Sunday, February 26, 2006

That Will Be A Happy Day!

I found it interesting in Judges 5:2, where the song of Deborah and Barak is recorded, how they began their song. Just to clarify, Deborah was the Judge of Israel at this time and Barak was the commander of the Army. God had led them to victory over Canaan. The song begins this way, "When leaders lead in Israel, When the people willingly offer themselves, Bless the Lord."(NKJ) Their song of praise began with giving thanks to God for the leaders in Israel finally stepping up and leading. They also gave God thanks when the people volunteered themselves for service. I know as a pastor the greatest day in the church will be the day when leaders start to lead and the volunteers start serving. Our prayer today must be, "Lord, raise up Your leaders again, raise up an army of volunteers that will serve You." When this happens, we too will have a song to sing.

Be Fresh

God wants fresh obedience and fresh commitment. God challenged me with the thought of, "God wants a fresh act of obedience as my sacrifice to Him. It doesn't matter what victories that I have had in the past. Ask yourself, “What I'm I giving to the Lord today?” God doesn't just want my life yesterday, but He wants my life today." Think about it, who wants something that isn't fresh. When you buy fruit at the grocery story, you look for the fruit that is the most fresh. When you buy flowers for the one you love, you don't buy flowers that are old, but those that are fresh. Why do we thing that God is satisfied with our old obedience. In 1 Samuel 15, King Saul, who had many victories in the Lord, disobeyed the Lord. Samuel the prophet tells him in verses 22 and 23, "Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has rejected you as King." Saul was rejected because he didn't offer to the Lord fresh obedience. God is worthy of a fresh commitment of your life daily. As a pastor, I have heard so many people talk about things they did for God as though they had given God everything He wanted and now they were free to live as they want. We need to understand this, God is the Lord of today and only fresh obedience is valid. I challenge you to make your relationship with the Lord fresh by giving Him your life today!

Saturday, February 25, 2006


Praise God, it finally rained in Crane. The other day as I woke up and realized that our prayers had been answered with the sound of rain falling on the ground a thought came to mind. Am I as desperate for God as I have been for the rain? As our church begins "40 Days of Purpose", I pray that God will give us a holy hunger for Himself. We need a desperation for God that realizes that without His fresh touch we are as dry as Crane has been. Everywhere I have gone for the last two months, I have heard people talking about our need for rain. I wonder if we are willing to talk about God in the same way. Listen, you and I need God desperately. Seek after Him today.

Friday, February 24, 2006

My Tribute

Last night Mrs. OKpreacher's Grandmother went to be with the Lord. While this is a hard time for our family, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on the impact that Grandma had on me. Anytime that I was around her she had a way of making you feel important and most of all loved. Grandma was one of those people that enjoyed living life to the fullest. Her sense of adventure and humor made her a great person to talk and listen to. I remember how she accepted me when I married into the family. Every time we were at their house for a holiday she would make my favorite, pumpkin pie. Nobody makes pumpkin pie as good as she did. Better than her cooking was her hugs. To me Grandma was an example of how to love the Lord, love your spouse, and love your children with all your heart. I have one regret and one praise. First, I regret that she didn't get to meet our baby girl, her first great-grand child, on this side of heaven. My praise is that we had her for a Grandmother. Please remember to pray for Grandpa and the rest of the family during this time.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Dakota Moving in the Right Direction

It is amazing to me that we are still debating this issue. No person in their right mind denies that a pregnant woman is carrying life. The debate is over a woman's right to have her baby killed. Normally, in a country the laws that are made are to provide protection for its citizens and punishment to people who brake these laws. So when it comes to abortion, why is it that people believe that the victim has no rights? Why do we think that the murderer is protected by the law? I'm glad to see one state in America has the correct understanding that the law is to protect the victim. South Dakota Abortion Bill

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Don't Be A Hospice Worker

What is a senior pastor called to do in a small Southern Baptist Church? In the Southern Baptist Convention over eighty percent of the churches are under two hundred in membership. I have experience that many of these churches want the pastor to be a hospice worker. What I mean is they want the pastor to come in and keep them comfortable until they die. My calling as a pastor isn't to lead a church to their death bed, but to lead them to Christ who is the resurrection and the life. As a pastor I believe my job is to emphasis and lead our people to a place of commitment to purpose. Every pastor knows the Bible verse, "Where there is no vision the people perish." So why are there so many churches that have no vision? I believe too many pastors have seen themselves as hospice workers instead of shepherds and prophets. I believe people will respond when they see that they are called to something greater than church as usual. God wants to use them to build His Kingdom. Pastors, be more than a hospice worker.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Choice

I heard a sermon by Stephen Olford on Sermon Index called, "The Demands of Discipleship". One of the points that he made was that the Christian life is grounded in a choice. Galatians 2:20 says, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Stephen says that Paul found that the choice is "Not I, but Christ". There must be a total surrender of self to Christ. Paul says his flesh has been put to death in Christ. He no longer lives, but Christ lives in him. The key to the Christian life is, "Not I, but Christ." The problem is that most of us chose, "Not Christ, but I." We reject Christ, by holding on to us. I was convicted by the realization that I really only have two choices, "Not Christ, but I" or "Not I, but Christ." I encourage you to make the choice to live, "Not I, but Christ."