Sunday, January 31, 2016

Anger Regrets

Esther 2:1 Later when King Xerxes’ fury had subsided, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what he had decreed about her. 

Proverbs 29:8 Mockers stir up a city, but the wise turn away anger. 

The wise turn away from anger. It is a wise thing to:
1. Keep our mouth shut. If we shoot off our mouth we lose our peace.
So many regret having done that.
He who holds his tongue is wise. 
2. A Soft Answer turns away wrath. Proverbs 15.1
We can diffuse a potentially explosive situation by being a peacemaker.
3. Thoughts of revenge must be taken captive and made obedient to Christ when we are offended.


Romans 12:18-19 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 

Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed and afflicted,yet he did not open his mouth;he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 


1 Peter 2:21-23 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin,and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at Him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly. 

King Xerses allowed his ager to run the gamit and ended up several years later without his wife , Queen Vashti, the beautiful woman.

It is a foolish thing to blow up. It has consequences. 

We are being warned here that the advice we get when we ae angry, even by those closest to us, can be damaging. They want to protect us (by not from ourselves). They want some revenge for our displeasure or hurt we have received. They seldom see our fault or responsibility. 


1. King Xerxes listened to his counselors. His name means "Majestic Prince".

He called them together while he was angry.
Anger can move things. It can also blow things up. Combustion engine- E. Stanley Jones

In some ways they were right, but remember it was because the king was high in spirits from drinking that he made such a request. 
We are warned about excessive drinking in the scriptures:
Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine. Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. Proverbs 23:29-32
These verses would certainly apply to King Xerxes.

Interestingly this week...

New CDC report – about 3.3 million US women, 15-44 years, are at risk of exposing their developing baby to alcohol because they are drinking and not using birth control to prevent pregnancy.

The #CDC is urging all women to avoid using alcohol unless we women are using contraception, to avoid Fetal Alcohol Syndrome because nearly half of all pregnancies are unplanned and two-thirds of those unplanned pregnancies are unknown until around the third month. What they don't mention is the side effects of drinking with contraception.

Queen Vashti (her name means "beautiful woman) was right to refuse. 
She lost her crown but kept her integrity and dignity.


Proverbs 16:32 Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city. 
Proverbs 14:17 A quick-tempered person does foolish things...


2. Laws are passed by those in Authority

Many times not until they are passed do we find out what implications the have.

Life has a way of showing if our decisions are right.

Things done in anger are often regretted.
Words spiken in anger cannot be taken back. How people who spoke them wish they could.

The counsel King Xerses received from his closest advisors led to his loss. Close friends often come to our side when we are offended and some times do not offer sound advice. We must be careful. They can join in our anger and advise things not thought out well.

Anger is contagious. That is why we are told Proverbs 22:24-25 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person,do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their waysand get yourself ensnared. 


3. Decisions Made In Anger Many Times Have Bad Consequences.

Proverbs 29:11 Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end. 

Politics has a way of bringing our anger. Facebook posts can get me angry. So many one sided things
- God has helped me not to respond but to wait. After when my anger has subsided I a so happy I did not respond.

Later when King Xerses' fury had subsided...
Anger/ fury=

heat, rage, hot displeasure, indignation, anger, wrath, poison, bottles fever venom, burning anger

Subsided abate, decrease, allay, diminish, put to rest.


The Book of Esther shows us that amid the shadows God, stands, keeping watch upon His own. He sees and knows and cares for His own. He may be out of their sight; but they are never out of His sight. He Who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. He may be invisible but He is also infallible. He may seem strangely silent, but He remains actively sovereign. He may be unsuspected; yet all knowing, ever present and all powerful God, He guides and guards. Eveil may be temporarily permitted, but ultimately it is frustrated. Behind a frowning providence God hides a smiling face. 

- J. Sidlow Baxter


Positive things come from anger if handled correctly... E. Stanely Jones

The combustion engine- harness it and you can move things.

Samaritan's Purse "You feed her!"

Many Relief Groups

A young man was in New Orleans years before he Civil War. He saw men auctioning off another human being on a platform. He watched as this young dark skinned man was sold as a slave by men of his skin color and he said in anger, "If I ever get an opportunity to hit that thing I am going to hit it hard." That young man was Abraham Lincoln.


In your anger do not sin. Ephesians 4.26



Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Tribute To A Servant of God


Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD,
And He delights in his way. 

I became Bob's pastor in 1984. He never called me anything but "Pastor". He respected me and my office. Remember he was my age now when I became his pastor. I was 28 years old.

I am going to have to hold back my words concerning him. There is just too much could say. Even what  am going to share does not seem adequate at all. Things were coming to me this morning.

You never had to wonder where you stood with Mr. Pawson.  He was a straight shooter. Even Dr. Mucci, our former District Superintendent, once told me if you want the truth ask Bob Pawson.

I never met a man who worked like him, at his jobs (yes he had several), at his home and at his church. 

When I came to the church and out little notes in the bulletins concerning going to homes and meeting the congregation, I asked for day of the week and time that would be best. Helen wrote, "Have to play it by ear." I soon found out why. I remember when he filled in at Southside. (He was an LPN) He was in church that morning, taught Sunday School, took the offering, turned off the lights in the sanctuary (Something he was known for). I got in my car and rode to the hospital to see someone there and when I arrived there was Mr. Pawson's car! He was already at work! I knew I was the pastor of someone very unique.

Tender Toughness- Loved People
Used to love to her his talks about Mrs. Utter, Mrs. Stark, Mrs. Duryea, and Otto Hartwig
He used to tease about being a male chauvinist. I would salute him at times and call him my captain. He would chuckle. Marty, his neighbor, called him the boss. Yet under in that strong body and he was strong. Richard told me he used to carry at times not one, or two but three bundles of roofing up to a job at one time. But in that body of man with incredible strength was a heart of love.


1. He Loved Children
His favorite ward as an LPN was Peds. When they put him in Pediatrics he was happy, very happy.

In his younger days he worked in the church nursery. I have a picture of him in my mind on the floor with kids climbing all over him.

He was the Grandpa of Asharoken- kids would come by. I would see him swinging them around They all loved him. Last night I was told that after Michele went home after a visit the neighborhood kids asked if she could come out and when they were told she had left, they asked if Mr. Pawson could! I remember one time stopping by and seeing him swinging kids around by their arms and a line waiting for who was next.

He was childlike, not childish but childlike:
Matthew 18:3-4 The Words of Jesus
And He said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 

My girls and hundreds others had him for Sunday School. I asked one of his former Sunday School Students, my oldest daughter, Tonya to speak.

Sunday School Tribute by my daughter, Tonya Mancini-Wyss


2. He Loved His Family
Helen "I love you for coming up here." Nearly 70 years of marriage!
Susan, Richard, Robert, Bart, Barbara, Michele, Nicole, Taylor the great grandkids MacKenzie and Mark
Pete, Julie, their girls, Olga, Helens sister

I have fond memories of seeing him at the church with Michele when she was just a little girl. He brought her along to do some work when she was visiting. I remember going crabbing at the Marina with him and Taylor coming along.

Barbara commented last night that I am part of the family. I feel I am because I know you guys so well, not because we have spent a lot of time together, we haven't. But because your Dad and Grandfather so often spoke of you. He did so with love, admiration and respect for your accomplishments. He loved to tell me how you were doing and smiled as he did. I heard his joy of each promotion or recognition or positive thing that happened to you over coffee on Mondays after we had prayed together.

Michele Tribute

Thanks Pastor for making my voice heard at my grandfather’s funeral! Here is a letter I wrote to God...
Dear God
Just to let you know you have ‘THE BEST’ angel in the house of heaven!!! I am not sure if you met my Pops yet...well I am pretty sure you haven’t yet, because if you aren’t up at the crack of dawn he has already been out to help someone or fix some broken down trinket in his shed...by the time everyone else is getting up Pops is awake and on a mission! I am just wondering if you can provide a few things for my Pops as these ‘things’ represent my fondest memories of my grandfather...
1) CARVEL ice cream: I am not sure if you have had any Carvel ice cream God- but when I was a kid it ROCKED!...I remember my Pops bringing me to the Carvel after dinner the summer’s I would visit from Canada. We have Dairy Queen in Canada...but Carvel there was something different about it...maybe it was a different cream, or special chocolate sauce...or maybe because I was in the company of my Pop Pops who would love to indulge every once in awhile with his “CANUCK” grand daughter.
2) The “PUMPKIN” : No God I’m not talking about the ones you eat or carve for Halloween...I’m talking about Pop Pops car we all called “the pumpkin”...it was the colour of a pumpkin. I can remember him going out in it with his dog/best buddy Sunshine...the car was probably worth as much as a pumpkin...piece of junk it was but the best running piece of junk that Pops kept for a fix or repair daily project... Can you believe it God...someone stole that “pumpkin” car...so by chance if you can find that pumpkin along with his buddy Sunshine I am sure Pops would LOVE IT!
3) NO HAIR PLEASE: God whatever you do for the angel makeover...don’t give him any hair!....I loved my Pops shiny bald head...I am not sure what hair or maybe car wax product he used for his head, but it sure did shine like a newly waxed car...I loved rubbing his head like waiting for a genie in a bottle to appear! You would always know the mood Pops was in by the way he scratched his head!!
4) A BIKE: I know God it sounds crazy but Pops and I had this amazing day about 15 or so years ago...I know, that would make him about 75 yrs old... but that was his chronological age...I do believe Pops relived his 30th birthday every year!...anyways, he decided to accompany me on a 10km run-Pops decided he would bike along side of me proudly giving me a ‘breathless’ dialogue of Long Island’s history...He loved the Island...I do remember him complaining of tired legs and having to “gear down” a few times over a few speed bumps...I think he was even sore for a few days but had way too much pride to admit it...I believe he even stifled a few whimpers while getting out of his reclining chair that evening... but we had this silent understanding
we had to keep it on the down low...if Mom Moms were to find out exactly what happened in his self inflicted painful adventure....we knew we wouldn’t get any sympathy ...Pops was a believer in what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger...well he was living proof as he lived another 15 years thereafter!!! ...So God... I would love for Pops to accompany me on a few more runs...if he can fit it in his busy heavenly days...maybe a FULL SUSPENSION BIKE would be suffice as the trails can get a little bumpy up on Canada’s Bruce Trail!!
5) CRAB LEGS AND ICE CREAM CAKE: God, I hope there are some buffet style Chinese food restaurants up there...especially if you want to actually meet my pops and have a great conversation...invite him for some crab legs...it’s probably the only time he will sit for longer than 5 minutes...otherwise, he is always in motion...not much time to sit as he has this constant zest to fill his day and live every minute to it’s fullest! He said he would have plenty of time to rest in his grave...somehow I am not quite believing it!!
As for the ice cream cake...you are well aware his 90th birthday is coming up... whatever you do...do not put 90 candles on the ice cream cake...I will always remember the birthday party we had for Pops... my mom had this BRIGHT idea (no pun intended) to light up his cake with 60 plus candles...lets just say it was bright, it was HOT, and we couldn’t sing happy birthday fast enough before the milky landslide of ice cream goop dripped to the floor!
God ....I have faith you will take great care of my Pops...he took care of a lot of people while he was here on earth...maybe he can reap what he sowed, however, I know he enjoyed giving more than receiving...surround him with roses so maybe he will stop for a moment and smell one...
Pops if you can hear me... now that you have transitioned from one world to another I can now be with you always....no more long distance phone calls, no more trains, planes, automobiles or buses required to visit you or be with you... your spiritual presence will always be with me in my heart!! I miss you Pop Pops and will love you to ETERNITY!!


3. Loved His Church
I do not know where to begin. 

I said last night to several folks after being asked how I was doing, "The church I have pastored for over 31 years and Mr. Pawson were synonymous. I cannot think about one without the other." But I will have to now to some  extent, but not as much as you might think. His fingerprints are literally all over these grounds, in the building itself and in the flower beds he put in.


I had him give a testimony on tithing. He agreed. 

April 1962... 54 years.

Bob Pawson was a model Christian worker, actually more than that. He was the servant of God extraordinaire! 

I cannot say enough. In fact if I tried to list the things this man did for this church we would be here until next week. 
I am going to mention just a few:
*Up into his 80's he shoveled the snow, not just the walks but at times part of the parking lot by hand.
*My daughter Tina and I were talking to Donna- at 8am on Fridays in the spring, summer and fall you would hear the lawnmower start up over at the church.
*He gave his retirement dinner money from Pilgrim to the church.
*He provided gas for the mowers and in all the years I have been pastor we never bought a mower nor did I! He found old ones and fixed them up. 
*This man taught Sunday School for years, served on the board, worked all around inside and outside of the church and never complained, never asked for recognition (in fact it is a good thing he is in heaven now because I would be getting after the service for going on like this). He never asked anyone for help. He did not need encouragement and when I would try to give it he would tell me he loved working for the LORD. 
*Back in the days when Pastors made house calls frequently he told me once, "You do not need to come and see us, Pastor. Use your time to go and visit those who need you."

I never asked him to do anything here!-  I did not have to. He was on it as soon as something needed attention.

One of his favorite verses he would quote to me in our discussions about life. "If what I do causes someone to be offended, I will not do it."

He prayed for the church. One of his prayers were when I became pastor in 1984 (just 8 years after the building was completed) that the church would be used every day. That prayer was answered in a short time and continues to this day. One of his greatest concerns was expressed to me regularly the past 2 years, "My biggest concern, Pastor, is 'Who is going to do this after I am gone.'" 

His final Sunday attending church was the week before the new agreement/relationship wit the Spanish Church we began 20 years ago took place. Even before he left for heaven they were raking the leaves and refurbishing the church.  This spring a roof will go on the original roof he and Richard put up years back. His prayers are still being answered.


4.Loved His pastor
He supported me in the worst of times and the best of times. In difficult times he did not coddle me but encouraged me. 

He always expressed appreciation to the LORD for me and my ministry.

Prayed appreciation to the LORD for my Bible Studies. 

When I upset him (and I did unintentionally on occasion) he would say with a smile that at the same time showed his displeasure a little but much more than that his respect, "I love you, Pastor."

One time when he was not able to (and I could count on one hand when that was the case) I cut the lawn around the church. The next day I came out of the parsonage to see him doing it al over again. I went over and stopped him and asked him why. He said, "I didn't like the way you did it." 

I spent more time with Bob Pawson than any other individual in my life the past 31 years. We prayed together for years three times a week. During the most difficult times in my life we were praying together. We literally for a stretch of about 25 years after his retirement saw each other every day!

Some people leave a hole in your heart when they die. Bob has left a crater in mine.


5. Loved His LORD
Most people did not know but he played the organ back in the day. He would clean the church, I would go into the sanctuary and there he would be playing a hymn at the organ.

He never missed a Bible Study or prayer meeting.

I remember on more than one occasion going to 1744 Asharoken and seeing him in his recliner Michele talked about reading his Bible.  

He loved to worship. He sat up front in the second pew. 

I loved to hear him pray. I will miss that.


6. He Loved To Work
He seldom took a vacation. I do not remember in over 31 years of being their pastor Helen and Bob being away. Once or twice maybe when he went to Canada.

In 1999 at 73 years of age he went upstate with me and put a roof on my parents house. We quit for the day and after dinner we hard hammering on the roof. He went back up and worked until dark.

To this day I cannot figure out how he did so much at the church singlehandedly! I have tried to do the yard work around the church and it took me twice as long. I will miss our conversations after he finished and would° say to Helen when she called to see where he was, "The Pastor is holding me up Helen.


7. He loved His country.
He had a flag on the antenna of his car.
He served in WWII in the Navy aboard a ship.

He was moved by a picture of my grandson in his boy scout uniform  in front of his great grandfather's grave at Calverton recently. The place where he will be laid to rest."

He was blatantly honest. You never had to wonder where you stood with Mr. Pawson. Most of the time you seldom had to ask him.

He loved to tease and banter, all in fun. On many occasions when I was the recipient of a gift from Helen and him I would thank him ad he would say, "Thank Helen. If it were up to me I would not have given it to you

I got him upset a few times and he let me know it, but he forgave quickly.
He helped me bury my second to last dog.


He did all his work for the LORD as a labor of love.

Bob Pawson was one of a kind. I never saw anyone work like he did for the LORD and his church and family. He has been a friend for over 31 years.  He was a servant of the LORD here on earth. He is enjoying his reward now in heaven. What an inspiration he was and the memory of him will be.

Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. 

On a number of occasions the past few weeks Helen commented to me, "I do not know how I would have gotten through this without my church family." I was talking to a pastor friend a few days ago and said, "When the church is the church it is such a beautiful thing!"

I have dedicated many children at the front of the church, including my grandchildren. I have married many people there as well. And like yesterday we have brought loved ones in for their final time before laying them to rest to celebrate, "Well done good and faithful servant."  That is they way it should be. 

We are all going to miss Mr. Pawson. Yet God has promised His Presence during our darkest moments. We all can testify how He has been with us in other losses we have had. We know Jesus Never Fails. 

Thank you, each of you, for the meals you brought, for the times you sat with Helen, for your prayers and even for your motherly concern for me!

You reflect the image of Christ. There is nothing greater than that!

In His Dear Name,

Pastor




Sunday, January 17, 2016

When A Leader Has A Heart For God

Nehemiah 12:27-36 At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the Levites were sought out from where they lived and were brought to Jerusalem to celebrate joyfully the dedication with songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps and lyres. The musicians also were brought together from the region around Jerusalem—from the villages of the Netophathites, from Beth Gilgal, and from the area of Geba and Azmaveth, for the musicians had built villages for themselves around Jerusalem. When the priests and Levites had purified themselves ceremonially, they purified the people, the gates and the wall. I had the leaders of Judah go up on top of the wall. I also assigned two large choirs to give thanks. One was to proceed on top of the wall to the right, toward the Dung Gate. Hoshaiah and half the leaders of Judah followed them, along with Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam, Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, Jeremiah, as well as some priests with trumpets, and also Zechariah son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micaiah, the son of Zakkur, the son of Asaph, and his associates—Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah and Hanani—with musical instruments prescribed by David the man of God. Ezra the teacher of the Law led the procession. 

Nehemiah 12:36 with musical instruments prescribed by David the man of God. 
David sang out in the fields watching the sheep of his father, Jesse.  He wrote Psalms out there. Psalm 23 and the nature Psalms 104, 145 and others were inspired from those pastoral treks and work. Out there David developed a love for music to worship the LORD with. These were songs between him and his God. Little did he know that 3,000 years later, around the world those words would be read by the people of God, sung by the people and cherished in the pure in heart. The words of these Psalms written by man who loved his LORD are being used today by God's people to express their love for Him. There is nothing like this anywhere on the earth or in the history of the world.

The Dedication of the Wall was quite a time of celebration to say the least.

It symbolized the restoration of security and safety and the glory returning to Jerusalem.

It was a time to remember God's mercies and provisions.
Church in Haiti... What a celebration is coming up!

It was a tangible proof that God had not abandoned His people but was working to restore the nation. He was at work.


Thing you hear about a leader...
Dynamic
Motivator
What a preacher!

Just once I would love to hear... That man loves His LORD!

Romans 15:5-6 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

It is the God the Father and the LORD Jesus Christ that we are to be glorifying.
1 Corinthians 1:26-31 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” 


David began out in the fields of Bethlehem... Then in the palace... Let your ministry flow out of your walk with the LORD. 
So many try to train for the ministry. Men need to be anointed for the ministry. Ministry is not something you learn from without. It is something that flows from within the heart to the hearts of others. It is the work God is doing in your heart going out to those in need.


1. A True Man of God will be the same person shepherding a flock or leading a nation.

That is why Joseph, Moses, and David were such wonderful leaders.  They were anointed and they began their careers as shepherds.

When a leader has a heart for God he will relate to God's people he is leading as a shepherd. In fact he will notice little difference between the two tasks.

When a leader has a heart for God he is following the Shepherd of Israel.
Psalm 80:1-3 Hear us, Shepherd of Israel, You who lead Joseph like a flock.You who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh. Awaken Your might; come and save us. Restore us, O God; make Your face shine on us, that we may be saved. 

God had the men He wanted to lead Israel and the Church shepherd a literal flock. There is little difference between the two. "Pastor" is the latin word for Shepherd. Those who lead he church are referred to as Shepherds. Jesus, the LORD, is my Shepherd. He is the Good Shepherd. He is the Great Shepherd of the Sheep.

When a leader has a heart for God, he will have a heart for people.

When a man is man after God's own heart he is going to lay down his life for the flock.

The shepherd is to reflect Christ. Following him as we he follows Christ.


2. A True Leader Will Have a Relationship With the LORD That is Special.

Too many cookie cut Christians today. There should be some similarities but there also should be great diversity. God so deires to shine through our uniqueness!

Our walk with the LORD is with other Christians. We need the fellowship! Hebrews 10.25 is not meant to beat up people but to build them up. The ones not in fellowship are struggling with things they do not need to struggle with. Helen's words to me this week: I do not know how I would have gotten through this without my church family.

We also need a walk with the LORD for each moment of each day. That is our personal walk with Him. I love the LORD. We have such great times together. Sometimes in the warmer weather I will grab my Bible and guitar and go out early in the backyard and the birds and I will make a joyful noise to Him together.
In Haiti I have so enjoyed listening to the roosters crowing and watching the sun rise with my Bible in my hand, reading the Psalms.

Those who lead Israel or the church had wonder filled walks with God.

David did.

Joseph did.

Paul did.

John did.

Hang around with Jesus and you will see things others will miss. Serve Him out of a pure heart and He will let you see things that amaze you and bless you deeply.


Let Him work through your unique personality. Do not try and be someone else.


3. A True Leader Will Leave A Legacy.

What are you sowing these days?

The Proverbs speak of this:
Proverbs 13:22 A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous. 
Inheritance= Property, acquire testimonies, heritage

Bob Pawson left us a legacy. Those who remember Brother Hazard... he left us a legacy. 
David's legacy was his music that originally was just between him and the LORD... well Gene Edwards said it best:

On those pastoral jaunts, this youngest son always carried two things: a sling and a small, guitar-like instrument. Spare time for a sheepherder is abundant on rich mountain plateaus where sheep graze for days in one sequestered meadow. But as time passed and days became weeks, the young man became very lonely. The feeling of friendlessness that always roamed around inside him was magnified. He often cried. He also played his harp a great deal. He had a good voice, so he often sang. When these activities failed to solace him, he gathered up a pile of stones and, one by one, swung them at a distant tree with something akin to fury.

When one rockpile was dissipated, he would walk to the blistered tree, reassemble his rocks and designate yet another leafy enemy at yet a farther distance.

He engaged in many such solitary battles.

This slingsman-singer-shepherd also loved his Lord. At night, when all the sheep lay sleeping, and he sat staring at the dying fire, he would strum upon his harp and break into a concert of one. He sang the ancient hymns of his forefathers’ faith. While he sang, he wept, and while weeping he often broke forth in abandoned praise until mountains in distant places picked up his praise and tears and passed them on to higher mountains still, from whence they eventually were cast up to the ears of God.

When he did not praise and when he did not cry, he tended to each and every lamb and sheep. When not occupied with his flock, he swung his companionable sling and swung it again and again until he could tell every rock precisely where to go.

Once, while singing his lungs out to God, angels, sheep and passing clouds, he spied a living enemy: a huge bear! He lunged forward. Both found themselves moving furiously toward the same small object, a lamb feeding at a table of rich, green grass. Youth and bear stopped half way and whirled to face one another. Even as he instinctively searched into his pocket for a stone, the young man realized, “Why, I am not afraid.”

Meanwhile, brown lightning on mighty, furry legs charged at him with foaming madness. Impelled by the strength of youth, he married rock to leather and soon a brook-smooth pebble whined through the air to meet that charge.

A few moments later, the man, not quite so young as a moment before, picked up the little ewe and said, “I am your shepherd and God mine.”

And so, long into the night, he wove the day’s saga into a song. He hurled that hymn to the skies again and again until he had taught the melody and words to every angel that had ears. They, in turn, became custodians of this wondrous song and passed it on as healing balm to brokenhearted men in every age to come.


Nearly 3,000 years had passed since David reigned in Jerusalem. His music and the use of musical instruments in worship was remembered. Godly men's influence last so much longer than their lives.
If our founders could see where we are as a church it would be amazing to them.

We are leaving a legacy by the lives we live.The legacy is our lives. Our lives are speaking so loudly we cannot believe it. Leave a godly good legacy by living a life of love for Jesus!

For audio: https://www.facebook.com/groups/167379759957148/1184853461543101/?notif_t=group_activity

Monday, January 11, 2016

God Leads Us Along

Nehemiah 9:12 By day You led them with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire to give them light on the way they were to take

The journey out of Egypt and through the Red Sea and across the wilderness was in the plan of God. He worked wonders in the lives of the children of Israel. It was not an easy journey. It took faith and obedience to make it and sadly the generation that left Egypt did not get into the Promised Land due to their lack of faith. They vexed God. He was providing for them and leading them. They were going their own way.

We can learn much about the way He leads through this verse this morning out of Nehemiah. It is a simple and concise statement. It speaks volumes. It speaks of our lives today.

God wants us to follow His Leadership. You say we do not have the pillar of cloud and fire they had. But we have His Word and His Spirit. His Word which stands eternal in the heavens. Hi Spirit which He has poured out freely on all who believe His Word.

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. 

John 16:13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; He will speak only what He hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 

The Comforter has come and we have all we need in His Word.
2 Peter 1:3-4 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 



God is guiding us, not into happiness or riches or being sucessful in the eyes of the world. He is not wanting us to win the Lotto Jackpot- He doesn't even want us playing it. 

The guidance of God is primarily to get us to heaven.
Article on things lasting 5 years and how consumerism is going to only get worse.
We need to fight the good fight of the faith today. It takes wisdom, wisdom that only comes from His Word.


1. The Love and Mercy and Grace of God Causes Him To Lead Us Along The Path of Life.
Nehemiah 9:19 “Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the wilderness. By day the pillar of cloud did not fail to guide them on their path, nor the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take. 

The path of life winds through this world. The Pilgrim's Progress speaks of this. We go through all kinds of situations. 

Along this path as we encounter opposition to our faith we experience the love and mercy of God.  

*God is compassionate.
He understands that we are human beings.
He is full of compassion.

His mercy see that we dont get what we do deserve.
His grace sees that we get what we dont deserve.



2. Sometimes the Path is Bright.

We may not feel our need of God as we should.

We need to remember (and He puts things there to remind us) that we need Him always.

In times of blessings we experience the greatest spiritual danger. It is when blessings are abundant that we can easily forget where they came from. The 10 lepers.

Israel is an example. 


3. Sometimes the Way is Dark.

The Valley of the Shadow of Death.

Depression

Stresses of Life
Proverbs 11:8 The righteous person is rescued from trouble,and it falls on the wicked instead. 

He lights the way with fire!

During those times we cannot see ahead at all.
One step at a time.
One Day at a time.

Do not to try and figure God out. 
Romans 11:33-34 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!How unsearchable his judgments,and his paths beyond tracing out! “Who has known the mind of the Lord?Or who has been his counselor?” 


4. He is Leading Us to Heaven.

This past week we commemorated the death of Jim Elliot, the missionary to the Auca Indians in South America. Jim was martyred at 29 years of age. He wrote in his journal  a few years before: I must not think it strange if God takes in youth those I would have kept on earth till they were older. God is peopling eternity and I must not restrict Him to old men and women. 
Oswald Chambers, Keith Green

One of the truths of this passage is that on the way to heaven He never leaves us alone. We may have feelings we are alone, but the fact i He is always with us. The two pillars show that. He was witht he people in the day and in the night, all day long and all night long.


Proverbs 12:28 In the way of righteousness there is life;along that path is immortality. 


Monday, January 4, 2016

The Power of Prayer



Ephesians 3:14-21 

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from Whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. 

There is power in prayer. Tennyson: More is wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.

We have seen some incredible answers to prayer this year.

Here in our church.

Down in Haiti.

In our lives God has kept us.

1. The LORD Jesus Christ is the focus of our prayers.

Think about the way He lived!
Lady with Lotto ticket the other  night at the Deli.
Homeless, no record of any possessions. 

He is the One Who opened up the way for us to the Father.
John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."

Our prayers are to Him and for His Kingdom coming to this earth.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 

He set the example in prayer while here on earth and continues to intercede for us in heaven.
The prayer life of Jesus.
The LORDs Prayer
The Great Intercessory Prayer
His teaching on prayer
Praying from the cross





2. He is Able to Do Immeasurably More Than We Ask or Imagine.
We forget this often. We are reminded when He does this.

Our prayers of faith unite with God Almighty and He moves mountains.

All of the faith missions of centuries past have begun in prayer and depended on prayer.


3. The Power of Prayer is His Spirit Within Us.

Faith is the gift of God. Ephesians 2.8-9

Knowing Him is a gift. John 4.10

Knowing His will is a gift. Romans 3.1-3

The Holy Spirit is a gift. Luke 11:13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” 

4. Answers to Prayer Are For His Glory.

"Why this difference between the early church and the church of Jesus Christ today(1923)?...early church, It was a praying church...not merely occasionally, but where they all 'continued steadfastly...in prayers.' They all prayed--not a select few, but the whole membership of the church--and all prayed continuously with steadfast determination...a praying church and a praying ministry! Ah such a church and such a ministry can achieve anything that ought to be achieved. It will go steadily on, beating down all opposition, surmounting every obstacle, conquering every foe, just as much today as it did in the days of the apostles." RA Torrey

It is difficult to get to the point of knowing His Will and seeking His Kingdom and praying for His Glory. All of Jesus' prayers were grounded in these subjects.

 The pathway to the place Jesus was at is one of surrender to God's will, willingness to be made nothing and oneness with our Father in Heaven. 

We need to discover more and more the power of prayer. May our entire libes be a prayer to God. May we live in His Presence.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Into 2016!

Joshua 1.1-9

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” 

Moses, my servant is dead.
The end of an era
The finality of death 
God is in control

The death of Moses did not mean the end of Plan of God for His people.


New frontiers ahead for us:

Haiti Trip March 4-18
2 more, possibly three in the making this year. I believe we are going to see that church building completed. 

Nazarene Cafe on Valentines Weekend


Live Streaming our services soon.
The equipment is in and ready.
This means that people all around the country and the world will be able to watch our Sunday Morning Worship Service Live on their computers, laptops, iPads, iPhones and Smart TVs

Homeless Ministry


Psalm 1:6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous


How do we go into 2016?


On our knees!
Psalm 3:3-4
1. Pray!
Part of preparation for the crossing of the Jordan River into conquest of the land was consecration.
Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 

Prayer in our Bible Studies

Reviving our once a month prayer meetings on Sunday Evenings at the parsonage beginning next week with Haiti.

Prayer in your personal times: We prayed for over the church financial situation this past year and God answered and did immeaurably more than we could have imagined. He is taking care of this building and two churches!

Prayer when you are together for the church and its work.



2. Be strong in the Word

This particular Word this morning. 1.2

Joshua 1:2-3 “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. 


It is for the nation/ church

It is for each individual like it was for Joshua who makes up the Body of Christ.
*Moses, My servant is dead.
We faced the death of dear Roseanne this past year.
We are facing the soon departure of Bob Pawson.
Some have faced it personally.

I remember an encouraging note when I lost my Dad from Jay Bergers. It was appropriate that he went to be with the LORD at this time. Now i the time to allow our faith shine. Last evening with Helen and her family. Margot encouraging me to go back. 

Now is the time to apply the Book of Joshua, to claim its promises!





The whole counsel of God. 
Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. 


Now...

Get ready
3. Let Go
Of

doubts

past failures

past ways of doing things

vs.6,7,9 Be strong and courageous

We have never passed this way before.
There will be obstacles that can only be overcome through prayer.

Romans 4:18-21 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 

Only one letter and an apostrophe between Let Go and Let's Go but it is huge!
Let's Go!


Monday, December 21, 2015

When the Angels Had Left Them

Luke 2:15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 

The wise men followed the star they had seen in the east until it came over the place where Jesus was.
God directed them out by a dream.They had their instructions.

The Angel Choir sang. Then they left the shepherds. They had their announcement. The invitation to come and see came from the angels in the form of a choir. Shepherds Field today in the outskirts of Bethlehem.

The star, the angels, the dream were times of God speaking directly to hearts in supernatural ways.

We have to be careful. They are wonder filled and yet are not to be sought after. There are times when the LORD interupts our lives and does something unexplainable but that is not the normal ebb and flow of life. What happens after these exoeriences is what matters... The LORD is looking for obedience always.

He caught these men off guard. They were going about their work when God came to them in an unusual way. He does this from time to time to get our attention so we can be do works of service for Him. He comes to us to reveal something He wants us to do.

What we do after an extraordinary experience is all important.






When the Angels had left them...
1. Supernatural appearances are usually brief.
A few moments

Get our attention

Show us something ahead

The Angels in the sky that night over Bethlehem was spectacular. Wen it was over they listened to what the Angel of the LORD proclaimed.

When Jesus led Peter, James and John up Mount Hermon and was transfigured before them, Peter wanted to build three tabernacles. He wanted to keep the awesome and amazing experience going.

 Mark 9:2-7 After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with Him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There He was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for You, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He did not know what to say, they were so frightened. Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to Him!” 

Again obedience, looking to what is to follow in the form of following the LORD is so important after He comes to us in a supernatural way. Mark 9:9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 

2 Peter 1:16-18 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with Him on the sacred mountain. 

See Peter never forgot the experience. He even referred to it years later as Jesus told the three He would. John also wrote about it. John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, Who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 



2. Supernatural appearances are for a purpose.


General
Genesis 12:1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 

Specific Giving instructions as to what to next.

Obedience is always appropriate.

Sometimes it is an interuption. 
There is no way to follow Jesus without Him interfering with your life.

Sometimes we are inconvenienced.   

When God's Hand is upon us it is always right to proceed. 
Luke 2:15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” straightway NASB


3. Our Obedience is often tested by adversity.
Genesis 22:1-2 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”“Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” 

For some reason our Haiti Trip next month was not coming together like it should. Kevin, Adly and I spoke last Sunday. I had been praying. Then this week it seemed like it was. Then the doors shut. We postedponed it to March- wisdom came from counsel. We are being tested. I am being tested. It is causing us to rely more on the LORD which is always good. 
We are beginning to see why. This does not always happen

Gene Edwards - A Tale Of Three Kings
How strange, is it not, what suffering begets

Psalms David wrote.

Spiritual Maturity.

A change in perspective.

This too will pass- James last nighgt after I spoke to him about my back pain.


4. The Adversity Makes Us Strong By Breaking Our Hearts.

Spiritual strength does not lie in the outward clothing of the power of God alone. It lies within the brokenness of spirit. It lies in taking disappointment well. It is with the crucible of life that character emerges. C.S. Lewis believed that it was not until a man was tortured that you found out the true character of the man.

How a an handles adversity alwasy shows the kind of man he is. God changes us by our daily walk with Him. During that walk there is the Valley of the Shadow of Death, there are time when we ask why are we downcast. There are times when we are in awe of God's ways because we do not understand.

Supernatural experiences are wonder filled. They are for purposes. After they occur we must follow Christ.

Acts 26:19 “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. 
Acts 26.1-23

Psalm 119:49 Remember Your word to your servant, for You have given me hope. 
When God spoke to you, personally, when He put His Hand upon you, when He revealed Himself in a special way... could have been a long time ago. Expectation, Waiting. Let Him stir your heart this morning and follow Him.