Transitions

Transition as we just saw with our presidents is an example to all of us. In every way the two men were in disagreement over policy and strategy for our country. What they did agree on was the constitution and our country. They put this in the forefront of their actions. It is admirable and a example for us all.
In our organizations and churches there is a lot to be said about longevity in office. But more to be said about those who will know when to transition. Congregations and organizations should respect and honor their leaders and pastors. But is incumbent on all of us to know when it is time to step aside and let the next generation lead. In the church we leave that up to the leader and should never try to destroy or damage their leadership because we need change. We should pray for them that they will love their constituents, people and organizations enough to transition. Our responsibility is to serve and show honor and the leaders responsibility is to lead and know when they leave. It is always best for people to be sad at the transition rather than glad to see it.  

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Principles that lead to blessings

I firmly believe that there are certain things a church must do to have the blessings of God. Blessings come in many ways; spiritual, numerical, financial and relational. 
First the Church must have a mission that is centered on the values of the Bible. The Bible is our constitution and frames for us what we are to be and be about.
Second the church must be committed to caring for its pastors. The church that thinks the man of God can produce the ministries that successfully grow a church while starving him to death is not logical. It is a law of reciprocation. Too many pastors are being left to fend for their families while the church stores up its wealth. 
Third the Church must be committed to local evangelism. God put His church in the community to be the place the Lost find Jesus. Too many times the lost don’t even know the Church is there because it is hid inside the walls having fellowship meals.
Fourth the Church must be a giving church. Stingy churches never grow or impact their world. Churches that look for ways to do more are much more effective than the ones who seek to keep more.
Fifth the Church must be committed to honor those entities which have oversight of them. If the church is committed to a brand it should represent that brand according to its standards. I am Assemblies of God and feel that I owe ethically to represent the organizations standards. The leaders of these organizations cannot help the church be all it can be and protect it from things that hurt it without the yielding to authority of the organization. 
Sixth the church has to be committed to world evangelism. The missions efforts of the church is the true gauge of the churches health. Don’t measure effectiveness by seating capacity but sending capacity. A church that does not invest itself in world evangelism fails the main reason we exist. The goal of the Church is Discipleship and evangelism. We are to reach the lost and then train the disciple to reach the lost. This is the cycle of life in the church. Both are important to the life of the Church!
I am concerned with the lack in churches today. Do the right things and the right things will happen. Healthy pastors create healthy churches. Healthy churches are happy churches. I urge churches to review their care for their pastors. I also urge pastors to review their churches commitment to local and world evangelism.
David Raley

This day is done- what will you do about your tomorrows?

This is what I know to be true. When you lay your head on your pillow tonight it is too late for regrets. You cannot do anything about the day you just finished. If you accomplished a lot or little will not be impacted by a sleepless night. It is over and it will not return to you. 
When your head leaves the pillow in the morning is a fresh opportunity. It depends on how much you have planned, how much you are willing to invest, how hard you are willing to work and how you adjust your attitude as to what you will accomplish. A day organized around reading, reflection, planning and execution usually over the long span makes for successful people. Get up late, start with out a plan and getting angry at everybody because they did not organize their lives around your lack of planning will bring you to a disappointing end of the day. It is the person who moves forward with enthusiasm, energy and execution who profits from his days he lived.

Dream well and dare yourself to better days for a successful destiny tomorrow.

Are you building your walking cane?

Walked behind a man leaning on his daughter as he walked. He could barely breath and walk. She hummed the tune, “Lean on me” as they shuffled through the hall. I could not help but think about the time Jesus told Peter in John 21:18.
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.
As we grow up it is all about getting to the place where we are dependent on no one. We work to find independence from those who are responsible for us. But when we get old we are dependent on others again. I wonder if most of know that we need to be building our support systems now. If we don’t learn interdependence then when we have to depend on someone they will not be there. Be strong for someone today so in your time of weakness they will be there to be strong for you!
Lean On Me

Bill Withers

Lyrics

Sometimes in our lives we all have pain 

We all have sorrow 

But if we are wise 

We know that there’s always tomorrow

Lean on me, when you’re not strong 

And I’ll be your friend 

I’ll help you carry on 

For it won’t be long 

‘Til I’m gonna need 

Somebody to lean on

Please swallow your pride 

If I have faith you need to borrow 

For no one can fill those of your needs 

That you won’t let show

You just call on me brother, when you need a hand 

We all need somebody to lean on 

I just might have a problem that you’ll understand 

We all need somebody to lean on

Lean on me, when you’re not strong 

And I’ll be your friend 

I’ll help you carry on 

For it won’t be long 

‘Til I’m gonna need 

Somebody to lean on

You just call on me brother, when you need a hand 

We all… Full lyrics on Google Play Music

Time of Arrival

When you are young you spend too much time wondering about your life. You wonder what you are suppose to do, where you are suppose to go, who you are suppose to do it with and who you are suppose to be. Someone said there are two incredible moments in every mans life. The moment he is born and the moment he realizes why he was born.
 It is a special moment when you realize what you are doing is what you are suppose to do. That moment you realize you have arrived at where you were suppose to go and got there without a map. That moment you realize that the people around you are those who you enjoy most and they are the ones you are suppose to do life with. But the best and maybe the most important thing is when you realize who you have become and know it was who God meant for you to be. 
All the heros, zeros, honest men and crooked men were not you but each of them taught you something and somehow out of the forest of life you have emerged as the man God wanted and you helped forge it . We are made up by the decisions, choices and opportunities we engaged along the way. My hopes are that along the way I was able to be to others what others have been to me

The Burden Of The Minister

Ministry in some people’s mind is the guy on the stage who communicates precious insights and powerful challenges. But while that is a part of ministry it is only the skin of the real thing. I have seen many of those skins who were full of empty air rather that substance and values. The minister has, maybe one of the toughest task of any profession: ministry to people! 
Ministry to people is to mingle among them and feel the weight that people carry. The ministers danger is that with each touch he is weighed down more. Like the man who walks through a muddy field and finds his feet heavier and his strength not adequate to go very far for the weight. 
He cannot sit with the man who is dying with cancer and look into those eyes that know time is short and impending death is near and not be weighed with the pain of it all. He cannot look into the tired eyes of the caregivers and not feel their heaviness. They who are giving their time, finances and even health to comfort their love ones are bleeding pain.
No minister can sit with the widow and listen to her stories and not be moved by her loss. Behind the eyes and beyond the courageous smiles there is heaviness. The minister can listen, emphasize and yet know that none of this changes their burden.
The minister that hears the struggles of friends who quarrel with each other and knows that each party bears some blame. Knowing that the end result will be workers of the kingdom to be demolition workers of darkness. The weight of the anger, pride and resentment is like a stone that can only sink all of them. But the minister will carry with him some of the weight of those he loves despite their error. 
The minister cannot look at the elderly and not be moved by the weight of failing health and changes that keep them confused and lost. To look into the furrowed brows, thinned hairlines and bent bodies their weight and burden is so visible. The minister will leave their presence with not their weight but his own burden of inadequacy.
The minister does not look for a closet to hide until he walks on the stage. His call is to bind up the hurting, ease the pain, release the prisoner, soothe the bruised, counsel the confused and advocate for the poor. His is to carry all that weight to the cross. Only Christ can carry our weight and our burdens. We must care but we must care enough to take it to the Lord!
The song, ” Take Your Burden to the Lord and Leave it There” is now the motto of the minister who is weighed and burdened.
Take Your Burden to the Lord and Leave it There
1 If the world from you withhold of its silver and gold,

And you have to get along with meager fare,

Just remember, in His Word, how He feeds the little bird –

Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

Refrain:

Leave it there, leave it there, 

leave it there, leave it there,

Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there;

If you trust and never doubt, He will surely bring you out.

Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

2 If your body suffers pain and your health you can’t regain,

And your soul is almost sinking in despair,

Jesus knows the pain you feel, He can save and He can heal – 

Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there. [Refrain]

3 When your enemies assail and your heart begins to fail,

Don’t forget that God in heaven answers prayer;

He will make a way for you, and will lead you safely through –

Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there. [Refrain]

4 When your youthful days are gone, and old age is stealing on.

And your body bends beneath the weight of care;

He will never leave you then, He’ll go with you to the end –

Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there. [Refrain]
Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Change

I hate change and I am not afraid to say such. I have spent my life changing and growing. I have focused on positive and grand goals which to get close to and possibly reach have demanded a continual and constant stretch to be better. To me changing for the better is not a goal to reach but a life always evolving toward being better. I may never be the best at anything but I can be better tomorrow than I was today. 
The real change I dislike is not the growing change but the relationship changes. I have been married soon to be 43 years. If Pat was to leave me tomorrow you might as well bury me the next day. My life is wrapped up with her. 
This week I lost a uncle who was most likely the most solid man I have ever known. Now I have served in a National Office as a member on Men’s Ministry and I say he may be the best example of a man. My uncle L.E. Shaneyfelt was a solid part of a community. He cared for people and family. He was faithfully married to his wife for 65 years. I am grieving his death and really hate the change.
My friends Murray and Martha Kelley retired from Dothan First Assembly today after 26 years of faithful service. I cannot tell you how much many of us are going to miss them at that post. They made a difference in the Church, the community, the mission field and to me. These folks have invested in many of us through the years and helped to make us better. The change for them is huge to us and to them.
What will not change is my love for my uncle or my love for the Kelleys. People are the only thing that matters in this world. If they leave this earth we will be separated by death but only for a season. If they leave a position then we will not be separated but connected in new and different ways which are held by the strings of friendship. Everything else may change but the friendships will not. 

Someone Help America 

We are in a very confusing time in our country. We like our personal privacy but easily throw it away at the demands of the government and corporations. Apple refuses to give access or assistance to breaking into a phone of a terrorist and most of us are angry at Apple. I agree with Apple and am thankful they are resisting a government infringement into our privacy. Is it not strange that we attack the idea of building walls around our borders but remove the walls of privacy around our lives? We seem to want to cure the problem of terrorism by terrorizing our citizens.  
I see each day as I fly the infringement of personal privacy through TSA in the airports. Pat downs, scanners and questions that really are not about our safety as much as it is about the mirage of our safety. Children and aged are treated with suspicion while those who are suspicious are ignored because we don’t want to profile anyone. 
Our country is off the tracks and we are working on the wrong projects. It seems every time we have a major issue media and leaders ask the wrong questions and never deal with the right issues. As long as we continue to divide and distract from the real issues there will be no real solutions. You cannot fix a problem by creating another problem that does not exist, to keep from offending or drawing attention to the mistakes at hand.
Will the real leaders wake up? Can some of our elite educators, politicians and leaders please come out of retirement or hibernation and help us? Are there any religious leaders with enough moral courage to stand up and speak to the issues? I am afraid that America has ceased to do great things and will one day cease to be great if something does not change!

 

Faith to continue Today

Living by faith can be very exciting or it can give you a nervous breakdown. Each day you have new challenges and obstacles to navigate. You never know if what you are facing or going through is something which gives you a breakthrough or a breakdown. You encounter people who you wonder if they will be the answer to your prayers or be new prayer issues. You must be true to your mission and your call as you journey in faith. Your success is not determined by how many wins you have but how much further you enlarge the kingdom. You are not called to the task you are in but the Christ who travels with you! You don’t have to please others but Him who mandated and commissioned you. Faith is now measured in accomplishments and accolades but in who you trust with or without them the awards!

Words from George Carlin

George Carlin’s wife died early in 2008 and George followed her, dying in July 2008. It is ironic George Carlin – comedian of the 70’s and 80’s – could write something so very eloquent and so very appropriate. An observation by George Carlin: 

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness. 
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. 
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

 

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things. 
We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less. 
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete. 
Remember to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

 

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. 
Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

 

Remember, to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. 
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

 

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

 

And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.