One of those days

Yesterday I had one of those days. For some reason my mind was not focused; running in different directions. I felt like a little kid with an attention span of a…

[look, squirrel]

…you get my point right?

I did feel focused during the sermon [praise be to God] but everything else was just plain flat.

[look, another squirrel]

Yup, that was pretty much it.

When we, mercifully, got to the benediction my mind wandered again. I walked out from behind the altar, raised my hands to give the benediction I have been giving for over 14 years. I opened my mouth…and nothing. I proceeded to fumble for words for a moment and eventually spit out something that resembled a benediction; trying my best to make it sound that I changed it up on purpose. I think I failed on that as well. Thankfully, no one said anything, but now, if they are reading this, my secret is out.

This morning did not go much better. I dropped my kids off at their “Animal Camp” hosted by their preschool. On my way to work I was talking to my wife, saying “Miss Kristen and the lady who drives the big truck, are leading this week“. My wife laughed at me because I could not remember the name of the other teacher.

[Brenda is her name. I eventually did remember that.]

The only saving grace this morning is that my 9:30 appointment with some perspective new members called to reschedule due to illness. I hate to say this but that is probably a good thing. I probably would have sent them running to another church.

God, I need a brain reboot this morning.

[LOOK, SQUIRREL!]

Yup, definitely a reboot.

The Pastor -|—

Concerned

I am concerned.

I am concerned that people would rather draw battle lines
rather than come together.
I am concerned that people would rather fire shots across the bow
rather than lay down arms.
I am concerned that people would rather strive for the last word
rather than listen to words.
I am concerned that people would rather craft hated-filled words for others
rather than truly listen and consider the impact of their own words.
I am concerned that people would rather hide behind social media posts
rather than honestly listen and talk with one another.
I am concerned that people would rather create sides/parties
rather than strive for unity.

I am concerned.

I am concerned that people aren’t running to God.
I am concerned that people aren’t dropping to their knees in prayer.
I am concerned that the blame-game doesn’t included one’s own actions.
I am concerned that it is always someone else’s fault.
I am concerned that this country is in a win-lose internal battle.
I am concerned that this nation is turning to other gods for help.

I am concerned.

But I am also hopeful,
because Jesus reigns and always will,
God is still God,
and the Holy Spirit is still active;
and therefore I will pray for this country.
I will pray for it’s leaders,
I will pray for it’s citizens,
I will pray for it’s success,
that God may be glorified.

Be concerned, but be hopeful.
God has already won.

The Pastor -|—

In Your Kingdom

Holy God,

In this world,we are divided into political parties;
but in Your kingdom, we are one family.

In this world, we fight for political supremacy;
but in Your kingdom, You sit on the throne.

In this world, discourse is often hate-filled and divisive;
but in Your kingdom, we shout, “Holy, Holy, Holy“.

In this world, pride drives our lives;
but in Your kingdom, we are humbled under Your mighty hand.

It is no wonder, oh God, that this country is going from bad to worse.
More than ever, we need Your intervention,
and therefore I ask for wisdom and discernment for our elected leaders.
May they come together for a common cause.
May their discourse serve to unite people.
May they govern rightly.

In this world, leaders come and go;
but in Your kingdom, You reign forever and ever.

To YOU be the glory,
oh God,
always and forever,

Amen!

The Pastor -|—

I’ve Had Enough

It is time for me to resurrect this blog.

I have let it slip into a very deep hibernation but it’s time for it to come back to life. Why, you may ask. Well, I’ve had enough.

I’ve had enough of the whining.

I’ve had enough of the whining about how bad our politicians are. I don’t care if your Democrat or Republican or some other party I haven’t heard of before. I’m just tired of the mean-spirited internet memes. I’m tired of the “news” articles about how bad this person is or how terrible this person’s policies are compared to this person. I’m tired of the celebrities getting on their high horse as if they are claiming some moral authority.

Whining, whining, whining.

What ever happened to praying?

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. [1 Timothy 2:1-2]

I have published passive aggressive posts on social media calling out the whining and calling people to prayer. Well, I can hardly do that if I don’t lead by example. So I am going to do that here. I am going to compile a list of local, state and national leaders and pray for them; some of which I will post here. The prayers won’t be political in nature. I am simply going to pray for our leaders that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

Enough is enough. Many of you are praying and to that I say AMEN and TO GOD BE THE GLORY. Everyone else, get on your knees. If you want a better country, it’s not going to happen because of an election. It will happen when the people turn back to God.

And so, let us pray…

The (Feisty) Pastor -|—

Abide and Know

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
[John 15:7 ESV]

This isn’t a magical formula. This isn’t prosperity gospel, name it and claimed crap. This isn’t a secret way to get what YOU want.

NO

This is about abiding in Jesus, so much so, that your desires are what God desires. When Jesus says, “ask whatever you wish” he means that when you abide in him, you will ask for whatever glorifies God. What you wish is what God wants.

Prosperity preachers like to twist and misuse this text to mislead you into thinking that life is all about you. If you pray rightly or think rightly or speak rightly or even give rightly then you can have what YOU want; your best life now. Can you see how that verse can be misused? All I can do is roll my eyes at those preachers and pray that they may see the TRUE light.

Abiding in Jesus is intimate fellowship with him; learning God’s will. No magical formula. Just Jesus.

Abide with HIM and know HIM. Then and only then will you have your heart’s desire.

The Pastor -|—

Soaking In

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
[Romans 3:23-24]

Did you notice that above verse? Please don’t tell me you skipped it just to get to the “good stuff”. Read the verse. Now, read it again and this time include yourself in the word “all“. Now, read the verse again, keeping yourself in the word “all” and now, soak in the words “are justified by his grace as a gift“. Are you feeling silly for skipping that verse the first time?

My point is that YOU are a sinner, but through the grace of God in Jesus Christ, you are justified; made right in God’s eyes, as a GIFT.

GIFT!

GRACE!

No strings attached
No fine print
No bait and switch

Through faith in Jesus (which is a gift) you are justified by his grace.

Wow, I mean, WOW!

Soak that in.

A sinner saved by God.

Justified.

Wow!

The Pastor -|—

God’s House Forever

I “stumbled” upon this verse today from Psalm 84…

For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. [Psalm 84:10]

Now, consider the closing verse of the beloved Psalm 23…

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. [Psalm 23:6]

Do you see it? One day in the courts of God would far exceed a 1000 years elsewhere. I agree with that. I am right there with the psalmist. But now consider this, through faith in Jesus Christ, we get more than one day in God’s courts. Actually, we get to dwell in God’s HOUSE…FOREVER. Did you just get goose bumps? Yup me too 🙂

All praise be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Pastor -|—