Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I am so pumped about 2011! I look forward to our church wide time of prayer and fasting as we begin "Awakening" on January 9. We saw God move in our church this past year because of our obedience to the biblical practice of fasting. I can't wait to see what He does in 2011!
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Everything we do at Ridgeview is about "bridging" people to Jesus who is the bridge to God. 1 Peter 3:18 states, "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God." Once we bridge them to Jesus we want to provide bridges of growth and service and give them opportunities to continue bridging out to others and do for others what was done for them.
I am proud of our church and how we've tried to maintain a bridging focus over these last 7 years. I have made a renewed commitment to step up our bridging efforts. It's called the Bridge 200 initiative. As Pastor, I have made a commitment to make 200 touches in our community each week myself. It's been said if you want to measure the temperature of a church, put a thermometer in the Pastor's mouth. I am excited about possibilities of what can happen in our community, in our church, and in our own lives if we make 200 bridge touches of God's love with people. We will not be the same!
We are already seeing fruit in our church because of the seeds we planting. Allow me to share some examples just from this week:
*9 kids came to Christ in our Good News Club.
*13 bridging with bread visits were made Monday night.
*13 stick signs were placed by Ridgeview volunteers in our community this week advertising our Community Christmas eve service.
*Over 300 Christmas eve invite door hangers were delivered to homes in our community.
*By Friday at 8:30 am we will have served hundreds of parents free coffee as they dropped their kids off at school.
*By Sunday after church we will have baptized at least 3 people! (13 for the year!)
I am so encouraged by the comments left on our Connection Cards this week on how our people are bridging:
"Gave a Ridgeview card and a tip to a lady at the drive through Friday."
"Shared my lunch with a co-worker."
"Met a hispanic lady whose husband had left her and she needed a twin bed. Texted my Growth Group and we are gathering items for her."
"Prayed with a lady that works at AT&T store who is suffering from depression."
In this newsletter there are some great opportunities to go about the task of "bridging." Jesus commands we go and bridge (Matthew 28:19-20). I am so blessed to partner alongside you this Christmas season in this most noble duty of bridging!
See you Sunday!
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
So, what can you do this season? Here are some quick ideas I have and some I gathered from servecoach.com.
1) Invite them to our Community Christmas Eve Service
The photo above is the backside of the direct mail piece we're sending out to thousands in our community. We're providing air support for you as you invite those you know to this wonderful bridging event!
2) Bring Christmas goodies to your neighbors
It's a great conversation starter and can provide opening opportunities to tell your Jesus story.
3) Buy a Coke or candy bar for the cashier checking you out
People working cash registers around the holidays have a very high demand, low reward job. Surprise them by kindness and generosity.
4) Give 30% tip to your server
While you're out enjoying your shopping and enjoying your day, your waiter or waittress is working serving you. These are people that are so easily overlooked this time of year. A big tip is the perfect way to show them that God is a God who notices people.
5) See what God would say to you about you giving above and beyond in your time, talent, and treasure
Our annual Christmas missions offering is in full gear. We also have some great bridging opportunities available as a church (see the Bridge section). There are also opportunities in our community organizations to lend a hand as well.
6) Treat a coworker to lunch- boys with boys and girls with girls, please!
7) Take a poinsettia to work for your boss- if you are the boss, get one for your receptionist.
8) Take some Christmas goodies to the place you frequent
Every Monday I go to Moe's to eat after staff meeting. Last Monday my server Brian knew exactly what I wanted and what I wanted on it. (Joey bag of donuts!) Most likely these people "know you" even if you have never spoken to them before. This is a great way to break the ice and start having an actual relationship with them, even if it is just a small one.
Whatever you do this season, make sure that the people you serve know that God loves them. After all, the point of the season is, "For God so loved the world...that He gave His only Son."
See you Sunday!
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Now, I know a great thing when I see it! It turns out the Christmas Eve service at the red dutch barn has been a great way to bridge out to our community with the love of Jesus. It's one of our most effective events. Each year, the gospel is clearly explained and we share the real meaning of Christmas. This year I am praying our Community Christmas Eve services are the biggest we've ever had. Why? Because I want people to hear about Jesus! I am praying 500 to 600 people come this year. In order to see that happen, we must do several things:
1) Pray for our family, friends, neighbors, co-workers; pray for our community that they would be receptive to an invite to the service.
2) Invite them!
We are sending a direct mail piece to over 15,000 homes in the area. We are also making 200 personal visits a week leading up to Christmas eve. We are running an ad in the Greer Citizen and will be putting stick signs in the community. All that is great but none is as effective as you personally inviting someone you know!
We have numerous teams that you can be a part of: parking, photography, greeting & registration, set-up, take-down, ushers, refreshments, media and sound. Much help is needed to pull this event off. Every job is important! Did you know by serving on the parking team you will assist a family in finding a parking space. They in turn will come to the service and will hear the gospel and respond and find a church home at Ridgeview. You had a part in changing a family's legacy by serving on the parking team. Each volunteer position is part of the chain in bridging people to Jesus.
There will be two Christmas Eve services at 6:00 pm & 8:00 pm. May we all be part of praying, inviting, and volunteering for this event. I believe there is no more important investment of your time this Christmas season.
See you Sunday!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Much work is to be done in preparation for this event. The most important thing we must do is to bathe this in prayer. Second only to that is to invite our family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers who need a church home and/or need Jesus. I would like to ask you now to begin praying for this evening- that many would experience the salvation Jesus offers. Also, this will not happen without our volunteer teams. We will need a picture team to take pics of families, a parking team, a greeting and registration team, a set up/take down team, a refreshment team, a media team, along with an usher team. We will get more information on all the details of these teams soon. I look forward to this day!
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010
*Fast and pray for those who don't have enough to eat.
Did you know that according to the United Nations, over 5 million child deaths occur each year due to starvation. How about on or around Thanksgiving this year, spend a day in fasting and prayer for the world's hungry.
*Discover what the Bible says about thankfulness to God.
The Bible is full of references to thankfulness towards God. Grab a concordance, topical Bible, or online reference tool like www.biblegateway.com and look up verses about thankfulness in the Bible. Choose one passage that seems relevant to your family. Meditate on it. Memorize it as a family. Think about what it would mean to live it out, and then act on that understanding.
*Give a secret gift of money to someone you know.
In tough economic times like these, you probably have several friends and acquaintances who are hurting financially this Thanksgiving. Maybe your finances aren't great either. But if possible, pick at least one person who would be encouraged by a gift of money. Send whatever cash you can afford to this person, along with an anonymous note of encouragement.
*Invite an international visitor to your Thanksgiving dinner.
The United States is one of only two countries to celebrate Thanksgiving (the other is Canada). Think of a newcomer to our country-perhaps an international student, whom you could invite to share your Thanksgiving celebration this year. Prepare to share with your guest(s) the history and meaning of the day. More importantly, share with this person what you are personally thankful to God for.
*I would recommend calling Joshua's Way Ministry in Greer (801-4804) and asking for Florine Palaghia. He works with their Cross Culture Network and knows international students from the colleges and universities in our area.
*Comfort a hurting brother or sister in Christ.
Think about people in our church who might feel as if they don't have much to be thankful for this season. The Bible says we are to weep with those who weep. Don't feel like you have to fix anyone's problem, or perhaps say anything at all. But give encouragement, a listening ear, and best of all, your presence.
These are some great ideas as we approach the Thanksgiving holidays! Would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!
(P.S. Don't forget to bring your Operation Christmas Child shoebox for our collection day this Sunday.)
Seeking to live radically for Him,
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Will we choose short term treasures we can't keep or long term treasures we can't lose? If we are willing to choose the latter, then let's not miss this Sunday as I share practical ways we can lay our treasure in heaven by meeting the needs of the poor and the lost. It will be a powerful day!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
This week you will be receiving your Ridgeview financial contribution statements for the quarter. As we looked at the story last Sunday of Jesus and the rich young ruler, let me remind us all of the take-aways from the message.
1) Our use of money is a sure barometer of our spiritual condition.
2) Our use of money is a sure indicator of our future eternal destination.
When Jesus commanded the rich young man to sell everything he had and give to the poor, it says in Mark 10:22, "At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth." As I shared Sunday, the rich young man's eyes were blind. He suffered from the sin of affluenza. His face was sad. Little did he know the real treasure he was walking away from. His hands were full. He had great wealth and he wasn't willing to release his grip on things.
Fleeing from our grip on money & possessions is what Christ is calling us out from. Radical abandonment for Christ is what He is calling us to. He alone brings us ultimate joy in life. The love of money and possessions will simply rob us of that joy. Don't let your joy be robbed this week!
See you Sunday!
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
1) This is a trustworthy saying: "If someone aspires to be an elder, he desires an honorable position." 2) So an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. 3) He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. 4) He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. 5) For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God's church? 6) An elder must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall. 7) Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil's trap. 1 Timothy 3:1-7 NLT
This Sunday will be the last Sunday Milo, Erin, Daylia, and Hazyl will be with us at Ridgeview. We have had quite a ride in ministry together! I have enjoyed working with both Milo and Erin as church staff members at Ridgeview. We have been a team; we have had a great partnership. When I was part of Milo's ordination, 1 Timothy 3:1-7 is the Scripture passage we looked at for qualifications as a Pastor. His character and integrity as a minister has served our church well and brought honor and glory to Jesus Christ. I look forward to hearing how God will use their family in Bulffalo, New York to be a bridge of His love to a heavily lost population.
I would like to invite you to attend our morning worship service this Sunday as we commission the Wilson family to go make disciples in Buffalo. I would also like to invite you to bring your favorite dish for an after church potluck reception in their honor at Blue Ridge Baptist Church. There will be a money tree at the reception for you to give financially to their family. I know it will certainly help them as they incur moving expenses.
I look forward to seeing you Sunday. It will be a special day!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
tons of practical advice in leading a church. One thing that struck me
in the opening pages of the book was the warning about church unity.
He states that a unified & healthy leadership team doesn't just
happen. It must be a priority. He spent two years focusing almost
solely on building a cohesive leadership team. That's one area I am
looking to improve upon in the coming months at Ridgeview. If anyone
knows of some good resources, especially in the arena of Biblical
Church Leadership (i.e. Elders based) and some sample bylaws, I'd sure
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Wednesday, October 06, 2010
First of all, in sharing the good news, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we must remember it is not about simply telling people they must live right. In sharing the Gospel with someone you are calling them to repent of their sins and rely on Christ alone to save them. Jesus said in Mark 1:15, "Repent and believe the good news!" There are many things we do that we chalk up as evangelism that are not evangelism. They build bridges for evangelism to occur. But, simply doing an act of kindness for someone is not evangelism. We must open our mouths and share the Gospel for evangelism to take place.
Secondly, how radically urgent are we to share the Gospel with people? Mark Dever makes several important points in the way we share:
1) Tell people with honesty that if they repent and believe they will be saved- but it will be costly.
We must share the truth and the whole truth with them- not holding back parts that we think will offend them.
2) Tell people with urgency that if they repent and believe they will be saved- but they must decide now.
They must not wait for a better deal to come along. There is no better deal.
3) Tell people with joy that if they repent and believe the good news they will be saved. However difficult it may be, it is all worth it!
What do we gain in coming to Christ? A relationship with God, forgiveness, meaning, purpose, freedom, community, certainty, and hope. Being honest with the difficulties doesn't mean we mask the blessings.
4) Use the Bible!
We must show we are not using our words and ideas but the words and wisdom from God.
5) Realize the lives of individual Christians and of the church as a whole are a central part of evangelism.
Our lives should give credibility to the Gospel we proclaim. This is one of the reasons why we should be involved in the life of the church and why church membership is important.
6. Remember to pray.
The Adversary does not want you sharing this radical message to others. He will do things to stop you. You must bathe your radical urgency with prayer.
I have been convicted in my own life I must turn up the heat in my urgency to get the Gospel message to everyone in this community. There are changes I made in my life this week to do just that. I pray you would do the same!
Commissioning Service & Reception For Milo Wilson Family
Please make plans to attend the commissioning service and reception for Milo & Erin Wilson and their family next Sunday, October 17. It will be their last Sunday with us. We will commission them in the morning worship service as they head to Buffalo, New York to work with The Well Church, a new church plant. We will have a potluck reception immediately following the morning worship service at Blue Ridge Baptist in their fellowship hall. The church will provide the soft drinks and paper products. You are encouraged to bring monetary gifts to place on a "money tree" that will be at the reception. We look forward to blessing them as they embark upon their new ministry opportunity.
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010
*Radical message Sunday was tough to preach but challenging to us all. Encouraged by the postive feedback!
*Points from message Sunday that I can't shake: 1) Do we believe this book (the Bible)? 2) Do we believe what it says about the church? 3) Do we believe what it says about the lost? 4) Do we believe what it says about the poor? It's time to get radical!
*Growth Groups have gotten off to a great start! We've sold out of the Lifejournals but more are on their way!
*Worship team did a wonderful job these last two weeks. Great job Jenny & team!
*So proud of our folks taking tickets at the Blue Ridge High Varsity football game!
*Interview this week with a potential part-time student minister. He will meet with Advisory team along with some parents of kids in our Ridgestudents. Your prayers are appreciated!
*Convinced we must change the scorecard to "How many are we running?" to "How many are we sending out each week?" Convinced we must do more sending out each week!
*Good News Club starts Thursday at Mtn View Elementary. Over 90 kids enrolled: 50% have no church home. Incredible opportunity!
See you Sunday!
I am excited about our upcoming Fall Growth Group semester! Every semester we see people growing in their faith, connecting with one another in community, and serving their community in the name of Christ. I believe this Fall Growth Group semester will be one of our best! Based upon the best-selling book, "Radical: Taking Your Faith Back From The American Dream," we will be challenged to obey and follow Christ wherever He leads. Each week I will preach a message based on the words of Christ in the areas of radical living. The Growth Groups will meet throughout the week and will explore more deeply the Scripture passages and message notes. The Radical Workbooks will be used to emphasize key points and will have discussion questions. Life Journals will also be provided to encourage Growth Group members to write down what God is saying to them through the reading of His Word. The Radical Workbooks and Life Journals will be sold together for $10 total.
Now, you may be asking the question, "Why should I get involved in Growth Group?" Pastor Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan says, "We live in a culture in which the interests and desires of the individual take precedence over those in the family, group, or community. As a result, a high percentage of people want to achieve spiritual growth without losing their independence to a church or any organized institution...There is no way you will be able to grow spiritually apart from a deep involvement in a community of other believers. You can't live the Christian life without a band of Christian friends, without a family of believers in which you find a place." (p. 114, Transformational Church, by Ed Stetzer & Thom Rainer)
There are several Growth Groups available for everyone in our church. Some are filling up and are full! You can sign up in the foyer on Sunday or by email (http://firstname.lastname@example.org), or you can fill out your Connection Card during the worship service. Make the commitment to growth this semester!
Pictured above is an exchange student we hosted for the 2005-2006 school year. His name is Jirawut-Othni Wiraspun. We called him "Ong." Ong is from Bangkok, Thailand and is a Buddhist. For one year Ong lived with our family. Ong also became a part of our Ridgeview Church family. He attended Ridgestudents every Sunday night. Yes, as his American parent I made him go! The Ridgeview family showered him with love. I'm tearing up as I write this. I'll never forget several of our students at Blue Ridge High School invited him to sit with them at lunch and really included him in the social scene. Day after day, week after week, month after month, Ong lived among our family and watched our church intently. He was very quiet and shy. There were times Ong and myself ate breakfast together in the kitchen and after my, "Good morning, Ong," not a lot more was said. But, through it all, God was working through His Spirit, through His Word, and through His people in Ong's life.
I'll never forget a Sunday night as I pulled into the driveway to drop him off for the Ridgestudents gathering. He asked me, "Can I be a Christian and a Buddhist as well?" We sat in my car for at least thirty minutes as I shared the gospel with him and gave him the opportunity to respond. Ong was not ready yet to give full allegiance to Christ. But the seed of the gospel was planted in his heart.
I share that story with you because that's a very small way that I can be radical for the sake of 4.5 billion people who are lost without Christ. It's a drop in the bucket, but it's a start. Did it cost our family financially? Yes. Did it mean I lost some of my free time? Yes. Did it mean we lost some of our privacy? Yes. But these were small sacrifices to pay. Our family gained so much more. Jesus says in Luke 14:33, "In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple."
I want to warn you that this Radical series we begin Sunday will challenge you with the question, "Am I really a disciple of Jesus Christ?" It is going to make you uncomfortable. It makes me uncomfortable. It is going to make you question some things in your life. But we must grapple with the question: Do we believe this book? And if we believe the Bible, then we must look at it with fresh eyes and evaluate what it says with our current way of life and our obedience to the clear commands of Christ.
Radical series begins this Sunday. I'm praying God would use this series mightily so His glory and fame would be spread throughout our lives and our community and our world.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
This past Sunday Milo Wilson shared with our church the news concerning the next step of God's will for him and his family. That next step will be to join Pastor Darrick Castranova and a new Southern Baptist Church that will have a September launch date in Buffalo, New York. This is a huge gain for the Kingdom of God! We get to have one of our own go and help start a new church in one of the least evangelized areas of our nation. Not only that, one of the values taught in our membership class is the "Multiplication of churches and leaders" (Acts 13:2). Did you know that the multiplication of churches is one of the most effective means of evangelism we have? Did you know that in order to reach our nation for Christ we must start new churches? Praise God for how He has been working in Milo's heart to take seriously his role in the Great Commission. Many lives will be changed in the great city of Buffalo because of Milo & Erin's obedience.
Now what? Obviously, there will be a need to replace his leadership in our worship and student ministry areas. Our Advisory Team will be working with me in finding the right persons to build upon the foundation he has built. I would ask you to do two things: 1) Pray for our Advisory Team as we seek God's will in the ministry search, 2) Let us know of anyone you feel would be a viable candidate for these ministry areas.
I mentioned Sunday that God has always provided great staff team members at Ridgeview. We will all miss Milo, Erin, Daylia, & Hazyl and their presence with us each Sunday as they transition out Sunday, October 24. But, as I said Sunday, I see some neat partnerships developing between Ridgeview Church and The Well Church in Buffalo. I am excited about what God is going to do in their lives and what God is going to do in our church! He is able to do "immeasurably more than all we could ever ask or imagine..." (Ephesians 3:20).
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Brace yourself! I believe that if you sign up (& attend) a Fall Growth Group semester at Ridgeview you will be a radically different person by the end of this year! No small claim to make I know. But, I am passionate about the journey we will take as a church. Our theme will be "Radical: Taking your faith back from the American Dream." Much of the study will be based on the best selling book by Dr. David Platt. The power of this semester will be in its concentration. I will be preaching for 8 weeks on the radical theme. Our Growth Groups will align their study with the messages.We will be challenged by the words of Jesus and what it means to truly be His disciples and to obey what we know. We will also be challenged to take the "Radical Experiment," a one year journey of discipleship that will transform how we live in a world that has so many needs.
Here is what you will receive in the Fall Group Semester:
1. The Radical Growth Group material
Each Growth Group will go over specific facilitation questions related to the passages studied on Sunday morning and will explore them in more depth.
2. A Life Journal
Each Growth Group member will be challenged to read through the Bible and to journal daily. We will have Life Journals included with the Growth Group materials that will show you how to journal using the S.O.A.P. plan. Also included will be read through the Bible passages that will help you stay on track.
3. Summit Groups!
Our Ridgekidz will also be going through this material on Wednesday evenings during the Fall semester. We are changing the name to "Summit Groups" from Champions 4 Christ (C4C). They will also be provided a Life Journal known as SOAPY with a reading plan. The kids journal has a reading plan for different ages. Kids ages 8 and under read the first (pink) column of Scripture (usually 2 or 3 verse), kids age 9 & 10 read both the first and second (yellow) columns of Scripture (about 6 verses) and kids 11 & 12 read all three columns (purple is #3) and that's around 15 - 20 verses long. And of course, they can read beyond their age group if they want to!
I strongly encourage you to sign up for a Growth Group this semester. Our Growth Groups are listed below in the Grow section of this email newsletter with options on how you can sign up. I also encourage you to involve your Ridgekidz or Ridgestudents in the groups we have for them. I believe this will be a time of unprecedented spiritual growth in the life of our church. I look forward to seeing you on this journey!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
This week Brian Bowen, Brian Green, Milo Wilson, and myself are on our church mission trip to Staten Island, New York. We are involved in a sports camp in the mornings and have done free bottled water giveaways on behalf of Crossroads (Southern Baptist) Church. We are seeking to build bridges with people here in order to connect them to Christ and His Church here on the island.
Every person who calls Ridgeview home is on a mission trip this week. You may not be 12 hours away but you are on a mission nonetheless. As you go to work, take a walk in your neighborhood, etc., look at those around you with missional eyes. What kind of impact could we make in our community if we went about each day as a mini mission trip?
On mission with you,
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
We are part of something much larger than us!
Our family is in Orlando this week mixing vacation and attending the annual Southern Baptist Convention. As a messenger from Ridgeview Church, I will be voting today on our next SBC President and some very important proposals.
As Southern Baptists we come together for one main purpose; the Great Commission. Small, medium, large, and megachurches within the SBC pool their resources together in seeking to win the world for Christ. Ridgeview Church comes along over 40,000 SBC churches to take the light of Christ to our community, our state, our nation, and our world. It is all about His Kingdom!
See You Soon!
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Tis the season where many are gearing up for summer vacation. I have to admit there is much work to do to get ready for it. Many things need to be in place before I leave. Sometimes it feels it would be easier not to go and a lot less stressful. Actually, going on vacation for me really does not provide rest. In fact, it adds to my load. The reason I do vacation is for my family. It builds memories that we will be able to look to years down the road. That's what makes it all worth it.
Monday, June 07, 2010
I have a friend named Lee. He called me Friday as he was coming in to town. I caught him up with my life briefly. He did the same. He then shared he was going to meet with a potential buyer of his ski boat. Many who know Lee know that waterskiing is his passion. He has taken hundreds out to Lake Hartwell. This is a bold move. Why is he doing it? Because he feels God leading him to serve a people group outside of the United States. He's cutting the cords, burning the ships. He is moving in that direction and making every effort possible not to turn back. I admire that. Jesus said in Luke 9:62, "No one who put his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
What a wonderful time we had Sunday night as we baptized 10 people at O'Neal Village in Greer. It was a celebration of changed lives by the power of Jesus Christ. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come." I was recently asked what I enjoy most about ministry. Just look at the picture; that's my answer!
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Make plans to be here this Sunday evening for the baptism and barbecue fellowship. It will be held at O'Neal Village on highway 101 right down from the Lake Cunningham fire department in Greer. The party gets started at 5:00 pm. We will be baptizing nine people! God is so good! After the baptism, we will enjoy some great barbecue catered by Brian Green, who will also be baptized along with his wife Kathy. There will be swimming, games, and some great fellowship to enjoy. Please bring a lawn chair and $3 suggested donation for the barbecue plate (maximum $10 per family).
Over the last couple of years I've been involved in a number of mentor/coaching relationships. They all have been beneficial to me in helping me grow as a leader. As I am reading Wayne Cordeiro's book, The Divine Mentor, I am reminded that there is no greater Mentor than God through His Holy Spirit and through His Word. There are loads of great resources out there to help coach/mentor you in any field you are in. They are important. But, they must always take a back seat to the ultimate wisdom found in God's Word. It is timeless!
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
A belief system has developed in our day that gets people to buy in to the lie that they cannot cope on their own. Therefore, they need medication, counseling, etc. to make it through. Now, there is a time and place for those things. My wife is a child and adolescent counselor. But, the centrality of God's Word, the Bible, must be our first choice for dealing with life. I believe what Peter says in 2 Peter 1:3-4, 3) His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4) Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. Whatever you may be facing in life, turn to God's Word first. All other remedies are secondary in nature.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Friday, April 09, 2010
We had a great Growth Group last night as we are making our way through Francis Chan's book Crazy Love. Chapter five is entitled "Serving leftovers to a holy God." Francis Chan pulls no punches when he says on pages 83-84, "As I see it, a lukewarm Christian is an oxymoron; there's no such thing. To put it plainly, churchgoers who are 'lukewarm' are not Christians. We will not see them in heaven."
He shares the passage in Revelation 3:15-18 where Jesus says because they are neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm, He will spit them out of His mouth. I can't see how that would refer to a person who is saved if Jesus spits them out of His mouth.
So, is a person really a Christian who calls on the name of the Lord to save them but never gives Christ their time, their talents, their treasure? Basically, he or she never obeys Christ but likes the idea of not going to Hell when they die and spending an eternity in Heaven. Is that person a Christian?
Being a disciple is to be a learner and follower of Jesus Christ. To follow Jesus means to obey Him. Is it perfect obedience? Of course not. We all fall short. Even the apostle Paul did, and Peter, etc. But, it is a growth process where there is a passion to follow Christ and obey Him. After all, Jesus said if you love Him you will obey His commands (John 14:15). Please do not mistake my advocacy of a works salvation. I know there is nothing I can do to save myself (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, "Christianity without discipleship is Christianity without Christ." I am passionate about following Jesus and giving Him all that I have. I want to be His disciple. My calling as a Pastor is to lead a church to make as many disciples as we possibly can. It's our marching orders found in Matthew 28:19-20. To this end I labor.