Sunday, February 20, 2011

How will you answer the question?

Is the Holy Spirit in Residence?

There is POWER in Acts 1:8…. It reveals a awesome force that a great majority of our Christian counter parts are missing in their very lives.   That is the very presence and power of  the Holy Spirit.   We find that God in his form of the Trinity allowed each personage of God to take on the role of a specific part of the human race.   God fortold itin Joel 2:28-32)

I.     God the Father planned our existence and salvation.
II.  God the Son willingly laid down his life for our salvation
III. God the Holy Spirit took up residence in our life, and keeps out the burglar. 
(I Peter 5:8 …  “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, about seeking whom he may devour)
A. The Holy Spirit stands there in the door and sounds the alarm and set of the warning (conviction) 
B.  Sealed us…. (Eph. 1:13 and 14)  This is the Holy Spirit give us assurance of God’s ownership of our lives.  He holds the deed to our hearts, until Christ return.  (II Corith. 1:21-22)


                Today I would like to talk about the Authority of the Holy Spirit to keep the Devil out if we will allow him.  The Holy Spirit is given three (3) specific task in the lives of a Christian.

1.Convict of Sin   (John 16:8-11)
A. Holy Spirit reveals the need
B.  Holy Spirit reveals the answer
C.  Holy Spirit reveals the way

2.Indwell us (I Corithians 6:19)
A. Take up resistance and living space in our heart
B.  Reveals things that should be thrown out
C.  Is always a perfect house guest… It is totally up to you.



3.Proclaims the Gospel through us (Acts 1:8)
A. Enables me to speak with Authority (Acts 4:33)
B.  Paul at the throne of King Harod.
C.  God gave the prophets the message, and power (authority)
     1.       Nathan telling David he Sinned with Bethseba.

          When we as believer allow the Holy Spirit the central place of our heart…. Allowing him to clean house of the dirt and cobwebs  some wonderful things take place.  We learn to:

I.     Be of Christ like Character (Gal. 5:22-23)
II.  Worship and Praise (Eph 5:18-20)
III. Submissive (Eph. 5:21)
IV. Committed to Service (John 7:37-39)

          If Jesus came to visit in your house were would you have him sit?   Outside, in the oldest and most uncomfortable chair, maybe on the floor.  Where would he sleep?   On the old roll away bed, On one of the kids beds,  maybe just sack out in a sleeping bag in the living room.  I personally don’t think so, he would sleep in my bed, eat of my best dishes, and sit in my best chair, and have the best of everything I have.  Except he can’t have the best of my heart ….. because that private and personal.

          Have you let him take up residence in your heart?

1.   He has the Authority
2.   He will give you that same Authority
3.   He will not force himself in
4.   However, he will always provide the great part of the experience.  You can never out give Him.

How would this story play out if you were Job?

I was given the chance to speak recently at LifeChurch West Chester, Ohio Men's Prayer breakfast we had a great … here is a copy of my outline thought I would share it with you!

How would this story play out if you were job!
Job 1:8

Three distinct individuals involved in this story!

WHAT IS IRONIC!
THIS STORY IS PLAYED OUT MILLIONS OF TIMES EVERYDAY THROUGHOUT THE WORLD …

       I.            The Devil came to accuse and destroy the testimony of men before God!
·         We need to remember it is his job, and he is good at it.
·         We need to remember it is not that hard to destroy the testimony of an individual if they are not diligent in their Christian walk.
§ Testimonies are destroyed by what people see, hear, and believe about us.

     II.            God  stood watching over the righteous
·         We see him listening to the reports of the righteous
·         The Son of God, most scholars believe that this was the angels in heaven that came to worship and praise HIM.

  III.            Job (The righteous man of God) he had a testimony that God loved!
·         NOTICE WHAT GOD SAID ABOUT HIM!!!! … “Have you considered MY servant JOB, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?
·         What can God say about you?
§ JOB WAS A MAN DILEGENT AFTER GOD!
§ Here was a man that prayed, fasted, and offered sacrifice for his family!
§ Here was a man that focused on God even in his struggle. (What would it take to get you side track from God?)
§ Here was a man faithful, even as he said in Job 3:26b … “I have no rest, for trouble comes”
§ Here was a man when everyone else told him God didn’t care about him, stayed fixed on God’s love.
§ Here was a man blessed beyond measure when the attacks of the Devil where finished, and the blessing of God was poured out!
·       Don’t know about you but I’m waiting for my blessing!!!!

  IV.            CLOSING QUESTIONS:
·       OUR WE STANDING IN THE GAP FOR OUR FAMILY?
·       OUR WE TEACHING OUR CHILDREN TO STAND AS MEN AND WOMEN OF GOD?
·       OUR WE READY TO FIGHT THE BATTLE FOR OUR TESTIMONY NO MATTER WHAT THE DEVIL AND WORLD WILL THROW AT US?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Heart Broken


Heart Broken …

As a parent (father) I was Heart broken over the weekend to hear the news of two separate events were fathers killed their children.  When you read or hear the news it often seems so remote and far away, but this weekend it hit close to home. With the events in Mason, it was like getting kicked in the stomach.  I personally never met the family to my knowledge, and know nothing of the circumstance in their home life.

As many of you know I work as an Alcohol and Drug counselor for the State of Ohio mental health system, and deal with individuals that for various reasons make bad choices some because they have serious mental illness, for other they are criminals and believe they can do what they want.  As I said I don’t know this father that committed the violent act over the weekend.  However, one thing that is for sure something is wrong with his thinking what ever it was.

I’m personally not a big fan of Sigmund Freud. However this quote is as true for us as fathers today when he said “I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection.”

King Solomon wrote his thoughts on this topic of fathers task in … Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it” (NIV)

I feel that my greatest challenges as a father are FOUR MAJOR TASK:
1. Raise my children to know and love the Lord as their Savior.
2. Show my children how to love their mother
3. Teach them right from wrong all the days of their lives.
4. TELL THEM I LOVE THEM EVERYDAY … BECAUSE IT IS THE FACTS.
Men have three key responsibilities:

  • Praise, Worship and Serve God;
  • Provide for their families spiritually, physically, and emotionally; 
  • Help/mentor other men in their Christian walk!

If we are doing these three things then will be blessed beyond belief!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

In my opinion!

Three key things that make a Men’s Ministry successful is:

1.       A Ministry led by the Men of the Church, and pastor supported! The men must take ownership of the Ministering to Men within their church, if it is pastor led it will become just another thing to do.
2.       Men must have heart and concern for other men within the church and community. Ministering to men requires that we Minister to men where they are not where we think they should be. Excepting every man in your church to attend a accountability group, reading his Bible cover to cover in a year is not realistic.  The key is to find what excites the man, and find some way to connect him with the men/man in your church.
3.       Helping Men to grow in their Christian Walk! I have found that helping men grow in their Christian is a lot like helping a teenager, it has it’s challenges. However, the rewards of unbelievable as you see him helping others.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I want to be like Gideon, as  man in my family, church, and community!


Gideon Man of Change

Judges 6:1-7:25


I.      Gideon had an encounter with the Lord.
A.   They developed a relationship
B.    Gideon learned to trust the Lord
C.    Gideon was willing to talk to him

II.   Gideon was commissioned for a task.
A.   This task required sacrifice
B.    This task required commitment
C.    This task required him to forsake others

III. Gideon was open to God’s plan.
A.   He heard the Lord and followed direction
B.    Called together Gods Army
C.  Sent those that were scared home
D .Took his Army of God to fight a Giant  (This battle is not Gideons, it was the Lord)

IV. Gideon showed the light.
A.   It was a bright light that shown through.
            (Children Song:  This little light of my……)
B.    They broke the     
If I had 45 minutes with the men in your church at a men’s breakfast, Sunday School class, small group, or worship service I would ask them Three of the most important questions a man needs to answer in his own personal life.
1.       What is your purpose in the Kingdom of God
2.       What is your position within your local community of believers (church)
3.       What is your plan within your family

Outline:
1.       What is your purpose in the Kingdom of God?
a.       To worship/praise God with al your heart
b.      To bring others to a personal relationship with Christ
c.       To seek to know HIM (Christ) more and more through my personal Bible Reading and Prayer Time.

2.       What is your position within your local community of believers (church)?
a.       To be faithful within the House of God
b.      To encourage my pastor as he lead this Body of Believers
c.       To be spiritual leader within the church

3.       What is your plan within your family?
a.       To be the head of my home
b.      To be sure everyone in my family hears and makes a choice about Jesus.
c.       To encourage and strengthen my family in their Christian Walk.

RUNNING FOR THE CROSS

Every sermon should be running for the Cross!


Having been involved with Pastoral Ministry for over 30 years it is hard to imagine doing anything else with the same intensity and compassion.  Over the years I have worked a Substance Abuse Counselor with various agency in order to subsidies my income, but the compassion and love that I have for ministry over shadows my thinking of which I love more.

When God called me with a very clear heart felt call at the age of 13 years old, I never looked back preaching and ministry was all I could focus on.  My pastor as I grew up was Dr. Don Lougheed at the Flint Baptist Temple, in Burton, Michigan: His statement to all us preacher’s boys was:  “No matter where you start in the Bible in Genesis 11:1, Psalm 23, or Luke 10 your only priority is to run for the Cross!” Dr. Don said it with such compassion and he believed that the Cross was the central point of every conversation, every sermon, and every thought he had.

Why “running for the Cross” clearly the cross is the foundation point of all Christianity, and the pivotal point of our relationship with God. I once heard the illustration and don’t know who gave it. “Before the foundation of the earth the Triune Godhead was talking abut the creation of earth, mankind, and what this man should be like.  Should he have a free-will, be a robot, or just someone that is a yes man?  The agreement was reached he would have a Free Will to choose how he worshipped God, so the Godhead agreed that God the Father would create the world and mankind, the Son of God said since we know that a man with free will would ultimately make some bad choices HE agreed to pay the price for those bad choices (sin), and clearly the only way to do this was through the Shedding of Blood (thus have the Cross), and the Holy Spirit agreed he would lead them in the righteous path if they would listen.”

Because of these decisions so long ago we now understand the need for the Cross, Moses, Jacob, David, and all the other Patriarchs of the Old Testament, where looking for the blessed event to happen when there sins would be forgiven by the perfect lamb as discussed in Isaiah 53, the looking for the Cross to happen.  As Peter, Paul, James and others of the New Testament writes sit to pen their great words of wisdom, encouragement and the message of a redeeming, loving, caring, saving Lord they are looking back at the Cross. They realize that it is through this one event, one place, and one person that all mankind can come to a perfect salvation experience.

The scripture are full of great examples of people coming to a place of believing in the personal relationship with Christ. They sought a understanding of the Cross, its importance, and the personal sacrifice by Christ that it brought for each of us.

On a note found under his pillow, in prison, after his death, Watchman Nee had written “Christ is the Son of God. He died to atone for men's sin, and after three days rose again. This is the most important fact in the universe. I die believing in Christ.”  He had a understanding of the importance of the Cross, for his own personal salvation experience.  

Saving Private Ryan

Written by a very dear friend of mine Chuck Clevenger, he gave me premission to post it here for you!

 Saving Private Ryan is one of the greatest movies ever made. While the extremely realistic portrayal of war-time violence is often the first thing that comes to mind, this is a movie that has something to say at many levels.

 [Warning, if you haven't seen this movie, spoilers are coming.]

 Three brothers are killed in World War II and their mother gets notified of all three deaths on the same day. The Army decides to send the fourth brother, Private James Ryan, back home so that the Ryan family won't suffer a fourth casualty.

 Captain Miller (played by Tom Hanks) leads a group of 7 men to go behind enemy lines, locate Private Ryan and bring him home.

 Finding Private Ryan is a daunting task. The men survive many brutal encounters with the enemy, but finally succeed in locating Ryan. Their last task is to hold their position in a small French town in the face of oncoming enemy soldiers.

 The casualty rate of their mission was very high.

 Toward the end of the movie, Captain Miller tells Private Ryan that the cost of saving him and sending him back home was high. Many perished in that rescue effort. As he lay dying, Captain Miller exhorts Private Ryan to "Earn it" – to live the rest of his life in memory of those who died for his. He exhorted Ryan to go home and live the kind of life that would make the sacrifice of the other soldiers worthwhile.

 A bit later, the movie takes us to the present. Private Ryan, now an older grandfather, is standing alongside his wife, children and grandchildren in a French cemetery. He's staring at the tombstone of Captain Miller. He breaks. Tears flood his eyes. "Tell me I have led a good life," he commands his wife. "Tell me I'm a good man." He did remember. He knew he wouldn't be alive but for the sacrifice of Captain Miller and his men who pulled off a near-impossible rescue.

 As his family gathered around him, his eyes overflowed with tears and his wife assured him that he was a good man.

 As our nation commemorates those who have served us in battle, let us strive to live a life worthy of their sacrifice.   Let us never forget the price they paid for our freedom.

 In many ways, we're all like Private Ryan. A great price was paid for our lives.  Blood was also shed for us that we might have life. And, let us remember Him who died for all of us. As we drink His blood and eat His flesh, let us live a life worthy of the Life that was given for us. Let us not take communion in an unworthy fashion. Let us not live our redeemed lives in an unworthy fashion.

And, may we all hear the Father say that we too have led a good life. May we hear "Well done, good and faithful servant."

What’s it going to take to really evangelize and disciple men for Christ?

What’s it going to take to really evangelize and disciple men for Christ?

            I recently spent some time with half a dozen men’s ministry leaders and we all had an opinion of what it would take to evangelize and disciple our current generation of men. Each of us had various opinions and I noticed those opinions were based on our own personal perceptions.
            For example, my perception is that we need to educate individual men and draw them into a conversation about how their lives could be better in this walk with Christ. Of course, those who know me understand that I have a pastor/teacher’s heart and I feel strongly about education.  A friend who was with me felt strongly that we need to bring men into a more personal and closer relationship with Christ. That is, if we just get them to feel Christ and commune with HIM, Christ would have them.
            A third man talked about sports and using sports to connect men with the church.  And others spoke about family and helping men with their family relationships. Still others talked about generational concerns; what it takes to reach 18-30 year-olds and how they differ from the preceding generations.
            As I walked out of that meeting, I had only one clear conclusion: No one has a perfect plan of what it’s going to take to reach our generation of men. But one thing is certain – it is going to take every man who already has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ to share their faith and bring a friend (man) with them into that faith and then take time to disciple that new believer to an even greater faith in Christ.

            We can’t do it alone, but we can all have a part in reaching MEN for CHRIST!
           

TASK FORCE ORANGE

The other day I read a newspaper article about an Elite Special Forces unit, that was created in March of 2003 by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, this special unit was given the special task of helping to fight terrorism by monitoring chat rooms, internet café’s, and e-mails. This special unit is referred to as “TASK FORCE ORANGE” a group of highly trained and specialized men/women that will do what ever it takes to seek and find the objective. Though most of what they do is top secret and will not be revealed for years to come, it is clear that they are making an impact on the war on terror. Information recently released reveals that “Task Force Orange” played a key role in finding the former terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawiâ

My question today is: Do we have any men willing to joint an elite group of soul winners, to be highly trained and be very effective in their abilities to be able to go into the enemy’s camp, and pull the souls of men, women, and children out for God?


Except the challenge to join “TASK FORCE SOULWINNING”

BRING A FRIEND TO CHRIST!

GOD WANTS RADICAL MEN!

God wants Radical Men


          Clearly today God is looking for Radical Men to stand in the Gap, and be the Radical Men of God HE wants them to be.  This requires men to take a stand in areas that may not be comfortable and differently will not be popular.

          The Anagram for men sum


Ministering to the loss
Encouraging the saints
Navigating the Scripture

DO WE GIVE WISE COUNSEL

AS MEN DO WE GIVE WISE COUNSEL TO OUR FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND THOSE SEEKING OUR ADVISE ... THE FOLLOWING OUTLINE MAYBE OF HELP TO YOU!


C-    Care about the person welfare
*  Know your motive for counseling this person?
*  Give them your attention!
*  Listen to them!  

O-    Observe there need
*  Don’t assume you know the need
*  This takes time, and patience’s
*  Attempt to meet the need

U-    Understand your responsibility
*  Teach
*  Encourage
*  Pray for them

N-    Never forget who you serve
*  Christ first and foremost!!!

S-     Stay within your limits
*  Don’t give medical advice, if your not a doctor
v In the professional field there is a thing called ethics.

E-    Evangelize them
*  Share the Gospel in a clear way

L-    Love them were they are
*  Don’t expect them to conform to your opinion
*  Give them God’s opinion,

HOLY GROUND EXPERIENCE

HOLY GROUND EXPERIENCE

Introduction:

*       I have been preparing to teach a series of lessons on the Dynamics of Manhood in the Life of Joshua at Christian Life Center next year. While studying last night a verse jumped off the page it was exciting as the Lord impressed on my heart this thought.

Joshua 5:13 - 15 … Have you personally ever had a HOLY GROUND EXPERIENCE, like his mentor Moses at the Burning Bush; Joshua comes upon the presents of the Lord (meets the commander of the Lords Army), and is told “where you are standing is HOLY” … 

*       Joshua personally meet God in a very special way.
o   He trusted him as Lord.
o   He trusted him

*       Joshua worshipped HIM with all reverence, and talked with HIM (He spent time communicating and praying)
o  

*       Joshua was waiting to hear from HIM (JESUS).

Heaven Saints vs. Hell’s Demons

Heaven Saints vs. Hell’s Demons

The writer George Wills wrote once that:

“Football contains the two things Christians dislike the most:  Violence and Committee Meetings”

The Heavens Saints:

*      The Owner … God the Father
*      The Coach … God the Son (Jesus)
*      The Defensive and Offensive Coordinator:
*      God the Holy Spirit
*      ALL PLAYERS ARE BOUGHT BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB
*      The Quarterback …Pastor
*      The Receivers … those listening to the WORD
*      The Running Backings… Any Saint willing to carry the Gospel

Hell’s Demons:

*      The owner … Devil himself
*      The coach … also the Devil himself
*      The coordinator … again the devil
*      The Player … IS DECIEVED BY THE LIER.

GREAT NEWS IS THAT THE SAINTS ARE LOOKING FOR NEW PLAYERS:

The winning game plan:

*      Run with the Gospel to every individual we can.
*      Study the playbook and understand the victory is already ours.
*      Continually talk to the owner, coach, and coordinator.

Announcement!

We are so excited to announce the release of my new book “Grief: Helping Christians Coping with the STORM of Loss” Throughou...