Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Going Through the Motions

Many of us go to church every Sunday, sing the songs, greet friends and listen to the sermon, but we are only going through the motions. Do you ever feel as though you have lost your zeal? Do you long to reconnect with God and truly worship Him? That's how the people in Malachi's day felt. They even told God it was a weakness to serve the Lord. Literally that means they turned their nose at it!

I personally believe that one of the great maladies of our day is the sincere worship of God. Sunday after Sunday we attend church like we're doing God a favor. While the service is going on we check off things in order, wait for the final prayer and go home often as dry as when we came in. Many can hardly wait for it to be over. But we must do our duty. It's all so wearisome. The thrill is gone, the excitement has long since departed. The joy that once filled the heart has turned into monotony and boredom.

We can leave church one of two ways: full or empty. Luke 1:53 says, "He hath filled the hungry with good things and the rich He hath sent away empty." Oft times we Christians are like the Laodician's. We are rich and in need of nothing. Very few are thirsty anymore. We come in for nothing and we leave with nothing.

An unexcited Christian is one that has forgotten God and who He is.

Remember this Sunday when you come to the services Who it is we are worshipping. That will make all the difference in the world!

God bless, have a great week and I'll see you on Sunday as we come together to worship.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Gift of Encouragement

We all need encouragement at one time or another. We need to know that somebody cares for us and is there for us. Happy times are always more joyous when shared with a friend; sad times are more bearable when shared and shouldered with a friend.
Over and over the Bible uses the phrase,"one another". Jesus told us to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice.

Encouragement is something that there is never enough of. The reason is simple; God made us that way. No one is an island unto themselves.

Our children need consistent, honest, encouragement in order to become well adjusted, loving, godly adults. If you are a parent one of the most important things you can do is to become a cheerleader for your children. They deserve it and the time invested in their lives will reap huge dividends.

Our spouses need encouragement. We overlook all they do and think they will be with us forever.

Our effective, timely word is valuable. A word of encouragement may be the most powerful and positive message you can send those you love.

Our employees can often wonder if they are doing a good job. Encouragement could keep a good employee and keep a company fit for service.

As a former athlete I know the coaches that took the time to encourage me got their money's worth when I took the field. My baseball coach had a way of encouragement that caused me to never want to disappoint him. When I read in a sports magazine of tragedy in his family I tried to be an encouragement, as he had been to me.

Encouragement and love. I trust at this Valentine's season that we will look closely at those around us. They don't need a boot in the tail half as much as they need a pat on the back!

I probably don't tell you enough how much of an encouragement you are to me. I know I have limitations, however, you have helped me beyond words to be what I am supposed to be. To that I say a big "Thank you!" from the bottom of my heart.
Thank you for all your many notes and expressions of love. Please know how much I appreciate you!

God bless and Lord willing I will see you Sunday!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Vital Signs

I was recently called to the hospital to visit my dear Mother who had taken sick. Thankfully she is now fine and on the road to recovery.

As soon as I entered the room I wanted to know how her vital signs were. Being a Pastor for over 30 years you learn to look for certain things. Vital signs are one.

Blood pressure, respiration, and heartbeat are all important to one's well-being. Other observations are made and other tests given, but these differ from all the others. They are vital! When a person has no vital signs he or she has expired.

What is true physically is also true nationally. The Psalmist spoke of our national vital signs when he said,"Remove not the ancient landmarks". In other words,"Keep that which has kept you strong and stable".

America's vital signs are God, His Word and Christianity. The Bible says, "Blessed is the nation whose Lord is God".

Mark it down; America is strong as long as we keep God at the helm. His Word has been the anchor that has guided and directed us through unbelievable circumstances. We are most assuredly first and foremost a Christian nation. If these are ever removed our nation would cease to be a beacon of hope for the people of the world.

It is good for us to check our vital signs; to be sure we are healthy. Our enemies would seek to hurt and thwart our endeavors. We must keep our vital signs strong and be vigilant to be the mightly nation we are today.

I trust you will have a wonderful and glorious week. Thanks for being the wonderful folks you are!

See you Sunday!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

God Is So Good!

God is good and He is good all the time! God cares about us in all things, big and small.

We have cats on our farm. They all live outside in the garage, hither and yon. I have become fond of one little tiger colored kitten. The reason is my grandson loves him. He has even named him. Ready for this? He named him "Mow". It sounds like cow. On Monday evening I realized little Mow was missing. I searched in the typical places to no avail. I figured something bad happened but I continued to look. I scoured the woods and the fields. I even bothered one of our neighbors. Still no Mow.

On Wednesday I offered a prayer to the Lord. I know it was a little thing, but still I prayed. My curiosity had taken over and I needed to know what happened.

Three days and two nights later and still no Mow.

After the Wednesday evening service I went to the grocery store. At about 9:45 I turned onto my road. While driving down the road I saw something in the field. This was about 2 miles from my house. I turned around just out of curiosity. I drove up there and sitting on the side of the road, alone, cold and confused was Mow.

You can say it was luck that helped me find my boys' cat but I won't believe you. It was the Lord who answered my prayer. Call me foolish or call me naive, but I know God put him on the side of the road, not in it, at the particular time I would be coming by. I tell you folks, God answers prayer. Bigger prayers than Mow. God cares for us like a Father cares for his children. Ever since that Wednesday evening, every time I see that crazy cat I am reminded of God's goodness.

Maybe you have a dilemma in your life. Perhaps you think it is too small for God. Well, it's not! He cares! I tell you God is good snd He is good all the time! Praise Him!

See you Sunday!