Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Old Faithful (Daniel 6)

Sunday morning series on the book of Daniel. Text is Daniel 6.

2 Corinthians 1:1-11

Sunday evening series on the book of 2 Corinthians. Text is chapter 1.

Prepared to be Tested

No matter what sport you play, practice is different from the game. Practice is repetitive. The reason you practice is to prepare your fundamentals so when it is time to compete it will come natural. It has been said “practice makes perfect” but in reality “perfect practice makes perfect.” Through practice, we prepare for the competition ahead. When the test comes, we will be ready.

 Spiritual disciples are how we as Christians practice. We are preparing for the tests of life. When temptation or affliction comes our way, we can be prepared. Studying God’s Word is one of the disciplines of our faith that prepares us for the tests of our life. God’s Word keeps us on track. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Proverbs 6:23-24 say, “For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life, to preserve you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.” Studying God’s Word prepares us for the test.

 On March 6, we start our Bible conference with Mike Taylor. We will be studying Jesus’ teaching on discipleship in the Gospels. From 12-1 each day we will be having a meal together and he will be teaching through Ruth. Do not miss this opportunity to prepare for the tests of life.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tragic End, Daniel 5

Lifestyle Evangelism, Colossians 4:2-6

They Want to Hear

While we Christians live our life of peace, there are people we walk pass every day who are hurting on the inside. Satan has done a great job convincing us that they do not want to hear the message of Jesus Christ. The truth is that all those who are without Christ have an emptiness inside of them that can only be satisfied by Jesus. We must keep our eyes open to see those around us who are searching and in desperate need of Jesus. I am always amazed at how God can take the broken and restore them. He takes the desperate and uses them to accomplish great things for His kingdom.

When I was just a young child attending church in Wetumka Oklahoma a young youth aged kid moved in with his grandmother who was a member of our church. His mother died tragically. He was moved from California to the little town of Wetumka. I remember pestering him continuously as only a young elementary kid could. Little did I know then the hurt that was inside him. A couple years later his grandmother died and he was moved to the Baptist Boys Home in Oklahoma City. However, God got a hold of his life and changed him forever. This kid was Joel Engle. He is a nationally known Christian song writer and performer. He has led worship at Falls Creek several times. He currently pastors a rapidly growing church in Texas. Can you imagine what would have been lost if he had not been surrounded by people who offered to replace the emptiness inside of him with Jesus? Through his experience he wrote the following song entitled “The Father I Never Had”.

Verse 1
There's a little child inside this man, who still does not understand
Why momma had to die, she didn't say goodbye
Daddy left without a trace, I never even saw his face
Was I to blame, I still feel the pain of heart shattered like glass that cut my soul to pieces
I never thought I would love again, until I met you Jesus

You're the Father I never had
And Your love never changes, through the good times and the bad
You're the Father I never had
Just hold me in Your arms and heal me of the past and be the Father I never had

Verse 2
I was a teenage boy in a small town, standing outside the crowd
Unwanted and unclaimed, a face without a name, almost every night I'd cry and cry
Asking the questions why, mom and dad would leave this lonely son to grieve
The deserts of my years, they were watered with my tears,
But when I met you face to Face, You wiped away my fears.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Daniel 4

02.06.2011 AM: Cycle of Redemption from Eastern Heights Baptist Church on Vimeo.

Not Again!

It is amazing what the weather has been like in February. The snow has crippled the things that we take for granted. Wal-Mart went days without having full shelves, not from people buying them out as much as the inability to receive the shipments that they needed to replenish their stock. Gas stations ran out of gas for the same reasons. Schools have been closed and Tulsa has yet to recover. With all that said, another snow storm is coming. We have cancelled church for Wednesday night again. Another evening stuck at home may not be very pleasant for most of us. However, we are faced with it again.

So, what does that mean for us as a church. Do we get a vacation? I say no. With every tragic event comes great opportunity. A door is open to us, as Christians, to minister to those around us in ways we ordinarily would not be able to. Jesus told the church at Philadelphia in Revelation that he gave them an open door. When the door of opportunity opens to us we need to take advantage of it. I want to encourage you to not go inside your cocoon over the next couple of days. Do not become a bear in hibernation. Do what you can to minister to those around you. Call the elderly. Help the helpless. Visit the lonely. Love the unlovable. Play with the unsupervised. Use your telephone and check on everyone that God puts on your heart. We have an opportunity to show people the love of Jesus Christ. Do not let this opportunity pass without taking advantage of the great need for ministry. Stay safe over the next few days and may God give you great opportunity to shine His light.

God Provides

God provides in many different ways. I have been reading Ezra as part of my daily devotional time.     Ezra leads the people of Israel out o...