Friday, May 29, 2015

Don't Be Shy

I got an email from Robing, he made it safe back to China.  We will be praying for him and I have been specifically praying that God will connect him with another Christian there in China to help him in his journey.
This last Sunday was his last Sunday with us.  I developed the title and thoughts of the message from a conversation that we had after he was saved.  I was going over some biblical principles with him, telling him about security of the believer and baptism and evangelism etc.
I was trying to encourage him to tell others about his decision and let him read Romans 1:16 and Romans 10:11 in Chinese.  I asked him to tell me what those verses were saying.  His reply was quick and to the point!  He said, "Don't be shy!"  I said, "That is an awesome description!"
I used his description of Romans 1:16 as the title for last Sunday's message.

Continue to lift Robing up in prayer!

Welcome to our Services
May 24th 2015

Matthew 10:27

Introduction:   the story behind the quote.
Our church—to help move people to a growing relationship with Jesus Christ

I.                   SPEAK UP—VS. 27
A.    An opportunity—be a light
B.     Upon the housetop—be bold

II.                DEALING WITH FEAR—VS. 28-31
A.    Have courage
1.      We don’t answer to men, but God.
2.      Joshua 1:7-9
B.     Don’t worry—He promises to be there!

III.             DON’T BE SHY!—VS. 32-33
A.    Romans 1:16
B.     Boldness comes from the Holy Spirit
1.      Acts 13:46
2.      Philippians 1:14-21

IV.             PRIORITIES—VS. 34-39
A.    Often misunderstood passage
B.     Being a Christian around your family is often a challenge, but a needed one!
C.     Throughout the Bible, following Jesus is a public decision—vs. 37-38
1.      Take up your cross before others!

2.      Be bold!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

I Have Done Wrong

Graduates for 2015

I was so excited about the successes and accomplishments of our graduates this year.  The service was great.  The slideshow went well.  The highlight of the day, had to have been Robing's special.  He sang "My Lighthouse."  If you would like to hear it, check out our YouTube channel.  The audio turned out great. 
If you have not heard about Robing, he is our Chinese foreign exchange student that has been with us since August 11th 2014.  He came to the United States having never flown anywhere and with very limited English skills.
I tried countless times to share the Gospel with him, but just left it between him and the Holy Spirit.  Finally on March 30th, after a revival service with Bro. Micah Carter as the evangelist, Robing accepted Christ as his savior!  
It was one of the most amazing conversions that I have ever had the privilege to witness.  The most amazing statement during the conversation was after Robing watched a witnessing video that I found on YouTube.  It had Chinese subtitles and was very fast-paced with a "Way of the Master" style of explanation.   Robing was sitting there quietly, with his head bowed, looking at his lap.  Micah Carter asked him, "Robing, what are you thinking?"  Robing said, "I have done wrong."  I knew then that he realized that he was a sinner! 
He asked if he could pray in Chinese.  I said, "absolutely!"  He asked, "What are the words?"  I said there are no certain words, knowing he was thinking of ritualistic prayers that he may have heard in the Buddhist temple or something similar.  
He began to pray and prayed and wept!  When he was done, he looked at Micah and said, "I am now your brother!"
Promise Land baptized him 3 weeks later.  Pray for him as he heads back to China.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Shiny Toes

I have been training again and trying to get my weight down for running.  Especially since my last two foot surgeries.  I had some plantar warts removed, TWICE.  It is a minor, but extremely uncomfortable, procedure.  I will be running in the St. Jude Marathon on December 5th of this year.
This will be my second marathon in Memphis.  It was truly one of the most difficult things I have tackled, physically, in my life.  I would put it on the same scale as our hike up Colorado's highest peak (Mt. Elbert).  14,440 feet is a long way.  There is no oxygen up there, but that is another blog!

I am very thankful to even have a shot at attempting something like this.  Pray for the training.  Pray that there will be no serious injuries.  
Now, as Paul Harvey use to say, is the rest of the story...

I got out of the shower and was inspecting another spot on my foot when I heard Karen say, "be sure and have clothes on when you come out!"  Alli, my youngest daughter, was in our bedroom painting her toenails.  She had her nail clippers and polish and other paraphernalia sitting in front of her, as she was finishing up.  

My toenails were a little long, so I asked Alli if she would mind clipping them for me.  (For whatever reason, I like Karen or Alli to clip my toenails.)  She said, "sure!"

So I laid on the bed and she sat on the floor and I let my legs hang down at my knees and she went to work.  She was clipping away and I was laying there relaxing, not really noticing the smell in the room.  She said, "there you go Dad, all done!"  I look down at my short, but shiny, toenails!  She said, "I love painting your wide toenails Dad!  It is just clear-coat!  Don't worry!"  I really wasn't worried, she, on the other hand, was wondering about my response...  

All I know, is that I love my daughter a whole, whole lot.  I don't have a whole lot of time left to spend with her at home.  I have already experienced this once with my oldest daughter.  They grow up!  They move out!  They get married.  Where does time go????

If she wants to give me "shiny toenails," that is fine!  It is just a few more minutes we get to spend together, even in the simple, little moments.  I hope I never take them for granted!

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (Eph 6:4 KJV)
May I be the example, my kids need me to be...

I am training for the marathon with shiny toenails.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Mother's Day 2015

Mother's Day 2015 was another great Sunday at Promise Land.  After all was said and done, 406 people squeezed into the pews, making for a very full house!  Days like this are exhausting, but well worth the effort in all areas.
I would just like to take a moment and brag on the mother of my awesome kids!  Karen is the most self-less individual I know.  This is the way she is wired, the way she serves others and the way she raises our children.  I am so thankful for all of the parenting lessons she has taught me and the discoveries we have learned together along the way.

On a different topic, Karen recruited 4 brave, male souls to tackle Children's Church this past Sunday morning.  I think they only had about 32 little ones to corral!  I doubt anyone got pictures, but I am sure it was exciting!  I thank the Lord for the awesome people we have at Promise Land.  We have some of the kindest, selfless and hard working people anywhere.  Praise the Lord for a servant's heart!


Happy Mother’s Day
May 10th 2015

Proverbs 31:10

Introduction:   Who is this Proverbs 31 woman?
                        The day we live in—Proverbs 30:11
                        Don’t talk back to your mom!—Proverbs 30:17

I.                   MOMS CARE
A.    Tell them about Jesus
B.     Psalm 34:11-17—The Prayer and Mantra of every parent)
C.     Proverbs 22:6

II.                MOMS ACT
A.    Parenting advice from Ezekiel!
B.     Ezekiel 3:1-3—Wisdom from the Word!
C.     Ezekiel 3:4-6—We have a job to do!
D.    Ezekiel 3:7-11—He will give you a “hard head!”
E.     Ezekiel 3:17-19—Our accountability

III.             MOMS NURTURE
A.    The best nurturing—Proverbs 19:18;  22:15;  23:13-14
B.     A Christian Home—Deuteronomy 6:5-9
C.     What kind of home do you have?