Thursday, July 17, 2014

"You can be somebody in America...."


         Often citizens of Americans are obsessed with discovering who or what they are in their ancestral lineage. I remember being told as a boy that I was English. My mind would swirl with thoughts of Big Ben and Winston Churchill. Then I discovered that, on my mother’s side, I was German. I was even told that I had some Cherokee Indian in me.

               The older I get and the more I think about the whole situation I have come to this conclusion. I am an American. You can put my name at the base of the Statue of Liberty as one of those “...poor huddled masses, yearning to be free.” Reality is, this is my home. Give me the providence that brought our ancestors to this country, “...but give me liberty or give me death.”

Friend, if you begin to wonder who you are, I’ll tell you. You are an American. You fired a shot heard around the world. You’re Paul Revere, and George Washington. You refuse to bow to dictators and fought for this republic at the Alamo. You are freedoms torch, hope for the hopeless and a prayer for those in need. It’s great to live in a land where Liberty is assured, not just a few, but for all. Whoever you are and whatever brought you or your people to this land; you can be somebody in America.

I hope you are having a great week! See ya Sunday!
Pastor

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Honoring Fathers

 Children hear our words, but they see our lives.  It’s this time of year that we set a time aside to honor our fathers.  A faithful father imparts not only words, but also his life.  May I encourage our fathers to not only live but invest your lives in your children. 

Children are always in a learning process.  They’re going to learn from someone.  Let it be a good example.  Children learn a proper set of values from Dad.  They learn what’s important from Dad.

The reason many children never learn the value of spiritual things is because it just wasn’t important to Dad.  For a father to say one thing and do another causes confusion in the child because they are inclined to be like us!

 Children discover their attitude about work from their fathers.  A poll was taken a while back asking men about job satisfaction.  It was interesting to note that 85 percent said they were not satisfied and some said they hated and despised their employment.

Show me a father who hates work and I’ll show you some sons who won’t know how to work.

The Texas State Police offered a bulletin on how to raise a juvenile delinquent.  Number 1 on the list was “give him what he wants.”  This young generation in America has been given too much and when Dad can’t many expect the government can.

Dad, God bless you this Father’s Day for your faithfulness.  You will be rewarded one day for all your labor.  We, in this nation, will be rewarded because you raised strong, responsible citizens.

                   
See ya Sunday!
Pastor

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

"We are more than conquerors..."


      As a young college student in Northern Indiana I was approached by one of the leaders on campus. He told me of a meeting taking place that evening.  I spoke to a friend of mine in regards to this meeting and his reaction was negative.

 Long story short it was a small group of preacher’s that felt they could attain sinless perfection. I backed away, however I spoke to the leader and discussed my concerns.

At the conclusion of our conversation I asked him “You feel you will never sin again?” he responded “I feel we make mistakes but we do not believe we sin.  I respectfully said “Well, what you call a mistake, the Bible calls a sin. "

 There are those who follow that doctrine, and as those fellow students of mine I feel they are good people trying to live clean before the Lord.

As humans we will always have a problem with sin. At salvation God did not discard our old nature. It is still corrupt and fleshly. A constant battle.
 
To say we will never sin is inconsistent with the human experience we know. Read the lives of great men and women of the Bible and you will not find one that ever got to the point where they could not sin.
 
The apostle Paul claimed in Philippians 3:12 “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.”

It is also inconsistent with our own hearts. The older I get and the more I learn about myself. I become aware of my own sinfulness. This has often been a problem with young converts. They have trouble living the Christian life and battle the life. They ultimately drop out of the Christian walk altogether.

Living in this world is often a trial. Be encouraged this week by knowing that the Bible teaches us that with Christ we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. It is often difficult living for Christ, but it is the greatest thrill we will ever know.
 
See ya Sunday, Don’t miss it, it’s going to be great!

Pastor

Friday, May 30, 2014

"There's no place like home"


          There is no place in the world like America. I have had the privilege to see much of this world and its splendor. There is such dignity and character offered to those who dwell there. Many mysteries surround the earth and I must confess I have often been intrigued. However, there “aint no place like home!” No nation has been as blessed as this place; it is without discussion that we have been bountifully blessed by God.

                There are few places in the world where people wait for years to leave their homelands, and leave it all for the opportunity to live in the United States. It is not perfect, it is not what it used to be, but it still is the best place on earth.

We are special, some call it exceptional! We are great because we were formed by God for a divine purpose.

               Only twice in the history of mankind have a people been called together to form a new nation, a new people by the direct call and purpose of the Almighty God: Israel and America.

               Christopher Columbus, in his “Book of Prophecies,” wrote “It was the Lord who put into my mind the journey. I could feel his hand upon me... there was no doubt or question that inspiration was from the Holy Spirit because he comforted me with rays of marvelous illumination from the Holy Bible...it was the fulfillment of what Isaiah had prophesied the feat that the gospel must still be preached in so many nations is what convinces me.” Unbelievable.

               When the pilgrims gathered off the shore of Massachusetts, they wrote their manifesto- that this new land was dedicated to the glory of God!

               To the gainsayer, that criticizes our exceptions. Beware, you will never make America a socialistic, Islamic, Hindu, or Buddhist nation. All religions are welcome to come under the umbrella of our freedom, only because we are without a doubt, a Christian nation. May it always be so.

See ya Sunday!
Pastor

 


 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Finding Forgiveness


Every road had two directions.  In our lives it is so much the truth.  So often as a pastor and as a counselor, I see those who blame others for their problems and circumstances.  Their philosophy is everything I do is someone else’s fault.  And in the other direction, there are those laden down with guilt.

I believe one of the great maladies of our day is the guilt that many bear.  An old legend has it that after Pilate betrayed Jesus, he went to Switzerland and climbed a high mountain and jumped to his death.  Even to this day, the mountain is called Mt. Pelatmos, which means Pilate.  Legend says that, at that mountain, you can hear the voice of Pilate moaning, trying to rid himself of the guilt.

That is legend.  However, there are many who suffer from guilt.  We, in America, have managed to rename sin, but we haven’t an idea of what to do with guilt.  Some go to the psychologist.  Some forgive themselves.  Some blame others.  And sad, but true, some turn to alcohol, drugs, or even suicide.  The Bible says in I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Friend, if you are under a load of guilt God can and will forgive.  Life is to be enjoyed, not endured.  Find strength in His grace.  May God help you as you journey.

               .
See ya Sunday!

Pastor

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Celebrating Mothers

Its Mother's Day this weekend, and I wanted to say a word about the mothers in our nation.  Personally, I am grateful for the wonderful, godly Mom that God allowed me to have.  My mind is filled with the blessings of growing up under her good influence.

She only attended school until the eighth grade.  Her father died and she quit school to tend to the house and take care of the duties at home.  She is the youngest of eight children.  I know that many feel this same way, but to me, my Mom is the best.  They just don't come any better than her.  Tender, kind, compassionate, and understanding just barely describe how good a woman she is.

When I was a child, she scolded me when I did wrong, and then she tenderly hugged me and told me it was for my good.

After summer vacation she, more that anyone else, looked forward to school starting up again.  My brothers and I were a handful in those days!

When I was a teenager, she worried and prayed over me and warned when it was necessary.  During my college days she would call me, and would constantly send me what I called "care packages."  They were filled with food mostly, and other necessities.  I have never had a birthday that she didn't write and send me something.  When I was married she cried, as well when I  told her about her first grandchild. 

Her influence on my life is immeasurable.  She never had a job outside the home, never ran a corporation, nor was voted one of the 10 most powerful women in America.  But she was there when we needed her.  The thing I remember most is that she always had time for us.  I love her dearly for that.  She was the heart of our home and tower of strength when needed.  She gave up much for her children, and we all (four boys, and one girl) rise up and call her blessed.

Her story is repeated over and over around this nation in the lives of good, godly mothers.  We, as your offspring, thank you mothers for your love, your labor, and your gift of life to us.

May God bless you "Moms" of America.

I'm looking forward to celebrating Mother's Day with you this Sunday!
Pastor

Friday, May 2, 2014

Big Talkers Little Doers

Stretching the truth is uncommonly general now day.  People with good imaginations are not scarce at all.  Certain people are always on the prowl for gossip, and if they don't find it they invent it.  As one preacher said "All of their mole hills are mountains."  If they saw six dogs running together they would swear its was no less than 100!  The would also swear everyone else saw 100.  I hear these folks on airplanes as I travel.  Their wealth is enormous, they are extremely successful, and everyone else has problems but not them.
People are boastful these days.  Most of them are great talkers and little doers.  My dad used to say "Dogs that bark usually run away when it's time to bite."  In other words, saying and doing are two different things.  I've found over the years that the leanest pigs squeal the most.  One of the reasons a drum sounds so loud is the fact that there's nothing to them.
As a pastor of the same church for over thirty years, I've dealt with many different people.  I have observed when a man is excellent, he will as cream, soon rise to the top.
The Bible describes the backslider as one who is filled with his own ways.  The wise man Solomon said, "Even a fool is counted wise when he holdeth his peace."

As by the ears the mole is known,
A truth as Proverbs long have shown,
Is seen most plainly though his speech,
Let's glorify God, not ourselves.

See ya Sunday!
Pastor