This morning I had a special meeting with the police (not the music group). It was around 5:45am as I was on my way to Men’s Breakfast, when I realized I was driving too fast. I have always found it interesting that the only time I realize I am speeding is when I pass a police car. I rapidly slowed to the speed limit but it was too late. Lights were already flashing.
I pulled over and went through the normal procedure. I got a ticket for speeding. A ticket that was not wanted but was deserved. There are always the normal excuses and emotions when you see the red and blue flashing lights. I tend to rationalize the speeding. My excuses this morning included, “That should be more than a 30 mile an hour limit there,” “there were other cars going just as fast”. But the truth is, I was speeding and I deserved the ticket.
I always seem to get convicted when I try to make excuses here. In fact, sometimes I don’t like it when God reminds me of the Scriptures. As I was stewing over this fine I would have to pay, not to mention the unhappiness this causes Sonya, God reminded me of Paul’s writing to the Romans. “Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen. If you’re irresponsible to the state, then you’re irresponsible with God, and God will hold you responsible. Duly constituted authorities are only a threat if you’re trying to get by with something. Decent citizens should have nothing to fear.” Romans 13:1-3 The Message Bible
What would it be like if there were no police or ruling authorities? People would be lawless with no accountability. God uses these servants of our communities as ministers that keep law and order. We should be thankful for them even if it requires us to pay a large sum of money for wrong-doing. Take time today to pray for our police department and military.
Yesterday we were in week three of “My Last Series”. We talked about My Last Month, what I would do if I had only one month to live. It took me a while to narrow down what I would do but I felt like time was the most critical element. I talked about Valuing Time and spending time in three areas.
1. I would spend time with God. Jesus spent time with God in the last hours of His life.
2. I would spend time with my family. In the last month of life I would spend time affirming my wife and investing in my kids.
3. I would spend time with certain others. I would take time to reconcile with those I am at odds with. I would also take some time to witness to my lost loved ones.
The sad thing is that often we wait until the end of our life to make these adjustments. Our premise Sunday was to start NOW! To start spending time with God, now. To spend more time with our families, now. To reconcile with others, now. Do not wait until you only have one month to live, do it now!
This has been an eye-opening series for me. I have never considered these things before. It has been good for me, I hope it has been good for those who have listened. Check back later this week for the sermon audio.
You can listen to last Sunday’s message “My Last Wish” here.
In prayer there is not only an outgoing of the soul to God, in acts of faith, love and confidence, but there is an actual communication from God to the soul. Prayer is a holy converse – a fellowship with God. One hour spent in prayer will accomplish more good than many employed in study or labor.
– Archibald Alexander, Practical Truths
“The principle of the world is “self-glorification,” and the principle of the Christian is “self-crucifixion.” The principle of the world is “exalt yourself” and the principle of the Christian is “crucify yourself.” The principle of men is greatness, bigness, pomp, and show; the principle of the cross is death. Therefore whenever a man has seen the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ…at once he comes right into a head-on collision within his personal living, with all of his principles and motives upon which he has lived until this moment…if there is to be a continual manifestation of Holy Spirit life, there must be a constant submission to the crucifixion of the flesh, not simply sometimes, but always…Why is it so many Christians behave like kindergarten children? Because they have not seen His face!…And the cost in the Christian life…Deep down in the Christian’s life, always and all the time, there is to be a “no” to every demand that the flesh may make for recognition, and every demand that the flesh may make for approval, and every demand that the flesh may make for vindication. Always the Christian must bear about in his body the marks of the Lord Jesus.”
Tomorrow we continue our sermon series, “My Last Series”. We will be discussing what I would do if I only had one month to live. It all centers around the element of time. “I would spend time _________.” Don’t miss it!
It was a long day yesterday! I woke up at 4:30am and worked on my SUnday morning message, then I spent the day working on a project here at the church and finally finished up the day with our monthly board meeting. After I got home, I was wiped out. I was ready for bed and Hannah wasn’t. So we watched Winnie The Pooh until we made her go to bed at 10:30pm. I was ready to do some serious sleeping.
It didn’t take long for me to fall asleep last night and since I am a light sleeper it didn’t take me long to wake up when I heard something. At 1:30am there was a bird singing. I know this bird because he usually wakes me up at 6:00am but he was pulling an all-nighter. Outside my window this bird (I am sure he was either a night owl or a nightingale:) ) chirping away singing a song with enthusiasm. If I didn’t live in the city I would have taken care of that bird with some pellets, but you cannot hold it against him that he has something to sing about in the middle of the night.
In the Bible we often find a common picture that night time is a time of loneliness and despair. It is often at night that the Bible associates weeping and mourning. The psalmist wrote, “weeping may endure for the night”. Nighttime is not the time for songs but heartache, but this bird has discovered the key to overcoming life. In the midst of the darkest night, sing a song. Perhaps he understands the rest of the the psalm mentioned, “weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”
I believe that our victory over the hardships come when we have a song in the midst of the darkness. We are able to overcome when we sing the praises of God even if we do not feel like it. A song always raises the spirit’s unless it is country music. When we have a song in our hearts it helps us lift our spirits. As the Bible describes David encouraged himself in the Lord. Go encourage yourself and if you need encouragement from someone else, call me.
Yesterday, I played the most incredible course I have ever played in my life. It was immaculate. It was beautiful. It was tough! Here is a picture of the 18th green approaching the club house. This is one of the only times I didn’t lose a ball in the water.
Although I was playing on an elite course, I was the least bit inspired by my game. Because I was playing with preachers, I had to control my temper and not throw my clubs (just kidding). I played the worst golf game I have played in my life. I think I lost $30 dollars worth of golf balls. The only reason the other pastors were so good at golf is because they never stay in their offices:)
If you would like to buy my clubs I will make you a good deal. I think I am going to start playing tennis.
Sometimes the life of a pastor is hard. This morning we are driving to Houston for a missions meeting (aka. golf tournament). It is sponsored by a missions organization, so therefore I am calling it a missions meeting. This meansit can officially be considered business. We are playing at Augusta Pines in Spring. It is a top of the line course which means I should lose all of my golf balls. If God is interested in golf, please pray that I have a good game so I can impress my peers:)