God’s Missionary Heart

June 19, 2016

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Scripture

I will bring them to my holy mountain of Jerusalem and will fill them with joy in my house of prayer. I will accept their burnt offerings and sacrifices, because my Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations.

~Isaiah 56:7, NLT

Quote

“God’s love is like the ocean: we can see it beginning but we can not see its depth or its end.”

~Image Quotes

The “them” in Isaiah 56:7 is in reference to us the Gentiles. God had miraculously and mysteriously brought the Jews home from exile but He promised to bring others to join them. In the same breath, Isaiah denounces the leaders of the Jews. He said, “You leaders are not doing your job. Instead of warning My people, you are blind and ignorant. You are like watch dogs who don’t bark. You lay around like a lazy dog who sleeps all the time. You are greedy dogs who never get enough. You have no understanding and you seek your own pleasure by taking advantage of others.”

Israel misinterpreted their call and responsibility. Isaiah made it crystal clear in 42:6, “I, the LORD, have called you to demonstrate my righteousness. I will take you by the hand and guard you, and I will give you to my people, Israel, as a symbol of my covenant with them. And you will be a light to guide the nations.

Israel failed to demonstrate God’s righteousness and they failed to be a light to the nations but Jesus did not fail. He did what Israel failed to do. Israel will eventually be a light, a guide to the nations but if will be a new Israel with Jesus as King and you and I will be a part of this great kingdom.

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  • Thank you Jesus for the cooler air: it is refreshing!
  • BUMPER STICKER OF THE DAY: “Somewhere in Kenya, a village is missing its idiot.”
  • Full schedule today: Deacon’s meeting at 8:15, LCBS at 9:15, Worship at 10:15, Kids leave for camp at 11:30, Pastor’s Search Team meets at 4:00, VBS Commencement at 5:00 and picnic to follow.
  • I got to visit four families yesterday. I’m slow because I get to talking and stay too long. Every visit I have made has been excellent. I haven’t heard a complaint yet: I have had a couple of close calls or near misses. We had a great time at Emily and Sean’s last night. I think I’ve finally got the boys figured out.
  • Children leaving for camp today and will be back Friday. We have a record number going. I think it is 26 plus counselors.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

Daddyww2

 

Know What You Want

June 18, 2016

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Scripture

“Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”

~Matthew 20:33, NIV

Quote

Know exactly what you want. Clarity equals power. Vague goals produce vague results.

~Image Quotes

We were coming back from Bessemer on Thursday night and Holly and I were hungry so we pulled into an Arby’s, Holly was barking instructions but I rudely interuppted with a question I always ask when approaching a drive through window, “Do you know what you want?” I hate to pull up to the window without everyone in the vehicle knowing definitively what they want. I’m not talking about “a fry,” I’m talking about curly fry, small fry, or large fry. You need to know exactly what you want.

Some people go through life like bewildered and confused folks who pull up to a fast food drive through without knowing what they want. If you don’t know what you want, who does? If you can’t articulate what you want clearly, how can anyone please you? The two blind men sitting by the Jericho road knew exactly what they wanted. Jesus stopped and said,  “What do you want me to do for you?” Without a moments hesitation, they said in unison, “we want our sight.”

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  • Officially VBS 2016 is history except for the commencement Sunday evening at 5:00. We enrolled around 290 and averaged 210 per day. A “Well done” to all workers. Mandy and Shohn pretty much do VBS in terms of leadership: I help a little but its very little. DBC is blessed with capable leaders and we should appreciate them.  A special thanks to Nursery workers. Hannah is disappointed: she wanted a two week school. My family gives Charlene Tidwell rave reviews: she works in the nursery and loves it and the kids love her.
  • Yesterday was hot, too hot. I think I over heated. I was so tired I could barely get in the shower. I did not intend to go back outside but I did and was soaking wet with sweat in no time. I am thankful for the rain.
  • BUMPER STICKER OF THE DAY: Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?

foghorn it is so hot

Unconditional Love

June 17, 2016

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Scripture

“The mountains and hills may crumble, but My love for you will never end; I will keep forever My promise of peace.” So says the LORD who loves you.

~Isaiah 54:10, GNT

Quote

The mystery of ministry is that we have been chosen to make our own limited and very conditional love the gateway for the unlimited and unconditional love of God.

~Henry Nouwen

As fallen sinners, we are programmed to think that love must be earned. We fail to understand that we are too depraved to earn God’s love. God loves us because that is who He is and what He does. It has nothing to do with your performance or pedigree. We are like Jospeh’s brothers: we are jealous, mistrusting, deeply insecure, disobedient, selfish and when we do something good, it is for the wrong reason. Joseph’s brothers deserved to be hung: they lied to their father and betrayed their brother. Twenty years later, when their wicked plot is uncovered, they bow before Joseph and beg for their lives. They were not truly repentant, they were trying to save their necks. Joseph loved them and forgave them but only because of his superior character. As Jacob knew all alone, Joseph was a better man than his brothers.

God loves you because He chose to love you. He decided before the foundation of the world to love you. This is an unalterable fact that you cannot change. As Junior Hill says, “Jesus loves you and there is nothing you can do about it.” He has already made up His mind to love you and His love is greater than your foul ups. This is the most liberating news on the planet.

Jesus didn’t love Israel because they were good or better than others: the Jews by nature or stiff necked and rebellious. They may be the most obstinate and obnoxious people on the face of earth but God loves them and that is not going to change even though they murdered His Son. The point is: if God can love a Jew, he can love anyone. It is about GRACE not race.

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  • Bumper Sticker of the Day: My Mother had morning sickness after I was born. {Rodney Dangerfield}
  • VBS day four 208. Papa John’s pizza today.
  • Thank God for the rain. I had to drive to the South yesterday and I noticed that those South of Danville got a good rain just as we did. This one is going to make some corn. For the first time: we have corn, squash, cucumbers and tomatoes during VBS. Now, if we can get to the corn before the coons do, that is the question.

girls in VBS

The Jewish Dilemma

June 16, 2016

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Scripture

“Who would have believed what we now report? Who could have seen the LORD’s hand in this?

~Isaiah 53:1, GNT

Quote

Jesus was treated the way we [all humankind] deserve so that we [all who repent and believe] can be treated the way Jesus deserves.

~Tim Keller

There is no question in my mind that Isaiah’s prophecies of the suffering servant refer both to the nation of Israel in general and the Messiah in particular. The prevailing rabbinic interpretation of Isaiah 53 ascribes the “servant” to the nation of Israel who silently endured unimaginable suffering at the hands of its Gentile oppressors. The unbelief expressed in the two exclamations…Who would believed what we now report? Who could have seen the LORD’s hand in this?–refers to Gentile shock over the coming Jewish triumph and world domination. God will crush all Gentile rulers and the Jews will rule the word through their messianic king. In other words: Gentiles are the bad guys and Jews are the good guys. We are the oppressors and they are the victims.

There is one tiny problem with their wishful thinking: there are no good guys. Both Jew and Gentile stand condemned before holy God. The Jews have suffered oppression in part due to their rebellious nature and their defiance of God. Isaiah made in clear in 53:8 that the sacrifice would be a person of purity. We know that Jesus was this person and He fulfilled all the Jewish demands of an acceptable sacrifice. The idea that the Jewish nation can save itself by its own merit is ridiculous. The trial and the execution of Jesus is proof that the Jews are as depraved as everyone else. Annas and Caiaphas orchestrated the entire thing and both were far more concerned with power and wealth than with justice.

The Jews have one hope and its JESUS. We have one hope and its JESUS. We are all in the same boat and to withstand the coming judgment, that boat [Our Ark] must be Jesus. We are all at the mercy of a holy God who shows no partiality: if He did, He wouldn’t be holy.

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  • Bumper Sticker of the day: Rich people stay rich because they live like they are poor. Poor people stay poor because they live like they are rich.
  • PTL we got an inch and one half of rain last night around 7:00 pm: THANK YOU JESUS!
  • VBS going great. Evangelism emphasis today, so pray. We had 206 on Monday, 212 on Tuesday and 222 on Wednesday. I think we have enrolled 287. You can see pics on my Facebook page. I’m not sure they are on the church page. Holly has posted hundreds.
  • The Gator Train is powered by the old gator Tom gave us. I guess we could call it Thomas the Train.

train

Overshadowed

June 14, 2016

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Scripture

But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.”

~Matthew 17:5, NASB

Quote

“The wind blows where it wishes. You don’t know where it came from or where it is going and you can’t do anything about it.”

~Jesus [John 3:8, JEV]

Peter was talking ninety to nothing when suddenly a cloud overshadowed him, Peter was totally enveloped by the cloud. To an outsider, the only thing visible was the cloud. The cloud had a voice and the voice spoke of Jesus, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” So right in the middle of a conversation, Peter is interrupted by the Holy Spirit who spoke audible leaving the three disciples in shock and awe. Peter had no idea what was happening or what brought it about–it was a defining moment, a once in a lifetime experience and Peter was caught by surprise.

I get amused at the guys who get paid to predict the weather. They aren’t any better at it today than they were 50 years ago. The truth is: they are making an educated guess but they have no idea what is going to happen. The wind is subject to change in a moments notice and no one can do anything about it. The same is true of the Holy Spirit. He being God can do as He pleases and He does. Whether you like it or not, we are at His mercy. I am reminded of Zechariah 4:6, Then he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.

I prayed for the Holy Spirit to overshadow us in our Deacon’s meeting last Sunday: it didn’t happen. I prayed the same thing in the am service: didn’t happen. I sat there Sunday night thinking the same thing: if the Spirit does not move, this is going to be another dead service. It doesn’t matter who the preacher is, we are at the mercy of the Spirit. We can do any thing we want to do but a part from Him moving, all is vain because we cannot do what He can do.

Would you like to be overshadowed by the Ruach ha-kodesh {Spirit of Holiness}? So enveloped in His glory that no one could see you, only Jesus.

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  • Day ONE of VBS is history and it went well. We had a good Monday, 256 which is best Monday in a decade. We enrolled over 400 in 2006 and averaged over 300 per day.
  • Bumper Sticker of the day. THE PROBLEM IS NOT GUNS! It’s hearts without Jesus, homes without discipline, schools without prayer and courts without justice.
  • Praise The LORD for AC and just think, it is another week until Summer begins, this is Spring.

The Arrow

June 12, 2016

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Scripture

He made Me like an arrow, sharp and ready for use.

~Isaiah 49:2, CEV

Quote

I wish to be useful, and every kind of service necessary to the public good becomes honorable by being necessary.

~Nathan Hale

There are four servant songs or poems in Isaiah: [1] Isaiah 42:1-4 [2] Isaiah 49:1-6 [3] Isaiah 50:4-9 and [4] Isaiah 53 which everyone is familiar with. Over the ages, scholars have debated whether the servant is Israel the nation of Jesus the Messiah. There is no question that Isaiah 53 is about Jesus. This is the passage the Ethiopian eunuch was reading and Philip took this same scripture and preached Jesus. I think the answer is both and, not either or. Israel is God’s servant and so is Christ. The difference is: Jesus is God’s perfect servant.

  • God choose Christ, anointed Him [Isaiah 49:1]
  • God not only anointed Christ, He pointed Him, made Him sharp. [49:2]
  • God appointed Christ to bring His people back [49:5]
  • God made Christ a light to the nations [49:6]
  • God made Christ the SAVIOR of the world [49:6]
  • God made Christ despised and rejected [49:7]
  • God made Christ the KING of kings and kings and queens will bow before HIM [49:7]
  • God anointed Christ to set the captives free. [49:9]
  • God used Christ to bring comfort to His people. [49:13]
  • God made Christ a tangible expression of His love [49:14-16]

My favorite metaphor describing Christ in Isaiah 49 is the ‘Arrow’. God made Jesus an arrow. An arrow is directed or aimed. An arrow is sharp, to the point. An arrow is sent. In many cases, it goes where the archer cannot go. An arrow can protect and it can also conquer. Not only is Jesus an Arrow, you and I are arrows in His quiver. Our lives should be focused and to the point. We are to be driven by God’s energy. Remember, an arrow is of no use as long as it stays in the quiver: arrows are made to be used. We are God’s arrows created to serve His purpose.

Useful people are busy doing useful things; they don’t have time to be offended by those who treat them as useless. On the other hand, a useless person usually thinks him or herself as being important and is easily offended if not coddled and applauded.

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  • Well folks it is VBS eve 2016. May the Ruach be with us.
  • Ruth is at Vickie’s and very content.
  • Today’s schedule: Deacon’s meeting at 8;15, LCBS at 9:15, Worship at 10:15 and tonight we go to the TABERNACLE in Hartselle to hear Junior Hill.
  • Today’s Mission offering goes to a house in Guatemala in memory of Tom Bennich and then to bibles for the Gideons in memory of Tom. I would like to do 1,000 bibles in Tom’s memory. By the way, Tom was an arrow.

Tom Bennich

 

God Cares About You

June 11, 2016

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Scripture

I am poor and needy, but, LORD God, you care about me and you will come to my rescue.

~Psalms 40;17, CEV

Quote

No one will ever love you more than Jesus.

~Image Quotes

In Psalm 41:12, David declares his innocence but in Psalm 40 he is feeling the weight of his sins. I like David’s confession, {40:12} I have more troubles than I can count. My sins are all around me, and I can’t find my way. My sins out number the hairs on my head, and I feel weak. I also like his confidence, The LORD will come to my rescue, and He did come to David’s rescue and ours as well. He came in the person of Jesus who lived a perfect life in our behalf and then died an atoning death, paying for all our sins. So David was a poet and a prophet, he predicted the incarnation. Do you realize how many prophecies are fulfilled in Christ? Jesus was a difference maker, a game changer. He fulfilled prophecies that would be impossible for a mere man. O hallelujah, O what a Savior!

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  • I am not an NBA fan. I have not watched an NBA playoff game in five years but last night I watched a half or so of the Cleveland and Golden State game. I could become a Steph Curry fan if he was not an Obama supporter. Landon told me that he and Obama are golfing buddies. I hope Obama is better at golf than he is at governing. He should be, he spends more time on the golf course. It is certainly a good thing that Curry makes better judgments on the basketball court than he does in politics.
  • I cannot get caught up: I think I’ve been behind all week. We spent all day yesterday preparing for VBS. Our garden is going to run away if we don’t get it plowed. We have squash, cucumbers and we are a week or so from having corn. We had tomatoes for weeks, but we got them from the fruit stand in Danville.
  • VBS begins Monday at 8:30. Pick up time is 11:30 sharp and commencement is Sunday night June 19 at 5:30. Hamburger supper following program.
  • Looking forward to Sunday: Deacon’s meeting at 8:15, Polls open at 9:00, LCBS at 9:15, Celebrate Jesus at 10:15 and Sunday night we go to the TABERNACLE to hear Junior Hill.
juniorhill

Dr. Junior Hill

Insanity

June 10, 2016

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Scripture

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

~Romans 12:2, NLT

Quote

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

~Albert Einstein

Einstein was a rocket scientist but it does not take an Einstein to understand what he said: you cannot expect different results from the same old behavior. A huge part of transformation is God changing the way we think. If your thinking is fouled up, your behavior will follow suit. 

Which generation of American’s feel most entitled? I don’t think it is a particular generation. I think the entitlement mentality is getting worse with each generation and some of that has to do with the way we have raised our children and I am prime example. I never made my children earn; we gave them everything. Not only did we give them everything, we never made them pay us back when they borrowed. In defense of Generation X, I know people my age who believed they were entitled to their parents savings and worried themselves silly because they were afraid their parents were going to spend their inheritance.

For the record: you are not entitled to anything, especially grace. Blacks are not entitled, Hispanics are not entitled, Senior Adults are not entitled. If you paid in Social Security, you are entitled  back what you invested with interest but no one owes you anything. I was paying a personal debt to a friend when I noticed the name of another friend on his ledger. It was an old debt and no effort had been made to resolve it. Because the man was a friend, I confronted him. He said, “Yes, I borrowed the money but he has plenty so I have not worried about paying him back.” This is stinking thinking: I don’t care if he has 100 billion dollars, a debt is a debt and you are stealing when you don’t pay them.

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  • God is good and we thank HIM for HIS infinite goodness in granting us traveling mercies. We carried the kids to see their mother last night. I was tired and dreaded the trip but everything went well: THANK YOU JESUS. Hope needs wisdom: pray that God would give her the wisdom to figure this thing out. We definitely need a transformed mind.
  • We will be working on VBS stuff today: I hope we are not as rushed as yesterday.
  • Remember, our Sunday night church is at the TABERNACLE in Hartselle, 7:00 pm with Junior Hill preaching.
juniorhill

Dr. Junior Hill

 

Humor

June 9, 2016

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Scripture

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.

~Proverbs 17:22, NLT

Quote

Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is common sense dancing.

~William James

I really like my glasses, my dentures fit me find; my hearing aid is ordered but what about my absent mind? For two days in a row, the LORD spoke to me in my QT and for two days in a row, I have forgotten what He said, although I did write it down yesterday morning but forgot to bring the note home. I racked my feeble brain but I could not recall even the subject. I thought, I can get frustrated or I can chuckle. 

Can you laugh at yourself? Can you laugh with others when they are laughing at you? A sense of humor is a must for a pastor. If you don’t learn to laugh at yourself and others, you will spend most of your time crying or feeling sorry for yourself. A sense of humor is a safety valve; a way to release pressure. I heard a good anecdote last night. If Trump gets elected, he will be the first president to move into government housing previously occupied by a minority family. Did you laugh: if not, shame on you. What do you call a camel with two humps? A Bactrian! What do you call a camel with three humps? Pregnant! Surely you laughed.

When I was a boy, I knew a hell fire and brimstone preacher who was deadly serious all the time. I think he thought it was a sin to smile. He appeared to be working on a holy look, an expression somewhere between acid indigestion and a migraine headache. He wasn’t a bad preacher but he just could not laugh. He lost it, that is his mind. You cannot survive without laughter.

EXTRA animated

  • This is VBS preparation week and we have a lot more to do before Sunday so if you need me today, call my cell. I will be in and out and out more than in.
  • I did get my computer problem resolved yesterday but it took me half the morning. I am hoping to get back on track. I usually do the blog right after my QT. Doing them late at night is not the ideal.
  • Kane got to play golf yesterday with Phil Mickelson. June was tore up. Phil is her favorite player and yes, she is huge golf fan.

mickelson happy

The Wicked

June 8, 2016

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Scripture

Soon the wicked will disappear. Though you look for them, they will be gone.

~Psalm 37:10, NLT

Quote

The  evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.

~Solomon

The Hebrew word ra’a’ means evil, bad, wicked, injurious, displeasing and unethical. It is used 96 times in the Psalms and 15 times in Psalm 37 which is a classic. A wonderful future awaits the one who sets his/her delight in the LORD Jesus Christ but for those who rebel against God and His anointed, there is no future. You cannot fight against God and win. You do not have to repent; you do not have to turn from sin and your selfish ways but you have zero chance of succeeding.

God told David, “Don’t waste time fretting over the success of the wicked, their triumph will be short lived–they are going no where.” They will dry up like spring flowers on a hot scorching summer day. They will disappear like smoke from a chimney: first you see  them, then poof, they vanish. It may appear that they are succeeding but their judgment is coming and their strength will be broken. Our God is so secure in who He is that He laughs [v.13] when He sees them plotting and scheming.

A wonderful future awaits those who delight in Christ–Those who fear God and acknowledge His son. They will live in peace and inherent the land but the rebellious have no future, none at all. [v.37-38]

EXTRA animated

  • I visited on Monday night and got in so late that there was no blog. Actually, I had two things come up on Monday: [1] My computer at the office crashed and [2] I was out late and give out. June asked if I was going to do a blog and I said “no’. I don’t think she could not believe it.
  • This is a busy week as we prepare for VBS: one of the last DAY SCHOOLS in the county. June noticed as we drove by last night, East Highland has gone to a night school. I am glad I am retiring. I’ve been telling you it was coming but I still don’t like it. We are going to be busy the rest of the week getting ready so if you call the office and no one answers, it is because we are outside or in the other building.
  • I made a mistake on May 29 of telling you that we had our debt reduced to 2016 but that was wrong: I was looking at the wrong chart. We did reduce it by two months. Our balance is around $58,000 and our next offering is July 31. Again, it falls on a Holiday weekend but there is nothing we can do about that. Our last one will be October 30 but Halloween Eve shouldn’t hurt us.
  • Don’t forget, our Sunday night church this week is at the HARTSELLE CAMP MEETING. Dr. Junior Hill will be preaching. Junior will be with us on August 21 and possibly for my retirement party. I am considering incorporating in January and working under the umbrella of EASTERN GATE MINISTRIES which was Junior’s brain child.

Junior Hill