Monthly Archives: July 2010

I’ll Stand

I have had a wonderful SABBATICAL experience so far. The churches that we have visited has been an incredible learning experience.

The first church we visited while in Angel Fire was what my kids called, “A Dead Church.” The music was dull and drab, but it was the message that really caught their attention. All three of my kids immediately recognized that “JESUS” was strangely missing in the sermon. The experience reminded my of what Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:5 when he describes a church that has a form of godliness… but DENIES it’s power.

The next church we visited was Calvary Chapel in Albuquerque. What a contrast! The difference was like NIGHT and DAY. Not only was the sermon Biblical, (Skip Heitzig preaches verse by verse through the Bible) but the WORSHIP WAS SO REFRESHING! My whole family UNANIMOUSLY wanted to go the next week and get this… their ready to go this week too! Since when do kids want to endure a 3 hour drive to go to church?

I loved and appreciated the BIBLICAL teaching, but it was the WORSHIP that got me. One of the songs that really helped us to worship was Hillsong’s “The Stand.” It was truly a “Holy Moment,” for me when I looked over at my family and saw them REALLY worship and give themselves to the Lord through that song. We have been singing it every night for our family devotions ever since.

Here are the Lyrics:

Verse 1
You stood before creation
Eternity within Your hand
You spoke the earth into motion
My soul now to stand

Verse 2
You stood before my failure
Carried the Cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon Your shoulders
My soul now to stand

So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You

Verse 3
So I’ll walk upon salvation
Your Spirit alive in me
This life to declare Your promise
My soul now to stand

So I’ll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all

So I’ll stand
My soul Lord to You surrendered
All I am is Yours

My prayer for all of us that we will not only have a HUNGER for God’s Word, but to LOVE and WORSHIP Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and being.

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God Announces Leave of Absence

I’ve had a lot of people joke with me about how attendance always drops off when the pastor is out of the pulpit. Let me CHALLENGE you to not let that happen! If you really think that church is about who is behind the pulpit, I have failed to communicate and teach what the church is all about. The church is all about a family that is committed to reach out to the world and to help one another grow in Christ. In fact, I’m praying that church attendance might actually go up in my absence.

That is not to say that you shouldn’t try to get away some this summer. We all need to get away from time to time… Just remember never allow yourself to get away from God. The following was printed in six years ago in the Medina Messenger, but its message is timeless….

God Announces Leave of Absence

We are sorry to inform you, but God will not be available during the summer, beginning June 1st. We have it from reliable sources that He feels He deserves some time off, so He has canceled His normal duties for the summer.

However, He has agreed to send the Sun and rain occasionally, when He happens to be in town. But so far as answering prayers for the needs of your family, please don’t count on Him.

God has let it be known to the church leadership that they should not plan any outreach efforts or mission trips during the summer. Or at least if they do, they will have to do it without Him because He plans to be gone a lot to relatives and the lake. God has expressed the opinion that we would find somebody else to take His place.

Yes, we reminded Him of His promise, “Surely I will be with you always.” But He said He didn’t realize when He said it that it meant going for two or three years without a break. He expressed His sincere regrets, and hopes that it will not cause any inconvenience. God may be contacted anytime after September 1st, at which time He hopes to “Get back into the routine.” Please defer all requests until then. – copied from source unknown-

Aren’t you glad God hasn’t really made this announcement? Truth is we couldn’t last a single moment without His constant intervention. If God ever held His breath the entire universe would collapse!

Summer is just about here and it’s a time that most people (including me!) think about taking a little time off. It’s important to find time for rest, recuperation, restoration and recreation. But no matter where we are… we are stilled called to be Christians. God never takes a vacation from us, we should never take a vacation from Him. Let me give you a couple of suggestions for your summer vacation…

Let God Go with You

1. Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy.

2. Take your Bible and Devotionals with you.

3. Get a taste of different types of churches while you’re away.

Secure Your Own Replacement (I did!)

1. Whatever your job in the church, find someone to take your place when you leave.

2. Do not let your area of work suffer because of your neglect.

3. Don’t forget about your offering. The bills still need to be paid while your away.

Return to Church as Soon as you return.

1. Start right back to all church services as soon as you return.

2. Share with your church anything you might have learned from other churches.

Why All This?

1. Because you are a Christian and want to be loyal to Christ.

2. Because you do not want a “summer slump” in our church.

3. Because God never takes a vacation from you!

May God go with you wherever you go this summer, Please keep me and my family in prayer as we seek intentional rest and renewal this summer. You will definitely be in our thoughts and prayers. We love you!

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