Monday, June 6, 2011


This weekend I was able to go out to the hunting club with some good friends and clear out some shooting lanes. As we worked I would feel things crawling up my legs. (Yes I was wearing shorts) To my amazement there was 4 or 5 ticks crawling up my legs, I was amazed because I had used bug spray to keep this from happening. When I got home I found 2 ticks "latched on" the backside of my legs. These little creatures can cause some discomfort and pain if not pulled out soon. This reminded me of those "ticks" that I allow to creep into my life. It may be gossip, jealousy or just plain negativity that latches on my soul and can cause great discomfort if not pulled out and killed. Search your soul and check for ticks!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Heavenly Rewards

Rewards in Heaven? Lots of people read about it but do we ever take time to study it. Well I have, and I am going to give you what I think the Scriptures teach about Heavenly Rewards.
Throughout the Bible we see the mention of rewards, Christ talked about them as well as Paul and other Biblical authors. But what do these rewards look like? And how do we get them?

First lets look at how. I think that we are rewarded in heaven by our faithfulness on earth. In Matthew 20:20-28 James and John's mother came and asked Jesus if her sons could sit "one on the right and one on the left" Jesus told her this was not His to give but it was the Father that would decide. To me this clearly states that there will be one on the left and right and in front and all around, but Jesus says the ones that are faithful will be the ones fully rewarded. So we will be rewarded by how faithful we are with what God has given us here. Some men and women have given the ultimate sacrifice, their own life for the sake of the Gospel. Others have became a "living sacrifice" denying self and embracing the cross.

So what are these rewards? Well I think that the reward is simply serving the King. When I was a child I was told that every time you won someone to Christ you received a jewel for your crown, if that is the case I know several godly men that will need several heads to carry all their bling around. It is true that the Bible talks about a "crown" but to me that is figurative language to the reward that is serving. In Revelation John saw the 24 elders cast their crown before the King, I think that we to will cast our reward before the King. That is to say that we worship and serve with what gifts we have received.

To bring all this to a close, I think that the scriptures tell us of a reward in heaven that we will receive based on our faithfulness here on earth. I think the Bible pictures these rewards as gifts of worship and service and we will all be serving King Jesus in many ways, just like the varying levels of angelic hierarchy.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

True Followers

Is being a Christian as easy as it seems? I mean with the social network now running full speed everyone is choosing a religion, right? I have found that most of us choose to say Christian based on the fact that we went to church growing up or maybe we attend church every Christmas and Easter, or maybe we go to church every Sunday and read our Bible every morning and condemn those that don't act like we do. We go to church so that we can check that off our "list" and read our Bible so that we can check that off. At the end of the week we feel really good because we have lots of check marks. (Pride) Or we feel really bad because we have no check marks. (depressed) What makes a "true follower?"

I think this question is found in words of the very one we follow. Matthew records it this way, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." Lets unpack this.

"Whoever" meaning this is for anyone, black, white, Asian, Indian. "whoever", poor or rich, fat or skinny.

"Wants" this word to me means desires. You must have a desire to follow Jesus. When you have a desire to do something you will do whatever it takes to get it done.

"to be" this is future words meaning Jesus will make us disciples we just don't magically become one.

"my" this word is showing ownership, meaning you are not your own anymore, the old you is gone and now you are becoming a "new person"

"disciple" simply follower, learner (is that a word?)

"must" this word allows no option, it is not "may" or "can if you want" it says must, this is a very important word here.

"deny" turn away, have no part of, stay away from. This is the hard part for all of us. (for me anyway)

"themselves" the object of what is being denied, you don't deny your bad habits or your job you deny yourself and all that goes with it. Take your motives out and put God's in.

"and" meaning plus something

"take up" you are going to pick something up, or add something to. You were just told to subtract something and now we are told to add something.

"their" your own, not your friends but yours, you own it!

"cross" an instrument used to torture and kill people.

"and" meaning plus something

"follow" to get BEHIND, your not leading here simply following. (again another tough one for me)

"me" the person you are following.

Now lets put that all together. "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." Notice He never says where we are going just simply to follow. It may not be where you want to go but being a "True Follower" does not always mean being comfortable. Remember as we follow we are carrying a cross and denying ourselves.

Being a "True Follower" is stated here, forget yourself, love Jesus and because of that people are gonna make fun of you, hurt you, and for some, kill you.

Whats our reward for being a "True Follower?" Stay tuned and I will tell you.

Grace and Peace to you all in the name of our King!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Family Matters

How much time do you spend in "family time?" As a new year has begun and new goals have been set, where does family time weigh in? As a father of four I know all to well the importance of family time. I am not talking about playing video games with your kids or watching them watch TV, I am talking about doing stuff as a family. In a world moving as fast as ours we need to slow down and spend some family time together because family matters!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Good People In Heaven

I really enjoy hanging out with lots of different people. Often times when guys figure out that I am a pastor they get defensive, they apologize for cussing or tell me where they go to church. But the real concern came just last week when I was hanging out with a group of guys and after about an hour it was brought up that I was a pastor. One of the men said this, and I quote "I know I am going to heaven because I am a good person." Now his idea was based on what the world also thinks. Good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell. This type of thinking is very dangerous and extremely wrong in several ways.

1. Who gets to determine the definition of "good people?"

In the worlds eyes good people don't murder or steal, they check off a list of things that make them good. This creates two things, first it creates pride, "look what I have done" and second it creates despair "look what I can't do."

In the eyes of Christ there is no one good, we all are sinners and need to be rescued.

2. If you can be "good" and get into heaven then you have no need of a Savior.

In other words Christ died for no reason.

The Bible teaches us that "while we are sinners, Christ died for us." This means that we don't have to clean up before Christ will rescue us, in fact we can't clean up. When we come to Christ this does not mean that we no longer sin and suddenly become "good people." We will continue to sin but now the payment of sin has been paid.

Often times people turn their life over to Christ and bite their teeth and squeeze their fist in a vain attempt to be "good." When they fail, and they will, they often doubt their salvation. They think that Christ was gonna knock this addiction out of them and now that they have slipped into sin Christ must have left them. Don't allow Satan to put this doubt in your mind. Have faith that if you are a child of God he will never leave you.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hunting Before God

There is nothing I enjoy more than Nov. deer hunting. Bucks are on the move, the rut is on, what more can a hunter want. As a passionate deer hunter I can't wait for this time, but it can be very dangerous. The past couple of weeks my passion has turned into an obsession. It was all I could think about and all I could talk about. If I was not in the woods I was looking at hunting blogs and forums on the Internet. Slowly things started becoming effected because of my obsession. My mood and my children were the first things I noticed, then my personal time and marriage. I was reminded as I looked in the mirror that I was placing hunting on the throne in my life where Christ needed to be. So what am I doing to "dethrone" hunting?
1. I am going on a hunting fast. This means for 7 days I am not going into the woods at all. This may seem trivial to some but I have been hunting morning and evening for the past 2 months.
2. When I have the urge to look at hunting blogs or go hunting the next 7 days I will turn to prayer.
3. I am spending my time now showing my wife and kids and most importantly God that things are going to be different.

It is not good enough to just know you have a problem you must do something about it.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Bite and Devour!

This is not the sight you want to see after recovery that big deer you shot. There is nothing more depressing than finding your trophy only to see that it has been tore apart by wild beast. I am sure this is what Christ thinks about when he see His church tearing apart one another. The Apostle Paul reminds his readers of this in Galatians 5:15. The churches in Galatia were struggling with legalism (man made religion that takes the focus off of God and on to man) Paul has reminded them several times that there is no other Gospel other than that of Christ. Often times we in the church forget what we are doing. We have great programs and we draw a crowd, but we forget Christ. In Revelation 3:20 Christ says "behold I stand at the door and knock" what he is saying is that the church has put him on the outside! He is standing outside knocking to come back in. To often we turn from the cross and turn to ourselves. Paul warns us here that if we do that we will only eat one another! This is what he says "If you bite and devour one another beware lest you be consumed by one another." This is a warning for all of us, what ever we do in the church or in your home do it because you love Jesus and you desire to see His Kingdom expand. If you do it for selfish gain then before long you will turn on those around you. No hunter wants to see his deer consumed by wild beast, and Christ does not want to see His bride (the church) consumed by His people.