Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Wednesdays Word of Encouragement

I received the following from a friend of mine and my wife this morning and enjoyed it so much that I thought that I would share it with you.

From Back to the Bible
Author: Elisabeth Elliot
Source: Keep A Quiet Heart

Family Prayers
When I was a child my father and mother gathered the six of us in the living room after breakfast every morning for family prayers. First we sang a hymn, omitting none of the stanzas, accompanied on the piano by one of our parents. It was in this way that we learned a good bit of solid theology without any conscious effort. I must emphasize that it was hymns and old gospel songs we sang at home. There was not much place then for choruses or gospel ditties.
There are some young families who still do this today. Judy Palpant of Spokane, who had heard me tell about our family prayers, writes, "Our children know that you were the inspiration for our three-year-old tradition of singing a hymn with our family devotions. We sing the same one each morning for a month. Tonight was the first time we tabulated the number of hymns we had learned. The children were impressed! Let me assure you that many new words and truths have been impressed upon their hearts and minds as we have discussed the themes and words of our chosen hymn. Our many guests at breakfast (especially when we were in Africa) were often blessed by the singing of a hymn. My husband's parents were visiting us when we were singing 'Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us.' That hymn was sung at their wedding. During the Easter season one year we were learning 'When I Survey the Wondrous Cross on Which the Prince of Glory Died.' A missionary from Kenya underlined the words 'Prince of Glory' for us by sharing some insights with us. Thank you for this idea which has enriched our family as well as our guests."
A reader asks, "At what age were the children when your parents started family prayers? How long a passage was read?" I think they must have begun as soon as the first child was born. I am Number Two, and I can't remember a time when we did not have family prayers. All of us were included, the smaller ones sitting on laps. My father read from Hurlbut's Story of the Bible (wearing out three hardback copies!), just a page or so each morning. In the evening after dinner he read the evening portion of Daily Light, which is pure Scripture (King James Version). The hymn came first, then reading, then (in the mornings, because we were not around the table then} we knelt to pray, my father leading, all joining in the Lord's Prayer to close.
This question from another reader. "How can I encourage my husband as the spiritual leader of the family to have regular family devotions?" This is one I am often asked. If he is a Christian I would hope that he is willing at least to listen to his wife's suggestion. Many men believe their wives are "more spiritual" than they, and feel justified in leaving spiritual training of the children up to them. This is a mistake. The father is the priest in the home. He is the head of his wife. It is his God-given assignment to take spiritual leadership. No matter how brief and simple the devotional time may be, there is no calculating the power of its long-term effect on the children. They learn very early the place God has in their parents' lives.
My father was a very simple man--humble, honest about his faith, but reticent in the extreme about speaking of it. We had no such thing as "sharing times" in our family. It was rare for us to converse about spiritual things, especially personal experience. But we knew our parents prayed in private, read their Bibles, and prayed and read aloud with us. It was routine. But it mattered. It matters to me now. I hope perhaps these words of testimony may nudge some of those reticent Christian fathers to take courage, take the bull by the horns, and say, "I've learned something. It's important. More important, maybe, than anything else we do in this house. We're going to start today."

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Gods Goal Part XIV

Jesus' Life and Ministry

Two texts from the Gospel of John show that Jesus' life and ministry were devoted to glorifying his Father in heaven. In John 17:4 Jesus prayed at the end of his life, "I glorified thee on earth, having accomplished the work which thou gavest me to do." And in John 7: 18, referring to his own ministry, Jesus said, "He who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but he who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood." Therefore, we can say with certainty that Jesus' all-consuming desire and deepest purpose on earth was to
glorify his Father in heaven by doing his Father's will (John 4:34).

From the book "Desiring God" by John Piper

Our Roles As Christians

"In our roles, if our ministry is not an overflow of worship and intercession, born in His presence, then we will fail. But God has better plans for us....."- Mark Phillips, Missionary to the Luguru people of Tanzania

Monday, November 27, 2006

Mission Monday

Give to the
Lottie Moon Christmas offering.
Watch the video, "Our Heart".

Friday, November 24, 2006

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Wednesdays Word of Encouragement

Dont eat yellow feathered turkeys.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Mission Mondays-A Shift Of Balance

A quote by Philip Jenkins author of
The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity
Over the past century . . . the center of gravity in the Christian world has shifted inexorably southward, to Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Already today, the largest Christian communities on the planet are to be found in Africa and Latin America. If we want to visualize a “typical” contemporary Christian, we should think of a woman living in a village in Nigeria or in a Brazilian favela. As Kenyan scholar John Mbiti has observed, “the centers of the church’s universality [are] no longer in Geneva, Rome, Athens, Paris, London, New York, but Kinshasa, Buenos Aires, Addis Ababa and Manila.” (p. 2)

Read Chinese missionaries to Islam, Heavenly Man, Back to Jerusalem and Here

THINK! - I'm Wrestlin' With Words and Ideaz...

Check out THIS Guy.


Read THIS...good stuff.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Phun Phridays

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Yes, even in Australia


AUSTRALIA-Girl Who Rejected Islam Now Facing False Murder Charges - ASSIST News Australian media reports that on October 9th, 17-year-old Kaihana Hussain was attacked with a knife by her father, Dr Mohammed Hussain, after she reiterated her commitment to convert from Islam to Christianity. According to the reports, Kaihana's mother was fatally stabbed when she tried to intervene, and her father attempted to kill himself after Kaihana escaped the apartment. Police confirmed at the time that Kaihana was not a suspect. Dr Hussain survived, and now alleges that Kaihana stabbed her mother to death and attempted to murder him because they disapproved of her boyfriend. Kaihana was subsequently arrested and faced a court on November 7, where she was charged with murder and attempted murder. She did not speak and no plea was entered. Kaihana Hussain remains in custody until her trial, which has been slated for May 22, 2007. Pray God will reveal the truth in this matter and Kaihana will be set free. Matthew 10:26

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Wednesdays Word of Encouragement

I said in my post last Wednesday that I would post the letter, that I received from the lady at Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, that changed my life. This letter was this first step in God calling this prodigal son back.
By now almost everyone has heard of the tragedy that
took place on Sept.15, when a gunman entered Wedgwood Baptist
Church and killed 7 people and injured 7 others before taking his own life. That
morning had been the day of "See You at the Pole," when students gather around their flagpole in the morning to pray for their school and nation. What
the media hasn't reported, however, is how God has been so
evident, both during and after the shooting. He has done amazing works!

Before The Shooting:

***Our pastor, Brother Al, had prayed that God
would do whatever it took to expand the ministry of Wedgwood Baptist Church. Our church is one that is used as a model of how NOT to pick a
location, because no one in the world can find it. Now almost everyone in the world knows exactly where it is.

Evidence of God's Control During The Shooting:

***To enter the church, the gunman walked past our
children's playground, which should have been full of kids, but for some reason every single children's and preschool class was running late. No one had made it to the playground yet.

***He fired over 100 bullets into a crowd of over
400, but only 14 people were hit.

***He did not shoot the over 60 bullets he still had with him.

***The bottom fell off of the pipe bomb he threw, and the bomb
landed without ever exploding.

***One of the youth that was wounded (she was shielding a disabled
friend with her body) has scoliosis. The curve in her spine directed
the bullet away from major organs, saving her from serious injury.

***Because the first 911 call came in on a police radio, emergency
vehicles were dispatched immediately, without spending precious time
to verify that call was real.

***One of the people in the church at the time was a paramedic, and
he was able to stop bleeding and stabilize injured people before the
emergency crews arrived.

***Leaders were able to get the children out of the building without the kids having to see any victims or any of the mess.

***Each children's worker stayed with his/her class even though they all had children elsewhere in the building, and some had teens in the sanctuary. Not one worker left his or her post.

***None of the adults who died have children.

***All 7 victims were not just Christians, but bold Christians who were passionate about their faith.

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is not being done, the saving of many lives."
(Genesis 50:20)

What God has done since the shooting:

***Many denominations have pulled together to offer help and support. One example is the United Methodist Church who sent 15 people the following Sunday to cover our childcare. They didn't want any church members to have to miss the service because they were taking care of the children.

***A church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, drove over 5 hours just so they could march around our church and pray during our Sunday morning services.

***The Fort Worth Police Dept. planted flowers in the flower beds before we reentered the sanctuary to worship.

***We have received over 10,000 emails, 5000 cards, and $60,000 from all over the world Al Meredith, our pastor has had the microphone in his face continually and has over and over given an outstanding answer to the reason for our hope. He presented the gospel beautifully on Larry King Live when prompted by a question asked by Vice President Al Gore.

***Because of the live news coverage and interviews, over 200 million people have heard the gospel because of this tragedy.

***Fifteen thousand turned out for a community wide service at TCU football stadium. Brother Al gave a very serious challenging message calling for a day of fasting and heart searching (Monday the 20th). The service was broadcast live in its entirety on WBAP 820 which is a news station that covers most of north Texas. This same news station has replayed our pastor's first press conference due to
people calling in and requesting to hear his comforting words again.

***CNN also broadcast the memorial service live. Amazingly, because one of the victim's families lives and works in Saudi Arabia, that country allowed the service to be broadcast there as well. In Saudi Arabia it is illegal to say the name of Jesus on the street.

***Because of that same CNN broadcast, 35 people in Japan gave their lives to Christ.

***When President Clinton finally got through to him, Brother Al ended their conversation by praying, after gaining permission, for the Clinton family.

***At several schools, students met around their flagpoles the next day. At one school 25 students accepted Christ, and 110 at another.

***A teacher led 22 students to Christ in her classroom.

***Christian teachers all over North Texas have been able to share with their classes because the students are asking questions about their teachers' faith.

***In Burleson, prayers and Scripture are being said over the intercom.

***On the east coast, where "See You at the Pole" was delayed because of the hurricane, record numbers of kids showed up to pray.

***Governor Bush and the Fort Worth mayor quietly came to our pastor's home while the staff were meeting and praying and joined in the prayer meeting. This was not political! Only those who are close to staf members heard about this; the media never knew.

***Governor Bush has visited with our pastor several times, and Brother Al has had an impact on him. Just think of the influence our pastor could have if Governor Bush is the next president!

***A caller to an area Christian radio station said that he didn't know what those people had but he wanted it. The DJ proceeded to lead him to Christ. Many notes left in front of the church contain the same sentiment. Those who don't know Jesus want what we have!

***The church has received so many emails asking us how we are able to have hope and continue on. There are teams of church member volunteers responding to these emails.

***My friend Jodi has been praying for her husband for years. She and their 4-yr.-old daughter were at the church that night. 3 days ago Scott gave his life to Christ.

***We have had over 70,000 hits on our web page which displays the plan of salvation in multiple languages.

***Many members at Wedgwood Baptist are healing broken relationships
within the body and experiencing spiritual renewal.

These are just a few of the miracles that are happening. God's grace is almost overwhelming. Every time the gunman fired a bullet, he intended to take a life. Yet God turned that around and saved several lives for each bullet fired. The faith of those who died has been multiplied many times over.

"I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.."

Romans 1:8

Are you not amazed? May I point out a few things we should glean from

1. While reading, I was fascinated and amazed that we have found out about some of these stories...salvation decisions made in Japan...a DJ leading someone to Christ...etc. This is not coincidence. Note that God is PRESERVING the testimonies, not by accident, but by Divine intention.

2. The plan of God is magnified and so evident through these stories: Do you see how it is His heart's desire to extend the boundaries of His kingdom? That "He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance"? (2 Peter 3:9) His plan is to save...His purpose for saving-to receive glory.

3. Realize that while He is accomplishing His plan to save and His purpose to be glorified, we as Christians are being comforted and strengthened. How great the realm of His ability to work! What perfect timing He has on every front.

4. Have you noticed that YOU are excited to hear the great things the Lord is doing? That your heart has been stirred and that you are desirous of spreading His glory? Rejoice, for that is the evidence of the Holy Spirit in your life. "For it is GOD who works in you, both to will and to do His good pleasure" (Phil. 1:6). His good pleasure is to spread His glory.

5. Last, when was the last time you asked the Lord what His plan and purpose was for your life? Do you want to know? If so, look! He is showing us RIGHT NOW what it is. We are to mirror His purpose and plan, and join Him. Spread His glory, by your own life of worship, which once submitted as a "living sacrifice"-will draw people to Him.

Please pass this on, for His name's sake. Even
sending e-mails can be
kingdom work!

In Christ,

I found
this site which is almost identical to the letter that I received.
Another great read.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Martyr Monday

The following has been copied from an insertion that was in my churches bulletin yesterday morning regarding the persecuted church.


What is my response?

I know I must be diligent in praying for and encouraging my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering for our common faith. I make the following commitments today:

I will seek to get more informed regarding suffering Christians and write notes of encouragement to them.

I will give a gift toward the purchase of Bibles where they might be most urgently needed to strengthen persecuted believers. If 100 people in this service today were to give just $4 each, we would be able to supply 100 Children’s Bibles to China.

I will pray for my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering for their commitment to the Lord. Suggestions for prayer:
• Pray for Christians who are beaten and tortured, that they may be healed and forgive their tormentors (Luke 23:34; Acts 7:60)
• Pray for imprisoned Christians to be comforted by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 6:9-13)
• Pray for the provision of Bibles (Psalm 119:105-112)
• Pray for Christians who have lost homes, farms, water and income, that God will meet their every need and ease their anxiety (Matthew 6:32-34)
• Pray that Christians in persecuted countries will support each other and band together (1 Peter 4:7-11)
• Pray that God would raise up leaders in the persecuted church, that they might be courageous, wise and faithful to their God given responsibilities (! Peter 5:1-4, 1 Timothy 3:1-10)

I will pray for the Lord’s guidance concerning the possibility of going on a short term mission trip to some par of the world where my fellow believers are suffering for their faith.

I will seek to learn more about what is going on globally in the Body of Christ. The following we sites and organizations may be helpful.

• (Open Doors)
• (Voice of the Martyrs)
• (The Bible League)
• (World Evangelical Fellowship Religious Liberty Commission)
• www.christian (Christian Freedom International)
• (Christian Solidarity Worldwide)
• (Christians in Crisis)
• (Gospel for Asia)
• (International Christian Concern)
• (Compassion Radio)
• (Iranian Christians International)
• www.jubileecampaign. Org (Jubilee Campaign)
• (Mission India)
• www.thelast (The Last Harvest)

“You should always pray and not give up” Luke 8:1

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Phun Phridays

A Texan died and went to heaven where St. Peter met him at the Pearly Gates.

“Show me what you got, Pete,” said Tex.

St. Peter swung open the gates and
revealed a beautiful landscape of mountains, rivers, streams, trees, flowers and all the trimmings.

“We’ve got that in Texas. We call it King Ranch,” said Tex.

St. Pete flashed up a scene of men, women and children frolicking on the countryside, riding coaches, swinging, swimming, riding horses, bicycling, etc.
“We’ve got that, too. We call it Six Flags.”

Whereupon St. Peter threw open a trapdoor of the fires of Hell and out shot a huge ball of fire followed by a solid stream of flame sweeping over the entire area. The
blinding light and heat were enormous.

“We don’t have that,” said Tex, “but we’ve got a guy in Houston who can put it

A Double Hmmm?

Miracle seeker falls off Jesus statue, UK Nov. 7, 2006

A man who climbed a 45-foot tall statue of Jesus to pray for a miracle cure saw his plan backfire slightly, when he fell off, breaking several bones.

Farmer Alipio Acosta climbed up the statue of Jesus in Ocaca, Columbia in front of a crowd of onlookers – and TV cameras – in an attempt to be cured of his epilepsy. Once at the top of the statue, he prayed for a few moments, then started to climb back down.

Unfortunately, he hadn’t planned his descent route terribly well. To add to the problems, it had been raining, which made Jesus quite slippery.

As he tried to negotiate his way around Jesus’ outstretched arm, Acosta dangled for a moment, before losing his grip, falling, bouncing off the plinth and then falling some more.

On the plus side, he survived. Which is a miracle of sorts.

He was taken to hospital, where he was diagnosed with multiple fractures to his wrist, hip and skull.

This is not the first time Acosta has climbed up the Cristo Ray statue – he did the same thing two years ago. On that occasion, he wasn’t cured of his epilepsy, but he didn’t fall 45 feet either, making the venture a sort of 0 – 0 win.

Woman fatally bitten by snake during church
AP, via CNews, USA

LONDON, Kentucky (AP) - A woman died after being bitten by a snake during a serpent-handling service at church, police said.

Linda Long, 48, of London, Ky, died Sunday at University of Kentucky Medical Center, said Brad Mitchell, a detective with the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday. Long died about four hours after the bite was reported, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

Officials said Long attended East London Holiness Church. Neighbours of the church told the newspaper the church practices serpent handling.

Snake handling is based on a passage in the Bible from the Gospel of Mark that says a sign of a true believer is the power to “take up serpents” without being harmed.

Handling reptiles as part of religious services is illegal in Kentucky. Snake handling is a misdemeanour and punishable by a US$50 to $100 fine. Police said they had not received reports about snake handling at the church.

Church officials could not be reached for comment.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My Kids

Thank you God

Wednesdays Word of Encouragement; A post that cuts to the heart.

I dont know why I like Tim Challies so much...yes I do. He has great insight.

His post two days ago was like a dagger to my heart. Not only did he remind me of my depravity, he pointed to the fact that I am continually depraved with out His grace. It is amazing how quick I tend to forget this.

We need to thank God every day, if not every moment, that without Him, we would not even experience the common grace that all men experience much less His saving grace. It is strange how we sometimes think that the common grace that He gives is a result of the work of our own hands. When things are going good for us we tend to become our own gods and not need Him.

I know that I, like Brother Haggard, experienced an incredibly embarassing situation that not only humiliated myself but my wife as well. Though I did not engage in any drug or homosexual activity I was addicted to pornography. I prayed prior to the "exposure" of this sin, asking God to bring a change at any cost. Which He answered. I prayed this prayer as a result of reading a letter written by a member of Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth which I will post next Wednesday.

Through this letter God has sovereignly orchastrated a beautiful chorus in my life as a result of my depravity being exposed and dealt with. His loving hand was very evident during this time of being disciplined and has been guiding me throughout the last 6 and a half years since this prayer.

Thank you God.

My heart sings in delight knowing that He disciplines those whom He loves. I pray that Brother Haggards discipline will not be easy. I pray that God uses this, and I know that He will, to bring glory and honor to Himself. May our holy God and Creator continue to love His children by directing us away from our depravity through discipline and towards His holiness.

Thank God for His loving hand of discipline. May it guide us to Him when we sink into our depravity.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Mission Mondays

THREE realms where our spiritual growth will be hampered if we choose to be worldly Christians by Peter Wagner.

You can reject missions if you are a Christian. But the consequences are clear:

You will find yourself sitting on the bench while you could be in there playing the game...missions are on the cutting edge of excitement in in the Christian life. Being left out means a dull existence as a child of God. It is less than God's best for you.

You will lose authenticity as a Christian. You say that Jesus is your Lord, but yet you will be failing to obey Him at a crucial point. Another word for that is hypocricy.

You will be poorly prepared for that judgement day when what we have done here on earth will be tested by fire and only the gold, silver, and precious stones will survive (1 Corinthians 3:12-15)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Gods Goal XIII

New Testament

Moving from the Old Testament to the New Testament, we move from an age of promise to an age of fulfillment. The hoped-for Messiah had come, Jesus Christ. But God's supreme goal did not change, only some of the circumstances in how he is achieving it.

Jesus' Life and Ministry

Two texts from the Gospel of John show that Jesus' life and ministry were devoted to glorifying his Father in heaven. In John 17:4 Jesus prayed at the end of his life, "I glorified thee on earth, having accomplished the work which thou gavest me to do." And in John 7: 18, referring to his own ministry, Jesus said, "He who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but he who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood." Therefore, we can say with certainty that Jesus' all-consuming desire and deepest purpose on earth was to glorify his Father in heaven by doing his Father's will (John 4:34).

Friday, November 03, 2006

Phun Phridays

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Wednesdays Word of Encouragement

It?s Not About You!

2 Corinthians 12:2-10; Philippians 2:14-15

I need to underscore a foundational fact: God's goal is not to make sure you're happy. No matter how hard it is for you to believe this, it's time to do so. Life is not about your being comfortable and happy and successful and pain free. It's about becoming the man or woman God has called you to be. Unfortunately, we will rarely hear that message proclaimed today. All the more reason for me to say it again: Life is not about you! It's about God.

How can I say that with assurance? Because of Paul's response in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10:

Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

That's it! He got it, too. And he went with it for the rest of his days.

When you and I boast of our strengths, we get the credit, and we keep going under our own head of steam. But when we boast in what He is doing in the midst of our brokenness, inability, and inadequacy, Christ comes to the front. His strength comes to our rescue. He is honored.

Don't miss the point. The very things we dread and run from in our lives are precisely what brought contentment to Paul. Look at Paul's list: I am content when I lose. I am content when I am weak. I am content with insults. I am content when I am slandered. I am content in distresses. I am content with persecutions. I am content with difficulties and pressures that are so tight I can hardly turn around. Why? ?Because when I am weak, then I am strong? (2 Corinthians 12:10). Knowing that brought the apostle, ablaze with the flaming oracles of heaven, to his knees. What a way to live your life - content in everything - knowing that divine strength comes when human weakness is evident.

Paul recommends an attitude of unselfish humility. Quite remarkably, you never read where Paul said this to his Roman guard, while he was in prison: ?I need you to do me a favor. Next time you happen to be near one of the Emperor's assistants, urge him to get me out of this dump. I shouldn't be here in the first place. I've been here for one year, seven months, four days, five hours, and nine minutes, and that's long enough.? Paul's attitude of unselfish humility prevented him from keeping meticulous records of the wrongs done to him in Rome, or anywhere else for that matter. He was in prison by divine appointment. He willingly submitted to his situation.

Christ modeled the great emptying-out principle that permeated Paul's remarkable life. If we want to learn contentment, developing an attitude of unselfish humility is the perfect place to begin. Start with your family or neighbors. Model it before your employees or clients. You won't believe the impact that sort of selfless mental attitude will have on the people. You won't have to raise flags or pass out tracts. Just demonstrate an attitude of unselfish humility. The results will amaze you.

Paul exhorts believers to have an attitude of joyful acceptance. Paul minced no words about how believers should relate to one another. ?Do all things without grumbling or disputing; that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world? (Philippians 2:14-15). He sought an attitude of joyful acceptance, free of petty disputes and bickering. He pled for authentic joy. Nothing is more contagious!

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives: Profiles in Character from Charles R. Swindoll (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005), 313, 337.