite the fact they haven't caught a ball in years and won't put their helmets on.
An old wise retired pastor told me yesterday that every church has the Devil's Emissary; someone seemingly appointed by the Devil, himself, to cause strife and division within the church. An unregenerate church member who is there to carry out the cause of Satan; to kill, steal, and destroy. Unfortunately, more often than not, it is the pastor who has the target on his back.
Saturday, February 06, 2010
Not being Jewish, or connected to the Jewish community, this is the first I have heard about it. However, within the span of this week, I have found it in several different sources.
To be honest, I'm not sure exactly what I believe about the rebuilding of the Temple. I know that some say it is necessary before Christ will return. Others say that the Temple is not necessary because in the New Covenant, our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit.
I do know that the world is changing in a very weird way. I believe that the world is poised to receive the Antichrist. I believe with all my heart that the return of Jesus is imminent and very well may happen in my lifetime, if not in the next 20 years.
The Temple Institute has completed all of the necessary fittings and ceremonial tools to conduct Temple services. There was even a tradition among rabbis that the needed red heifer would come from a gentile with a Biblical name. Mr. Lott from Mississippi provided the red heifer.
I certainly don't claim to be an expert on End Times. The only thing I know for sure is that "Jesus will return". Are you ready for that to happen? Have you given your heart to Him? Is your body the temple of the Holy Spirit?
Don't delay - the end could come sooner than you expect.
Friday, February 05, 2010
Here is a Baptist Press story about God multiplying medical provisions for a disaster relief team that returned from Port-au-Prince. It is long, but very much worth the read. If you prefer, you can find the original story by clicking here.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (BP)--Six state Southern Baptist Disaster Relief medical teams are among the first Baptists to minister in Haiti since the deadly 7.0 earthquake on Jan. 12.
SBDR medical volunteers from Arkansas and North Carolina have already come and gone, and Kentucky and Mississippi teams arrived on Monday, Feb. 1. Florida and South Carolina medical volunteers are due to arrive in Port-Au-Prince on Wednesday, Feb. 3.
The Mississippi and Kentucky teams wasted no time after arriving on Monday, turning a small library into a pharmacy and treating 550 patients. The Mississippi team is operating a small hospital out of a Haitian Baptist church located on the edge of one of Port-Au-Prince's larger tent cities directly across from the national capitol building. The Kentucky team is working at a clinic near the presidential palace.
North American Mission Board disaster relief consultant Terry Henderson and a team of six will leave Atlanta on Thursday, Feb. 4, to serve as an incident command team in Haiti. They will link up with Fritz Wilson and Dennis Wilbanks of the Florida Baptist Convention, who are on the ground in Haiti for the second time since the earthquake.
Henderson and his team will be busy planning logistics, lodging, transportation, feeding and communications for SBDR's eventual "D Day" -- the day dozens of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief teams from the state conventions begin to be deployed to Haiti, a process that will extend over many months.
The Arkansas medical team was the first to land in Point-Au-Prince, ministering from Jan. 19-22.
Veteran disaster relief workers Tamara Gore and Jerry Gay were two of the 10 members of the Arkansas unit. Nothing prepared them for their first drive through downtown Port-Au-Prince, they reported. The unmistakable smell of death was pungent and everywhere.
Haiti was in only its seventh day following the devastating earthquake. More than 100,000 bodies had already been recovered, and most had been buried in mass graves to stave off disease. The temperature was in the mid-80s.
"I was in the first car," said Gore, a law enforcement chaplain from Benton, Ark. "You could see the bodies. We would pass a collapsed building and you would smell the bodies. Everybody knew what it was without talking about it."
Gay, associate missionary for the North Pulaski Baptist Association in Sherwood, Ark., thought he had seen it all after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
"I've never seen anything even close to this disaster, even Katrina," Gay said. "My wife and I both worked after Katrina. It was bad but this was a different kind of bad. This was sudden with no warning. At least there was some warning for Katrina."
Gay said his worst memory came while riding in downtown Port-Au-Prince one afternoon. Spotting the rubble of a flattened building and trying to stomach the accompanying stench, Gay asked his driver what the structure had been. The driver told him the building had been a school.
"Immediately, I thought of my little granddaughter back in Arkansas," Gay recounted. "I thought I was ready for what I would see, but my mind raced to my granddaughter.... That's the kind of thing people who come down here need to be prepared for."
As the additional SBDR teams arrive in the Haitian capital in the days and weeks to come, Gay advises them to know why they're going before they get there.
"The mission ought to be clear," Gay said. "Folks need to be mentally, emotionally and spiritually prepared."
Gore said it another way: "I would tell disaster relief people that they need to be prayed up before they get there, because they don't know what they're going into and what they're going to be dealing with," said the 51-year-old chaplain with 28 years of experience.
Gore said the Arkansas medical team -- two medical doctors, four nurses, a nurse practitioner, a physical therapist, an emergency medical technician, a crisis counselor and Gay, the unit's communications expert -- flew directly into Port-Au-Prince via Mission Flights International (MFI) on Jan. 19. They set up a clinic at El Shaddai Baptist Church on the northern outskirts of Port-Au-Prince, near the airport and across from the U.N. compound.
During their four-day stint, the team saw around 70 patients a day at the makeshift clinic, including children from the El Shaddai Orphanage where they stayed at night.
The two physicians -- one a pediatrician, the other a surgeon and pediatric urologist –- treated patients for broken bones, cuts, abrasions, depression and stress-induced gastro-intestinal problems. They also saw patients who had to be transported to other medical sites because of the more serious nature of their injuries.
The clinic had no electricity. Team members slept on air mattresses on the floor. Gore said sleep was difficult at best because of the tropical heat and the nightly crowing roosters and bleating goats and sheep. Gay had the only cell phone that worked. Otherwise, communications was possible only by satellite phones.
Until the Arkansas team departed Haiti on Jan. 23, its biggest concern was running out of the precious antibiotics, pain medicines, bandages, snacks and other supplies they needed to treat the Haitians. Because of weight restrictions on the MFI plane, the team had brought only two large black bags of medical supplies.
But here's where both Gore and Gay tell a remarkably consistent story -- the story of just one of the miracles in Haiti so far.
"The first night there, we were afraid of running out of supplies," Gore recounted. "So when I gave the devotional that night, I talked about the miracle of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with the loaves and fishes. I talked about how we needed to pray for God to bless what we had, show us how to distribute what we had, and that God would give us what we needed."
Unbeknownst to the rest of the team, the two physicians and the physical therapist circled the two medical bags of supplies that same night and also prayed that the supplies would be sufficient, Gay said.
After two days and seeing 180 Haitian patients, Gore and Gay both insist that the two bags -- neither of them cram-packed even upon arrival -– were still full at the end of the second day. They said the same was true of a large sack of peanuts, cheese snacks and pretzels donated to the team by Southwest Airlines. Two days later, the bag had more snacks than they started with.
"People can draw their own conclusions," Gay said. "We're not crazy people, we're professional people. We carried in two bags of supplies. The bags were full but not bulging. When we got ready to leave, it was all a couple of us men could do to zip up the bags. Nobody came in and gave us any additional supplies or snacks. We left two full bags for the next medical team coming in.
"All we could do is look at each other and laugh -- knowing that it had to have been God who had multiplied that stuff," Gay said.
Gay and Gore both said they are already making plans to return to Haiti. In addition to the two men, the other eight members of the Arkansas medical team were Deborah Quade, Angela Titus, Emily Magnusson, Rebecca Brown, Carl Garvin, Larry Gore, John Redman and Katherine Durham.
Mickey Noah is a writer for the North American Mission Board.
[HT: Downshore Drift]
Thursday, February 04, 2010
I'd like to recommend a resource to you and/or your church. It is Missions Leader® magazine, a publication of the WMU®. It is full of ideas of how to promote missions in your church. You can order it by clicking on this link.
You have a choice here. You can pray for the enemies of your country. Or you can pray for your spiritual enemies. (Sometimes, they are within your OWN country.)
Or you can pray for both.
Our church maintains a prayer list that we labor over each Wednesday night. One of the items on this list is "Enemies of America". We often take it for Islamic Extremists or someplace like North Korea. But it could also be folks right here in the USA who desire to wreck our way of life.
Whatever the case, Jesus said,
You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Matthew 5:43-45
Pray that God would call His people to Himself and that they would listen and respond. Pray that they would embrace Jesus as the long awaited Messiah, the deliverer of Israel. Pray that their enemies would be thwarted and the Jewish people would recognize God as their protector.
May God bless Israel.