Monday, January 21, 2019

What's Holding The Church Back?

In my last blog post I addressed the question to individual Christians, "What's holding your back?" As promised, in this post I will address the question, "What's holding the church back?"

As individual believers lack spiritual growth, so does the church since the church is comprised of individual believers. Therefore, it is not wrong to say it is individual Christians that are holding back the church. 

I want to look at a few things that we, as Christians do (or don't do),  that come to mind that affects the church in a great way. 

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our traditions. How many times have we said or heard, "But we've always done it this way"? Jesus told the Pharisees they've made the Word of God on non affect through their traditions. Traditions can kill a church. Traditions can suck the life right out of a church. Maybe its time to do something different!

We tend to put limits on God. Of course, we would never admit this but our actions prove it. Israel had a history of limiting God (Psalm 78:41). We limit what we allow God to do in our lives, in our families and in our churches. God desires to do so much but we, by our thoughts and our actions say "no" to God. How foolish we are  at times. 

We sometimes think we have to figure it all out. We want to live a practical "Christian" life. There is no such thing. You see, the Bible plainly tells us "Without faith it is impossible to please Him..." (Hebrews 11:6). We try to walk a spiritual journey in our own strength attempting to figure things out for ourselves. Where's the faith? If there is a lack of faith in or personal walk with the Lord that carries over to the church. There will be a lack of faith in the church. 

Maybe some are guilty of the things mentioned in my last blog post. If you are guilty of backbiting, complaining/griping, gossiping, bad language (profanity as well as negative talk), hypocrisy, causing division in the church, lack of character and integrity these things spill over into the church. It affects the church body. This needs  to stop now!

If you are guilty of these things then it is YOU that is holding the church back. What are you willing to do about it? 

If the necessary corrections are not made you may well see ICABOD - "The Glory Is Departed" written above the church doors. What a sad ending that would be. You see, it's a terrible thing to experience the loss of the glory of God. It makes you wonder how many churches have lost the glory of God, whether willingly or unknowingly. 

The same things that caused ICHABOD in Israel - sin, disobedience, idolatry - are present in many of today's churches. Christians must never take the glory of God in our midst for granted. If we do, we could very easily wake up one day and find out that ICABOD has become a reality among us.

Some have simply been playing church for far too long. You think you are a Christian when all you are is religious. Get a real relationship with Jesus.

It's time to sit up, stand up, step up, shut up (where applicable) and DO something. It's easy to sit back and complain about the church. What have you done lately to help the church? What is your life saying about the God you claim to serve as well as your church?

Some things to ponder...and fix.

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Sunday, January 13, 2019

What's Holding You Back?

These thoughts I originally thought may be sermon. However, the Holy Spirit has led me to write it as a blogpost. I truly believe God desires us to grow in our faith. Yet some believers have little or even no spiritual growth in their lives even though many have been saved for many years. 

Therefore, the question comes to mind, What's holding you back? I believe there are any number of things holding Christians back in their spiritual growth. I want to touch on a few of these today. 

Let me preface this by saying if you find yourself in this list it is incumbent on you to do something about it. The ball is in your court. 

Let's look at some things that are holding many believers back in their spiritual lives. 
  • Backbiting 
    • Backbiting, by definition, is to say mean or spiteful things about a person - usually someone not present. 
  • Complaining/Griping
    • There are some people who are never happy no matter the circumstances. They gripe and complain about every situation or even other people. They don't do anything about what they are griping and complaining about - they just gripe and complain which tends to stir up strife. They are part of the problem as opposed to part of the solution
  • Gossiping 
    • Gossiping is habitually revealing personal, intimate or sensational facts about others. How many times have you said something to the effect "You didn't hear this from me but..." and then to go on to share a nice juicy tidbit of gossip - that may or may not be entirely true. Sometimes we even embellish the information to make it even more "juicy". 
  • Language 
    • This not only includes profanity but all the negative  and hypocritical talk that comes from one's mouth. As Christians we are supposed to be different from the world. 
  • Hypocrisy 
    • The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior doesn't conform. In a nutshell, to say one thing while doing another. To be a pretender.
  • Causing Divisions 
    • People who cause people to take sides against one another. This oftentimes turns very bitter. There is much in the Bible about those who cause divisions. 
Again, if you see yourself in any of these things you can change all this. As the old hymn says, "Just a little talk with Jesus makes it right". Do you want to make things right? Do you want to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem? Have that little talk with Jesus. Confess the areas that have affected you and ask Him to change you. Be sure to do your part. You will notice a huge difference in your life. 

My next blogpost will deal with "What's Holding The Church Back?" 

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Wednesday, January 2, 2019


It's a new year but God's the same God! Praise God for His consistency. Even when our lives are up and down God remains stedfast, consistent and sure.

Many are glad to have 2018 behind them for any number of reasons. I encourage you to look forward to 2019 with a great anticipation of what God has in store for you. 

As for Cindy and I, we are excited about what God has laid out before us. 2018 was the busiest year we've ever had for New Jerusalem Singers. We praise God for all the doors He opened for us. We never take any opportunity to minister for Him for granted. 
We are approaching 2019 with great excitement. We anticipate even greater things. Doors are already opening up for us in our singing ministry. I will begin blogging again. I plan on doing "Something To Ponder" from time to time on Facebook.  I will start "tweeting". We are looking forward to encouraging God's people wherever they are and wherever they gather. 

2019 also brings a change in that I will be leaving the pastorate to pursue the calling God has placed on our lives. Just as sure as we know God brought us to the church, we are equally sure He is leading us out of the pastorate. We have no regrets as we know we have accomplished what God has called us to do while we have been here. We love our church family and are looking forward to seeing whom God calls to lead this congregation forward. 

We hope to see many of our friends and family as we travel the state lifting up Jesus. 

May God bless you and your 2019!

Enjoy the journey!


Thanks for taking your time to read and share this blog. If you know of someone who would be encouraged by this blog, please feel free to forward  a link or use the icons below to repost or forward this blog.