Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Time to Remember

God called the people of Israel to remember. It was important for them to remember the good and the bad. He wanted them to remember their slavery in Egypt. He wanted them to remember defeats in battle. He wanted them to remember God’s deliverance. He wanted them to remember receiving the Law. Remembering the past was important for the people of Israel as well as for us today. They did not always learn their lesson but they always knew why they failed. When we forget our past, we are destined to repeat its mistakes.

Psalm 43:5 says, “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands.” Sunday afternoon we had our first church-wide summit. It was an afternoon spent remembering our past and meditating on what it means for us. Some of the memories were exciting. However, there were also those memories that hurt. Eastern Heights has had its great days and its regrettable days. I was greatly encouraged by the way we embraced the good and the bad and gave them to God. Until we embrace the past, we cannot go to the future. I believe that God has great things in store for Eastern Heights. Sunday was a great first step in understanding what God wants to do through us.

If you did not make it to the summit make a point to walk through the chapel. You will find a journey wall telling of the positive and negative events that have shaped our church. As you look at the journey wall, ponder in your heart what these things mean for us. Spend time in prayer asking God to use the wall to speak to you about what He is doing in our church. God has brought us through the past in order to prepare us for the future. May God continue to do great and awesome things through us as we serve him with all our heart.

Monday, March 21, 2011

It is Time!

Oklahomans say there are three sport seasons; Football season, Pre-season football and spring football. It is even truer when the state basketball teams had such dismal years. The OKC Thunder is trying hard to change this attitude in Oklahoma but I have a feeling it will take a few years. Because of Oklahoma’s love for football we live in constant anticipation for fall to begin and your favorite team to kickoff its season. When the season begins we can say, “It is time.”

It is time. There is an event happening on Sunday that I have anticipated since the day God told me it was time to begin a re-visioning process at Eastern Heights Baptist Church. This Sunday at 4:00 “it is time” to kickoff our first church summit. This summit is open to everyone in the church. In fact, I encourage every church member to be here. We will learn a lot from each other. The two main accomplishments from this summit will be building a journey wall of the most significant events of our past and discovering our actual values. Until we understand where we have been and where we are, we cannot understand where God wants us to go in the future.

It is time for us all to come together and discover who God wants us to be in Christ.

Daniel 8, "Identifying the Enemy"

2 Corinthians 1:21-24

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Turn Your Eyes

I will never forget that moment when the doors in the back of the sanctuary at First Baptist Church in McAlester opened and there stood my beautiful bride dressed in all white with her eyes fixed on me standing at the altar. Tara had cried every day for the previous six months. That day was my turn. It started when I saw my mother seated; however, the sight of my bride coming down the aisle was something completely different. I could not take my eyes off her the whole service. Looking at my wife on that day was a look that was different from the way I have looked at anyone before or since. My eyes were fixed on her in a special way.

Years before, I had received my first speeding ticket and had to appear before the judge. My aunt was the judge’s secretary so I got a private appearance. I was nervous as the giant door opened to see him seated behind the enormous wooden desk. My eyes looked upon him in a completely different way. The eyes I used that day were eyes of humility and fear.

The eyes we look to God with are truly determined by our circumstance. He is our Savior who we love more than life itself, but He is also Judge. King David had the later in mind when he wrote Psalm 123.

To you I lift up my eyes,
     O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
Behold, as the eyes of servants
     look to the hand of the master,
As the eyes of a maidservant
     to the hand of her mistress,
So our eyes look to the Lord our God,
     till he has mercy upon us.
Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
     for we have had more than enough of contempt.
Our soul has had more than enough
     of the scorn of those who are ease,
     of the contempt of the proud.

Sunday Mornging: Checkmate! Daniel 7

Sunday Evening: 2 Corinthians 1:12-20

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...