Monthly Archives: January 2015

Dealing With Anger

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Ephesians 4:26 states ‘Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:’

People get upset for many different reasons.  Perhaps they feel they have been done wrong, they feel their family has been done wrong, they feel like no one is listening to them, and the list could continue.

The subject of anger could be a long discussion.  There are many books on it, and to write a short blog will only allow an extremely abbreviated discussion on the subject.

Anger is an emotion!  There are many emotions.  Jealousy, sadness, happiness, irritation, envy…  Many emotions, if dwelt on, can lead to anger.  Emotions are not necessarily wrong.  If left unchecked, they can definitely be wrong though.  What becomes wrong, is the actions taken because of the emotions.

#1 – We must learn to control our emotions!

Emotions cannot be completely helped.  If something happens, you immediately have an emotional response.  You must learn to reign in those emotions.  Our initial emotional response to a situation, is based only upon our personal interpretation of the situation.  A one-sided view of a situation is never a complete view.  We don’t know the full set of circumstances.

So first, we must feel free to have a conversation with whoever else is involved.  We must learn to accept others thoughts and viewpoints.  (Even if we don’t agree, we should give the courtesy and respect of allowing others to be themselves.)  We also must realize, NO ONE is ALWAYS right!

Secondly, we must learn that emotions left unchecked, lead to us being in the wrong!  Look at Galations 5:22-23  ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.’  I don’t read in their the words anger, envy, sadness, depression, etc.

#2 – Don’t act based solely on emotion!

Put plainly…don’t ‘Act First – Think Later’!  We must ‘THINK FIRST – ACT LATER’!

If we act first, we are acting based solely on emotion.  If that emotion is anger, and we act based on that, we are not exhibiting a Christian characteristic!  Didn’t Jesus Himself teach to turn the other cheek!

I have learned that most of the time when facing a situation, if given time, it’s not quite so serious as I thought it to be at first.  Most of the time, I find it doesn’t even warrant any time or attention.

Learn to let things go…quit reacting…and learn to love.

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Change

time-for-change

The big question…

Should things change?  At what point, is change too much?  What about all the differences between churches?

The 17th chapter of John speaks on the age-old statement, we are in the world, but not of the world.  Where do we draw the line on what we accept while in the world, but not allowing ourselves to be of the world?

There are some things that should NEVER change!

Hebrews 13:8  Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Our God never changes!  His expectations of us don’t change!  His Word never changes!  It can not, and will not, be added to, taken away from, or changed!  His great Plan of Salvation does not change!  Holiness does not change!  His instructions to us, ‘Be ye holy, for I am holy’, does not give room for change.  He doesn’t change, and if we are expected to follow after him, there is not room for us to change.

But that brings me to change…

Evangelism

I believe as the world around us changes, we must begin to think broader in our efforts to evangelize the world!  Don’t get me wrong…there are things we SHOULD and MUST stay away from!  We are not going to enter the devil’s playground to seek out followers!  BUT, we live in a fast paced world, that is heading on a fast track to destruction!  Standing on a street corner, or passing out tracts, is not getting us where we need to be!

So what is the solution?  I don’t have a simple answer!  I believe we must invest more money, time, energy, and focus on evangelism!  Don’t grow weary in doing His work!  Go after souls with more stamina than you ever have!  I applaud those who go unwaveringly through their efforts in radio broadcasts, jail ministry, nursing home services, block parties, home fellowship groups, bus ministries, youth and sunday school van runs, and the list goes on!  Don’t get defeated because only one shows up…keep going!

Music

Music has ALWAYS been a source of conflict within the church.  Look at Lucifer…the chief musician…kicked out of Heaven!  One must tread carefully and cautiously in the ministry of music.  Evaluate your purpose…your intent…your heart in every decision made in music ministry!  Spend hours in prayer…take time to fast!

But now to get to my point…there is always the group that doesn’t like any new music.  ALL songs should be from the hymnal!  Then there are those who believe the hymnal is ‘old fashioned’…throw it out and only sing new music!  I can imagine the grandparents in the church back in the days…when the current hymnals first came out!  “We shouldn’t be singing this new stuff….where’s our old music!”

Psalms 98:1 states ‘O sing unto the Lord a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.’

By all means…keep singing the hymnal music…celebrate our beautiful and rich heritage…but welcome a new song…offer up a new praise!  Regardless of the song…as long as it’s words, it’s beat, and it’s intent is to celebrate Jesus Christ, sing it with all your might and lift up your praise!

Visuals

I just gotta go here…I can’t help it!  We live in a visual age!  First impressions are everything!  You may have to paint your building!  You may have to rearrange the platform!  The decor might need updating!  As a matter of fact, the whole facility may need to be put aside, and there may be a move in the future!  Don’t get me wrong…the intent is not about the building, or the decor, or the color…the intent is about EVANGELISM!  And the ‘visual affect’ is what gets someone in the door that wouldn’t have come otherwise, and once there the same ‘old’ HOLY GHOST POWER and ANOINTING begins to do a work…I would call that a SUCCESS!

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Do you want to be a missionary?

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We had a missionary service on Tuesday.  Rev. James Marse, and his wife Stacy and their two children.  They are raising funds to head to Bolivia.  I always look forward to missionary services.  I enjoy hearing about their burden and their calling for the country they are heading to.  When we go to General Conference, and the missionaries and their children march through the building carrying the flags of the country they are heading to, I can’t help but stand their and cry.

There is just something about a family uprooting themselves, and heading to a foreign country, and leaving behind their friends and relatives, that both impresses and motivates me.  These are people who are so sure of their calling, that they will get literally give it their all.  They will change their lifestyle, and sacrifice their comfort, to do what God has called them to do.

My wife and I have been privileged to chaperone on three AYC (10-day missions) trips.  During those trips we have been so blessed to work with some awesome missionaries.  These people have become heroes in our lives!

Matthew 28:19 states ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’  So what is a missionary?  A missionary is someone who goes to a location in the world, and teaches from the Bible, and leads people to an Acts 2:38 experience!

Do you want to be a missionary?  You can!  As a matter of fact, you can be a missionary right where you are!  You are in the world…find someone, and teach them a Bible Study.  You can be a missionary at your school.  You can be a missionary at your job.  You can be a missionary in your neighborhood.  You can be a missionary to America.  (And trust me…America needs missionaries!)

Be what God wants you to be!  Be what He has called you to be!  BE A MISSIONARY!

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Heroes and Mentors

From the time you are a young child, your life is inundated with heroes!  I remember as a child playing with He-Man and other characters of the day.  Such fictional characters tend to be many children’s ‘heroes’.  Movie stars, sports athletes, politicians, and the list could continue, or people that many in the world look up to.

But who should be our hero?  The first obvious answer, should DEFINITELY be Jesus Christ!  How strange it is that people would like to drive with a fish sticker on their bumper, and WWJD bracelets, but then look up to Hollywood characters that have a serious lack of morals and integrity!?

Another obvious selection would be your pastor!  I was looking through notes of ministers training sessions I have attended, and I had jotted the not, ‘Your Pastor should be your #1 mentor!”  Your pastor has devoted their life’s mission to seeing you, and those in your city, experience salvation!  My opinion…that’s hero-status-worthy!

Another group of people…the preachers, evangelists, and missionaries that have come before us!  I love to read, and some of my favorite books are the stories of our fore-fathers who have paved the way for us today.  They are my heroes.  They fought fights, and blazed the way for us to be where we are today.  If I could just have a portion of their anointing, and their boldness, and their dedication, I would be honored!

So…how does heroes and mentors relate?  Wouldn’t it be an honor to be mentored by your hero?  Many in our world would give an arm and a leg to have that opportunity!

  • Well…read your Bible, pray, and let God speak into your life!  Let Jesus Christ be your mentor!
  • Listen to your pastor!  Seek his advice.  Let him pastor you.  Let him mentor you.
  • Read the books of those who have gone on before.  Practice having the same dedication they did.  Dedicate your time and energy the way they did.

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Happy New Years

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Today marked the first day of 2015.  It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  I considered writing earlier, but decided against it.

Today has been a slightly ‘unusual’ day, if that makes sense.  I’ve been in a kind of nostalgic mood for part of the day.  My parents are heading off on a Caribbean cruise, which leaves me slightly jealous.  I was looking through some old pictures of friends, and missing people.  But then I began to think on my day!

The family slept in this morning, after a late night yesterday with church friends.  After church we all stayed and had pizza and ice cream.  Then a group of us stayed and brought in the New Year playing games and having a good time of fellowship.  Today, the family lounged in pajamas most of the day, and had frozen pizza for a late lunch.  This evening, I made cookies, and then Amber and I and the kids played games on the living room floor and ate cookies.  This evening we went out for a late dinner at Chinese Palace (the only place open late) and enjoyed visiting as a family.

To bring a point to these ramblings…

#1 – Focus on what you HAVE, not what you feel is missing!

It is easy to think about what you wish you were doing, or those who you don’t see every day.  But when you begin to think about what you have, you realize how truly you are blessed!  I have a warm home and food on the table!  I have a great church and a great church family!  We gather together and have some of the best services one can imagine!

As the old song says:

My God’s been good to me
He’s been so good to me
More than this world could be
He’s so good to me
He dried all my tears away
Turned my midnights into day
So I’ll just say thank you Lord
And I won’t complain

#2 – Appreciate your family!

God has truly blessed me!  He gave me a wife that puts up with WAY MORE than anyone will ever know!  If I am truly honest with myself, I would probably never put up with what she puts up with!  (I’ll deny I said that though!)  She loves me unconditionally, she supports me even when I make crazy decisions, she encourages me every step of the way.  When I get up and preach an awful message and make a fool of myself, she still thinks I’m general conference material!

We have three wonderful, smart, funny children who love their mom and dad, and love God.  They think we are perfect, they love spending time with their parents, and they have sacrificed so we can be where we are, doing what we do!

Spending New Years Day with my family…I can’t think of a better way to spend it!

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