Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

MOTHER…what does it mean to you?

One of my favorite preachers was G. Campbell Morgan. I love reading his commentaries and sermons. Pastor Morgan had four sons. Once, when the whole family was together, someone asked, which one of the Morgans was the greatest preacher? This answer came from one of the sons: “Mother!”

I have watched my wife over the last 4 decades raise our family, and it has left me in Awe! I state that honestly, with no exaggeration. No, she does not walk on water, and this is not some greeting card. As I approach this “Mother’s Day” I have pondered on what I have witnessed. I do not know if my children and I will ever be able to fully comprehend the care the mother of our family has bestowed on us. God has given all of us a great gift when our Mother loves Him and then reflects that love to us! These are the qualities that I have encountered and been encouraged to emulate:


Nothing speaks quite as loud as a life that is surrendered and passed on! Paul points out that Timothy was also blessed with this.

2 Timothy 1:5 I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you.

The treasure that is shared with children from mothers will last a lifetime and guide them throughout their life if they will let it!

Proverbs 1:8–9 My child, listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. 9 What you learn from them will crown you with grace and be a chain of honor around your neck.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Scripture emphasizes how a “model” impacts!

1 Corinthians 7:16 Don’t you wives realize that your husbands might be saved because of you?

1 Peter 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives

Godly mothers are far more impactful than higher education and degrees.

Others oriented:

I am constantly convicted on how “other oriented” the mother of my children was. She reminds me of the woman in Proverbs:

Prov 31:15-18 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls. 16 She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. 18 She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night.

The energy a mother gives out is amazing! It is interesting that a mother does not need “big boy toys” the way many of us men seem to feel we need. Their focus is on others, not themselves.

God even uses the example of their commitment when trying to communicate His love for His people. He points out His love goes beyond theirs, but notice He picks mother’s love as the human ultimate!

Isaiah 49:15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.


There are many foolish things people can do in this world, but when you choose to attack a child of a godly mother, prepare for a war! I watched my wife walk that fine line of not shaming the Lord, while making it clear that she will protect her children. Jesus shared how He felt, using that mother instinct:

Matthew 23:37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem…How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings”  

No chicken hawk is welcome to a hen’s chicks, she will place herself in danger if need be! There are myriads of stories that show the sacrificial love of a mother. Her tenacity does not waiver, no matter the circumstances.


This is one of God’s mysteries! God chooses and blesses a woman to have a child, and there is a spiritual connection that nothing can deter! It exists even in mothers that have abandoned their children. A drive for the child to connect and be close; how much MORE when the mother loves God and desires that relationship!

Psalm 127:3 Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.

Psalm 22:9 Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb; You made me trust when upon my mother’s breasts.

Psalm 139:13 For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.


To edify means to “build up.” I watched as my wife poured her life into our children, proactively looking for ways to build them up and encourage them. Again from Proverbs 31

Prov 31:25 She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. 26 When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. 27 She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. 28 Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her

A godly mother is always a safe place. No matter the storms outside, when a child returns to mom, they sense it and enjoy the Harbor in the storm.

Isaiah 66:13  “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you”

1 Thessalonians 2:7 But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children.

Don’t let this Mother’s Day pass without letting your mother, or the mother of your children, know how much you appreciate her.

For me, I must let the mother of my children know what the husband in Proverbs stated:

“There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”

Monday, May 2, 2016

Are Storms for punishment?

When we speak of God extending “grace” what does that mean? I am not asking what the definition is…because a very safe simple one is: “God’s love extended in unmerited favor.” What I am asking is, what does that look like? How does the word “grace” flesh out in reality? When we honestly think about it, God’s grace extends into all areas of our life at all levels. Whether it be concerning the most significant issue in our existence, Eternal Life:

Ephesians 2:8–9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

None of us could live the life of perfection that satisfies the holiness of God, so He in His love and mercy, came to us, in the person of Jesus Christ, and through His sacrifice, supplied a way for us to enter into a relationship with the God of perfection. Unlike the idols of this world that demand we lowly humans serve them by; offering our rice to rats instead of our children, or torturing our bodies to deserve their acceptance, or kill those that don’t agree with us, our God…the one True God, knew we could never reach Him, so He reached down to us! In reality…He served us! That’s the grace that opens the door to eternal life to all that desire it!

Grace starts there and moves to even the most minute parts of our life. God even extends the grace of ignorance! Yes, God spares us from things we could not understand or handle at the moment.

How can we, which are finite, comprehend Him, when He is Infinite? In His grace He has set the boundaries:

Deuteronomy 29:29  “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

He also knows the seasons of when we can deal with issues. Could you imagine how horrible our life would be if at 5 we understood all that the opposite sex was about? That would bring a horrible meaning to the words “play ground!” No, God in His grace allows our mind to begin to mature in our concept of the opposite sex as our bodies also begin to mature. His grace does the same with out spiritual maturity, Jesus extended grace to His disciples:

John 16:12 “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now.

He knew that when the Holy Spirit came His men would be able to grasp better the truths they were not ready for yet. God has extended that grace to me also, if I fully understood the cost of discipleship in “total” as a brand new Christian I might have quit. Yet, in His timing, through His grace He has walked each step of maturity with me.

From a message I heard, we have been looking at times when God allows things into our lives that feel as though they will crush us. Storms…why does God allow them? Many falsely believe it always must be punishment, but we have already seen that God allows this in order:

·      1. To develop humility!
·      2. To drive you to pray.

Our context is 2 Corinthians 12:717.
Here are reasons three and four: He allows storms into our lives:

3. So God will dispense His grace
V. 9  And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”

Let’s remember - Grace is the ability to get the enablement to deal with your circumstances…WHEN you NEED it! God is not going to supply the courage you might need to be martyred for Him, when you are sitting safely in your home far away from persecution! That is not how grace works.

Acts 4:33 And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.

Remember – during this time the disciples were being threaten, beaten and imprisoned. Yet, they we able to remain bold witnesses for Christ! God extended strengthening grace!

James 4:6  But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

James is talking about the battle we have with the world system we live in. He points out God “gives!” Whenever we face any overwhelming circumstance, God’s grace is one prayer away. May I emphasize here though, this is why abiding in Christ is so essential. When you are close to Him you are in a constant state of communion. When you drift and have become distant, your first reaction will be to try and handle it on your own. That usually leads to disaster.

Lastly, God allows storms into our lives:

4. To demonstrate His power
V. 9 Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Nothing builds faith into our life more effectively than when we are faced with a fearsome storm, and God intervenes with His power! When we keep a record of His acts in our life, like the “Jordon Stones” from the Old Testament, when another storm arises, we will not be shaken from our foundation! 

Also God uses the circumstances of our life to help us remember:
1. What real Power is!
2. Who controls all that Power!
3. Where we should turn when we are affected and need help in the midst of that Power.

The Pastor that spoke shared this Scripture after that unbelievable hail storm:

Psalm 147:17–18 He hurls the hail like stones. Who can stand against his freezing cold? Then, at his command, it all melts. He sends his winds, and the ice thaws.

Think about it, moisture that crystallizes, falls from 60,000 feet – when it hits it is traveling between 90-130 mph! That is awesome…Now consider how much MORE awesome is the One that controls all that!!

Scripture states it well:

2 Samuel 7:22 “How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you!

Meditation: In the midst of the Storm, what do you do? Why? Does it help? How? When you view your problems, do you spend most of your time focusing on how “big” they are? What would happen if you focused on how BIG your God is?