A Matter of the Heart!

This morning I had a strange request.  I was leaving the Hickory House Restaurant where we had just had our M3 (Monday Morning Men Breakfast and Bible Study) when I saw a friend who needs Jesus.  My friend said to me, “Hey I need you to pray for me.”  I said, “About what?”  (I know genuine, right?)  He said, “Pray that winter gets over real fast!”  Which prompted me to ask, “Why is that?”  He said, “Cause I don’t like winter that’s why I moved down here from up north!”  I told him, “I won’t pray that because I am praying for lots and lots of snow!!! J Truth is I don’t want to pray for winter to go by too quickly!  I like the winter months for a few different reasons:  First, I like the holiday times (don’t jump on me for not saying Merry Christmas!  There is more than one holiday in the winter months.)  I like Thanksgiving.  I have great memories from my whole childhood from the Thanksgiving holiday.  (I love the Christmas season best, but this is the November newsletter. J  Obviously, we have set aside this time of year to be thankful.  Often during this time of year we talk about the need to be thankful all year long, but we don’t remember until the following November.  I am convinced (it didn’t take much persuasion to get me there) that thankfulness is a major problem within the body of Christ.  You know those people who should have nothing to complain about, but plenty to be thankful about, Christians?  Why are we the least thankful people around?  Should we lead the way in Thanksgiving?  This month we will look closely at the Word to see what God wants to teach us about being thankful!  Do you have something to be thankful about?  Why not comment on my blog for what it is you are thankful? 

 

A recovering thankless addict,

Learning from the past

As I sit at my desk to write this week’s sermon for a series titled “Stand Firm”, I am working on a particular sermon that is titled “Courageously and Worshipfully Stand” based on 2 Chronicles 20. What is timely interesting is that the nation of Judah was being attacked by the Moabites, Ammonites and the Meunites – three different armies! Jehoshaphat, who was one of the few “good” kings, sought God out and eventually called on the nation to fast. The people of Judah came together to seek The Lord! Here we are on a day when our government cannot come to an agreement, so it is “shut down”. Couple this with the fact that this morning I attended a Ministerial Alliance meeting and our topic of discussion was the lack and need for unity in our churches for the glory of God. We left that meeting desiring to get out of the way for God’s love to be seen in us and through us. It amazed me that we seek unity on our own terms (I am speaking of “we” as all humans!) We always want everyone else to see out way and agree with it! This does not bring unity but rather fights, quarrels and competition. What would happen in the community of Cleveland, in the county of Pawnee, in the State of Oklahoma, in the United States if we as the Church sought The Lord out by coming together to fast and pray for unity. In this text, one obvious point we cannot miss: The battle belongs to The Lord, we need not fight, we only need to stand and see the deliverance. This standing is not idleness, rather it is – “focus” focus on the KING!” In 2 Chronicles what takes place before God goes in to action is a nation in worship. I keep seeing people posting, “What should I do since the government is shut down…” and many talk about doing what they did the day before. This is fine, provided that what we did yesterday was right – not just good but what is best. Otherwise, maybe what our nation needs is a revival of the Church being the church and beginning with a little bit of humbling of ourselves and sacrificing through fasting, praying, worshipping and watching our God grow us, revive us and deliver us once again from our own entrapments. Church, I agree with Bill Hybels, we are the hope of the world – it is time to deliver that hope! Will you join the movement of God? I pray so…