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Showing posts from April, 2010

5 Prayer Needs: Need #5

The final prayer need we have listed is simply called “Church Membership.” I'd like you notice some things about this:This doesn't say “Calvary Baptist Church Membership.” We're praying here that people will become members of a church, not mandating it be this one.This doesn't say “Church Attendance.” This isn't about just showing up. Rare is the organization that allows people to consider themselves “members” without being active participants. We churches have almost cornered the market on allowing people to join and then expecting nothing out of them. We're praying for people to be active participants and supporters of the church they are members of. Just as you can't join a ball team or the Rotary Club without committing your time and finances, we are praying that people will grasp that within joining a church.This also places a burden on churches to educate and train church members and potential members. I had a good conversation with a church member We…

5 Prayer Needs: Need #4

Our next listed prayer need is to pray for people to grow in personal stewardship. What does this mean? Stewardship is about taking care of something that doesn't really belong to you, but has been entrusted to you. It's primarily about stuff, although it can include a broad sense of responsibility for people. What areas do I have in mind for personal stewardship?Money. Let's deal with the elephant in the room. A portion of this prayer is that people will be willing to practice good stewardship with their money. However, while I would teach that this includes tithing, it's not limited to praying people will give more to the church. It's about praying people understand that 100% of their financial assets belong to God Almighty, because He's the one that gave those assets to you. He didn't give them as your property, rather as your stewardship. I believe that it starts with trusting a tithe given back, but it doesn't stop there. We're praying that peo…

Five Prayer Needs: Need #3

The third prayer need we have in our books is to pray for each individual's personal evangelism.  What does this encompass?  Let's look at a few things:1.  Personal evangelism is about evangelismEvangelism is about telling good news.  For Christians, we associate this with the Good News: that Jesus Christ, Son of God, dwelt among us for a time, living a sinless life, and dying as the substitute sacrifice for sinful humanity.  That He rose from the grave by His own will, and that He will judge all mankind based on their faith in Him.  That all who come to Him He will not cast out. (John 6:37)2.  Personal evangelism is about being personal.  It's done on a one-to-one or one-to-few basis.  We're not talking about seed casting by leaving tracts in doctor's offices or holding signs by the road (while those could be valuable), we're talking about personally speaking with others about whether they have faith in Christ, whether they are blood-bought saints of the La…

Fiver Prayer Needs: Need #2

Yesterday's blog was about prayer need #1 from our prayer list.  Today we'll look at need #2:Growth in Christ (2 Peter 3:18):18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.2 Peter 3:18 (ESV) What are we considering in this request?  We're addressing general maturity in Christ.  Another word for this is discipleship, the practice of being a disciple of Christ.Why?  Because it's a necessity.  The Lord Jesus Christ spoke of entering the Kingdom as being "born again" or "born from above" in John 3.  I doubt that He chose the example poorly!  Rather, I think His point should be taken not only about the entrance, but the growth process.  Just as we expect newborn babies to eventually walk, talk, and be potty-trained, so newborn Christians should be reasonably expected to grow in grace and knowledge of Christ.How so?  First, to grow in grace: grace, as Peter uses it h…

Five Prayer Needs: Need #1

Yesterday in church, I presented a challenge to the members of Calvary Baptist Church to take a portion of our church membership roll and pray for the members of this church in 5 ways.  I'm going to expand on those 5 needs this week on the blog, which will hopefully shed enough light on the matter.The first need listed for each person is Salvation.  Now, this word gets lots of differing connotations.  The intent here is this: salvation as seen as being put in a right relationship with God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross and His resurrection.  The Bible passage associated with this request is Romans 10:9-10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.Romans 10:9-10 (ESV)What are we praying for here?  That will draw people to Himself, causing them to confess with their mo…

Love puts us down where we belong

With apologies to Joe Cocker, Jennifer Warnes, and Will Jennings, I've decided to take their chart-topping hit from An Officer and a Gentleman and find fault with it.  Of course, if Louis Gossett Jr. shows up and kicks me like he did Richard Gere in that film, I might take it back.This was brought to mind with a letter I received yesterday.  It was from the Recording Secretary of the Southern Baptist Convention.  Now, for those of you vaguely unfamiliar with SBC politics, this part will be confusing, but every year there are certain committees that are formed/appointed to help manage the process and decisions of the SBC as we meet for our annual meeting.  It's necessary to do this because an annual SBC meeting is anywhere from 7,000 to 12,000 (or more, there's been 20,000) messengers coming to vote on SBC business.  There's processes for verifying that votes are only allowed to people with a legitimate right to vote (you have to be approved by an SBC church), processes…

Another thought inspired by coffee

I have become, in recent years, a coffee drinker.  How did I get started on this habit?  Well, it was once an occasional indulgence, especially when around my father in the evenings.  He tended to make some nice flavored coffees after dinner at Christmas or Thanksgiving.  Then, about the time I started a 3-year stint as a bi-vocational pastor.  This was while we lived south of Memphis, and the church was in Northeast Arkansas.  This required an early start and a long drive.  Coincidentally, the local Exxon convenience store chain was running an "all-coffee half-price" special.  So, a 20 ounce cup of coffee was running about $0.80, whilst a 20 ounce Mountain Dew was $1.19.  And I think Dew is worse for you than coffee.  So, I began to drink a 20-ounce Bengal Traders every Sunday morning, then Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights.  Then when it got cold, many work mornings.  I was particularly partial to the French Vanilla with one of those little cups of Southern Butter Pecan…

April 18 Sermons

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Here are the sermons outlines from April 18. I think I deviated from the outlines more than I typically like to, but you can listen and compare yourself if you'd like.

Doug Text: Matthew 8:18-27Theme: DiscipleshipDate: April 18 2010 AMLocation: CBC MonticelloTextSeemingly unrelated storiesScribe: will you follow if there is nowhere to go?Disciple: will you follow alone?Disciple: will you follow if it keeps you from following social conventions of today?Disciples: will you follow through the storm?Idea:Following Christ and normal do not mixThere are no guarantees except HimThere are no relationships that come before HimThere are no storms that can stop HimPractice:Know His ordersLet go of expectations: there may not be dens or nests; houses or church buildingsLet go of expectation: there will be times that we must reject cultural norms and expectationsStrengthThere is no one like Him who can command seas and windsThere is no one like Him who can save us fro…

April 16th Thoughts

It's Friday night, and for those of you who don't know where I am, I'm not where I would normally be. I'm in a hotel room in Little Rock by myself, which is pretty unusual. Why am I here? Individual Critical Incident Stress Management Training, that's why. What does that mean? I can only answer that question halfway, because I'm only half done. Hence, spending the night so that I can get back to it first thing in the morning.However, I'm not going to write that much about the training. Why? Well, I'm not a certified instructor and I wouldn't want to steer you wrong. I will say this: if you are involved in chaplaincy or ministry, this would be worth your time to learn. I would also suggest it to those who minister to people like funeral directors or to pastors, because there's a strong probability that you can put these skills to good use. (By the way, under chaplaincy, consider: Military, police, fire, hospital, disaster relief, correctional fac…

Word for Word

I've recently begun using speech recognition software that is built into my computer. I'm attempting to use it to write blog posts into dictates different things. One of the difficulties of using the software is that records everything I say how it thinks I said itUnfortunately, the computer doesn't exactly understand me. There are times the computer hears me say one thing when I really said another. There are other times when I fail to tell the computer exactly what it is that I mean.One of the keys to using speech recognition is to be consistent with your voice. If you will not speak consistently, the computer doesn't know what you mean. It takes using a clear voice without distraction for the computer to understand you.It has me wondering how many times we falter in our churches the same way that voice recognition software falters.1.)  We don't understand each other because sometimes we're not listening. Sometimes the noise of life drowns out our ability to …

Book Review: Will the World End in 2012?

The world will end!!! We're all going to die!!! Ack! Panic in the streets, cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria!!If you listen to certain circles in the world right now, you'll hear many things of this sort.  It's the current end of the world prediction.  The last time I recall such a widespread cataclysmic prediction was when we were approaching Y2K, although there was some in 2006-2008.Upon the panicked public and curious Christian then is thrust this book: Will the World End in 2012? by Raymond C. Hundley, Ph.D.  Will the World End in 2012?: A Christian Guide to the Question Everyone's AskingSome thoughts on the book:1.  It's a paperback.  Which makes sense, because if we live past 2012, it will have no lasting value.2.  Dr. Hundley spends a chapter on each of 10 topics that people have suggested as either reasons the world will soon end or how it will happen.These chapters are, by need, short.  As such, there isn't a lot of information in them.  It&…

April 11 Sermon

Text: Philippians 3:1-6Theme: What counts?Date: April 11, 2010 PMLocation: CBC MonticelloFinally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you. 2Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision; 3for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh, 4although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: 5circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; 6as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. Phil 3:1-6 (NASB)Rejoicing through RepetitionRepetition is not difficult to doRepetition builds safeguards for the hearersWhy do we avoid repetition?In the Lord: for He has saved usIn the Lord: for He has made …

Weekend Links

I meant to have this up earlier today, but I broke a lawnmower that I borrowed, and Ann and I spent about an hour fixing it.  So, this is a little late.I don't have an original thought to share.  I've got a book review to do of Will the World End in 2012, but I'm not done with it.  I'll try and get it next week.What I do want to do is share a few blog links with you from this week.  Most of these blogs are worth reading all the time, although you can miss a day or two.  Here you go:First of all: Emil Turner's blog at ABSC about Cooperative Agreements in SBC North American Missions.  I want to share a few blog posts to explain why it's an issue, but that'll be next week.Second: Kevin DeYoung: Oddly enough, Pastor Kevin hits the nail on the head about nearly everything except when to baptize folks, but we won't hold that against him.  He did a series this week about being upset with your church.  Here it is: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3.Third: Thom Rainer: post…

Weekend Links

I meant to have this up earlier today, but I broke a lawnmower that I borrowed, and Ann and I spent about an hour fixing it.  So, this is a little late.I don't have an original thought to share.  I've got a book review to do of Will the World End in 2012, but I'm not done with it.  I'll try and get it next week.What I do want to do is share a few blog links with you from this week.  Most of these blogs are worth reading all the time, although you can miss a day or two.  Here you go:First of all: Emil Turner's blog at ABSC about Cooperative Agreements in SBC North American Missions.  I want to share a few blog posts to explain why it's an issue, but that'll be next week.Second: Kevin DeYoung: Oddly enough, Pastor Kevin hits the nail on the head about nearly everything except when to baptize folks, but we won't hold that against him.  He did a series this week about being upset with your church.  Here it is: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3.Third: Thom Rainer: post…

A follow up on Romans 12:9-13

One more brief word about this passage, which I commented on yesterday.  In the Greek, the verse begins with "the love" (I can't get the Greek font to work.  It's the definite article followed by agape.)The word is used for a couple of things in the New Testament.  The first is the most commonly understood: agape as reflected in divine love.  It's the type of love God shows and that we as Christians are called to give.There's another usage, though, that might be applicable here.  Some records show that the early Christian church held meals together (see, they were Baptists!).  These were times where the rich brought what they could, the poor what they could, and they ate and fellowshipped.  These times were generally held at the same times that the majority religion would have been doing the same type of activity (think: having a group of Christians get together during American Idol because all the pagans are busy ;-o ).The Christian meal likely featured teac…

Romans 12:9-13

This passage struck me this morning.  9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.Romans 12:9-13 (ESV)The NASB renders Romans 12:9 as "Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good."  (by the way: literal Greek here:" "The love not hypocrisy."  Based on my depth and breadth of Greek knowledge, I'd translate this as "Love without hypocrisy" for a Greek class.  I'd then read it from NASB when preaching and the first point would be: Love should be genuine.)Now, I wanted to address this.  Love without hypocrisy.  What is hypocrisy?  We hear the word a lot, and the meaning has faded.  A brief venture into the …

Stuff Christians Like

Along with a myriad of others, I'm playing along with Jon Acuff, author of Stuff Christians Like, and we're doing one massive blog post, spread across dozens of blogs.  The beginning is on his blog at Stuff Christians Like.  Here's my part of it:13. The contestant sings a Lady Gaga song. (Especially if it is the one that has the word, "Disco" in it. That one is so crazy I could only write one word from it.) = - 3 points  To add up your score with over a 130 other ideas on this scorecard, visit stuffchristianslike.net.

Sermon Outline: April 4, 2010

Here's the outline of the sermon I preached yesterday morning for Easter.  I'll paste the audio player in if you want to hear it.A few thoughts on sermon outlines vs. sermons, at least with me, is that the outline is a guide, not a guarantee.  For example, if you'll listen to this sermon, you'll hear me spend about the first third of the message on why I trust that the Resurrection is true.  That's not in the outline. Also you'll  catch that I didn't exactly use all the points here.So, here you go:Text: Matthew 28:1-10 Theme: RESURRECTION!Date: April 4 2010 EASTER!Location: CBC MonticelloThe central point of the Christian Faith1 Corinthians 15:15-1914 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that b he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Chris…

Good Friday

Let's remember, alright?