Wednesday, May 23, 2012


(Rom 10:15) And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

It’s funny how you think things will go when you first set out on a course. I thought I had it all figured out when my home church sent me out to plant a church. It would start out small and then grow big like the churches I had attended in the past. But where does God send me but to small town USA? And what was provided from the Lord but a small chapel to meet in? Oh but eventually we would burst at the seams! Just a matter of time!!
Well, time went by and things pretty much stayed the same. What am I doing wrong, Lord? We love our little fellowship but will we ever grow out of our building? There are so many people to reach in our community. If we just had a bigger facility then more people would come and there would be revival! We have effective local outreaches but we always stay the same size. So Lord I’m checking in with you to make sure we are on track with Your plan. So how are we doing, Lord? Answer from heaven: MISSIONS OR MEGACHURCH.

What does that mean? Ponder the message. Hmmm. I think I get it. Our church is missions-minded. Everything we do has the Great Commission running through it (Mat 28:18-20). From our local outreaches to our mission’s ministry it’s all about preaching the gospel to every creature in every nation. And how are we doing that? By going as well as sending.
I think often of how if the church was any bigger I would not be able to be personally involved with our mission’s outreach. I’d be so stuck with the maintaining the “machine” and would miss the thrill of a hands-on mission’s ministry. God is so wise! He knows what He is doing. God is not depriving me of a bigger ministry. He has made me thrive on the fulfilling of what the Lord told me when Cheryl and I left the mission field. He told me to go back to the States and that I would be a pastor with a mission’s emphasis. And that’s what I am today! Man, you never want to step out of your calling or you will be miserable!!
The ministry I have from the Lord is truly a faith ministry. The largeness I see is the missionaries we reach who in turn reach people across the globe. (John 20:29) Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” But my sinful nature cries out for recognition by the production of people which in turn becomes visible to the community as a mark of success. All those pats on the back. Good job, Louie! Atta boy preacher!! (To my fellow pastors: Beware!)
Am I against church growth? By no means! Let it happen!! God can do anything! But let the smaller church be encouraged that sometimes it comes down to MISSIONS OR MEGACHURCH.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012



(1 Cor 2:9) But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
It’s always exciting to see a picture of an exotic destination that you’ve never been to but have always dreamed about. You’ve told yourself that if you had one chance to travel then that would be the place to go. Life couldn’t be better than being there and having the time of your life. That’s kind of how we as Christians feel about heaven. We know it exists for all believers and when we read about it, it almost seems too good to be true. Let’s take a Biblical tour of heaven so we can get excited about our eternal home and start planning on being there!
Some other names for heaven: Paradise (Luke 23:43); My Father’s house (John 14:2); New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:2).
Will we recognize each other? (1 Cor 13:12)…then I shall know just as I also am known… (See also Mat 17:1-4).
Any sorrow there? (Rev 21:4) And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Will heaven be forever? (John 3:16)…whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Who will go there? (John 3:3)…“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
What will we do there? (Rev 22:5)…and they shall reign forever and ever.
What will heaven look like? Many mansions (John 14:2), streets of gold, gates of pearl, foundation adorned with precious gemstones, glory of God illuminates, pure river of water of life, tree of life bearing fruit each month, and more! (Rev 21-22)
The greatest thing about heaven will be Jesus and worshipping Him forever! (Rev 5:12) saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”
Heaven is not just a destination but a motivation to live for Christ in the here and now! (1 John 3:3) And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


(Gen 29:9) Now while he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess.
When Jacob fled from the wrath of his brother Esau, he came to Syria and the land of his mother’s ancestors. There a beautiful shepherdess came to the well to water her sheep. Jacob instantly fell in love. Jacob served seven years for Rachel and then at his wedding time Rachel’s father Laban slipped Rachel’s sister Leah into the tent! Jacob then served another seven years for Rachel. During this time many sons were born to Jacob through the two sisters and their handmaids. Ruth 4:11 says they built up the house (or nation) of Israel!
Rachel’s name means “ewe”. That’s interesting because she was also a shepherdess! The Bible says we are God’s sheep and the Lord is our Shepherd (Psa 23). Rachel knew what it was to be God’s ewe lamb and this prepared her to be a shepherdess over sheep and later over two sons, Joseph and Benjamin. She wanted more children but she struggled with infertility which brought out the worst in her as she competed with her sister in having children.
Let’s identify some insights in Rachel’s life that relate to motherhood:
- RACHEL WAS A SHEPHERDESS: We see her leading her sheep to water. That’s a beautiful picture of a mom leading her children to the living water Jesus Christ! (John 4:13-14)
- RACHEL LOST HER LIFE: She passed away giving birth to Benjamin. As she was dying she named him Ben-Oni which means “son of my sorrow” but Jacob renamed him Benjamin which means “son of my right hand”. There are many joys in being a mother but there are many sorrows as well because mothers love so deeply! Mothers lose their lives for their children giving up their personal ambitions, their time, and in many cases their figure because who has time to exercise! But mother’s gain so much by losing so much. It’s the sacrifices of mothers that thrust their children ahead in life to success. (Mat 16:25) For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
- RACHEL NEVER SAW HER CHILD’S SUCCESS: Because Rachel died in childbirth she never saw the greatness of her son Joseph in Egypt and how he saved Israel from the famine. In raising kids, mothers need to have faith that what they put into their children will one day bear fruit. It is best to see your kids in two ways…as they are and as they will be by God’s grace and your love, devotion and prayers. (Hab 3:17-19) Though… the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines…18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord…19 The Lord God is my strength…
Rachel, shepherdess and mother and ewe. You too?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


(Mat 7:7) “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
What is prayer? Some refer to it as meditation or getting in touch with your spiritual side. Others believe it is repeating some prescribed or memorized address. Still others define praying as wishing good thoughts on behalf of others. But when it comes to the Bible you just can’t miss what prayer is really all about. For now, let’s just simplify it by saying prayer is talking to God.
When you talk to someone that means you have a relationship with that person whether casual or intimate. Through Christ we know we can go directly to the Father because we are God’s children by being born again. So the first prayer we want to sincerely pray is that we might take Jesus as our personal Savior and Lord. After that we will have unbroken access to God through prayer! (Rom 8:15)…you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” Then we will see God as not only Almighty God but also as our loving heavenly Father who invites us to come into His presence. (Mat 6:9) In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
Now we are ready to talk to our heavenly Father about all that is on our heart. Just think of all that goes on in our hearts and minds in just one particular day. So many issues, decisions, as well as doubts and fears. With all this accumulation of life’s concerns it is essential that we talk to our Father so we may place all these burdens on His capable shoulders. If not we will walk around weighed down with life’s cares, robbing us of the peace that can be ours through Christ.
Talking. It’s one of the most natural things you can do. And God loves to hear us talk when sometimes others are not available or get tired of listening. And all we have to do is A.S.K. That stands for Ask-Seek-Knock. Ask God for the needs in your life. Seek Him and don’t give up. Knock and watch the doors open for you. He loves to respond to our prayers! He desires to take care of us and meet all our needs. (Mat 7:9-11) Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
Some say that we should do all we can for ourselves and then when we run out of options that is the time to pray. But the Bible says to seek God from the very beginning of the problem that faces us: (Mat 6:33) But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. So keep on asking, seeking and knocking because the promise is that you will receive, that you will find, and that the door will be opened to you! A.S.K.!!