December 31, 2017, 7:01 PM

Be a "Even If"

The three Hebrew children in the book of Daniel faced a decision that could have ended their life when they chose to disobey the king's order to worship an idol. They had already purposed in their heart that they would serve the true God no matter what the cost. When the king called them before him and gave them a chance to worship the idol they never skipped a beat with their answer. They said they would not worship the idol. They told the king their God was able to deliver them from the king and the fiery furnace. Then they said, and I am paraphrasing "Even if God doesn't spare us from the furnace we will not worship this idol".  Let me ask you this question "Are you an Even If?" Are you willing to follow God no matter what the outcome? Trust in who God is and know that he is always faithful. Be Blessed.

June 9, 2016, 1:21 PM

When The Game Is On The Line-Lessons From Courtney Shea

It’s the Women’s College World Series. It’s the last inning. There are two outs and you are down by one run. It’s the last game of the Championship Series. It’s all on the line.  You’re called to pinch hit. Imagine the pressure!

Imagine what Courtney Shea felt as Auburn Head Softball Coach Clint Myers looks at her and tells her to go bat with everything on the line. He had confidence in her. The Auburn fans are on their feet and with her and cheering her on. The camera zoomed in on her face and you could see the determination in her eyes. It was evident that she was going up there to not shy away and take pitches but to hit. She took many swings and fouled them off. Finally, she hits the ball hard to second base and gets thrown out at first. Game over. Oklahoma is the 2016 softball champions.

I truly enjoyed watching most every game in the Women’s College World Series. There were some very exciting moments. But this moment was not exciting. It broke my heart to see Courtney walking across the field to her dug out amid Oklahoma’s celebration embraced by her coach and crying her eyes out. Even more heartbreaking was seeing Courtney pointing to herself saying “my fault” as she made her way to her teammates. No, it was not her fault. She was not the only player on her team to ground out or make a mistake. In my book she is a winner. She’s a winner because she went to the plate with everything on the line, with every intention to win and gave it her very best shot. The only way she could have failed is to have made up an excuse and not go bat or not even swing.

This was a picture of what’s at stake for every Christian. We have marching orders from our Lord to “go to bat” and  “ to go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I’ve commanded you” Matthew 28:19-20. Everything is literally on the line because eternity literally hangs in the balance for those around us who so desperately need to hear the Gospel message.

God looks at you and tells you to go share the Good News of Jesus Christ with someone in your realm of influence. The pressure is on. It’s all on the line. But you don’t go. You stay in the dugout. You’re afraid of failure. What if I don’t say the right thing? What if they reject it? The problem is you don’t understand that this is not about you or your success. It’s about being obedient to your Heavenly Father who has full confidence in you to do the task. The only way you can fail in evangelism is to fail to go. The harvest is His! The “win” is His!

The next time God calls you out to go to share Christ with a lost person, are you going to stay in the dugout or go out and swing with all your might and leave the results to God? Yes, it takes courage but remember the only way to fail is to not go at all. There’s more on the line than a softball game. It’s eternity for someone. The Holy Spirit is with you and is cheering you on. What will you do?  Thank you Courtney Shea for being a true champion by demonstrating courage under pressure and giving your best. Now child of God, get out there and swing for the fences for the Lord!

April 21, 2016, 4:25 PM

When Doves Fly

Today the world was shocked after learning of the death of musical icon-Prince. Another shocking death was also learned of today as Joanie Laurer known as "Chyna" in WWE wrestling rings was found dead at her home. Both of these famous people died unexpectedly at fairly young ages.

All day the famous song "When Doves Cry" by Prince has been ringing in my head. I remember listening to the radio for hours while I was in middle school waiting to record the song on to a cassette tape. My “mix tape” just wouldn’t be complete without that song. Looking back, I probably didn’t even understand the lyrics at that time. It was just a cool song.

When I thought of the words “doves” and “Prince” today, the “preacher brain” started spinning in high gear and a sermon was conceived and will now be delivered. Rather than a sermon, it’s just really some thoughts on Biblical truths that have lessons for us all.

In the Bible, the dove is the symbol of purity and harmlessness (Matthew 10:16). All four Gospel accounts refer to the baptism of Jesus by John at the Jordan river. In Luke’s account, the Holy Spirit took on physical form as a dove. It came to signify that the Spirit with which Jesus would be endowed  would be one of purity and innocence.

The dove is also mentioned from the account of the Flood and Noah’s ark in Genesis 6-8. The dove was sent out by Noah to see if there was dry land, and it returned with an olive branch which is a symbol of peace. So, it is significant that the Holy Spirit was pictured as a dove at Jesus’ baptism, once again symbolizing peace with God.

In Scripture, Jesus is referred to as the Prince of Peace in Isaiah 9:6. When you look at our world full of violence and war, you may not understand this. This isn’t physical safety or political harmony. The Hebrew word is “shalom” which means calmness and tranquility. The deeper meaning is the spiritual peace and harmony brought about by Jesus reconciling us to God by his work on the Cross. In our sinful state, we are enemies with God (Romans 5:10). Because of Christ’s sacrifice, we are restored to a relationship of peace with God. We can have both peace with God and the peace of God because of the work of the Prince of Peace!

I don’t know much about Prince’s personal life or his relationship with God. I do know that Joanie Laurer struggled with drugs and alcohol and even admitted that her life “was spinning out of control”. Sadly, she represents so many in this world who are searching for true, lasting peace that even fame and fortune can’t bring. The things of this world may satisfy temporarily but will always leave you looking for more. True peace is only found in a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Both of these famous people teach us a very important lesson today. Life is short and death is sure. Death is no respecter of rich or poor, famous or unknown, young or old. The question we must all answer is “do I have the peace of God that can only be found in Christ, and do I have peace with God with my sins forgiven and my name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life?” The Prince of Peace is here for you today and peace with God is possible just as sure as doves fly.

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