Month: July 2011

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy


God is rich in mercy Ephesians . 2:4 Because of God’s mercy, salvation in Christ is available to the world (Titus 3:5) The earth is full of God’s mercy (Ps. 119:64). God’s mercy reaches to the heavens (Ps. 36:5; 57:10). God’s mercy is the ground for a person’s appeal to God in times of trouble (Ps. 59:16). God hears us when we pray because of his mercy (Ps. 66:20). Above everything else, God demands mercy of us. In God’s sight, mercy is superior to religious activities (Hos. 6:6). The prophet Micah said that God requires us to “do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God (Mic. 6:8). Mercy is love with hands and feet. It is not a vague, general benevolence but a love that shows compassion in deed as well as word. Hope comes alive in people because of God’s mercy (1 Peter 1:3). To be merciful toward our fellow humans means to have compassion on those who are at our mercy. Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery, “Go, …

Discover the secret to happiness


Matthew 5:3-12 The Beatitudes paint a clear picture of a self-contained person. The word bless in the chapter (makarias) is the most complete definition of true happiness. Somebody once said that – “happiness is what happens in us instead of what happens to us.” Blessed are the “poor in spirit” You have found the secret of happiness in realizing your spiritual helplessness. Like the beggar who depends on others for his needs, you have realized that all your needs are met in Christ: you are “poor in spirit.” Blessed are those who “mourn” You are sincerely sorry for your sins. You cannot sin and enjoy it. You are among those who “mourn.” Blessed are the “meek” You are God-controlled. Like a wild animal who is brought under the control of its master, you have let your impulses, passions, instincts, thoughts, and actions come under the control of Jesus Christ. You are not weak but “meek.” Blessed are those who “hunger and thirst after righteousness” The closer you get to God, the more sinful you feel; and …

Intentional Mentorship


There are two incidents in my life that woke me up to the power of intentional mentorship: 1/ when my pastor and spiritual father asked me if I had people other people in my life that were challenging me and holding me accountable. I guess, back in those days I was “a closed book” in his own words. 2/ the second time was when my wife out of frustration blotted out “you have no friends, no mentor, no one speaking into your life – how can you like that?” Those two moments really opened me up to the power of intentional mentoring. I realized at that time that  in order for me to grow, I needed to  stay accountable, seeking out mentors and make it one of my highest priorities. That I needed to step-out of my comfort zone and seek that person who God will place on my heart to ask, not being afraid of approaching them. A relationship in which I can find opportunities for God to stretch my mind, heart, and spirit. Over the years I have been …

What in the world does the devil want with me?


He wants to “sift you as wheat.” What that means is that: – he wants to expose everything that could bring shame to you and the name of Jesus – and accuse you before God. A. He wants to paralyze your life. Satan is the author of confusion and fear, and he will try to use both to keep you from living a victorious life. B. He wants us to be lukewarm concerning certain subjects — ​divorce, desecration of the Lord’s Day, drinking, gambling, fornication, homosexuality, etc. C. He tries to disrupt our convictions. The Devil wants to still your tongue in religious matters yet loosen it in other things. D. He gets angry when you are true to Christ. The Devil cannot throw your soul into hell unless you allow him to, but he can cause you trouble here if you do not combat him with the Word of God, our mighty sword. E. He wants you to stir up trouble with your pastor, in your church, and in your home. Satan does not concern himself with the …

Practical Suggestions for Ministry


Thirty-seven practical suggestions for easing life in ministry. To prevent clergy burnout, try the following: 1. Breakfast out with your spouse once each week. Put it on the family calendar and make it a permanent, needed getaway (And don’t carry a cell phone with you; the whole point is to get away!). 2. Exchange house keys with another couple. When you and your spouse need a breather, skip town. Stay overnight at your friend’s house. They can have the same privilege with your home. A phone call to the friend prior to landing on the front porch would be helpful. This kind of reciprocity works wonders for all concerned. 3. Organize your weekly responsibilities. Often burnout results simply from haphazard work plans. 4. Start next week’s sermon early enough to prevent a stressful pileup the night before it’s supposed to be delivered. 5. Schedule each day efficiently, so as not to overlap duties. 6. Prioritize your responsibilities; differentiate between majors and minors. 7. Fellowship with clergy of other denominations. These persons cannot harm you ecclesiastically, …

Creating Community


Well I forgot to let you all know that I finished Andy Stanley’s Creating Community last week. So please allow me to share with you a few things I clipped in my Kindle: 1/.”It is better to eat Twinkies with good friends than to leat broccoli alone.” I thought this was a very powerful way to emphasize that strong relationships pay huge dividends, even toward good health. because we grow when we are in loving relationships but we die slowly when we are isolated. 2/. “The kind of connections we need are more than casual. Casual connections aren’t life-giving.” Only God Spirit unleashed through His body can make that kind of difference. According to Him the only place  that kind of life changing difference is displayed – is the church in community. 3/. The goal for Andy is to: a. see people grow in their relationship with Christ b. pursue three vital relationships c. be a part of a small group… For them it’s all about relationships… that’s where people grow… that’s what their church …

Married to Grow


 “Marriage is not an end in itself; it is a means by which we may grow in the Lord and realize His glory. Paul S. Rees The struggle is real What if marriage was the breathing ground for character development and Christian maturity? When I entered marriage I didn’t see it that way. But today, I’m persuaded God intended us to grow into being Christlike in every stage of life, but especially when married It isn’t easy living with another person. I don’t care how much you’re in love, you are going to experience some difference of opinion from time to time. It’s not necessarily a bad thing as long as you are handling it in a peaceable manner. I confess that I’ve never been challenged any other time in my life than I am in my married life. That’s because I am very different from my wife and she is very different from me. Like the saying goes – “opposites attract before marriage – then they attack during the marriage.” It is important to put a little more effort …