The Mystery of Prayer

June 30, 2016

celebrate-jesus-crimsonjpg

Scripture

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
~Matthew 7:7-8, NLT

Quote

The law of prayer is to ask.
~George W. Truett

Although Satan uses distractions, he does not want us to understand that we are being distracted. If we understand that he is behind the distraction, he loses his advantage.

Satan loathes and fears believers who pray. Any sincere pray offered by believers bothers Satan. He does not want us praying. Anemic prayers, good prayers, short prayers, long prayers, any prayer is bad as far as the devil is concerned. He does not mind us talking about prayer, reading books on prayer so long as we don’t pray. His approach is to discourage us from prayer by raising an endless questions that we cannot answer.

How does prayer work? Why would an infinite God who dwells in eternity listen to the prayer of a finite human in time? If God is sovereign, how can our prayer affect His will? How can He listen to thousands of us praying at the same time? How in the world can the human prayer of today affect the weather of tomorrow? We have answers to none of the above questions. Prayer is a mystery. It is something that we are to do in spite of the fact that we do not understand how it works. One does not have to understand the dynamics of electricity to flip a light switch.

Do we know how to pray? Do we understand prayer? No, but I will pray every day. Don’t let Satan keep your from prayer. He will do everything he can to keep you out or your prayer closet. Many times, the devil has said to me, “You can’t pray, you don’t even know how.” My response is–“You may be right but I am going to pray anyway.”

extra1_0

  • We had two deaths in Danville yesterday: Sammy Crow departed this life at 3:15 pm at HH. Then we found out last night that Billy Laney’s son, James McAbee [45] was killed in an accident on 157. He was driving a tractor on 157 and got run over by an 18 wheeler. Sammy Crow [73] had a stroke Tuesday morning and never recovered. Sammy is survived by his wife Kathy, two sons, Bryan and Brett, two sisters and his mom who depended on Sammy for a lot of things. This is a shocking blow to the Danville community and the Crow family.
  • I had two places to be this morning and they were 200 miles a part but the LORD heard despairing cry and sent a helper to Columbia, Tennessee to pick up Seth who has been to summer camp.
  • I’ve been behind all week: can’t get caught up. Shohn will be carrying Clara to B’town to the doctor and I will be in an out, mostly out. Call my cell if you need me.

BLOCK PARTY AUGUST 13

1095

Parking Crew

 

Advertisements

Protection

June 28, 2016

celebrate-jesus-crimsonjpg

Scripture

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful, because I come to you for safety. In the shadow of your wings I find protection until the raging storms are over.

~Psalms 57:1, GNT

Quote

In the dark of the midnight,
Have I oft hid my face;
While the storm howls above me,
And there’s no hiding place;
‘Mid the crash of the thunder,
Precious Lord, hear my cry;
“Keep me safe ’til the storm passes by.”

~Mosie Lister

In the ancient world, you were not safe unless you had a “Protector.” One reason Israel desired a king was so they would have a high protector; someone who would care for them and protect them. It did not have to be a king but it needed to be someone who commanded an army. Abraham was Lot’s high protector. David became a protector but in his youth, he had no protector: his king was trying to kill him, not protect him. David learned what we all learn eventually, the LORD is our High Protector.

When I feel threatened, I run to Jesus and take refuge underneath the shelter of His omnipotent wings. I think about the woman caught in adultery, and how Jesus gave her protection amidst a hateful crowd who were ready to stone her to death. Hallelujah, what a Savior!

extra1_0

  • Our search team did not get to meet with Jay last night: he had a wreck on the way from Birmingham. He totaled his vehicle but he is uninjured thank goodness.
  • What about that rain! We got 1 and a half inches here in Rocky Ford. I think that rain will make Jake’s corn and Kurt’s Cotton on Stephenson road is as pretty as any I’ve ever seen. Thank You Jesus for the rain.
  • We’ve been having some BP issues and they are putting me on two medications to try to get it down. They think the head aches are coming from the high blood pressure. My heart rate is so low that they ran an EKG but it turned out OK, thank You Jesus.
  • The sweet woman who took care of us while we were in Seminary is going to be 90 her birthday. She is living in a retirement home in New Orleans but we met her in Ashville, Alabama yesterday and had a nice visit. We hope to get to visit her when Joe David graduates NOBTS this December. I graduated there in May of 1974. Joe David will be December 2016. If my math is right, that is 42 years a part. Trust me folks, I had no idea something like this would happen.

BLOCK PARTY AUGUST 13

O Deceitful Tongue

June 23, 2016

celebrate-jesus-crimsonjpg

Scripture

You love evil more than good, and lying more than speaking the truth.

~Psalms 52:3, NRSV

Quote

Integrity is being truthful with yourself; honesty is being truthful with others.

~Spencer Johnson

When you read Psalm 52:3, You love evil more than good, and lying more than speaking the truth,  what name comes to mind? For me, it was Bill {Slick Willy} Clinton. I was in a hotel outside of DC when the news broke about Monica Lewinsky. I think I was there for the Promise Keepers rally. Whoever was rooming with me, said, “Jack, you have to see this,” it was Clinton making his famous denial: “I am not in a sexual relationship with this woman.” I tried to find the clip on YouTube and I couldn’t. I did find several with the words, “I did not.” I would have bet the farm that he said, “I am not,” which would have been a subtle play on the tense of the verb. Be that as it may, you can see the video clips on YouTube of the denial and then the confession. Either way you look at it, Clinton lied. In fact Clinton lied so much that it became natural: it would have required a special effort on his part to tell the truth.

But there is a greater problem than a president lying and that would be the lack of integrity in the folks who elected him. It was a proven fact that the man was a liar but that did not deter voters from electing him and many of them professed to be Christians. Lying is not just a political problem, it is a cultural problem. We live in a culture that loves to point the finger at someone else. We had rather make an excuse for our irresponsible behavior as to learn from our mistakes. We are childish and immature. We make promises and don’t keep them. We make vows and then break them. We make debts and don’t pay them. We sin but never confess them. We are a nation of liars. Isaiah could have been talking about America in 59:14, “Justice is driven away and right cannot come near. Truth stumbles in the public square, and honesty finds no place there.”

  • I love the GATHERING, great music and fair preaching.
  • Today is our court day: say a prayer for us. We don’t expect any surprises but you never know. I don’t like courts or court houses but I must confess that everyone there has been very helpful.
  • Thank God for electricity and A/C: what a blessing!
  • Pray for Rebecca and David, they leave Friday for vacation. Rebecca doesn’t fly so they are driving to Miami and going on a seven day cruise. Tyler will be filling in the next two weeks.

BLOCK PARTY

August 13: 6:00-9:00

Offensive

June 22, 2016

celebrate-jesus-crimsonjpg

Scripture

Against you – you above all – I have sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight.

~Psalms 51:4, NET

Quote

Every sin has a consequence or consequences.

~Ya’akov

All sin is first and foremost against God because only God is holy in the perfect sense. God hates sin, all sin and that includes gossip, gluttony and greed. Some sins offend us and some attract us but God is not attracted to any sin, He hates them all with a passion. David knew he was wrong from the beginning. He had six wives and a harem of concubines so why did he steal another man’s wife. Uriah was a noble man, a man of integrity and loyal to David. He was one of David’s decorated veterans. David’s sin was against Uriah and resulted in his death but it was first and foremost against God.

There is no sin without consequences. You can have your roll in the hay but sooner or later, you are going to pay. It is the law, God’s law: the wages of sin is death and every time we sin, something dies as a result. It may be brain cells, lung cells, an opportunity, a relationship but you mark my word, there is no sin without consequence. You may be free to sin but you will become a slave to the consequences. Every sin hurts someone.

extra1_0

  • Bumper Sticker of the Day: I’m not lazy, I have switched to my energy saving mode.
  • The GATHERING tonight at 6:30
  • BLOCK PARTY August 13

God’s Missionary Heart

June 19, 2016

celebrate-jesus-crimsonjpg

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.

extra1_0

  • 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

 

Unconditional Love

June 17, 2016

celebrate-jesus-crimsonjpg

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.

extra1_0

  • 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

celebrate-jesus-crimsonjpg

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.

extra1_0

  • 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

God Cares About You

June 11, 2016

celebrate-jesus-crimsonjpg

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!

extra1_0

  • 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

Don’t Be Stupid

June 5, 2016

celebrate-jesus-crimsonjpg

Scripture

Don’t be stupid like a horse or a mule, which must be controlled with bit and bridle to make it submit.

Psalms 32:9, GNT

Quote

God loves obedience.

~Jim Nesbitt

There are two primary ways to learn, by instruction or experience. Many of us are like the horse and mule, we have to learn things the hard way. We learn by trial and error which can be very painful. There is a better way: follow God’s instruction with prompt obedience. The LORD will guide us daily if we will submit but the more we rebel, the greater our suffering. The way of the transgressor is hard. Your happiness in this life definitely depends on your obedience to God.

extra1_0

  • Great turn out for GOLDEN GIRLS. We had four of our regulars absent and still had ten. Our next meeting is July 2.
  • Harvested a bucket of squash yesterday. PTL
  • I think it is safe for me to Praise the LORD for the rain–everyone got one yesterday. That’s two for us this week. We got 1 inch on Thursday and an inch and a half today. THANK YOU JESUS.
  • VBS meeting this morning at 9:00 in Sanctuary.
  • Vote on Search Team today–9:00-10:30
  • PROMOTION DAY IN LCBS TODAY!
  • David hurt his back yesterday and Tyler is out of town–we are winging it today

VBS JUNE 13-17

Courage

June 3, 2016

celebrate-jesus-crimsonjpg

Scripture 

“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.”

~Joshua 1:6, NLT

Quote

Ships are safe in a harbor, but that is not what ships are for.

~William Shedd

Hope’s pastor at the FOUNDRY is Bro. Bill and he always has an inspiring message. We got in so late last night that I decided to share his outline. His message was based on the life of Joshua.

  • Confront the Enemy.
  • Overcome the Obstacles.
  • Understand the Risks.
  • Rely on God for every need.
  • Always be ready to serve.
  • Go the Distance.
  • Expect the Best.

Hope looks great. Thank you for your prayers and for the cards. Pray for God to give her wisdom.

extra1_0

  • Front Pew Shower Sunday for Summer School: snacks and juice boxes.
  • VBS meeting Sunday morning at 9:00 am in Sanctuary.
  • Vote on PASTOR SEARCH TEAM Sunday.
  • Business Meeting Sunday June 12th after am service.
  • Attend Hartselle Camp Meeting Sunday night June 12th and hear Junior Hill, the most popular preacher in the SBC.
juniorhill

Dr. Junior Hill, Chairman of Bd. of Directors for EASTERN GATE MINISTRIES