Friday, August 22, 2008

What are your thoughts about church?

This is a devotion that I found today that is very helpful.  And of course I added a few things in with it.

Protestant churches are losing young adults in "sobering" numbers, a survey finds.

Seven in 10 Protestants ages 18 to 30 -- both evangelical and mainline -- who went to church regularly in high school said they quit attending by age 23, according to the survey by LifeWay Research. And 34% of those said they had not returned, even sporadically, by age 30. That means about one in four Protestant young people have left the church.

"This is sobering news that the church needs to change the way it does ministry," says Ed Stetzer, director of Nashville-based LifeWay Research, which is affiliated with the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.

"It seems the teen years are like a free trial on a product. By 18, when it's their choice whether to buy in to church life, many don't feel engaged and welcome," says associate director Scott McConnell.

The statistics are based on a survey of 1,023 Protestants ages 18 to 30 who said they had attended church at least twice a month for at least one year during high school. LifeWay did the survey in April and May. Margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Few of those surveyed had kind words for fellow Christians when they reflected on how they saw church life in the four years after high school.

Just over half (51%) of Protestant young people surveyed (both the church dropouts and those who stayed on in church after age 22) saw church members as "caring" or had other positive descriptions, such as "welcoming" (48%) or "authentic" (42%).

Among dropouts, nearly all (97%) cited life changes, such as a move. Most (58%) were unhappy with the people or pastor at church. More than half (52%) had religious, ethical or political reasons for quitting.

Dropouts were more than twice as likely than those who continued attending church to describe church members as judgmental (51% for dropouts, 24% for those who stayed), hypocritical (44% vs. 20%) or insincere (41% vs. 19%)

The news was not all bad: 35% of dropouts said they had resumed attending church regularly by age 30. An additional 30% attended sporadically. Twenty-eight percent said "God was calling me to return to the church."

The survey found that those who stayed with or returned to church grew up with both parents committed to the church, pastors whose sermons were relevant and engaging, and church members who invested in their spiritual development.


Acts 2:41-47

41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

The Fellowship of the Believers

42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (ESV)

It was a pretty amazing story! Can you imagine the excitement of being involved in the early church? These believers knew their purpose and they were firmly committed to trusting the Holy Spirit to lead them to glorify God and build His Kingdom through the Church.

We can use the model found in Acts 2 as God's instructions on how to have an effective church:

WORSHIP: The early believers praised God every day, met for prayer, shared in the Lord's Supper and experienced a deep sense of awe. DO YOU STRIVE TO PRAISE GOD IN YOUR WORSHIP AT YOUR CHURCH, NO MATTER WHAT THE STYLE OF MUSIC MIGHT BE?

FELLOWSHIP: The Acts believers met together constantly and shared their meals and enjoyed each other. ARE YOU INVOLVED ON A REGULAR BASIS WITH A SMALL GROUP IN YOUR CHURCH THAT REALLY CARES FOR EACH OTHER?


MINISTRY: The early church people were committed to praying together and meeting the needs of others, even if they had to sell their possessions. ARE YOU GIVING YOUR TIME, TALENTS AND MONEY TO HELP YOUR YOUTH GROUP AND/OR YOUR CHURCH MEET THE NEEDS OF PEOPLE?

EVANGELISM: The news spread about what God was doing in and through this Acts church! More and more people were becoming followers of Jesus and being added to this church! ARE YOU DOING YOUR PART TO HELP YOUR CHURCH MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR COMMUNITY? IS YOUR CHURCH SO IN LOVE WITH JESUS THAT IT'S CONTAGIOUS TO THE WORLD AROUND YOU?

Let's be honest about the local church. None are perfect. They never will be because the church is made up of imperfect people like us. Churches are very different in style and size. Some are old and maybe not very exciting. Others are new and sort of struggling. But here's the deal: God uses the local church to build His Kingdom and He sees you as a vital part of your church!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

It is about time!!!!

Well there is a lot of things going on in the ministry.  it has been a long time since the last blog and it is about time to send another.  Our T412(youth) building in almost finished with the remodeling.  Hopefully we will been able to utilize it in 2 weeks.  That is about the same time the students get out of School for the summer.  Then it is going to be ON!  it has been a busy couple of months, but the Lord has been good to us.  We have several students who are moving up from the 6th grade and I am pumped about that.  We are going to have a good time every Monday with our students a families to Wild Water and Wheels.   Fun fun fun.  so I will be water logged by the end of the summer again.  we are going to have opportunity for our youth to just come together for fellowship at our Hang Time ever Tuesday from 10am - 2pm.  this will allow them to get to know each other and me.  very informal and nothing structured.  they will bring money for lunch and when we get hungry we will eat.  There is a lot of other things that are going on as well that will be posted at a later date.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

They need some to pray for them!!!

This is a devotion that I come across today that is really disturbing. 


It started with four students. They agreed to meet at the bottom of the main stairway for prayer 15 minutes before school every Wednesday morning. In a month it had grown to a dozen students. In three months 30-40 students were there praying together every week. One teacher passing by every week and amazed by what he saw nicknamed the group “The Stairway to Heaven.”

Just as the whole school started to notice how important prayer and faith was to these young Christians, the arguing began. It started with a disagreement about how to pray. The students who started the group prayed quietly not drawing any attention to what they were doing. The people who joined the group later prayed loudly, with hands raised. The whole situation reached a boiling point when some new people joined the group and began praying loudly in tongues and telling others their style of praying was the real way to pray.

The prayer group became a fighting group. They argued about how to pray more than they prayed. Each group of students had a way of praying they thought was right and comfortable for them. They disagreed about how to pray and what type of prayer was appropriate in the hallway of the school. The disagreement became an endless argument. Lots of harsh words and judgmental comments flew back and forth between them.

As the whole school watched they spoke unkindly about each other and questioned the motives of the other praying students. Attempts were made to reconcile the warring parties but the battle lines were drawn and no one was backing down. Finally they became two separate prayer groups. The loud pray-ers started a new prayer group up on the second floor while the quiet pray-ers stayed at the bottom of the stairs. The arguments were replaced by cold stares and silence. In two separate locations both groups decreased in size. By the end of school neither group was meeting for prayer.


The bad thing about all this is the number of people that are looking at them that are not Christians who they are causing to stumble into hell.  Prayer is the most important thing we do to communicate with our Father in heaven and people are pointing fingers at these "CHRISTIANS" and making fun of our communication with our Creator.  That is one of the reasons why we do not have a lot of teenagers stepping up to the plate in our schools today.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Worship is a very important part of our everyday life. That’s right, it is to be every day that we get alone with God and pour out our hearts to him as He pours out his love, grace, and mercy to us.

Song of Solomon 8:6, 7 – “Love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.”

Too often our worship is tamed by the complications of this world. I long to be in a place where my fire for God cannot be quenched or washed away, even by the mightiest rivers of opposition – I long for a worship that can never be extinguished.

There are three things needed to keep a fire burning; heat, oxygen, and fuel. The removal of any of these three can and will cause the fire to smolder. Just as water can put out a fire, so the trials and pressures of this life can dampen our hearts for worship. It is so easy during hardship to cool down a little and then tell God that we will worship again when things get back to normal. What we need to realize is that we are to worship God in the middle of life’s sorrows. There are some worshipers that “always trust, always hopes, and always perseveres” (1 Cor. 13:7). That is the kind of worshiper I want to be. I do not want, will not allow my worship to be extinguished. The same way you take oxygen out of a fire is the same way your worship can be extinguished. The revelation of God is the fuel that drives our worship. He has revealed Himself to us in creation, throughout the history of His people and overwhelmingly at the cross. And to this day, every breath we breathe is a reminder of our maker, and every hour holds the possibility of living in His presence.

The Heart of God Loves a persevering worshipper who, though overwhelmed by many troubles, is overwhelmed even more by the beauty of God.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Well I've been asked why I haven't have a recent post. With everything going on lately, who has had time to blog? The past few months have been pretty overwhelming with completing the new sanctuary, and planning for the new year, and now renovating the youth building (Which by the way is going to be pretty SWEET!), and juggling all of the children, youth, and college events, my mind has been too crazy to try to put into words what God is doing in my life and in the life of our church.
We are so blessed to be growing as a church and seeing people saved almost every week. It is my desire to see that excitment grow in the hearts of our teenagers and young singles. Plese continue to pray for them and for the large group of 7th graders that will be moving up this summer. I can't wait to see what God will do in their lives, but we must never to neglect to lift them up in prayer because they face the devil head on every day. Pray that God will give them a desire to know Him more and have the strength to live for Him every day as they make decisions that could impact their lives forever. I hope that as we get this youth building finished it will give them a place that is their own where they can bring their friends and have fun, but more importantly, help give them a spirit of worship like they've never had before.
Also, I am so excited to see what God is doing through the Carolina Faith Riders Ministry. The SC Baptist Convention has decided to give money toward mission work at Bike Week in Myrtle Beach, SC! We are going to have the opportunity to reach out to these lost bikers and show them how much God loves them! We will giving out tracks, and will also have rallies on Fri. and Sat. night featuring Tyler Edwards and his band Lift to Release, and Christian comedian, Barry McGee and we will also be giving a BIKE AWAY! How awesome is that! And we are now going to have a bike night once a month at Sonic also to hopefully get some bikers together and reach out to them. It will be the 4th Thursday of every month and bikers get 10% off of their meal so tell your friends with bikes about it!
God is truly at work all around us and even in the life of my own family. Dori and I are so blessed to have the family that we have and I pray that God will continue to keep us growing together in Him. We recently got the opportunity to get away for our anniversary for a much needed time of rest and relaxation in Charleston where we could just focus on each other, sleep late, and have fun together. Guys, don't neglect to take that time to just spend with your wife and more importantly to pray not just for her, but with her! I can't even begin to tell you what God can do in a marriage where a husband and wife pray together.
Well I believe I have gotten ya'll up to speed on some of the things going on in my life lately. Continue to pray for our church and also for Mama and Daddy who are both sick with the flu this week.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A kick in the Teeth.

Pastor Joseph M. Stowell tells a story about his childhood. “Growing up in Hackensack, N.J., just across the George Washington Bridge from New York City, provided a variety of experiences for me. One was going to school with some of the rough kids from the neighboring town of South Hackensack. I recall one afternoon, playfully sparring with one of the southside guys and having his punch actually land on my face. The blow jarred one of my front teeth loose. Thankfully, the dentist was able to anchor the tooth again, and I didn’t lose it. In fact, I was better off--the tooth had always been crooked, so the dentist straightened it as he worked. Sometimes the blows of life have a way of taking something crooked and making it straight.”

picture courtesy & illustration courtesy

Romans 8:28-29 (NLT)

28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

First of all, please understand that this verse does not mean that everything is going to work out good for followers of Jesus. God doesn't remove all the bad things in life for His children.

It also doesn't mean that everything that happens to us in life is good. We live in a sinful world that is broken, so pain and suffering will often break our hearts.

It does mean that God is in total control of "everything", not just some incidents in life. He will use every circumstance (good or bad from our perspective) to bring about "good" in us (from His perspective). That "good" is all about His purpose for us - to glorify Him as we become more and more like Jesus Christ who created His new life in us! God's ultimate purpose is to make us Holy, not happy.

We can still be full of joy even when we're not happy. Happiness depends on how we feel about circumstances, but joy is the peace in our souls that comes with knowing and believing that God is working to bring about the "good" that He wants for us.

So when life "knocks your tooth out", trust God! He will eventually straighten out what seems crooked in this life.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Where is your Eternal Home?


GRIEF-stricken family and friends of Heath Ledger vowed to give his two-year-old daughter Matilda the "beautiful life" he had planned for her, as the body of the 28-year-old Australian actor last night began a sad final journey to his home in Perth.

Tears flowed as his parents, Kim and Sally, and his older sister, Kate, arrived in Los Angeles to await the arrival of the casket carrying his body.

Actor Abbie Cornish, who starred opposite Ledger in the movie Candy and remained a close friend, accompanied the family to the US for the grim task of bringing the body home after he was found dead in his Manhattan apartment from a suspected drug overdose on Wednesday.

The funeral is expected to be held in Perth this week, but details have not been released. There also was speculation yesterday of a public memorial service in LA within the next few days, likely to be attended by many of Ledger's Hollywood A-list friends.

Toddler Matilda, who's tender age has protected her from fully understanding that she has lost her father, was being shielded by her actor mother Michelle Williams, who was engaged to Ledger until the relationship ended six months ago.

Matilda and Michelle were "the two true loves" of Ledger's life, friends said last night.

As Matilda grows up, she also will have the comfort and support of a loyal and protective circle of Hollywood friends.

Meanwhile, Australia's Foreign Minister, Stephen Smith – who is in New York for meetings at the United Nations headquarters – said he was satisfied about the handling of the inquiry into Ledger's death by US authorities.

The authorities said they would not make a final determination on the cause of Ledger's death until toxicology tests are completed.

photo & story courtesy, 1/27/08

Romans 8:35-39

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (ESV)

Why is today's God's Story scripture so comforting for anyone who is a follower of Christ?

Paul says that God promises His children (those who have trusted Jesus Christ as their Savior) His ongoing presence. They will have an eternal homecoming in Heaven!

All of us who are followers of Christ face some hardships in life. It might be illness, suffering, persecution for our faith in Christ and for some around the world - imprisonment. The final hardship is death, BUT (this is one of the most powerful words in Scripture!) it is impossible to be separated from Jesus Christ! His death and resurrection for us proves His ultimate power which means that He keeps all of His promises to us.

The Heavenly Father gives this promise of unending love to us so that we will feel secure in Him. His children are assured of eternity in Heaven. There's no need to be afraid.


Today's story about the death of Hollywood star Heath Ledger is sad and troubling. Please understand that only God knows for sure whether Heath was was of His creation or one of His children, adopted into God's family through receiving the forgiveness of sins through Christ.

I have not found a single article or quote where anyone has said anything that would indicate that Heath Ledger was a follower of Jesus Christ. Remember, according to God's Story (found in the Scriptures), without Christ, there is no hope for eternity in Heaven.

If Christ is in you (1st John 5:11-13), the homecoming that is out of this world is waiting for you!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

What Is God's Will for My Life?

The very desire of God’s heart is for each of us to walk with His Son whom He has sent.

    • Knowing God does not come through a program or method. It is a relationship with a person.
    • It is an intimate love relationship with God.
    • Through this relationship, God reveals His will to you and invites you to fellowship.
    • John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
    • When is the last time you heard Jesus speak to you in that still small voice?
    • When is the last time you can clearly identify the activity of God in your life.
    • John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
    • We need to believe God to be and do everything he promises.
    • When is the last time you have adjusted your beliefs, character, and behavior to God and His ways.
    • What does God want to do right now through your life?
    • Who is it that really knows the way for you to go to fulfill God’s purpose for your life?
    • John 14:6 Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.
    • Abraham is a perfect example of what it means to walk by faith.
    • Gen 12:1-2 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father's house, unto a land that I will show you: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you will be a blessing:
    • Abraham was seventy-five years old when he left his homeland. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they acquired and set out for the land of Canaan. Promise Land
    • Eph 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
    • Christ does not want our encounters with Him to remain just experiences He wants them to be a way of life.
    • John 10:10 The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

No More Wedgies!!!!!!

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Wedgie-proof underwear earned 8-year-old twin boys some appearances on television shows recently. Using rigged boxers and fabric fasteners to hold together some seams, Jared and Justin Serovich came up with the "Rip Away 1000."
"When the person tries to grab you - like the bully or the person tries to give you a wedgie - they just rip away," Justin explained by phone.

The third graders from Gables Elementary School began brainstorming one day after they were horsing around, giving each other the treatment. Their mother's partner sarcastically said someone ought to invent wedgie-proof underwear, the family said.
The project got the boys to the finals of a central Ohio invention competition earlier this year, followed by television appearances.

photo courtesy & story, 11/3/07

1 Timothy 4:12 (Allen's Translation)

Let no one look down on you because you are young,  but be an example to the believers in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity.

Paul was a mentor to Timothy and gave him some great advice that every young believer should apply. (No, this instruction had nothing to do with underwear. We don't know if Paul and Timothy wore boxers or briefs - probably just something that went well with their toga robes!)

Paul's challenge was to encourage Timothy to be a servant leader for God even though he was young. We don't know exactly how old Timothy was, but evidently some people thought he was too young to be a pastor.

It's pretty normal for older Christians to look down on young people because they are...well you know...YOUNG! If older people are used to seeing immaturity in young people, it's easy for them to hold back on their trust of what young people can do.

Are you ready and willing to give the world a new perspective on young people?

Paul is teaching that younger Christians need to earn the respect of their elders by showing maturity. You can do this by being a Christ-like example in your talk, your walk, your love, your faith and through living a life of purity. No matter how old or young you are, God will use you to help build His Kingdom. He is simply waiting for you to live in such a way that the world around you will see Christ in you!

The kids who invented anti-wedgie underwear have been given some brief exposure for their creativity. Their fame may be short-lived, because it may not impact the world for very long. But bullies beware!

You probably won't ever make the news for living for Christ and serving Him at a young age, but God will notice and use you to impact the world forever!

This is just a reminder to all the young people of South Florence Baptist Church why we have the name for ministry that we have.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


There has been something that has been on my mind for the past few days.  Have you ever thought of the reasons that the Lord will allow you to go through many different storms in your life.  The thing that gets me going is the point that God has got us.  Yes he allows us to go through storms but he still has us.  Many times we paint the picture of Christ and his children as a father and son.  Let me explain.  The other night after dark me and Caleb (my 5 yr old son) had to walk out to the barn for something.  He grabbed me by the hand, and the farther away we got from the house the darker it got.  As we walked up to the barn we could see nothing.  He did not even realize it at first, but when we turned around to got back home, all we could see was the lights from the house in the distance and darkness all around where we were.  We start going back toward the house and Caleb says to me "I'm Scared" so I tell him to hold my hand and he has nothing to worry about.  Even though that is a great picture of Christ and His children I do not think that it is accurate.  The story goes on, and Caleb got even more scared.  Being the good father I try to be I picked him up and told him not to worry.  As we walked into the flood lights of the house I put him down and he look up at me with this big big smile on his face and said "you are the man daddy".  That is a better picture of Christ with his children.  Christ has got us in his arms even though we may not see the things that are around us he has got us, and He is holding us close, and telling us not to worry.  The thing that Caleb did not know is that I had a flash light in my pocket the entire time.  See, fathers think of things that we may not need but fathers have them just in case.  Just the same way with Christ and His children he has us even with the proper tools that He may not even need, it is just there if we need it to make our life that much easier.  We are not just walking through this life holding on to Christ's hand, think of it as we are not walking at all because Christ is carrying us through this dark time.  He is carrying us into His light.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Don't Take God's Name Lightly!

Make Fun Of Faith? Sure. Jesus? Uh, No.

Comedian Kathy Griffin has built her D-list career on telling A-list Hollywood celebrities -- to "suck it."

So when she told Jesus to "suck it" after winning an Emmy for her reality show, "My Life on the D-List," it was meant as another swipe at someone who gets invited to better parties than she does.

But as she quickly learned, dissing Jesus, even in left-leaning Hollywood, carries more risk than poking fun at the Lindsay Lohans of the world.

Griffin's remarks -- "I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. . . . So all I can say is, suck it, Jesus. This reward is my god now!" -- were censored when the E! Network broadcast the Creative Arts Emmy Awards show.

The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences said the remarks were struck because they were "offensive." It wasn't clear whether they disliked the vulgar "suck it" part or the blasphemous "this reward is my god now" part.

Either way, one thing is clear: Poking fun at religion in general is fine. Taking jabs at hypocritical religious leaders is even encouraged. But when it comes to Jesus, Hollywood still gets squeamish.

Some conservatives smell a double standard. Audiences laugh when Griffin insults the Christian messiah, but she could never get away with telling Muhammad to do the same, they say. "She wants to stick it to Christians," said Kiera McCaffrey of the Catholic League civil rights organization.

Atheists see a more sinister plotline at work in the network's decision to muzzle Griffin. It's not about decency, they say. "It was about protecting belief in Jesus," said Ellen Johnson, president of American Atheists. "You're not allowed to say anything that ridicules belief. . . . What's next? Punishment for that?"

photo courtesy & story, 9/22/07

Exodus 20:7 (NLT)

7 “You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.

Just a thought but:

God's name is special because it carries His personal identity. Using it frivolously or in a curse is so common today that we may fail to realize how serious it is. The way we use God's name conveys how we really feel about Him. We should respect His name and use it appropriately, speaking it in praise or worship rather than in curse or jest. We should not take lightly the abuse or dishonor of His name.

God tells us that He will punish those who misuse His name.

This truth should strike fear in the heart of Kathy Griffin, but my guess is that it doesn't when you consider what she said about Jesus.

How about us? We know that God is loving, but do we remember that God is also holy and punishes sin.  It is a sin to misuse His name.  He will punish you Kathy Griffin.  Not that you care!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Are you a "Big Baby"

Nadia, who weighs 17.1 lbs in the old scale, was delivered by cesarean section in the local maternity hospital in the Altai region on September 17, joining eight sisters and three brothers, local reports say.

"We were all simply in shock," said Nadia's mother, Tatyana Barabanova, 43.

"I ate everything, we don't have the money for special foods so I just ate potatoes, noodles and tomatoes," she said, adding that all her previous babies had weighed over 5 kg.

The Guinness World Records lists a 10.2 kg baby boy born in Italy in 1955, and a 10.8 kg baby boy who was born in the United States in 1879 but died 11 hours later.

The average weight for most healthy newborn babies is around 3.2 kg, according to World Health Organisation figures.

Chris - How would you like to rock that baby to sleep.


Hebrews 5:11-14 (NLT)

A Call to Spiritual Growth

11 There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. 12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. 13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. 14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

What does today's God's Story scripture teach us about spiritual growth?

Tyndale's LIFE APPLICATION STUDY BIBLE notes make it very clear:

5:12-14 In order to grow from infant Christians to mature Christians, we must learn discernment. We must train our conscience, our senses, our mind, and our body to distinguish good from evil. Can you recognize temptation before it traps you? Can you tell the difference between a correct use of Scripture and a mistaken one? Our capacity to feast on deeper knowledge of God ("solid food") is determined by our spiritual growth. Too often we want God's banquet before we are spiritually capable of digesting it. As you grow in the Lord and put into practice what you have learned, your capacity to understand will also grow.

If we're not growing spiritually, we might have to admit that we're a bunch of big babies!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Awanita! That is Cherokee Indian for "youth". That is the camp that I had the opportunity to take our teenagers to this past weekend. I think that the teenagers had more fun there than anywhere we have been. Just to go to the top of "Hummer Hill" was an experience in itself. The 150 ft. slide, the zip line over the lake, and of course the mud pit: Ugh! (See pictures), but also an experience! To be in the mountains and see God's creation and in all of its beauty was amazing. We had a lot of time to spend before the throne of God as well. Our theme was "Broken". The three sessions were 1) Broken in our worship, 2) Broken over our sin, 3) Broken for the lost. It was a blessing to be a part of a service and during the invitation you look around and see teenagers weeping and getting things right with God. Others wrapped their arms around each other showering them with the power of prayer. It is an amazing thing to see teenagers (one more time) get in touch with God. Yes we had the most fun ever, but God really did show up. I hope that this is another spark that will lead to the biggest bonfire the world has ever seen.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Limitless Opportunity

There comes a time in everyone’s life when you have to make a choice to be all you can be for Christ or to be satisfied with the way things are. The Lord has opened many doors for me personally, in our youth group, our church, and now I have had the amazing opportunity to get to know a group of teenagers, and coaching staff that may not necessarily have the opportunity, for what ever reason, to go to church. The Lord has allowed me to have the chance to present the gospel to the entire South Florence High School football team (JV and Varsity) every Tuesday after practice on the field where they are. When I surrendered to the ministry I asked God to allow me to have the chance to reach people in many different walks of life. The Lord has opened those doors that I feel privileged to walk through.

I am proud of South Florence Baptist Church as well. You have made things happen for these players that will go down in the record books for eternity. You have shown them compassion, love, and Christlikeness in ways that I have never seen before. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be Jesus to these athletes, after all, we may be the only Jesus some of them will ever see.

I share this story just to let you know that the opportunities are limitless to share Christ. Keep on praying, keep on serving, keep on living for Christ, and allow Christ to minister to someone through you. Just as the song says written by Jeremy Camp: “I come alive when I’m broken down and giving you control.”