Friday, August 31, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
THE EARLY CHRISTIANS
1. Never incorporated with the state!
2. Never had a denominational headquarters on earth!
3. Never had businesses in their churches!
4. Never conducted seminars!
5. Never had a supreme bishop on earth!
6. Never used special clerical titles for ministers or ex-ministers!
7. Never wore clerical or religious garb!
8. Never allowed women preachers!
9. Never had earthly priests!
10. Never had a "Ministerial Association"!
11. Never used ornamental crosses!
12. Never used statues, prayer beads or candles!
13. Never admired relics of cloth, wood or stone!
14. Never gloried in numbers or physical wealth!
15. Never had the world's biggest ________ !
16. Never defrauded their people out of their money!
17. Never got involved in Pyramid Schemes!
18. Never had copyrights on anything!
19. Never, begged for money from the general public!
20. Never let the local politicians address their church!
21. Never practiced denominational politics!
22. Never mixed their faith with secular politics!
Ever wonder why?
They had the word of God and Prayer and a relationship with their Lord!
Thanks to Pastor Fountain.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
"...and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked he wind, and said unto the sea, Peace be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is is that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?"
Two reasons why most people never get to the other side are: 1) They don't pay attention to Jesus. 2) They are afraid of the storm. There is usually a storm between us and the other side.
I've been thinking about the ship Jesus was in, and all the "other little ships" that were with Him and I want to mention twelve ships. Some people will never be on most of these ships because they don't want on them. They are afraid.
The one ship just about everybody has to get on sometime is HARDSHIP. But usually, that's the blessing ship. Do you boys know why you are at the Lighthouse? HARDSHIP. Do you know what brought you to the Lighthouse? You got yourself in so much trouble. You were miserable and you hated yourself. The law was after you, the police and the judges were after you and the probation officers were ready to revoke your probation. The way of the transgressor is hard. You girls, so young and tender and sweet and fine, yet so mean without Christ. Do you know why you are here? You took the way of the HARDSHIP. You got on the wrong ship and you were just about ready to sink. The reason most of us are on the HARDSHIP is because of our own choosing, but sometimes the Lord allows us to travel a distance on this ship in order to realize we need to let Him do the choosing.
What usually comes after HARDSHIP? My old HARDSHIP is taking on water and the old thing begins to list and turn sideways and is about to go under. Brother! You talk about some danger. I look up and I'm scared half to death, and here comes a ship. Here comes the LORDSHIP! I say, "Oh, me, I wish any other ship would come along beside His. But I'm desperate and I've got to get on something. I'm going under. So, we usually get on the LORDSHIP just because of a case like that. You will never find an old sinner who says, "Well, I think maybe I might change. I believe that instead of going to hell, I'd like to go to Heaven. I'm not all that bad. I'm not as bad, really, as some of the church members, but I think maybe..." No. You never come like that. You have to come to the place where you're convicted of your sin and you know you're not fit to go to Heaven and you're headed for hell. Yet, if you will cry to God for mercy, He will save you from your sin and put you on the LORDSHIP. That's the main ship.That's it! He said, "And there with Him other little ships." All the rest of the ships are little ships. The big ship, the ocean goer, the one that is seaworthy is the LORDSHIP. Nobody has ever sunk on the LORDSHIP. The LORDSHIP is going to enter the right dock and harbor one of these days. I'm not talking about the Baptist ship and the Catholic ship and the Methodist ship. I'm talking about the LORDSHIP! If you're on the LORDSHIP, you're safe, because Jesus is the captain of it. You don't have to pay to get on it. It's free.
Jonah found himself a ship. When you want to run from the Lord, you can nearly always find a ship going toward Tarsus. The devil will have a ship there for you, but it will always be a HARDSHIP. That was the hardest ship Jonah ever got on and he had to pay to get on it.
The next ship, after the LORDSHIP, is RELATIONSHIP. The only way you can get on the LORDSHIP is to accept a RELATIONSHIP with Him through the new birth. You don't get on any other way. Money won't help, even if you have billions. You will die just like anybody else. Lazarus died and the rich man also died. Are you related to the Lord? Did you know that God is my Father? Did you know that Jesus is my big brother? Did you know that the Holy Spirit lives in me and in you, if you've trusted Jesus Christ? Think of that! Royal blood is flowing through these spiritual veins of mine. I belong to God. I've taken on His nature. Think of it! A personal RELATIONSHIP with the Lord! Jesus said, "Nicodemus, do you want to get on this miraculous ship?" "Yes," he said. Jesus said, "You will have to be born onto it." When I was getting ready to go to Mexico recently, I found myself looking up my birth certificate. All I'm going to need to get to Heaven is my "new birth" certificate. I'm glad I don't have to keep up with it. Jesus has it recorded. He knows exactly when I was born again, and my name is recorded in the Lamb's Book of Life.
Next comes FELLOWSHIP, which I think is a very sweet ship. I don't know of anybody here that I couldn't have fellowship with tonight. The sweetest fellowship we ever have is when we all get together for a service. Right now our family is together and we're having a family reunion here tonight. We're all in the same place. We're talking about our Heavenly Father, talking about our older Brother and talking about the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
Then we come to something that a lot of people want to steer away from, and that's STEWARDSHIP. When you mention STEWARDSHIP, the average person grabs his billfold. He sits on it a little harder. He says, "Uh-oh, he's coming after my money now." STEWARDSHIP is not just money. Money is just a little fizzled end of it. STEWARDSHIP means your life, your heart, your love, your eyes, your feet, your body -- everything about you. That's STEWARDSHIP. The Bible says, "It's required of a steward that a man be found faithful." STEWARDSHIP is the faithfulness of a man and not just his money.
The next ship is COMPANIONSHIP. In Hebrews 10:33 we are told, "You were companions of me, even as we went through some things." Oh, how sweet it is to have spiritual companions. I appreciate all the good companions who have stood with me through all the difficult times. I never have been alone. No matter what the papers or magazines said or did, I had a bunch of companions right there with me.
Another ship that is important to every Christian is COMRADESHIP. We need to be good spiritual comrades with fellow-Christians and encourage each other along the way.
WORKMANSHIP is another ship we need to travel on across the sea of life. The Lord said, "...by grace are ye saved...and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his WORKMANSHIP..." That's a good ship. My daddy put me on that ship when I was real young and he taught me that the Government doesn't owe me a living. He said, "You get out there and go to work. You get that nine yard cottonsack and fill it plumb full and tell me tonight how much you picked today." It's a sin to be lazy and we need to be busy in the service of the Lord.
There's another ship which I haven't spent enough time on, but it's a good one. That's SCHOLARSHIP. I believe God's people need to get out of the Jimson weeds of ignorance. There's not anything real good about just being ignorant. The average person is more ignorant about the Bible than any other thing. Everybody ought to know the books of the Bible, then you can find something in the Bible. Then everybody ought to memorize at least 50 to 200 chapters of the Word of God in a lifetime. You just ought to have that much tucked away in your mind and heart so that if the devil slips in from behind, you can just hit him, cut him, slice him, and let him bleed. But if you don't know anything about the Bible, you might be in trouble. The Bible says, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." What do you suppose hiding the Word of God in your heart is? Don't you suppose that's memorizing the Bible? Of course it is. That's it! So, I ask all of you, let's never get lax in that area. We've built every home we have on the Bible and memorizing scripture -- I'm talking about by the chapter.
DISCIPLESHIP is an important ship. You get on that ship when you get saved and say, "I'm going to follow Jesus." DISCIPLESHIP is discipline. That ship tells you when to pray, when to fast, and how to take care of your body, your mind and your soul. Discipline is needed in the life of every Christian.
Then, I think we ought to mention the BATTLESHIP. Have you ever been on the BATTLESHIP? Are you afraid to go out on the sea on a BATTLESHIP and do battle for the Lord? I believe we're going to have a battle to the end. I know we're outnumbered and overpowered, but "...greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."
Last of all, and I guess this is about the sweetest one we can be on, and that's WORSHIP. You may ask, "What are you talking about?" I'm talking about worshipping the Lord. "Are you talking about Sunday morning at 11:00?" Oh, no. I'm talking about worshipping the Lord every day. The other night when I returned from a long trip, I guess I was as tired that night as I've ever been. The Lord just reminded me how good He's been to me. The old headache that had been with me for so long was gone. The nausea that had come to plague my weakened body was gone. I fell down by the side of my bed and I began to sing and worship Him. "There's not a friend like the lowly Jesus..."
I hope you're not afraid of any of these ships. They'll carry you safely through and over. Let us go over. The disciples asked Jesus in the middle of that storm, "Lord, don't you care?" You are in a bad shape when you feel that God doesn't care. They didn't sink, and they went to the other side together. Come on, get on board now. We've got a trip to make.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Years ago, I was enthralled as I listened to a
preacher who for several years had faithfully served
the church. His executive responsibilities had
taken him all over this country. As he concluded
his message, he told of one of the most frightening
yet thought-provoking experiences of his life.
He had been on a long flight from one place to
another. The first warning of the approaching
problems came when the sign on the airplane flashed
on - Fasten Your Seat Belts. Then, after a while, a
calm voice said, "We shall not be serving the
beverages at this time as we are expecting a little
turbulence. Please be sure your seat belt is
As he looked around the aircraft, it became
obvious that many of the passengers were becoming
apprehensive. Later, the voice of the announcer
said, "We are so sorry that we are unable to serve
the meal at this time. The turbulence is still
ahead of us."
And then the storm broke. The ominous cracks
of thunder could be heard even above the roar of the
engines. Lightning lit up the darkening skies, and
within moments that great plane was like a cork
tossed around on a celestial ocean. One moment the
airplane was lifted on terrific currents of air; the
next, it dropped as if it were about to crash.
The pastor confessed that he shared the
discomfort and fear of those around him. He said,
"As I looked around the plane, I could see that
nearly all the passengers were upset and alarmed.
Some were praying. The future seemed ominous and
many were wondering if they would make it through
Then, I suddenly saw a little girl.
Apparently the storm meant nothing to her! She had
tucked her feet beneath her as she sat on her seat;
she was reading a book and everything within her
small world was calm and orderly.
Sometimes she closed her eyes, then she would
read again; then she would straighten her legs, but
worry and fear were not in her world. When the plane
was being buffeted by the terrible storm, when it
lurched this way and that, as it rose and fell with
frightening severity, when all the adults were
scared half to death, that marvelous child was
completely composed and unafraid." The minister
could hardly believe his eyes.
It was not surprising therefore, that when the
plane finally reached its destination and all the
passengers were hurrying to disembark, our pastor
lingered to speak to the girl whom he had watched
for such a long time. Having commented about the
storm and behavior of the plane, he asked why she
had not been afraid.
The child replied, "Cause my Daddy is the
pilot, and he's taking me home."
There are many kinds of storms that buffet us.
Physical, mental, financial, domestic, and many
other storms can easily and quickly darken our skies
and throw our plane spinning out of control. We
have all known such times, and let us be honest and
confess, it is much easier to be at rest when our
feet are on the ground than when we are being tossed
about a darkened sky. Just remember:
He is taking us home.
From Bro. A.Whitlock via email
Monday, August 13, 2007
Henry Nott, the consecrated bricklayer, who, by his heroic sufferings and unwearied labors, opened the door of Tahiti and Polynesia to the sublime tidings of a matchless text: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
I love missions and enjoy reading lots of missionary stories, this past week at a used clothing store I found a little paperback for $ .25 – Gaints of the Missionary Trail.
Reading the story of Henry Nott, missionary to
Here is part of the story –
The most powerful man in
Pomare was very friendly with the missionaries and often came to see them. He always brought a voracious appetite and regularly stayed to eat. His favorite missionary friend, Henry Nott, watched him devour a quantity of vegetables and fruit, two chickens and two pounds of pork at one meal. One of his attendants always fed him; his dignity would not permit him to feed himself. The missionary was amused "to see so stout a man, perhaps the largest in the whole island, fed like a cuckoo."
One day Pomare and his wife, Iddeah, came for a visit, perched as usual on men's shoulders. Several of his attendants carried a large chest. When asked why he brought it, he smilingly replied, "To hold the presents you will be pleased to give me." He specifically asked for twenty axes, ten shirts, sixteen mirrors, twelve scissors, one hundred nails, ten combs, one cast iron pot, one razor and one blanket. When these had been given, he looked around and pointed out a number of other things he especially craved.
The natives were persistent in demanding presents. When the supplies of the missionaries ran low and they ceased to give out gifts with a lavish hand, they were robbed of things they desperately needed and which could not be replaced. Thievery was extremely common; in fact, it was a recognized part of the religion of the Tahitians. One of their gods, Hiro, was the protector of thieves. When they went out to steal, they promised Hiro part of the booty in exchange for his assistance.
The missionaries found a class of people called areois. They blackened their bodies with charcoal and dyed their faces red. They had no occupation but dancing, boxing, wrestling and indulging in acts of buffoonery. They made it a practice to kill their children as soon as they were born. Pomare's chief wife, Iddeah, was a member of this society and had killed three of her children subsequent to the arrival of the missionaries.
Soon after reaching
"We are an ignorant people and this message is good for us," said the king.
“John 3:16 in the only sure and efficacious remedy for the ignorance and superstitions of mankind,” said Henry Nott.
“My ty! Very good!” agreed the people.
This week, let us be about sharing the ‘good news’ of John 3:16.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable.
Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy.
It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you.
It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword and the Christian's character.
Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed.
Christ is its grand object, our good is its design, and the glory of God its end.
It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet.
Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully.
It is given you in life and will be opened in the judgment and will be remembered forever.
It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labour, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
When one cardiologist was asked whether or not his partaking in high fat meals set a bad example he replied, "Not me, because I took my name tag off."
Isn't it amazing how we separate our behavior from our knowledge?
We can hear something, even accept it as true, and never let it change our behavior. Its funny when we are talking about doctors & researchers. It's terrible when we are talking about folks who hear and accept the Word of God and yet live lives of disobedience.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
People drank for sociability - and became argumentative.
People drank for sophistication - and became obnoxious.
People drank for friendship - and became enemies.
People drank for sleep - and awakened exhausted.
People drank for strength - and felt weak.
People drank to feel exhilaration - and ended up depressed.
People drank for “medical purposes” - and acquired health problems
People drank to get calmed down - and ended up with the shakes.
People drank for confidence - and became afraid.
People drank to make conversation flow more easily - and the words came out slurred and incoherent.
People drank to diminish their problems - and saw them multiply.
People drank to cope with life - and invited death.
Monday, August 6, 2007
Now it came to pass that a group existed who called themselves fishermen. And lo, there were many fish in the waters all around. In fact, the whole area was surrounded by streams and lakes filled with fish. And the fish were hungry.
Year after year these who called themselves fishermen met in meetings and talked about their call to fish, the abundance of fish, and how they might go about fishing. Continually they searched for new and better definitions of fishing. They sponsored costly nationwide and worldwide congresses to discuss fishing and promote fishing and hear about all the ways of fishing. These fishermen built large, beautiful buildings called "Fishing Headquarters." The plea was that everyone should be a fisherman and every fisherman should fish. One thing they didn't do, however; they didn't fish.
They organized a board to send out fishermen to other places where there were many fish. The board was formed by those who had the great vision and courage to speak about fishing, to define fishing, and to promote the idea of fishing in faraway streams and lakes where many other fish of different colors lived. Also the board hired staffs and appointed committees and held many meetings to define fishing, to defend fishing, and to decide what new streams should be thought about. But the staff and committee members did not fish.
Expensive training centers were built to teach fishermen how to fish. Those who taught had doctorates in fishology, but the teachers did not fish. They only taught fishing. Year after year, graduates were sent to do full-time fishing, some to distant waters filled with fish. Further, the fishermen built large printing houses to publish fishing guides. A speaker's bureau was also provided to schedule special speakers on the subject of fishing. Many who felt the call to be fishermen responded, and were sent to fish. But like the fishermen back home they never fished.
Some also said they wanted to be part of the fishing party, but they felt called to furnish fishing equipment. Others felt their job was to relate to the fish in a good way so the fish would know the difference between good and bad fishermen. After one stirring meeting on "The Necessity for Fishing," a young fellow left the meeting and went fishing. The next day he reported he had caught two outstanding fish. He was honored for his excellent catch and scheduled to visit all the big meetings possible to tell how he did it. So he quit his fishing in order to have time to tell about the experience to the other fishermen. He was also placed on the Fishermen's General Board as a person having considerable experience.
Now it's true that many of the fishermen sacrificed and put up with all kinds of difficulties. Some lived near the water and bore the smell of dead fish every day. They received the ridicule of some who made fun of their fishermen's clubs and the fact that they claimed to be fishermen yet never fished.
They wondered about those who felt it was of little use to attend the weekly meetings to talk about fishing. After all, were they not following the Master who said, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men?" Imagine how hurt some were when one day a person suggested that those who didn't catch fish were really not fishermen, no matter how much they claimed to be. Yet it did sound correct. Is a person a fisherman if year after year he never catches a fish?
Sunday, August 5, 2007
While at Teen Camp last week this came to my in-box.
COPING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE
From: Terry A. Boyd
Missionary to Uganda, East Africa
Different types of difficult people:
THE SHERMAN TANK is the aggressive, often hostile person who tries to roll over others. This pushy, manipulating individual may victimize you and then turn around and make you feel like a crook. When they do not get their way, they become loud and forceful until they have achieved the desired results.
SOLUTION: You don’t have to fight, but you do need to decide, “I am not going to allow this person to run over me.” You must stand up for yourself in a Christ like way. When they try to steam roll over you, be straightforward in truth and answer them in the negative. Do not allow them their way.
THE SPACE CADET is the one who acts and thinks as if he or she came from a different planet. Unable to listen to others, this difficult person lives in a self-created world. They operate on a different wavelength from those around them. They park where they’re not supposed to be. They show up where they don’t belong. They take charge when someone else has been designated to lead. If you expect emotional responsiveness from these persons, you will probably be hurt because you are not going to receive it.
SOLUTION: The best way to get along with space cadets is to make up your mind not to let them drive you bonkers. To accept a person as being from a different planet means recognizing that he or she is probably not going to change. Ultimately, you are not responsible for another’s actions and attitudes.
THE VOCANO is those people who are either exploding or building up steam to prepare for the next explosion. People who live with them walk around on pins and needles, never knowing when another eruption is coming. Volcanoes often get their way by intimidating others. Wherever they are, they generate tension.
SOLUTION: When they come in like a raging bull, stand there and listen to them. Listen for a long time without saying a word, except to agree with what he is saying. Give him time to run down. When he has gotten his story pretty well out, ask him to tell it one more time, so that you are sure to understand what happened. The next time he tells it, he will speak in a normal voice. Proverbs 15:1.
THE SPOILER is a person who complains chronically. No matter what happens, the spoiler grumbles and acts negative. You cannot satisfy spoilers because they never feel satisfied with themselves. No matter what you do, they won’t be pleased.
SOLUTION: Recognize this difficult person for being a model of negative thinking that you do not want to adopt. Instead, choose and cultivate your own positive mental attitude. Phil. 4:8.
THE WET BLANKET is no matter what is proposed, the wet blanket automatically responds, “It can’t be done,” “It won’t work,” “It’s never been done before,” or “It’s impossible.” This difficult person is the classic impossible thinker.
SOLUTION: Allow this person the right to be sour and pessimistic. But don’t allow that attitude to dampen your enthusiasm for life. Don’t surrender your leadership; continue to be a possibility thinker. Matthew 19:26; 2 Cor. 1:20
THE GARBAGE COLLECTOR is one who loves to rehearse and replay the injuries they have suffered at the hands of other people. They nurse their wounds and hold onto their wounded spirits. They fixate on negative emotions. Like spreading manure around, they stink up everything. These persons maintain a cover, often thin and transparent, from behind which they take potshots like a sniper. Their weapons are rocks hidden in snowballs: Garbage collectors are basically too cowardly to follow through on their feelings.
SOLUTION: If their behavior continues in a disruptive manner that harms other people, you may need to confront them in front of other mature people. Ask direct questions and hold them to an answer: “Is this how you feel?” “Is this what you’d like to say?” “Do you believe this, or don’t you?” Pin them down and do not let them squirm out of taking responsibility for their emotions. As with the spoiler and the wet blanket, do not allow the garbage collector’s ill feelings to restrict your attitude and outlook.
THE USER is to include alcoholics, drug addicts, compulsive gamblers, emotionally dependent adults, and spoiled children. They will do anything to manipulate you into providing what they want when they want it. If you’re not careful, they will make you their slave.
SOLUTION: Sometimes it’s best for them to suffer for long periods of time so that they can learn on their own. You cannot always be there to hold their hand. You must apply a tough-love principle and set limits that keep you from being used and abused.
THE EMOTIONALLY HANDICAPPED is some people have been so deeply wounded emotionally that they have developed a handicap when it comes to relating to others. You may show love and kindness, which they may simply ignore. Or they may go to the other extreme and attack you. Often the emotionally handicapped are simply good people who have been battered and scarred emotionally. In many cases your biggest challenge will be to look beyond their unsatisfying behaviors, see the pain in their eyes, and sense the woundedness in their spirits.
SOLUTION: By identifying the areas of need in the difficult people you serve, you can respond in ways that lead toward wholeness and maturity—for you and for them. Let God’s love and wisdom is yours as you develop successful strategies for dealing with the irregular persons in your church.
Pastor Mike Walls
Freedom Baptist Church Smithfield, NC
King James Bible church