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Showing posts from 2007

When Light Bearers Get Weary

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A recent post by a pastor on an internet f orum to which I belong struck me directly in the heart. There are certain occupatio nal hazards involve d with all professions but there are none that can rival that of being involved in a ctive mini stry. The man who is really involved in ministry will find himself havin g to see both sides of people. He will see the g enuine and authentic and at the same time will se e the shams and charlatans. A t times trying to factor in t he kaleidosc ope of feelings can create much heaviness of heart. Period ically, the y wh o bear the ligh t find the light sometimes gets a little heavy. Those in ministry too often find their steps are more stumbling and heavy than they are purposed and planned. There are some very distinct reasons for that. I believe that first and foremost is the unrelenting spiritual battle that is being fought out in p laces that we cannot see. Sometime s I think I could fight better if I could see w

Please Know This. . .

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Please know that on this day that I prayed for you. I did not call out your name because I did not know who you were. . . . . But please know that I prayed for you. . . . .I prayed in this manner. . . . God, please touch those out there whose minds are being slowly captured by doubt. They are slowly being blinded to their need for God and they are slowly getting further and further from You. God, please help that pastor and his wife who are faithfully serving you and trying to bring the knowledge of the holy to those saints who are against them. I prayed that God would strengthen you amidst the withering criticism that has created dread in your heart for any place of ministry that you have to go to. I prayed that God would deliver you from the hands of carnal men who are so opposed to the extension of the Kingdom of God. God, please help those marriages that the fires have almost entirely flickered out. I prayed for those whose words toward their spouses have become spears that wound n

In Honor of "Joe"

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Occasionally, I go to the Out of Ur blog hosted by Christianity Today and read some of their thoughts and ideas. This morning I was prompted by another pastor to go and read through an article that asked “Are Pastors Competitive Enough?” The writer of the article Andy Rowell is quite forthright in his assessment of the fact that the secular and the spiritual do not mix. As I read through the article, several thoughts came to mind that might be helpful for those who are involved in ministry. Delving into the business world or sports world to get a model for ministry can be incredibly destructive and produce heavy loads of guilt. We are not making widgets, we are in the business of building the souls of men. The business of working with a man’s soul can be a wearisome, anxiety-producing, and frustrating experience. If we are working the ministry from a business angle then at some point, the “widget” in progress must be tossed aside as a defective product. Imagi

Puritan John Owens: Overcoming Sin and Temptation

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If you are regular reader of this blog and particularly of the book lists that I have suggested in the past, you have noted my occasional mention of the Puritans. The Puritan which has probably challenged me the most and directed my thoughts perhaps more than any other would be Thomas Watson. I have steadily purchased a number of his books in the last few years and have been profoundly impacted toward his writings about sin and his encouragement to pursue after holiness. Their writings on prayer are also quite unrivalled in our modern generation of books on prayer that has turned God into some sort of cosmic Santa Claus. Furthermore, if there are any leanings toward the writings of the Emerging Church ( ? Submerging Church) leaders, then you have two choices: A. Don’t read the Puritans, or B. Be prepared to have all of their “theology” quickly and rapidly sent to the “deep-six.” Certainly there are some disclaimers with reading the Puritans.

A Parable of Accountability

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I shall tell you a very powerful story about two boys. Willie and Freddy were buddies. In fact so close were Willie and Freddy that in their childhood they did almost everything together. They played Little League baseball together. They would go on family vacations together. They chased the girls together. They rode to school together. As they got older they both decided to do something to change their world. Both of these boys were quite bright intellectually and excelled academically. They entered high school with lofty aspirations. Suffice it to say that their high grades helped with their great aspirations. It would benefit them in the chosen paths that they chose to walk. Honor students they became and academic achievements seemed to fall at their feet. Medals, ribbons, and other honors came their way because of their brains and their focused discipline. The focus and determination they exhibited set them apart from a lot of their teenage peers

Book Recommendation -- Rebuilding God's Wall -- Nevin Bass

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For those who are going to General Conference in Tampa , Florida next week, I am offering to you a very good book to pick up at the Pentecostal Publishing House. Building God’s Wall by Nevin Bass is an excellent book. More importantly it has the capacity to become a mid-week Bible study series or even a Sunday School series. Pastor Bass works through the book of Nehemiah in an expository fashion and draws many insights from Scripture that are very helpful. This book covers many of the facets of the Christian life from prayer, unity, overcoming opposition, preparing for revival, and even extends to giving. In this book, one of the highlights was what Pastor Bass refers to as the ten gates of worship. With each of the ten gates (i.e. Sheep gate, Fish gate), there is a corresponding process (i.e. Sacrifice, Discipleship, etc.) that a pastor or Bible teacher could put down some stakes and camp out on for several weeks. When the process of rebuilding occurs, oppositio

A Ride With UPCI General Superintendent Kenneth Haney - Part 2

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Thanks to all who have come by and read and commented on Part 1 about riding with the UPCI General Superintendent Kenneth Haney. I trust that I have not added to anything Brother Haney might have said to us to give you an unfair representation of him. Furthermore please understand that what you are reading has to come through the reflections of my own thoughts and any misquotes or misrepresentation is not the fault of Brother Haney. I have two regrets (sort of) with Brother Haney being with us this past weekend. First, I put my mother through untold anxiety and worry by telling her that I was going to bring Brother Haney to her and my dad’s house to eat on Sunday after the service. The reason that I did so was because we have had numerous missionaries to come through our church (my father-in-law has been the district Foreign Missions director for 20+ years) and the large majority of them always say that they get very tired of “eating out” and would like some real home cook

A Ride With UPCI General Superintendent Kenneth Haney - Part 1

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This past weekend (August 18-19, 2007) the Apostolic Faith UPC celebrated its fortieth anniversary. We had a tremendous time of worship, fellowship, blessing, and many memories came flooding back to us from the past. The high watermark for our church was having the General Superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church International to preach on Saturday night and Sunday morning. On Saturday night, Brother Haney preached about “The Heelgrabber.” He started his message about Jacob grabbing the heel of Esau and having the tenacity and vision to get the birthright. He then went on to challenge our church to further pursue our mission of revival, growth, and progress. On Sunday morning, Brother Haney preached on “Spiritual Perception” and how important it was to see things from a spiritual sense and not miss the times that God was speaking directly to our lives through some of the circumstances and trials of life. In addition to Brother Haney preaching, I was able to sp