Karate for Kids

Burlington Christian Church has 10 open slots in its free one-year karate course. Students must be at least 6 years old, but the class is not restricted to children. Classes will be from 6-7pm on Tuesdays at Burlington Christian Church.  Registration for the new class will be held at BCC at 6pm on Tuesday, April 4, at which time there will also be an opportunity to meet the instructors. There will be a $20 registration fee to reserve a space in the class. (After successful completion of the one-year course, the fee can be refunded upon request; otherwise, it will be donated to the program to help offset liability expenses.) For more information, call Sam at 336-456-5237; messages will be returned within 24 hours.

Not A Fan

Are you a fan of Jesus or a follower of Jesus? In this new series we will learn which. It will be a life changing discovery.  We will offer this April 14th thru May 19th on each Sunday @ 9:30 bible study and discussion then in the 10:30 worship service we will be participating in this campaign with a sermon series.
We know everyone will grow in Christ by participating in this teaching. It is “A journey that will deepen your relationship with Jesus”

On April 7th @ 7:00 PM we will be showing the 1 hour 15 minute movie entitled “NOT A FAN”. It is a challenging film that highly compliments the six week campaign.

Come join us in the journey

This series uses a number of things to help us grow. From the movie, the 6-episode video driven small group bible study, centered around calling every Christian to truly follow Jesus Christ, using the Word of God as the main feed for our discussion.  It’s a journey, it’s a movement, it’s a gathering force of Christ followers who are being challenged alongside of you.  Come and experience the journey.

Pilot

On September 16, 2008 the NPR talk show had a bashful 19 year old on the program (as the reporter described her–a wavy haired blond girl in a pink T-shirt).  She was there to describe how, when Hurricane Ike came to Galveston, she and her dad had to move their boats  to a safer location.  On the eve before Hurricane Ike she piloted the boat for 12 hours through the night.  Jullian Williams talked about how nerve racking it was to pilot the big 70 foot deep sea fishing boat, “it had been a long time since I had piloted a boat in that rough a water . . .”  She concluded the sentence with, “ . . .but my Dad was ¼ of a mile ahead of me talking to me on the radio and telling me I was doing fine.”

As I listened to that broadcast I thought, “What a Dad and what a daughter!” Applying what I heard from Jullian on the radio that day, I ask “Is that not the relationship we share with our Heavenly Father?”  As we pilot through this life in treacherous waters,  He is there soothing our fears, calming our anxiety, telling us we’re doing fine.

Psalm 94:19, “When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.”

Remember whether it be divorce, cancer, financial ruin, or just plain everyday difficulty, God really is just a prayer away.

I’m with Him

When I was 17 years of age I went on Hunter Airfield in Savannah Georgia. My dad was a lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force in the area of communication. On this occasion he took me out to look over the operation. Everyone looked at me. I went to the latrine and as I went I would look in the rooms along the way. Men would look up from their desk at me as I passed and I felt they were thinking “what are you doing in here?” I would, for the most part stay close to my dad and say, “I’m with Him”.

Years later while preaching a Revival in Hampton, VA I got to go on Langley Field on the NASA portion. A Gentleman from that congregation worked there and showed us around from the cafeteria to the computer room. We even saw in these massive building 2 large spheres where pilots go and electronically have “dog fights” in a jet simulator. We went through some areas that if our Christian friend were not with us there was no way we would have been aloud to see the things we saw that day. If anyone would have said anything to us, questioning our reason for being there, believe you me, I was prepared to say, “I’m with Him”.

One day you and I will die and leave this old world. Then we will face Almighty God, the creator of the Universe. There we will have a guide Jesus Christ and I’m going to stick to him like a hand in glove. When we face the Judge of heaven and earth, all we’ll need to say is, “I’m with Him”.

My whata difference a relationship with Christ makes. Turn your life over to Him today and then you may say, “I’m with Him”.

Same ‘Old Tricks’

Same ‘Old Tricks’

We must remember that in ministry we can’t live by the “same ‘ol tricks” idea.

Meaning: we can’t do ministry like we always have. We learn a certain way and think… “I’ve got this down pat”, “I’ve been there and done that”, so we apply old ways to new situations.

Many times it just isn’t going to work.

It applies to me. I’ve been in ordained ministry for 29 years this November and I believe that if anyone can come into a new situation and try to apply “old tricks” or traditional wisdom it isn’t going to work, if God is trying to get your attention, let Him have His way. Isn’t that the key? Letting Him have His way?

Moses was told to strike the rock to bring water to the Israelite Nation. He did and it did. What a glorious miracle resulted. The next time he needed to bring refreshment to the people, God said, “speak to the rock” and it was as if Moses said, “I’ve got the trick in the bag, I’ve been there and done that, I’ll just strike the rock.” Bad decision.

I appreciate what Bob Russell said in his book, “When God builds a church”. It’s principles and methods may not work in your neck of the woods the way they did in Bob’s ministry but the principles he shares in his book, he says, will work anywhere.

But understand this, when God wants to work He may choose to work in a different way, method, mode, principle, whatever. It is totally up to Him. I know you know that. But as a reminder, what project are you working on? What area of ministry are you trying to move in? What great faith venture are you praying for God to bless you with? Humble yourself, back up, back off, and pray for God to take over. Wait on the Lord to move in your ministry. Easier said than done.

The other day, my son Chad, wrote me an email and quoted the text of Zachariah 4:6. “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.” One of my favorite text.

If you think (never in an arrogant way) that I’ve got the resume, the experience, the know how, the principle, the method, I’ve got this down pat, then watch out!

Let me save you a lot of time. Pray.

Seek God, ask Him to move in your ministry, let Him surprise you. He will, even if it’s just to teach you patience.

It is by His Spirit says the LORD.

What time is it?

John 17:1 “Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come: glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You….” Jesus spends these last hours with His disciples explaining deeper truths with them, telling them what must be done, and that “everything’s going to be all right.”

Several other text in John’s gospel talk about this “hour”. John 7:30, “So they were seeking to seize Him; and no man laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.”

John 12:23 records for us these words, “and the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” Vs. 27 continues, “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.’”

Jesus did not run from His hour. What does this mean? He knew his mission, game plan, purpose. Though a Roman crucifix was a horrible execution to endure and die from He was not backing down. Praise God He didn’t. Through His faithfulness we have Life! Eternal Life.

Hebrews 12:2 says, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the thrown of God.” As horrible as this torture was our bible tells us that he did this with JOY.

He wanted you and me to spend all of time and eternity with Him. To make this a reality He had to shed His blood and die. He could see the end result, the “mission completed”, He looked ahead and saw us worshiping, praising, loving, adoring Him, being faithful to His teachings, Loving one another, making decisions that would honor Him and bring Him glory and was willing to endure for our sakes this excruciating, painful death.

What about our hour? I don’t mean to say that everything is mapped out as some believe. That God has mapped out each traffic light that would ever stop you, or every bug that would hit your car windshield was sent by and ordained by God to hit the windshield but I am saying, that we as men and women are called upon in life to step up to the plate and swing the bat. Will you knock a home run? Will it be a third base hit? I don’t know and you don’t either…. But when our time comes “do not fail to step up to the plate and swing!” It’s your turn to step up to the plate when you have loved ones who are sick, a marriage that needs repairing, a friend who’s heart needs mending. One day your “hour” may even come through ‘persecution’ as did for Christ and the Apostles. But remember Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 4:17, “For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, (18) while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Paul also encourages us in that same book, same chapter 8th verse, “we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing;” When it’s our hour, when our hour has come, do not despair, keep your eyes on Jesus and “run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Be faithful in your hour, Be men, carry yourself in such a way that it will amaze believer and unbeliever a like. May God Be Our Strength, and may we bring Him honor and Glory!

 

 

Grandmother’s Face

I guess I shouldn’t have done it, but I did. I was in my office at the house one Saturday afternoon and I happened to look up at my picture of my Grand mother, Grandmother Beatty. It was her 90th birthday party and I had knelt down beside her and someone snapped that shot. I had it enlarged and framed. I say I shouldn’t have done it because I had one of those “touchy feely” moments and I left my desk to get closer. I looked real intent on her face and hair. I retrieved my reading glasses to get a better look, a detailed look. I studied her eyes, her mouth, nose, her skin her hair. I shouldn’t have done it because it was then that I began to remember her death. July 1998. Then the thought came “Oh my goodness, it’s been nine years.” thinking over what I’ve missed and the years gone by began to, well let’s say, work on me. To stop this longing, hurting whatever you want to call it I said to myself, “wait a minute it’s not about the past and missing her it’s about the great reunion we’re going to have one day soon.” Whew! I felt better instantly. Instantly – because it’s true. It’s the hope of the gospel that we’ll see our loved ones again. There is nothing wrong with reminiscing the past, thinking on good memories of loved ones that have gone on but don’t “morn as those who have no hope” it’s not about the past, it is about a glorious future we have.

Focus on the positive, the hopeful, the future. Look to the heavens my friends and there you will see in your mind the face of Jesus. Study Him, look intently into His face. Study His heart, His glory, His character, His passion and long to be with Him.

Rooster Crows

I was out early with a cup of coffee walking to a neighbors house one day recently. We had met the day before and he had asked for a business card. He said, “put it in my mail box” so I was on the way back that early morn when I heard it. A rooster was crowing. It brought a peace and a laughter. I guess it was because in the midst of suburbia, a little down-home filtered through and it made me glad. You know what I mean…in the midst of traffic, rows and rows of housing there is this farm animal crowing and bringing memories of “yesteryear”, childhood, country living. It was a feel good moment. But it also reminded me of a not-so-feel good moment. The time in the bible when Peter denied the Lord three times on the night before Jesus died on the cross. Jesus told Peter that he would deny him three times before the cock crowed in the morning. “Shoot fire” it did and “By cracky” he did.

Friends, that was a tough time in Peters life and it would be in ours as well. My question in closing is… “does the rooster crow bring back good memories for you or are you dealing with some denial issues in your walk with the Lord?”

Cock-a-doodle-do

Combine Harvesting

Roger Richardson a farmer in Eden, Maryland shared with me once years ago, that as they harvest the crops with combines they start on the outside and circle round and round until they are forming a tight circle in the middle of the field. The field of crops gets smaller and smaller. But something else is happening. All of the critters like rabbits for example are running to the center the whole time, until they are forced out by the combines. Hawks and Eagles are flying over head as this process is happening. Why? Because when the rabbits run the eagles swoop down and have them for lunch. On such a day an eagle had already captured his prey and was feasting. Many rabbits ran by the eagle while he ate but he’s not even interested. He is ‘feasting’. Not so with man. Man can go to a buffet bar and in the name of “all you can eat” gorge himself to obesity. Now, this is not a lesson on obesity. It’s a lesson on greed and selfishness, and a lack of self control. Even the animals only eat what they need. Man will devour anything and everything that he sees if he doesn’t control it! It maybe food, money, alcohol, drugs, extra-marital sex, recreation, work, or possessions, whatever. Man has a way of wanting more and more until it kills him or in other words “what he consumes, consumes him.”

Let’s seek after the “things” of God. Christians should seek after God and desire to feed on spiritual things.

Jesus himself said, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

In the Old Testament when the children of Israel were in the wilderness when God sent the manna, food from heaven, and they were instructed to only take enough for the day. If they gathered in more, a lack of trust, the manna would spoil and rot on them by the next day. Only gather in what you need.

Be careful of what you consume. Feast on the Living Word of God and experience a contentment and filling from above.