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Friday, May 30, 2008

Evangelism - Part 2 (Open Air Preaching)

Moses, Jonah, John, the Baptist, Jeremiah, Amos, Isaiah, RA Torrey, Charles Spurgeon and Billy Graham.

That's some list! What do these people have in common? Open air or street preaching.

Peter was an open-air preacher, Paul was an open-air preacher, and so were Elijah and Ezra. Most importantly is the fact that Jesus, Himself was an open-air preacher. In looking at styles of evangelism, it's important that we look to the Bible as our source and guide and not man. God says that our ways are not His ways, so it doesn't matter what Willow Creek or Mars Hill or Northpoint does. What matters is our faith and obedience to our Lord and His call.

So, in keeping with using ONLY the Bible as our rule for ministry, let's look more at evangelism..

Every great sermon recorded in the Bible was preached in the open air; the sermon on the Day of Pentecost, the Sermon on the Mount, the sermon on Mars Hill, etc.

Some people may argue that open air or street preaching is not personal and that we as Christians need to develop relationships with people to show then that we are "just like them" and then we can invite them to our church because it's relevant and caters to them.

I will say that in that statement, there is some truth. Having a relationship with someone makes it easier to connect with them and makes them more open to hearing what you have to say because they (hopefully) trust your opinion. That is a valid method of witnessing, but not the only one.

I will also say this. There are people that we will never reach if we simply play the part of the matchmaker and invite people to church so they can get accept Jesus. We have to go to where people have no Christian friends, to where people who won't go to church are and compel them.

Let me stop there for a moment and take a small tangent... I am NOT saying that we need to hang out in bars to evangelize. We are to be separate from the world, but still have to go into it to accomplish God's will. We are a holy people, called out and set apart, called to go and love and bring people out of the world, not go and show them that we are just like the world.

Anyway, let's look at the Bible, because that IS the final authority in ALL things.

"Then the Lord said unto me, Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the STREETS of Jerusalem, saying, Hear ye the words of this covenant, and do them." (Jeremiah 11:6)

"Whom we preach, WARNING EVERY MAN and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in CHRIST JESUS." (Colossians 1:28)

"In those days came John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, REPENT YE, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 3:1-2; see also Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3)

Well, that's it for now. See you in the next part.

Because Truth matters,

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Evangelism - Part 1 (Livin' the Life)

In thinking about evangelism, I thought that it was time to put some thoughts down about sharing Jesus. Every day 150,000 people will die. A large majority of those are not Christians.

Please go back and reread that. Seriously, go. I'll wait here...

OK, ready?

There are many methods that are talked about in today's world in dealing with the subject of evangelism, from relational to street preaching. They all have their pluses and minuses. I'm going to be looking at some methods during the next few posts.

What brought this up? We were listening to Glenn Beck last night and he had Kirk Cameron on. He was talking about Kirk's life and Kirk unashamedly used the opportunity to share his faith and the way that Jesus changed his life. We were watching, practically cheering during this time.

We've seen Bono, Rob Bell and Joel Osteen waffle on their convictions and dance around the room when the tough questions are put to them. We were thinking,
finally, here is someone who is unshamed to speak the truth about the Truth. There was no emergent, seeker-sensitive mumbo-jumbo, just the Truth.

Very refreshing!

Because Truth matters,

New Lady Falcon!


I just wanted to say how proud I am of Megan. She was one of 13 girls who were just selected to be a part of the SCMS Dance Team. In order to tryout, she had to attend a two-day camp to learn a routine as well as develop an ending of her own.

Congrats, Meg! I am proud of you and your talent and look forward to seeing you dance!

Friday, May 16, 2008

You know you are over the hill when...

Well, Diana let it out of the bag that I'm 40 today... the big 4-0... top of hill and looking down, as it were. It's OK, though. I've come to accept the fact and am trying to age with grace. That being said, here are some, "You know you are over the hill when's...." that I've come across. I have to laugh, because the sad thing is that some of these ARE true... lol

Anyway, here we go...

You know you are over the hill when...

Your back goes out but you stay home
At the breakfast table you hear snap,crakle,pop and you're not eating cereal
When you wake up looking like your drivers license picture
It takes two tries to get up from the couch
When you yell at your kids to "turn that darn music down"
When your idea of a night out is sitting on the patio
When happy hour is a nap
When you're on vacation and your energy runs out before your money does
When you say something to your kids that your mother said to you and you always hated it
When all you want for your birthday is to not be reminded of your age
You go to step off a curb and look down one more time to make sure the street is still there
It takes longer to rest than it did to get tired
Your memory is shorter and your complaining lasts longer
Your address book has mostly names that start with Dr.
You sit in a rocking chair and can't get it going
The pharmacist has become your new best friend
Getting lucky means you found your car in the parking lot
The twinkle in your eye is only a reflection from the sun on your bifocals
If everything hurts and what doesn't hurt doesn't work
If your house catches fire and the first thing you grab is your metamucil
You look for your glasses for half an hour and they were on your head the whole time
You get two invitations to go out on the same night and you pick the one that gets you home the earliest
You sink your teeth into a steak and they stay there
You get to the check out line,see how long it is,and decide what you have in your buggy isn't worth the wait
You have more patience,but actually it's just that you don't care anymore
Rocking in a rocking chair feels like a roller coaster ride
You confuse having a 'clear conscience' with a bad memory
You finally 'get your head together' and your body starts falling apart
You turn off the lights for economic reasons instead of romantic reasons
You wonder how you could be over the hill when you don't even remember being on top of it
Getting a little action means your prune juice kicked in
Caution is the only thing you excercise
You wake up with that morning after feeling and you didn't go anywhere the night before
You're not worried about losing your looks, only your glasses
You find yourself beginning to like accordion music.
Lawn care has become a big highlight of your life.
You tune into the easy listening station... on purpose.
You discover that your measurements are now small, medium and large. In that order.
You light the candles on your birthday cake and a group of campers form a circle and start singing Kumbaya.
Someone compliments you on your layered look... and you're wearing a bikini.
You keep repeating yourself.
You start video taping daytime game shows.
At the airport, they ask to check your bags... and you're not carrying any luggage.
You wonder why you waited so long to take up macramé.
Your Insurance Company has started sending you their free calendar... A month at a time.
At cafeterias, you complain that the gelatin is too tough.
Your new easy chair has more options than your car.
When you do the "Hokey Pokey" you put your left hip out... and it stays out.
One of the throw pillows on your bed is a hot water bottle.
Conversations with people your own age often turn into "dueling ailments".
You keep repeating yourself.
It takes a couple of tries to get over a speed bump.
You discover the words, "whippersnapper", "scalawag" and "by-cracky" creeping into your vocabulary.
You're on a TV game show and you decide to risk it all and go for the rocker.
You begin every other sentence with, "Nowadays..."
You run out of breath walking DOWN a flight of stairs.
You look both ways before crossing a room.
Your social security number only has three digits.
You keep repeating yourself.
You come to the conclusion that your worst enemy is gravity.
You go to a Garden Party and you're mainly interested in the garden.
You find your mouth making promises your body can't keep.
The waiter asks how you'd like your steak...and you say "pureed".
You start beating everyone else at trivia games.
You frequently find yourself telling people what a loaf of bread used to cost.
Your back goes out more than you do.
You keep repeating yourself.
Cafeteria food starts tasting GOOD.
You refer to your $2500 stereo system as "The Hi-Fi."
You make it a point to attend all the RV shows that come to town.
You realize that a stamp today costs more than a picture show did when you were growing up.
Your childhood toys are now in a museum.
Many of your co- workers were born the same year that you got your last promotion.
The clothes you've put away until they come back in style... come back in style.
All of your favorite movies are now revised in color.
The car that you bought brand new becomes an antique.
You keep repeating yourself.
You find this list tasteless and insensitive.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Way to Go, Matt!!!!

We just returned from MTSU and what a day it was! Today was Matt's 4H Regional competition. He had placed first in county last month and we were anticipating and preparing for this event. Even so, he was a bit nervous, but handled it like a pro.

We sat through 5 other presentations in the same category as his and it was incredible to see the confidence that this gave him.

I do have to commend him as well for being a gentleman. He was very nice and genuinely friendly to the other students competing.

I am so proud that that it wasn't about winning for him, but about doing your best. It was funny, when we were walking into the room for the awards, he was just as happy that we were going for tacos afterwards than he was in anticipation.

In the end, he got 1st place and we are very proud of him!

Way to go, Matt!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sheltered in the arms of God

Early yesterday morning, Dottie Rambo was killed in a bus accident. It makes me think about Matthew 5:45 which says that...

so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

It makes me think that here on Earth, nothing is guaranteed, even for Christians. There will be trouble and heartache and disappointment. We can have joy here, but true, everlasting happiness doesn't come until we go home.

Although I found her music late in my Christian life, I've been none-the-less touched by her gift.

Here are the lyrics from one of her songs...
I feel the touch of hands so kind and gentle,
They’re leading me in paths that I must trod;
I have no fear when Jesus walks beside me,
For I’m sheltered in the arms of God.

So let the storms rage high, the dark clouds rise,
They won’t worry me for I’m sheltered safe within the arms of God;
He walks with me and naught of Earth can harm me,
Sheltered safe within the arms of God.

Soon I shall hear the call from Heaven’s portals,
Come home my child, it’s the last mile you must trod;
I’ll fall asleep and wake in God’s new Heaven,
Sheltered safe within the arms of God.

So let the storms rage high, the dark clouds rise,
They won’t worry me for I’m sheltered safe within the arms of God;
He walks with me and naught of Earth can harm me,
Sheltered safe within the arms of God.

Sheltered safe within the arms of God!

Because faith matters,

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Throughout my ALMOST 40 years, I have known some great ladies. I appreciate the sacrifice that women make in putting their children first and in nuturing and guiding their them into being loving and responsible members of society.

In thinking about my childhood, I know that I put my mother through all sorts of agony and grief and yet I was still placed first in her life. I think that my wife was easier on her mom, who was another incredible lady that I had the priviledge to know and love.

I know that Diana does through a lot in being a mom to our 4 children. She pours time, love and affection into them. Sometimes, there is a return and sometimes, there isn't, but it seems to be part of the deal. I thank God for her and the impact that she makes in our children's lives.

To my wonderful wife and all moms, Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Better late than never

During the past 2 days, the kids and I have been getting the garden together. I know it's a bit late to start, however, I cannot let the season go by without a garden.

This year, we are planting tomatoes, corn and some spices. The garden sounds small by some standards, but given our time constraint, we will have to make due.

On Sunday, my two daughters and I went a picked up a load of free composted horse manure. What an incredible thing it is to have a neighbor willing to share :)

It was funny... I asked the girls (the boys weren't home at the time) if they wanted to go with me to run an errand. My youngest daughter, the 4-year-old asked where we were going. I told her that we were going to go get some horse "poo" to which she replied, "Horse poo? That's disgusting. Let's go, Daddy!"

So the rest of the afternoon before church we shoveled and loaded and then pulled the truck up to our garden where we worked some into the area prepared for the tomato plants, unloaded the rest ( Hint: There's probably a compost pile coming soon) and planted some tomato plants with baskets. My youngest son expressed an interest in having his own garden, which is cool to hear about. I pointed to one of the plants and said that one is yours to take care of for now and that he can help with the rest (until we can get a garden going for him)

Monday afternoon, my youngest daughter and I planted herbs for Mommy and started some corn plants that we'll transplant later.

All in all, it was a pretty fun time.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Twins Turn Twelve

Happy birthday Megan and Matthew! Today our wonderful twins turned 12! Even though they are very much their own person and look nothing alike, I still refer to them as the "twins."

I can remember being in the delivery room as they were born... all of the nurses, doctors and staff. Although they were technically born a few seconds apart, Matthew is officially 1 minute younger.

I thank God for the wonderful priviledge of having our children. Seeing then grow from cute but insecure babies to wonderful children to confident young adults is an experience like none other.

Meg and Matt, I can't wait to see the plans that God has for your lives!

Happy Birthday!