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Lent? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pastor   
Wednesday, March 16 2011 14:18

How do you practice your faith?  For many Baptists this might sound like a strange question.  Given thought, one might answer: prayer, Bible study, worship.  All of these are good answers.  Consider though, the possibility of other ways that our God the Holy Spirit might deepen our walk with Him.  One such possibility, I believe, is found in observing Lent.  Although the concept is somewhat foreign to most Baptists, it’s well worth your investigation and possible participation.

 

When I think of Lent, I think of withdrawing with Jesus.  As Jesus withdrew into the wilderness for forty days of fasting and preparation, we too (at least during these forty days) withdraw from the world to a greater degree in order to possibly hear more clearly the voice of our Lord.

 

We may choose to look at this time as a period of sacrifice in our lives – one in which we give over something dear to us expressing to our greater Love that nothing is more precious to us than Him.  Or we could possibly see this time as an opportunity for intensifying our pursuit of God’s will in our lives by increasing our prayers and meditation.

 

However you may choose to – or not to – observe this time is between you and your loving Lord.  But you will do well to remember that this time frame is designed specifically to point us toward the sacrifice of Christ for our redemption which culminates in the celebrating of His victory over our death.  So maybe, just a thought . . . maybe, it’s worth the effort?

 

– Dale

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, March 16 2011 14:39
 
PLEASANT OPPOSITION PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pastor   
Monday, February 28 2011 16:07

 

 

The gospel writer Luke tells us in his witness of Jesus that there came a time when Jesus was “fiercely opposed.”  The opposition came from the most religious among the people, the teachers of the law and Pharisees.  They opposed him because they had much to lose.  Their very existence depended upon strict adherence to not only the written law but also all the oral rituals as well.  Jesus seemed unimpressed with their station and expertise.  So naturally, they hated him.  Privately, I’m sure this hatred was displayed openly with people of like mind.  But publicly their distaste for Jesus and his message took the form of tests and challenges.  This indeed was their way, but Jesus knew there was much more than academic debate contained within their questions.  He understood the motives behind the masks.

 

Have you ever stopped to consider the possibility that you are being fiercely opposed in your commitment to follow Jesus?  The opposition may be overt, expressing itself completely in the open.  But more likely it's subtle and has been growing right along with your faith for sometime.  The vines of “greed” (although we don’t really use that term) and “pleasures” are just two among many that control the way we grow.  We can only commit so much to God because most of it’s already been spoken for.  The questions the sages of our era ask are not, “which is the greatest commandment,” or “who is my neighbor” but different altogether.  Questions asked by clever adds that whisper, “Don't you deserve this?”  “Wouldn't you like to go here and experience this?”  Or one of the most insidious of all, “You’re not a good parent if you don’t give your child this opportunity!”  Whatever “this” is!

 

We need not be opposed by gruff, stiff-necked, God-hating atheists.  No, not when we’ve been carefully planted in the fertile beds of discontent and pleasure-seeking-after all we deserve it, right?

 

How is your commitment to Jesus being opposed?  Ask Him, you may be shocked by the answers!

 

–Dale

 

 

 

Last Updated on Monday, February 28 2011 16:13
 
GOD SO LOVED PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pastor   
Sunday, February 13 2011 09:23

“For God so loved the world that He gave . . .”  God’s amazing love is expressed in His generosity.  Giving us Himself so that we might have life . . . and then giving us His task – which is sharing the knowledge of Him and His great love with the world.  Paul writes, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?  And how can they believe in the one whom they have not heard?  And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  And how can they preach unless they are sent?  As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’”

We mirror God’s great love to the world and express love for our fellow man by sharing the faith we have in Christ Jesus.  Breathing in the Word and then living it out in view of the world causes our witness to contain power – to have a believability about it!  This allows us to be heard, because our words are seen to carry weight.  The realness of these words are only felt in as much as we believe them ourselves.  Only love felt can be properly expressed.

For our God so loved this world that He first gave us His Son and then He gave us filled with His Son!  So in reality, you and I are God’s expression to the world of His great love.  That’s cause for pause!

Live out your faith!

– Dale

 
WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS A FAILURE TO SURRENDER PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pastor   
Tuesday, February 22 2011 09:24

Confounding our efforts in drawing folks to Jesus is quite frankly, ourselves.  Ouch! It’s true more than we would care to admit.  Our flesh, our rights, our own ideas about how things should be are much of the time a Christian repellent.  People wonder: what difference does it make to be a follower of Jesus?  To be honest, in the midst of church turmoil this thought crosses my mind occasionally.  What difference should it make? 

I have never met a Christian who didn’t judge; yet Jesus tells His followers, “Judge not.”  We usually have a tendency to hate someone, somewhere and more often than naught it’s someone we know.  Yet Scripture teaches that our love is to be superhuman, to the point that we are to love even our enemies. 

These and other instructions would be impressive if accomplished, right?  One pastor says he daily prays the prayer, “Lord, let me not make it harder for someone to know you today.”  That’s a good prayer!  Help me not to get in the way today.

Reliance is the key.  Jesus knew we were spiritual klutzes, so He gives us assistance.  To tap into that enormous power though, we must be willing to surrender.  That, my friend, is where the loop begins anew.  If you have trouble getting out of the way, it probably stems from a failure to surrender! 

Sometimes, giving up is actually winning.

– Dale

 
AN UNNATURAL SOUND PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pastor   
Sunday, February 06 2011 09:22

The Bible is full of unnatural decisions.  An “unnatural decision” is one made against the grain – against what we would describe as “common sense.”  The pages of the Bible introduce us to a group of people I like to call “jumpers” (folks who swim against the current).  These are those who have a habit of making strange and unnatural decisions.  Why?  Because “God’s Word” is filled with those who hear and respond to an unnatural voice.  Now I will agree with you in your argument that these so called “jumpers” are actually listening to the right voice, the natural voice – God’s voice.  But in reality it’s the world’s voice that becomes the natural voice because it’s natural for us to hear its sounds both early and often in our lives.  We get a steady dose of what seemingly makes sense and before long it just comes natural.  The more familiar, the harder it becomes to listen to something different.  Therefore, the world around us (translated, other people) think it strange, bizarre, even whacked, if we listen to an alternative voice.  But I want you to know that this new way of hearing is the only path that leads to true life, full life!

Consider if you will, in your life, learning to hear something new.  Listening and responding to a sound that in the beginning may seem strange and unnatural; but in the end you’ll wonder how you ever did without it’s guidance.  Now understand that the complexities of truly hearing and following this new voice faithfully, takes a lifetime of devout practice and discipline.  But the journey’s a joy and you need to start somewhere and sometime.  So why not here and now? 

May I suggest that you begin by accepting.  Accepting that you’re not remotely in tune with all that you need to be.  Accepting that there actually is a God who desires to be heard and who has much to say.  Also, if I may, a friendly reminder: please remember that you’ll never arrive.  There is no destination where you can just kick your feet up and say I’ve made it (not on this side of glory anyway).  We’re always searching, ever discovering fresh nuances of God’s voice – which leads us deeper and deeper along this unnatural path! . . . Few there will be that will find it.  Or hear it, for that matter!

– Dale

 
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Newsflash

You are invited to join us for Sunday Morning Bible Study at 9:30 a.m.  We offer classes for all ages.  There is something for everyone!

 

CHECK THIS OUT:

 

Adult Wednesday

Bible Study


WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW

CAN HURT YOU!


6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Come join us Wednesday evenings as we look at this truth by discovering: “What Every Christian Ought to Know.”   We will worship, pray and study from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in our old chapel.  Bring a friend!   (There are youth and children’s activities also.)

 

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