Wednesday, June 24, 2009

God loves us

I am thoroughly enjoying the Monday night study with the 18-35 group. Song of Solomon is a book that contains so much practical information, and it seems that the people showing up seem to be enjoying the study. This is an age group that is dear to Marie and me, so being with them and answering their questions has been refreshing and enjoyable.
As we have been doing the study, some have asked how long it will continue. It is probably going to last for a few more weeks. I am looking at the moment to break the group into two separate groups, 18-25 and 26-35...they will meet on different nights of the week...I really don't know how the people are feeling about doing something like that, so I will ask next week. They may not want to do this, so I will have to hear from them to see. To be honest, I am tempted to keep the study going as I really enjoy being there. That might be something to consider. Still, it may be the subject matter that is drawing this group, and if I were to just do a regular bible study, they would probably not be interested because they can come on a Wednesday night, or a Sunday morning and have a regular bible study. I don't really know if any would actually want to keep coming on Monday nights and will have to see if they would like to.
I have been asked about a Spanish language bible study, and am considering starting one, possibly in September. We have so many in our church with parents who speak Spanish and desire studies in Spanish, so I may start a Sunday morning study in Spanish. Of course, I can't teach that study, but I do have some in this church who feel a true burden to teach in Spanish and who care for those whose first language is Spanish, so it is worth looking at closely. We shall see! At any rate, I see the need and hope to be able to do something to meet it.
Tonight we are looking at Ezekiel 16, and man is it a tough chapter to teach. God is hurt and angry at Judah/Jerusalem and pretty much lambasts them throughout the entire chapter. He calls them some pretty terrible names, even referring to them as a harlot! Man, if this doesn't reveal the holiness of God and His hatred for sin, I don't know what does. He said that Israel was worse than Sodom...think about that one for a moment! That is sooo heavy! He says that they are worse than prostitutes, because prostitutes charge for their services, but they actually pay people to be with them! Man, is the Lord angry over their sin. One of my commentators said that this is like the church today: it does not care about God's Word, and it does not care about holiness. This in many ways is true, as you can see that many "churches" just invite people to show up, but don't give the word. One church invited men for Sunday services by offering them free beer if they showed up on Father's Day. I think God weeps over this. Let's get serious with God, and let's serve Him with all of our hearts.
Finally, we are looking to take the 18-35 age group to Israel in '10, from April 11-22nd. The cost will be between 35-3600 dollars (closer to 3500) and will be a joy and a blessing. I have been asked by someone 36 if they can go, and I said yes but I am not taking people much older than that...I really want to spend time with the younger group this time. Think about saving your nickels and dimes, and go with us!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

just a thought or two

It is so hard to believe that we have already entered in to June....I am not kidding when I say that this year is flying by! We did so much last month, so many church functions and events. I can honestly say that I am so personally blessed to be part of a church that is so alive. So many volunteers helping to produce great ministry. We had a men's breakfast, men's retreat, men's conference, a single mom's banquet, a family day, National Day of prayer service, Jr High Lockup, Moment's with the many things in one month. We could do nothing without so many dedicated people serving the Lord.
I spoke at the national pastor's conference last week, and we as a team taught through 2 Timothy. I taught on being Vessels For Honor, and though I did not say this for fear of sounding prideful, I could not help but think of how many vessels we have here who are truly gold and silver. God and silver represent members of the church that are sold out and highly prized in the Hand of God. They have a value and worth that is immense, because they desire to be used by Him. They are faithful soldiers, dedicated and disciplined athletes, and hard working farmers to use Paul's metaphors from 2 Ti 2. We have many such dedicated people here, and I rejoice to be with them. All of our dreams and visions would come to nothing if we did not have people sold out and desiring to see the same things that we see. We have Jonathan's here, and we have armorbearers working alongside and I have to tell you, I remain so blessed when I see this. Thank you all for such service to the Lord, your work of faith is not going unnoticed.