Posts Tagged ‘church’

  

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

On Aug. 8, a Starkville, MS, couple was arrested for conspiring and attempting to give material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – ISIL (now being called the Islamic State). Jaelyn Delshaun Young, 20 and Muhammad Oda Dakhlalla, 22, were charged with the crimes. When residents of Vicksburg, MS, found out, people were shocked. How could Young, a hometown girl, become a terrorist sympathizer? She was one of us!

All around us are people looking for something to live for. Even in the Bible Belt, some have grown weary of weak religion and are looking in other places. At the same time, Jesus is continuously reaching out to bring them home. But He needs real hands, real hearts, real Christ Life relationships, and real churches to bring them to. Are you that kind of person? Is your church that kind of place?

Be that person that creates life personally and in your house of worship! People are dying for something to live for. Lift Christ up honorably so He can draw them in Himself! You are loved today! (8/31/15)

  

“O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.” (Psalms‬ ‭63:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

Each year, through a unique combination of sun, wind, water, temperatures, and elevations, a miraculous transformation occurs: American deserts begin to bloom! From around March to June, beautiful plants and flowers begin to pop up and open, drawing crowds from around the nation. It’s a beautiful sight to see!

In one of his devotional insights, Greg Rowden has this thought:

“Do you find yourself easily angered, your patience is running thin, and perhaps your optimism has worn down? This happens when we don’t connect with the Lord on a regular basis. Especially during the summer and our schedules get hectic, taking time out to spend with God can be often overlooked.”

Summer fun can lead to a dried up spirit. If you neglect God for vacation, you’ll find your rest not quite as restful! Get with God and into His words today. Come to church if one is nearby! Life can create its own spiritual deserts, but you can choose to make it bloom! Be refreshed in God! You are loved today! 

  

“Suddenly…the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified…” (Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭9‬ NLT)

In 1984, Ray Stevens used comic storytelling to frame what occurs when a young adolescent boy catches a squirrel (while visiting his grandmother in Pascagoula, Mississippi), brings it into church, where several self-righteous members – all with sinful secrets to hide – are prominent members … and the squirrel breaks loose from a box the boy has kept it in. As the squirrel wreaks havoc, several members admit to their fellow congregation members their faults, and by song’s end they all make a vow to change! A squirrel-inspired revival! (Watch the video on YouTube! Hilarious!)

I grew up in church. I learned God’s word and worshipped with His people. But then one day, while visiting another church as a teenager, I experienced something different: His presence! I never knew such a thing existed! I saw and heard things that I didn’t understand, making it a little frightening. But just as quickly, I had a realization: If this is God, then it’s okay and is probably something to desire for. And so I did, and it has made all the difference in me. 

God doesn’t need a squirrel to draw you into His presence! What He looks for is a hungry heart. When He finds it, He reaches out with something real and tangible, which should be in every church. Come today and feel His presence for yourself! It will make all the difference! You are loved! 

  

“Promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching.” (Titus‬ ‭2‬:‭1‬ NLT)

In 2009, Tammie Lohman, 37, was incarcerated at the Washington Correctional Center for Women, doing a stint for robbery. Then her daughter, Nikki, 18, was sent up for identity fraud. While in prison, Nikki gave birth to a son, Logan. For a time, three generations of family resided under a single prison roof. Would this be a legacy? They are hoping not. 

We are all products of what we are taught and what we choose. Being taught good morals doesn’t necessarily translate into a right lifestyle, but the odds are greater that they will be. By being in a healthy, vibrant church and among encouraging people, we tend to become a more moral, healthy, blessed, and happy people. And although some people aren’t, you can virtually guarantee that you won’t be by not participating in a church. Absence of good will always lead to bad.

As you start your weekend, come to church and make sure to involve God in your life. A strong church family is necessary for godly growth and emotional support. Let your generations be found in better places because they are being taught and raised right! Have a great weekend! You are loved! 

  

Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.” (Revelation‬ ‭3‬:‭6‬ NLT)

As I sat on the couch, reading something or other, my toddler daughter was talking to me about things that were on her little mind. As a dutiful Dad, I’d nod and give her an obligatory nod or say something like “Oh really?” or “Isn’t that interesting?” She finally came up to me, pushed aside my reading material, gathered my face in her tiny hands while staring deep into my eyes and said with the exasperation of a four year old going on fourteen, “Daddy! Are you listening to me?!”

Everyday, God is reaching out to us. He desires to teach, train, or warn in order to grow us. But He competes with our schedules, desires, conflicting priorities, and any other little thing that we can invent to throw in the way. Pretty soon we lay flat on our backs, run over by Life, and wondering why God isn’t right there giving us aid and comfort! Our hearts would scream, “Why didn’t you say something, God?!” And His reply would have to be, “I did, but you weren’t listening to me…”

As you come to church today, consider that He has been trying to continuously communicate with you all week. He has even gone to the trouble of putting together an outstanding worship experience just for you! Don’t let your life drown out and cause you to miss the most beautiful opportunity in the world: To sit with your Father and know that He hears you and that you hear His loving voice too! You are loved today! Come experience it for yourself!



The work is great and extensive…Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” (Nehemiah‬ ‭4‬:‭19-20‬ NKJV)

Sergeant E.N. Boots served in the Union Army with the 101st Regiment of Newberry, NC, during the Civil War. The son of loving Methodist pastors, he wrote them from camp one day in 1863, having seen a thing hard for him to comprehend, the fighting of War on The Lord’s Day:

“Pray for me Mother dear…Last Sabbath no one could leave…Instead of being a day of rest, it was a day of excitement and unrest [plus] the sound of the death dealing cannon mingled with the sound of the church bell.”

Nehemiah saw this too. He understood that while we do the work of God to enrich and save lives, war rages around in everyday areas, sometimes spiritual but also very literal. Our fight isn’t against people, politics, or societal progression, but to save lives from extreme darkness and evil, that which seeks to take root in us and lead us away from the Hope only found in Christ. 

As you go about your day, listen for the sound of cannons and church bells. The call to rally to God rings amidst the clamorings of life. Hear it for yourself, then offer others the Hope that you find! You are loved today! 



Elijah replied, ‘I have zealously served the LORD God Almighty. But…I am the only one left…'” (1 Kings‬ ‭19‬:‭10‬ NLT)

Truganini was reportedly the last full-blooded Aboriginal Tasmanian. Her people, who had inhabited the island of Tasmania for years, were almost completely decimated by the Black War, a prolonged conflict between them and newly arrived European settlers, as well as the diseases brought by the settlers. After resorting to crime to get by, the remaining Tasmanians, around 200, were exiled to nearby Flinders Island, where they all eventually died out, with Truganini being the last. 

Elijah had been pretty busy, defeating Baal’s priests & praying in the drought-relieving rain. But now in a moment of discouragement, running from the wicked Jezebel, Elijah is alone and believes there are no other faithful believers. This is a place we wind up in too. But you are not alone! The importance of Church is so believers can know that they aren’t alone. You have siblings in the faith, those that would care deeply for you and help when in need. 

If you don’t have a home church, ask God to help you find one. None are perfect, but God will help you find a special group that will encourage you along your journey. You are loved and not alone! Find your place of fellowship!