Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Indispensable Man

While searching through some old notes, I discovered the following poem. I belive I first saw it in some John Maxwell materials. I do not know who the orginal writer was but he/she had great insight. I plan to make a copy and put it up in my office as a constant reminder of how much I need others to be at my best.

The Indispensable Man

Sometimes when you are feeling important;
Sometime when your ego's in bloom;
Sometime when you take it for granted,
You're ithe best qualified in the room.

Sometime whn you feel that your going
Would be an unfillable hole,
Just follow this simple instruction,
And see how it humbles your soul.

Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to the wrist;
Pull it out and the hole that's remaining
Is a measure of how you'll be missed.

You may splash all you please when you enter,
You can stir up the water galore;
But stop and you'll find in a minute
That it looks quite the same as before.

The moral in this quaint example
Is to do just the best that you can.
Be proud of yourself, abut remember
There's no indispensable Man.
(Author Unknowm)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pray For Your Pastor

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul requested prayer for himself. In Ephesians 6:19, he wrote, “and pray on my behalf.” As the Apostle Paul realized his need for prayer, your present pastor realizes his need for continual prayer on his behalf by the people he serves. Here are five things you can pray for him daily.

1. Pray for the correct words to say.
“that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth” (Eph.6:19b)

2. Pray that he may speak with boldness.
“that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” (Eph.6:20b)

3. Pray for his personal life. (family, finances, study habits, etc.)

4. Pray for his purity.(thoughts, attitudes, motives, etc.)

5. Pray for his power. (prayer life, filling of the Holy Spirit,submission
to he Master’s call, etc.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Is Church Still Relevant?

Someone once wrote to their local newspaper explaining why he believed church attendance was a waste of time. He wrote, “I’ve gone for thirty years now and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can’t remember a single one of them. So I think I’m wasting my time by listening and the pastors are wasting theirs by preaching.” Another person responded to this statement with these words, “I’ve been married for thirty years now. In that time my wife has cooked over 32,000 meals. But for the life of me, I can’t recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this: they all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me those meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I hadn’t gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!”

Maybe the writer of Hebrews had something like this in mind when he wrote, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:23-25 NASB) The phrase ‘not forsaking our own assembling together’ couched in the middle of this passage clearly indicates that God expects us to share with other believers in the context of worship. The words around the phrase indicate that we need this fellowship for four reasons: (1) to reinforce our faith, (2) to stimulate our love for each other, (3) to motivate us to do good deeds, and (4) to encourage one another.

Churches need to periodically evaluate their ministry and ask the question, “Are we meeting these four needs?” God requires it and those who come to worship each week have every right to expect it. T he reward for having such a ministry will be the enthusiasm displayed by the members.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Thoughts on Valentine's Day

Each year on February 14 we observe Valentine’s Day. It is a time to celebrate romantic love. It is a time for quiet dinners, flowers, special gifts and intimate moments. Greeks had a word for this kind of love. They called it “Eros”. Unfortunately, many men only understand a portion of the word. They have the physical aspects figured out but the tender, sentimental aspects do not always register strongly on their fun meter. This is not because they are hard hearted but because they are wired differently. They need to learn to appropriate the full meaning of the word.

I learned this lesson early in my marriage. On our first Valentine’s Day as husband and wife, I picked up my wife at work. On the way home, I stopped at a drug store. While she waited in the car, I went into the store, bought a box of candy, came back to the car and handed it to her with the words, Happy Valentine’s Day. Needless to say, things were quiet at dinner that evening but not for the right reasons.

The Greeks had another word for love. It was called “Agape”. It is entirely different from romantic love. While romantic love generally comes with conditions, agape love has none. It is unconditional love. It is given without the attachments. It doesn’t say I love you because or I will love you if. It simply says I love you. This is the love that God has for us. It is the love that we find in the much used verse, John 3:16. It reads, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” We can’t change His love for us but we must openly receive it if we are to appropriate its full benefits in our lives.

This is not an either/or proposition. There is a place for romantic love. It has been said that a marriage without it is like a soft drink without any fizz. However, it will come and go because it is based on our feelings. On the other hand, God’s love is based on His decision to love us. His Word tells us that we are to love each other as He has loved us. It is important that we understand this because it is this type of love that gets us through the rough spots in our relationships.

I am grateful that my wife understands the concept of agape. Despite my youthful ignorance of the finer points of romance, she has loved me for forty-four years, not because she has always felt like it, certainly not because I have deserved it, but because she decided in the beginning that she would love me in spite of my mistakes. As much as her love has blessed my life, it can not compare to the love that my God has for me. I am eternally grateful for both.