Where Are The Sinners?

March 16, 2016

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Scripture

Don’t put me, your servant, on trial; no one is innocent in Your sight.

~Psalms 143:3, GNT

Quote

The depravity of man is at once the most empirically verifiable reality but at the same time the most intellectually resisted fact.

~Malcolm Muggeridge

As I was visiting a few days ago, I inserted a disc into my CD player and listened to a message on forgiveness. The message was delivered by one of the most revered men of our time; it was filled with truth but the messenger never, not even once, confessed any personal guilt or failure. Normally, when I hear this man preach, I feel better but this sermon was disturbing. My track record on forgiveness is a struggle at best. I can relate to David’s prayer…Don’t put me, your servant, on trial; no one is innocent in Your sight.

This aggravated my mind which lead to a lot of thought on this subject. Why is it so hard for us to confess our guilt? This is a universal problem which is seen even in the greatest Apostles. I am studying the book of ACTS currently but this is something I noticed a few years ago. The Apostles lay the death of Jesus at the feet of the JRL [Jewish Religious Leaders] but they never acknowledged their own personal guilt in relationship to Jesus death [Acts 2:23, 36, 3:15, 4:10, 5:30 & 10:39]. Since they all ran like cowards, I know there had to be some guilt. I am sure their guilt was understood, I just wish it had been clearly stated. All of this is recorded for a reason, spiritual leaders should make their desperate need for grace clear so that all understand.

Our depraved lying nature is also revealed in the JRL who said in Matthew 27:25, “Let His blood be on us and our children,” and then in Acts 5:28 “And now, you want to make us responsible for His [Jesus] death.” Wow! What a shift. First they want responsibility and then they pretend they had nothing to do with Jesus death. We are all responsible folks, no exceptions. It was not only the corrupt and ruthless Sanhedrin, the indifferent Pilot, the cruel Roman soldiers but it was our fear, cowardice, jealously, envy, selfish ambition, love for the world and a thousand other sins that put Jesus to death. We are all guilty!

Recently I was in a meeting at another church and a member of that congregation and I were talking about their pastor and this is what she said, “I love my pastor because he is the first preacher I have ever known who confesses publicly that he is a sinner.”

When many of our illustrations from the pulpit feature us and all have a happy ending, with us shinning like the stars of heaven, something is wrong. I know the truth, all men are depraved, and that includes preachers. You can save your act for someone else, I’m not buying it. Be real, it’s a big deal both with God and others.

extra1_0

  • I knew I was leaving someone out yesterday: Steve Hardy will be transferred from PMC to HH today for an arteriogram.
  • I actually got to talk with Gary Garner yesterday and have prayer. I really don’t know what to report other than we “Need a Miracle.” I know this, the man has suffered a lot and I want what’s best for him. I don’t pretend to know what that is but our Heavenly Father does.
  • I don’t think Robert Pope went to Lake Shore Rehab in Birmingham yesterday. 

Gary, Keri and Kane

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Pure Motives

April 18, 2015

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SCRIPTURE

Great crowds were following him. He turned around and addressed them as follows:  “Anyone who wants to be my follower must love me far more than he does his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, or sisters—yes, more than his own life—otherwise he cannot be my disciple.”

~Luke 14:25-26, NLT

QUOTE

A religion that gives nothing, costs nothing, and suffers nothing, is worth nothing.

~Martin Luther

my thoughts red

Jesus drew large crowds every where He went. Obviously His ministry of healing to the sick was a huge part of His appeal but people were attracted to Him for other reasons such as His teaching, His stories, His empathy and His unconditional love. Ironically, Jesus goal was not to attract large crowds nor to make a name for Himself. In John 8 Jesus addresses the crowd with these words, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I am he. I do nothing on my own but say only what the Father taught me.  And the one who sent me is with me—he has not deserted me. For I always do what pleases him.”

There you have it in a nutshell: Jesus passion and purpose was to please His Father. The purity of His motive was also attractive. The first thing that preachers do on Monday morning at the Pastor’s Conference is report the numbers. Every preacher wants to draw a large crowd. Of course you have to learn to be subtle if you want to keep pace with the brethren. When asked about his worship attendance, I heard a preacher say, “Well, we had less than 500.” We all want to draw the big crowds but that should not be our primary motive.

Revival Strip

  • TODAY WE PRAY FOR STUDENTS
  • No Deacon’s meeting Sunday: everything else will be normal.
  • Judy Blackwood’s mom Beatrice Freeze fell and broke her hip. She is in HH and quiet a bit of pain. Pray for Mrs. Bea.

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A Blip Or A Trend

March 15, 2015

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SCRIPTURE

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.

~2 Timothy 3:1, NASB

QUOTE

This is not a blip on the radar, it is a trend and the trend is one of decline.

~Ed Stetzer

my thoughts red

Every preacher knows how to spin the numbers which makes some people want to get rid of numbers all together. Why do Baptist count nickels and noses? Is it an ego trip? Numbers should represents names and names represent people; plus we have no way of gauging progress without keeping a record of numbers. Preachers naturally want to be positive, if for no other reason, for their own sake. I am as bad, possibly worse, than the rest. We had close to 200 last Wednesday night and I got excited. We had 97 in AWANA and 10 in the nursery. If we have 400 in worship today, I will really get excited but what about some harsh reality.

Southern Baptist don’t attend church as regularly as they once did: the national average is at 37%. When I was a young man, it was 50% but no more. We are also baptizing fewer people. In the U.S. we have a population of 318 million and it is projected to go to 400 million in the next couple of decades. Not only are we not keeping up with the population growth rate, we are going in the other direction. Four researchers[Christian Smith, David Olson, George Barna and Christine Wicker] have Evangelical Christians at 7-9% of the population. They are claiming that Evangelicals are under the illusion that we are a majority or at least in the 40% area. I don’t recall making such claims or hearing my brothers make such claims. We are a minority and we have always been a minority. We have always been like salt: it doesn’t take much salt to change the flavor of things.

Whereas I think Christine Wicker is going to the extreme on the negative side, I do confess, there is a problem and I know beyond any doubt that we are in a moral decline just like Judah in the days of Isaiah and later Jeremiah. We desperately need REVIVAL. I certainly disagree with the Calvinist who say we are in the early stages of a reformation. Every pastor knows I am telling the truth, the number of faithful attenders is declining at an alarming rate. Our core is shrinking. Convenience, not commitment is the rule of the day.

extra 2

  • TODAY we pray for SENIORS. Our Seniors have had a rough winter but today is supposed to be beautiful. Maybe our Seniors will be able to get out.
  • Big Day planned {God Willing}: Gideon Offering, Baby Dedication, three Baptisms, Haley and Charity duet. This is a line-up that will be hard to beat.
  • The Comments in the blog are in connection with John Dickerson’s book THE GREAT EVANGELICAL RECESSION. I read only a portion so I don’t have an evaluation. So far, it has been very disturbing.
  • I don’t know if I mentioned this in the Tuesday blog but we had 19 request for prayer concerning cancer and I found out yesterday that we need to make it 20. I visited J.W. and Sandra Blackwood and Sandra is battling cancer. I thought she was in remission. They usually come by the office weekly and I had not seen them lately. Please pray for Sandra.

Keri and Kane

EXTRA/EXTRA

I got this in an email from Linda Green…I do not know the source but I pass it along…it is interesting and disturbing!

When we get 100,000,000, that’s one hundred million willing Christians & Jews  to BOND together, voice their concerns and vote, we can take back America with God’s help. Become one of the One hundred  million…Then let’s get 200 million. It can be done just by sending this email to your  friends. Do the math. It only takes a single willing heart and a fed up SOUL. God Bless America and Shine your light on Her!

In 1952 President Truman Established one day a year as a “National Day of Prayer.”

In 1988 President Reagan Designated the first Thursday in May of each year as The National Day of Prayer.

In June 2007 (then)  Presidential Candidate Barack Obama Declared that the USA “Was no  longer a Christian nation.

In 2009 President Obama Canceled the 21st annual National Day of Prayer ceremony at the White House under the ruse of “not wanting to offend anyone”

HOWEVER… On September 25, 2009 From 4 AM until 7 PM, A  National Day of Prayer FOR THE MUSLIM RELIGION Was Held on Capitol  Hill, inside the White House. There were over 50,000 Muslims In D.C. that day.  PRESIDENT OBAMA PRAYS WITH THE MUSLIMS!

I guess it doesn’t matter if “Christians & Jews”  were offended by this event We obviously don’t  count as “anyone” anymore. Now President Obama is encouraging schools to teach the Quran for extra credit, while at the same time, they cannot even talk about the Bible, God, pray, or salute the American Flag. The direction this country is headed should strike fear in the heart of every Christian & Jew, especially  knowing that the Muslim religion believes that if Christians & Jews cannot be converted, they should be annihilated.

Pray For Revival

Pray For Revival

SCRIPTURE: It must be with him constantly and he must read it as long as he lives, so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and observe all the words of this law and these statutes and carry them out. {Deuteronomy 17:19, NET}

QUOTE: “Give yourself unto reading.” ~Charles H. Spurgeon

COMMENTARY: The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains,
proves that he has no brains of his own. You need to read. We are quite persuaded that the very best way for you to be spending your leisure time is not playing computer games but either reading or praying. You may get much instruction from books which afterwards you may use as a true weapon in your Lord and Master’s service. When Paul was in jail he cried, “Bring the books” — join in the cry.

Concerning the paragraph above, I am like the old Indian who lived in Arizona during the testing of the H-bomb. When he looked up and saw the huge mushroom cloud, he thought, “I wish I had said that.” Truth is I added one pharse, five words I think, the rest is from the pen of Charles Spurgeon. I was so impressed when I read it that I thought I should pass it along.

There are three kinds of preachers: [1] Those who build their own sermons and have too much pride to preach another preachers sermon. [2] Those that preach other preachers sermons and some of them preach these sermons better than their authors. [3] Third, those who ought to preach another preachers sermon because their’s are so bad.

EXTRA:

  • The Only thing about Holidays is that they pass so quickly. I did get to see two war movies. The family softball game liked to have killed me. I was so sore this morning that I could not hardly get out of bed. I’m keeping Chloe next holiday.
  • The Holiday is over and it’s time to go to work. Bible School next Monday. Making a change this year, actually two: having VBS a week early to avoid Father’s Day and we are having our commencement program at night. Sunday night June 9, 6:00 with program in the sanctuary and picnic to follow at pavilion.
VBS June 3-7

VBS June 3-7