Thursday, November 29, 2007
For the past several years, it has given me to opportunity to renew myself, read, reflect, and be revived. I am able to look at what's been accomplished the past year, both personally and ministerially and pray and evaluate where the Lord is guiding and leading me, my family, and the church the coming year. As He speaks to me, I realize that there are some harsh realities in terms of things that need to be done, where we must go, and YES--some mistakes I have made personally and ministerially. Last night the Lord really shined on the worship service and upon the message. It was a youth night and I spoke from I Peter 2:9 from the subject 'I'm About To Take my Position'. It was a very simple message and God is allowing me to free myself from the manuscript....comfortably though with much prayer. My messages involve a lot of information; and I feel that it is ALL extremely important. However--(though I have been preaching for some time now) the Holy Spirit is really teaching me how to follow His lead and feel the pulse of the people in preaching--and when to give more or less. For this I am grateful.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Cornerstone has face many, many obstacles. From those who have come and those whom have gone; from obstacles in finding space and a location; to finances and just simply 'people problems', lack of commitment, leadership issues, etc. My story is probably all too common among pastor, people, and many congregations. Of course, I would be to differ and suggest we are a unique situation--why? Because we are a NEW church. We don't have any history--so we don't have the credit to where banks trust us; we don't have a track record--so many of our members will not put their name on the line to make it happen; we are predominantly a young church (in age)--so there is very little commitment and giving. Why? They are doing work, school, and leisure--and usually houses, cars, etc. come first. I could go on and on but I think it's clear what I am trying to say--unless there is RESOLVE, we can easily interpret that this is NOT God, close up the church and dissolve. Others may say--this is a season of testing. I used to claim that I knew 100% for sure. I do know that HE called me to do this; but like a marriage--it is a partnership--no one is an island. No man can pastor a church by himself. We have about 5 to 10 strong, committed Christians who are being discipled under the leadership of Cornerstone--where I serve. I thank God daily for these people in particular, though I pray daily for all the members of Cornerstone. It is my sincere prayer that more of our 'attenders' will see the urgency of what is still deemed 'a new ministry' who 'has yet to fly on her own' that they are urgently needed. It is crucial and critical. Until God shows me differently--I will contine to see this as a time of testing for 'me' personally--if for no one else, I am growing spiritually and I have seen and experienced enough at Cornerstone alone to write a book!!!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
As far as I could tell--MOST of our parishioners FELT and acted UPON the way I initially felt: they stayed home! I am convinced that some had to work, others were out of town; but I know quite a few were simply missing in action. Add to this, the woman who brings many people to church with her is not doing well right now; and we are praying for her! It was a mixture of many things. All in all--it can be quite discouraging; the enemy can often make you concentrate on trivial matters. Why do I say this? Though the attendance at Cornerstone was low, the overall spirit was high--the Lord moved in the place where we worship each week. More than this--he moved in US. For this I remain continually grateful.
Friday, November 23, 2007
I did have the chance to watch Evan Almighty this evening with D'Ani. Though I am a Jim Carrey fan and actually enjoyed Bruce Almighty and its plot much more; I could identify MORE with this movie! This movie, Evan Almighty, allowed me to see so much of myself. I often feel as if I am misunderstood in some of the decisions I make, particularly with regard to ministry, though I KNOW when God is speaking. I can't really get too much into the movie without giving it all away. But if someone reads this blog-just think of me if and when you watch the movie--THAT'S ME!!!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
1. My salvation. Ephesians 1:1-11 is so precious to me. I thank Him for the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ; and for the rich and meaningful relationship that I see growing stronger on a regular and consistent basis.
2. D'Ani & The Boys. I can not say enough about these 3 people. They mean the world to me! I love them beyond any earthly degree. They make life so enjoyable. Add to this, my boys are such entertainers and so very funny. D'Ani-she is really the best thing God has EVER placed on this earth.
3. My ENTIRE family and....friends. From my parents, in laws, grandparents, etc. I love them all. The few friends, far and near, whom I haven't met by chance or happenstance. These friends are 'traffic signs' that God really loves me. I thank the Lord for them.
4. The Cornerstone Church family. To say that we have had our struggles, setbacks, and disappointments--in MY view, would be an understatement. But the people and families at our church a near and dear to me and will always have a special place in my heart and life.
5. The CALL. This is big for me. In a time when the process and the pain doesn't appear to match the promise-I know one thing for sure-I'M CALLED!!! I am glad, humbled, and honored that the LORD called someone like me. I wouldn't trade the call for anything in this world.
6. My enemies and my haters! Eventually, I will draft a thank you letter to them. I am extremely grateful for the Lord allowing and permitting this very vital people group into my life.
7. His WORD. The grass will withers; the flowers shall fade; the WORD of our God shall stand forever!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep?
Some complain that roses have thorns—others rejoice that thorns have roses!
Would you know who is the greatest saint in the world: It is not he who prays most or fasts most, it is not he who gives most alms or is most eminent for temperance, chastity or justice; but it is he who is always thankful to God, who wills everything that God wills, who receives everything as an instance of God’s goodness and has a heart always ready to praise God for it.
If you count all your assets, you always show a profit.
I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
Thanksgiving to God is an exuberant response to giving me HIS everything . . . by giving Him MY everything.
Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.
Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Grace isn't a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It's a way to live.
Who does not thank for little will not thank for much.
You say, 'If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.' You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.
You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.
God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank you?"
O Lord that lends me life, Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!
Gratitude consists of being more aware of what you have, than what you don’t.
We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.
Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.
To know the value of generosity, it is necessary to have suffered from the cold indifference of others.
Only a stomach that rarely feels hungry scorns common things.
Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart.
How wonderful it would be if we could help our children and grandchildren to learn thanksgiving at an early age. Thanksgiving opens the doors. It changes a child's personality. A child is resentful, negative—or thankful. Thankful children want to give, they radiate happiness, they draw people.
Gratitude ... goes beyond the "mine" and "thine" and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.
We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
Thank God every day when you get up that you have something to do that day which must be done whether you like it or not. Being forced to work and forced to do your best will breed in you temperance and self-control, diligence and strength of will, cheerfulness and content, and a hundred virtues which the idle will never know.
When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them.
Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel.
Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
2. Problems can promote our spiritual maturity (Ps 105:16ff)
3. Problems prove our integrity (1 Pt 3:15)
4. Problems produce a sense of dependence
5. Problems prepare our hearts for ministry (more empathetic)
- Source Unknown.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Happy Birthday Momma!!! Proverbs 31......
Monday, November 12, 2007
I thank God for our veterans! I have not had the opportunity to serve our country in the capacity of being in the Armed Forces. However, I think that our veterans are often overlooked, underpayed, under-appreciated, and typically forgotten after their term(s) of duty have concluded. This is a special day for me because my father, along with my 2 brothers, father in law...served in the Air Force. Several of our members are in the military. I have been touched by all of these individuals. I honor them. We honor them. The sacrifices they have made in their families, personal lives, etc. for their country are unmeasurable.
Again...Happy Veteran's Day to all of our Veteran's, past and present!
Wow!!! How often have we done this spiritually? How often have we been guilty of spiritual plagiarism?
* How many times have we prided ourselves in something without giving GOD credit?
* How often have we boasted about our jobs, finances, families, and deliverance without giving Him the credit?
* How often have we mistaken our paychecks as OUR money and neglected to give Him HIS portion and failed to give HIM credit?
That's Spiritual Plagiarism...!!!
Just a thought--but I think it'll preach!!!
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Here is the skeleton for today's message:
Subject: Take Possession
Text: Genesis 12:1-2
Opening Premise: It is the desire of God that every child of His live in the fulfillment and purpose for which they were born.
Thesis: God has an amazing plan in store for you; it is up to you to follow His plan through your obedience.
- You are already in a position for prosperity and in your destiny.
- God’s definition of prosperity is different from man’s definition of prosperity.
- What prosperity is not (cars, wardrobe, etc.)
- Prosperity is a condition of existence that allows you to walk in the fulfillment of who God has designed you to be.
* Abram is already positioned for greatness (verse 1)
* Abram is positioned irrespective of his history
* His father Terah (Genesis 11:31 -32)
i. He set out for Canaan
ii. He settled in Haran (metropolitan city)
iii. He grew comfortable living short of Canaan (the promise)
- God is not in your stuff; He resides in your obedience.
- Be careful about becoming complacent in your Haran.
- There is always danger when your pursuit of stuff gets in the way of God’s glory.
Don’t settle too soon
It’s too soon to quit
Don’t remain where you are on the basis of how good a thing may look; because that may not be where God wants you.
When you stop before you arrive where God wants you—you may look good but you will die.
Transitional Statement: God puts you in position; YOU have to take possession.
Probing Question: How do I take possession in order that I can be all that the Lord has created me to be?
I. In order to take possession you have to change your environment. (verse 1a)
II. When God pronounces possession on you it is NOT when you have it. (verse 1b)
III. If you manage it, God will make it happen. (verse 2)
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Friday, November 09, 2007
Pastor Scott's Blog
Evotional.com - Originality, Authenticity, Creativity
Better Living: Thoughts from Mark Daniels
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
- Henry David Thoreau
Be your character what it will, it will be known, and nobody will take it upon your word.
- Lord Chesterfield
Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
There are just some things that make no sense to me: he says that hell doesn't exist; he states that EVERYONE (EVERYONE) is going to Heaven; he states that God doesn't condemn anyone, at anytime, for anything. This all sounds good and, believe me, the fleshly part of me WISHES this were true. The Bible is clear in Both New and Old Testament that Hell is real....period! Pearson thinks it's a metaphor. That's heresy! Everyone will go to Heaven? I really don't understand how he gets this so I will not expound. God will not condemn anyone at any tme for anything? Okay--I am assuming his basis is the scripture which states, '....there is therefore now no condemnation'. Or perhaps his premise is Christ's declaration that '...it is finished'. But Pearson should be more educated than this; he should know context, the security of the 'believer', the all sufficiency of Christ for those who are IN Christ, etc. Pearson's wife said something that really stuck with me in her interview on Exalted. She stated that when her husband announced his views, people began to walk away and it was then, in her words, '...I began to see the lack of love in the church'. Now I will be the first to admit that the church isn't all that it should be. And there are a lot of issues, including lack of love, etc. in the church. But wrong is simply that...wrong! Examining 1 Corinthians 13, I see nothing in that chapter stating that Christian believers are to condone wrong. At the end of the interview, he said that he did all of this and has gained his soul. Now--I don't make myself an authority. I don't! Maybe we will all get to heaven and discover that everybody who ever lived will be there. But if God is the God of the Bible that I read--that will not occur because God doesn't contradict Himself. One of the main 'interviewees' on Pearson was Tonex (Remember him?). I don't even have the time to talk about this misguided young man. For those who read this blog and sense anger. It is not that at all. It is "righteous indignation." I am not a politician; I speak as a proclaimer, preacher, pastor and prophet! The tragedy is this-many Christians are being led astray by this 'inclusion' theology. I consider this false doctrine to lead the bunch; namely because it appears to be so saturated in love and acceptance; when, in actuality, it is leading people astray.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Anyway--that's kind of off the point. As we prepare to move back to Pearland as we enter the new year, not knowing HOW God is going to do it--He did answer my prayer today as I headed to church. And that is He assured me that we are headed in the right direction. That is all I need to know! Why? Because it pleases HIM! By the way--FOUR people joined church today-these were all adults. Worship was already dynamic, uplifting, and empowering--that only sealed the deal for me. More importantly, these four people have already shown that they are at Cornerstone to work, be used, commit to the vision and leadership--and prayerfully under-gird our entire ministry with their service and witness. Interestingly--this is the first time in our church's short history that we didn't even have programs--for VARIOUS reasons. I will write later about how awesome Sunday School has been! Cornerstone is doing a great work; thought we aren't even close to where God is trying to send us--I see GROWTH! I remain prayerful and submitted to HIS service and plan...
Let me give the outline of today's message:
Subject: Don't Fight Your Furnace
Text: Daniel 3:21-26
Thesis: God could be using your crisis of adversity as a tool to perfect your character and develop your maturity.
a. Where the Devil has lost the battle for your soul, he is still in the battle for your witness, etc.
b. Don't fight your furnace, curse your crisis, rebuke the fire...
c. The furnace is good news for the believer-it's what Joel C. Gregory calls 'Growing Pains'.
Transitional Statement: The job description of your adversary, the Devil, is to make you feel as if checking with God and walking with God's plan was a wrong decision.
Probing Question: How do I handle the fire so that God can show Himself to be faithful?
I. You have to come up with a new definition of what it means to be free
a. God delivers them while they are still in it.
b. God can teach you and train you how to walk IN the fire.
c. They're walking - and indication that they are:
i. Survivors (You and I are standing in something that should have destroyed us)
ii. Loosed (They went in bound (vs. 21) but they are walking in it loosed (vs. 25) )
1. Remember that God can set you free in the crisis.
2. Don't forget to keep walking.
3. Quit listening to false theology that teaches you to rebuke anything that makes you uncomfortable. Discomfort and inconvenience could be a compliment from God!
(Bonhoeffer 'I'm blessed when I BLEED')
II. When your faith is intensified, you can believe God to show up earlier than scheduled.
Vs. 24 '...looks like the Son of God.'
a. This is Daniel. Isaiah has not yet prophesied about the coming of the Son of God.
b. The 'Son of God' is not scheduled to show up until Matthew.
c. Because of the intensity of their faith-the 'Son of God' steps in earlier than they expected.
Note: Theological understanding of Christophony
1. There are moments in all of our lives where we need God to move earlier than scheduled.
2. The question from God's perspective is this: do you have earlier-than-scheduled faith?
3. Remember that God's glory is the brightest when your furnace is the hottest.
III. God can use your difficult situation to devise divine revelation.
a. Revelation is not something you extract out of a textbook. (Logos/Rhema)
b. When God reveals Himself, it necessitates a situation; and always a season of difficulty.
c. In the activity-you learn to define and ascribe what God does based upon a NAME that gives reference to what God did.
- You couldn't call Him Jehovah Jireh-until you couldn't provide for yourself.
- You couldn't call Him Jehovah Rophe-until you couldn't heal yourself.
- You couldn't call Him Jehovah Shalom-until you couldn't find peace yourself.
- You couldn't call Him Jehovah Nissi-until you couldn't fight for yourself.
1. God can use what you go through to help somebody else to see Who God is.
2. God can use your testimony and your story as a platform to display His resume'.
a. I am a reference in God's curriculum vitae:
- Under healing-I'm there!
- Under joy-I'm there!
- Under miracle-I'm there!
- Under salvation-I'm there!
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
In our discussion on forgiveness, someone asked if it is necessary to forgive the offender when they don't even know they've offended or convinced they didn't offend. Immediately I would say yes; atleast I think that is what I've been taught-for the most part. There is another question that comes to mind: does God forgive US if we unknowingly sin against Him? If so, then what's the point of both confession and repentance? This is a question I thought I knew the answer to, quite naturally. But I thought it was a good question--that I need to look at again. I would love to know the thoughts of you who read this blog. I would love to know what you think.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
What in the world are we doing?
Where in the world are we going?
A disciple is a follower of Jesus Christ, in my view; they are people who are hearers AND doers of the Word. They follow the commands of God and His Word. They stop making excuses when it comes to Christ and His kingdom. People (for lack of a better word--they can't be disciples) make so many lame excuses when it comes to Christ and His church that it overwhelms me to even think there is such apathy and flippancy. These excuses are the excuses that people know would NEVER fly in the corporate arena, the secular workplace, or anywhere else. They expect the church to deal with it.
Take Christian Education--that is my background and it was my livelihood right out of college. I have heard almost EVERY excuse to why people can't attend Bible study: everything from cats being sick, headaches, forgot, overslept, leg fell asleep, couldn't find their glasses, on and on. However, MOST of the people who have given these 'excuses' have been people who I know would never use to justify why they weren't at work, a party, on a hot date, didn't call in, didn't go to school. Which leads me to the premise of this blog: will the true disciples please stand up. Come on--are we serious? In this emerging age of self gratification where "it's all about me"--it is only getting worse! My prayer is that the Lord will increase the number of passionate and committed disciples of Jesus Christ in our churches. The world is becoming MORE aggressive, which means that we as Christians, Disciples, and the Church need to become MORE aggressive than we are with our poor attempt at what we've termed 'Postmodern Relevance'. When it is self-centered rather than Christ-centered, it isn't relevant at all and it is nothing more than postmodern MAYHEM. I'm sorry--I just refuse to cater to Pew Potatoes, Sitting saints, and church free-loaders. If this empties out the church even more--FINE! We'll still be around when the REAL DISCIPLES show up and ready to go and REPRODUCE!
Now I am not saying that things like cats, headaches, jobs, schools, etc are not important. They ARE important and some of them are necessary in this world. I am saying that we must learn how to put FIRST things FIRST. (Matthew 6:33) The strange thing is this--those who have been apart of the church for any length of time--KNOW, all too well, that what I say in this blog is so true. The only thing that really allows me to voice all that is aforementioned is the fact that I LOVE the church and I LOVE God's people. This provokes me to 'speak the truth in love'.
I don't claim to be very old--though I know I am about to sound archaic....but
- what happened to the days when coming to church EVERY Sunday was just a given?
- what happened to the days when the average tenure of church membership was, on average, more than 15 years?
- what happened to the days when people made church a priority?
- what happened to the days when Bible study and Sunday School attendance just made sense?
- what happened to the days when parents made their children come to church and fathers and husbands led the way?
- what happened to the days when the Pastor could correct people out of line and people would straighten up?
I feel like a Dinosaur, almost extinct. Maybe I am naive and this day never really existed in the church. But I do know that it was better several years ago than it is today! I KNOW that there are those whom God will transform into true Christian disciples. It is my prayer that more churches that are Christ-centered, Bible-teaching congregations will experience a greater influx of true disciples. Why? Because these inflated-church freeloaders won't get the job done....Period!!!