Enjoying the Journey

Posts Tagged ‘Church’

“Thank You For Loving Our Country With Me”

As you read this post I am ministering in another country. No matter where I travel in this world, I can boldly proclaim that God loves all people and Christ died for every man. Our heart for humanity must be bigger than one people group because God’s heart is! While it is a privilege to labor in other nations there is always something special about coming home. I love America. It is my country and it is a country that has been specially blessed by God. As we seek to reach the world with the gospel we must never neglect the mission field immediately around us… Pray for our country’s leaders (1 Timothy 2:14). Prayer is the most important work…

Read More

Don’t Forget These Things On Your Christmas List!

Everyone is busy this week. Shopping. Eating. Cooking. Eating. Traveling. Eating. Wrapping. Eating. It is easy to forget the things that truly matter in the hurry and haste. Perhaps you are working feverishly from a Christmas list. Would you add these things to your list this year? Don’t forget Christ. Remember it is His birth we are celebrating! Spend some quiet time communing with Him each day. Set aside moments for the Word and prayer. Tell Him you love Him and show Him by what you do with your time. Don’t forget your family. Is that possible at Christmas? Certainly. We can be so distracted doing things for them that we forget to be with them. Be present. Talk. Laugh.…

Read More

The Tale of Two Churches

We were in a meeting in a large city, a city known for sizable churches and well known preachers. One afternoon I had the privilege to visit two churches that I have heard about for years. I was not there to speak. In fact, I did not know a soul at either church. I was just a normal visitor off the street. This is what made my visit so very interesting. You see, the churches were different in many respects, but especially in one – the way they received visitors. At the first church a kind lady greeted us in the parking lot, “Park anywhere you like and we will walk in together.” We. Amazing what two letters can convey.…

Read More

How to Make Winter the Most Fruitful Season of the Year

Winter is not often thought of as fruitful. In many parts of the country short days and cold weather begin to limit the activities of the church. Depressed moods can settle in on good people, and days are just lived in expectation of better times to come. Never forget that our God is a present tense God. He is the “I AM.” And He is at work right now, right where you are. Refuse to allow this season to be wasted. The Lord never wastes a day and He longs to make every moment count in us. There is a danger to “down times.” (Read more about “Dealing with Down Times” here.) Boredom and idleness can become traps for a…

Read More

A New Song – An Eternal Message

Frequently in my sermons I tell the story of some great Christian hymn. The background to a song often opens up the message in a more meaningful way. I am currently reading Al Smith’s Treasury of Hymn Histories and my heart has been blessed again by the way God works in the hearts of His people and the songs that grow out of those experiences. Sadly, very few hymns are written today. Even fewer are rooted in Scripture. It is rare and refreshing to hear a new song that is deeply grounded in the truth of God’s Word. The term “gospel” has come to describe more a style of music than the substance of the song. I believe the word…

Read More

The Most Important Lessons I Learned in My College Years

A few days ago I had the joy of addressing a group of college students in a local church. There were freshmen and upperclassmen, full of hope and excitement as they approached the beginning of a new year. Life is divided into seasons and every season has a purpose (Ecclesiastes 3:1-11). The college years are a time of preparation. In these days God is at work in so many ways to prepare young people for all He has for them. All of college was good for me. Dorm life. Student Events. Even History of Civilization. As I reflected on my college years I began to see that it was in this season of life that I began to understand that some…

Read More

How To Keep the Next Generation

A fellow preacher and personal friend asked me recently how I believed we could do a better job of retaining young people in our churches. It is a problem of epidemic proportions. The vast majority of young people are exiting the local church by the time they are eighteen. For many years I said to prospective youth workers that we must get young people connected to more than the youth group. It is my conviction that, as early in life as possible, young people must find their place in the church. It must be their church. The pastor must be their pastor. And some work for the Lord must be their ministry. This cannot begin when they graduate from high…

Read More

How to Use Hymns and Why You Should

On a recent flight a lady commented to me that she loved the hymns but found it very difficult to find a church now that would sing them. This is increasingly becoming the norm. While I am not opposed to new songs and choruses, I thank the Lord for the great hymns of our faith. My favorite hymn is a rarely sung song written by Charles Wesley, And Can It Be? Read the words sometime! It is full of theology. Someone said “it is like putting the doctrine of salvation to music.” Music teaches. It does more than simply make us “feel” – it should make us “think.” This is why the Bible says, “Let the word of Christ dwell…

Read More

Some Thoughts On Our Recent Campaign

It is a joy to be home for a couple of days after a busy season of meetings. Just a few days ago we conducted a Go Reach America Campaign in the Tri-Cities region. The Lord blessed in a wonderful way and we give Him the glory for it! As I have had some time to reflect I wanted to share a few things the Lord did in my own life. He always works on both ends – saving souls and teaching us! Here are a few of the truths the Holy Spirit has impressed on my heart… It is a privilege to labor with others for souls. Ecclesiastes 4:9 says, “Two are better than one; because they have a…

Read More

The Power of A Small Church

Our generation is mesmerized by mega churches. As I have had the privilege to be in churches of all sizes, the words of my mentor, Pastor Clarence Sexton, have become more meaningful: “The greatness of a church is not in its size, but in its likeness to Jesus Christ.” “For who hath despised the day of small things?” (Zechariah 4:10) It seems that the Lord loves to use little things! Faith as a grain of mustard seed. The widow’s mite. A young boy’s lunch. Christ compared His work in this world to “one pearl of great price” hidden in a field (Matthew 13:45-46). Not a large field – a little pearl. He came to a small place on the map. “And…

Read More