Moms being missionaries

The following article comes from regarding moms being missionaries as well. It is an interesting read for good thoughts and maybe encouragement:

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Church leaders articles:

Okay, so sometimes I email my leaders and a few others interesting articles I read. I now decided that I might as well just post those links on my blog. I will try to post several articles a week. Sometimes I may write about the article, other times I won’t. Remember that some of these are for the more mature believer or leader. Post your thoughts or email your thoughts. 

The following article has some interesting thoughts on church leadership. Repeated studies show church heath, or business health, has to do with getting the right people in leadership.  

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Another article has to do with a society problem and that is pornography. I hope this helps you and your family and friends. 

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Have an awesome day!


Sermon from Sunday

Below is the sermon from yesterday. Luke 8:40-48: We Serve a Mighty Savior, Jesus Heals a Woman

Video clip of Mother Theresa

I show that clip because I think that most of us know of Mother Theresa. We know how she ministered to the people left out. I probably simply have to mention her name in order to make us think of the ministries she would lead and was a part of in India. I saw a video once showing her decades ago asking United Nations to let her in to a war torn area in order that she could serve the people there. United Nations would not let her in unless there was a cease fire. She prayed and there was a cease fire. But she didn’t only lead others in the ministry of service, she was a part of the service to others. She was a model example. Praise God for examples such as her.

Today, we begin a special series for Lent. We are stepping away from the book of Acts for the next several weeks. My Lenten theme is going to be that the Gospel is for everyone, amen??? Congregation respond by saying amen if you agree. My theme for this season is that Jesus went to the marginalized, the left out, the people who were unclean. I hope that is encouraging, but I also hope that compels all of us to take the Gospel to everyone as well. I also hope that through this Lenten series we are all reminded that we serve a “mighty Savior.” 

So, some of us need encouraged today. We need to remember that the Gospel is for us as well. We may feel that we are the marginalized, the unclean or the left out. I hope this series and today’s message encourages us.

Whether we realize it or not we do marginalize people. We have presuppositional thoughts about other people and we must realize today that the Gospel is for everyone. Jesus does not marginalize.

Read with me Luke 8:43-48:

And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, 44 came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. 45 And Jesus said, “Who is the one who touched Me?” And while they were all denying it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing in on You.” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me.” 47 When the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came trembling and fell down before Him, and declared in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched Him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

  1. In the Gospel we find that the Gospel is for everyone and we see Jesus’ mighty power. 
    1. If you look at Luke 8:1-2 we find out that Jesus was traveling from city to city proclaiming and preaching the Kingdom of God and women were with Him. Even though there were certain cultural ideas regarding women, Jesus allowed them with Him. They were even part of His circle, so to speak. One of the proofs of the Gospel’s truth is that the Gospels would not include women if they were not true. Women would hurt the credibility of the Gospels. Jesus was open and accessible to all. 
    2. Now, this is a narrative, Jesus is on His way to heal Jairus’ daughter and He is interrupted. Do we notice that interruptions can be of God?
    3.  Verse 42 tells us that Jesus was traveling and the crowds were pressing against Him. If it was today Jesus could travel in a limousine. He could  travel in a private plane. He could have guards to keep people away.  Jesus does not do that. Even in His day Jesus could have set Himself apart from the people, but He didn’t. Sure, there are times, such as Mark 1:35, when Jesus goes into seclusion to recharge, but here we see Jesus with the people. Jesus was no respecter of persons. Jesus did not show prejudice. Jesus came to serve. The Gospel is for everyone.
    4. So in verse 43, this woman has a hemorrhage for 12 years. Imagine what it was like for her. We do not know how she was bleeding, but it was likely a type of female ailment. This probably caused her to be physically weak. We do know based off of Leviticus 15 that she would have been considered unclean. She was an outcast. She was marginalized. She was physically weak and maybe in pain. She was emotionally scarred by being looked upon as an outcast. She was spiritually excluded from the Temple and synagogue. For 12 years she suffered with this. In my translation it says that she could not be healed. In other translations it says that she exhausted all her money trying to get better. Unfortunately, some of you know how she feels. Let me tell you that Jesus heals her physically, but most importantly emotionally and spiritually. He will do the same for all of us.
    5.  Verse 44 tells us that she came up behind Him and touched the hem or fringe of His garment. The wording here makes it sound like she simply brushed by or tapped His garment. But in the original language she grabbed and held onto it. After the 12 years she wanted to be made well. After 12 years of physical problems, emotionally being an outcast and spiritually being an outcast she wanted to be made well. She is “immediately” made well. No, delay. We serve a mighty Savior who came for everyone. 
      1.                                                   i.      You know what? By touching her Jesus could be unclean. Even if an unclean person simply brushed by a clean person that would make the clean person unclean (Lev. 15).
      2.                                                 ii.      Anyone in the crowd could be unclean. Jesus was willing to risk that in order to be made well. Jesus never rebuked that either.
    6. Verses 45-46 have Jesus asking who touched Him. But Peter speaks up stating that there is such a crowd, they couldn’t know.
    7. Jesus says that He felt power go out. We must understand this correctly. Jesus did not have a loss of power. Jesus is all powerful, He could just know that something happened.
    8. Verses 47-48 are key: The woman comes trembling and falls down before Him.
      1.                                                   i.      Imagine how she felt. She has been an outcast socially. She has been an outcast from Jewish practices. She has been in pain and physical turmoil. This has gone on for 12 years. 12 years! Now, she was instantly made well.
      2.                                                 ii.      I wonder what it was like, the instant relief she felt???
      3.                                               iii.      But the instant relief was likely matched by her instant fear going before Jesus, what would He say? What would He do? Would He make her sick again? Would He strike her down? What went through her mind? Was there a combination of tears of joy and tears of fear?
    9. Verse 48, Jesus calls her “daughter.”
      1.                                                   i.      Get that! This is the only time in the New Testament Jesus addresses a woman as “daughter.” Wow! She was an outcast all those years, but to Jesus He considers her as family.
      2.                                                 ii.      How did she feel now? We all know that words have meaning. I wonder if she instantly felt some type of joy.
    10. But, she did not only have a physical problem. She had a spiritual problem as well. She was a sinner. She had been an outcast.
    11. Jesus already healed her physically. Now, in front of everyone He told her that her faith has “saved” her. My translation says “made you well,” but literally it means “saved you.” Jesus took care of the spiritual problem. She was an outcast from the temple, but now she will have the Holy Spirit in her. At least after Pentecost she would. She was not allowed in the Temple, but right now she is in front of God Almighty. The Holy of Holies will dwell in her!

So, we watched a very short video of Mother Theresa, she served the people left out, who do we need to go to? What mindset do we need to change?  Jesus came for everyone.

So, as we look toward Easter, as we look toward the cross, it is important that we all realize that Jesus came for us and Jesus came for all. We must be reminded that the Gospel is for everyone. Jesus came for the marginalized, the sick, the hurting. Jesus came for the unclean. We must be available and even go to the marginalized, the sick and the hurting as well.

I like what one preacher says concerning the woman who touched Jesus’ robe:

He wasn’t done with her. She needed to be restored physically. She needed to be restored socially. She needed to be restored spiritually. Your faith has saved you. Go in peace, not psychological peace, go in peace with God, objective peace. Your faith has saved you. Go in peace. You have made peace with God. In Matthew 9:22, we find this, “He said, ‘Be of good comfort.'” Eusebius, the church historian says, there’s a statue of this lady in his day, in her town as a living testimony that she became a believer in Jesus Christ. Listen, Jesus knows you. He knows your hurts, your needs. He is accessible to you. He is available to you. He is interruptible by you.  And He is inexhaustible in meeting your need. And it’s personal with Him. He feels the flow of power into your life. This is our God manifest in Jesus Christ. Let’s pray.

Sermon from Yesterday, Paul encounters Christ

Today, we are going to continue our trek through Acts, I encourage you to take this seriously, get into the Word of life, open up your Bibles and let’s look at the Apostle Paul’s conversion.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Lord and your Savior? To be a Christian you must believe in Jesus, you must trust in Jesus and you must confess your sins to Jesus and you must commit to Jesus.

I was born into a “church going” family. We attended Memorial Baptist in Dayton regularly until I was about five years old. When I was five we moved about a half an hour away from that church, and my dad wanted to find a church closer to home. We went to Concord United Methodist Church a few times a year. We never became members, or even attended weekly. My family was still guided with Biblical principles and morals, although until I was sixteen, I was never involved in church more than a few times a year.

The day of my salvation was when I was seven years old and it was Christmas day, 1988. My parents had given my brothers and me a children’s Bible for Christmas. When I was about to go to bed that night I was staring at the picture of Christ on the cross. At this time, although no one was there to lead me in a prayer, God was there and changed my heart.  I was looking at the picture of Christ on the cross and moved with tears in my eyes thinking, “He did this for me!” I knew that I was a sinner in need of a Savior.

A few years later, my father had been taking my brothers and me to a Southern Baptist barber (Mr. Tarter). My brothers and I always tried to get him talking about the Bible because his knowledge amazed us. He was a strong Christian who was involved in prison ministry and even preached at church sometimes. One day he started telling my dad how he led a man to salvation the day before. He actually told us the prayer and I heard that prayer and I said it that night and every night during my devotion time until I got involved in a church and realized I only had to say it once. That used to be when I thought I became a Christian. Now, I know that was the verbal expression of my salvation.

Today, I wish to look at Paul’s conversion and maybe this will cause you to reflect on when you became a Christian. I wish to teach you this passage, but also I hope you all will be challenge to engage Christ, be converted to Christ (if you have not been), be consecrated to Christ and be in communion with Christ.  (The last two are where the real struggle seems to be for so many.)

Let’s read Acts 9:1-9:

Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.” The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing thevoice but seeing no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

  1. Contact: verse 3: in verse 3 we see Paul’s contact with Jesus. Notice he is still called Saul at this point.
    1. Paul was traveling along the road that led to Jerusalem. Paul was heading towards Damascus.
    2. Damascus was 135 miles northeast of Jerusalem. Now, think about that, Paul had all that traveling to do in order to imprison Christians.
    3. How hostile do you think he was? How much hatred do you think he had? For 6 days on foot he was traveling simply to imprison Christians. I would think his anger would wear off.
    4. Paul was attacking Christians and after Paul becomes a Christian he will need forgiven and he will be.
    5. As Paul was approaching Damascus, suddenly, a light from Heaven surrounded him.
    6. In 1 Corinthians 9:1 he says that he saw Jesus. (this same chapter verse 27 and 22:14)
    7. An interesting thought, the last person before Saul to see the resurrected Christ was Stephen. He said, “Look at that, I see the Son of God standing at the right hand of the Father,” (Acts 7:55) Everyone witnessed this.
    8. But if it isn’t grace to realize that the man standing there, in measure responsible for the stoning of Stephen, was, in the grace of God, the next one to see His glory. That’s how grace operates.
    9. Stephen prayed “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.” (Acts 7:59-60) God answered, and God was gracious unto Saul. The heavens are opened one more time, and this killer, Saul, gazes into the glory and the person of Him whom he persecuted.
    10. The person who witnessed the first martyrdom when the last person saw Jesus, he is the next person to see the risen Lord!
  2. Conviction: verse 4: Paul was convicted in verse 4.
    1. Now, I think that is conviction and his conversion are both in the white space in between these next few verses.
  3. Conversion: verse 5
    1. Paul fell to the ground. Remember the previous chapter? The Ethiopian was converted on a chariot. Now, Paul is converted in dust.
    2. In verse 5, Paul calls Jesus Lord. This likely meant that Paul was simply calling him “sir,” but based off of the rest of this passage, I think he is being converted.
    3. There are a lot of crazy explanations for this event. Let me give you a few:
      1.                                                  i.      Renan, the Frenchman, says, “Well, it was an uneasy conscience with unstrung nerves, fatigue of the journey, eyes inflamed by the hot sun, and a sudden stroke of fever that produced the hallucination.”
      2.                                                ii.      Others say a thunderstorm just happened to hit at the very moment, and he was so overwrought by the guilt of his own conscience that he assumed it was God speaking to him and imagined the whole thing.
      3.                                             iii.      Others say, he had epilepsy.
      4.                                             iv.      I read that one thing about an epileptic that is to be noted is that an epileptic cannot remember anything that occurs during a fit, or a seizure. It’s amazing how Paul so well detailed what happened.
  4. Consecration: (Acts 22:10)
    1. I told you how I was converted earlier. Let’s talk about my call to ministry.

When I was in ninth grade I started attending Northmont Community Church in Dayton, Ohio. God worked through this church and I started going to the youth group and the worship services at the end of ninth grade. In tenth grade I was baptized by immersion in this church.

In the fall of 1998 I started taking a thirty-six week Discipleship course taught by the Youth Pastor. I was responsible for completing accountability forms, meeting weekly with a prayer and accountability partner, completing hour long (in depth Bible studies), scripture memory and we had a lesson every week. I also joined the Ministry/Mission team of the youth group. This gave me an opportunity to take part in the leadership of the group. This team also did service projects. During Discipleship we had a lesson on God’s will in our lives. I had to ask friends to fill out a form about what I am good at, and what I am like. It was during this time that my Youth Pastor thought that I might be called into the ministry. I thought and prayed about it. We looked into spiritual gifts. The gifts of ministry appeared high for me. I remembered how much I loved dealing with the Bible, people, serving, ministering, teaching, planning, and all the things I had been exposed to that Pastors do. Over the next few years I realized and accepted God wanted me in professional ministry.

  1. Look with me at Acts 22:10: And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Get up and go on into Damascus, and there you will be told of all that has been appointed for you to do.’
  2. I am sure that you noticed that Paul asked what he needed to do. This is when the Lord told Him that things are appointed for him and he will find out in Damascus.
  3. I hope that you are challenged every day to be able to say, “Lord, what shall I do?” The Lord has things in store for you. He has a plan. Pray for opportunities.  
  4. Communion:
    1. I heard the best illustration of Paul’s communion. This is not my idea, but I like it:

What was the last thing he ever saw? Jesus. Have you ever looked in the sun, and then everywhere else you look all you see is the sun? Or you had somebody take your picture and all…everywhere you look, flash. They say if you look at the sun long enough, you’ll be blind. An astronomer tried it, and he was. You know what I think? I don’t think Saul’s blindness was the blindness of darkness. I think it was the blindness of light. I think for three days all he ever saw was the Son, S-O-N, that he couldn’t get rid of the vision of Jesus. That’s all he ever saw.

So he spent three days getting acquainted. And I think that’s when all the old things died. And they died hard. And he didn’t yet understand forgiveness, either, and he would still have guilt.

Today, I hope you were taught some new thoughts regarding this passage, but also I hope you all have been challenged to engage Christ, be consecrated to Christ and be in communion with Christ. 

Now, I encourage you to go forth and be engaged with Jesus in a relationship consecrated to Him and in communion with Him.

Of course, I wonder if you have thought about your conversion to Christ. Do you know Jesus?

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)