Archive for September, 2011

h1

Memories….Worthwhile Investments

September 20, 2011

This past week, Becky and I had the opportunity to attend one of our students’ volleyball games.  It really brought back incredible memories as we both had flashbacks of the multitude of gymnasium’s we visited watching our daughter play from 2001-2007. We watched her play hundreds of matches spread over several states.  As we entered the gymnasium it all came rushing back: the smell of the gym (and believe me every gym has a distinctive smell), the sound of the referee’s whistle, the wave of hundreds of warm up balls being served at once, cheerleaders, and of course the pre-game nerves and butterflies.

Tayloris a great athlete and played extremely well.  Her team happened to win the match we attended.  I believe she made about 7 serves in a row at one point to lead her team to victory.  Winning was very nice but I have come to realize winning isn’t the most important part. (Many coaches, players, and parents would probably disagree)  Investing in the participants is the important part.  The players’ commitment to each other is what is lasting.  A well known quote in athletic lore was UCLA Coach Henry Sanders statement, “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing!”  Man, I could not disagree more!  Investing in people is the only thing. People are one of the most important assets that one can ever invest in.  Investing in others assures your own success in life.  Nothing is more valuable than to give yourself away to others.

Start investing today!

Advertisements
h1

Eternal Stones…Our Commitment

September 13, 2011

There will be many lasting positives from our Eternal Stones effort. Additional space and ministry tools are the obvious by-product. The greatest strides, however, will be made in the many individual hearts and lives of those who sacrifice and make the commitment to participate.

Commitment will play a major role in this task. We have a call to develop and demonstrate our perseverance in the Kingdom building process. Commitment must be modeled for the next generation. True commitment has as its corner posts courage and conviction. True commitment will pay any price. We have to remember that true commitment has won many a race. Upon a close examination of current commitment levels, three types of felonious commitments surface.

Incomplete Commitment
People often battle the desire to follow half-heartedly, avoiding being completely sold-out to Christ. Incomplete commitment says do not intrude on my schedule. It says I wish to help but only as far as the commitment does not inconvenience me in any way. My routine and my world are not to be interrupted. Demas represents a person that had incomplete commitment. Paul loved Demas and Demas apparently loved Paul and the Lord’s work. Yet, we discover that there was a rival in the heart of Demas for the Lord’s work. Paul records “…for Demas, he loved this world and has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica.” (2 Timothy 4:9) The bright lights of Thessalonica were too bight and too alluring for Demas to pass up.

Insincere Commitment
There are too many in our society who are all talk and no action. Our churches, culture, and civilization are filled with people who talk a big spiritual game, yet have nothing real behind it. It is nothing more than dishonesty of heart. Ananias and Sapphira made a pledge before the entire congregation and before the Lord to “give everything that they had profited from the proceeds of a property sale to the work of the Lord.” The entire time that was coming from their mouths, they were hiding possessions for themselves. It cost them their lives. God despises deception and insincerity.

Intermittent Commitment
This level of commitment “comes and goes.” It really just depends on which day you catch the intermittently committed person as to what their level might be. This a real bouncing ball of Christianity….up one day and down the next. The church of Ephesus is a prime example as Jesus looked into his church and shared “I have this against you….you have forgotten your first love.” (Rev 2:4)

Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it. Eternal Stones is focused on commitment. Our excellence will be immortal.

h1

Eternal Stones…The Beginning

September 6, 2011

Eternal Stones….The Beginning

In the next few weeks our church family is beginning a challenging but rewarding task. We have placed a simple theme around this task called Eternal Stones.

This summer, I took on a new challenge. A flower bed at the back of our property was just begging for a new fountain. Instead of purchasing a pre-made fountain, I decided to design and construct one. Driving to a local stone quarry retailer, I begin to ask myself, “What am I doing?” The truth… I had no idea what kind of stone to purchase, what design I was undertaking, or the cost of such a task.

It took me weeks, cutting piece by piece, gluing each stone into position. The final project was far from perfect…but one that had a great personal investment.

Out of this experience, we built a thematic approach to the task ahead. Thankfully, our church family is being led by the great architect of this universe. With His leading, we will begin future construction of a new outdoor playground for our church and community, additional pre-school and children’s educational space, administrative space and an area for special needs individuals in our community. The resources for this project will come from our church family and friends of our church. This project will be called

Eternal Stones.” We are putting one building block after another together hoping that these stones will impact lives eternally. We know God will do many things through this task far greater than the construction of additional space.

Eternal Stones will clarify our priorities. Often those challenged in our community, the handicapped, are forgotten. Those that have the smallest voices, our children, are pushed aside. We value these special groups and desire to focus on their needs.

Eternal Stones will be a tool for character building. Goals and the challenge of stretching ourselves is one of the most effective tools that God has gifted us with. It teaches us discipline and delayed gratification.

Eternal Stones will demonstrate we are serious about our God-given responsibilities. Jesus taught we should minister to “the least,” the forgotten, those that cannot help themselves, those that need a helping hand. God never meant for us to shirk the responsibilities before us while we are here on earth.

These next few weeks will be pivotal for our congregation. Pray that God would provide the necessary resources for this task. Eternal Stones could have an incredible impact superseding brick and mortar. It could be a project that will impact eternity.

h1

Emmanuel God With Us

September 6, 2011

Incredible Project….

G3 Music just released our CD Project entitled Emmanuel God With Us.  This project was built and created by our own Worship Pastor Jason Millsaps.  Churches all over America are looking for music and worship materials for the Christmas season.  I am very excited about this project.  Christian artists like Jennie Riddle and BJ Davis are featured in this amazing Christmas collection.  I want to thank one of the most generous churches in America, Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church, for their investment in this project and in the lives of others.

Jason Millsaps, thank you for the hours you poured into the collection so other worship ministries across our great land might have a super collection of Christmas songs.  Many musicians are great vocalists and musicians, but few have the gift of truly leading worship.  Jason has a special God given gift of leading worship.  This project is just another example of that gift being demonstrated on a national level.  AFBC Choir, you are truly the best.  Your hours of investment into the recording and development of this body of work is incredible.  It truly will be “special time of the year.”

Go to g3worship.com and check out this collection….Emmanuel God With Us.