Pastor's Blog
Hell Bound Heroes PDF Print

 

As my wife and I were enjoying a pleasant meal out a few nights ago we couldn’t help but over hear a young boy who belonged to one table conversing with a couple at another table – believe me we tried – but some folks just won’t allow that to happen.  It became clear that this youngster of about eight was a sports nut.  That’s what kept him so near, as our table was beneath the TV, and you guessed it, a ball game was on.  The couple he was conversing with refused to leave well enough alone and soon the conversation turned to the vile subject of NASCAR, and this boy knew every driver!  But one of the drivers – and for the life of me I can’t remember which one – was the little darling’s favorite.  He called him his hero.

 

Now you know, contrary to what Jeff Foxworthy may say, this little crimsoned-neck sweetheart wasn’t born with a racing form in his hand.  He had to be carefully trained in finding enjoyment in a bunch of decaled cars always turning left.  It’s really rather amazing what we can learn to long for, pursue after and eventually become consumed by, isn’t it?

 

Be careful how you live.  Someone’s always watching.  I’m guilty . . . guilty of expressing a little too much passion about the trivial (thankfully not NASCAR, but things equally as distracting).  At the same time I wonder, do I express the same or greater enthusiasm about spiritual matters?  I pray so!  Why does it seem that the weightier lessons in life are often much harder to take hold while the distractions in life appear to so quickly wrap us up like a wild vine?  I guess it has much to do with the “god of this world” knowing our fleshly nature as well as he does.  Creating a culture of distraction is easy for those consumed with self.

 

Be careful how you live, for little boys and little girls – any of us for that matter –  are so easily introduced to hell bound heroes.

 

Teach me Your way, O Lord!

– Dale

 

 
PREPARATION FOR EASTER 2011 PDF Print

We’re almost halfway through our designated forty-day journey toward Easter.  How is your preparation coming?  What have you added in your walk with your Savior to assist you in focusing on His sacrificial death for you?  Christ conquered the grave not because He was bored and needed a challenge.  He subjected Himself to this horrifying and very cruel death so that mankind might have a way to life.  That’s powerful!  Without Him we are without Him – meaning helplessly and hopelessly lost.  Something worth focusing on, don’t you think?

 

If you haven’t begun as of yet, no worries, start now.  Try this: add something to your life that’s just between you and your Lord.  Add something relational, something deeply personal.  For instance, “time.”  Maybe spend more time seeking a deeper love relationship with Jesus.  Quality time can enhance any relationship and there’s none more important than with our Savior.  This can be accomplished through prayer and prayerful listening to what the Spirit is seeking to communicate to you.  Meditate upon the meaning of scriptural passages as you read them and seek to understand their meaning in your present situation.

 

The point is to make the attempt.  If Jesus was willing to go through all that He did in order to provide a “way” and a “place” for us.  It stands to reason that He desires a meaningful relationship with us.

 

Teach me your way O Lord!

– Dale

 
Groupies PDF Print

We’re off to a good start!  A number of small groups are now in full-stride.  I would like to personally thank those who are involved in leading and promoting these efforts.

 

Several thoughts:

 

*Don’t forget to invite new participants.  I know this is difficult for the groups going through specific studies such as “The Five Love Languages” and “Experiencing God.”  But remember there are strategic times that would be perfect to add to your group, such as the last week of your existing study.  Or perhaps it would help when finished with the present course to give yourself several weeks of general Bible study allowing time to invite new folks into your group before you begin your new topic or book.

 

*Also, make every effort to bring these new folks into the fellowship here at Comite.  We desire to strengthen our Church through this new outreach.  Please make this a priority.

 

*Most important, never forget to share Christ in your small groups!  This is vital and if you need any assistance in this area the staff would love to help!

 

*Also, leaders, please share all prayer requests with the Church staff so that we might pray in concert with your group.  We would also like to pass these requests along to our new prayer group (they meet every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month in the Prayer Room at 4 p.m.)  The requests can be emailed to the Church Office on a weekly basis.

 

*Remember, our desire is to keep these groups fresh and growing – so think, spin-off!  How can your group create and assist in growing a new group?

 

*Last, but by no means least, pray!  Pray for God to show us where He is working so that we may join Him.  Your group or any and all of the groups may become the very catalyst for revival here at Comite.

 

I’m excited about the potential of our Small Groups and am praying for new ones to begin all the time.  God can do great things through this endeavor if we believe and follow His Spirit’s leading!

 

– Dale

 
Lent? PDF Print

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

 

 
PLEASANT OPPOSITION PDF Print

 

 

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

 

 

 

 
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