Friday, March 30, 2012

May they see Jesus in us!

Ivan Seidenberg, CEO of NYNEX, got his first job as janitor of an office building in Manhattan. The building superintendent was an older man named Mike. He said little but watched everything very carefully. One day he asked about a book Ivan was reading. Ivan explained he was putting himself through college at night. Mike said "Okay," and walked away.

Four months later he came up to Ivan and remarked, "You know, there are companies that will help you pay for school." Ivan asked which ones, and Mike told him about the electric and phone companies' continuing education programs for their employees. Ivan filled out the applications and took the employment tests. He heard back first from the telephone company, so he took a job as a splicer's helper. Except for 22 months in the Army, he has worked at NYNEX ever since.

Today, Ivan says, "In the year I worked for Mike he didn't say much, but those few words spoke volumes. He gave me a helping hand. If you take pride in your work and do a good job, you never know who might be watching and one day, provide a boost. Now when I talk to janitors and other employees, I ask, 'What's happening?' Invariably they tell me something I didn't know. It doesn't matter if you're the janitor or the CEO, values and performance count—people are watching." Beloved, people are watching our lives. May they see Jesus Christ in us!

Mattoon's Treasures - Mattoon's Treasures – Treasures from John, Volume 2.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I Don't Speak Zebra

In our Noonday and Evening Bible Studies at the Church we have been studying out of the Book of Hebrews. It has been a blessing to my soul and to the overall health of the church. The book of Hebrews was written to a group of Jewish Christians who were being tempted to abandon the Christian life.

In order to help those who would receive this letter to have a better understanding of the character and work of Jesus, the writer gave this book the word "better" as a theme. As the readers would read this book they would discover that Jesus was a better messenger, one better than the angels (1:4). Jesus was a better apostle (3:1-3). He was worthy of more glory than Moses.

In this book Jesus is also portrayed as a better priest (5:9). He was better than Aaron and Melchizedek. Jesus provided a better covenant because it was built on better promises (8:6-7). Then the writer said that Jesus provided a better sacrifice (10:12). This book closes with the writer showing a better way (10:34). This was the way of faith. The way of faith says, "forsaking all I trust him."

I am now in Chapter 11 where we are continuing our systematic approach now looking at every named person in this chapter from a Character Study standpoint and see what their lives and experiences will teach us. Abel taught us How to Worship! When giving God a gift, we don't give God what we want Him to have but rather we give God what He wants us to bring and that gift is always the best, not the left overs.

Enoch taught us How to Walk with God. To walk with him you must be going at the same pace, headed to the same place, walking on the same path so that you might receive from Him what He has provided. We have now embarked on the study of Noah. Noak teaches us How to Work for God? The Character Study of Noah has really convicted me!

Can you work for God even when you don't understand what He is really calling you to do? Can you remain faithful to your assignment even when you don't see immediate results? Can you give God your best even if the world will give you their worst?

The testimony of Noah 5:22, 6:5 is always the same, Noah did everything just as God has commanded him.

I kept saying, I wonder if that could be said about me and then I realized I am not so sure. This is why the author of Hebrews when naming each person always starts out by saying, BY FAITH each person did what they did. It takes faith.

Faith is the organ by which we are enabled to see the invisible order with certainty just as our eyes see the physical order around us. Faith is not brainless nor sentimental. It is a solid conviction resting on God's words that makes the future present and the invisible seen. It IS NOT a feeling, or optimism nor a hunch or bootleg positive thinking. It is in a word CERTITUDE--a dynamic certainty about what God has promised.

Therefore, faith is only as good as its object and the object of our faith is God as revealed to us through his Word. BY FAITH Noah receives God's instructions in one century only to have to wait until another century to see the fulfillment. BY FAITH Noah builds the ark even when he does not know what an ark is. BY FAITH he build it according to the specifications of God and his Word. BY FAITH Noak makes ready for a harvest he would have to wait over 100 years to come to pass. BY FAITH Noak is looking and expecting rain when in reality he has no idea what that means.

All of that I am fine with. What bakes my noodle is God's command to "bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you" Gen. 6:19 and again Noah did everything just as God commanded him VS22.

I put my Bible down, turned my WordSearch and LOGOS off and screamed as loud as I could, I DON'T SPEAK ZEBRA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




God gave me the answer to this and I look forward to sharing this concept this Wednesday. I will share with you in this forum on Thursday, God willing!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Congratulations to three Pastors and three Churches

I had a wonderful time in the Lord celebrating three victories today for Pastors and Churches. The first blessing was sharing with the New Salem Baptist Church family as they were celebrating their Pastor's First Anniversary, Rev Anthony Day Jones. We had a great time in the Lord as Macedonia came out in full support and our male chorus did an outstanding job.

The Lord allowed me to preach a sermon that was on my heart from Psalms 119:114, "I Have a Hiding Place". Normally, I don't take brand new sermons out of the house but God has been dealing with me as I have been studying the Book "Discovering Your Spiritual Center: The Power of Psalm 119 by David Teems. I pray we were a blessing to both Pastor and people as we shared that in the Word of God, we have a hiding Place.

While celebrating with Pastor Jones, the second blessing came. We received word that the Second Baptist Church of Dowagiac, Michigan called as their Pastor our friend and fellow blogger Pastor Eugene C. Staples SR. Pastor Staples is a wonderful preacher and visionary Pastor who will serve well. The Leading Lady Kelly Staples is truly a Proverbs 31 woman and will love and nurture everyone that she encounters. Our love and support go out to Pastor and People.

The third blessing came when I found out that FINALLY THERE WILL BE PEACE AT GREATER MOUNT OLIVE BAPTIST CHURCH, OKC. I have a new Pastor in the person of Rev. R.A. Douglas. It has been a long journey since the death of Pastor A. Glenn Woodberry until today. We witnessed the best and worst of people during this process but God has called the right man for the job.

I want to publicly say what I have privately sent to Pastor Douglas. He is now MY PASTOR. I pledge my FULL AND TOTAL SUPPORT to him and his family. I pray this will be a time of healing and restoration for my home church.

Since embarking on this Pastoral journey now entering my 5th Spring at Macedonia, I have followed one pledge as it relates to all Pastors, "If I can't help you, I promise I won't hurt you". That is my pledge to my Pastor Rev. Douglas, I will always seek to help you but pledge never to hurt you.

To the Greater Mount Olive Church Family, thank you for all that you have deposited in me that is helping to bless the Macedonia Church family and the city of South Bend.

To the Macedonia Church Family, I pray we can move on now away from the rumors, lies, distractions and fantasies to go back to doing the work of the Lord here in South Bend and throughout the World.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Know the True from the False


I have heard and read several variations of this story. Some relate it to training bank tellers, some to treasury agents, and some to FBI agents. I don’t know which, if any, is true. The story makes a good point even if none of the stories are true. It is important that [a teller, treasure agent, FBI agent, ???] be trained to detect counterfeit money.

Some are trained to be experts. They study how to test papers and inks. They study to use a micrometer to measure how many 10,000ths of an inch apart the cross hatch lines are on the portraits. Every time a counterfeit is found, they receive updates on the printing errors (scratches, dots, breaks in lines, inconsistent spacing, and so on).

It is a long, tedious, never ending process, but necessary to establish that a bill is a counterfeit in a court of law. Before those studies, each trainee is placed in a room with stacks of money. He is told to count the money. He spends the day counting 1’s, 5’s, 10’s, and so on. He counts stacks of mixed bills for hours. The next day, he does the same thing, counting 100’s, 20’, 5’s, 50’s, 10’s, and 1’s. Hour after hour. This continues for days.

One day, a counterfeit bill is slipped in. He still counts. $403, $413, $418, $438, $439, 4??? When he reaches the counterfeit, he stops counting. He knows something is wrong. He may not know what is wrong, but he knows something is wrong. It would not hold up in a court of law, but he knows something is wrong.

Intimate familiarity is the key. He is so familiar with the real thing, that he identifies the counterfeit without even thinking about it. I don’t know if this story is true or not, but that’s the way we should be with the Bible. We should be so familiar with the truth that when we encounter the false, we know it.