A Little Bit About Me...

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I have many hats that I wear. I am a husband and father. I am pastor/teacher at my church. I am part of a team working on a large project at work. I am a friend. I am a budding visionary. I am a writer, an actor, and a director. I am an artist. I am a student of the Bible. I have a brain that comes up with some pretty crazy and interesting ideas, and I have a personality to match. I try to treat all people how I would like to be treated. I strive to be steadfast, immovable in my faith. I seek after the TRUTH, and I believe that it can be found, not just 'from my perspective', but for all people.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Three Simple Ways to Encourage Your Pastor‏

I ran into this article a while back and I thought it was good.  If you're in a church, and submitted to a pastor, do your best to encourage them  I guarantee you that there are LOTS of things out there to discourage them.

Hebrews 13:17 says: Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.

So here is an article by R.C. Sproul Jr.

"Pastors are human too. That means, of course, that they sin, but it also means that they have ordinary human needs. While no one joins the ministry in order to receive riches or accolades, honor or power, while shepherds are called to serve others rather than themselves, such doesn’t mean that they are not given to discouragement.

Most of us, most of the time, love our pastor, and are grateful for him. Few of us, however, understand that he needs encouragement. What even fewer of us grasp is how we can be an encouragement to him. Here are three simple ideas.

First, pay attention to his labors. Though we do not have a duty to be at the church every time the doors are open, one thing that discourages pastors is our unwillingness to simply avail ourselves of his gifts. When the pastor labors in his study to prepare a Bible study lesson, or writes a blog post, and the sheep under his care pay no attention, it is discouraging. It says to the pastor, “I do not value what you do for me and my family. Your efforts have no effect because I won’t even be bothered to read, or to listen. I will download the sermons of celebrities that don’t know me. I will read the wisdom of those with book contracts.” It’s not that your pastor is jealous of the gifts of others. It is instead that he is jealous for you and your growth in wisdom. A less gifted man who knows and loves you is far more potent in your life than a more gifted man far, far away.

Second, speak well of him to others. When you speak well to the pastor, if he is prone to discouragement, it might not have the impact you wish it to have. Such kind words can easily be written off as kindness rather than gratitude, as flattery rather than sincerity. But if word comes back to him, and it will, that you have spoken well of him, to others in the church, or even to those in your community, he will have to take your good word to heart. It might also encourage those with whom you speak to have a deeper appreciation for your pastor, and that’s usually a good thing. Of course the one you should be speaking to the most about your pastor is the Great Shepherd of the sheep. Pray with gratitude for the man Christ has given you, and the man will be encouraged.

Third, pursue godliness. Because he loves you, what your pastor wants more than anything else is for you to grow in grace and wisdom, to become more like Jesus. What is most discouraging for him then isn’t how poorly he may be treated, how badly he may be honored, but how poorly his sheep are doing. He is encouraged most, however, when you are doing well. When he sees your wife’s beaming face, he knows it is because you are seeking to be a godly husband and father, and is encouraged. When he sees you turning the other cheek in your relationship with your pew neighbor, he is encouraged to know that the leaven of the kingdom is spreading among his flock. When he sees you visiting the widow and the orphan, he knows you are practicing true religion, and rejoices.

Don’t, in short, tell your pastor how smart he is, nor how brilliant his sermons are. Don’t tell him how funny he is, nor how dignified. Show him how his labor in showing you Jesus is making you more like Him. That is the desire of his heart, because that is the desire of His heart."

3 Simple Ways to Encourage Your Pastor was originally published at Ligonier.org.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Bible and the Tongue -- Day 3

Proverbs 12:18Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.  NLT

If you look at a lot of the humour of today, SO much of it is based on cut-downs and sarcasm.  This kind of humour needs someone to be the target of the joke.  That person can be very hurt.  That is why this verse is talking about “cutting remarks”.

The verse goes on to say that wise words heal…. That they bring healing.  So you can see that there are two sides to this issues: The one doing the cutting and hurting, and the person helping to heal and encourage.

Think of the image of someone in a sword duel.  A sarcastic comment can be like someone being stabbed, and a person with wise words can help to close the wound.

Know what, though?  Sometimes comments made in fun can hurt someone and affect them for years.

  •   Are you the one the makes the cutting comments? 
  •   What is a time when you have been the one with the healing words?
  •   Have you been really hurt by a cutting comment?
  •   Who do you go to for encouragement when you are hurt?
Words you may not know:
  •   Remark: to say casually, as in making a comment.

The Bible and the Tongue -- Day 2

Matthew 15:18But what goes out of the mouth comes from the heart. And that’s what contaminates a person in God’s sight. CEB

In the Bible, the writers tend you use the “heart” as the deepest, most spiritual place in a person.  It is where they attribute your emotions.  It is where they point to when you submit your life towards God to trust in his salvation.  Your heart is who you are… when no one else is looking.  Some people tend to behave in different ways when they think no one is looking.  In the end you will speak from whatever your heart is like.  If you are crude and rude, your speech will match.  If you are kind and compassionate, your speech will match.

This verse says that what comes from a person’s heart is what contaminates us before God.

  • How do you think your heart gets messed up and contaminated before God?
  • What are some things you can do change that?
  • What about the words that come out of your mouth at other people?  What does it say about your heart?

Words you may not know:
  •   Contaminate: to make impure or unsuitable by contact or mixture with something unclean, bad, etc

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Bible and the Tongue -- Day 1

Proverbs 18:21

The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.   NLT

Here begins a devotional based on what the Bible says about what you say and how you say it.  The Bible has a lot to say about this topic, and you will get to look into a few of the many over the next month.

There is a weapon out there that has destroyed families, caused wars, shattered friendships and ripped down people to the point of feeling worthless…. It is the tongue.

When the Bible describes the way people talk, it often compares it to the tongue.  It comes from the fact that you can’t talk if you don’t have a tongue.  Of course, your mouth shape, your teeth and all that other stuff contributes to speaking.

  • When you are spending time with your friends, which ones use what they say to put people down?  Who uses their words to encourage people?
  • What do you do?
  • Are there any people you have hurt with your words that you need to apologize to?
Words you may not know:

Reap: to get as a return, recompense, or result; what you harvest when you plant something
Consequences: the effect, result, or outcome of something occurring earlier