Meanderings of a Minister


The applause of the crowd is not always
July 2, 2014, 9:49 pm
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The applause of the crowd is not always the approval of God. ~ Warren Wiersbe



Those who plan to give to God “once the
June 27, 2014, 4:17 pm
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Those who plan to give to God “once they have enough for themselves” will never have enough for themselves. ~ Eugene Merrill



How can they (people who have not heard
June 27, 2014, 12:48 pm
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How can they (people who have not heard of Jesus) be saved without ever hearing about Jesus? We should rather ask, how can we be saved if we do nothing to take the gospel to them? ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon



“The outcome of the great war is not in
June 27, 2014, 11:33 am
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“The outcome of the great war is not in question. It is certain. Christ will reign victorious forever. The only question we must answer is this: Will we fight on His side or against Him? We answer this question not just once, with words, but daily, with our choices.” (Randy Alcorn, Heaven)



What You Do With Your “Free Time” Shows Your Heart

Vacation

As I write this article, I am sitting in a condo at Grand Lake in Northeastern Oklahoma.  We arrived last night and will spend the week here prior to a very busy Summer of ministry that will begin when I return on Friday.  Friday night, our church will host a 5K to raise money for a trip to Haiti we will take later in the month.  On Saturday, I will be at the Harley-Davidson shop to hand out water to the Harley Owners’ Group that will gather in Liberal.  On Sunday, I will preach and then leave for Children’s Camp for the week, return to preach again on the weekend, and then head off to another camp only to return for a week and leave for Haiti.  Because of all of this activity, my family and I decided to take a trip to relax and charge up for the busyness ahead.

So what do we do while on vacation?  Many would say that they would want to just relax and not think about anything and not worry about anything and just make their time about focusing on them and their family.  I understand this sentiment, but I also wonder what it means to truly desire the things that are above and not the things that are here on earth.  What would this look like on vacation?

First, while vacation may be seen as a time to break our normal routine and open up more time for play, relaxation, family, etc., what is we took this opened up “free time” to connect with God more than we normally have time to do?  Jesus said, “No man can serve two master, for he will love the one and hate the other or he will serve the one and eschew the other.” (rough translation).  If Jesus is truly the love of my life and that which I am building my life on, then shouldn’t I WANT to take the extra time to connect with Him?

The extra “free time” of vacation also gives me more of a time to help my family connect with each other and with the Lord.   If vacation is a time just to get away from everything and connect with family, then what am I teaching my family about what is really important in my life?  What am I teaching them about what to set their hearts on?  Is it any wonder that my generation grew up thinking that the ultimate goal of life is retirement and the days of not having to do anything I don’t want to do?  Is it any wonder that, even in the church, people work at teaching, singing, and serving for a time and then want to back away and let others do the work?  Jesus said that we are to work while it is day because the night is coming when no one can work.  Let’s not hasten the night.

Additionally, extra “free time” can be spent, not only connecting me more with Jesus, my family more with Jesus, but could actually be a time when I could prepare myself to have more to pour out to others on vacation and when I return.  A little time spent in more focused reading, prayer, contemplation, or planning, can be time that prepares us to be of more use when we return to the place of ministry God has placed us.  That’s assuming that we believe we have been saved, not just from sin, but to a life lived for Him.

I hope you have a chance to go on vacation or take some time off this Summer, but hope that this time off will be of more value to than just going somewhere to have some fun, make some bills, and return more tired than when you left.  I hope that you are able to Raise Your Gaze to things above…even on vacation.



One of the greatest gifts a man can give
May 25, 2014, 8:04 am
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One of the greatest gifts a man can give his family is consistency and leadership in the life of the local church. Eric Mason ~ Manhood Restored.

Who represents this truth in your life?



Voices from the Past
May 22, 2014, 4:59 pm
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1896_telephone

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to hear from one of the apostles directly?  Have you ever wondered what they might tell you?  Which would you most like to talk with?  Peter?  James?  John?  I have often wondered what it would be like to hear from Judas Iscariot.  What would he say to defend his devilish actions?  As I have researched the man, here are some things I believe he would say.

 Hello.  I am Judas Ish-Kerioth.  My name is simply Judas, the man of Kerioth.  It is in South Judah.  Joshua settled it, but no one remembers or cares about that where I am now.

I was one of the twelve called to Jesus and given powers.

I was the only one that did not come from Galilee, but I came from Judah.

Matthew gives an account of my calling in the book that bears his name in chapter 10 and verses 1-4.

I was sent out with His power-we would heal in His name.  People would make themselves unclean to see their friends healed.

I could speak Jesus’ name and demons would come out with hissing.

I was important as the treasurer – sometimes I stole from Him, but we had nothing, not His way.

Some gave to assuage guilt, some from devotion, like Lazarus and Mary and Martha.

I had it better than you.  You worship someone you only read about, an invisible Lord, but I walked and talked and ate with Him.

I thought He was a conquering king, but I soon began to doubt it.

I couldn’t argue with miracles:  Peter on the water and the 5000 fed, why did he not bless $?

I was the only one from Judah and I just knew I would be the minister of finance and second in command, if only he would set up His Kingdom like He was supposed to.

In Matthew’s book 22:15-22 Jesus talked to us and I knew He was not going to exert His Kingdom without being forced.

Psalms said His heal would not be bruised.  I came up with my own plan.  Lots of people here do.

What made me snap?  Matthew tells of it in 25:17-25.  He had embarrassed me in front of these hicks and fishermen.  Next, he instituted the Lord’s supper, but my plans would change that.

I sold him for 30 pieces of silver, the common slave price of the day.  I had more than that in the purse, it wasn’t the money, but a plan to make Jesus be Who He was to be.

My plan was better than a broken body and spilled blood.  But; alas, all I do is get to remember now.

The rest of the story?  Very well.  He went to the garden.  I knew He would.  He could have sent word, but He did not.  I got the authorities.  I promised a sign because Jesus was just like us.

I kissed Him on the cheek.  He didn’t rise up.  They tied Him up, He did not rise up.  They abused Him, He did not rise up.  The rest fled, one naked, I stayed because I was out of danger.

I realized He was not going to rise up when He entered the High Priest’s courtyard.  I knew what they planned and He was going to let them do it!  The only thing good about me in Matthew’s book is found in 27:1-5, but it was too late.  I didn’t get it!  I was bereft of hope, so I killed myself.

The last thing I remember is closing my eyes to the thoughts, “what have I done?”  I opened them and I was here.  Where is here?  Hell!

Fire, worms, darkness, stench, fear, sounds, pain, separation from God, remembrance of the same story every day of how I could have spent eternity with Him, but thought I had a better plan.

I would not surrender to Him, but wanted to use Him for my gain.

If I can leave you with one last thought…Don’t come here!  In Hell, there is no party!  The devil is not in charge here!  There is no rest in Hell!

I could have been there, but I am here because I could not get the gospel, good news, from my head to my heart.  Don’t you make the same mistake!

What’s that?  Oh yeah…I have to go tell the story again.  I have been here for 2000 of your years, but this is forever!  This is forever!

Bye!  Hope I never see you again!




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