January 2017

30 Jan I Want More!

While watching Good Morning America this morning, I learned of the new words and terms that have been officially added to the 2017 Merriam-Webster Dictionary. According to the report, more than one thousand new words have been added, including terms from recent advances in science, borrowings from foreign languages, and words from tech, medicine, pop culture, sports, and everything in between. Our language is ever-changing! (To read a list of some of the new words, click on this link.) Here is one of my favorite new terms that is now officially a part of our language ...

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23 Jan Have Miracles Ceased?

Have you ever stopped to think about how this world has changed during the brief amount of time that you've been alive? So many great things exist now and are a way of everyday life that didn't exist when I was a child. (For those of you that think that I am ancient, I will defend myself by saying that I was born AFTER Benjamin Franklin flew his kite and discovered electricity.) And, while there are so many new things, a lot of things that were a part of our daily life when we were children don't exist any longer. For example, when was the last time that you saw a J.C. Penny's catalog or a Yellow Pages or a set of encyclopedias or a rotary dial telephone or a cassette? Go ahead and try to explain these items to your children or grandchildren and be prepared to feel like you were born back a million, billion years ago. These things are long gone, ancient relics, and a distant memory. Here's a thought that probably isn't a new thought for you. Did you know that many today look at the miracles recorded throughout the New Testament as a spiritual relic? It would appear that in today's mindset, God's miracle-working power ended when the ink dried when the last word of the Bible was written. For some reason, in some circles, today's church looks at the miracle-working power of God in the same way that your children or grandchildren would look at a VCR. They may have heard about it, told that it was a forerunner of something far different today, and have no clue as to how it would work. Some denominations or movements would have to blow the dust off of their church archives to read about when God’s power was demonstrated in their distant past. Have miracles ceased? To those with this way of thinking, allow me to share this thought taken from The Phenomena of Pentecost written back in 1931. "To reject the truth that a saint's body can be healed miraculously, and yet to teach that he can expect his body to be changed and taken up altogether at any moment is a strange contradiction of logic! To teach that God is not working miraculously today and at the same time to expect the greatest of all miracles to happen any day, is certainly not compatible with well-balanced reasoning. I believe in the Second Advent of Christ and continually look for His coming, because I know the day of miracles is not past."  ~ George Jeffreys "The Phenomena of Pentecost" Don't you love what Jeffreys' wrote? God's miracle-working power hasn't ceased to exist. So, preach it, turn on your "expecter", demonstrate it, preach it some more, turn up your "expecter" some more, and demonstrate it some more. Allow God's TODAY miracle-working power to become a TODAY way of life in your Sunday school classroom, children's church service, mid-week Bible club meeting, youth service, and family services. Why? Because "I know that the days of miracles is not past."  ...

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02 Jan The Year of the Bigger

I will admit that this blog's title is misleading. For some, it sent a chill down your spine for fear that I was advocating throwing dieting aside thus producing the need for a larger sized wardrobe. So, relax and go ahead and keep on munching on your no calorie, no sugar, no salt, no taste food and drink your no zero calorie, zero taste water. This blog is about something totally different. As we start this new year, I want to challenge you to set your sights on bigger goals and, as a result, reap bigger rewards. To further narrow the purpose of the blog, I want to challenge you to set a goal for something that you can't accomplish by yourself, especially in the area of giving. During our 25 years of being children's pastors in South Florida, we challenged our children's ministry to go beyond their weekly tithes and offerings and take on a different giving project each year that would impact places in the world that we would never go and help people that we would never see. This was a concerted sacrificial giving to go after a bigger, lasting harvest. One year, we invested into an orphanage in the Honduras and provided the funds for much needed bunk beds. Another year, we provided the funds to build a kitchen and additional classrooms for a school in Burkina Faso. Another year, the entire children's ministry gave week after week to provide the necessary funds to drill a water well in Africa. And, one of my favorite projects was the year that we raised the funds to provide literature for pastors in underground churches in the Middle East. I could go on and on. Here is the purpose of this blog. In 2017, with the approval and knowledge of your leadership, I want to challenge you and your Sunday school class, children's church, youth ministry, small group to take on a mission that just one person alone can't accomplish. Determine that 2017 is the year of the bigger and by a concerted joint effort the impossible will become possible. Some practical advice ...

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