Monday, May 20, 2013

Peace Like A River

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, and peace. Joy is contentment with life and our circumstances. Not happiness as we think about it. Well, peace is a similar fruit in that way. I want to let you in on a little secret about peace. Peace is not the absence of problems. Peace is the presence of Jesus in the midst of your problems. You see, you cannot always rejoice in your losses, but you can always rejoice in the Lord.

Paul told us that we should “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6 (NKJV) What is the opposite of not being anxious? Not worrying. The English word worry comes from the German “wurgën” which literally means to strangle. Worry strangles out our love and joy, and robs us of our peace.

I heard about a man who was a worrier. He worried so much and about so much, he caused people around him to worry. One day he came home from work and he was happy as a lark, his disposition had totally changed. His wife said, “What’s gotten into you? You’re not worried about anything?” He said, “No. Not at all.” She asked him what had changed sense he left for work. He said he had hired a professional worrier to worry for him. Naturally, this worried the wife. She said, “How much is that costing us?” He nonchalantly told her, “$1,000 a day.” She almost passed out! “How are we going to afford that bill!?” she screamed. To which he replied, “I’ll let him worry about that.”

Let me tell you what worry does, spiritually speaking. Worry makes us practical atheists. We may say we trust God, but when we worry, we’re telling God we don’t think much of Him or His abilities. We also tell God we think He is a liar. That He does not keep His word. Like Romans 8:28 or 1 Peter 5:7 where we’re told He works things together for good, and that we are to cast all of our cares upon Him.

So to have peace, we need joy—contentment in our circumstances. And to have joy we must have love—a commitment we make to ourselves and others. Then we may have true, Biblical peace. As Corrie Ten Boone once said: "When I look at the world, I get distressed. When I look at myself, I get depressed. But when I look at Jesus, I am at rest."

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mother's Day 2013


Ms Thelma, my other Momma, received the award for Oldest Mother. Congratulations on her 81 birthdays. Quite an accomplishment in and of itself.

Preachers Wives

Great post from a friend and pastor's wife.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I've Got The Joy

So the fruit of the Spirit is Love, then Joy. So I’m pondering on the aspects of joy for the Believer. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that joy, for the Believer, is to be separated from happiness. It’s not that we shouldn’t have happiness. We should. It’s that our joy should be present regardless of our feelings. In-other-words; you cannot be happy without being joyful. But you can be joyful without being happy. Happiness is external. Joy is internal. Happiness depends on outward circumstances. Joy depends on inward character. Happiness depends upon what happens to you. Joy depends upon Who lives within you. Happiness is based on chance, while joy is based on choice.

Think of happiness as laughter and joy as peace or contentment. Laughter is good for you, and laughter is healthy. Solomon said: "a merry heart does good like a medicine." (Prov. 17:22) The usual reason for laughter is because something makes us happy. But we don't always laugh because we are not always happy.

But there is a contentment, a gladness of heart, that goes above and beyond happiness—joy. Biblical joy is peace. Consider what James said, “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you fall into various trials. (James 1:2 NKJV). How can we be happy when we go through a trial? We can’t. But we can be content, knowing that, “All thinks work together for good, to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purposes.” (Romans 8:28)

So laughter is good. So how about a joke? A rabbi and priest and a lawyer walk into a bar...OK, maybe not. On a serious note, Vance Havner once said: "The men of the world are not laughing at Christians who 'get happy' over being saved, half so much as they are disgusted with Christians who are showing no evidence of a dynamic transforming experience that makes us love what once we hated, and hate what once we loved."

David put it this way, “But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name be joyful in You.” Psalm 5:11

Laughter is good, but joy is better. Joy resonates in the life of the Believer who has found that God is all they need, because God is all there is. Billy Sunday said, “If you have no joy in your religion, there is a leak in your Christianity.” Jesus said in John.15:11, "these things I have spoken to you, that my joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full."

What does it all mean? I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart...down in my heart to stay. As many church signs have quipped, No Jesus—No Peace. Know Jesus---Know Peace.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

First Fruits: LOVE

So I have been reading and studying about love this week in preparation for this series of messages. The first fruit is love, and that makes sense. It is the gateway to the other fruits. (You really can’t have peace, joy longsuffering, etc. with out love.) What I am finding is that the Bible sees love differently than the way we see love. We tend to see love as a feeling. God sees love as a commitment. We see love as an emotion. God sees love as a responsibility. We see love as a matter of the heart, and God sees love as a matter of the will.

I can’t help but think about (and show my age) The Partridge Family crooning “I Think I Love You.” If you “think” you love me, you don’t love me very much! However, our Western Culture has taught us that love is an emotion, a feeling. And a fifty percent divorce rate to go along with that. I don’t advocate arranged marriages, but communities that have them have a much lower divorce rate that we do. I heard about a woman from India who defended arranged marriages by saying, “We don’t get to choose our parents or our siblings, but we grow to love them. The same is true with our husbands--we grow to love them.” As I said, love is a commitment, not an emotion.

It is a commitment God makes to us and asks us to make to others. It is why Jesus said that the Greatest commandment was to “Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.” Matthew 22:37 (The Message) Then love others as we love ourselves. Jesus says there is a hierarchy of Love. God first. Others second. Ourselves last. What would happen if we all lived that example. I should think divorce rates would plummet. Infidelity would disappear. As would child abuse, rape, jealousy, envy, disrespect, and strife. Wars? Murders?

Overall, though we must get it straight and love ourselves and others and God the way God loves us. With a commitment and a dedication. How do we start? By loving ourselves enough to trust in God and His love for us. So start by loving yourself enough to ask God for His love to dominate your existence. Quit sitting on the premises and start standing on the promises! And remember, God loves you and wants the best for you.

Still feeling a little out-of-favor these days? A little unworthy? Then remember this---
God does not love you because you are valuable. You are valuable because God loves you.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Fruits Of The Spirit

I’ve been planning a series of messages coming up that will focus on the Fruits of the Spirit; you know love, joy, peace, Longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, Gentleness, and self -control. We are often (Believers) represented as trees in the Scriptures. For instance, in Psalm 1 we are like a tree planted by the waters.

There is such an interest in the Gifts of the Spirit these days. We all have at least one gift, no doubt about it. And in all honesty, most have more than one. But no one has them all. However, we are all called to have all of the fruits. It makes more sense to me to focus on the fruits, then, instead of the gifts.

It’s like a story I heard about a boy that used to climb down a tree near his bedroom window in order to escape punishment. One night he over heard his father tell his mother that he was going to cut down the tree, because it had stopped producing fruit. The panicked boy spent all night with a bushel of apples and a tube of superglue, and the next morning the tree was full of apples. He then listen for his father to come in with the morning paper and ran downstairs to the breakfast table to see if his plan had worked. Sure enough, the father said, “I can’t believe it, that old tree is full of apples.” Then, looking right at his son, he exclaimed, “It’s a miracle!” Getting nervous, the boy said, “Why do you say that dad?” His father smiled and answered, “Because it’s a pear tree.”

The one thing about a is known by its fruit. A peach tree doesn’t grow cherries and a pear tree doesn’t grow apples. Fruit reflects the character of the Tree that produces it. Umm...and a Believer’s character is reflected by the fruit he produces. Makes some sense, uh? Are we producing love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self -control?

So focus on these nine “fruits.” Are they present in your life? Do you bear them all? Do you love, have joy, and are you at peace? Are you longsuffering? Are you kind, good, and faithful? Do you exhibit gentleness, and self -control? Let the Holy Spirit fertilize your life and till the fallow ground of your heart so you will bear much of these fruits.

Food for thought.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013



                                                          DOCTOR OF MINISTRY
                                                          Program GPA: 4.00

Course No.                              Course Title                                                                 Grade 

DMPC 927      BIBLICAL COUNSELING AND THE LAW                                    A
DMBC 811     ADVANCED BIBLICAL EXPOSITION                                            A
DMPC 827      ADVANCED BIBLICAL COUNSELING                                         A
 DMPC 929      THE SKILLED COUNSELOR                                                          A        

TH 535            APOLOGETICS                                                                                A        
CO 620           BIBLICAL COUNSELING IN MARRIAGE AND FAMILY            A        
EV 710            PRINCIPLES OF CHURCH GROWTH                                           A        
BE 523            CHRISTIAN RHETORIC                                                                 A        
TH 561            VALUES AND ETHICS                                                                   A        

May Day

Today is Wednesday, May 1st.

Know what that means?

16 weeks till kick-off!

How 'bout them Dawgs!?!?!?!?!?!