Moving Forward Finishing Well

Moving Forward Finishing Well

Moving Forward – Finishing Well

Joshua 13, 14, and 23


When Joshua had grown old, the Lord said to him, “You are now very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over.                                                                              Joshua 13:1


  • REMEMBER past victories.
  • Remember the CONVICTIONS of your youth
  • Claim the PROMISES of God.
  • Adjust your ATTITUDE: You are as old as you feel
  • DEDICATE yourself to God and His glory
  • Never stop Moving Forward to take the next mountain


  • Tell the story of God’s FAITHFULNESS
  • Hold high the WORD OF GOD
  • Challenge those who follow to FAITHFULNESS
  • IDENTIFY where the victory comes from


Land that I Love

Land that I Love

Summer time is a patriotic time. On Memorial Day we celebrate the brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country and we celebrate our nation’s birth on the 4th of July. It is truly great to be an American.

I am a patriot. I love the United States of America. I thank God that I was born in this country. I am thankful for the men and women that gave their lives to defend our freedom. As of late, I have a problem. I can’t recognize the country that I love. It is as if someone was able to take the country I love and replace it with one I don’t recognize. Our country is plagued with civil unrest, racial tension and the current sexual revolution. As a Pastor, I have to ask myself what can I and my church do to reclaim the country we love. There are no easy answers, but the suggestions below are a good place to start:

1. Pray

This should be the starting place for every American believer. We have access to the power of God through prayer. In Ephesians, chapter 1, Paul is praying for the Ephesian believers when he writes,

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. Ephesians 1:18-21

Pray often, specific, and passionate prayers to the only One that brings lasting change and revival to our great country.

2. Get Ready and Stay Informed

In all likeliness it is going to get worse before it gets better. In 2 Timothy 3:1-5 Paul describes the terrible time in the last days:

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”

These verses, though written long ago, describe the days we are living in. This is no time for “Casual Christianity.” It is time for the Church of Jesus to be ready and informed to be change agents in our society. One place I turn to keep informed about current events is a daily podcast entitled, The Briefing, by Dr. Albert Mohler. Dr. Mohler informs the listener about current news issues from a Christian worldview. He is insightful and does an amazing service to the Christian community by helping Christian leaders and believers interpret the times we live. Try it out at

3. Take a Stand and Speak the Truth in Love

This is not time for believers in Jesus Christ to be silent. Some of the problems we see in our culture today are caused by the church being silent too long. Once we understand what is happening in our culture we must know the truth contained in the Word of God and speak up for what is right. Read how Jesus prayed for His disciples and for us.

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. John 17:15-19

In Ephesian 4:15, Paul writes about the attitude we should have as we stand for that which is true:

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ.”

Taking a stand for the truth and communicating that truth in a loving manner is a power tool in the hand of our Heavenly Father. While we may not recognize the land that we love, we can be part of the solution. God is not done with the United States of America. We are still “One Nation under God.”

This article by Sean Vickers originally appeared in The Dalhart Texan.

Simple Pursuit

Simple Pursuit


Why does everything have to be so complicated? Have you ever asked yourself that question? I know I have. As life goes on it seems to get more and more complicated with layer after layer of details piling up until it seems unmanageable. This makes one long for the simple life.

Allow me to introduce you to a song that has captured my heart and my desire for simplicity. It’s called Simple Pursuit and was written by Matt Redman. Here is the first verse and chorus:

God take us back, the place we began
The simple pursuit of nothing but You
The innocence of a heart in Your hands
God take us back, oh God, take us back

To an unswerving faith in the power of Your name
A heart beating for Your kingdom to reign
A church that is known for Your presence again
God take us back

Nothing and no one comes close to You
Nothing could ever come close
Nothing and no one; it’s You, and You only
Nothing could ever come close

When I heard the song for the first time I immediately knew it would be a favorite of mine. This song reminded me of the message Jesus had for the church of Ephesus found in Revelation, chapter 2. This church honored Jesus with their deeds, but Jesus told them they had forsaken Him as their first love. Wow. That would be a hard thing to hear from your Savior. The church at Ephesus had left their simple pursuit of their Savior and become satisfied with going through the motions with passionless service and activity.

I am thankful that this passage does not end here. Jesus prescribed a remedy for the church’s heart problem. This same remedy is for anyone that is overwhelmed with details and feels their relationship with Jesus growing cold.

Jesus said to the church at Ephesus and He says to us today, “Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.” To get back to a simple pursuit of Jesus it is important to remember our Savior and what it was like when we first trusted Him. This will give us an idea how “far you have fallen.” When a person first places their faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior it is normally a time of joy, gratitude, and amazement in the amazing grace of God. When our life and faith gets too complicated we forget the joy of our salvation. Some of you reading this article may not know the amazement that I am writing about.

If there has never been a moment in your life when you trusted Jesus let me invite you to one of the many Bible believing churches in Dalhart. We celebrate Jesus every week as we gather to worship. You are certainly welcomed at First Baptist Dalhart. You would be my honored guest.

The second part of Jesus remedy is to “repent and do the thing you did at first.” Repent means to change your mind or change directions. Simply put, repentance is turning back to Jesus and simply pursuing Him while doing the things we did when our faith was new and fresh. Do you remember a time when you worshipped from the heart, when you were growing in your faith, when you served Him without hesitation and with joy, and when you desired to talk to others about your faith? If these are distant memories, they don’t have to be. It’s time to get back to a Simple Pursuit of your Savior.

This article originally appeared in the Dalhart Texan and was written by Sean Vickers.

My Friend

GreaterLoveMy Friend

I’d like you to meet my friend.  He is strong and manly, friendly and sociable, attractive and magnetic.  He stands out in any crowd.  He is fearless and firm, but little children and strong men are drawn to him.

He is a perfect example of gentleness and kindness, of humility and courtesy; but his whole being reacts with severity against injustice, hypocrisy, and irreverence.

He seems to understand people and is especially considerate of the poor, the lonely, the sick, the forgotten – even the ugly and disreputable.

In fact, he seems to see some good in everyone.

He shuns no one, looks down on no one, seems to believe that every person in all the world has infinite worth in the sight of God.  And somehow the lowest and the worst feel this way, too, when they look into his face.

You always feel safe with this friend of mine, sufficient for whatever comes. You feel that he understands, that he believes in you.  You’d rather have his friendship than anything on earth.  You desire his approval more than anything the world can give.

This friend of mine has come to mean a lot to me.

He has promised that he will never leave me.  There have been many times when I have failed to be loyal to him, but his faith in me has never weakened.  He has been marvelously forgiving.  This has always inspired me to strive harder to measure up to his expectations.

The wonder and power of his love have been a purifying force in my soul.  Somehow, I’ve felt his goodness and strength poured into my being.  His very life has become my life.  Since I came to know him, I have been different.

I learned about God from him.  He knows God in the most intimate sort of way, like a son knows his father when the two have but one common purpose.

He made God real and near.  In fact, God is so much a part of him that I became a friend of God, and more – a true child of God.

I owe everything to him.  He showed me the meaning of life.  He made me want to be good.  He fired my soul with high purpose.  He gives me strength to overcome evil.  He has taught me that, no matter what comes, I can depend on God as my Heavenly Father.  This friend has shown me that love never fails.  His friendship is the explanation of every good thing in my life.

My friend has unlimited capacity for friendship. He is the friend of many, many people who feel toward him as I do.  Their lives have been changed by his friendship.

His friends are the best friends I have.  They can be depended on.  They are the best people in the world.  It must be that they have caught the dynamic of his personality, that they have been mastered by his purpose of love for all mankind.

Some of them are changing the world’s history.  They are creative forces in building a worldwide fellowship of love.  They have gone literally around the world to tell people of all races and nations that this friend can help them find God.  They have shed blood, sweat, and tears in order to do this.  Some have been imprisoned, banished, and killed because they dared to do his will.

This friend of mine, you see, is both loved and hated.  Millions of people refuse his friendship.  I wonder why. Can it be that they don’t really understand who he is?

That, surely, is why men killed him.  He had done no wrong.  His only offense was to be incarnate truth, purity, and love.  But they put him to death.

There was something in him, however, that overcame the power of death.  The grave could not hold him. He lives, having conquered death.  Because he conquered death, he is able to conquer evil.  And because he is able to overcome evil, the world will someday be a better, happier place.

There is a book that tells about this friend of mine.  I like to read it more than any other book.  Every time I read it, I learn more and more about him.

The book radiates his presence. You feel his heartbeat in it. It tells of his magnetic power to draw all men into his circle of friendship and of his purpose to make peace reign in all the earth.

This friend of mine would change the world if only men would follow his way of truth and love.

When I think of this friend, I wish that every person on earth could know him.

I believe, if I could help you to know him, that you, too, would want his friendship above everything else, and count it life’s highest joy to serve him.

He will not force his friendship on you.  But if you will accept him as your dearest friend in wholehearted committal, he will go with you to the end of life’s way.

He will make your life a spiritual adventure and a transforming companionship.  He will make you happy, daring, and triumphant.

His friendship will provide the resources for noble and victorious living.

He will turn emptiness into fullness, fear into courage, weakness into strength, heartache into joy, turmoil into peace, dullness into radiance, and death into life.

I’d like so much for you to meet my Friend.

His name is Jesus.



Advent means “arrival”. At Christmas we celebrate the arrival of Jesus. Consider these Advent Ideas to put Christ at the Center of the Christmas Celebration. It is not too late to start.

For Families and the Young at Heart

Download the Advent Calendar from Focus on the Family

The Books of the Season

 Devotionals for the Season

These devotions for the Season are available at They have a great selection of devotions for the Christmas Season.

  • Waiting Here for You – Louie Giglio – 7 Days
  • Our Daily Bread Christmas Edition – 10 Days
  • Rediscovering the Christmas Season – 25 Days
  • Good News of Great Joy – John Piper – 25 Days
The Center of Easter

The Center of Easter

EasterBannerIt’s an old, old story. He lived. He died. He rose from the dead. What does that mean for you and your family today? In a world where we can command information with the click of a mouse or a touch of a phone, how do historical events still impact our lives?

Next month we will celebrate Easter. What do you think about when you think about Easter? Do you think about Easter egg hunts when your children were young, family meals after church, getting dressed up for your annual Easter family picture or chocolate bunnies? Easter is a precious holiday, and as with all things that are precious it must be protected. To protect this precious treasure we must keep Jesus at the center of Easter and truly take time to reflect and marvel at God’s great love for us.

Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

This is a truth that is worth celebrating at Easter and everyday of the year.

Consider these ideas to keep Jesus in the center of Easter this year:

1. Attend church with your family on Easter. Churches all across our community celebrate Easter and would welcome you and your family. If you don’t have a church home, I would like to invite you to attend First Baptist, Dalhart this Easter.

2. Watch a movie that depicts the sacrificial death of Christ. Decide on the movie based on the ages of those in your family. Possible movies would include:  Passion of the Christ, Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe, The Bible or Veggie Tales: T’was the Night before Easter.

3. Spend time reading the Bible together as a family during the 40 days before Easter or the week before Easter. Free devotions for the Easter season are available at

4. Use Resurrection Eggs to explain the true meaning of Easter to children.

5. Travel to the large cross at Groom, TX and pray the stations of the cross.

The focus is not planning more things to do, but deliberately remembering Jesus at Easter. Look for opportunities to talk about Jesus with those you are closest to.

I hope you have a great April as you put Jesus at the center of Easter.

This article originally appeared in the Dalhart Texan and was written by Sean Vickers.

Overcoming Obstacles

joshua6Joshua 6 records the Victory that the Nation of Israel had when God gave them victory at Jericho. From this chapter and other scriptures there are 7 ways to overcome the obstacles that keep you or your church from being where God wants you to be.

  1. Realize that God has a PLAN. Joshua 6:2-5, Jeremiah 29:11
  2. Understand the place of PURITY in your life. Joshua 3:5, Joshua 5:2-10
  3. Exercise you FAITH in God. Joshua 6:7, Hebrews 11:1
  4. Practice PATIENCE on the Journey. Joshua 6:15, Psalm 40:1
  5. Control your SELF. Joshua 6:1, Proverbs 16:32
  6. Claim the PROMISES of God. Joshua 21:45
  7. Have confidence in the Spiritual LEADERS in your life. Joshua 6:27