Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Honoring the Pioneers of the Church

Well, it certainly has been way too long since I have posted on my blog. I realized that it has been almost two months since my last post. I honestly don't know where the time has gone! We are going to be celebrating Easter in a couple of weeks. It seems like we have just came out of the big chill of winter - which I am extremely grateful for!

Enough of the small talk for now! I wanted to write this article about honoring the pioneers of the church because it is dear to my heart. The Bible instructs us to "give honor where honor is due." Therefore as the pastor of Freedom Life and as a relatively young man myself, I feel indebted to the men and women of God who sacrificed their lives for the Kingdom of God.

It is a great privilege of mine to have several retired ministers and wives in our church. These couples are a wealth of information! It is exciting to sit over a cup of coffee and listen to the stories they tell of days gone by. I love to hear them talk about the revivals of the past, the power of God and the miracles that many of them witnessed as they evangelized and pastored in their younger years.

One of the greatest honors God has allowed me to participate in has been washing the feet of these elderly saints of God. Several months ago, the Spirit of the Lord moved on my heart to have a foot washing during our Sunday evening service (this was not planned as part of the service that night). I will never forget the feeling of kneeling at the feet of these precious saints of God and washing their feet. In my hands were the feet of the men who by the sweat of their brow, by the sacrifices they made and by the many precious tears they shed gave me the opportunity to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ! You talk about a humbling experience! Words can not adequately describe what I was feeling.

This past Sunday night (March 25) I had invited one of our retired ministers who had pastored this church for over 18 years - Bro. Clifford Elliot to be our guest speaker. We had a wonderful service and their were several people here that night. When Bro. Elliot turned the service over to me, we took a few moments to worship the Lord together. It was during this time the Spirit of the Lord impressed me to wash Bro. Elliot's feet. As I knelt down and began to wash his feet he kept saying, "I am not worthy of this". As he said this, I thought you are worthy of this. Because of the sacrifices you made, the labor you performed and the many prayers you prayed we have a church building we can worship in.

As tears ran profusely down my cheeks and as I held his feet in my hands, I realized the significance of the Scripture that says, ..."How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things" (Romans 10:15).

Let us never forget the sacrifices that have been made by those who have blazed the trail before us! Give honor where honor is due!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Power of Heaven in 2007

We have adopted the theme "Power of Heaven in 2007" as our direction for the new year. We are so excited about the opportunities that God is going to give us in 2007 that we can hardly wait to see what He is going to do!

I am sure you noticed it has been a while since my last post. This was because we have been covered for the past two weeks with frozen sleet! Not snow but sleet! Did I say not snow but sleet! The ice began to fall on Friday January 12 and fell for 2 1/2 days. The high temperatures during the day were so cold the ice was not able to thaw. It totally caused havoc down here. Thank God, we were spared the freezing rain and we did not lose our electricity. But nonetheless, travel was very dangerous.

The travel was so dangerous that I was unable to attend a conference in Cleveland, TN that I wanted to attend due to this nasty frozen junk. We were not able to have church services for two weeks because of the frozen sleet. Even today as I am typing this and we are at a balmy 50 degrees, there is still frozen sleet in several places on our parking lot. This weather thing was absolutely a mess.

You may be wondering, what does all of this have to do with the power of Heaven? I am glad you asked. Although mankind has advanced greatly in knowledge and wisdom over the years, God is still in control. I guess in a very real sense you could say we experienced the Power of Heaven as it relates to the weather. God is still the one in charge and He commands the winds and water and they must obey.

Although we had a mess with the frozen sleet, God had a purpose in sending this our way. What purpose did He have? I do not have the slightest idea. If it was up to me I would skip winter all together! I would extend spring, summer and fall to make up for the winter months. I am sure my idea would have some ill effect on the ecosystem. But I can dream can't I?

So, I am expecting a wonderful move of God in our service on Wednesday and Sunday since it has been so long since we have been able to have service. But even more than that I know God will be in the house desiring our worship! I can't wait to see the Power of Heaven in 2007 (I really hope in a more spiritual manner and not weather)!

Remember freedom only comes through Jesus Christ!!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Living By Faith

"Living By Faith" is a hymn that many of us have sang for years. The first verse says, "I care not today what the morrow may bring, if shadow or sunshine or rain, the Lord I know ruleth over everything and all my worry is in vain." The chorus says, "Living by faith in Jesus above, trusting confiding in His great love, from all harm safe in His sheltering arms, I am living by faith and feel no alarm." The Scripture says, "For we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7). As Christians we are to live by faith and this is not always easy for us to do.

God speaks to us at least four times in His word regarding living by faith. Habakkuk 2:4 says, "but the just shall live by his faith." Notice the personal pronoun "his". This makes faith a personal matter. We cannot take a journey of faith on our parents faith or our grandparents faith, we must take this journey on our own faith.

The other three references about the just living by faith on Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews 10:38. In each of these Scriptures it says, "The just shall live by faith." I for one do not like the idea of moving into the unknown. In order for us to move into the unknown, we have to take a step of faith and realize we are in His "sheltering arms". For if we are attempting our Christian walk in fear of the unknown, we will cripple our walk of faith. Faith and fear can not co-exist.

When fear tries to invade our lives, we need to realize the source of fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, "For God has not given us a Spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." This Scripture obviously implies that fear comes from Satan since it does not come from God. Satan does not want us to live a live of faith because he knows the results that comes when a child of God lives by faith. Remember the words to the hymn "I am living by faith and I fell no alarm [fear]". If we are truly living by faith we will not be fearful of what tomorrow will bring. For we know who holds our tomorrow!

So let us walk according to faith and not fear and by doing so we will defeat the enemy. We will walk in victory not feeling any alarms no matter what may come our way.

Remember freedom only comes through Jesus Christ!
The Power of Heaven in 2007!