Wednesday, June 19, 2013


This past Sunday morning at the conclusion of our church service, I announced my retirement from pastoral ministry.  My wife, Cindy, and I have served at this local country church for five years.  For the most part, our time here has been enjoyable.  We know God put us here and we know He's leading us out.  We sincerely love the people in this local assembly.  They are precious to us.  However, when God says it's time to go, it's time to go.

With a little thought I could come up with some logical reasons as to why we are leaving.  But really the bottom line is God is leading us out.  Nothing more needs to be added to that.  We know God has a plan for us and we are following His plan and purpose for our lives.  Doors have been opening rapidly for our country/southern gospel music group, New Jerusalem Singers.  Recently we have sang in unusual places.  For example a rib shack one day and a coffee shop the next.  Of course, we do sing in organized churches, as well.  We will go and lift up Jesus and encourage God's people anywhere He opens a door for us to do so.  This looks to be a great year for singing.

I have written in this blog over the past year some of my thoughts about church and what it means - or should mean - based on God's Word.  Church is not something you go to, but rather something you are.  It's is certainly important to for us to gather with God's people, but it need not be at a church building like we think of it today.  We can gather with a group or with just two or three.  We know Jesus will be there either way as long as we give Him place in our gathering.  It can be outside in a park, a church building, on someone's front porch, on a deck, in a boat, in a pavilion, in a living room or anywhere else.  

You see, God is not limited!  It is man who limits God with our narrow thinking.  Too often, we have preconceived notions of what God wants, how God moves or how He meets with us. We need to throw those preconceived notions out and  step outside the box of organized religion and just see what God will really do. 

We plan on doing just that as we have opportunity.  Some will, no doubt, think we've "lost it".  Some may even thing we are drifting away from God.  Let me assure you, nothing could be further from the truth. Cindy and I are both excited to see what God has in store for us as we pursue Him with a passion!

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Saturday, June 8, 2013


Galatians 1:10  For do I now persuade men or God?  Or do I seek to please men?  For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. (KJV)

Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God?  Or am I trying to please men?  If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. (NIV)

Wednesday evening as my wife was teaching a Bible study, she used this Scripture in the course of her teaching.  This particular verse jumped out at me and yelled "Blog this!".  So here we are.  

How many times have we, as Christians, by our actions showed we wanted to please men?  Oh, we will deny it and even try to convince ourselves and others otherwise.  But the reality is we do want to please men. We want to be accepted by others.  We want to fit in.

This need for man's acceptance is something we must get over!  You see, if we are going to be used of God we are going to rattle some cages along the way.  We are going to make waves.  Some are even going to consider us radical!  

One cannot be a genuine minister of the gospel (and all Christians are ministers) and attempt to please people by compromising the truths of the gospel.  It just can't happen.  Paul regarded it as his responsibility to speak plainly and straightforward the message of the gospel not as pleasing men, but as pleasing God!  As believers we are to make it our goal to please God, not men.  

Think about it, do you spend you life trying to please everybody else?  That's a recipe for insanity or depression at the very least.  The reality is you will never please everyone.  Man in fickle.  Our aim should be to please the One who gave Himself for us!

I don't see where Paul apologized for speaking straightforward to the people he ministered to.  Paul knew he couldn't serve God faithfully if he compromised the message of the gospel.  The message that meant so much to him and literally changed his life inside out.

Having said that, love should be the motivating factor in our message.  We share the pure unadulterated Word of God because of the love God had for us, the love we have for Him and the love we have for others.  There's no room for compromise.  It is, however, imperative that our message be presented in love.  Love is the motivating factor in all we do.

I ask you today, whose approval are you seeking?  The approval of other people, or God's?  I challenge you to pray for the courage and spiritual fortitude to put God's approval first!

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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