Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My Trip To The Pro Football Hall of Fame

My brother and sister-in-law, who live in Dallas/Ft Worth, came up to Kentucky and Ohio for a vacation and to see some sights. Since Darci and the girls are in Texas visiting family, I decided to drive down on Memorial Day to see them and tag along with them as they went to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH. Growing up I remember watching on t.v. every year the newest Hall of Fame class get inducted. I can still see these men, standing on a stage in front of a very large crowd, wearing their yellow blazers, and telling us what an honor it is to be remembered while thanking their coaches, teammates, family, etc. 

After walking around for 3 or so hours and taking lots of pictures, I came away a bit confused about what I thought of the place. I had a lot of fun and was definitely glad that I got to go...but there was something. I don't know what it was, but there was something about it that didn't match up with what I assumed it would be. Part of the Hall was being remodeled for a new exhibit, and it seemed like there

Romo's in the HOF!
was a handful of items that were missing. It was interesting to walk around and see and read some of the history. The room with all the busts was unique. You could definitely tell it was an older building built during a different time. But...I don't know, it just didn't seem to measure up with what I had thought the place would be. That doesn't mean it was their fault. Even though I was glad that I got to go, it just was not what I had thought. 

All of this leads me to this thought: sometimes we build things up in our mind, only to be let down by reality. Has this ever happened to you? How do you handle the reality of un-met expectations?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

That's Why

Have you ever had that moment, that event, that "something" that cements in your heart why God prompted you to do something? I had one of those moments last night (Tue. 5/21). 

All this week we have had Evangelist JC House, and his wife Wanda, with us (you can read more about him here). It has been a great week with many wonderful messages from God's Word on Stewardship. We had two adults walk the aisle and put their faith in trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior on Sunday morning. In the past, I had the privilege of hearing Dr. House for many years while I was in Texas. He would preach every year in the church I was saved in (Trinity Baptist Church of Grand Prairie, TX), which ran a couple hundred of people. I have heard him preach in churches and meetings that were 600+ in attendance. This week, unfortunately, we have had only around 20 for our evening services. In spite of that fact, you could not tell from his attitude in and out of the pulpit. He is the same preacher, preaching in the same manner, at our smaller church as he is at the much larger churches. And as a pastor, I have greatly appreciated that because I cannot say that about some preachers - which is a shame.  So, if that was all that this week was for us and for myself, I could tell you without reservation that it has been a good week. 

But it's not.

Last night, Dr. House preached from Luke 6:38 (KJV 1900) — 38 Give, and IT shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again (emphasis mine). I am sure many who read my blog have preached, or heard someone preach from this verse many times. Often, the message is about our giving. Yet, as Dr. House unpacked this verse, he brought us the the realization that the immediate context was not about giving money (though there is the secondary application to be made for giving financially), but it is about "it." What is the "it" you ask? IT is given to us in the previous verses:

6:37 - Judgement (and 6:30-36 shows us that when we fail to give to those in need (money, mercy, etc.), we are judging them). Why are people unfriendly with you? Maybe because you are unfriendly to them? Why are people critical to you? Maybe because you are critical to them? etc. etc.
My point of this post is not to re-hash the entire message, but to share with you that "ah-ha" moment that I had. Sitting on that front pew soaking it all in, I realized that this night was the reason why God prompted me almost a year ago to call Dr. House and invite him to come. And for that, I praise the Lord. 

Have you ever had one of those moments?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Fighting For Motherhood

Proverbs 31:10 (KJV 1900) — 10 Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.  
As I (a son, a husband, and a father) consider the mother's of my life this week and how thankful I am for them (the mother who raised me, and the mother of my four girls), I thought about the virtuous woman of the 31st chapter of Proverbs. When we think of the word "virtuous," we often think of the following definition:
  1. Having or showing high moral standards.
  2. (esp. of a woman) Chaste.
chaste - moral - righteous - honest
But as I considered what the Bible means by "virtuous," I came across something additional. The Hebrew word translated "Virtuous" is:  chayil (298c); from 2342b; strength, efficiency, wealth, army. We can see here how the Hebrew word is translated:

Part of the word "virtuous" means to have valor in battle. So, when you put it all together, we see that the character of the virtuous woman is something that should be fought for. Motherhood means fighting and striving for what is right in you home, what is godly for your children, and with (on the same team, not against) your husband. 

As a mother, are you fighting for it? Are you striving to be a virtuous mother,a virtuous wife, a virtuous woman? Remember this - just because you are not fighting, does not mean you are not in a battle. It just means you are probably losing. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Whosoever Church For A Whosoever God

When you think of your church (if you don't attend church, that is okay, I have a question for you in a second. Just read on), what first comes to mind? The people...the building...the worship service...preaching...evangelism...helping others...something else? Those are good things, and needful things, but that is not what I am worried about at this time. 

My concern is this: what do "outsiders" think of first when they think of the church? The truth is, we often don't ask this question, and that is probably because we are afraid of what the answer might be. Week in, week out we sing great hymns such as, "Just As I Am," but do we mean it? Truth be told, many churches really mean, "Just As...Long As You Look Like Us, Talk Like Us, Think Like Us, etc."

When Paul wrote "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13)," there were no qualifiers for it. Paul did not say, "For whosoever shall fit into our church culture shall be saved," but WHOSOEVER. That included people who think differently, act differently, grew up differently, and have different backgrounds. Why is it that we often put more hurdles up for people to jump in order to get to God in our churches? Do sinners feel comfortable coming into our church buildings for worship? Before you get up in arms and try to tell me that sinners shouldn't feel comfortable in our churches, re-read the story of the woman at the well. She felt comfortable enough to converse with Jesus, even after He confronted her with the truth of the sinfulness of her life. 

Our churches are not country clubs filled with similar people - but a place where whosoever's can come and hear the truth that they are sinners who are loved by a holy God and His people; Jesus died for their sins just like He died for our sins; and they can believe the Gospel in their heart and call upon the Lord to save them (Romans 10:9-10) just like we did. The church today has politicized certain sins and spends more time ranting and raving about them then loving those people and sharing with them our faith. And then we wonder why people have such a negative view about Christians and the Church!

If you read this and don't attend church, would you please comment and let me know what is the first thought that comes to your mind when you hear "church"?

If you read this and do attend church, what can you do better in order to help your church be A Whosoever Church For A Whosoever God?