Monthly Archives: June 2010

New Facebook Page

 Hey everyone click here to check out our new facebook page.  Join the group and join the discussion!!! Pete

Preaching…

Jimmy Smith sent this email out to all of the Pastors in our Association this past week.  As surprising as this may be to many people it is true.      Of all the things that pastors must do each week, none is more important than his role as preacher.  It is at the same time exhilarating and frustrating, liberating and confining, easy as pouring water from a clean glass and hard as getting blood out of a turnip.  It is a task that must be done each week and cannot be put off.  The more a pastor runs from it or puts it off the harder it becomes.  It carries with it a weight of responsibility.  No one can know what it feels like until they have been there.  What may look easy from the third row has come about by hours of prayer, study and preparation.  Denise George, in her book entitled, What Pastors Wish Church Members Knew, has compiled a list of answers to questions sent in by pastors from all over the United States. Here are two lists she has compiled on pp. 145-146 So what do you pastors want their members to know about their preacher’s preaching? Preaching is the most enjoyable and also the most difficult job in his position as pastor. Preaching God’s Word is an awesome responsibility, one he takes very seriously. A pastor’s primary goal in preaching is to please God. Each week he spends vast amounts of time in prayer, study, and preparation to bring his church members Bible-based, meaningful, and life instructive sermons. He shows his love for his congregation by faithfully and consistently feeding them God’s Word. The responsibility and challenge of preaching God’s […]

Don’t Forget to PRAY

Hey everyone don’t forget to pray for Scotty this week.  He is in Haiti until this coming Saturday. Pete

The Method Pt. 3 The Life That Wins 1 Thessalonians 1:1–5

The Life That Wins God’s Method starts with Him seeking us, then we see the role the message of the Gospel plays in the process.  Today we will examine the third part of God’s method which is the life that wins. This is the main role we play in the method God uses.  When I say “The life that wins” I’m not talking about a life that gets an award for being the best missionary or saving the most souls. I’m not talking about a life that wins for itself. No, instead I’m talking about a life that wins for God. It is so easy to overlook the last part of verse 5. I cannot tell you how many times I have read these verses and read this passage and read this book of 1 Thessalonians, and never even seen the last part of verse 5. I got so wrapped up in the God who seeks, in verse 4. I got so wrapped up in the gospel that saves in the first part of verse 5 that I forgot about the third part of the method.   Paul says this, “You know how we lived among you for your sake.” This is such a simple statement. It is so easy to overlook, but this statement carries so much power and so much impact. The apostle Paul lived his life in a way that was so holy and so pure and so open and so transparent, he could look at people, or he could write to people and he could say, “You know how I live my life. I have nothing to hide. There are no skeletons in my closet. There is nothing about me you have […]

The Method Pt. 2 The Gospel That Saves 1 Thessalonians 1:1–5

1 Thessalonians 1:1–5 NIV   Paul, Silas and Timothy,  To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:  Grace and peace to you. 2 We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. 3 We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.    In my previous post I discussed the Method God uses by focusing in on the God That Seeks.  God’s method begins with Himself and His divine love for humanity.  However the second part of Gods Divine plan is The gospel that saves. Paul does a great thing here in verse 5. He says, “Because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction,” He breaks it down into the different parts of the gospel. However before we examine the different ways the Gospel came to these people let’s look at what Paul means when he says  “Our gospel.”   He wasn’t saying our gospel because this was the gospel of the apostle Paul, he wasn’t saying our gospel because he believed he was the one who made the gospel up. He wasn’t saying our gospel, taking possession of it because he was the one who was saving people through his own gospel, no, he […]

The Method Pt. 1 The God That Seeks 1 Thessalonians 1:1–5

1 Thessalonians 1:1–5 NIV  Paul, Silas and Timothy,  To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:  Grace and peace to you. 2 We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. 3 We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. Paul says in  verse 4, “For we know, brother loved by God, that He has a chosen you.” Understanding this text starts with being able to comprehend that our God is a personal being of purpose and plans.  God has a plan and purpose for our lives.  There simply is no denying that, He is a God of purpose, a God of plans. So Paul says, “He has chosen you.” He has sought you. He is the God who seeks. He is the God who was in control of Thessalonica long before Paul showed up. He is the God who had chosen, or sought these people at this church before Paul had ever even arrived on the scene. Therefore Paul contends, “We know brothers, loved by God, that He has chosen you.”   Wow, what an incredible thing! As I think back to the time before I was a Christian, I am so thankful that God continued to seek me despite the fact that I rejected Him […]

Stress Versus Burnout

I received this article in an email today from the Frio River Director of Missions. This is a concise and informative look at Stress and Burnout. Maybe it can help us all understand the issue better. Stress Versus Burnout Sometimes we have really stressful days. And sometimes those days turn into weeks. Seasons of stress come and go. Burnout, however, is the result of cumulative stress developed over time. Dr. Archibald Hart, founder of the Hart Institute, describes how the symptoms of stress can turn into symptoms of burnout over the passage of time. Take a moment and read through these sentence pairs, the first describing symptoms of stress while the second describes symptoms of burnout. Stress is characterized by over engagement; Burnout is a defense characterized by disengagement. The exhaustion of stress affects physical energy.The exhaustion of burnout affects motivation and drive. Stress produces disintegration.Burnout produces demoralization. Stress can best be understood as a loss of fuel and energy.Burnout can best be understood as a loss of ideals and hope. The depression of stress is produced by the body’s need to protect itself and conserve energy.The depression of burnout is caused by the grief engendered by the loss of ideals and hope. Stress produces a sense of urgency and hyperactivity.Burnout produces a sense of helplessness and hopelessness. Mad Church Disease, Overcoming the Burnout Epidemic. Anne Jackson, Zondervan, 2009. p. 95

Abundant Life

Do you want to have an abundant life? Scripture is clear that we can have a full and abundant life here on earth if we want it. I suspect, like me, most of you would desire a full and abundant life over an empty, meager one. Jesus said this in John 10:10 (NIV) “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Most churches and pastors do a good job of telling you that you can have an abundant life, but never really tell you how. For this newsletter I want to share a few things that I have learned over the years that lead to a full and abundant life.To live abundantly you have to take responsibility for your life. People who complain, pass blame, look for ways to get around the system, and just in general put all of their problems on others or society will never have the full abundant life that God promises. To experience that life you have to step up and take responsibility for your life. God set it up this way from the start. Genesis 1:28 (MSG) says this, “God blessed them: Prosper! Reproduce! Fill the Earth! Take charge!” To have a full and abundant life you need to take charge, and take responsibility for your life! Stop blaming others. Stop complaining and whining about everything. Take responsibility for your life!If you want to live abundantly you must also be willing to confront your sin. The Bible is clear that our sins will find us out. The question is are we willing to confront them before they do? The full and abundant life that God promises will only be realized when we confront […]

What A Church – 1 Thessalonians 1:3 Pt. 3

3. Their endurance which was inspired by their hope. Some translations say, “steadfastness,” and that’s a good translation as well because the idea that Paul is trying to get across here is they have stood strong under extreme pressure. One definition of the word said standing strong while bearing a heavy load. He is trying to get across the idea they are carrying a heavy load on their shoulders, yet they have planted their feet and they have stood strong. They have not been moved. They have not been changed, as we talked about just a few weeks ago. No, this church has stood strong and they have stood the test. We don’t know the exact details of their persecutions. We don’t know the exact details of all they have had to stand strong through, but Paul is excited that whatever it was, they have stood strong. Time and time again, throughout 1 and 2 Thessalonians, he says, “Congratulations on standing strong through your difficult trials and your persecutions.” How were they able to stand strong? Because they had put their hope in the right place. He says, “In your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” If you put your hope any place other than in Christ, I promise it will fail you. I promise it will fade. I promise it will spoil. I promise it will crumble in your hands, and it will disappear as fast as it came. These people had not put their hope in anything material. They had not put their hope in a pastor. They had not put their hope in a building. They had not put their hope in a budget. They had not put their […]

What A Church 1 Thessalonians 1:3 Pt.2

2. Your labor that is prompted by love. He is excited about their labor, which is prompted by love. Underline that in your Bible. There are two different words he uses here for work and for labor. They sound very similar, but they have two very, very different meanings. The words are ergou and kopou. I liked it…I’m going to keep kopou. I was reading that in the Greek, and I thought, Ergou and kopou. I’d heard of ergou, but I couldn’t remember what kopou was. So I went and I looked up kopou, and I noticed there was a big difference between ergou and kopou. Ergou is a work that is focused on a task. It’s a work that’s focused on accomplishing a certain deed or a certain thing. It’s a work that says, “I’m going to go and I’m going to do this, and I’m going to work hard at this.” Kopou, on the other hand, is more about the energy that is expended in doing the task. Think of it as giving labor or giving birth to a child. It’s not as much about the task as it is about doing the work to get to the end of the task. Paul is excited, not only because their working, not only because they’re focused on the task and focused on doing the deeds their faith compels them to do, but he is excited because they are expending all kinds of effort to accomplish the task as well. He is excited because they are straining under great persecution, and they are carrying a heavy load and a heavy burden. They are straining and giving everything they have to love people because loving people […]

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