Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I Wet My Pants, Jesus Understands and Sympathizes

We have a Great High Priest, He is in PERSON, in POSITION and in PROVISION.

Come with me to a third grade classroom. There is a nine-year-old kid sitting at his desk, and all of a sudden, there is a puddle between his feet, and the front of his pants are wet. He thinks his heart is going to stop because he cannot possibly imagine how this has happened. It’s never happened before and he knows that when the boys find out, he will never hear the end of it. When the girls find out, they’ll never speak to him again for as long as he lives.

The boy believes his heart is going to stop, so he puts his head down and prays this prayer: "Dear God, this is an emergency! I need help now! Five minutes from now I’m dead meat." He looks up from his prayer, and here comes the teacher with a look in her eyes that says that he has been discovered. As the teacher is coming to snatch him up, a classmate named Susie is carrying a gold fish bowl that is filled with water. Susie trips in front of the teacher and inexplicably dumps the bowl in the boy’s lap. The boy pretends to be angry but all the while is saying, "Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus!"

Now all of a sudden the boy is the object of sympathy. The teacher rushes him downstairs and gives him gym shorts to put on while his pants dry out. All the children are on their hands and knees around his desk, cleaning up the mess. The sympathy is wonderful! The ridicule that should have been his was transferred to someone else, Susie. As the day progresses the sympathy grows better and Susie’s ridicule grows worse.

At the end of the day they are waiting for the bus. Susie has been shunned by the other children. The boy walks over to Susie and says, "Susie, you did that on purpose, didn’t you?" Sue whispers back, "I wet my pants once too."

Why is Jesus better than Susie? Jesus doesn't have to wet His pants to understand or sympathize.. Just because a person stands with you, it doesn't mean they know where you stand.

The High Priest would stand for the sinner and offer sacrifices for all the times the sinner had "wet pants". All "wet Pants are is "uncontrolled urges, impulse over ridden by desire, untrained or untaught flesh.

God told me to hold my peace but I just had to say something. WET PANTS! I know I should tithe but I couldn't resist the sale at Macy's. WET PANTS!

We have a GREAT HIGH PRIEST who is able to sympathize with us. Not as the High Priest did. You mess up, we cover it up, no sympathy. Not like the people who stand with us but don't know where we stand. I like women, man I do too, I feel ya. I need to give up cookies, man I do too, I feel ya.

I need the Great High Priest who was tempted on all sides and yet was without sin. He controlled his urges, he trained His flesh, He taught His nature and He didn't wet His pants. SO, since He lives in me, I CAN CONTROL MY URGES, I CAN WITHSTAND.

I Have a Great High Priest, and He understands Wet Pants.


Monday, September 26, 2011

How to defeat a mountain lion and Satan too

Did you know that in the United States, mountain lions are the number one predator of human beings? So says author and naturalist, Craig Childs. On one occasion, he was doing research on the lions in Arizona’s Blue Range Wilderness. As he approached a water hole from downwind, he spotted a mountain lion drinking water, but the lion did not know he was there. When it finished drinking, it walked slowly away into a cluster of junipers.

After a few minutes, Childs walked to the water hole to identify tracks in the mud and record notes. Just before he bent down to look closer, he scanned the perimeter, and there among the shadows of the junipers, 30 feet away, he saw a pair of eyes. He expected the lion to run away, but it walked into the sunlight toward him. Childs pulled his knife and stared into the eyes of the lion. He knew what he had to do. More importantly, he also knew what he must not do. He writes:

"Mountain lions are known to take down animals six, seven, and eight times their size. Their method: attack from behind, clamp onto the spine at the base of the prey’s skull, snap the spine. The top few vertebrae are the target, housing respiratory and motor skills that cease instantly when the cord is cut...Mountain lions have stalked people for miles. One woman survived an attack and escaped by foot on a road. The lion shortcut the road several miles farther and killed her from behind..."

About the incident in Arizona’s Blue Ranger Wilderness, Childs says, "I hold firm to my ground and do not even intimate that I will back off. If I run, it is certain. I will have a mountain lion all over me. If I give it my back, I will only briefly feel its weight on me against the ground. The canine teeth will open my vertebrae without breaking a single bone...

"The mountain lion begins to move to my left, and I turn, keeping my face on it, my knife at my right side. It paces to my right, trying to get around on my other side, to get behind me. I turn right, staring at it...My stare is about the only defense I have."

The amazing thing is Childs actually maintained that defense as the mountain lion continued to try to provoke him to run, turning left, then right, back and forth again and again, until it came to just ten feet away. Finally, the standoff ended. The lion turned and walked away – defeated by a man who knew what never to do in its presence.

The Bible says in I Peter 5:8 that we are to "Be clear minded and alert. Your opponent, the devil, is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour".

The Bible also taught us how Satan attacks. Deuteronomy 25:17-18 demonstrates that the Amalekites attacked from behind, preying upon stragglers who appeared faint and weak. Cowards who attack from the back and not the front.

The time has come for Christians to stand strong. Quit retreating ground, running away from our enemy but rather look him in the eye without wavering. We have already ceded enough ground to the devil in our homes, our marriages, our ministries, the time has come to stand.

Lest anyone think I am "CHANGING", I am just saying what the Bible says in James 4:7 "Submit yourselves therefore to God, Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

If we run from Satan, give an inch to the left or to the right, we will be defeated but if we STAND, we can win.


Monday, September 12, 2011

In Memory of Pastor A. Glenn Woodberry

I've had some good days
I've had some hills to climb
I've had some weary days
And lonely nights
But when I look around
And I think things over
All of my good days
They out weigh my bad days
So I won't complain

Sometimes the clouds are low
I can hardly see the road
I ask the question Lord
Lord, why
Lord why
Why, why, why so much pain?
But the Lord knows what's best for me
Although my weary eyes
Oh they can't see
So I'll just say thank you Lord
Thank you Lord
Thank you Lord
I won't complain

God has been good to me
He's been so good to me
More than this world could ever be
He's been so good
He's been so good
He's been so good
To me

He dried all of my tears away
Turned my midnights into day
So I'll just say thank you Lord
through all of my heartaches
Thank you Lord
Through all of my trials
Thank you Lord
I been misunderstood
But thank you Lord
Even been lied on
But thank you Lord
Body wretched with pain
But thank you Lord
Bills were due
Don't know where the money is coming from
But thank you Lord, thank you Lord
Thank you Lord
I won't complain

Monday, September 5, 2011

131st Annual Session NBC USA Inc.

I thank God for safe travel from South Bend, Indiana to Orlando, Florida where I am participating as a Pastor and Preacher in the 131st Annual Session of the national Baptist Convention, USA, INC.

Sunday was a great day at Macedonia. The praise team and the choir ministry were on point. The numbers are growing but more importantly the chains are coming off the people and the praise. It was a typical Labor day crowd for South Bend and Macedonia but the level of worship was different. We focused on the fact God was there and not who was not there.

The Lord Blessed our sermon beyond our preparation. The level of peace and power I had was nothing but God-given and I am grateful for it. We stepped out of our "Blesses Life" series in Psalm 1 and preached a sermon out of Exodus 24:15-16 "Clear Reception on a Cloudy Day"

I. Sacrifice for our Atonement Vs. 4-8
II. Stay in the Area Vs. 15
III. Saturates the Atmosphere Vs. 16a
IV. Speaks to announce His Arrival Vs 16b
V. Don't be Surprised How God will Appear- Vs 17

I learned a valuable lesson Sunday. It is a bad idea to teach Teacher's meeting, Prayer Class, Preach Sunday Morning, Conduct Lord's Supper and then get into a car and drive into Midway Airport BY MYSELF because I will be WAY TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO SLEEPY.

As usual, The Lord saved me from myself. Went the entire day without eating, so I had a nervous and upset stomach before flying but God allowed me safe passage into Orlando.

I pray that this will be a productive and powerful week. As much as I love and miss Macedonia when I am gone, it is still good to leave every now and then. I have the honor of preaching in the Moderator's Division of our convention. I appreciate the Vice-President at Large of the Moderator's Division, Dr. Marion J. Johnson for allowing me this opportunity.

I also will get the chance to see friends from across the nation and enjoy some of the best preachers in the nation. Late-Night services have Rev Elliot T. Ivey (Poison), Rev Clinton McFarland, Rev. Tellis Chapman and one of God's greatest preachers, Rev. A. Louis Patterson preaching this session.

It will be a great time in the Lord.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Are you a Preacher or a Motivational Speaker

In my devotional time today, I ran across an artice written by Sherman Haywood Cox II. It blessed me so maybe it will bless you as well......

Some preaching that is considered great by many is nothing more than a motivational speech. It might be true, it might even be helpful. It may help you succeed at work. But too often all one has done is changed the title from the latest pop-psychologist’s seminar from “how to succeed” to “hot to fulfill God’s purpose” where God’s purpose is defined as “succeeding in this life.”

It is almost rampant in some circles. In fact some see this as the epitome of “relevant” preaching. The person comes and learns a skill or a mindset that will help them finally break the boundaries that keep them from that promotion. Maybe others finally decide to go back to school or change their career. Perhaps others find ways to become better planners and thus are more effective in their financial life. And then the preacher sits down. Sometimes the people shout other times they sit there contemplating the message, but in too many cases what is missing greatly outweighs the benefits of these messages.

When a sermon is merely a motivational speech, what is missing? At least two things:

The Cross is Missing
The first thing that is missing from this kind of preaching is the cross. Sometimes the preacher may tack it on at the end, but even in those cases the cross is reduced from the pinnacle of God’s work on behalf of humanity to simply a mechanism to help me do better at work. The cross both Jesus’ and ours is totally missing. The idea of our sin causing the death of Christ in some way is totally absent from this message. The idea that we are to take up our cross and follow is also absent.

In short, the Gospel is missing from many of these presentations and thus no matter how eloquent or well visited, this kind of preaching is missing the real power that comes from preaching “Christ and Him Crucified.”

The Coming Kingdom is Missing
In many of these sermons, the idea of God’s coming kingdom is totally missing. Whether it be how we are to prepare for the coming kingdom, or whether it be how the coming kingdom is different from the current “kingdoms,” this aspect of true preaching is often missing from the “motivational preaching” sermons.

If you are not preaching the cross and the coming kingdom, then one must ask onesself, what are the eternal consequences of my present preaching? If someone comes to your church after hearing about the cancer diagnoses, what does your sermon about being a success have to do with that one? If someone is in the midst of despair and needs to hear a word about the coming kingdom where righteousness reigns, what does your message that mistakes American middle class values for the Gospel have to say to them?

People can get motivational speeches in any number of places, but when they come to church they have come to hear a preacher. There is a time and place for the motivational speech, but if you as a preacher use up all of your time being simply another place, then you have not done your duty. For a preacher to degenerate into a facsimile of Oprah Winfrey or Tony Robins is to step down from the height of speaking God’s words to humanity to speaking good advice gleaned from the best human thinkers.