Enjoying the Journey

Recently an ad on the front page of the USA Today read, “WHO are you thankful for?”  When most of us list the things for which we are most grateful it is a list of what instead of who.  O yes, we say we are thankful for family.  But, who specifically? Or take for example the way we express gratitude for eternal life.  “I am thankful for salvation, grateful that I do not have to go to hell.  I am headed to heaven.”  We have reduced our thankfulness to something or someplace.  In reality, eternal life is Someone.  Eternal life is the life of the eternal One living in us!  We should be grateful for the Lord Jesus Christ. This same…

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Good things can get stale.  Even our prayer life.  One of the great challenges of using a prayer list is not allowing it to become mechanical.  How many days I have just gone through the motions!  God doesn’t need me to read Him what is on the paper; He wants me to tell Him what is on my heart. Recently the Lord led me to develop a prayer list that would simply remind me each day of needs for which I should pray.  They are really just prayer prompters but they have helped me to keep my prayer time fresh.  I share them with you in the hope that they may help you in some way. It is easy to…

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Everyone expects the pastor to pray for his people.  But pastors need prayer too.  In fact, they need much prayer.  Their responsibility is great.  Satan’s attack strong. We have made a practice of praying for our Pastor every day.  We pray for wisdom, for strength, and protection.  We pray for his family.  Hundreds of times over the last few years I have asked my Pastor is there was anything I could do for him, only to hear his quietly say, “A lot of prayer.”  This is the desire of every true man of God I know. Listen to the words of 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you…

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Some of the most beautiful words I ever hear are: “I am praying for you.”  (Especially if I know they are more than just words!)  My precious wife prays for me.  I have a praying mom and dad.  My children pray for me.  My pastor prays for me.  I have many friends who pray for me faithfully.  This means more to me with every passing day.  I believe in the power of prayer. God’s Word teaches that Jesus prays for us (Hebrews 7:25) and the Holy Spirit prays for us (Romans 8:26).  You can’t get better than that!  Robert Murray McCheyne said, “If I could hear Jesus praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a thousand…

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Today we begin our annual Baptist Friends Conference at Temple Baptist Church and Crown College.  Pastor Sexton and our precious people love hosting this meeting and seeking to encourage hundreds of friends in the work of world evangelism.  There are always so many people working hard to prepare for a meeting like this.  Yet we have learned that the most important preparation is not physical but spiritual. The greatest preparation is the work that is done in prayer.  Remember, when we pray GOD works!  We always have a 24 hour prayer vigil on the Friday and Saturday before the Conference begins.  For the last several weeks teams of our people have visited in all of our member homes gathering prayer…

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Today the Lord spoke to my heart again concerning the matter of prayer.  When I think of prayer I think: what a great privilege!  Then I think…what a great failure!  My greatest opportunity is my greatest neglect. Today’s chapel speaker at Crown College, Pastor Steve Kilpatrick, said something that helped me to see my lack of prayer as God sees it.  “Prayerlessness is the pinnacle of pride.  When we fail to pray we essentially say to God, I can handle this on my own.”  So convicting. As I wrote this quote in my Bible, I was reminded of so many prayer truths that I have heard through the years.  God has used them again and again to stir me to…

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It was a great privilege to grow up in a pastor’s home.  My dad has pastored the same church for over two decades.  My grandfather was a pastor and several uncles are pastors.  I love pastors.  For the last 15 years I have served under the same pastor, and am very grateful to God that my family has a faithful shepherd that watches for our souls. I have learned that pastors live under a great burden for the flock God has given them.  Most church members view their pastor as someone who exists for them.  While it is true that God gave pastors to feed the flock and equip them for ministry, it is equally true that God gives people…

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In recent weeks the Lord has been dealing with me about so many weaknesses in my own prayer life.  One of the most glaring has been my failure in the matter of intercessory prayer.  Perhaps no where is our selfishness more on display than in our prayer life.  “Lord, bless my four, and no more” is not so far removed from the reality of most of our prayers. When we do pray for others by name it seems that it is often motivated by our sheer frustration with them!  We are much better at praying imprecatory prayers (praying against others) than we are intercessory prayers (praying for others).  The heart of Jesus is one of an intercessor.  Read John 17…

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I have always loved the thought of visiting foreign lands.  My mind is still fresh with memories from my first trip outside of the United States.  It was a thrill to minister in Ghana, West Africa and Cairo, Egypt.  The faces of little children, beautiful children, remain in my thoughts to this day. My dad and I had the privilege of traveling to Ammon, Jordan several years ago to help train Iraqi pastors who would go back and start new churches.  Part of the joy of the journey is spending time with your travel companions.  It was a special thing to be with my dad and best friend for so many days. Tammy and I will always cherish the opportunity…

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