Who wants him?

Who wants him?

“Here is my fifteen month-old son. Who wants him? I’ll give all my money to whoever gives him a home”, cried the young Christian mother as the multitude gathered for her martyrdom. Her husband had died earlier.

A father of 6 children took the child, together with the bag of money. In the bag he found a letter the mother had written that eventful morning. Here is part of that letter:

“My son, hear the instruction of your mother… Behold, I go today the way of the prophets, apostles and martyrs, and drink of the cup of which they all have drank.

Take heed, them, my son, the way of the Lord does not have any side roads. This road is found by few and trodden by even less. In truth, there are many that know this is the road to life eternal. But the road is too hard.

Because of this, my son, do not regard the multitude of sinners. Don’t walk in their ways, because they go to hell as sheep go to their slaughter. When you hear of a little flock- poor, simple, and rejected by the world- unite yourself with them. Because Christ is where the cross is. Don’t separate yourself from that place.

Oh, my son, that your life would be conformed to the Gospel! That the God of peace would sanctify your soul and body to His glory! Amen.

Oh, holy Father, sanctify the son of Thy servant. Keep him from evil for Thy name’s sake, oh, Lord!”

A few hours after writing this, Anneken was drowned for her faith in Jesus Christ. January 24, 1536. (Lamp and Light Publishers) 

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Sick sheep

Sick sheep

A Scottish shepherd was once asked if his sheep would follow the voice of a stranger. He replied: “Yes, when they are sick, but never when they are well. A sick sheep will follow anybody.” No wonder false shepherds get quite a following in these Laodicean days! (Selected) 

Everything Big Starts With Something Little

Everything Big Starts With Something Little

All of God’s great people in the Bible were faithful in the small things. In Matthew 25 Jesus told the parable of the talents. In it He referred to the one servant who had taken his master’s money and multiplied it. In verse 23 his master said to that man, …Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. In Zechariah 4:10 the Lord asks the prophet, For who hath despised the day of small things?…. There is a powerful principle in taking small steps.

Many people are not moving with God today simple because they were not willing to take the small steps He placed before them. If you have received a call into any particular area, you should leap at the opportunity – no matter how small – to move in the direction in which the Lord has called you. If you are called to be a youth pastor, and are sitting at home waiting for an invitation from some large church, you should know that it will never come. You need to find the first young person you can, put your arm around him, and begin to minister to him

Don’t be afraid to take small steps. The Bible promises us that if we are faithful in small matters, one day we will be rulers over m any larger things.

The impossible, many times, is just simply the untried.

I can remember a time in my life when I was literally frozen with fear at what God had called me to do. It seemed so huge a task that I was unable to bring myself to face it. A friend came to me and spoke two words that broke that paralysis in my life. He said simple, “Do something!” Don’t worry about the goal, just take the steps that take you past the starting point and soon you’ll get to a point of no return. As you climb higher, you’ll be able to see much farther.

We should all learn to grow wherever we’re planted.

As you begin, don’t be afraid. Eric Hoffer said: “Fear of becoming a has-been keeps some people from becoming anything.” Every great idea is impossible from where you are starting today. But little goals add up, and they add up rapidly. Most people don’t succeed because they are too afraid even to try. They don’t begin because of that old fear of failure.

Many times the final goal seems so unreachable that it keeps us from even making an effort. But, once you’ve made your decision and have started, you are more than half-way there. God will begin with you today – no matter what your circumstances. Just think how thankful you would be if you lost everything you have right now and then got it all back again. Wouldn’t you be ready to go ? Choose to think eternally, but act daily.

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Dads Leading the Family in Missions

“Dads Leading the Family in Missions.”

When it comes to leadership it has been stated that it is better to be “caught than taught!” The father in the home serves many roles; breadwinner, protector, role model and of equally importance is that of leader. Teaching children how to live and lead in their world is not the responsibility of educators from outside the home. Those responsibilities rest squarely on the shoulders of the parents. The father ultimately has the greatest impact on the children in leading them to form character and beliefs. With this in mind, dads should consider their actions so that they can look back with pride on their leadership and its effects in the lives of their children.

When it comes to missions, a father should be very intentional to expose his children to the responsibilities of a disciple of Christ: to reach others in our world with the gospel. In our fellowship we are fortunate that the Assemblies of God finds its foundation in both the gospel and the proclamation of that gospel to every lost man. This missions heart finds itself in our Christian education with lessons of why and how we reach the lost. It is also found in our children’s ministries with BGMC and youth ministries with Speed the Light. Encouraging children to participate in “buddy barrel” by making faith promises will build the child’s faith, so that God can use even a child to impact his world. What an impression for each child to have the opportunity to become a modern day lad watching his fish and bread transformed into miracles.

The same is true with teenagers and their faith promise commitment in Speed the Light’s ministry. Very few things can change a teenagers mind when he or she determines to make a difference with their missions giving. Supercharge this experience with an AIM trip to ride in a Speed the Light vehicle on the mission field and the teenager will become a lifetime mission’s giver, if not a missionary!

In the Assemblies of God, men participate in the ministry of”Light for the Lost”. This program provides literature and electronic communication, which is Gospel concentrated and placed in the hands of missionaries to reach the lost. Dads, who participate, teach their children the value of STL and BGMC giving.

Fathers should lead the way in faith promise giving when their churches have missions conventions. While it is good and scriptural to be private about what one commits in the public faith promise meeting. That process should not just be an emotional moment when the faith promise cards are passed out. It would be good for the family to discuss what each family member is planning to contribute the next year to missions. Make sure that each family member is a part of the sacrifice of the missions giving program of their church. Also, one of the parts of the faith promise experience is to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart about a faith promise. This aspect should be explained so that children understand the difference between budgeting for missions giving and faith in missions giving which is beyond one’s ability to do except for the Lord’s doing something unexpected and miraculous in the family’s income. When a child sees and experiences the family making commitments based on the Holy Spirit’s leading and then sees miracles in finance they will never be the same.

It is a privilege to receive awards which express appreciation for one’s missions giving. Maybe the greatest joy is not the receiving of an award or even the joy of giving the gift. For even the scriptures teach, “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” I think the greatest joy in this life is to experience your children receive recognition for something you influenced them to love and participate in, by your leadership as their dad! Proverbs 22: 6 says, “Train a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Sir, you may be developing the next greatest missionary of our culture; lead them well!

Taking The Higher Road

The walk we have is a uphill climb at all times. Not that walking on easy trails are not there, those trails, just many times are the wrong journey to becoming more like Christ. The higher road is to leave the award shows of life and find ways to give glory to others. The higher road is to resist the opportunity to provoke others who have abused you with their actions. You might get the best of those characters but that is not the best ways to build your character. The higher road is to be happy with the provisions you have and to be pleased with the success of others. I find as I get older, wiser and more experienced that I am not as Sprit-led as in the earlier days of faith. I have allowed my growth to become my dependency. It is easier to see the faults and shortcomings of others. I want to turn my attention back to dependency on the leading of the Holy Spirit. I am concerned that what I know is keeping me away from what I could know. Today I want to know Christ and His will. To know Him is to take the higher road.

Galations 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. [26] Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Leadership Challenges

I read a statement recently that leadership today can be challenged by anyone who has a blog or a Facebook account. I have thought a lot about that statement and find it true but not correct. Just because one can challenge leadership does not mean that leadership is poor. It is so easy to throw shots at those in leadership when you do not have the responsibility the leader has to carry. Sadly many leaders today are crafting their message and mission to appease the digital voices from these sources. Leadership should determine what is right and do what is right. What is right may even get you unseated from your positions. Better it is to positioned with truth than to be postured as a politician.

Board Duties During Pastoral Transition

How does a board handle the transition of a pastor?

1. Start as soon as the present pastor has announced their retirement or move.

2. The exit strategy should include clear and open communication between the pastor and board and the board and congregation.

3. Realize that as a board you become the covering for the church. It is now your responsibility to protect and provide for the church.

4. Work on the dates of departure with the pastor.

5. Consider the severance package and be generous. This should include any unused vacation and sick time accrued.

6. Plan a special day and a good send off. This is important to show respect for the pastor and his family. But also to express that all is well between leadership and pastor.

7. Agree as to what the pastor can take as far as tapes, manuscripts or other intellectual items that could be an issue.

8. Contact the district leadership for prayer and consultation. These men can guide you at this time.

9. Respond appropriately and respectfully to resumes sent from other possible pastors.

10. I would consider looking for a candidate who was doing a good job where he was.

11. If you visit a church to view a pastor you should give the pastor a courtesy call of your visit. You should not talk about your visit in the church city. Just because you visited does not mean the pastor would be interested. If you leak your reason for visiting and it gets out in that community you cause the pastor and congregation difficulty.

Character

When people attack your reputation with mistruths, innuendos and mischaracterizations don’t charge back. The truth is that for a person to attack you reputations is like a fool attacking your shadow. Your character will always be above reproach and is never ultimately hurt by the attacks on your reputation. Show respect even to those who don’t deserve it. This is not an approval of their character but a reflection of yours.”

Tell the Truth without the Spin

An old mentor would say to me, ” you can prove anything by testimonies!” Just because someone spins a story is not a reason to embrace a statement. I am suspicious and Leary of those who try to magnify their worth and value by two things. By stretching the truth and dynamics of a moment to make themselves the hero of a drama. Second, those who use numbers and highlight the negatives or the outlandish to magnify the shortcomings of others. Usually the reason for the second one is again to make themselves look larger and better than the other.

If you are that good we will all know it soon enough. If not then best to be humble and hope people will be kind to you.