Bible

  • Businessman with cardboard box on his head showing a crying sad expression concept for headache, depression, sadness, heartache or frustration
    God Expects Less God Expects Less

    God Expects Less

God Expects Less

1 Timothy 3:1 (HCSB) —1This saying is trustworthy: “If anyone aspires to be an overseer, he desires a noble work.” Ministry has always been tough. Just ask the Apostle Paul, Timothy, Barnabas, Moses or Jesus. However, modern day ministers are under what I call “the expectation assault.” Over my almost two decades in ministry I have made many great friends who share my calling to serve God’s people.  My observation over these years has been that “the expectation assault” devastates our ranks. Part of the issue is the internet. Thanks to the World Wide Web, Christians today have unlimited access to great teachers, leaders, authors, preachers, and theologians. The result is that believers today expect much more from their local ministers. Below I have composed a list that sums up the expectations many ministers feel compelled to meet daily. 1)   Great Preacher 2)   Great Friend 3)   Great Father or Mother 4)   Great Theologian 5)   Great Thinker 6)   Great Leader 7)   Great Administrator 8)   Great Fund Raiser 9)   Great Comforter 10)  Great Therapist 11)  Great Mediator 12)  Great Role Model 13)  Great Community Organizer 14)  Great Teacher 15)  Compassionate Caregiver 16)  Great Scholar 17)  Great Author 18)  Great Blogger 19)  Great Counselor 20)  Great Website Developer 21)  Great Evangelist 22)  Dynamic 23)  Engaging 24)  Funny 25)  Firm 26)  Loving 27)  Available 24/7 28)  Generous to the point of poverty 29)  Sacrificial to the point of death 30)  Mission Leader 31)  Meeting Moderator 32)  Technical Specialist 33)  Carpenter/Handyman 34)  Groundskeeper 35)  Janitor 36)  Great Psychologist 37)  Expert on World Religions 38)  Master of Apologetics 39)  Master of Languages, especially the easy ones like Greek and Hebrew 40)  Special Event Coordinator 41)  Child Development Expert 42)  Mind Reader/Mentalist […]

  • February 29 is the Leap Day that occurs every fourth year
    What will you do with your extra day? What will you do with your extra day?

    What will you do with your extra day?

What will you do with your extra day?

“O LORD, help me understand my mortality and the brevity of life! Let me realize how quickly my life will pass!   Psalm 39:4 (NET) Have you ever wished for more time? Have you ever said “if I only had an extra day I would…” Well 2016 is a leap year and today February 29th is the leap day, so what will you do with it? For those who may not know, a leap year happens every four years to keep the calendar we use coordinated with the astronomical calendar. So you get an extra day this year, instead of 365 days you get 366 days in 2016. So what will you do with your extra day? The average person will only get about seventeen extra days like this over the course of a lifetime. So, shouldn’t we make the most of it? Here are some ideas I have about what could be done with this extra day… 1. Forgive that person you have been meaning to forgive. 2. Write that note you have been meaning to write. 3. Make that phone call you have been meaning to make. 4. Take that nap you have been meaning to take. 5. Share the gospel with that person you have been meaning to share with. 6. Go see that movie you have been meaning to see. 7. Start that book you have been meaning to start. 8. Clean that room you have been meaning to clean. 9. Go see that friend you have been meaning to see. 10. Take that day off you have been meaning to take. 11. Say those words you have been meaning to say. 12. Start chasing that dream you have been meaning to […]

  • Standing on the edge of the precipice
    Israel Day 6 2014 Israel Day 6 2014

    Israel Day 6 2014

Israel Day 6 2014

Today was another amazing, and full day in Israel. We started out this morning with the usual routine of breakfast and then departed our hotel for Mount Precipice. This is likely the place that the events recorded in Luke 4:29–30  took place. The scripture says…29They got up, forced him out of the town, and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff.30But he passed through the crowd and went on his way. [1] Standing up on this high spot really brings the situation into perspective. The hill gradually climbs to the precipice where you are surrounded on three sides by a steep and large drop. Being pushed or thrown from here would mean certain death. Seeing these kinds of places really brings the bible to life. While thinking about what happened here on the precipice and considering the scripture was great, the view is really what makes this place worth visiting. From here you can see so much biblical history. Off to my right I saw Mount Tabor. I wrote about some of the things that happened here on Tabor in the journal entry for day 2 when we first arrived in Nazareth. This is a very important biblical site and one that I never realized was so close to the home town of Jesus. Some new information I learned today about Tabor is that at the foot of the city is the city of Debareh where Deborah lived.  She was, an Israelite judge, and played a major role in the war against the Canaanites (Jgs 4:6, 12; 5:1, 12).[2] It all happened in the valley below. Then looking straight […]

  • Flag Of Israel
    The Eve The Eve

    The Eve

The Eve

Tonight is the eve of my first trip to Israel. I have always found the eve of a big event to be full of various emotions and tonight is no different. Christmas eve there is the anticipation of the celebration, and festivities that come on Christmas day. The night before our church launched eleven years ago I felt an extreme sense of excitement about what the future would hold for Cowboy Fellowship. The night before my wedding I was nervous, excited, and bursting with joy. On the eve of my first missionary trip to Africa I was stunned by God’s grace and his choosing to use me for such an important and amazing task. Today I finished packing, mowed the yard, and spent some extra time with the kids. It was a great day, and then the evening lead to basketball and a walk with the cool breeze blowing and family conversation flowing. On the eve of this journey I am at peace, and my heart is prepared for whatever the journey may bring. I am sad to leave my family and church behind for two weeks. I will miss the comfort of my office and the familiarity of the people I normally associate with. Even loosing access to my cell phone brings a sense of loss. I sense that God has a big two weeks in store for me. Will it be the things I see, people I meet, or lessons that I learn? Will it be that still small voice I hear, or perhaps a simple smell, that God has in store for me?  To be honest I don’t know but I know that I am ready, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. In a […]

  • Wisdom
    Wisdom Wisdom

    Wisdom

Wisdom

Proverbs 3:13–26 (NET) —13Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who obtains understanding. 14For her benefit is more profitable than silver, and her gain is better than gold. 15She is more precious than rubies, and none of the things you desire can compare with her. 16Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. 17Her ways are very pleasant, and all her paths are peaceful. 18She is like a tree of life to those who obtain her, and everyone who grasps hold of her will be blessed. 19By wisdom the Lord laid the foundation of the earth; he established the heavens by understanding. 20By his knowledge the primordial sea was broken open, and the clouds drip down dew. 21My child, do not let them escape from your sight; safeguard sound wisdom and discretion. 22So they will give life to you, and grace to adorn your neck. 23Then you will walk on your way with security, and you will not stumble. 24When you lie down you will not be filled with fear; when you lie down your sleep will be pleasant. 25You will not be afraid of sudden disaster, or when destruction overtakes the wicked; 26for the Lord will be the source of your confidence, and he will guard your foot from being caught in a trap. I think we can all agree that wisdom is a good thing. It is something that most people seek and are natural drawn to. Recently I was thinking about Proverbs 3:13-26 and what it takes to be wise. While the list below is not exhaustive it contains the basic things that I think are needed to be a wise person. […]

By |January 30th, 2014|Bible|0 Comments
  • bigstock----goals--New-Year-resoluti-54914528
    Watch Out 2014 Here Comes Pastor Pete… Watch Out 2014 Here Comes Pastor Pete…

    Watch Out 2014 Here Comes Pastor Pete…

Watch Out 2014 Here Comes Pastor Pete…

Well 2014 is here and for my first post of the year I thought I would let you guys know what I have decided to commit to for the coming year. Rather than doing really specific goals this year I have created some broader guidelines for my life so here goes… I am committed to challenging myself in 2014. This includes  my education and ongoing studies for my doctorate, my physical fitness, and my effectiveness as a disciple.  I am going to push the limits and go further than I ever have before! I am committed to allowing God to change me. As I consider my walk with Christ over the last two decades so much has changed and I have come a really long way.  But there is more to do and I have to be open to the changes I know God wants to make in my life.  Some are going to hurt but it’s now or never. I am committed to counting my blessings each and everyday. This helps me slow down and enjoy life. I don’t want to rush through 2014, instead I want to  embrace every blessing and enjoy every moment.  So I have decided to set aside time at the end of each day to consider the blessings I received over that 24 hour period. That’s it, those are my plans and goals for the next 365 days.  What do you have in mind for 2014? Put your comments below…

  • bigstock-Silhouette-of-helping-hand-bet-35213948
    Friendship Friendship

    Friendship

Friendship

Real authentic friendships are undervalued in our American society and culture today.  It seems to me that people in general have fewer friends than they once did. I have read studies over the past few years that indicate this trend has been a slow but steady one in our culture for sometime.  In fact one article said that 70% of pastors report not having one single person they believe to be a true friend. Friendship is on the decline in America for a verity of reasons in my opinion.  Understanding these friendship killers could be the key to reversing our dangerous course of a friendless life.  Let me share a few of the biggest obstacles to friendship I see in our culture. The decline of the family- My wife is my best friend.  She is not perfect and neither am I.  Therefore our relationship like any other takes a great deal of work and effort.  However having a valued and trusted friend inside of my house enhances all other areas of my life.  Working on your marriage means by definition working on your friendship with your spouse this is a great place to start. People are to busy- Everyone is busy these days and most are to busy for real friendships. Developing and maintaining friendships takes time and our already overcrowded schedules has little if any room left for friends.  Slow down, start de-cluttering your life, make time and room for friends. Lack of forgiveness- Biblical forgiveness is difficult and demanding therefore few practice it.  As a result when we are wounded, or hurt we frequently walk away from the problem instead of moving toward it.  We forsake a great friendship because we are unwilling […]

  • Live-Like-You-Mean-it
    Live Out The Message Live Out The Message

    Live Out The Message

Live Out The Message

 James 1:19–22 (NET) 19Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger. 20For human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.21So put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the message implanted within you, which is able to save your souls. 22But be sure you live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves. How can we be sure we are living out the message?  Living out the message is a difficult task even in the best circumstances.  When life gets tough, the marriage is in trouble, the boss is unhappy with us, or finical issues strike, living out the message can seem impossible.  In my years in ministry I have noticed some common traits in those that are truly  able to live out the message in both the good times and bad.  I decided for this weeks post to mention those things here.  I pray you will consider them as you attempt to live out the message yourself. Know the message- it is hard to live out the message when you don’t know what the message is.  Those who read the word, memorize scripture, and pray continually tend to live out the message more consistently then those who don’t.  If you want to live out the message you need to know what that message is. Know others living out the message- Living out the message is a team sport, God never designed it to be lived out alone.  When you live life with others who are living out the message you are more likely to stay on track yourself.  Certainly it is most helpful to have […]

  • beating burnout
    Beating Burnout Beating Burnout

    Beating Burnout

Beating Burnout

Have you ever felt like the guy in the picture?  Do you feel like that right now?  If so you could be in a phase of life we call burnout.  The good news is burnout does not always have to lead to fallout!  I hear it so frequently in ministry ” I’m burned out!”  Sometimes its a trusted lay leader,  from fellow ministers, or a friend that is just totally zapped from the stress of ministry, work, life or all of the above.  If given the chance to run its course burnout always leads to fallout.  Fallout is when those who are burned out disappear.  In ministry fallout frequently is seen most clearly when a person stops attending church functions.  In other areas of life fallout is expressed when an individual stops showing up for coffee, the weekly staff lunch, or other things they once enjoyed.  Perhaps the most tragic thing about burnout and fallout is that they are totally avoidable.  Doing a few simple things can save the day. Step One: Publicly proclaim your call.  Why did you start this ministry in the first place?  Why did you come to work here twenty years ago?  Why did you pass up other opportunities and chose this path for your life?  Take time to remember the purpose and passion you have for what you are doing.  Then find an appropriate forum to recount you calling to others publicly. Thinking about it is great, saying it verbally to others will do wonders! Step Two: Privately pray! Before, during, and after you do step one you should be in prayer.  Confess your weariness to God.  Ask for help, guidance, comfort, encouragement, and energy.  God already knows whats in […]

  • bigstock-Pieces-of-paper-each-containin-20328545
    Can You Really Change The World? Can You Really Change The World?

    Can You Really Change The World?

Can You Really Change The World?

What can you do to change the world?  Frequently in the church we speak about changing the world.  We say things like, “God can use you to change the world!”  But can you really do it?  And if you can change the world it’s probably going to be really difficult right?  After all, our world has over seven billion people living on its surface at any one time.  The circumference of the earth is almost 25,000 miles.  And if you put the world on a scale it would weigh about 13,169,533,693,875,800,000,000,000 pounds.  The world is a big place, with lots of people, and lots of space so how can you change the world?  Believe it or not I think it is possible for you to change the world and it may not be as hard as you think.  Let me give you a few quick things you can do to change the world. Read and memorize scripture every  day.  Changing the world is impossible if you try to do it without God’s help.  However if you stay in the word of God daily and commit as much of it to memory as possible, you will be able to stay in the will of God and that is very important if you want to change the world. Pray every day.  And don’t just pray for what you want or what you are thankful for.  Talk to God like you would a friend.  Prayer is not your avenue to get what you want, it’s God’s avenue to direct you to what He wants.  When you get that put in the right perspective your prayer life will become amazing and you will be on your way to changing […]

Facebook Iconfacebook like buttonTwitter Icontwitter follow button