Monday, November 24, 2008

Seven Secrets for a Successful Sunday School

              1. In Sunday School, everything rises and falls on leadership.

              2. The Sunday School must return to its purpose of reaching, teaching, and winning.

              3. Sunday School must be the center for ministry.

              4. The pastor must be the biggest supporter of the Sunday School.

              5. Good teaching will not necessarily grow a class, but bad teaching will definitely kill a class.

              6. Organize the class for growth and ministry.

              7. A growing Sunday School will have leaders who consistenly seek new training and ideas.

              Seven more secrets to come.

              Just a Thought!

              Tuesday, November 18, 2008

              Alabama Baptist Convention

              The Alabama Baptist State Convention convened today. What a great day it was. As dry as reports can be, I enjoyed hearing most of the reports and was excited to see how God is working through Alabama Baptists.

              Joe McKeever did an excellent job in his theme interpretations of "LeaderConnect."

              Roger Willmore's President's Address called for Alabama Baptists to return to a reliance on the Holy Spirit. He asked the question, "Has the modern day church with all of its resources and technology stopped looking to the Holy Spirit for its power?"

              The best part of the day was the evening worship time. The Alabama Baptist Singing Men and Women were truly a blessing to hear. Kevin Derryberry did a great job in leading us in a time of worship. Rick Burgess of the Rick and Bubba Show did a great job of reminding Alabama Baptists why we are here; to reach people for Christ. While maybe not a deep message, it was a very challenging and, I believe, much needed message for Alabama Baptists, including this one.

              Thanks to Roger Willmore for putting together a great convention.

              Monday, November 17, 2008

              Alabama Baptist Pastors Conference

              I greatly enjoyed sitting under great preaching today at the Alabama Baptist Pastors Conference. This years theme is "The Preaching of the Cross." The music and the messages were, as always, very inspirational and a great blessing.

              I especially enjoyed the time of worship and singing. I was introduced to the music of David Freeman. His music lead me to the throne of God. You can hear some of his music here.

              D. J. Horton did a great job in teaching from Galatians 6:11-15.
              He titled his message "What Really Counts." What really counts is not to conform, but to be transformed. In verse 15 what really counts is made clear, "a new creation."

              Frank Cox preached from Galatians 2:20 on "The Call of the Cross."

              1. The Call to Salvation.
              2. The Call to Surrender.
              3. The Call to Seen the Mind of Christ.
              4. The Call to Share Your Story.

              Rick Lance, Executive Director of the Alabama State Board of Missions preached from 2 Tim. 2:8-10. His message was "Remember Jesus Christ."

              1. Remember the LIFE He lived.
              2. Remember the DEATH He died.
              3. Remember the GOSPEL He gave.
              4. Remember the POWER He Provides
              5. Remember the FUTURE He has fulfilled.

              I am looking forward to the start of the covention tomorrow.

              Saturday, November 15, 2008

              Persecution of Christians in America is Here

              It’s Getting Hostile Out There
              by Jerry Falwell, Junior

              In John 15:18, Jesus told his disciples, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you” (NKJV).

              These are encouraging words to Christians today, especially as we witness acts of aggression taking place against those who attempt to live their lives according to biblical principles. Most prominently, I refer to an incident this week in Delta Township, Michigan, at the Mount Hope Church, where a group of militant homosexuals entered a service and began shouting and throwing fliers at members. Their shouts, according to reports, included: “It’s OK to be gay,” and “Jesus was a homo.” Outside the church, other protesters carrying pink crosses and shouting “bash back,” banged on buckets during the service and allegedly pulled a fire alarm.

              Also this week, a Canadian-based “Christian missionary,” as described by received a pink, gift-wrapped bag at his home, thinking it to be a present left for one of his young daughters. However, when he opened the package, a bomb exploded, seriously injuring the missionary, Gary Stevenson.

              While occurrences such as these are rare, the intensity level is elevating in many areas of our nation, especially after voters in three states—California, Florida and Arizona—voted down state referenda to enact same-sex marriage laws. It is apparent that those of us who embrace the biblical standard of one woman, one man for a lifetime are going to be increasingly in the crosshairs. This is why I persistently encourage Christians to be skilled in apologetics, which is the art of proving Christian truths and doctrines. We must be able to reason with our political adversaries, utilizing Scripture as our foundation and a having passion to win souls to Christ as our motivation. This is what Jesus called us to do (Matthew 28:19-20).

              When Christians face persecution for their beliefs or when we read of fellow Christians who are suffering for their faith in Christ, it is a good time for personal reflection. We must all periodically ask ourselves: am I ready to face hostility for what I believe?

              Are you ready to face persecution because of your faith, while remaining true to the cause of Christ? The true test of our faith is how strong it is—how it sustains us—when the chips are down.

              Thankfully, there is a wonderful passage in the Bible that strengthens us, no matter what kind of trial, ordeal or burden we are facing. It is II Corinthians 4: 8-10: “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our own body.”

              Keep your eyes on the Savior, Christian friends, no matter who opposes you or who lets you down. For we know this: Jesus, who understands our every need, has promised never to leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

              Jesus, Our Elder Brother

              Hebrews 2:10-13 tells us that Jesus is the elder brother of every Christian. Our greatest blessing in having Jesus as our elder brother is entrance into the family of God. Paul says that we are adopted into the family of God "through Jesus Christ" (Eph 1:5). By grace we are adopted sons and daughters into the family of which Jesus is the natural and rightful Son. Along this line Richard Phillips, in his commentary on Hebrews, expressed a great thought upon which to meditate. Here is your thought for the day.

              "We are not his brothers and sisters because we are children of God; rather, we are children of God because we are his brothers and sisters."

              Monday, November 10, 2008

              America Has Chosen a President

              Dr. Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, KY) posted an excellent article the day after the election entitled "America Has Chosen a President." I wish I had read and therefore could have directed you to the article earlier. It is a must read for all evangelical Christians. You can find it here. Below is an excerpt from the article.

              The fight for the dignity and sanctity of unborn human beings has been set back by a great loss, and by the election of a President who has announced his intention to sign the Freedom of Choice Act into law. The struggle to protect marriage against its destruction by redefinition is now complicated by the election of a President who has declared his aim to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. On issue after issue, we face a longer, harder, and more protracted struggle than ever before.

              Following the election ABC World News Tonight visited the campus of Southern Seminary and interviewed Dr. Mohler concerning the election results. You can watch the video clip of the story with Dr. Mohler's comments here.

              Just a Thought!

              Friday, November 7, 2008

              The Christian's Response to the Election

              What is the proper response for Christians following the election? Let me suggest a few things.

              1. Respect the office of the president.
              Even if you disagree with the social and political views of the man in the office, the office is still to be respected. "The authorities that exist have been established by God" (Romans 13:1-2).

              2. Do what is right and Obey the Law.
              "For rulers do not hold terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong" (Romans 13:3-4). "Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient,..." (Titus 3:1).

              3. Pray for Public Officials.
              "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone -- for kings and all those in authority, . . . This is good, and pleases God our Savior" (1 Tim 2:1-3).

              4. Influence government for good.
              "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is not longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men" (Matthew 5:13).

              Just a thought!

              Wednesday, November 5, 2008

              Ban on Gay Marriage Passes in California

              California voters pass Proposition 8, overturning a state Supreme Court decision that granted gay couples the right to wed.

              See whole story here from Fox News.

              The state constitution of California will now include the following sentence: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
              The amendment barely passed, but this should come as a wake up call for our president elect and for Democrats. One of the most liberal states, if not the most liberal state, in America is not yet willing to sanction the destruction of traditional and biblical marriage.

              Concerning his election Barak Obama stated last night in his victory speech that the people have spoken. Indeed, the people have spoken and the people said, marriage is to be between one man and one woman.

              "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." (Genesis 2:24).
              Just a Thought!

              Monday, November 3, 2008

              V O T E

              Tomorrow America will go to the polls and elect the next President of the United States. Denny Burk, in a post entitled, My Closing Argument for Life on Election Eve argues convincingly that "the trancedent issue of this election is abortion." This is an excellent article that every Christian should read before stepping into the voting booth. Read the article here.

              Tomorrow, when we mark the ballot for those running for elected offices, we willl find that there are no perfect candidates. They, like all of us, are all flawed. But when it comes to the fundamental moral issues of our day, the two leading presidential candidates are diametrically opposed. We must prayerfully examine the policies of all the candidates, from those seeking the Oval Office to those seeking local offices, and go to the polls to support the men and women who best uphold the political and social values we hold dear. As Believers, those values, should be influenced by a biblical world view.

              The duty of every Christian is to be certain that when they have cast their ballot, the name of Jesus was glorified.

              Just a Thought!