I’m enjoying a little time off this week from blogging and Facebook. Be back in a few days.
Have a blessed week.
I’m enjoying a little time off this week from blogging and Facebook. Be back in a few days.
Have a blessed week.
I love doing ministry. Just so you’ll understand, ministry isn’t writing a bulletin article or working on a PowerPoint for Sunday’s sermon. Ministry is being among people, loving people, serving people and building relationships with people.
I am very blessed to get to minister to some of the poorest in Childress. Like a young family that doesn’t live far from the church. The house they live in isn’t much better than some of the houses I’ve seen in Honduras. On several occasions this little family of four have walked over to the church to ask for groceries … which we see that they get. They have two little girls, age 3 and 5, that are as as cute as they come … but as shy as I’ve ever seen. Due to some bad decisions in his past, the dad struggles to find work. The young mom works when she can, but for the most part they scrape by with food stamps, doing odd jobs for people and a little help from others.
You know as well as I do, that it’s not unusual for the money to run out before the month does. This morning the mom sent me a message asking if I knew of any work someone might need because they had run out of milk for their girls a few days ago.
On my way to work this morning I stopped by the convenient store and picked up a gallon of milk (which was on sale by the way) to take to their house. When I got to their house I got an unexpected treat. Those two little “shy” girls ran up to me screaming at the top of their lungs, “TREY, TREY, TREY!” and threw their little arms around my neck and squeezed.
Just that a few months ago those two little girls were so shy they wouldn’t even make eye contact with me. Now they were screaming my name and hugging my neck. Talk about making my day.
Those two precious hugs were worth WAY more than a $2.99 gallon of milk.
See why I love doing ministry?
When he asked me the question, I knew I’d heard that type of question before. It was one of those, “What if a person is doing…,” questions that ended with, “Will that person get to go to heaven or hell?” He was calling someone’s morality into question, and I could tell by how he asked, he wasn’t really asking the question because he wanted to know, but because he wanted to trap me with the question. It was the same thing the Pharisees did to Jesus on many occasions.
My answer was simple, “That’s totally up to God. He’s the one who makes the decisions on who goes to heaven and who doesn’t.”
I could tell my answer frustrated him. Redness was building from his neck up to his face. “I knew that’s what you’d say,” he said with a frustrated tone. “I don’t even know why I asked you. You’re too soft on people.”
I smiled and told him, “I’m sorry, but I got out of judging business long ago. Who gets in and who doesn’t is not not my place to decide. But”, I told him, “If I’m going to err on one side or the other, I’d rather err on the side of mercy.” He didn’t like that much either.
I left feeling good about my answer. I still feel the same way today. I think Jesus was a perfect example when it came to being gracious to others. Remember how Jesus acted around those whose lives weren’t exactly to what God wanted? A prostitute, a wealthy exploiter, a Samaritan woman with several husbands, a woman caught in adultery – all people that Jesus would have had a problem with their lifestyle. Yet all found grace and mercy from Jesus instead of condemnation. No wonder Jesus gained the reputation as being a “friend of sinners.” Maybe we can learn a lot about how to treat people by watching Jesus in action.
When I stand before God someday, if I’m found guilty of anything, I want to be found guilty of being too gracious, too forgiving and too merciful. I feel I have a better chance with God that way than I do if I’m found too harsh, too judgmental and too unsympathetic.
“You’re too soft on people,” that guy said to me that day. Well if too soft means too merciful … then I pray I’m guilty as charged!
“So you must show mercy to others, or God will not show mercy to you when he judges you. But the person who shows mercy can stand without fear at the judgment.” ~ James 2:13
Everyone’s been talking about it all week … it’s coming they say … the Day of Judgment or as some have called it, “The Rapture.” Some self-proclaimed “experts” say they have figured out when it’s going to take place and it’s all supposed to happen today, May 21st. They say, the world as we know it will end. It’s been a hot enough topic that even my 9 year old son, Cooper, came home from school this week asking if I had heard about it.
Just so you’ll know … the bible does speak of a literal Day of Judgment. It will be a time when God will draw all people unto Him, the world will be destroyed, and He will judge everyone according to the lives they lived here on the earth. Then, the bible says, He will separate us into two groups, those on the right getting heaven, and those on the left getting hell (Read about it … Matthew 25).
So do I personally think the Day of Judgment is going to come when they say it is? Will the so called “Rapture” take place on May 21st? Here’s what I think …
I seriously doubt that May 21st is Judgment Day … but if it is … I’m perfectly fine with that. I’m ready to go.
Can you say the same thing? If today is the day the Lord is coming back and Judgment Day takes place … are you good with that? If not, that may be a sign that something is NOT right in your life.
Why don’t I think He’s coming back on May 21st? Because the bible says that no one knows when the Lord will return. Simple as that. But if He does … I’m ready.
How about you?
I’ve been preaching on marriage this month (here are the sermons if you’d like to follow along).This past Sunday I talked about, “10 Ways to Bless Your Marriage,” and in there I talked a little about sex. Here are a few things I mentioned …
“A wise wife puts her husband’s sexual needs at the top of her priority list. The foolish wife doesn’t see it as a priority at all.”
“Quality sex in marriage, emerges from quantity sex.” Translation … practice makes perfect
One of the things I’ve never shied away from is preaching on sex. So recently when my songleader called and asked the sermon topic so he could plan his songs, he was caught off guard when I told him my topic was sex. “I’ll do my best to find some songs,” he said.
That Sunday morning before his first song he announced to the congregation that the sermon was going to be on sex, and that he’d tried and tried, but just hadn’t been able to come up with any song from the songbook that dealt with sex. He then asked the congregation, “Can anyone else think of one?” Suddenly, one little old man who was probably in his 90′s, began to stand. He raised his shaking hand slowly and said, “What about Precious Memories?” Okay, honestly, that really didn’t happen… but it’s one of my all-time favorite jokes.
While the songbook might not have a lot of songs on the subject of sex, the bible is FULL of verses on the topic. The thing I find extremely interesting is how much of what is said on the subject of sex, is on the positive side. Yet, due to our society’s loose views on sex, we only seem to teach and preach on the negative side of sex. Sadly, we’re missing the teaching that God is the creator of sex, and He made it to be GOOD and to be enjoyed in the confines of marriage (can I get an “Amen” here men?!). We need to be reminded and even our kids need to hear that God intended sex in the confines of marriage to be beautiful. Sex isn’t dirty, it’s a gift God has given us!
Here are just a few verses that drip with sexual innuendos …
“May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.” (Proverbs 5:18-19)
“Your stature is like that of the palm, and your breasts like clusters of fruit. I said, “I will climb the palm tree; I will take hold of its fruit.” May your breasts be like the clusters of the vine, the fragrance of your breath like apples…” (Song of Solomon 7:7-8).
“Rejoice in the wife of your youth, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.” (Proverbs 5.18-19)
The church hasn’t always looked upon sex as an amazing gift from God. Unfortunately, most churches have only preached about its dangers and focused on how sex in the wrong context can destroy. Sadly, a lot of folks have gotten the wrong idea, even Christians, that sex is only dirty, only sinful. While the world chooses to be obsessed with sex (because sex sells) many Christians and churches have ignored the subject unless it’s to preach against it. As I read my Bible this morning, I was reminded how many times the Bible speaks positively about the beauty of sex in the confines of marriage.
I love the fact that God chose to devote so many verses and an entire book in the Bible (Song of Solomon) to the positive side of the subject of sex. Sex shouldn’t be dirty … because it’s from God. He created sex, and He created it as a gift for a husband and a wife. I pray that as I raise my children, they’ll know and understand that there is a negative AND a positive side of sex. God created it beautiful; it’s a gift … thank Him for it!
I love this picture … let me tell you why. This is my friend, Marc Tindall, and he’s being Jesus. Marc is loving on a person from the dump in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Despite this lady’s stench and despite her filth … he loves her anyway. He’s concerned with her physical, emotional and spiritual needs. He’s [...]Full Story »
Keeping things or hiding things from your spouse is a sign of problems in a marriage. A healthy marriage is one that is built on total openness and honesty. When it comes to secrets in marriage, there should be none. Here’s a test with some tough questions: Do you hide purchases of things you bought [...]Full Story »
I’ve got nothing profound for you today, (Ha, it’s not like I usually do anyway!) but here are a few things going on in my little world … I’ve told you before about my friend Willie (not his real name). We occasionally buy him groceries, help him with clothes and just try to be his [...]Full Story »
Eight years ago today, On May 6th, 2003, I sat in Dr. Pate’s office waiting for him to come in and tell me, “the little lump is nothing, go home and don’t worry about it.” I was SO sure that those were going to be his words, that I had told Lea to just drop [...]Full Story »
For those who’ve been checking for an update from Wednesday’s Dump Day, according to our best guesstimate, we cleared $35,000 Wednesday night. This is such a huge blessing. We SO wanted to continue the amazing Dump Ministry. Thanks to EVERYONE who gave, fasted and helped spread the word. To say that Dump Day 2011 was [...]Full Story »
(Update from Thursday, May 6th: According to our best guesstimate, we cleared $35,000 Wednesday night, so that the Dump Ministry can continue. Thanks to EVERYONE who gave, fasted and helped spread the word.) Welcome to DUMP DAY 2011 This is a day that we stop to consider how blessed we are materially. A day we [...]Full Story »
I’ve been getting lots of Dump Day questions, and I’m going to try and answer some … QUESTION: How do we give this year? There are several ways to give this year, but the two best are … You can send a check via snail mail to: Honduras Hope, PO BOX 9222, Columbus MS, 39705 [...]Full Story »
It’s only two days away. I’m ready for the 30 Hour Fast. I’m ready for the pledges to start coming in. I’m ready to start giving away the prints of the little boy at the dump. I sat down this morning and watched this video as a reminder of how nasty, dark and desperate the [...]Full Story »
I’m a runner. I love pounding the road with friends while the rest of the world sleeps. It all started 16 years ago when my weight ballooned to 260 lbs and one of my greatest friends in this life, Robert Blevins, introduced me to running. Sixteen years later, I’m still running strong … and about [...]Full Story »
Dump Day is about a week away (May 4th). Dump Day started two years ago when we learned about the people in the Tegucigalpa dump, who are SO poor that they dig through the trash to find food and things to sell. Since the start of Dump Day and because of your donations … A [...]Full Story »
Make a Donation. By far the most important thing you can do is give. By making a donation, your funds go directly to help the people at the dump. The best time to give is on May 4th, Dump Day. I will have posted on this blog on Dump Day the details of “How you [...]Full Story »
(My friend, Jeff Smith, who is the college minister at the Sunset church in Lubbock wrote the following story after his trip to Honduras. While there Jeff witnessed something take place at the dump that was worth sharing … and I’m glad he did.) Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right The old adage, “Two [...]Full Story »
Here are 4 things I’m glad I saw this weekend. You may want to check them out… Former minister, Dan Bouchelle writes a piece called “Why are there so many angry minister’s wives?” The post is excellent, the comments are just as good. He’s obviously touched on a “hot” topic. I’m not sure how Lea [...]Full Story »
Are you up for a 30 hour fast? How long could you go without food? Could you last 30 hours without food? There are some of us who can’t go a few hours without hollering, “I’m hungry.” As most of you know, on May 4th, we’re having our 3nd annual “Dump Day” to raise money [...]Full Story »
There’s nothing like a good “Man Post,” to start the week off and get the testosterone flowing. A few of us guys were visiting about man-laws after church recently and the importance of teaching them to our sons. For those women who might not know, man-law is an unwritten code which men live by. I’m [...]Full Story »
Can you imagine being so poor and so hungry that you’d take up residence at your local dump and dig through the disgusting trash to find yourself something to eat? Can you imagine feeding your children scraps of molded rotting garbage, just so they can live? Can you imagine your children picking the little [...]Full Story »
This is my new friend Mark. He came through Childress hitchhiking his way towards New Mexico. My friend Glenna spotted him in town and asked if I’d check on him. I found him on the edge of town looking for a ride. I picked him up and asked if he’d like some lunch. I found [...]Full Story »
I just want to give a quick shout out to my Childress friends. If you’ve ever considered going to church, but haven’t had the courage, how about making this Sunday the day you become brave enough. Just in case you don’t know what to expect or if you’ve heard some untrue things about coming to [...]Full Story »
Enjoying opening day game at Rangers ballpark in Arlington.Full Story »
Yes, I bought Jesus groceries today. Crazy isn’t it … and he only wanted $26 worth of groceries. I did notice that he’s a big fan of cheap, college-kid type food. He bought TV dinners, chicken-pot-pies, root-beer and frozen burritos that you heat up in the microwave. He also asked if it’d be okay if [...]Full Story »
We’ll we’ve officially kicked off our 2nd Augment Project in Childress. The extreme home makeover will become a big three-bedroom home for a family with two small children and twins on the way. We’re excited about this project and can’t wait to get this little family in their new house. I’ll post some more pictures [...]Full Story »
I’m at the Tulsa Workshop this week talking about building strong marriages and families. Yesterday I talked to a packed house about how to fix a self-centered marriage. The reason it was a packed house, was not because I was teaching … but because marriages and families are struggling, and we’re seeing the value in [...]Full Story »
I’m not a fan of critics because any fool can criticize. I figure there are enough critics in this world so I honestly try hard to be a cheerleader with my words. But sometimes even the best planned compliments come out wrong. Like early this past Sunday morning, when I meant to say something nice, [...]Full Story »
We are starting or second Augment Project today. We’re going to do an extreme home makeover on this house and give it to a needy family. A group of AIM students are in Childress today to begin the cleaning project. In a few months this house will look amazing.Full Story »
Lea and I started a bathroom remodel project about two months ago. Nothing tests your marriage like a home remodeling project with your spouse. Lea and I had our moments, but all and all we did alright. With a little help from our friends, we finished re-tiling the shower, patching the walls, texturing the [...]Full Story »
Hungry people were fed at the dump yesterday. There shouldn’t even BE people living in a dump. There shouldn’t be people that have to go to the dump to find food. But thanks to you, over the last two years you’ve made a HUGE difference in the lives of the people who live at the [...]Full Story »
Within a block of our church building you’ll find some of the poorest people in our community. We regularly have people stop by and ask for groceries from our food room to help to feed their families. A few weeks ago a couple of friends of mine, Nathan Hale and Andy Hubright, came through Childress [...]Full Story »
A nice or new building doesn’t make a church a healthy church. Big numbers of people don’t make a church a healthy church. Big budgets don’t make a church a healthy church. So what does make a healthy church? What does a healthy church look like? Here are what I believe are 10 traits of [...]Full Story »
It’s a sad fact that 85% of the men sitting in prison grew up in homes without a father. More than ever … kids need a dad these days.Full Story »
We must have looked like a motley crew, to those sitting around us. The five of us were sitting close together on a Wednesday night for bible study at church. I sat there and thought to myself, “Wow, look at how God has sat us all together right here tonight.” To someone sitting around they [...]Full Story »