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18
Jun
09

George Washington on Serving

portrait_of_george_washingtonOne day, during the Revolutionary War, General George Washington stepped out of his tent.  It was extremely cold, and the wind was blowing.  The demands of leading an army were weighing heavy on him, so he decided to go for a walk around the camp.  In his long coat, and with his collar turned up no one could recognize him as the commander of the Continental Army.

Washington came across a group of soldiers under the command of a corporal who was out to show he was in charge.  They were building a tall rampart of logs and the corporal kept barking orders, “Up with it!  Push harder!  What’s your problem?”  Trying with all their might to push the final log in place up top, they couldn’t do it.  Every time the last log would come crashing down.  The corporal would shout out again, “Up with it!  Push harder!  What’s your problem?”  Once more they would heave hoe only to have the log fall again.

Washington finally ran up and pushed with all of his might and finally the log fell into place.  Before the soldiers could thank him, Washington said to the corporal, “Why didn’t you help your men with the heavy lifting?”  He said, “Don’t you see?  I’m a corporal!”

Washington replied, “I see.”  He then opened up his coat and revealed his uniform, and he said, “I’m the Commander-in Chief.  The next time you have a log too heavy for your men to lift, send for me!”

In life there are some things that just don’t change.  We should pray, read our Bibles, worship with other believers, grow spiritually.   To that list we should also add serving.  It doesn’t matter how highly you are ranked, or how highly you get “promoted.”  It doesn’t matter how much responsibility you shoulder in your place of work.  Your IQ score, your popularity, the number of friends you have on Facebook, the amount of text messages you send and receive, the size of your family, the size of your 401K, or the size of your salary.  None of that changes the believer’s call to serve.

Washington was a great leader because he wasn’t afraid to get in there and do some heavy lifting.   In reality the best leaders are great servants.  If you don’t serve well you’ll never lead well.  The example of Washington reminds us of an even greater leader and greater servant – Jesus.  He humbled himself and served us graciously by dying for us on a cross, washing our sins by his grace when we were unable to wash ourselves.

Notice Galatians 5:13 – For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

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03
Jun
09

Comfort at Skinit.com??

John 11:20- 20 So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him…   iphone

Who are you turning to when you need comfort?  Where are you turning to?  It’s amazing how much we now cling to our cell phones.  Some of us pamper, and polish our cell phones.

I saw a guy’s cell phone the other day, and he had a picture of his son, like wallpaper, wrapped around the casing of his cell phone.  I asked him about it.  He said there is a website called “skinit.com”.   They skin everything.  They created a sticker with the picture of his son, designed like his phone’s casing and mailed it to him.  He loved his phone.

The other day I found myself polishing my phone on my pant leg.  I didn’t want it dirty.  I’ve even fallen asleep cuddling my cell phone once.

Our phones can become like security blankets when we need comfort.  Think of that – something electronic giving us comfort.  Our hope is in a text message, or a call back, or an email, or new “friend” on Facebook.

What are you turning to for comfort?  It’s amazing what people will do for comfort.  Some people take pills.  Some people get drunk.  Others have affairs.  Some people watch TV all the time.  Some people just crawl up in a ball and sleep all the time.  All in an effort to deal with the pain.

Martha was in deep sorrow over the loss of her brother, Lazarus.  But, when she heard that Jesus was near she left the mourners and went to meet him.  If you’re suffering hardship today, God has never been closer to you.  Realize that He is aware.  He cares.  He’s near and wants to help if you’ll come to him.  There is true comfort in his presence.

29
May
09

Precious Promises

I was reminded the other morning just how wonderful the Word of God is.  It is packed with precious promises for each of us.  Often when reading it therej0435886 comes those special moments when you know God is speaking to you through a particular verse or portion of Scripture.

Wendy and I are getting ready to have number 5.  The way things are going so far it looks like it will be another girl.  The Whitlow chicks are multiplying fast.  I’m so thankful for each of our kids.

But I have to say, I have been thinking quietly to myself, “How am I going to be able to support all these girls?”  There’s clothes, braces, sports, vacations, college, and the big one….the wedding, or in my case weddingsssss.  I can’t marry them all at once and do one big reception.  My wife would kill me.

The other morning I was reading in Proverbs and I came across this verse – There will be enough goats’ milk for your food, for the food of your household and maintenance for your girls. (Prov. 27:17).

That’s my new life verse!  The goats’ milk is God’s provision.  Honestly, I have put this verse to memory and I believe for me its God’s promise of provision as we stay faithful to His call upon our lives.  There will be enough for the maintenance of my girls.

There are promises for you as well in God’s Word.  When you come across one that jumps off the page write it down, memorize it, review it, hold on to it.  It will give you reassurance and strength.  God’s promises are for you too!

26
May
09

Hireling or Shepherd?

ADVENTtable_html_m6196dac4John 10:11-16 – 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

We find in this section the care of the Good Shepherd Jesus being compared with the hireling.  The hireling is not a shepherd.  He’s not personally connected to the sheep.  In fact when danger comes the hireling runs away and leaves the sheep to be scattered.  The hireling cares nothing for the sheep.  He’s only in it for the money.

How unfortunate that in many churches today there are hirelings.  For them it’s a job.  It’s a gig.  They come in and clock in and clock out.  The people of God are not on their minds during the week.  They don’t pray for the flock of God.  They don’t have a heart to serve, sacrifice, or protect.  They’re there until a better gig, a bigger position comes along.  And when hardship comes, when its time to stand and fight and sacrifice and defend, they run.

For those that volunteer, in our areas of service in the church, like the hireling, we can easily start thinking more of ourselves, and what we want, instead of what is best for the flock of God.  God wants to fill his church with good shepherds who like Jesus, truly care about the flock, and are willing to put the needs of the flock before themselves.

21
May
09

Crocodile Dock Rocks!

buddy2_lrgCrocodile Dock is the name of our Wednesday Vacation Bible School program, and it’s been rocking!  A motivated, energetic, enthusiastic group of volunteers has come together to make this the best VBS we’ve ever had.  Kids are learning that our God is powerful and that He keeps his promises.

We only have two more Wednesdays and it’s not too late to come.  Just register your child between the ages of 3 to 12 on our website.  Check out the video below to get a glimpse of the fun.

12
May
09

A Life Well Lived

photoYesterday, I received a phone call I knew would one day come.  The call told me to hurry to my grandmother’s bedside.  The doctor said the body was a lot like a computer, and grandma’s was in the process of slowly shutting down.

I jumped in the car and met the rest of my family there.  We sang songs, read Scripture, told stories, laughed, and cried.  The whole time she sat there with her eyes barely open, unable to speak, but you knew she was listening and enjoying the attention.

She gave her life to God’s service.  She married a preacher and followed him faithfully in support, love, and prayer.  She was a worshipper, a prayer warrior, a friend, a listener, and a pillar of faith.

As I sat by her bed to say goodbye for what I think will be the last time, I looked in her eyes and said, “Grandma, I love you.  Thank you for staying faithful to grandpa, and playing the organ for him all those years, for listening and supporting him while he preached the gospel in good times and bad.  Thank you for the love you showed, for all the fried chicken you cooked for so many, and for the grits and bacon.  Thank you for your example and constant prayer.  I’ve been so fortunate to have you in my life.”

Here was a life well lived and now she’s going on to her greater reward.  May we remember that our lives are so short, and may we live our lives in light of our eternal home!

2 Timothy 4:6-8 – 6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.

06
May
09

Why VBS Is Still Really Cool

Churches today are doing all they can to appear hip, cool, and mainstream.  Everything from the music, the decor, the clothes that the pastoral team wears on stage, the hair, the audio visual, all of it aims to reach a culture in tune with the main stream.  I’m OK with that.  I’ll preach with my shirt tale untucked if I have to.

But I still think Vacation Bible School is hip, and I think so for the following reasons.

1.  It gives adults, most of whom spent their day in a cubicle, staring at a computer screen, a chance to be a kid again.  Acting goofy once and a while is a healthy thing.

2. It’s an opportunity for the church to all work together.  Every volunteer has a critical role to fill.  You have to get your hands dirty and participate whole-heartedly.  Sounds like the Body of Christ at work to me.

3. VBS is a wonderful time to meet new friends, as you serve along side one another.  It brings the church closer together.

4.  VBS is a an opportunity for outreach.  New faces WILL walk through the door that have never been in church before.

5.  Kids learn that serving Jesus is the greatest thing they could do with their lives.  They’ll learn that He is the Savior.  Some will pray to receive Christ and be forever changed.

6.  Kids see that serving Jesus is a blast, while realizing the church can be a fun place that really cares for them.

7. Finally, our VBS this year I hear has some really tasty snacks for us all to enjoy.

We had a great VBS training last Wednesday night.  I’ve posted a video of that here for you to see.  Check it out.

Also, it’s not too late for you to register.  You can do that online at – http://www.victoryscrossing.com.