October 25, 2010

Trick or Treat!

“Immediately coming up out of the water, He [Jesus] saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him: and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.” Mark 1:10-11 (NASB)

I surrendered to Christ in the early spring of 1982. I wish I had written down the date. However, I remember the moment vividly. I know it was on a Wednesday night. More importantly, I know it was real.

But my “newness” to the world of Christ meant I had a lot of learning ahead of me and I relished it. Several months into my new life, I participated in a New Christians class. The instructor talked about Believers Baptism. Hmm…..

Okay, I was already baptized. I did that as a child. I suppose I thought it was the thing to do and it made my mom happy. So now I had to ask, since I was already baptized, what was Believers Baptism? Since it had a name - were there other kinds of baptism like an Unbelievers Baptism? What was the difference between them? Did I need this at different steps of my Christian growth? This inquiring mind really wanted to know.

Because I had questions, I found answers. It was explained to me that water baptism was a symbolic act of obedience, performed after one was saved and it was the only one I needed. I didn’t have to be baptized every year – just once. I guess my child-like faith simply resulted in child-like questions, but God is right: Ask and you will receive. I got my answer. I needed to be baptized since the first one didn’t really count. Now – don’t turn the channel just yet. There is a moral to the story.

At Northside Baptist Church on Sunday Night – October 31, 1982, I was baptized upon my profession of faith and in obedience to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That was the night, the devil got tricked and I got treated! This Sunday will be October 31, 2010 and marks to the very day, my 28th anniversary of being a baptized believer in Jesus Christ.

Since we are fast approaching Halloween where TV and movie screens will be filled with all sorts of unhallowed stories, I thought it appropriate to share my baptism with you as it is my all-time favorite Halloween story.

Now I know this particular “holiday” brings a lot of different opinions to the table. Some choose to disassociate from it altogether. There is nothing wrong with that. Been there and done that too. Some choose an alternative to it, been there and done that as well. However you feel about it, might I suggest that this year you view it as an opportunity? View it as an opportunity to treat a child and trick the devil.

Our church, like many others, offers a safe alternative called Harvest Festival. I’ll be helping our Sunday school class run the “Decorate Your Own Cookie” booth. Afterwards, I’ll quickly head home. Why? Well, it’s not to dress up! You see, I have this very strong desire to be a good influence in my neighborhood in regards to Halloween. I want to be a godly and safe influence as well.

If you bring your child to my door, you will be met with a smile and a Treat Bag that contains treats but also a tract. (I guess I’ll be Tract and Treating!) Something to let children, and perhaps even their parents, know that the biggest treat available is Jesus Christ. Maybe I’ll even get to talk to someone!

I am considering this Halloween, my own personal anniversary party and I get to give the gifts since I’ve already received the best one ever! Each day brings you an opportunity. What will you do with yours?

Treated Royally,

October 19, 2010

Great Expectations

“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received” Eph 4:1 (NIV)

Today, I shall be brief – if it is even possible for one deemed “The Mouth of the South to do so. I know I missed last week. I missed writing for my Lord but I can only claim to be in “wait mode.” Something is coming – just not sure exactly what it will look like – so stayed tuned to the same bat channel at the same bat time. God will provide.

I digress. Meanwhile back at the ranch, there is much to contemplate. While our verse in Ephesians is appropriate and timely, my main theological thought for the day comes from a bumper sticker. I believe some of the ones I have seen should be banned, burned and buried. Others, I find to be nuggets of God wisdom reduce to one line that thousands can read during a trip to the grocery store.

For today, I present no other thought than the words of the sticker itself. I offer no reasons of why we should take heed of this sage wisdom. I recommend no course of action other than what God lays on your heart. But I do wonder – would you be so bold to put this sticker on your car? Would I? Should we? Perhaps we should and finally be accountable Christians.

Let’s delay this no longer. May I have a drum roll please? The bumper sticker simply read:


Love, me

October 04, 2010

The Much Requirements – Part II

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be required…” Luke 12:48b (NASB)

The interesting thing about writing this blog is I don’t always know what I am going to share until God impresses me with the thought or the experience to share. Sometimes, I get several slices of bread to share at one time. Other times, I stumble to follow bread crumbs until the entire thought is revealed. And then there are times like this past week, where I get nothing. Naught. Na-da. Blank. Help!

Last week, I committed to follow up on the thought that since we’ve all been given Jesus, we’ve all been given much – regardless of our bank account or “stuff” account. I promised to tell you the requirements of being given much today. Perhaps my fingers wrote a check I wasn’t going to be able to cash! Ah-Oh! Someone’s in big trouble!

Trusting God for inspiration, I continued throughout the week. Saturday, I was a bit nervous. Okay, I probably could come up with something, I’ve been doing this a while now. But coming up with something isn’t always coming up with the right thing.

As Saturday rolled around, I prepared for my day which involved spending the entire day time with a group of women from Stonecroft Ministries for a Webinar with women from all over the globe. It was during the first segment of worship that God supplied the answer to the question: “What does God require of me?”

When was the last time you asked yourself that question? What was your answer? It can be a very daunting question, overwhelming even. But God directed me to the very simple, non-threatening answer in Micah 6:8, which tells us, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness [mercy], and walk humbly with your God?”

1. Be just
2. Love kindness, a.k.a mercy
3. Walk humbly with God

Simplicity at it’s best. Jesus sums it up in the New Testament like this:

“And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God will all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40 (NASB)

What more can be said?