Experience or Rut?

I found this illustration on the web this evening and found it to be a very sad, but probably too true, thought. We should all examine ourselves to make sure we aren’t falling into the “rut”.

Experience or Rut?

Two teachers once applied for the same vice-principal position at a local high school. One had been teaching a total of 8 years and the other a total of 20 years. Everyone expected the teacher with the greater experience to get the job, but the position was given to the one with 8 years of teaching experience. The passed-over teacher complained bitterly: “I’ve got twenty years teaching to her eight!” he cried. “So obviously, I’m vastly more qualified.” The school board’s reply went like this: “Yes sir, you do have twenty years teaching to her eight, but where she has eight years experience you have one year of experience repeated twenty times.” Simply experiencing the passage of time doesn’t mean we have grown or learned from those things we experience during that time. Too many within the church have simply experienced the passage of time. They attend services, sing the songs, partake of communion, bow their heads during prayer, but they are just going through the motions. They are not enjoying the full experience that God wants us to have with Him.

Vain Predictions

I found this piece on Disciple Magazine’s website and wanted to share it.

Vain Predictions
– Author: Rick Steele
“Living in the South can be humorous in the wintertime. Though I was born and raised in Ohio, I have resided the last thirteen years in Tennessee and Georgia. Each winter, it tickles me to watch our local weather forecasters make feeble attempts at predicting winter weather.

Truth be known, we don’t have much winter weather in the Deep South, and when there is even the slightest chance of frozen precipitation, preparations for the weather event border on paranoia.

Case in point, this past winter in the days leading up to the Super Bowl, our local meteorologists predicted a treacherous weekend, forecasting six inches of snow, followed by potentially dangerous accumulations of ice. Schools cancelled classes twelve hours before the bad weather was supposed to arrive. Grocery stores gleefully sold every loaf of bread and every drop of milk as frenzied customers filled their carts with enough groceries to last a solid month. Everyone in the community was prepared–all in anticipation for a two-day weather event, nonetheless!

Funny thing is, the dreaded snow and ice never came! Instead, the temperature never dropped below freezing, and the weekend supposed to be buried under the “white stuff” was deluged with rain. All rain. Lots of rain. Still, the sheepish explanations and excuses from the weather forecasters provided good comic-relief for an otherwise dreary weekend.

Though my tongue-in-cheek description of wintertime, Southern style, may seem a bit sarcastic, I only use the story for an illustration. You see, we should not be surprised that with all our sophisticated gadgetry and Doppler Radar we still cannot give accurate weather forecasts. Nor can we even remotely understand the intricacies of God’s universe. Jesus said, we don’t know where the wind comes from or where it is going, so how can we really claim to know what God is able to do or not do? (See John 3:8.)

This applies to those who tell us that life does not begin at conception, and that man evolved from an amoeba. With all of mankind’s technology and so-called learning, we’re not so smart after all, are we?”

Pastor’s Corner

Pastors Corner 2-26-2012

In last Sunday night service Buddy asked a question something like this, wonder what they are doing in heaven right now. I thought about the question and soon realized that I could not come up with just one answer. So for today, I am only going to concentrate on one Heavenly event, it is what I consider the most important thing going on in heaven. Some of you may be wondering what I am talking about, but I am not going to tell you, only give you some clues. The book of Isaiah prophesized about it seven hundred years before Christ went to heaven in chapter 53 and 59. Paul tells us in Romans chapter 8 where in Heaven that it will take place and confirms in Hebrews chapter 7 that it takes place continually. I am afraid that if I give you any more clues the puzzle will be two easy. Remember this is what I consider the most important you may have a different answer. Good hunting and God bless.

Pastor Danny

Makers Marks

Last month my daughter got me a maker’s stamp for my birthday. I’d wanted one for a while so I was thrilled to get it. Tonight I was speaking with a Brother that makes knives and he showed me a knife he had recently made. It is absolutely beautiful, too, I must say. On the blade he had etched his own maker’s mark, which he also designed. I was very interested in hearing how he put his mark on the blades. It required a template, some special chemical and a special tool. To put my mark on my items is much easier: I just take the stamp my daughter got me and give it a good “whack” with my maul. Of course working with leather compared to metal is like apples and oranges: they are totally different so the processes will be, too.

As I thought about this tonight it made me think of how God seals or puts His mark on His children. We are all grafted into His family at our new birth and marked as His. People are as different as snowflakes, much more different than leather and steel. But since the Lord made each of us He is well aware of that. No matter if we are closer to the properties of leather or closer to the hardness of steel, the Holy Spirit can mark us accordingly. The beauty of being born again, among other things, is being made anew; no matter what we used to be God can make us into what we should be.

Pastor’s Corner

Pastors Corner 2-19-2012

The other day at a training I was doing, I had donuts for the people who were attending. One of the gentlemen was eating a donut when the conversation turned to how many calories were in the donut. “Do you know that they have 400 calories”, and someone else brought up that some donuts even have 600 calories? One the women offered this observation, if you are eating a donut it is to late to worry about the calories. As I thought about this statement I realized that it applies to a lot more than donuts. We should give some thought before we do things that are harmful to us both physically and spiritually. The bible tells us (1 John 2:16) that the temptation of sin has its basis in worldly lusts and (James 1:14) tells us that every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. For as Lot looked upon Sodom and Gomorrah, he only saw the water and abundance, he never considered the evil that also was present in the cities. Knowing what Satan uses to cause us to sin helps Christians to avoid sin in their lives. Perhaps we should adapt an old saying, “look before you leap” to “think before you sin.”

Pastor Danny

Re-Ground

I have this old knife that I use occasionally. It was originally, I believe, either a cobbler’s or harness maker’s knife. It is old but still in good condition and it’s blade is made of quality steel. What ever it was originally used for, the shape and angle of the blade are not suited well for what I use it for. So, I decided that if the blade were re-ground into the proper shape I could use it more effectively and more often.

I started with a very course stone, worked to a less course one, to a medium and finally a fine stone. After all this the blade was reshaped into a much more suitable one for the work I wanted to do with it. However, it still wasn’t quite to where I thought it needed to be for optimal use so I then polished the new edge carefully on two different strops with two different compounds. Finally, after much time and effort, the old knife was now converted from its original “job” into a tool that fit it’s new “job”.

The Bible teaches us a lot about how we are converted and
made into a new creature. This initial conversion, our spiritual rebirth, is the most important one we experience. But it shouldn’t be the only conversion experience in our life. As we go along the path in this life God will often re-grind us into a new tool, suited to a new “job”. Some times this process is one we embrace, others one we fight. No matter if we initially embrace or reject this “conversion” we know that God knows best where and how to use us, individually and corporately. Depending on where we are and what our “job” has been, some times we will only need fo be polished some. But other times people, and even organizations, are re-tooled so completely, into a brand new tool, that it needs be that we are re-ground from scratch, starting with a very course stone, all the way down to the final polish.

Change, which is essentially what conversion means, is some thing many of us are not comfortable with, even loath. But our Creator knows best how to use us all in order to serve His purposes. We just need to trust Him and be malleable; the result will be amazing if we will.

Influence

Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers. (Psalm 1:1 NLT)

This psalm begins extolling the joys of obeying God and refusing to listen to those who discredit or ridicule him. Our friends and associates can have a profound influence on us, often in very subtle ways. If we insist on friendships with those who mock what God considers important, we might sin by becoming indifferent to God’s will. This attitude is the same as mocking. Do your friends build up your faith, or do they tear it down? True friends should help you to draw closer to God, not hinder your relationship with him.

(From the Life Application 1-Year Devotional)