Monday, January 26, 2009

For Now

At least for now, I am going to update blog posts only on Wordpress. Click here and then make sure you subscribe on the new site. Thanks.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Check it out

I'm checking out the features and ease of use of Wordpress. Click here to view my blog in Wordpress. I'll let you know if I decide to permanently switch over.

You're feedback is appreciated.

Friday, January 23, 2009


I'm preaching through a series on spiritual gifts in Sunday morning services. I discovered that many Christians are not aware of what their gift or gifts are or if they even have one. That troubled me greatly. I'm going to hit the highlights here for folks that might have questions about gifts. It would be helpful if you took the time to listen to the foundational messages and you can do so here. You may not agree with what you read, but we need to personally examine the Scriptures to see what God says. We have to lay aside what we've always been taught, what we think the Bibles says, and what we've heard to understand what the Scriptures really say.

It took me six messages to establish the foundation for biblical teaching on spiritual gifts. I'll do it here in a few sentences. The process of our spiritual growth leads to maturity in Christ. This is true for the individual and the church. When individuals grow in Christ, the church follows behind because the church is made of of individuals. When we exercise our spiritual gifts in the manner that Christ designed for us, the body of Christ grows and doesn’t get tossed around by bad doctrine, isn’t led astray by religious fads, and will not remain spiritual children.

The first verse we looked at in this series was found in 1 Corinthians 12:1: “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware.” All Christians have at least one spiritual gift that was given at the moment of salvation. The gift or gifts were given by God as a manifestation of the Spirit for the common good of the church. Paul provided a list of 19 spiritual gifts that Peter has divided into two groups.

We’re going to look at each of the gifts in detail. We’ll see what the Bible says about each spiritual gift and determine if the gift is still active in the church today.You can evaluate your spiritual walk and see if you have a particular gift.

The first gift I'd like to discuss is the gift of apostleship. Someone with this gift is called an apostle. So far so good. In the passages that mention apostles, it is always a reference to a person that has the spiritual gift. Apostle comes from the Greek word apostolos. It is formed by two Greek words:apo meaning from and stello meaning to send. Apostolos can mean one sent on a mission or can mean a messenger or an ambassador. An apostle is someone sent with a message and the one that sends is the one with the authority. So when we speak biblically of apostles, it is one sent by God with the Gospel message.

Let's look at some Bible facts regarding apostles. Jesus is called the, “Apostle and High Priest of our confession” in Hebrews 3:1. In Ephesians 2:19-22, the apostles were a special group of people sent out by Jesus Himself from whom came the foundation of the church. In Matthew 10, Judas Iscariot is included in the apostles. In Acts 1, Jesus had chosen the 11 to be His apostles and given them orders through the Holy Spirit. These men were baptized with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost beginning the permanent indwelling of the Spirit. Matthias was later added to the group after the 11 prayed. This drew criticism, but that's another story. The apostles performed many signs and wonders in order to testify that it was God that sent them. According to Acts 1:22, one requirement for this group was that they had seen the resurrected Christ. So we have to ask ourselves, “Is this gift still in use today.” Or are the “12” the only ones? Who else is called an apostle? Let’s look to the Bible to answer that.

Paul is called and calls himself an apostle in many New Testament passages. James, the brother of Christ was called an apostle in Galatians 1:19. Barnabas is called an apostle in Acts 14. Silvanus and Timothy are spoken of as messengers in 1 Thessalonians, literally “apostles.” Speaking of Titus, Paul said, “He is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brethren, they are messengers of the churches, a glory to Christ. (2 Corinthians 8:23)

Does the definition of apostle fit with anyone in the church today? 1 Corinthians 12:28 says that, “God has appointed in the church, first apostles.” Ephesians 4:11-13 says that apostles are to equip the saints until there is maturity or completion in the body. Has the church reached maturity or completion? Not hardly – so there must be people in the body of Christ with the gift of apostleship.

So what is a modern day apostle? If we remember that the word apostle means one who is sent with a message, it’s a little easier to figure this gift out. Remember that the Apostle Paul traveled from place to place with the Gospel message. In his travels, his intention was to work himself out of a job. His goal was to establish an effective ministry for the Lord, appoint leaders in that place and move on. He was really a church planter. This goal is always at the forefront of a missionary’s mind – establishing a church in an area that does not know who Christ is. Paul brings all of this together in Romans 15:20 when he says, “And thus I aspired to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, so that I would not build on another man’s foundation.”

An apostle is one whom is sent with the message of Christ to establish a body of believers that would continue the work of ministry in that area. I believe the apostolic gift is still in use today. All the world does not know who Christ is and what he has done.

We need apostles of Christ to go and deliver the Gospel message. Do you have the gift? Full blown evangelism includes conversion, baptism, growth, and organized fellowship – its called church planting.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

In Case You Didn't See It (or refused to watch)

Yesterday, Barack Obama took the oath of office and became our 44th President. Many people watched this ceremony, many did not. Much criticism was thrown at Obama for selecting Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural prayer. Criticism came from the left becasue Warren is opposed to gay marriage. Criticism came from the right because some say he isn't conservative enough. There's just no pleasing . . .anybody!

If you didn't watch Warren's prayer yesterday, click here. Did Warren honor God and Jesus Christ? You be the judge.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Roe vs. Wade

January 22, 1973, in a 7-2 decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled that abortion on demand is a fundamental right under the Constitution. How far from God we were then and have continued to be.

It began in the Garden of Eden. Our first rebellion. Our first instance of where mankind determined that it was the definer of what is right and what is true and what is pure. It was in the garden that man decided he would act on God's behalf. Forget what the command was. Eve decided she would believe what the serpent told her. They sinned. They found out they were naked. In Genesis 3:11 God asks them, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?" Now here is an opportunity to fess up to what they had done, but what do they do? Blame shift. Adam says it's God's fault, Eve says it's the serpent's fault. Sure the serpent was crafty, but so what? Adam and Eve has the clear command of God: "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die." (Genesis 2:16-17)

They had the pick of any tree in the Garden, but this particular tree gave one the ability to know good and evil. They could be like God. At least that's what the serpent told them. Eve twisted the command of God didn't she? She told the serpent that they couldn't even touch it, but here comes Satan with the lie. "The serpent said to the woman, 'You surely will not die!'" (Genesis 3:4)

Satan lied then and he continues to lie now. Adam and Eve did die, and we died with them. Spiritual death is far worse then physical death.

As we come up on the 36th anniversary of one of the worst decisions in American legal history, we need to recognize that as soon as man fell, God provided a means of salvation. Instead of pronouncing judgment on Adam and Eve, God let Satan know that Jesus Christ would crush his head. Yes, there were consequences to their sin, but first there was an avenue of forgiveness. That's the way God is.

If you have had an abortion, it cannot be undone, but it can be forgiven. God does not want you to live with the weight of that sin on your shoulders. He wants you to place it on the shoulders of the only One that can bare your sin. He freely offers forgiveness through the work that His Son Jesus Christ completed on Calvary's cross. I encourage you to seek comfort from the Comforter, from the God who was in the Garden on that rebellious day.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The New Year

Well the new year is upon us. As I look at the expansion of my mid-section, I think about the expansion of our ministry in Camden County. We have expanded our campus with new classrooms, meeting rooms, a kitchen, and lots of storage. I have an office! I'm very excited to be able to work outside of my home. I need the privacy and so do Kari and Amelia.

2009 promises to be a great year. It will have its ups and downs, but one thing is for sure. Jesus is still on the throne and has great plans for us. In Jeremiah 29:11, the prophet says, "‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope." As Christians, we need to keep this verse at the forefront of our minds. As we face the trials and struggles of life, God is there with us, walking with us, guiding us to strengthen our faith, to persevere even in difficult circumstances, to remain steadfast, pure, and holy. He is worthy of our devotion, of our praise, and our adoration. How will you serve Him in 2009?

As for me, I will continue to serve Him in every way I can . . . and I will do it in a slimmer, trimmer profile. Getting rid of all the sweet stuff in my house is the first step. Two more cupcakes, and it's all gone.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's what I've been doing

This has been a busy month for me. I have been busy with the normal things that Christmas brings, decorations, parties, meetings, and so on.

One thing that has really kept me busy is my son Seth. Today marks a milestone in his life and in the world of kayaking. Seth and his friend Keith completed a historic 11 day, 300 mile journey up the St. Johns River in Florida. I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of this accomplishment. It is the first time this has been done, so far as anyone can tell, on the St. Johns River. I had the privilege of updating Seth's blog each day.

The first 5 days, they counted 620 alligators. What an adventure. I encourage you to check out all the details at Click here to watch a video of the story.

This is a very proud Dad.