Work Toward Organization in Intercessory Prayer

“We are ministers. We owe it to our people to pray for every single one of them. We know them and we should pray for them one by one. How? Be strategic. Have set lists that you have organized and categorized to pray for other people. Newton said his best friends were those who prayed for him. It will be encouraging to your people for them to know you are praying for them. I take the church directory and pray for the people on one page each day. You love your people and you know their needs.”

 

This is something I adopted years ago, I keep a list with me and pray for people by name. A mentor of mine sends me a text every Sunday for the last three years, just letting me know he prays for me. I try to do the same, not only for the people in our church but also for local pastors and a few I know across the country.

I am in the process of putting my thoughts together on the subject of prayer, it is a journey to be sure.

Looks like a couple of great reads

Just ordered a couple of books, can’t wait for them to arrive. The pricing @ the Westminster bookstore is great, if you need a book …..click on one of the images below and it take you to their site. Great service, great pricing, great selection. The Keller book is on sale until February 28th

Turning the leaf before it falls off the tree :)

Ok, after a great time of conversation with my Pastor-Mentor-Friend last night and a time of reflection on my last four yeas of life Ihave come to the (re) conclusion that I am not superman.

Although I find my self fit and relatively trim 190 and 5″11 and at 53 years old I can still keep up with most half my age.

I find myself fatigued and tired most nights, I don’t sleep worth a bean (food reference ) and over the last year it is showing up in that “I always look hungover” kind of look . As I was poking around the web I stumbled on this POST and it initially struck me as a silly kind of read, and a provocative title to be sure.  Well another Pastor friend posted THIS link and it just added fuel to my fire.

Just three years ago I was able to tell Jann on a Saturday morning that I was going for a run and I would be back in a bit, it alway took four hours, I would be like Forrest Gump and run and run….  I would take off on Miliken and Foothill and go two hours in any direction knowing if I went out two hours…. I would have to return in two hours, kind of a runners mind game but it worked.

Over the years I racked up the following stats

  • Miles walked 3708
  • Miles Run 6080
  • Total Miles 9788
  • Stairs Climbed 70,202 ( apx 35 miles)
  • Training Summary: Total Distance:9826.09 mi.
  • FAST FACTS about EARTH: * circumference: 24,901.5 miles * diameter: Nearly 8,000 miles I am over 1/3 of the way around 🙂

Well in thinking about where I am today and where I was just three years ago, I have decided to jump back in the running obsession. One of the good things over these last few years is, I have walked 2 miles a day and not missed even one day due to illness or laziness 🙂 I am forced to walk because my train lets me off  a mile from work and I refuse all offers of rides from co-workers, ( that is another story ) anyway,  I have a choice to make, drugs 🙂 or running, I will give running a try again and see where I am this time next year.

I know you are wondering why I posted this and what does it matter to you……  🙂 it keeps me from having to bomb and say six months from now…. no….I just got lazy and could not keep it up

Tone

Ok, the process has started

I think this is the structure of my doctrinal statement, my personal one. I will try work through this over the next few months. It is something I need to do for myself, ready always to explain what I believe and why. So….

  • Vision Statement
  • Mission Statement
  • How and why of both
  • The Bible
  • God
  • The Father
  • The Son
  • The Holy Spirit
  • Salvation
  • The Church
  • Spiritual Gifts
  • People ( Humanity)
  • Eternity
  • Eternal Security
  • End Times
  • Leadership Model for the Church
  • Priesthood of Believers
  • Communion
  • Stewardship

Well maybe more than a few months and maybe not in this order , but it is where I will start….so….on to my vision statement…..hmmm

Tone

Prayer

10/03/10

I am thinking about prayer this afternoon, the power of it and the thought that we can stand before the Creator of ex nihilo. In Genesis 1:1 we are told God created the heavens and the earth, that is everything from nothing, for His glory. ( Isa 43:7 ) When I think about this fallen world and how it must just pain Him to see where it is today.

God created it good and wants us to use it in ways pleasing to Him. Anyway, what got me thinking about creation and prayer was how does it play out in the context of a sovereign God. He created it all, He made it all, He is Lord of it all. We owe all that we are and have to Him, from the macro of the mighty vastness of the universe to the micro sub-atomic, He is in control of it all, we can rest in the fact that He knows where we are in all of this thing we call life.

As a pastor, shepherd of His flock ( 1 Peter 5:2 ) I take the roll with great fear and trembling for the awesome responsibility I have to shepherd the flock that He has put in my charge. One of the things that I as a pastor am responsible for is to pray for the people in the church, I get asked all the time to please keep such and such lifted up in prayer, and sometimes I secretly wonder….why me, why do I have to take the weight of that on my plate, why do I have to promise to set time aside to remember to pray for you…..and then I go back to 1 Peter 5:2-5 and see I have a charge to tend to the flock of God, not by constraint but willingly.

That’s the key, HIS flock. I need to remember it is His and I am just tending to His people, and it is with great joy that I get to do that. Prayer for one another is a powerful way in which the Holy Spirit uses it to bring blessing to each of us, the one praying and the one being prayed for ! It is a joint venture that both parties will grow in their faith and walk with Christ.

We are told to pray as a group for one another, Acts 4:24-30 and when peter was in prison, Acts 12:5 tells us “earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. Prayer involves fellowship with the Holy Spirit, In Hebrews 4:16 we get to “draw near” to God in prayer before the very throne of grace !! and we do so “ that we may receive mercy and find grace in time of need”

Wow, as we just wrapped up twenty months going through the book of Acts as a church, we have seen over and over the awesome power of prayer in the early church. As we grow in fellowship at ALCC the more the need to keep prayer in the forefront of where we are moving.

So it is in that context that I count it all joy to be allowed to lift others up in the act of worshipful prayer so I can see them drawing near to God, entering into His presence and giving Him the praises He deserves !! I think it is a primary means of grace that is only available to the church and through which God can bring blessings individually and corporately to all of us…….

So, please keep me in the loop on your prayers, fill out the cards in the bulletin, email Jeff and I , we count it all joy !!! really…..

Somewhere on the road ………

Mike

Mixed Messages

Anthony de Mello said “We inoculate the young with religion – so that they won’t catch it when they become adults!”

When we give mixed messages to our youth, we end up inoculating them against a lifetime of following Christ, they can see through our hypocrisy and ‘do as I say, not as I do “charade

We need to preach the whole council of God, not just the parts we like, not just the parts that don’t step on toes, not to make or keep friends….but the full message of hope and repentance to our young people.

We know John the Baptist preached God’s word even in the face of beheading. John was imprisoned and lost his life because he preached to Herod that he was in an unlawful marriage. It is easy for us to want to avoid difficult passages or scripture and perplexing teachings. It is so much easier to teach the things we can all agree on and everything will be fine. But God has not called us to teach a “different” gospel as Paul reminds us in Galatians 1:6-7 it is no gospel at all if it takes away from Christ.

We cannot simply teach the things that will keep us out of trouble or will avoid controversy. The word of God must continue to be taught even if we do not like it. We must keep preaching to the world that immorality is sin and sin is not acceptable to God.

We cannot change His message and we cannot avoid His message. All we can do is preach the message in love, with the understanding that we were the same as them. We all need the blood of Christ. We all need the grace of God.

And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11; ESV)

We are constrained and we are compelled by God’s law. We need to know what we are doing wrong so that we can make sure that we continue to stand in God’s grace. We do not want our youth to walk away from God. So we need to know what he says and make the changes in our lives to receive his grace. John could not change the message and could not keep quiet in the face of sin. We cannot either and disciples of Jesus. If we truly care about people and we truly care about their eternal souls, then we must have the courage to teach the whole message of God, even if people disagree, walk out, sever friendships, or even suffer persecution. Look at  Luke 3:19 and notice that John not only preached against Herod for his unlawful marriage, but also “for all the evil things that Herod had done.” It sounds like John hounded Herod about his sinful life.

One of the things I have been meditating on over the last five weeks out of the pulpit is, I need to make sure I teach the Word of God, the whole council, without compromise. Not in a winner take all, battle royal but out of love and compassion.

My prayer…..Lord don’t  let me preach mixed messages! To young….or old

Pastor Mike

When I preach about money……….

One of the things I like to do in my spare time 🙂 or odd hours of the day is read blogs from guys I respect, well this POST was one that caught my attention. When I first read it I must admit thought….duck Chris…fur will fly now, well I went back and re-read it a couple of times and it sure makes sense.

Rather than me reinventing the wheel and dialing it back a notch I asked his permission to re-post it. If it hits you as abrupt, re-read it a time or two and see if maybe ….it should hit you, just saying…. it hit too close to home to me, so I am guessing I need to reevaluate  eh.

Tone

“The universe,is queerer than we can suppose.”

First off, chill out with the title of the post. ….Well this is what I am up against, the logic of “great” thinkers of the day 🙂  a remarkable quote , the jacēre of the argument is, if we can rethink our past, then events in the past are not real, we can just rethink them and have a whole new reality…. so, my pet dog Bobbie that died in 1980, well, she is not really dead, I just need to change my thinking …. if I did not get that raise last year because I was a dope of an employee, well…let me rethink my boss dead, rethink the new boss …me…give myself a raise…. rethink the old boss alive…spend the raise….start all over again…simply marvelous….Groundhog day the movie all over again. well in the words of the great philosopher Punxsutawney Phil, “Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today.”

I know I am not near as smart as the good Dr Lanza but where do they come up with this stuff.

We must re-think all that we have ever learned about the past, human evolution and the nature of reality, if we are ever to find our true place in the cosmos,” says Constance Hilliard, a historian of science at UNT. Choices you haven’t made yet might determine which of your childhood friends are still alive, or whether your dog got hit by a car yesterday. In fact, you might even collapse realities that determine whether Noah’s Ark sank. “The universe,” said John Haldane, “is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.”

I think I will hang my reality on this

Hebrews 3:13 But f exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by g the deceitfulness of sin.

It is a queer world indeed, Seek Him and the reality of His offer of salvation

Tone

Heresy has no friends,just evil bed fellows

One of the hardest things for me as a pastor is to deal with the clean up of broken hearted people that were lead astray by evil heretical teaching. My personality is such that I try to lead with the Crook not the Staff. I try to lead with gentleness and compassion but sometimes my blood boils with what I see.

I had this email tonight from a guy that I have care over for teaching sound doctrine, and the [ real ] Gospel of Christ. I know many of you reading this are fans of the heretic Joel Osteen and I take no pleasure in calling him a heretic but it is , what it is. The gospel he preaches is a social gospel, it masks the  need for a Saviour and points people down a damnable path of which he will be held accountable.

I have seen in the business world so many problems with guys failing, almost every time the problem, path or lie can be ferreted out if you follow the money, sad to say it is the same in ministry. Each and EVERY one of these false teachers is leading a life of opulence and greed, yes every one of them. Begging and stealing from those that do not have in order to stuff their pockets with filthy lucre [ 1 Tim 3:3 ]

I know those of you reading this that follow the likes of Osteen , think I am nuts and off base, mean spirited etc…I can only say that I see this in real life affecting real people, I will not tone it down any longer, I will call what I see what it is and use ONLY scripture as my guide. not opinion or feelings, just let scripture land where it may.

Here is the email…… ” Mike, This is one of the things it’s hard to understand , Especially when your “Not Doing Well Financially”!! I think this is one of the things we were discussing before. See you tomorrow”

Here is what prompted the email

“Today’s Scripture “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back” (Luke 6:38). Today’s Word from Joel and Victoria God is a god of abundance! He wants to pour out His abundance on you until you are so full that you are running over with His goodness. And notice how this verse starts. It says, “Give, and it will be given to you.” Your giving sets the blessing of God into motion in your life. Giving is like a seed. When you plant an apple seed, it doesn’t just grow a single fruit. That one seed grows into a tree that produces an abundance of apples! That’s what happens when you obey God in your giving. You receive an abundant harvest in return. It’s overflowing, literally “running over”! And when the blessing is running over, it means you have so much that you want to give more. The cycle just keeps repeating itself! Is there something the Lord is telling you to give today? It could be financial, material, or even your talents and service to others. What do you have in your hand that you can use to bless someone else? Take a step today and set the blessing of God into motion in your life. Open the door for His blessing to be running over in every area of your life today! A Prayer for Today Father in heaven, I choose to obey Your Word. I choose to be a tither and a giver. I choose to give to others knowing that You will use me in a greater capacity in return. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

If these guys feel so strongly that giving is so darn good…..why the heck don’t they give until it hurts, after all, they will receive , pressed down , shaken together….POOO I hate hirelings using scripture out of context to further their self serving κοπρία { google it }

I hope the dear Hireling Dr.Joel and Pastorette Osteen sort this out before they run many more people down the road to hell……

Vent over…. for now

Dang……