Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday night reflections

So today was an eventful day to say the least. I went to my daughter's TBQ, Teen Bible Quiz, match and our 2 year old went along because we did not have any one to keep him. Usually my parents are able to watch him but, as circumstances would have it, ok not circumstances, as God would have it, my parents were still in PA. They have gone to visit my sister and have not returned yet. They are planning on coming back next week. Well, enough about my parents and on to what today really was about. So Zoran, our energetic, to say the least, 2 year old, soon to be three, went with us to Virginia for Zana's match. For those of you who do not know or have not figured it out, Zana, is my 14 year old daughter. Did I just say 14. Wow, how time flies and your children grow up. I can remember when she was just 5 and heading off to school for the first time and now she will be starting high school next year. Now where was I, sorry for digressing about time flying and the sort. Oh, yes. So we are going to the match and I realize that Zoran is not going to be able to sit in the rooms during the quizzing. My wife, Laurie, already thinking ahead has prepared a bag of things to keep Zoran occupied while I watch him in the main room, which happens to be the sanctuary for the children. Ethan, my 10 year old, is also going to help keep Zoran entertained during this day. We arrive at 8:55 and get out and go into the sanctuary. Don't worry, I am not going to take you step by step through the entire day, I will get to the main point soon so hang in there. The coordinator for the TBQ match has some brief announcements and introductory comments and after praying for the day all of the children, coaches, assistants, quiz masters, and officials head off to their rooms. So it begins, Zoran, Ethan and I are left in the sanctuary and only two other people are in this room with us. Time to start entertaining a very busy, active, energetic, almost three year old. I decide to break out the crayons and coloring book. This makes him content for almost 30 minutes. Now, only 5 and 1/2 hours to go. I think you can see where this is going? So, to bring the main point to light. The rest of the day did not go quite as well. I would have to say that I am not the most patient person and I sometimes over-react, or that is what Laurie says. So Zoran is being a typical, curious, energetic, active, almost three year old and I can't handle it. Most of my day is spent running after him, feeding him, making sure he does not break anything and then as I put him in the car at the end of the day and he is screaming because he dose not want to leave the fun of the playground that we discovered outside of the church. At that moment it is as if God shows up and clearly ask me. Does this remind you of anything? I had to ask myself how many times have you been having fun doing what makes you happy and then your heavenly Father has to come and take you away because He has a schedule and knows what is best for you at the time. Then you scream and cry because you don't want to listen and need I say more.....I think this day can show us all how we sometimes can be viewed as a almost three year old in God's eyes. Just something to think about, God bless until you read again.

Monday, February 21, 2011

February 20th in Annapolis( One day, No religion)

Last week Chris,a good friend of mine, called me up and asked if I wanted to go preaching on Sunday February 20th. He had sent me a link to a new, if you can call it new, day to commemorate "No Religion". Initially I could not make it because I had a prior engagement for that evening but, then a couple of days before February 20th my prior commitment was canceled. We normally would not preach at Annapolis in February but,this request by Scott Brown, by the way he is the individual that came up with the idea of "One day, No religion", to not practice any religious activities on this day prompted us to go preach. After all we are not trying to propagate a set of religious beliefs we are sharing the Word of God and want to show others how they can have a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. (This includes Scott)

So we headed out to Annapolis on a cool day in February to proclaim the truth to all who would listen. Chris and a few other people were going to be meeting me around 2:30. As I drove down to Annapolis with my daughter Zana, who goes along quite often, we prayed that God would use the preaching of the gospel to draw people unto Himself and that we would make much of Him through the proclamation of His Word. We arrived and there were many people out enjoying the mild temperatures, mid 40's. After a cold winter mid 40's seems nice. The sun was shining and I set up the sketchboard and asked Chris, not the same Chris another Chris, if he wanted to preach the opening message. He gladly accepted and after a quick introduction by me, Chris began. Praise God many people stopped to hear the message and as the message was drawing to a close I noticed a girl with a camera standing listening to Chris as he finished. I went over to her after Chris had stopped preaching and asked her, " So what did you think about the message?" She said she really did not have any religious views and many people in her family have different religious backgrounds. She also said that her grandmother was a Christian and she is always talking to her about God. I introduced myself and she shook my hand and said her name was Lauren. We talked for a few minutes and I asked her if she wondered what happens when you die? She said she has though about it but, felt that if she lives life the best way she knows how and there is a god then she should be alright. I explained that there is such a thing as absolute truth and that not everyone can be right. I gave her a tract and told her this would explain to her how to get into a right relationship with God. By this time her father and brother had walked over and she had to go. I pray that the conversation and tract that I gave to Lauren will draw her closer to the Lord and bring about a change in her heart.

After this three more messages were preached and many tracts were handed out to people as they passed by but, I truly feel God had me in Annapolis to give a tract and have a conversation with Lauren, and he used Scott Brown to accomplish His purpose this cool day in February. God uses all things to work together to accomplish the purposes He sets out to achieve. Until you read again may God receive all glory and honor...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Preaching on Thursday...

I will be going back to Montgomery College with several of my associates to preach the message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified for the salvation of all those who will repent of their sins and place their trust in His substitutional death, burial and resurrection. It has been quite some time since I have been able to preach at MC, Montogmery College, with my associate evangelist, so it will be good to go back and join them in sowing the seeds of the gospel to the students on campus. Although, many of the students are more interested in arguing with us than hearing how they can be set free from the sin in their lives that binds them. I will be going with eagerness because I know that the words that I speak will be words of life for all those who receive. This brings to mind a couple verses form John chapter 1. "He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name. who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor the will of man, but of God." (John 1:11-13). So as I journey to MC on Thursday I will go with Bible in hand, tracts in my pockets, and love in my heart. After all love for the message must be the motivation that drives us to preach. If we preach out of duty or compulsion then I feel a vital part of the message will be lacking. Now, I am not saying we should not preach Christ based on feelings. Because if we based everything we did on feelings then many of us would not get out of bed in the morning. But, we must have a deep passion and love for the message of the gospel which will give us a deep love for God. I love the title of John Piper's book "God is the Gospel". So now let us stop, take a breathe, and realize all of our efforts must point to the grace and glory of God or our efforts are futile. Let us not exalt ourselves or our preaching but let us only exalt Christ and the work done at Calvary. Until you read again, God bless.