Thanksgiving Prayer

Thanksgiving Prayer

Our Heavenly Father,

We thank you for your mercy.

You don’t give us what we deserve.

We thanks you for your grace.

You give with abundance, not based anything we have done.

We could never repay Your mercy and grace.

We can offer you our praise and our thanksgiving.

To You be all the glory forever and forever, Amen.

 

Our Big News

Our Big News

December 15, 2013 was my first Sunday at First Baptist Church Dalhart, Texas as their new Pastor. This moment was the result of God’s leading and the culmination of years of prayer.

5 Things God taught Me during my Ministry Move

  1. There is no substitution for prayer.
  2. God want us to know His will and He will clearly direct our paths.
  3. God prepares and equips us for service.
  4. Ministry friends are a great source of counsel and encouragement.
  5. God’s glory should be the focus, not selfish ambition.

We are excited about this new season of ministry and look forward to making Dalhart, Texas our new home.

Living at Home

Living at Home

Living at Home

1 Peter 3:1-12

God has instituted a precious relationship between a husband and his wife that is under attack in our culture. Attempts to redefine marriage and the practice of cohabitation before marriage are examples of this attack. This attack can be overcome by turning to the Word of God for truth. The marriage relationship is the focus of 1 Peter 3:1-9.

Peter continues his theme of submission to authority that he started in 1 Peter 2:12. He has stated that believers should be submissive to governmental leaders and employers using Christ as our supreme example. Now he focuses his attention on those closest to us, our mates. Married couples have a choice to make: Live life conforming to the trends and patterns of this world or honor God and follow His pattern for marriage.

Peter starts by addressing wives and encourages them to be submissive to their husbands. In our society, this idea is becoming more and more foreign to our way of thinking. A wife demonstrates her faith in God by submitting to their husbands. She also is a mighty instrument of ministry to her family when she lives a life of “purity and reverence.” Peter indicates that the husband who is lost can be won to Christ by the godly life of his wife. There is great power in living a righteous, Christ-centered life.

In this passage of scripture, Peter also identifies the source of a woman’s beauty. He contrasts a woman who seeks beauty in outward adornments, braided hair, gold jewelry, and fine clothes with a woman who seeks “inner” beauty that comes from a gentle and quiet spirit. A woman of “inner” beauty is of great worth to God. Peter does not condemn paying attention to dress and fashion, but does communicate that is not ultimately the source of true beauty that God honors.

In verse 8, Peter challenges husbands to be considerate to their wives, respect them, and provide protection for them as the weaker partner. This again is counter cultural and foreign to our current way of thinking. God has instituted an order to the marriage relationship. Men are to be the spiritual head of the household and provide for and protect their wives. Husbands and wives are equally important to God with different roles within the family. Peter indicates that both husbands and wives are heirs of the gracious gift of life that Jesus offers.

A man’s relationship with God is influenced by the quality of his relationship with his wife. Peter says, ” . . . . so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” (1 Peter 3:7) This passage shows that a man’s prayers are hindered if his relationship with wife is unhealthy, which shows the importance of our marriage relationship. Read Ephesians 5:22-33 for more scripture on the theme of submission in the marital relationship.

Finally in 1 Peter 3:8-9, Peter addresses all believers to:

  • live in harmony with one another,
  • be sympathetic,
  • love as brothers
  • be compassionate and humble,
  • not repay evil with evil, and
  • not return insult with insult, but with blessing

This type of life leads to blessings.

Peter finishes this thought by quoting Psalm 34: 12-16 that focuses on the way we can “love life and see good days.”

Ruth

Hope, Love and Redemption

The book of Ruth in the Old Testament is a compelling story that contains hope, love and redemption.

During the time of the Judges, there was a famine in the land. The book of Ruth is the story of Naomi and Ruth making a pilgrimage back to the Promised Land where they encounter their Kindsmen-Redeemer, Boaz.

Elimelek, Ruth, and their two sons traveled to Moab to find food during the famine. While they were in Moab, their two sons married Moabite women named Orpah and Ruth. After the father and two sons die Naomi, Orpah, and Ruth are widows with a bleak future. Naomi decides to return to Bethlehem. During this journey Naomi tells her daughter’s-in-law to return to Moab where they can remarry and live out peaceful lives. Orpah decides to return, and Ruth refuses by expressing her commitment to Naomi and to her God.

Ruth 1:16-17 says,

16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.
17 Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”

This amazing confession represented Ruth’s commitment to her mother-in-law, Naomi, and a decisive rejection of the pagan religion of the Moabites. This is a bold statement of her faith in the God of Israel.

When they arrive in Bethlehem, Ruth begins gleaning in a field owned by Boaz. Ruth has a face to face conversation with Boaz which starts the most famous love story found in the Bible.

This love story becomes a representation of Jesus Christ and His relationship with His bride, the church. Like Ruth, we are lost and outside the covenant family of God. We are bankrupt with no hope of God’s mercy. But God took the initiative and provided a way for us to enter His family through faith in Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Clear Application for Today

  • Commitment to family is valuable.
  • God blesses hard work.
  • God blesses His children in the midst of their circumstances.
  • God provided a Redeemer, His name is Jesus!

 

Last Words from a Great Leader

Joshua 24:14-25

God worked through Joshua’s life in a powerful way. His life and the journey of Israel to the Promised Land provides great insight into the character and strength of God and how we should respond to Him. In this passage, Joshua gives a farewell address and makes a charge to the people Israel before his death. Joshua 24:14-25

Think about these ideas about final words:

  • Final words are chosen carefully
  • Final words are focused on the needs of the audience
  • Final words from credible sources should be heeded

In the first part of Joshua 24, Joshua reminds the people of Israel about God’s powerful acts and His faithfulness. Then starting in verse 14, he charges Israel to fear God and serve Him with faithfulness. He also charges them to throw away the gods their forefathers worshiped beyond the river and in Egypt. Choosing to serve the Lord becomes the focus of verse 15. Joshua 24:15 is the most famous verse in the book of Joshua. It says,

“But if it doesn’t please you to worship the Lord, choose for yourselves today the one you will worship: the gods your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. As for me and my family, we will worship the Lord.”

At the end of his life, Joshua challenged the people of God to follow his example by worshiping and serving God alone.

Clear Application for Today

  • Final words are important.
  • Remembering God’s faithfulness in the past helps us follow Him in the present.
  • Who we worship and serve is a choice all must make.
  • Fathers are the leaders of the family who can make this decision to honor God for the whole family.
  • God desires our worship, service, and allegiance.
Mother’s Day 2012

Mother’s Day 2012

Mother’s day is a great time to remember and honor our moms. Mothers are the unsung heroes of the family. This week I sent my mom a nice card and gift. Even though I could not see her this Mother’s Day, we had a long conversation on the phone. Here are some life lessons I learned from my mom.

  1. Having a relationship with God, through Christ, is the foundation for life. I am thankful for a mom that prays for me.
  2. Nothing replaces a mother’s love. I have never doubted the love my mom has for me.
  3. Family is a high priority of life. My mom held our family together. She always placed a high value on our family.
  4. There is great value to hard work. My mom worked hard at work and at home. She demonstrated a strong work ethic to me and my family.
  5. Marriage is important. Growing up I knew my mom loved my dad and was faithful to him. After my dad passed away my mom continues to talk about how much she misses him. They had a strong love that was a great example for me.
  6. Etiquette is important. My mom taught me to dress appropriately and to have proper manners.
  7. Optimism is important. My mom could always find the best in me and in others. This is a value that I strive to emulate.

Thanks mom, for these great lessons. I love you. Happy Mother’s Day!