Saturday, April 11, 2009

New Website

Dear Friends,
I have created a new website for Calvary Baptist Church and it can be accessed by using this address: I also have a new blog spot there on the home page.

Please read my blogs there.

Thank you!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Security - a Wonderful Word

I was awakened this morning early by a phone call from the security system that monitors our church property. “We have a burglar alarm at the west door. The police are in route” said the friendly voice on the other end of the phone. I quickly got dressed and went to the church to meet with the police. Thankfully there was no intruder and everything was OK. As I was driving back home I was thinking about SECURITY and began to rejoice that there is no problem with my ETERNAL security. No intruder can do anything to shatter my secure position in Christ and it is up to me to REST in that simple truth.

If your December is like mine, it is filled with “activity” and I am reminded of the little girl who prayed at Christmas, “Lord, forgive us of our Christmases and those who Christmas against us.” Augustine reminded us to “beware of the barrenness of a busy life.” I am THANKFUL that God’s unspeakable gift is the “gift that keeps on giving.” It is eternal in its PURPOSE, it is eternal in its POWER, and it is eternal in its PRESENCE.

I am secure NOT because I FEEL secure all the time, but because He says I am secure. I will gladly take His word over my feelings.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Ordinary Men - Extraordinary God!

Recently I was reading in Judges 3 where God used two ordinary men to deliver His people following their deliberate acts of disobedience. Othniel comes from good stock - he is Caleb's nephew. The Scripture says, "The Spirit of the Lord came upon him" v. 10). The longer I live the more I realize how essential it is that God's Spirit be upon me in my service to God. The one verse devoted to Othniel speaks volumes by its brevity. He just did what God said and he was victorious in delivering Israel.

The second man was Ehud. He was left-handed (like me) and God called on him to deliver Israel again. His victory was one of daring and courage. He simply killed the king who was the oppressor and then led Israel to defeat their enemies.

From the lives of these two men I draw this conclusion: God uses ordinary men to accomplish extraordinary tasks when they are wholly yielded to Him.

I know I am ordinary. It is my prayer that I will be wholly yielded to God to make myself available for extraordinary times. What is your prayer?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I Choose "Reckless Abandon"

In reading Numbers 23, God instructs the Israelites to "drive out" the inhabitants of the land that He has given them. They were to destroy all the idols and shrines (v. 52). God's word of caution was, "If you fail to drive them out ... they will be like spli1nters in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will harass you in the land where you live" (v. 53).
1. Clearly God wanted Israel to enjoy their new land.
2. Clearly God gave them the steps necessary for them to enjoy the land.
3. The only variable in the equation was their willingness to obey and the degree to which they would obey.

Application: At the moment of salvation God gave me a new life. In His Word He gives me instructions that will lead me to "enjoy" this new life. At this point I have the option of obeying or not and also of deciding how completely I will obey.
My degree of abundant living is dependent on how much of God's truth I embrace and how much of the old life I am willing to destroy and how many of the old idols I am willing to forsake.

So ... whether or not I live the "abundant life" promised in John 10.10 has NOTHING to do with God's promise and EVERYTHING to do with my willingness to agree with God about:
His Word ... His Provision ... His ability to keep His Promises AND my reckless abandon to enjoy His promises.

I CHOOSE RECKLESS ABANDON! What is your choice?

Monday, December 31, 2007

Life in the Fast Lane ...

I don’t know about you but I have used that phrase a few times in my life to describe some “different” kind of happening. Well, this time, I am using it to describe my life in the last half of 2007. When I look back on the events of this year, my only response is “Yeah, God!” Reflecting back on New Years Eve 2006, it was uneventful, boring, and somewhat depressing, since I was alone, and there were no prospects for anything different in the coming months.

In April of 2007 I was returning from a 50th birthday party for a pastor friend of mine. On the ride home, I began talking out loud to God in my car. The long and short of the conversation was that I thought life “sucked” but if that was what God wanted for me, I was willing to yield all I was to His sovereign power and I would be “content” as He taught me the meaning of contentment. A little over a month later, God began a journey for me that I could never have imagined, nor would I have been able to dream of such a series of events.

On May 18th, I had breakfast with Carol Feistel, widow of deceased missionary Malcom Feistel. We met at the Cracker Barrel in Springfield, MO and that was the beginning of a relationship that God ordained from the beginning. On July 9th we were married in Frisco, CO. Carol finished her missionary responsibilities in Taiwan at the end of August and returned to Ohio and began serving the Lord with me here. Our lives together have been so much more than either of them could have been had we remained apart. We enter 2008 with a sense of God’s hand on our lives, our ministry, and our future. It seems that every day since our marriage has been one of adventure and blessing.

I have learned the simple truth of Psalm 18.30: “As for God, His way is perfect.” Not only do I believe it … Carol and I are living proof of that simple statement. Such is life “in the fast lane” with God.

Just my thoughts on this New Years Eve 2007.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

What Do I Need?

Recently I was reading in Joshua. As I began thinking about what I need, as a man, as a man who is a Christian, as a man who is a husband, as a man who is a father, as a man who is a grandfather, I was reminded that the one thing that I need is "confidence." How does a man gain that confidence? Let me make some observations from Joshua chapter 1.
  • In Joshua 1.9 we read, "the Lord is with thee." That is a guarantee from God. If you knew that God was with you, would that give you confidence?
  • In Joshua 1.8, confidence comes from knowledge. The more you know, the more confident you are. V. 8 reminds us that we must spend time "meditating" on the word of God.
  • In Joshua 1.7, the instruction is to "be strong." Being with God (v. 9) and meditating on God (v. 8) leads to "be(ing) strong."
The question I am forced to ask myself is this: "How strong do I want to be?"

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The High Cost of Mediocre Living

The Bible says: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Ecclesiastes 9.10

I want to use a word that most of us know or have heard, but for the sake of clarity, I want to define the word. Here it is: mediocre or mediocrity: 1. of only ordinary or moderate quality; neither good nor bad; barely adequate. 2. rather poor or inferior. { Unabridged (v 1.1)}

Just as in nearly every other aspect of life, mediocrity is not confined to the one who chooses to live that way. It affects everyone with whom he/she chooses to interact as well as those who are observing the behavior.

Sports figures have been “benched” for mediocre playing.

A doctor who practices medicine with a mediocre approach soon finds himself looking for patients.

When my doctor makes my eyeglasses, I want to be sure the technician does not approach my prescription with a mediocre attitude. Otherwise my trifocals would not be accurate and I would have great difficulty using them.

When your car comes down the assembly line, there is an inspector whose job it is to maintain quality control. Mediocrity is generally not acceptable.

In marriage relationships, mediocrity leads to no commitment and no commitment often leads to divorce. Why would any man or woman want to live with a spouse who was not giving his/her best to make the relationship work?

Why, then, it is OK to live a mediocre lifestyle when we are involved in ETERNAL matters?

Mediocre living is the height of arrogance. It says, “I know what my best is and you don’t deserve it!” Can you imagine saying something like that to God? Now, we don’t say it, but we do live that way at times.

Consider this verse:
“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Ecclesiastes 9.10
In this verse we find two things: 1) a call to excellence and 2) a warning against anything else.
Ecclesiastes 9.10: “Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom” {NLT}.
Ecclesiastes 9.10: “Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily! This is your last and only chance at it, for there’s neither work to do nor thoughts to think in the company of the dead, where you’re most certainly headed.” {The Message}.
In this verse there is a call to excellence and a warning against anything less. Once our last breath is gone, we have no further opportunity to do ANYTHING good or bad.

Let me speak to you about a Call to Excellence – “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might;” If we believe that God orders our steps, then there are no coincidences for the Christian. Whatever turns up, grab it. And do it heartily! Last year I watched Drew Fetter and Sam Trogdon as they played basketball for the Rittman Indians. These young men brought a sense of excitement to the game that brought the crowd to its feet. Their zest and zeal for the game was evident from the tip off. I remember reading in the Trading Post a comment by Drew at the beginning of the season. He said, “I want to leave it all on the floor.”

In the arena of spiritual warfare, is there anything for us to do? Are we engaged in a battle? Is the enemy real? Is there a price to pay to move ahead? Is there room for anything other than excellence in our journey through this life? Would you agree that Satan’s warriors give their best in their battles against us? I realize that our salvation is never in jeopardy because our salvation is forever. I also realize that Satan is clever enough to sidetrack us on the journey and cause us to believe that the need is not IMMEDIATE, the cause is not IMPORTANT, and, just maybe, the price is NOT WORTH PAYING.

We often think of excellence as a comparative term. “I am better at it than so and so.” In reality, so and so is not the standard of comparison. Anything less than your best is mediocre.

The verse goes on to give us a Warning Against Anything Else – “for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” A few days ago I posted this to the “Nuggets from Calvary” email list: "Don't be so anxious to give your children what you didn't have that you neglect to give them what you did have." When will yesterday ever come by again? You and I never have a second chance to do the right thing the first time. Often we are consumed with seeing that our children have all the right “stuff.” A young man in my youth department some years ago had a father who was an executive in a large oil corporation. Every time the father went on a trip he would bring home some “stuff” for his son. The boy was a teen-ager.One day his father came home and gave his son his latest “purchase” thinking his boy would be happy with some more stuff. The young man threw the stuff back to his father and said, “Dad, I don’t want your stuff. I want you.”

The call to excellence must embrace every arena of our lives. 1) Our personal walk with God; 2) Our families; 3) Our work place; 4) Our recreational pursuits; and 5) Our ministry pursuits

Anything less than excellence is a reflection upon our Heavenly Father. If we do not love Him enough to give Him our best, we cannot expect anyone who watches us to do any differently? If we do not respect the person of God enough to respond to His call for service with a surrender of our will to His will, how can we ask that of anyone who sits under our teaching or parenthood?

I want to repeat something I said at the outset: Mediocrity is the height of arrogance. We say to others (including God) I know my best, and you don’t deserve it! If God does not deserve your best, then what reason will you give for anything less?