Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I am trying to find my "THERE"

1Ki 17:4—And it shall be, [that] thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.

1Ki 17:9—Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which [belongeth] to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.

1Ki 17:10—So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman [was] there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.

In this passage and these verses we find a word that could be overlooked and ignored were it not the nudging of the Spirit. The Spirit often times sets off a spiritual alarm, stop, look, be careful, you are about to overlook something needful. The little word that I want to focus on is "there".

In this passage it is used no less than four times, the ravens will feed you there, arise and go to Zarapheth and dwell there, a widow will sustain you there, the widow was found "there". I can imagine that you are asking what the importance of this little word, there?

The Lord commanded the prophet to go to the brook, there is where he would be taken care of by the Lord, when the brook dried up the Lord commanded the prophet to move yet again, when he moved over there, there is where the Lord would continue sustaining his prophet. As he arose and went and got to Zarapheth, he found the widow woman there, there was where he found the abiding presence and abundant blessings of his God.

As we go from day to day, we must always find out where our there is, we must realize that often our "there" is subject to change!!! It may be here today, somewhere else next year, another place in the future. The most important place that you and I need to be is the place that God has chosen as our "there".

There Is Where He Abides Personally
There Is Where He Provides Powerfully
There Is Where He Confides Privately
There Is Where He Presides Pointedly

Lord please guide me to where my there is

Cantrell's Jewels for the Journey.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Message for everyone at 6:01pm EST May 21st, 2011

Today is the day according to the latest and greatest prediction that the World will come to an end. Jesus is coming back today! Over the last 100 years, it has been predicted at least 100 times that the rapture was coming. Harold Camping through his study in numerology has determined that today, May 21st, 2011 at 6PM EST, Jesus will return for the rapture.

Let me leave a message for all of you on what to do at 6:01pm EST. First off, nothing will happen. While I agree Jesus is coming back, it will not be today at 6:00EST. I can say this with absolute certainty because it is what the Bible says:

Matthew 24:36--
New Living Translation (©2007)
"However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.

Therefore, If the Angels don't know when and Jesus doesn't know when, Harold Camping doesn't know when. But what does this say to the people who may have believed? Is God real? Is Jesus Really coming back? Maybe this religion thing is just a scam and for the birds.

I. We are to look towards the Savior and not the Signs. We are to live EVERYDAY like it is our last night because as far as we know, IT IS. We don't watch the calendar, or the climate. We don't watch the Middle East or the latest earthquake or tornado, we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. Keeping our eyes on Jesus will fix us to live in a state of expectancy. It may be today, it may be tomorrow, so I live everyday on the grace of God.

II. Preachers are to preach what the Bible says, not what we think it says! The Bible is the written, revealed Word of God. It does not need our spin, our thought, our interpretation, our opinion, it just needs obedience to the one that has called us to say what THUS SAYS THE LORD. Harold Camping spent over 1,000,000 dollars to give his opinion. How much more powerful could this amount have been if he would have used this to simply say, Jesus is coming back any day now GET READY.

III. The mistakes of man are not representative of God. We serve a God who cannot lie, does not change and who will not fail. God is real, even when the church falls short, his representatives fail, the preachers falls short, the deacon does not live according to the standard, GOD IS STILL REAL.

IV. at 6:01pm EST May 21,2001, GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. People will laugh, They will say religion is fake, preachers are pimps and charlatans, religion is the opium of the masses to keep the people calm and behaved, but God is still on the throne. He still has all power in heaven and earth in His hand, He still is coming back and although it wasn't at 6:00pm May 21st, 2011. IT IS COMING.

V. GET YOUR LIFE IN ORDER. Live everyday as some did today. If today was the last day, people called others, told family they loved one another, didn't sweat the small stuff, enjoyed life, slowed down. Well, you should live everyday like its your last day. Use this time to clean your house, sweep your porch, check your gutters. This is nothing but a GRACE MOMENT. God knew you weren't ready yet so HE still is giving you time.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Prison of Perplexity

SuperMax is a term which describes a special type of prison. It is literally a prison within a prison that is used to house the most serious of offenders, the worst of the worst who pose a threat to society both nationally and internationally. Alcatraz Island which was opened in 1934 is considered to be the prototype for this type of prison. "The inner cell or dungeon" that Paul and Silas was thrown into would be a good Biblical description of how this place looks.

There are other prisons. They are not made of bars, boulders or bricks. They are not constructed with poured concrete and metal furniture. There is no barbed wired or miles of security-lined electric fences, but it still is a prison. It still confines! It restricts! It entraps and it is my contention that it has more people in its custody then all of the prisons in the world combined. It is the Prison of Perplexity.

Perplexity is the mental state characterized by a lack of clear or orderly thought or reason that can lead to bad, misguided or unintended behavior; to be unable to think with clarity because of confusion and complications. All of us have been inmates of this prison system. Either life is filling out your intake form now for entry; either you have been recently paroled from or you are currently a resident of this prison.

What you do with your prison is up to you:
Peter Slept through his Prison--Acts 12:5-12
Paul and Silas Sang through their Prison--Acts 16
John the Baptist Struggled through his prison--Matthew 11:1-6

What are you doing with you prison? How are you handling your restricted area? Your conflicted mind? The unending questions of life? The bills that won't stop and the pain that will not end? How do you answer the what now, whats next questions? What is your plan for the where questions? Where is my next provision coming, where will I get the money to meet these bills? How am I going to hold on, How will we survive? Why is God doing this? Why am I in this prison in the first place? Why am I here in this city, in this town, in this church, with this Pastor, with this spouse, with this job


John the Baptist was in this prison. Even though Jesus calls him the greatest prophet to live; even though it seemed as if the Spirit of Elijah was back through John the Baptist, although many came to see him preach, this did not exempt him from spending time in this prison. If John had to go through this prison, what makes you think that your life will be exempt. Keep living and you will spend time in the cell of ARE YOU THE ONE OR SHOULD WE LOOK FOR ANOTHER? There never seems to be overcrowding, there never seems to be a shortage of bed space.

What I will endeavor to do over the course of the next posts is encourage you to know, the prison that you find yourself in now is not permanent but only temporary. There is a plan, purpose and provision that God will give you in the Prison of Perplexity.

The Lord allowed me to preach this sermon on Sunday at our church and we had a great time. I want to thank my friend Pastor Arthur Lane from the St, Matthews Baptist Church of Corpus Christi, TX our Family and Friends day Speaker this upcoming June 2011 for milking the cow and I thank God for giving me the resources to make my own butter and cheese from it. Always good to have pastor Friends. Will share more later........


Thursday, May 12, 2011

18 Ways Leaders can ruin their reputation on Facebook, Part 2!!!

Facebook is a great way for you to build and maintain relationships with people both inside your church and in your community. But Facebook is not without its risks. Every time you post something, you risk hurting, offending or distancing yourself from people.

The disingenuous…

9) Act like your life is perfect. Nobody is perfect, and everyone knows it. If you act like everything is good all the time, you’ll be perceived as inauthentic, wearing a mask.

10) Act like you’re always “joyful in the Lord” Nobody is happy all the time either.

11) Act like you have all the answers. Nobody likes a know-it-all either. Share insight and advice when asked. Be confident but not arrogant.

The offender…

12) Act like the language/morality police.
Your Facebook friends are not perfect. They are going to swear, post questionable pictures of themselves, and share things you don’t agree with. If something is really bad, consider contacting the person privately about it, but don’t call people out publicly for what is unfortunately common behavior in our culture.

13) Roll out the fire and brimstone. I don’t know if preaching about sin and hell worked with past generations, but it’s not going to put you in a position to influenced people on Facebook. People on Facebook respond much more favorably to hope and love.

14) Be overly political. It’s OK to take stands on key issues, but unless you want to irk half your church and close the door to half the people in your community (not to mention risk losing your non-profit status), don’t tow a party line.

15) Engage people in debates. Online (and offline) debates rarely cause anyone to shift their position on an issue. Discussion is great, but if things get heated or personal, it’s time to lighten up.

The disengaged…

16) Post a lot of theological stuff that’s over the head of your friends. It’s great for pastors to engage their Facebook friends in spiritual conversations, but avoid posting your doctoral thesis. It’s not going to engage anyone, and will put people off.

17) Login once every week or two. Relationships require consistency. You can take breaks, go on vacation, and don’t need to be on Facebook every day, but you’ve got to be regular if you’re going to build relationships in Facebook.

18) Fail to respond. When people send you messages, post to your wall, or post comments to your status updates and links, it’s important to respond. Answer people’s questions. Thank people for their insight and stories.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day Mama

A baby asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?"

"Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you."

The child further inquired, "But tell me, here in heaven I don't have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy."

God said, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel's love and be very happy."

Again the child asked, "And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don't know the language?"

God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak."

"And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?"

God said, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray."

"Who will protect me?"

God said, "Your angel will defend you even if it means risking it's life."

"But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore."

God said, "Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you."

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, "God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel's name."

On May 31, 1970 God sent me to the arms of an angel. An angel whose arms are always open when I need a hug, whose heart always understands when I need a friend. An angel whose eyes are stern when I need a lesson, whose strength and love guides me and give me wings that enables me to fly. I am most fortunate to call this angel my mother.

"You will simply call her, 'Mom.'"

Friday, May 6, 2011

18 ways Facebook can ruin the reputation of Leaders Part 1

I saw this article on written by Paul Steinbrueck and I wanted to share this. I praise God for technology but we must be careful how we use it and also make sure it (being the technology) does not use us.

Facebook is a great way for you to build and maintain relationships with people both inside your church and in your community. But Facebook is not without its risks. Every time you post something, you risk hurting, offending or distancing yourself from people. So, here are 18 things you want to avoid doing on Facebook…

First, the ugly…
1) Post something out of frustration in the heat of the moment.
We all get frustrated at times. And if you want to engage people authentically, you need to “keep it real.” But Facebooking when angry, frustrated, or hurt is never a good idea. Take a few minutes (or a few hours) to cool down, and then think again if you really want to use Facebook to vent.

2) Criticize people. Even if you don’t use a person’s name, chances are you’re Facebook friends with that person or someone close enough to the situation to know who you’re really talking about.

3) Embarrass yourself. Expect everyone in your congregation and your community to see everything you post to Facebook. So, don’t post anything you wouldn’t be comfortable saying or showing from the pulpit on a Sunday morning.

4) Embarrass your family. Our spouses and kids say and do funny things all the time. Most of those things can be posted to Facebook with no problem, and they help people to see you’re a normal person with a normal family. But be sensitive and when in doubt, ask your spouse and kids if it’s OK to share a quote, happening, or pic online.

5) Criticize other churches in the community. Every church has a different mission, ministry philosophy, style of worship, and theology. But we all share one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. We should be known for our unity not our division.

The self-absorbed…

6) Only talk about your church. Pastors, when people become Facebook friends with you, it’s because they want to engage with you – a real person – not a spokesperson for your church.

7) Share everything posted to the church FB page. Even if you post personal updates to your Facebook profile, don’t repost every church update as well. Some – yes, all – no.

8 ) Just talk about yourself. When you go to a social event, do you like hanging around with people who only talk about themselves and never ask you about you? Don’t be one of those people online either.

The disingenuous…

9) Act like your life is perfect.
Nobody is perfect, and everyone knows it. If you act like everything is good all the time, you’ll be perceived as inauthentic, wearing a mask.

I will post the other nine reasons in my next blog.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

A back to Work Thank you

Today is my first full day back in the swing of things, office appointments, hospital visits, planning and preparing for Sunday School and Sunday morning, but I want to take this time to thank some people.

Let me say Thank you first of all to Pastor E.J. Tyson for inviting me to be his guest evangelist for the 67th annual Simultaneous revival services of Oklahoma City. His hospitality was amazing and the mentoring and imparting of vision that he gave to me during this time is more than I could have asked or imagined.

Thank you to the New Hope Baptist Church family which went out of their way to meet all of my needs. Thank you to their Hospitality Committee for the welcome basket, their Youth ministry for the gifts given to my girls and to the Culinary Committee which made sure I had food to eat. May God Bless you.

Thank you to the officers and members of the Baptist Ministers Association of Oklahoma City and to my adopted "Pop" in the ministry, Rev. Dr. J.A. Reed Jr., for allowing me to be on the slate of preachers who preached the noon-day and Late-night revival services. Dr. Reed put me at ease on Tuesday when Pastor Tyson was introducing me. During the introduction when Pastor Tyson was making me sound better than I am, he leaned over and said, yeah all that may be true but he was still a bad child growing up. It is good that people knew you when, good and bad, and still acknowledge what the Lord is doing now in your life.

Let me say thank you to all of the Greater Mount Olive members that I saw during the week from Tuesday until Friday. Always good seeing the people that have prayed for you during this adventure.

Let me thank the Macedonia church family for being so understanding. Sometimes it is necessary for a Pastor to get away and recharge his batteries. Let me thank our chairman, Deacon Calvin Manns and our Finance chairman, Deacon Luther Taylor for carrying on with the business of the church. Also, let me thank Deacon Kevin Howard and Deacon John Williams who serve as the administrative arms of the Pastor for keeping fires to a small burn until I could get back.

So much to do, so little time but I am grateful to so many people. No man is an island and no man stands alone. Let this thank you serve as my sincere appreciation to so many people. I love and thank God for you constantly.