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Archive for February, 2011

Study Study Study

2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth”  (NIV). The King James translates the first part of that verse with these words, study to show thyself approved…. The past few weeks have reminded me of the truth of this passage and how important it is for believers to stay in the word.

In our world today we are faced with a culture that will corrupt the message of God’s word to suit their own lifestyle. If they are unable to find justification then the next step is to deny its authority or attack its credibility.  On the other end of the spectrum we find believers who cannot defend even the simple tenets of  their faith. When confronted by the first group, believers wilt in their ability to justify their own faith.

So what is the answer to this dilemma? Study!! Devotional reading of scripture is a wonderful discipline, but we also need to move deeper in our reading and understanding of God’s word. I understand some feel intimidated by this challenge, but the only way to overcome that fear is roll up your sleeves and get busy. When you get to passages that are difficult to understand don’t gloss over them, get a commentary and read it. Talk to other believers and ask them what they think it means. Go to your pastor and talk with him about the passage. The key is to come away with a better understanding of what the scripture means.

Don’t give up. God will honor your desire to know His word.

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3rd Team Ministry

There are several reasons why I enjoy officiating High School football:  1) I love football and it allows me to be involved in the game. 2) As a pastor it allows me an opportunity to extend my ministry outside the walls of the church. 3) I look forward to the fellowship with our crew every Friday night.

Several years ago I remember meeting at midfield with our crew right before kick-off. I don’t remember the referee that night but will always remember what he said, “guys, there are three teams out here tonight and the crowd is only going to cheer for two of them so we need to be the best team out here.” He was right on target. The only time the crowd ever cheered for me was when the running back knocked me on my back side. Over the past several years I have sensed a need to have a ministry to sports officials. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes does a great job but their ministry is focused on coaches and athletes. So after a time of prayer I have decided to form a non-profit ministry entitled 3rd Team Ministry.

At the present time, I am in the process of filling out all the paperwork to form a non-profit corporation. Last week 3rd Team was recognized by the state of TN as a non-profit. But that is just a beginning. Bylaws must be written and a board of directors recruited. Still much work to do.

The main purpose in sharing this information with you is to request your ongoing prayer support as we continue in the process of getting the ministry off the ground. Let me share with you some specific ways you can pray.

1. Time Management-My first priority is to pastor the wonderful congregation of West End Baptist Church. Time devoted to 3rd Team comes after that commitment.

2. Vision Planning-Working out the plans on how to make the vision a reality.

3. Board of Directors-Seeking God’s leadership in enlisting directors that provide leadership to the future of the ministry.

4. Funding-3rd Team is a not  for profit and will need funds for initial costs such as incorporation fees, web development, publicity and event planning. Pray that in the future the ministry will be self-sustaining through its events.

5. Pray that God will open the door to share the good news with sports officials and encourage them in their walk with the Lord.

Thank you for your prayers. I will keep you up to date on our progress.

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Walking in the Spirit

In the movie Force 10 from Navarone, Harrison Ford and Robert Shaw have the task of blowing up a dam that will eventually take out a key bridge. Using a small amount of explosives, they set the charges thinking it will blow the dam apart–it does not. As the smoke begins to clear the two believe they have failed. Within minutes small cracks begin to form in the walls. The pressure from the water begins to increase the cracks, eventually causing major structural damage. In the end, the dam cannot withstand the pressure and the weakened walls cave in, completely destroying the dam. Mission accomplished.

I wonder how much this resembles our christian walk when we allow sin to create cracks in our lives. In Galatians 5:16 ff, Paul challenges the churches in Galatia to live by the Spirit otherwise they will end up gratifying the desires of the sinful nature, which is contrary to the Spirit. Paul provided the churches with a sample of what the sinful nature would produce. In contrast, he encouraged the believers to live a life that was evidenced by the fruit of the Spirit.

Paul’s encouragement to the churches of Galatia is an encouragement and challenge to us as well. “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Good advice – walk in the power of the Spirit and do not let sinful desires produce cracks that can lead to sinful actions.

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