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

 

DRIFTING

February 6, 2015

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SCRIPTURE

So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.

~Hebrews 2:1, NLT

QUOTE

Yes, apostasy happens. Sometimes the catalyst is flagrant sin but most of the time, it is a quiet drifting that is not reversed by the knowledge of biblical warnings.

~Sinclair Ferguson 

my thoughts red

God’s redemptive purpose is a giant river and we are to stay in the mainstream, in the channel. God is blessing in the deep; He is moving in the current of channel. Have you noticed: when you throw a floating object into the channel of a stream, that object has a tendency to drift to one side or the other. Instead of moving down stream with the current, the object finds a resting place in an eddy or a shallow inlet. We Christians are the same way: we have a tendency to drift and it is not toward the mainstream of God’s redemptive purpose. We have a tendency to drift into the shallow, the stagnant; that part of the stream that is not moving.

Drifting is a continuous slow movement from one place to another. You don’t drift toward evangelism or missions: you drift away. Drifting is not dramatic or sudden but it effectively gets us out of the mainstream of God’s redemptive purpose. The devil does not care if it is quick or dramatic, he just wants us to waste our lives in the shallows. The fish are in the channel. Life is in the channel. Repent and push yourself out into the deep.

Revival Strip

  • Today is FRIDAY {TYJ} and we pray for FAMILY. Why don’t we lift up the Hogan family today?
  • Joe David and I went to Memphis yesterday. I’ve been to Memphis hospitals before but not to St. Jude. Kane had a chemo and afterwards we got to eat lunch with him and roll him to his apartment. The kid has a super attitude. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anything like it. I can’t tell you how proud I am of Kane. He gave himself an insulin shot in his stomach. I could not watch. The child is tougher than I am. They are moving to the Ronald McDonald House tomorrow which is good news because they will have more room. The bad news is Michelle has collected enough stuff to fill a U-haul. Thanks for your prayers, cards, letters, food, money and all around support. We did meet another family from Hartselle.  I posted their pic and names on TWITTER earlier.
  • On the way back from Memphis we turned at Muscle Shoals and went down to Hamilton to see the DHS girls play Basketball. There is no way this school is 4-A. Someone in Montgomery favors them. They have a McDonalds, Sonic, Hardee’s, Obryan’s Steak House, 24 traffic lights, a motel and I-22. The only thing we have two of is Fire Departments. We don’t even have two lights and our one light blinks. I’m telling the system is corrupt. BUT we beat’em and made them like it. Way to go girls. Our girls played great! 
  • GOLDEN GIRLS tomorrow at Cracker Barrel, 9:00 am.
  • Normal schedule Sunday…Deacons Meeting at 8:15, LCBS at 9:15 and worship at 10:15 and 6:00.
  • Speaking of DHS Girls Basketball, here is a pic of mid-90’s team.

dhs basketball

LIFE CHANGING BIBLE STUDY LESSON PREVIEW

READY WITH SEX DESTROYS

Objective: the purpose of this lesson is to inspire us to commit to a life of sexual purity and influence others to do like wise.

Scripture: Ephesians 5:1-10, NIV

1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord.

NLT

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. 3 Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. 4 Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. 5 You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. 6 Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. 7 Don’t participate in the things these people do. 8 For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! 9 For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. 10 Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.

INTRODUCTION

Chip Ingram, a pastor in California and popular conference speaker is the writer of this READY series. Chip had a friend who was a professional base ball player. He does not give a name which is wise because he shares the man’s confession: 

 When I was playing baseball, I got a real buzz from the crowd. I started pursuing sexual relationships with women in different cities where we played. My life revolved around these sexual encounters. But one day I woke up feeling numb. I realized I had left a tiny piece of my soul with each woman and it was something that I could not get back. I am tormented by guilt, and I don’t know how to have a real relationship. I am asking God to heal me.”

I’ll go ahead and tell you what this anonymous baseball player has already figured out: he will not get those missing parts of his soul back. This is one of consequences of sexual immorality. There is no such thing as casual sex: there are always strings attached: you may not see them but they are there. Jesus said in Matthew 19,This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. 6 Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.” If this sacred union is broken, somethings are irretrievable.

Sadly, we live in a culture that glorifies and promotes sexual immorality. The IRS even persecutes married couples. The bible runs counter to culture and Ephesians 5 is a good example.

THOUGHTS AND QUESTIONS

  1. Actually, we have a greater Christian influence today than in Paul’s time. The Jews had taught sexual purity for years but the pagan world was sexually immoral. In other words, some things have not changed. Paul was challenging the new Gentile believers to pattern their lives after Christ. Jesus loved women and yet He never lusted nor did anything inapproitate with them or around them. What is the difference between Jesus love for women and our love for women?
  2. If we follow Christ example and love others the way He did, we will always put the needs of others first. Does this standard of love that Jesus exemplified apply to our sexual behavior?
  3. God created sex for [1] Procreation [2] Pleasure [3] Climax to intimacy [4] Appetizer for heaven. Sex can be edifying or destructive. What determines if it is helpful or harmful? {Context: right person, right place, right time within marriage} [Illustration: Fire, in the right place can be comforting, delightful, serving our needs but if fire gets out of its proper place, out of control, it can be destructive and deadly]
  4. Chip Ingram suggest that we memorize verse 3, “Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people.” I have two others that I think would be helpful, especially to men. Psalms 101:3, I will refuse to look at
    anything vile and vulgar.”  Job 31:1,“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman.” Which one do you think would be the best to commit to memory?
  5. The Greek word that is translated by NLT and NIV as “Foolish talk” is the word from which we get moronic. In others words, we should talk like a moron. I worked for a man one Summer who carried on this “foolish talk” and even though I was only 16, I thought it was moronic. The man was married and had a daughter. There is no place for this kind of talk in the Christian’s life. Do you know any morons? You don’t have to name them.
  6. Why did Paul mix the sin of GREED with sexual immorality?
  7. Which do you consider worse, greed or sexual impurity?
  8. Which of the two are favored by the church?
  9. Why do we minimize certain sins and give greater attention to others such as sexual immorality?
  10. How can impurity be deceiving?
  11. What makes sexual immorality so deceiving?
  12. How can we help a brother or sister who is being deceived by sexual immorality? [Don’t be self-righteous. Examine your own motive and keep your sin in mind. Pray for the right opportunity to approach them. Be loving but do not compromise God’s standard. Follow up and do  your best to hold the person accountable]
  13. What worse in the area of sexual immorality and greed: denial or deception?
  14. Which of the two, sexual immorality and greed do you think produces the greatest guilt? Harm?

 

Grasping Your Purpose

December 18, 2014

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SCRIPTURE

I’m not implying that I’ve already received “resurrection”{perfection}, or that I have already become complete and mature! No: I’m hurrying on, eager to overtake it, because King Jesus has overtaken me.

~Philippians 3:12, CT

QUOTE

We cannot do what God does but God will not do what we can.

~Oswald Chambers

my thoughts red

Paul uses the word ‘apprehend’ [AV] twice in this verse. It means to grasp or to take hold to. Paul said Christ took hold of me for a purpose {Telio’os} and I intend to take hold of the purpose for which He took hold of me. God did not call you to do everything but he did call you to do something: find out what it is and get busy. To grasp your purpose in life you need three things that Paul alludes to in this passage.

  1. YOU NEED A GOOD ATTITUDE–A Jay Cutler type attitude will not do the trick. You need a Tim Tebow type attitude.
  2. YOU NEED TO NARROW YOUR INTEREST–A jack of all trades is a master of none. You will never excel at anything as long as you are trying to do everything. A laser is concentrated light. It is light with a narrow focus. It is the narrow focus that gives the laser incredible power.
  3. YOU NEED TO INTENSIFY YOUR EFFORT–Paul was a sports fan and “press” is a sports word…He said, “I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me”.… [v.12, NLT]….”press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Are you as intense about the LORD’s work as you once were? Why are you letting up? The clock is running out, it is time to pick up the pace. It’s time to go into a full court press.

Do you really want to know your purpose {Why Christ laid hold of you}? Begin with a good attitude, narrow your interest to pleasing only HIM and intensify your effort. Bro. Inman use to tell the story of the woman who kept coming to her pastor complaining that the LORD never used her. Finally he told her, “Lady, if you will get usable, God will wear you out.” I concur.

For those who heard this last night, I apologize but I did not see many there who read the blog and I was tired.

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  • Don’t know exactly how many we had last night but we were down. I had a good time but I always do. Next Wednesday night I will offer communion at 6:00 and on December 31, we do not meet. Many of the LCBS classes have parties on that night which is good. Our class is having ours on December 28 and we are meeting at Cracker Barrel. What a shock, right?
  • Today we pray for those having TRIALS. Russ and Katie were thrilled that Preston’s surgery went well and two hours later Katie Sparkman gave birth to triplets. DBC has four babies in the infant ICU at Huntsville Women and Children. I think that is 6 in the last 5 weeks and 7 or 8 in the last two months. Continue to pray for Kenny Holladay.
  • Remember the Sunday schedule is different: Deacons and wives at 8:55, LCBS at 9:00 and one worship celebration at 10:15. No pm services for the rest of the year which is two Sundays: unbelievable!

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Masterpiece

May 20, 2014

celebrate Jesus Son of God

SCRIPTURE

 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

~Ephesians 2:10, NLT

QUOTE

The LORD always looks at His people as they will be when they are finished.

~H.A. Ironsides

my thoughts red

A famous artist was busy in his studio working on a masterpiece. He was enthusiastically working and totally unaware of the presence of a friend who had been watching him work for several minutes. When the artist looked up and saw his friend, he asked, “What do you think of my new masterpiece?”To be frank,” said his friend, “I don’t think much of it.”Ah,” said the artist, “you cannot see what it is going to be but I can.”

God is the artist and our lives are his masterpiece. Folks look at us and are unimpressed but they cannot see what He sees. He sees the finished product. Jesus took one look at Simon and saw a Rock. No one else saw a Rock, only a dirty fisherman but Jesus saw the finished product.

EXTRA animated

  • Sunday Report: LCBS 170, Worship a.m. 268, Worship p.m. 143, Mission Offering $789.00, Budget $6,630.00
  • The entire DBC family is invited to the wedding of Tray Williams and Mary Carol Coleman. Saturday May 24, 6:00 PM at Windbrook in Cullman.
  • Sixteen days until VBS/VBX. I think there is seven school days left. You can ask Ty, he has been counting them down for two months.

Pleasing Him

March 20, 2014

celebrate Jesus Son of God

SCRIPTURE

“For I always do what pleases Him.”

~John 8:29

QUOTE

If you love Him, you will study to please Him

~John Newton

Blog strip

 

I will not down play the deity of Christ; not will I deny His humanity. As the Son of Man, He maintained a right relationship with the Father, He had an intimate prayer life and His influence with men was unbelievable. Understand that Jesus could not be wrongly related to His Father because He and the Father are One. He prayed prayers as the Son of Man but as the Son of God, He hears our prayers. The Church speaks for itself concerning His influence with men. You must understand that Jesus was not merely a man but He was a man.

Although Jesus was God, He did not demand His rights as an equal. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; and took the humble position of a human servant. Jesus as God in flesh humbled Himself in obedience toThe Father and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Why would the Second Person of the trinity become a man? The most obvious answer is to become a sacrifice for sin but Jesus also laid down a pattern for us to follow. [1] We can have a right relationship with the Father; [2] We can have an intimate prayer life [3] and we can have influence with men. All these things can happen if we make “Pleasing the Father” the purpose of our life.

Every life is controlled by some purpose: what is the purpose controlling your life?

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  • I wrote the above devotion yesterday morning, several hours before Dana’s Celebration of Life Service. I thought it was very ironic that one of the speakers at the COLS said that Dana had one purpose in life, “To please God”. His name was Ralph Berry, no kin to Chuck. I thought Dana’s service went well. I think she would be pleased. Dr. Sawyer has a brilliant mind and he is a very gifted speaker. I’ve never heard him preach a bad sermon.
  • We got word yesterday, while we were at Pecks that Bob Brechtel’s mother had passed away and also Louie Rogers. Bob’s Mom service is Friday at 12:00. Pray for Joe David, he is doing the service. We have moved the Senior Adult Fellowship up to 11:00 am. We’re going to cut Mandy loose as soon as we get set up so she can attend the service. I will try to make the grave side. We don’t have any arrangements on Louie.
  • Last night was NERD NIGHT in AWANA and I could not resist taking Shohn’s picture. This girl has boundless energy and since Tracey’s retirement, Shohn has been wearing two hats. She is our Children’s Minister and our Thursday secretary. She proofs, prints and folds the bulletins and she also proofs the DIGEST. She also did a children’s lock-in a couple of weeks back. Folks, that far beyond the call of duty.
  • General Joe Wheeler Segars Copeland was at the service yesterday but this is what he did when he saw my face…the boy favors Luther.
General Joe Wheeler

General Joe Wheeler

Nerd Night in AWANA

Nerd Night in AWANA

Dana Segars

Dana Segars

Looking At The Big Picture

December 30, 2013

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SCRIPTURE

This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.
~Ephesians 3:11, NLT

QUOTE

Meaning [purpose] is the spiritual oxygen that enables our souls to live.

~Dallas Willard {Divine Conspiracy}

COMMENTARY

The meaning of present events is largely determined by what comes later. Rarely if ever could one determine his purpose in life by one event or experience. Let me illustrate with a word–“Water”. The word water in and of itself has no meaning. To make it meaningful I have to put sometime before it and after it. Example: Would you water my plants while I am away? Here water is a verb and you understand the meaning in the context. I could say…”I am thirsty, please give me a drink of water.” In this context, water is the object. I could say, “The water is over my head,” in which case water would be the subject. In every case the meaning is determined by what goes before the word water and what comes after it. Let’s change words: let’s use the word life. If nothing comes after life [present] then life as we know it now has no meaning.

Luke records the heart of Peter’s sermon to the Jews in Acts 3:17-18…My brothers, I know that what you did to Jesus was done because you did not understand what you were doing. And your leaders did not understand any more than you did. But God said these things would happen. Through the prophets he said that his Messiah would suffer and die. I have told you how God made this happen. The old testament has no meaning a part from Christ. Had nothing followed the prophecies, the prophecies would be meaningless. Look at the big picture, not simply the moment.

EXTRA

  • WOW! What a service!!!! The band started the rally with four straight hits and then Ken hit a grand slam. It was definitely God’s message to myself and DBC. Thank YOU Jesus! I didn’t know whether to say Amen or O me!
  • THANK YOU DBC: I am extremely proud of you. The love offering for Ken and family was $2,500.00. Ken you had better carry those kids to McDonald’s, you know what I mean.
  • While I am on the subject: June and I want to thank you for your kindness and your generosity. As always, I am embarrassed to tell exactly what all you did but suffice it to say, we are overwhelmed. It could make “My Stories” someday.
  • LORD willing June and I will be on the road today, we intend to visit some friends in Mississippi.
  • The announcement that we forgot to make yesterday was that the January Mission Offering goes to the feeding center in Guatemala: our goal is $5,000.

Working For Nothing

April 1, 2013

Pray for MY HOPE

Pray for MY HOPE

SCRIPTURE: I said, “I worked hard for nothing. I wore myself out, but I did nothing useful. I used all my power, but I did not really do anything. So the Lord must decide what to do with me. He must decide my reward.” [Isaiah 49:4, ERV]

QUOTE: “The mountain climber is not intimidated by a mountain — he is inspired by it. The persistent winner is not discouraged by a problem — he is challenged by it. Mountains are created to be climbed; adversities are designed to be defeated; problems are sent to be solved. “ William Arthur Ward

COMMENTARY: Isaiah 49 is about the SUFFERING SERVANT, the Messiah, so how do we reconcile verse four with the rest of the chapter. We know that Christ did not labor in vain. David Guzik says that verse 4 refers to Christ temptation and that He was tempted with discouragement. The above verse being descriptive of what went through His mind. Guzik may be right, I don’t know but when I read the verse last week, I didn’t think of Jesus, I thought about mankind in general.

  • Have we worked hard for nothing?
  • Have we spent a life time doing nothing that has eternal significance?
  • Have we put forth maximum effort for things which really are not that important?

I like to stay busy but it is not our effort that is in question; it is our work, our mission, our purpose and our direction.  Do the names Jim Marshall and Roy Riegel’s ring a bell. On october 25, 1964, Jim Marshall, playing for the Minnesota Vikings, recovered a fumble and ran the ball 66 yards to the end zone. He gave maximum effort. He put everything he had into the run. Just one tiny problem, he ran the wrong way. Then in celebration, thinking he had scored a TD, he threw the ball into the air and it landed out of bounds resulting in two points for the opposing team. He continued to celebrate until his teammates convinced him of his error and then he was embarrassed. The Viking did win the game when Carl Eller who played the other defensive end picked up a fumble and ran it in for a score. Jim Marshall’s crushing tackle caused the fumble.  Marshall later received a letter from Roy Riegel’s, infamous for a wrong-way run in the 1929 Rose Bowl, stating, “Welcome to the club”.

It does not matter how much effort we put into what we do, unless what we do glorifies Christ.

EXTRA

  • I’m not good at guessing but we had a crowd yesterday. I don’t know why it can’t be this way every Sunday. We had a ton of visitors and many of them are active in other churches but it was good to see the house full. First time in a long time.
  • We did have 51 at the COMMUNION service and it was a very good service. Guess what: we did it different. I know you are shocked.
  • I give the Tappscott Breakfast Brigade, the Choir, Steve Hardy and the Dance Team an A+.
  • Joe David preaches April 7, then on April 14 we have our MY HOPE commitment service. I am going to be looking for 25 Matthews. A Matthew is a person [couple] that will host a house party. They didn’t tell us to do this in training but I suggest that two couples work together. You will watch a short video, someone will share their testimony [3 minutes or less] and lead in a sinners prayer. You invite non-church attendees or those who have not made a profession of faith. We will have the parties on the first and second weeks of November. You will use the Summer to pray and make your guest list.
  • It was good to see Granny T. back on Campus last week: she did the cooking for WEE CARE. I would like to talk Granny out of retirement but that would get me in the dog house. I tell you one thing: Granny makes a difference–there is always a spirit of glee in Granny T.  Teddy: send your mama a GRACE MINISTRY T-Shirt. Put it on my tab.
  • Our FACEBOOK family is growing and so is our readership for the blog.

Makes You Wonder

February 11, 2013

MyHope coming November 2013
SCRIPTURETherefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” [Matthew 28:19-20, NLT]
 
QUOTE:”You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” —Christopher Columbus
 
COMMENTARY: I was searching for a sermon illustration a few days ago and I came across this one. Mr. Wahlstrom purchased an old bombsight and took it apart to see what made it work. As he began to put it back together, he decided to add to it some spare parts he had from other projects. Over time, friends and neighbors took an interest in the matter and started bringing him parts and pieces, which he incorporated into his contraption. Over a period of about ten years, he added to his machine hundreds of wheels and cogs, belts and whistles and gears and who knows what all until the thing became “a marvel to behold.” He would throw the switch, and the machine’s thousand parts would begin to move. Wheels turned, lights flashed, bells rang, and belts rolled. The device came to be known as “Wahlstrom’s Wonder.” It was incredible. The only thing is: It didn’t do anything! It just went through the motions.
 
 
It makes you wonder: Is that what we’re doing? Are we just going through the motions? The church has been commissioned by Jesus himself to make disciples, but are we doing what we were created to do?
 
EXTRA: Too much sun and fun here in Guatemala. I love the team members. Most of them are from Michigan and they are a delight to work alongside. They are gracious people with a humble spirit and very supportive of GRACE MINISTRIES. We preached in three different venues yesterday, visited the FEEDING CENTER [under construction] and ate at a very nice restaurant in Antigua. Practically everyone in Guatemala knows Teddy by name including the owner of the restaurant. The Custom’s office at the airport knows him except he calls him Mr. Constantine instead of Turrentine. 
 
EXTRA:EXTRA: Had an experience last night that I don’t know how to express. It was humbling and edifying. I visited the church in the village where we have been building houses and wow, was I shocked. The place was packed and I have a pic to prove it. I bet there was 50-75 kids there 10 years and below. They were celebrating their harvest and the altar was piled high with corn, melons, avocados, you name it. They grow carrots down here that are the size of SAM missile. I know they could not have been Baptist because they song 25 songs and every verse of each song plus the front pews were full. The lay people lead the services down here and the women has as much part as the men if not more. I connect with kids; they may be because I am one at heart. We had the fellowship time at the end and I passed out candy and counted in Spanish. The Guatemalans get a kick out of my spanish. Lazarus, my driver and interpreter did a good job but I didn’t give him much to work with. When I sat down after the message, I thought to myself, “There are thousands of preachers who could have done better in presenting the gospel but they are not going to remember my sermon anymore than those who listen to me each week remember, they are going to remember me for coming to their village and church.” It is not our sermon that touch people, it is our willingness to come along side them. Folks, we have a lousy president but in spite of the poor leadership we have in D.C., we are blessed. The great majority of these people work to survive, to live another day, to feed themselves and their children. They don’t dream of owning a brick house or their own business; they toil in the soil with they hands just to produce enough food to live on.  This is the only life they know and they seem much more content than folks in the States you have big houses, good clothes, a half-dozen cars, lots on the lake, boats and a condo on Orange Beach. I had a  16 hour day yesterday but I wouldn’t take anything for it. I think the service last night will be a lasting memory.
 
Celebrating Harvest

Celebrating Harvest

 

Packed House on Sunday Night

Packed House on Sunday Night