Monthly Archives: July 2021

Fishing

I am headed up to Alaska on Saturday to go salmon fishing, and I am really excited about it, and looking forward to it very much. Some people say I am addicted to fishing. I am not sure exactly what that means so I googled it. According to one site there are obvious signs that fishing has moved beyond a hobby to an addiction, here are a few;

-you have more pictures of fish then grandkids.

I counted, it is a tie.

– the amount of money you spend on fishing equipment, fishing trips, and guide fees is greater than a car payment each month.

I don’t have a car payment and what I spend on fishing isn’t quite as much as my house payment, so I think I am fine.

– You remember the date of upcoming fishing trips more successfully than your wife’s birthday or your wedding anniversary.

That one isn’t fair!

-You get up in the middle of the night and watch YouTube video’s of fishing shows.

Only when I can’t sleep.

I read where they use fishing as a remedy to help people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, it is called “replacement treatment.” Addiction to fishing is so much stronger than addiction to drugs or alcohol that it replaces it.

Baptism

Jesus was baptized at approximately age 30, the Apostle Paul was baptized, the Church began in the book of Acts with 3000 people getting baptized, and the “Great Commission” given by Jesus minutes before He ascended into heaven commands the Church to baptize people as they make disciples, baptism is clearly the will of God for each of us as fully devoted followers of Jesus.

Yesterday we had JBC’s annual “Baptism at the Lake” with a big pot-luck, great worship, amazing testimonies by those getting baptized, and 20 baptisms. The weather was great, the food was delicious, the place where we hold the event at Talbot, Lake Charles, was beautiful and tremendously suited for this event, and the fellowship with all the people was sweet.

As I sat and listened to the testimonies of each person getting baptized and heard the stories of their unique journey’s with Christ, their trials, experience’s, and lessons learned I was amazed at the sovereign working of God in each person’s life to bring them to Himself and shape them into the image and likeness of Himself. It was a beautiful day and once again was my favorite day of the year.

If you want to be blessed watch the short video of our baptism service yesterday using the link below.

Change

A principle of life is that change produces growth. If a business is going to grow it must change. If churches are going to grow they must change. If individuals are going to grow they must change. The more change that happens the faster they grow.

But often change doesn’t cause growth, it causes just the opposite. Why? We don’t like change as individuals or as groups. Change makes us anxious, afraid, and insecure about the future.

Churches can choose to change, plan change, and make goals to change, but change in churches often causes disunity which results in a sick church and decline. The leadership must lead well to maintain strong unity during the change process in the midst of the church family, and then growth happens, often very rapid growth.

Individuals can choose to change, plan changes, and set goals for change, but they can become so fearful in the process that all the positive, growth-causing elements of change are negated. Individuals must learn the skill of self-leadership so that they can pursue change with faith and confidence.

The stronger the leadership the more change can happen and the faster the growth. Because people don’t like change, they and the churches they attend choose not to change, but to stay in a rut, it is more secure to them.

God will then sovereignly make changes in order to produce growth, but if there isn’t good self-leadership and good church leadership growth won’t happen but decline.

For the last year we have had an incredible amount of change. Many people because they are good at leading themselves have managed the change in a healthy way and have grown tremendously. Many churches as well have grown more this last year than in any other year in their history because of solid and wise leadership.

The key element is trusting God. In the midst of the change God causes an important discipline is always rejoicing, never complaining.

A person who regularly and systematically sets goals to change, and rejoices always in the change God causes will grow rapidly. And churches that see change as a good thing and maintain strong unity will reach many people with the gospel.

Talk Nice

Talking mean to people has always been something that a few people did to others, but now it is very common, it seems most do it. Telling people off, especially on social media, is becoming part of life. Saying rude, and insulting, things about a person to pay them back, put them in their place, or to let them know that we don’t like them is becoming part of the culture.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.

Matthew 15:11 It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.”

Matthew 12:36-37 But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb,Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.

Every morning in my prayer of commitment I say to God, “today I will only speak words that give grace to those lislisteng, I will not speak words that tear down, hurt or offend,”

God is listening to what we speak out of our mouth, and (1) He gives us greater authority and power to influence people with our words when we are disciplined on how we talk, (2) He blesses or curses our entire life based on how we talk, and (3) our self-worth goes up as we build up others with our words., we always reap what we sow.

I regularly say things that I ought not to say. I always feel bad when I do, and confess it to God as sin, and recommit to talking nice and asking God for the power to succeed.

I Am Just One Person, What Can I Do?

There are 328 million people in the United States, and I am just one person, you are just one person. When you read or watch the news and see all the crazy stuff going on, and Oregon one of the craziest it is very easy to feel like a victim. A victim because you didn’t cause what is happening to happen, and you don’t have any way to change or stop much of anything. It is like being in a big flood of water with a life jacket on being carried away by the water trying hard to keep your head up out of the water with no clue where you are being washed away to.

Jesus was one man , and He accomplished a lot with His life, with most of it being in just three years.

John 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.

But Jesus was God, you say, but He was living and functioning as a man, a human being,

John 14:12-14 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

This is one of the coolest passages in the Bible. I have the potential to do greater works to accomplish more that matters than Jesus Himself. Every Christian hast potential, but very, very few do much of anything to influence their culture.

1. You have to believe you can. If you have faith the size of a mustard seed you can move mountains. The best way to grow strong in faith is to read your Bible every day, more than a couple of verses. Memorize and meditate on key Bible verses. I have memorized John 14:12-14 and often fall asleep going over it in my mind.

2. Pray a lot for and about every injustice you see or hear about. Notice the second half of John 14:12-14. “Whatever you ask in my name, that will I do!”

Luke 18:7 now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them?

Notice the phrase, “day and night, ” which means to pray a lot.

Most could very easily read their Bibles for 15 minutes and then pray for 15 minutes. That 30 minutes a day will move you into the category of being a champion for God, a Daniel, a David, an Esther.

I am Just One Person, What Can I Do?

The Bible is full of stories of one person making a huge difference in the world.

Ezekiel 22:30I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one.

In this verse God is saying He only needs one person to work through to change history. The book of Esther is about one man and one lady that save the nation of Israel from extinction. The book of Daniel is about one man who made a huge difference in history, so what was their power?

Our nation in one year has gone incredibly crazy, very lost, and rushing away from God and His blessings. God calls me to be salt and light, to make a difference, to be a leader, an influencer, so what can I do?

Let me share my strategy on how to be a world-changer with you.

1. It is so important to remember that God is doing the changing, the fixing, and the conquering. But He doesn’t do what he does except through a person, and He only uses qualified people, so be one. The people God does great things through are humble above all else, they are kind to others, they seek God through Bible reading and prayer.

2. Our greatest world-changing weapon is prayer. The kind of praying that God honors is that which costs us time, not easy, convenient, prayer. Prayer warriors are systematic, not sporadic, they have a place and a time and are faithful to it. They set goals, make commitments, and keep them.

3. If you are pursuing righteousness and being the kind of person God uses keep an eye open for opportunities that God will provide, don’t miss them because of your busy schedule.

Thinking about the Future

I think a lot about the future. It is a combination of planning and anticipation. The thinking that I do is a major source of energy and joy for me, it simply gets me excited.

I am going to go fishing one day this week. I am going to go fishing at least one day next week. I am going to have three more meetings this week with groups of guys that love Jesus and want to grow, and next week I am going to have seven of those extraordinary meetings. This Sunday is our annual baptism service with over 20 people getting baptized and an enormous pot luck with great food and I am going to walk around and talk to many, many different people, all of whom I love and pray for every week. In ten days I am leaving for Alaska to go fishing for sockeye salmon with a bunch of guys from the church, it is going to be such a fun time. In August I am going to climb Mt Adams, 12,307 feet high. I am going to camp at the 10,000-foot level and have a great time looking out on what looks like the whole world beneath me. In September I am going elk and deer hunting with my bow in the Steens Mts, the most beautiful place in the world. In the first weekend of October I am starting my Leadership classes. I will teach a total of six different classes each week, and I am so excited about the impact I know the classes will have on those attending. At some point in August I am going tuna fishing. I have never been and I am so excited about this new experience. In January I am going to teach a seminar to a bunch of Pastors that will totally change their ministries, I can hardly wait for this to come. There so many other really cool things on the calendar in the next six months.

Wokeism?

If you are like me, a lot of the new words being thrown around in the news today are confusing. One of them is “ Critical Theory” and another is “Wokeism”.

Woke (/ˈwoʊk/ WOHK) is a term referring to awareness of issues that concern social justice and racial equality, and it has also been used to refer to awareness about broader social inequality on issues such as gender and sexual orientation.

There is a new religion called wokeism. It is growing very fast in our country. This religion masquerades under the guise of compassion and justice, but underneath it is evil. This movement did not start in Minneapolis on May 25th, when George Floyd was killed, it has been growing for decades.

When I graduated from High School in 1967 and went off to a Christian College I learned about Secular Humanism. In one of my classes we read the Humanist Manefesto written in 1933. In the Manefesto was this statement, “Humanism is a new “religion”, and Humanism as a religious movement will transcend and replace all previous religions that are based on allegations of supernatural revelation.” Since the first Manifesto, there have been a succession of new ones written intended to update and clarify the doctrine of Secular Humanism, the last one being in 2008. A few of the doctrines, principles, and goals are; (1) Evolution is our God, (2) No deity will save us; we must save ourselves, (3) We are responsible for what we are and for what we will be, (4) abortion should be free and available to everyone, (5) ethical relativism, the belief that no absolute moral code exists, and therefore man must adjust his ethical standards in each situation according to his own judgment. Humanist Max Hocutt says that human beings “may, and do, make up their own rules… Morality is not discovered; it is made.” (6). A one-world court and government would be most effective for achieving equality (7) The pursuit of personal property and riches, capitalism, is the main cause of evil and inequality in the world (8) racism is the ultimate expression of inequality, as is sexism, and judgmentalism toward someone else’s sexual orientation.

When I was a Freshman in college, it was recognized that secular Humanism was rapidly taking over secular Colleges and Universities in the United States which was their stated goal in the second Manefesto written at the end of World War II. Today most would agree that the “takeover” is complete, and is now moving into public education and has moved aggressively into Christian Schools as well.

Out of Humanism comes the idea that the more government controls a culture the more equality will exist, which results in the welfare state, Socialism and Communism.

In the early 20th century, a German school of philosophy called the Frankfurt School developed a social philosophy based on Humanism, called Critical Theory. The stated purpose is to “liberate human beings from the circumstances that enslave them, that which is oppressive.” In Critical Theory, the only things that exist are hierarchies of power, and those hierarchies must be torn down.

Critical Theory started to become prominent in the United States in the 90s and eventually infiltrated almost every university. In recent years, the ideology has left the university and has made the jump to media and corporate culture, establishing itself as the primary moral culture of our country.

Concepts such as logic, wisdom, natural law, and reason are viewed as tools of the oppressors, as are values like individualism, hard work, punctuality and delayed gratification. Critical Theory has become much more than a social philosophy and is the primary philosophical driving force behind the new civil religion of wokeism.

God is oppressive, saying something is right is oppressive, the expectation put on me to be responsible is oppressive, the fact that others have more than I do is oppressive. . .

Those who have convinced themselves that they are oppressed, that they have been treated unjustly scream, yell, and make a big fuss in an attempt to be free and equal, but it doesn’t work.

The only hope for our country is Jesus Christ.

Patrotism

My Dad was a patriot. He fought in World War II and had four ships sunk under him. He was a patriot as a matter of principle; if you lived in a country you supported it, you fought for it, and you were loyal to it, that was just the right thing to do. To my Dad to live in a country like the United States, to have a job, a house, to be protected, and have freedom and then to be critical of that country was the height of self-centeredness and childish thinking and acting.

During the Vietnam war there was a young farmer in our community who hung the U.S. flag upside down on a flagpole in his yard in protest of the war. I don’t ever remember seeing my Dad so angry about anything before. He started up a petition trying to get all the other dairy farmers in the area to sign it to get Mayflower the company that bought and picked up our milk to refuse to take his milk. It didn’t succeed but it did succeed in getting the young farmer to honor the flag, he quit flying it upside down, and it seemed to me that the reason was that the guy feared my Dad. In my opinion a very smart thing to do.

Over the last 30 years I have been in about 20 different countries on short-term mission trips. I have been in Vietnam, China, Mongolia, Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Bosnia, and others and seen first hand the restrictions, the corruption, the control that government attempts to exert over people.

Many people were interviewed over the fourth who were critical of the United States, and listening to or reading their comments ; it was easy to see that they have no clue. I thought to myself as I read or heard what they said, they need to live for a year in Vietnam or Mauritania.

Even in our present state of liberalism, and wokeism as a nation we are still the country that people in every nation in the world want to come to, we are still the country where you have a chance to do something with your life that matters and to move up in life.

My main thing as a concerned citizen of the greatest nation on earth is to pray diligently every day that God will bring revival to the United States of America.

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall

Reflective thinking is a learned skill that very few people have learned.

God’s goal for us is that we would become righteous and holy as He is. He will work on us, around us, and in us to make us like Himself, but there is a level of cooperation that we must bring to the process for what He does to work. That is why we are commanded in the Bible to pursue righteousness over and over again.

One of the most important things we need to do to grow in righteousness is to accurately and honestly evaluate who we are, where we are, what our flaws are, what blind spots do we have, what our motives are, and what is our character like. That evaluation of ourselves is called reflective thinking, it is looking in the mirror, as it were so that we can see our own heart.

This self-examination is not a morbid self-lothing, it is a result of our very strong desire to please Christ and to be like Him in character. As I said, very few followers of Jesus do this routinely as a discipline of life. The primary reason is because our flesh hates it. Our flesh ignores, justifies, blames, and denies our character flaws, we learned to do that as children and most have refined that skill ever since so that we have no clue who we really are on the inside.

Psalms 36:2 For it flatters him in his own eyes
concerning the discovery of his iniquity and the hatred of it.

Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes.

Proverbs 21:2 Every man’s way is right in his own eyes.

Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?

If I evaluate my level of pride on a scale of 1 to 100, and God does the same, how close will my evaluation be to His? It all depends; if I evaluate myself in cooperation with Him, asking for Him to open my eyes to see myself clearly, and with the desire to grow and become like Him, I believe they will be very close.

Jeremiah 17:10 I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind.

For me, the best time to think reflectively about who I am is when I have any relational conflict. My character flaws show up in my relationships. The natural tendency is to think I am right and others are at fault, but if I assume that tension, strife, hurt feelings, hurtful words, and irritation are my fault, and use that conflict to honestly examine my words, attitude, and behavior I will probably learn a lot about my character and heart.

Reflective thinking, how much do you do? How accurate is it?