Pastor's Blog
GENTLENESS PDF Print

Something to think about ...

When developing a disciplined practice, one of the most valuable gifts we can give ourselves is gentleness.  In everyday life we tend to associate discipline with rigidity, rules, and consequences for misbehavior.  Sometimes this kind of discipline is indeed necessary.  However, we tend to downplay the equally important role of gentleness in making changes.

Change requires a great deal of effort from anyone engaged in it –  even if the change is positive.  Change plunges a previously ordered system into temporary chaos, and chaos is stressful.  Gentleness takes into account our effort and stress; treating ourselves gently is a way of offering encouragement and appreciation for the work being done.

From a fellow traveler!

– Dale

 
BOUNDARIES PDF Print

Ok, here are the facts...

The New Orleans Saints lost last Sunday because you didn’t come to church enough last year.  While we’re being truthful, it’s the same reason that the LSU Tigers lost in overtime to a less talented Texas A&M team and had to play a podunk school like UCF in a bowl game.  Just think of the seasons they both would have had if you actually invited people to worship with you this last year?

Does any of this sound reasonable?

Of course not!

It’s “kiss the blarney-stone” malarkey!!!

We know in both cases it’s grown men playing a game against grown men with an oblong ball, and anything can happen... even bad calls!

I took the chance of incurring your wrath just to accentuate this important point.  Day-by-day we make unique choices in our lives that have a way of creating certain paths for us – then suddenly we wonder, “How did we get to this particular place?”

“Do not move an ancient landmark or enter the fields of the fatherless.”  Proverbs 23:10

Day-by-day, decision by decision we chip away at ancient standards – believing that they are obsolete.  Failing to realize that, when God plants a stone of remembrance (as He does with the Decalogue) He means for it to always be remembered.  No matter what the present day faithless culture may be preaching!

Grown people are busy leading anyone who will listen and follow as far away from the light as possible.  Please don’t assist them ... make the call when those within your sphere of influence begin to cross God’s ancient boundaries.

– Dale

 
REMAIN TRUE TO CHRIST PDF Print

In a recent sermon, Ravi Zacharias shared what Christianity is facing within our culture today. He stated that as believers “we face Scorn, we face Force, and we face Scheming.”  In the fleshing out of his ideas he shared multiple stories (as he normally does) but the essence of this message was a powerful and poignant warning of societal hostility toward Christians today in twenty-first century America and the world at large.

For example, we are readily and regularly mocked if we state belief and faith in The God of the Bible – the belief that there exists one central Creator of all the universe.  Objection is also pointed toward the idea of exclusivity.  Believing that Christianity is the only truth, and the only way to eternal life – all other paths are an absolute dead end. 

The mockery continues because of insistence that Christians are to walk by faith and not by sight.  This idea seems ludicrous to those outside the body.  Of course adherence to Scripture is also a target of the world’s venom today.  By trusting Scripture, we in fact reject much of the social agenda being pushed by progressives today – and this just won’t do!

Whether you’re aware or not, many cherished and necessary freedoms are being methodically eroded by judicial decisions that are encroaching upon our ability to speak the truth as presented by God through His word.  But concerning as this is, please understand that as American Christianity faces legal battles, today many Christians worldwide are fearing for their very lives.  To remain true to Christ without compromise in the midst of such hellish environments exposes those who have been securely blood-washed and worthy of so great a salvation!

May we proclaim – boldly – and unashamedly – our passion for the Lord of all creation and our Savior, Jesus The Christ!

“So everyone who acknowledges Me before men, I also will acknowledge before My Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies Me before men, I also will deny before My Father who is in heaven.”  Matthew 10:32-33 (ESV)

– Dale

 
TEMPTATION PDF Print

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”  Genesis 3:6 (ESV)

So when the woman saw...

Temptation often comes to us in the guise of expectation.  We see, we observe, we investigate – and all the while we build kingdoms in our minds.  The woman saw and became delighted – but not only by the fruit’s outward comeliness, but also for the beautiful possibilities that awaited... just by tasting.

Our neurosis is the conjured worlds, the possible paths, created by simply plucking the forbidden fruit (in whatever form it may take).  The expectation of temptation always appears as undiscovered treasure.

Temptation’s appearance creates a rush of possibilities that begs exploration.  This then is often followed by an inward negotiation – reasoning within oneself the possible benefits of acting upon the obsession.  In the woman’s case, she desired the byproduct of wisdom.

Is it possible for sin to create a deeper walk or understanding of God and His creation?  (The answer here in Genesis is... NO!)

The woman’s self-negotiation lead her so much further away from her desired goal than she could have dreamed.  The neurosis became a total psychosis – a complete break from God’s reality.

Our expectations, when centered on self and sin, become destructive.  But (and this is the gospel) when centered on God... His will, His way, His Savior... then they reflect a much deeper reality than we ever knew existed.

Look!  Reach out and pluck the fruit of obedience.  Just imagine where it might lead!

– Dale

 
RESOLVED PDF Print

I am RESOLVED!

What thoughts does that phrase conjure up within your mind and heart?

As you’re well aware, resolve means to declare, to make a firm unmovable decision.  It’s like saying, “I have decided and nothing can derail me.”  They are words that become chiseled in stone... stamped in steel... meant to be acted upon... made to last!  When one resolves to do something, or to become something, then that promise to oneself becomes a foundational statement that helps define that person!

Who are you?

Are you one who has resolved to love God above all else?

Are you now determined to live according to His word, His will, His way?

In that moment of belief when God the Holy Spirit enters, He ushers in with Himself an insatiable desire for holiness... that when pursed, gives the new believer a continuous voracious appetite for more – more of Him!

As you travel through this new year, may you first know yourself... then, resolve to dig deeper, to press in harder, becoming more “in Christ” than you ever imagined possible.

I pray that each of us experience a growth spurt in this coming year!

Happy New Year!!!

– Dale

 
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