- Boy, we got hit hard by the flu at Solid Rock Church. We had several people who weren't in church today because of the flu and other ailments. I think some people have gotten the flu twice this season. Let's pray it'll all be over soon.
- Today was the second week of 3:16, our current series. I'm really enjoying this in-depth look at a very common verse in the Bible. I think we're all guilty at one time or another of glossing over the passages that are more common to us, and looking for something "new" and different. But as Max Lucado says, we need to return to the truth found in John 3:16.
- Several of us made a commitment to memorize Ephesians 3:16-19, one of the passages we read during this morning's sermon. I'd like for us to recite it Sunday morning. What do you think? Can we do it? Sure we can! Just don't put it off. Get to work on it early in the week. I suggest you write the passage down on index cards that you can carry in your pocket or purse throughout the week, and work on memorizing whenever you have free time throughout the week.
- We're having our monthly InterMission service this Wednesday at 7:00. InterMission is an opportunity for us to focus on the mission of our church. This Wednesday, I'll be talking about "Big Brother"--not the one from "1984", nor the reality TV show. You'll just have to be at InterMission to learn what Big Brother I'll be talking about.
- Have a great week, everyone!
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
1. We're never alone and forgotten. We watched a young man from Big Spring set a new meet record in his division for the 1600 meters. As he started the last of four laps, most of the people in the stands seemed to know that he had a chance to set a new record, so as he ran the last hundred yards or so, there was no one even close to him, but we were all cheering him on from the stands, hoping he would break the record. This reminded me what the Bible says in Hebrews 12:1: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. There are many people who have gone before us who are rooting for us to finish the race.
2. Never give up. Another exciting race involved a young man running the anchor leg of his school's 4x400 meter relay team. When he got the baton, he was in fourth place, a good 20 yards behind the leader. As I watched the race, he wasn't even on my radar until Ryan said, "Hey, look at the guy from Crane." Well, the guy from Crane came from behind and barely nipped the front runner in a photo finish. We didn't really know who had run the race until they made the official announcement. Talk about an exciting finish! So it doesn't matter how impossible the situation may seem, never give up!
3. Stay focused until the very end. This next lesson was heartbreaking. The 4x400 relay team from Lubbock High was in the lead for most of the race. At the very end of the race, the guy running the anchor leg made two critical mistakes that cost his team the victory. First, he allowed the guy in second place, who was right behind him, to have the inside track on the final stretch. Then, he completely lost his running form, lost his balance, and tumbled to the ground about ten yards from the finish line. I felt so bad for him and his team! I think the lesson is that we have to stay focused until the end of the race. It doesn't matter that we were in the lead if we get distracted and lose in the end.
4. Honesty is still the best policy. The announcer made an announcement that a young man from Marble Falls had set his running shoes, jacket, and a medal down on the field, and that they were now missing. He asked that if anyone had them, to please return them to the awards table. After the second time this announcement was made, I thought, "He may as well say goodbye to his medal and clothes." So, suffice it to say that the next announcement about the missing items totally surprised me. "Would the young man from Marble Falls please come by the awards table and pick up your shoes, jacket, and medal." Immediately, the crowd cheered and clapped, including me. We all still appreciate honesty, don't we?
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
- Today was a great day! I was at church by 7:00 this morning getting ready for the Easter Service, and what a great service it was. It was exciting to see that we had a full house, but even more exciting to be reminded of God's love for us. The "3:16" series is going to be great.
- We had several people show up yesterday for our work day. (I'll post some pictures later this week.) Every report I received was that everyone worked hard. Thanks! You are all making a a difference at Solid Rock.
- I really love one of the songs we sang this morning. At the Cross has been on my mind all day and evening. Great melody, interesting chord progressions, and powerful lyrics make for a great song, but add the anointing of the Holy Spirit on the songwriter, and...wow!
- So what did you guys think of our youth vocal ensemble? I thought they did a great job. And now we can say we were there for their debut!
- Let's stay focused on our mission. Continue to pray for the "3:16" series, and continue to invite your friends.
- This cold and rain is great weather for sleeping. That's where I'm headed!
Friday, March 21, 2008
I'm excited about this Sunday being Easter. Easter is easily the most important holiday on the calendar. Everything we believe about Jesus, and the Bible, and the church, is centered on the resurrection of Christ.
I'm also excited about beginning our new sermon series, "3:16", based on Max Lucado's latest book. John 3:16 is the most recognizable verse in the Bible, but its familiarity doesn't lessen its value and importance. We'll be talking for the next six weeks about the truths found in this verse.
I hope you'll make it a point to be at Solid Rock for the beginning of "3:16", but don't come alone. Bring someone to church with you this Easter!
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
- What a great day we had today! We had a good service this morning, as we began Holy Week. The worship was good, and the topic of today's message (The Foolishness of the Cross) was one that needs to be heard even more. We live in a period of time when many preachers are focusing their messages only on how God loves us and has a plan for us. That's completely true, but it's not the complete truth. The cross reminds us that Jesus died to pay a debt we owed, and that we must repent of our sins in order to receive the free gift of eternal life that Jesus offers us.
- This evening we had a church family meeting. We talked about some practical ways to prepare for Easter, passed out the 3:16 Promise Books that we are using as invitations to the Easter Service, and spent time praying for those we are inviting to the Easter Service.
- I'm really excited the new series we're starting this Sunday. It's called 3:16, and it's based on Max Lucado's new book by the same title. It's going to be a great series, especially for anyone who is has not truly understood the extent of God's love for us. Pray for God to show you who you can invite to this series.
- On a personal note, today is Osi's 18th birthday. Osi is my brother Osiel's son. Osiel died when his wife was pregnant with Osi, so Osi never knew his dad. Obviously, Osi is very special to us. I hope he had a great day today.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
When she was a little girl, she used to love to eat chicken. She couldn't make the "ch" sound, so she would say, "I want kicken". So we're going to have chicken for lunch for her birthday.
It was also because of her that we started a tradition many years ago, and that was to go to San Antonio to watch the Spurs on the week of her birthday. We hadn't done it in a while, but we're going back to this tradition this Monday.
Happy birthday, Beth!
Tomorrow is Palm Sunday. Let's begin the week with a passionate time of sincere worship. See you in church!
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Sunday, March 9, 2008
- Today we finished two sermon series at Solid Rock. The Sunday morning series was on marriage and went for four weeks. I can honestly say that I learned quite a bit preparing for these messages. The Sunday evening series was on Miracles, as we looked at different lessons from some of Jesus' miracles. God really did something special during these services.
- I'm really excited about our next series. It's called 3:16, and it's based on Max Lucado's new book. It's going to be great!
- I'm really tired right now. I haven't felt this worn out in a long time. Most of it has to do with me just having had a long and full week and weekend. Of course, it doesn't help that we lost an hour of sleep last night with the time change.
- Every week, I thank God for our church family. I really love you guys!
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. (Ephesians 5:22-23)
Submit comes from a Greek word that means "to yield to authority."
The reason so many people have such a problem with submission in marriage is that they have a misconception of the concept. The common view of submission is that of the husband spread out in a recliner while his wife serves as a submissive slave, doing all the work.
Nothing could be further from biblical truth. Look at the preceding verse. All believers are to be "submitting to one another." We are to willingly give up our rights, our possessions, our time, our energy to help, love, and encourage each other. In that sense, husbands also submit to wives.
Here's what biblical submission does mean: It means God has an order in the family. In the military, there are people with different ranks, but they are all equally valuable. Still, some has to make the decisions. There has to be some element of authority, or there will be complete chaos.
And here's what biblical submission does not mean: It doesn’t mean that women are inferior to men. Note that she is to submit to her own husband. God didn’t say that every woman should submit to every man. Women are not inferior to men.
Submission does not devalue a woman. Women are special to God. That’s why Jesus did so much to raise the worth of a woman in the eyes of society.
In this book, Dr. Wood expands on the five core values he has identified for his administration:
- Passionately proclaim, at home and abroad, by word and deed Jesus as Savior, Baptizer in the Holy Spirit, Healer, and Soon Coming King.
- Strategically invest in the next generation
- Vigorously plant new churches
- Skillfully resource our Fellowship
- Fervently pray for God’s favor and help as we serve Him with pure hearts and noble purpose
In the chapter on prayer, Dr. Wood tells the story of a time he asked former General Superintendent E.S. Williams what he saw as the greatest concern in the Assemblies of God. Brother Williams quickly responded, "Socialization". In other words, we can so enjoy each other's company that we make church a club where we get together to socialize, and forget about our mission. I think that's a legitimate concern today, just as it was when Brother Williams said it.
Monday, March 3, 2008
But no matter, it's something we have to do. So don't forget to set your clocks forward before you go to bed Saturday night so you won't be late to church Sunday morning.