Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Appreciating Church Leadership

I am thankful for strong spiritual men in my life that have exemplified faithfulness to God’s Word. Their humble efforts have served to help me see that leadership within the Body of Christ is not a dying breed, but rather, it continues to thrive and strive towards a united goal to see souls come to Christ and stay in Christ. These men are respecters of the blood-purchased church and Her local congregations. They do not want to see Christ’s church be defiled by a subtleness or an overtness of self-will, but instead, be overcome by selflessness, sacrifice and submission. An attitude of a Diotrephes (3 John 9-10) will not survive within Her ‘walls’, and to that I’m thankful for such love and dedication from these leaders.

This type of leadership is attainable. I’ve seen it and I continue to see and hear about it. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. They are out there and through any local congregation’s efforts, they can continue to be established, maintained and flourish for God’s glory. There are many things we can do as members of the congregation to help see leadership such as this grow, but I’ll just share a couple thoughts right now.

We definitely need to pray for our current leadership or for future leaders to humbly rise to the occasion in service for God. The importance of praying for our leaders is clearly seen in Acts 20 where Paul meets with the elders of Ephesus. At the end of their gathering Paul prays for them! Yes, the elders of the Ephesian church are extremely saddened because of Paul’s nearing departure to Jerusalem, and that may be partly why Paul prays for them, but I believe it’s mostly due to the seriousness of their duty as an eldership and the importance of Christ’s church. There is a warning to a possible internal upheaval in the church, which they should be on guard to watch for and to stymie any God-less attempts, just as our leaders are faced with at our congregations today. Praying is a principle we must follow for the sake of maintaining a strong family now and for the next generation of Christians to follow after we depart. Jesus definitely prayed for His Apostles in John 17, the leadership of His soon-to-be-established church. So must we.

Next, we should make an even greater effort than we already do in following, or submitting, to our leaders (Hebrews 13:17). This would include any individual leader out there submitting to the congregational leadership. Sometimes there are rogue individuals who give in to temptation and desire to fall out of formation because of their pride and start their own ‘quorum’ thinking there is a better way to do business. Thankfully, a strong leadership often recovers from such an act and perseveres. Our loving desire to serve under these men is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength in Christ and pleases God when we think above pettiness and above our own motives. The church we read about in Acts 2:42-47 has always been for me a standard by which we should follow.

Finally, we need to be thankful and express our gratitude to them and their families. They as our overseers are our shepherds. And with that responsibility comes many long nights, days, weeks, you get the idea…they are serving the Lord by watching over our souls. Let’s do our part to not let their job be a “thankless” one, but instead, full of “thanksgiving”. Though those who are members do not share in their congregational duties, we can share in their love for the church and walk shoulder-to-shoulder with them for the same eternal cause. We can honor God by honoring our leaders. Praise God for sound leadership in the church today!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

100 Days of Scripture ~ 2014

100 Days of Scripture ~ 2014
“Major Prophets” Challenge

Also found here: 100daysofscripture.wordpress.com

Welcome back to another year of the 100 Days of Scripture! This marks year #4 and we are so grateful you have joined with us for another Summer Scripture Reading Spree. This year’s challenge will include reading from the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel and Proverbs. Ok, why include Proverbs in with the major prophets, you ask? Well, if you remember from last year’s challenge I mentioned how it is a good practice to include 1 chapter of Proverbs in your daily Bible reading regardless of whatever you are reading. And the easy way to remember what chapter of Proverbs to read is by knowing what day of the month it is. So, for instance, if we start our 100 Days of Scripture on May 25th then we should be reading Proverbs 25. If a month ends with less than 31 days just double-up at the end of the month to finish the month with Proverbs 31.
This year’s challenge will also include weekly memory work from the fine folks who developed the “Written on Your Heart” Facebook Page (Go look it up and “Like” it). That would be the lovely couple, Jeremy and Carrie Roberts I’m referring to. Every week, along with our daily reading, there will be a memory verse for everyone to write on their heart!

Daily Reading Schedule:
May 25th Proverbs 25; Isaiah 1-2
May 26th Proverbs 26; Isaiah 3-5
May 27th Proverbs 27; Isaiah 6-8
May 28th Proverbs 28; Isaiah 9-10
May 29th Proverbs 29; Isaiah 11-13
May 30th Proverbs 30; Isaiah 14-16
May 31st Proverbs 31; Isaiah 17-19
June 1st Proverbs 1; Isaiah 20-22
June 2nd Proverbs 2; Isaiah 23-25
June 3rd Proverbs 3; Isaiah 26-28
June 4th Proverbs 4; Isaiah 29-30
June 5th Proverbs 5; Isaiah 31-32
June 6th Proverbs 6; Isaiah 33-34
June 7th Proverbs 7; Isaiah 35-36
June 8th Proverbs 8; Isaiah 37-38
June 9th Proverbs 9; Isaiah 39-40
June 10th Proverbs 10; Isaiah 41-42
June 11th Proverbs 11; Isaiah 43-44
June 12th Proverbs 12; Isaiah 45-46
June 13th Proverbs 13; Isaiah 47-48
June 14th Proverbs 14; Isaiah 49-50
June 15th Proverbs 15; Isaiah 51-52
June 16th Proverbs 16; Isaiah 53-55
June 17th Proverbs 17; Isaiah 56-58
June 18th Proverbs 18; Isaiah 59-60
June 19th Proverbs 19; Isaiah 61-64
June 20th Proverbs 20; Isaiah 65-66
June 21st Proverbs 21; Jeremiah 1-2
June 22nd Proverbs 22; Jeremiah 3-4
June 23rd Proverbs 23; Jeremiah 5-6
June 24th Proverbs 24; Jeremiah 7-8
June 25th Proverbs 25; Jeremiah 9-10
June 26th Proverbs 26; Jeremiah 11-12
June 27th Proverbs 27; Jeremiah 13-14
June 28th Proverbs 28; Jeremiah 15-16
June 29th Proverbs 29; Jeremiah 17-18
June 30th Proverbs 30-31; Jeremiah 19-20
July 1st Proverbs 1; Jeremiah 21-22
July 2nd Proverbs 2; Jeremiah 23
July 3rd Proverbs 3; Jeremiah 24-25
July 4th Proverbs 4; Jeremiah 26-27
July 5th Proverbs 5; Jeremiah 28-29
July 6th Proverbs 6; Jeremiah 30-31
July 7th Proverbs 7; Jeremiah 32
July 8th Proverbs 8; Jeremiah 33-34
July 9th Proverbs 9; Jeremiah 35-36
July 10th Proverbs 10; Jeremiah 37-38
July 11th Proverbs 11; Jeremiah 39-41
July 12th Proverbs 12; Jeremiah 42-44
July 13th Proverbs 13; Jeremiah 45-47
July 14th Proverbs 14; Jeremiah 48
July 15th Proverbs 15; Jeremiah 49
July 16th Proverbs 16; Jeremiah 50
July 17th Proverbs 17; Jeremiah 51
July 18th Proverbs 18; Jeremiah 52
July 19th Proverbs 19; Lamentations 1
July 20th Proverbs 20; Lamentations 2-3
July 21st Proverbs 21; Lamentations 4-5
July 22nd Proverbs 22; Ezekiel 1-3
July 23rd Proverbs 23; Ezekiel 4-6
July 24th Proverbs 24; Ezekiel 7-8
July 25th Proverbs 25; Ezekiel 9-10
July 26th Proverbs 26; Ezekiel 11-12
July 27th Proverbs 27; Ezekiel 13-14
July 28th Proverbs 28; Ezekiel 15-16
July 29th Proverbs 29; Ezekiel 17-18
July 30th Proverbs 30; Ezekiel 19-20
July 31st Proverbs 31; Ezekiel 21
August 1st Proverbs 1; Ezekiel 22
August 2nd Proverbs 2; Ezekiel 23
August 3rd Proverbs 3; Ezekiel 24
August 4th Proverbs 4; Ezekiel 25
August 5th Proverbs 5; Ezekiel 26-27
August 6th Proverbs 6; Ezekiel 28-29
August 7th Proverbs 7; Ezekiel 30
August 8th Proverbs 8; Ezekiel 31-32
August 9th Proverbs 9; Ezekiel 33
August 10th Proverbs 10; Ezekiel 34-35
August 11th Proverbs 11; Ezekiel 36
August 12th Proverbs 12; Ezekiel 37-38
August 13th Proverbs 13; Ezekiel 39-40
August 14th Proverbs 14; Ezekiel 41-42
August 15th Proverbs 15; Ezekiel 43
August 16th Proverbs 16; Ezekiel 44
August 17th Proverbs 17; Ezekiel 45
August 18th Proverbs 18; Ezekiel 46
August 19th Proverbs 19; Ezekiel 47
August 20th Proverbs 20; Ezekiel 48
August 21st Proverbs 21; Daniel 1
August 22nd Proverbs 22; Daniel 2
August 23rd Proverbs 23; Daniel 3
August 24th Proverbs 24; Daniel 4
August 25th Proverbs 25; Daniel 5
August 26th Proverbs 26; Daniel 6
August 27th Proverbs 27; Daniel 7
August 28th Proverbs 28; Daniel 8
August 29th Proverbs 29; Daniel 9
August 30th Proverbs 30; Daniel 10
August 31st Proverbs 31; Daniel 11
Sept. 1st Proverbs 1; Daniel 12

Weekly Memory Work:
May 25th-31st Romans 6:3
June 1st-7th Hebrew 10:23
June 8th-14th John 3:16
June 15th-21st Matthew 5:16
June 22nd-28th Psalm 1:1
June 29th-July 5th Psalm 1:2
July 6th-12th 1 Corinthians 12:13
July 13th-19th Galatians 1:8
July 20th-26th Romans 6:23
July 27th-Aug. 2nd 2 Timothy 2:10
August 3rd-9th Romans 12:2
August 10th-16th 1 John 2:15
August 17th-23rd Matthew 6:24
August 24th-30th Galatians 3:27
Aug. 31st-Sept. 6th Romans 8:1

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

BestDad-2-BestKids "Play the Game"


The past two weeks in Denver all there has been is talk, talk, talk about the big game on Sunday. I'm guessing the sports talk show hosts might come up with a creative way to make the coin toss exciting if they lose material to discuss, but one thing is sure, no outcome will be determined until they play the game.

Do you wonder what it would be like for you, or sports in general, if the game was not played this Sunday and it was constantly postponed? I imagine the talk would continue, the game planning would continue until the excitement wore off due to the fact, it will never take place. Everyone would pack up and go home.

Let me share with you my problem as a dad (one of many, I might mention). I am a DREAMER! Yep, a full-fledged, bona fide dreamer. My poor wife and kids have gone through occasions where their hopes of a trip, event, plan were squashed due to my big plans with NO follow through. Were my intentions good? You bet! But my priorities did not show it as cancellation was eminent and being able to "play the game" evaporated before their sight.

This isn't exclusively about big plans or promises, but also includes those little promises like, "Dad, do you wanna go outside and ride bikes together?", "Uh, Yeah, I can do that with you pretty soon." Minutes later...something else took priority. Again, I write with a resume' full of blunders and I want that to permanently change for me and, if it applies, for you, too!

Jesus made it clear in Matthew 5:37 that our statement of "yes" or "no", should be just that, "yes" or "no". Our words, then the action that follows, shows how honorable we are. I want to encourage one another to hone our priority skills by continuing to give our families top billing, as you lead them to love the Lord your God with all heart, soul, mind and strength (cf. Mark 12:30). Also, do not stop dreaming or planning! As we prioritize and pray, our plans will develop, or they won't, but either way we can give a solid "yes" or "no" and maintain our word honorably.

Keep being the best dad to the best children!