Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ecclesiastes' Challenge For Us All: Living Above Or Below The Sun?

Today our church had a wonderful opportunity to feed close to 50 high school students breakfast for their Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting. Bill Howell, Ken McCormick, Jack & Linda Lewis, along with Pete Baker were there to help set up, serve, and take down. They were awesome to work with! While we were there I shared briefly with those students the message we've been looking at in Ecclesiastes on Sunday mornings. I shared with them the challenge of Ecclesiastes 1 where the Teacher states many times "Meaningless! Meaningless!...I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind." 

The challenge I laid out to those students is the challenge we all face. If we live our lives "under the sun" with a "this world only" perspective, then yes, life can be meaningless. However, as Christ followers, God has set eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We are not living our lives for the here and now under the sun. We are living our lives above the sun. It doesn't mean we should withdraw from everything around us and cocoon ourselves. Quite the opposite. We go into our schools, we go into our neighborhoods, we go into the marketplace, we go into government, we go into the prisons, we go into countries to unreached people groups; we go anywhere and everywhere to share the good news of Jesus. 

The challenge I face everyday is to live with an eternal perspective. How about you? I am grateful for the fact God hasn't left me alone in this endeavor. He's given me His Holy Spirit. He's given me brothers and sisters in the church to walk alongside me. As we look at Ecclesiastes 4 this Sunday the Teacher will remind us that "Two are better than one...if one falls down his friend can help him up." 

My challenge for you: live above the sun keeping your eyes on Jesus; and while you do it let's do it together. It's called the Church. Jesus died for His bride the Church. We need one another!

Hope to see you Sunday,

Pastor Tommy

Friday, January 13, 2012

Awakening: 21 Days of Prayer And Fasting Begins This Sunday

This Sunday we will embark on our third prayer and fasting campaign. We will join with thousands of churches across our land and devote ourselves to praying with fasting. The national emphasis is called Awakening and you can find more information on it along with fasting resources at

Oswald Chambers said, "Prayer does not equip us for the work; prayer is the work." Setting aside a time for concentrated prayer and fasting is the work we must do! Jesus assumes His disciples will do this. He says in Matthew 6:16, "When you fast..." He doesn't say, "If you fast." So, I invite you to devote the next twenty one days starting this Sunday for a time of prayer and fasting.

What are the areas that need prayer and fasting?
*Your walk with Jesus. 
*Your family. 
*Our nation. 
*Our church. 

Thursday, January 05, 2012

January Bible Study: Ecclesiastes

Every year Southern Baptists have designated the month of January where they focus on an expositional study of a book in the Bible. High priced ad agencies have been hired for some creative marketing and have come up with the title: January Bible Study. Okay, that's not true. What is true is the book has been chosen and we are going to make our way through it verse by verse, chapter by chapter. That book is Ecclesiastes.

Ironically, as many years as Southern Baptists have been conducting these January Bible studies, the book of Ecclesiastes has never been chosen. If you've read through it at a passing glance you may know why. It seems so depressing. For example, Ecclesiastes 1:2 states, "Meaningless! Meaningless! says the teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless." This book has been labeled the "black sheep of the Bible" along with adjectives like pessimistic and depressing.

I would say those labels ring true if you only give a passing glance at this book. However, we are not going to do that. In fact, you will find that this book is actually inspiring and will call you to action when you discover what it is truly saying. I invite you to join us this Sunday to discover Ecclesiastes. God has a word for you!

In Christ,

Pastor Tommy

P.S. Many thanks to those of you who helped make our eighth annual Christmas Eve service at the Red Barn a success. We saw over $400 given to missions that night and one person placed his faith in Jesus. According to my scorecard, that is success! Thank you for all you do for the Kingdom!