Tuesday, August 5, 2014

In Loving Memory of Reverend Theodis Hadley

ELKHART — The Rev. Theodis Hadley stayed in the race until the end.

One of the best-known pastors in Elkhart’s black community, Hadley gained a reputation as a trailblazer, a calming voice amid racial tensions and a mentor to thousands over his 30 years with Canaan Baptist Church .

He died at home at about 1 a.m. Friday from conditions related to a weakened heart, according to a family member. He was 93.

“His strength of mind and his strength of determination in faith motivated him to serve the Lord in extraordinary ways,” said McNeal Stewart, pastor at Canaan Baptist Church.

Family and friends said Hadley remained mentally sharp until his final hours.

On Tuesday, a Hospice worker asked what the last thing he’d like to do and Hadley replied that he like to see all men find Jesus as their savior, said Clara Hadley, a daughter of Hadley’s.

On Thursday, he was quoting scripture and recalled one of his favorite songs, “Heaven is My Goal” and family members quickly joined in and sang to him:

“Heaven is my goal each and every day

Got to keep on moving … in the right way.”

Hadley, who was honored last year with a lifetime achievement award by the People’s History of Elkhart, is viewed by many as a legend on the city’s south side.

Hadley became “the premier African American pastor” and rose as a community leader during racial tensions of the civil rights era by being the “a calm in the storm,” said Arvis Dawson, the executive assistant to Mayor Dick Moore.

Hadley presided over Dawson’s wedding and baptized his children.

“He was rock solid during the civil rights movement,” Dawson said.

Hadley was born in Walker Springs, Ala., and was one of 14 children in his family. He served at three churches in Michigan before settling in Elkhart where he was pastor at Canaan Baptist Church for more than 30 years. He retired in 2000, but remained closely involved.

He had seven children with his wife, Laverne, who died three years ago.

“My dad was a trailblazer,” Clara Hadley said. “When he came to Elkhart, he came with the mindset to make it better and beautify it and bring salvation to all of those he came in contact with.”

Theodis Hadley became pastor of Canaan Baptist Church when it was still just a small church on Sixth Street.

Church members eventually built a new brick facility at 933 Fieldhouse Avenue, which has been since commemorated in Hadley’s name.

Acquiring the land for the new church, though, became a challenge after a white property owner balked at selling it.

“They didn’t want to sell him the land so he found one of his friends that they would sell it to. They bought it and then quick deeded it over to him,” Clara Hadley recalled.

Theodis Hadley wrote his autobiography with the help of his wife and titled it, “Stay in the Race,” a phrase he used in urging people to persevere and overcome life’s challenges.

He often encouraged people to be penny wise and consider going into business for themselves in ways that would benefit the community, she said.

“He was a real advocate of providing for yourself, taking care of yourself,” Clara Hadley said.

Hadley was a lifetime member of local NAACP and was involved with the old Urban League organization.

At the height of racial tensions, Hadley became the person people looked to serve as a mediator.

He also served on various boards and commissions.

When Mayor Dick Moore was elected twice, it was Hadley who swore him in both times.

Hadley was also known for turning a quick phrase to make a point.

Two of those quotes are taped to a note on Arvis Dawson’s work computer. One was a reply when Dawson asked him about the key to longevity: Just keep breathing.

The other: “I’m in good shape for the shape I’m in.”

The quotes, Dawson said, are a reminder of how simple life can be.

A testament to the success of Hadley’s spiritual work can be found in his family where three of his children — Clara, Ted and Michael, (who died nearly ten years ago) all became ordained ministers or elders.

“When you grow up in a house where you see a great example of God and his life is consistent with what he preaches, you just want to follow after and emulate,” Clara Hadley said.

“He was the greatest example of God that we could ever see.”

Written by Dan Spaulding Elkhart Truth

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

God's Amazing Road Trip, Day 7

We thank God for a wonderful Sunday in Worship and Service. We held our Annual Christian Education Day. Our church is blessed to have multiple certified schools operating within the church. Our church doesn't always have the resources to go the the National Convention meetings so I had to find a way to bring the convention back home to the church.

Our Sunday School Discipleship school is certified with our National Baptist Convention USA, INC. We offer this as an alternative to the uniform Sunday School lessons. Our attendance increased and our application improved. We thank Sister Maureen Johnson who is our Discipleship Coordinator.

We also have our Church School where our Bible Studies are certified. This Christian Education calendar year includes for Bible Study, The Synoptic Gospels, The Gospel of John, Romans, James, and The Book of Revelation. We thank our newly certified church dean, Sister Cynthia Bellephant for all of her hard work.

Our Henry L. Turner Christian Leadership School is held three times a year. In these sessions we have taught, Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts, Spiritual Formation. Conflict Management and The Development of the Male and Female roles in the Promotion of the family. Pastor Michael and Lady Lawana Griffin are our facilitators for our men and women's conference this year where we will expand the discussion on the roles of the man and woman in the family structure.

All of this works because I am blessed with an outstanding Christian Education Director who takes the Pastor's Vision and enlarges it within the Educational Department of the church. Our church is blessed to have Deacon Chris Dudley as our Christian Ed Director.

We are trying to enlarge on the concept of NEIGHBORHOOD this week and this 100 day period. We look forward to what God will do during this time.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Creating a Neighborhood Day 1

Been a while since I have been in this forum. Finishing this week Summer School at Midwestern Theological Seminary, it has been an interesting summer refreshing notes and increasing knowledge that I pray God will transform into ministry use. I encourage everyone finish school while young. As my mom always says, I should have two doctorates by now and still don't have my Masters of Divinity.

I am (finally) starting my 100 day campaign for 2014. I always set aside 100 days to try and meet with every member of my church, set and cast vision, spend time with my members in discovery of gifts, member alignment or in some cases realignment.

I am very behind this year. I am usually done by the first Sunday in June but I am nonetheless very excited to sit and talk with every member about where I feel the Lord is leading Macedonia. I have been moved and challenged by God about the concept of NEIGHBORHOOD, The place where we ought to be enacting and living out the principles and precepts of God on earth to the people of this world as they deal with the problems of this life.

As I was evaluating where Macedonia was as I enter my 7th Summer as Pastor, I am thankful for Spiritual, numerical and financial growth, I thank God for less debt and a plan for the future but even with all of that, WHAT DOES OUR NEIGHBORHOOD LOOK LIKE?


Over this campaign, I will share as God gives me direction and as I learn from conversations with our members. Pray for us on this 100 day journey that we will hear confirmation from God.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April 1st Edition of Monday Morning Quarterback

Strength and Blessings to you as we thank God for another day of life. We had a great time in the Lord on Sunday at the Macedonia Church. For the first time in a long time, we had room!!! After 108.1 inches of snow for the year for the first time in 170 days the temperature got above 60 degrees.

That may not be a big deal where you are from but that is a national holiday up here. It is the holiday called, "WE AIN'T GOING TO CHURCH TODAY HOLIDAY". Blizzard, church full, 30 inches fell last night, church full, sun shining no clouds in the sky and it is warm, Pastor I will see you next Sunday.

Church folk acted like roaches do when the lights come on, they left. Good thing I was always taught, don't fuss at the people who are there about the people who aren't. plus I understand, it was a beautiful day. (did i just call church folk roaches.......nah it was an example)

Although we missed our early vacationing members, we still had a great time in the Lord finishing up our Growing Up in Christ Series on the Book of James preaching James 5:19-20 "The Church's Position to the Backsliders Problem. The Lord blessed.

It is Winter Thaw here so our churches are in service almost every Sunday catching up for the winter months we were in hibernation. We worshipped with the Zion Hill MBC and Pastor Chris Derrickson as they celebrated their 28th Church Anniversary. It was an honor to go, The fellowship is always both refreshing and rewarding and God let me preach a little bit.

My voice thought I was back home in the South, warm outside, hot on the inside and had voice too. It was a great time. Preached Deuteronomy 8 "How I Got Over", It was good just to have the responsibility to preach again and not the burden to teach or cast vision.

Felt so good I decided to invade Bethlehem MBC where my boy Pastor Keith D. Witherspoon is Pastor. It was musical time for their church "A New Song for a New Season". The worship was amazing and the choir ministered under the power of God. Very proud of Bethlehem and Pastor Witherspoon.

I think they trying to start a choir war in this town the way they sang. We concede at Macedonia. We can't do it like the big church does. Thought Witherspoon was gonna sing but he chickened out, lol.

Lots of work, limited time but an all powerful God, sounds like a great combination.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Monday Morning Quarterback 2/23/14 Edition James 1:19-27

94.4 inches of snow to date in South Bend but I am still standing, the Macedonia roof  hasn't collapsed, no leaking in between the shingles and the gutters are still standing. God be praised!!!!!!

We had a wonderful time in the Lord this Sunday. I was absent this past Sunday as I worshipped with my best friend and newly installed Pastor, Rev. Kevin D. Moss and the Antioch Fellowship Church. The Lord has blessed him with a wonderful wife and a following church family. Great things are in store.

Even though I love being around other churches and Pastors for inspiration and illumination, there is still no church family like Macedonia at 1862 N. Olive Street. The spirit was high, attendance was packed, money was great, I pray the replication of the word preached today will be even greater than the numerical numbers of people and finances.

We thank God for our minister of music Jovan Lewis for allowing God to flow through him as the Praise team and choir were on point today. One of our directors and praise leaders, Brother Charles Coleman is stepping out more in faith on the platform God is building for him God was heavy in the place even I sang................................ gotta be quick, my folk will stop singing and start recording and I'll be on Youtube or facebook some where.

We continued our Bible Study and Sunday Morning preaching series in the book of James. It is shouting me and killing me all at the same time. This morning we dealt with James 1:19-27 "A Belief that Behaves".

Building on the idea that trials attack us from without and temptations challenge us from within, and it takes the wisdom of God to help us deal with them, we expanded the idea to this wisdom is found in the word of God, not the listening to but the doing.

In order to deal with the temptations and trials of life and make our Belief behave we must:

Remove those things that Hinder us: vs 19-21
Receive those things that Help us Vs 22
Review those things that Hone us Vs 23-25

If we do these things, our action principles of the text will be:

We will respond to those that are Hurting Vs 26
We will React to those Hurting people in a Holy manner Vs 27

I left a lot on the table but the good thing about preaching and teaching this series is, what I miss on Sunday, I get on Wednesday.

I pray service was great for you. Pray for us as we are traveling back to OKC AGAIN, as my oldest daughter Rachael is being inducted into the national Honor Society. If I can run for churches, members, districts and state conventions, then you better believe I will run, jump, fetch and light a match for my daughters.

Rachael, Daddy is proud of you and if some boy tries to come and congratulate you in my presence, there is gonna be a misunderstanding,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, don't worry pretty girl I won't embarrass you,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, lol


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Monday Morning Quarterback 2/2/14 Texas Edition

It's 34 degrees here in Fort Worth Texas and people are complaining its cold, meanwhile it is the teens in South Bend where another 4 to 7 inches fell last night raising our snow total year to date to 80.9 inches of snow and the report I received was church was packed, lives were changed, money was good, To God be the glory!!!!

Special thanks to the assistant to the Pastor, Reverend Derick Buggs who is in training for ordination for carrying on services today. I didn't want to miss a service so soon in the new year but I had to eulogize my mentor Reverend Aaron A. Jackson Jr, Pastor of the Forest Hill MBC in Fort Worth, TX.

I have always said, Pastor A. Glenn Woodberry and the Greater Mount Olive BC gave me birth but it was Forest Hill MBC and Dr. Aaron A. Jackson, Jr that gave me life.

It was good to see many people who still love me and pray for me and yes I am 60 lbs bigger than when I left. (at least) Why is that a bad thing? That just means Macedonia MBC has been taking care of their Pastor. That is what you prayed for, right ?!

While the service was going on, I realized I have no more senior pastors left in my life except, Dr. J.A. Reed Jr. Please pray for his wife Sis Pat Reed and the entire family as well as the Fairview MBC of OKC.

Also, Please pray for the Forest Hill MBC family and the Jackson family as they deal with this loss. God is able. Again, thank you to the Jackson family for allowing me to stand.

Good to see Dr. Rickie G. Rush, Pastor of the Inspiring Body of Christ Church (IBOC) in Dallas, TX again. Great job officiating, I learned much.

It was wonderful to be around the legendary Dr L R. Drinkwater Sr., Pastor of the Redeemed MBC in OKC. Truly, he has forgotten more than I ever will learn. Don't ever try and tell him he only has two minutes to talk, LOL

Special thanks to Pastor Jack A Crane and Pastor James Worthy of the True Vine MBC of Fort Worth, TX and City of Refuge Baptist Church of Fort Worth, TX for all of their hospitality that was shown to me. It will be my honor to return the favor when you travel to South Bend. Ministers who make room for a visiting member to preach simply off a eulogy are special brothers. Glad to see the fraternity of fellowship among Pastors still exist.

My apologies to my church family but God is in control. The airports to Midway and South Bend Regional shut down Saturday due to snow and planes were cancelled here in Dallas Fort Worth this morning due to freezing rain and ice. So glad, I had some where to worship.

With a 7:30 and 10:30 preaching service behind me, I am ready to go eat at Pappadeaux Seafood. GLORY!!!!!!!!!

I hate I am missing the legendary Super Bowl party with my Pastor and friend Dr. Keith D. Witherspoon.

I want the Broncos to win today as I am going with Peyton Manning. I just feel he is a class act who still isn't recognized like he should be. Manning isn't liked in South Bend due to most South Bend fans are more Bears fans than Colts fans. Either way, I'm cheering Broncos.

Love the Seahawks but I feel you must suffer before you reign. They haven't suffered yet, to me.

Praying for open airports and safe flights back home.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Be Careful What You Ask For!!

SNOWING!!!! Nothing new to report on that front, time of year, it is what it is but God taught me a new lesson today. By the grace of God, I am looking to come out of my 6th winter here in South Bend ready to celebrate my 7th spring. I count my time here by the winters.

Each winter has taught me something different because each winter has been different.Been thru the 30 inches of snow falling in 24 hrs, learned we can shovel it. Been thru the $3,000 dollar NIPSCO gas bills in the winter, learned God's got it and we can pay it. Been thru the 114 inches of snow in a winter and learned we gonna make it, spring is coming.

So I have settled in like a Californian has to earthquakes or a Floridian has to hurricanes or an Oklahoman has to a tornado, its part of life living here so snow to the Midwestern is just life, What no one could prepare me for was NO SUN! Here in South Bend near Lake Michigan in the snow belt, we receive heavy clouds coming off the lake, They can stay with you for a day, a week even a month. I have gone 44 days without seeing the sun and YES I COUNTED.

I complained, I fussed, I whined, I pitched a fit, I told the Lord we don't need all these clouds. Be careful what you ask God for. He may give it to you.

A Polar Vortex is sweeping our nation bringing record lows and new "Highs" which are still record lows. It is bringing polar air from Siberia and has plunged thru our nation. The trajectory of this jet stream has caused the clouds that sit over South Bend during this time to be gone. Clear skies, beautiful scenery, bright days full of cold sunshine!

However, I learned that what I have fussed about had benefits. Clouds bring warmth, a certain type of insulation. It prevents temperatures from bottoming out because it provides a blanket.........a covering if you will over the land. I have no covering. God has moved the clouds, just like I asked so a normal 10 degree night turns into -10 as a low and - 35 windchill because their is no covering.

A normal high of 5 degrees is now a high of -6 because there is no longer a covering, The thing I thought was a curse was actually a blessing. I write this blog to speak into some one's life that may be reading this words. Don't know what brought you here but maybe you should rethink the thing you are considering a burden.

Maybe God has left you on this job, left you in this pit, left you in this church, left you in this debt not to hurt you but to protect you from your life bottoming out. You aren't ready for the record lows, the wind chills, the high gas bills so he doesn't remove your clouds, he teaches you to have a sunny day even with a cloudy disposition.

Thank you Lord for my clouds, those things I want removed but you purposed in my life not to hurt me but to help me and hope me,

My clouds:
Protect me from my environment (cold, chills,
Provide for me my essentials (shelter, security, safety)
Be careful what you ask for. He may give it to you and you find yourself no longer living Under the Covering.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday Morning Quarterback 1/19/2014 Spite House

"53.7" inches of snow year to date but we are still standing, God be praised! We had a good time in church at Macedonia on this past Sunday. The snow took some out but brought others in. Worship was high and the youth did an excellent job in leading worship,

The Children of Abraham praise dance team which consists of our little girls 6 and under ministered to us using the Marvin Sapp song "Holy" and the youth choir was on fire. We are thankful for wonderful youth workers and parents who invest in our young people for the well being of our church and the kingdom of God.

We continued our series on the life of Joesph and "The Road to Reconciliation". The Lord blessed our efforts in preaching. Our concentration for Sunday was Genesis 45:1-8 I was disappointed after the sermon as I felt like I spent too much time in background and not enough time in the main field of study; however, God said what He wanted said, plus there is always Sunday, (God Willing).

We challenged our church with the idea of "Moving out of a Bitter House". I extend that same idea to you. Where are you living? What type of house? How much space? What's your view? All homes that look spacious on the outside are not when you look on the inside. Some houses are spite houses.

A spite house is a building constructed or modified to irritate neighbors or other parties with land stakes. Spite houses often serve as obstructions, blocking out light or access to neighboring buildings, or as flamboyant symbols of defiance,

Max Lucado begins Chapter 11 (“Revenge Feels Good, But Then . . .”) of You’ll Get Through This with the story of businessman Joseph Richardson, who lived in New York City in 1882. He owned a narrow strip of land, 5 feet wide and 104 feet long, that fronted Lexington Avenue. Another businessman, Hyman Sarner, owned a normal-sized property adjacent to Mr. Richardson’s property. He intended to build apartments on that property and wanted to buy Mr. Richardson’s land, so that his apartment building windows would overlook the avenue.

He offered Mr. Richardson $1000 for his land. Insulted, Mr. Richardson refused the offer. After Mr. Sarner’s building was completed, Mr. Richardson built a house on his narrow strip. Dubbed the “Spite House”, Mr. Richardson lived there the last 14 years of his life, his narrow house reflecting his narrow state of mind.

Pastor Lucado comments:
“Revenge builds a lonely house. Space enough for one person. The lives of its tenants are reduced to one goal: make someone miserable. They do. Themselves. . . . healing includes a move out of the house of spite, a shift away from the cramped world of grudge and toward spacious ways of grace, away from hardness and toward forgiveness. He (God) moves us forward by healing our past.”

Our challenge on Sunday is the same one I offer here. Someone needs to break their lease. Don't worry about paying the penalty, Jesus already has done that. You can't make it to reconciliation while living in a house of revenge or a house of retaliation. God is building you another home. It is a home of reconciliation, healing, forgiveness and restoration. It has space. Space to be free, free from hurt, free from your past, free to breathe because you are no longer restricted by what has been done to do you.

Break your lease, move out of a bitter spiteful home, Live in reconciliation.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Monday Morning Quarterback 1/122014

I thank God for his blessing that He gave the Macedonia Church this Sunday during our service, We had a great time in the Lord. We baptized a wonderful new member, Sis Hodges who joined last Sunday. It is always refreshing to see someone who is excited about following the Lord in water baptism.

Our Male chorus led our worship and when Deacon Starling, our 90+ year old Deacon cranked up "Trouble in my Way", it was all over. Church folded and went in. I continued our series on Joseph: "You Will Get Thru This" and our concentration this Sunday advanced a little as we looked at Genesis 43:11-15.

We opened our "Road To Reconciliation" as we talked on the subject "Put Some Honey On it". Let me say in advance the sermon had life changing alterations to the preacher and my prayer is it will be life altering for our church. The altar call invitation was full but the actions afterwards will determine whether the sermon has taken root.

The sermon was birthed into my spirit last November by Pastor Aaron A Jackson, Pastor of the Forest Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Fort Worth. While preaching for him, he blessed me with a book that if bought on Amazon it would start at $100.00. The book was written by the late Rev. Dr. Sandy F. Ray entitled "Journeying Through a Jungle".

To read the thoughts, sermons and musing of this great preacher stirred something in me that hasn't been moved in a while. I recognized that the Road to Reconciliation must be paved with something that makes it easier for the traveller to make it to their destination,,, Put Some Honey on It.

The Lord blessed our studying, writing and preaching. The backdrop of this sermon is that the brothers have come back from Egypt after buying grain. They run into their brother but they do not recognize him. Joseph accuses them of being spies and puts them into jail for three days. He agrees to release them if they leave one brother as a ransom on the condition they must bring back their youngest brother.

The brothers realize that what was happening to them was God arranged, not an accident, God will make you remember what you have tried to forget. Their remorse for their sin moves Joseph's heart and the road to reconciliation begins.

Upon their release and return, they realize the money that was meant to buy the grain was placed back into their bag. They tell Daddy Jacob what happened, how the man talked mean and harsh to them and how they can't go back without Benjamin.

They waited as long as they could but God arranged in 43:1 that their food ran out. Jacob gives wise counsel concerning what to do next. He tells them to:

Swallow your Pride
Select the right Presents

What you put in your basket will either:
Soothe the Pain and Solve the Problem or it will Stir the Pot

When you give your gift, if your enemy won't receive it or believe you, know that the Almighty God will:
Send the right Provision (mercy) Vs 14)

The Lord blessed our time in the word but if you happen to be reading this, let me ask you,

Who do you need to reconcile with?
What relationship to you need to restore?
What are you assembling in your basket?

The gifts Jacob assembled were Balm, honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds. Each had a specific use and a specific purpose. WHAT'S IN YOUR BASKET? WILL IT MAKE THE SITUATION BETTER OR WILL IT MAKE THE PEOPLE INVOLVED BITTER?

To avoid the bitter, try some honey.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Christ is ALL You Need

It sounds simplistic, it sounds naive, it may even cliche or black preacher Sunday morning speak but Christ is all you need. HE is enough. HE is enough to save you. HE is enough to develop you. HE is enough to sustain you. HE is enough to keep you. Not only is Christ enough but really HE is everything so if you have Christ you are complete.

I am studying with my Southern Baptist Convention friends and churches this year during their 2014 January Bible Study where we are going through the book of Colossians and the title for the book Lifeway produced for this series is Christ is all you need.

When we study Paul's epistles we see that each has a dominant theme. In Romans, it is justification by faith. In Ephesians, it is the mystery of Christ and his Church. In Philippians, it is the joy which Christ brings. In Colossians, it is the absolute supremacy and sufficiency of Jesus Christ as the Head of all creation and of the Church. There is no book in the New Testament, including John's Gospel, which presents such a comprehensive picture of the fullness of Christ. Accordingly, there is no writing better-equipped to draw us upward than the book of Colossians.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. (Col. 3:1)
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him. (Col. 2:6)
There are so many experiences that seem to scream out to us "NOT ENOUGH".

Divorce: Your Love is NOT ENOUGH
Job Termination: Your work quality/production is NOT ENOUGH
Bankruptcy: Your Income/assets are NOT ENOUGH
Illness: Your health/body is NOT ENOUGH
Doubt/Confusion: Your wisdom/knowledge is NOT ENOUGH
Friends Complaints: you don't call/text/ communicate....NOT ENOUGH

While in an airport waiting for my plane to be called, I was approached by a young man who wanted to sell me a book. One look at the garish cover told me that the book was filled with Oriental myths and philosophies.

"I have a book here that meets all my needs," I told the young man, and I reached into my briefcase and took out my Bible.

"Oh, we aren't against the Bible!" he assured me. "It's just that we have something more, and it makes our faith even better."

"Nobody can give me more than Jesus Christ has already given me," I replied. I turned to Colossians 2, but by that time the young man was hurrying down the corridor.

Sad to say, there are many Christians who actually believe that some person, religious system, or discipline can add something to their spiritual experience. But they already have everything they ever will need in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Paul's description of our Christ in Colossians 1:15-20 gives 6 tangible reason why Christ is all you will ever need:

JESUS IS GOD 1:15,19

The church today desperately needs the message of Colossians. We live in a day when religious toleration is interpreted to mean "one religion is just as good as another." Some people try to take the best from various religious systems and manufacture their own private religion. To many people, Jesus Christ is only one of several great religious teachers, with no more authority than they. He may be prominent, but He is definitely not preeminent.

This is an age of "syncretism." People are trying to harmonize and unite many different schools of thought and come up with a superior religion. Our evangelical churches are in danger of diluting the faith in their loving attempt to understand the beliefs of others. Mysticism, legalism, Eastern religions, asceticism, and man-made philosophies are secretly creeping into churches. They are not denying Christ, but they are dethroning Him and robbing Him of His rightful place of preeminence.

As we study this exciting letter, we must heed Paul's warnings: "Lest any man should beguile you" (Col. 2:4), "Lest any man spoil you" (Col. 2:8), "Let no man therefore judge you!" (Col. 2:16)

Looking forward to this January Bible Study

Monday, January 6, 2014

When THOT(THOUGHT) Fails you

Thank God for Jesus and for being BLESSED to see 2014. We are surviving the latest winter blast of -10 and windchill of -35 degrees. Welcome to South Bend. Despite 12+ inches of snow falling, we started our Sunday at Macedonia with the great members having a wonderful fellowship. Special thanks to the Deacons and Trustees who shoveled and salted the walkways as best we could trying to keep pace with the storm. Also, thanks to our BOYS TO MEN group who escorted our mothers and women into the church.

When storms come in, the church climate differs. We lose our older members and our still learning young adults tend to drop off but we pick up community members from other churches whose church cancelled so Snow services are always a great ecumenical movement of believers who just want to praise the Lord.

We continued in our series through Genesis 37-50 studying the life lessons of Joseph. I recommend Max Lucado's book You Will Get Thru This as a wonderful companion along this Biblical journey, Sunday we looked at chapter 41:14-42 and Joseph's promotion from the pit to the palace. The concentration was on Joseph's interpretation of the dream and the plan that God gave Pharaoh thru Joseph.

We shared from the idea "A Plan for a New Year". The sermonic premise for the plan was :


The Lord blessed our time in the word and we thank HIM for the souls that were added on Sunday and for those that rededicated their lives.

An idea that sprung forth from sermon prep that I believe is sermon worthy all by itself that I did not have time to fully develop Sunday was the fact that Pharaoh was driven to listen to God's voice because he couldn't find anything else to speak interpretation for him.

Pharaoh had dreamed dreams that troubled him and fueled a search for answers. What was the meaning of the cows and the corn? What is the answer to this mystery? The magicians and wise men did not have the answers. The Egyptian god Thot did not give any answers to pacify this Pharaoh. Thot was the god of dreams and wisdom. He was the scribe of the Egyptian gods. The Egyptians believed he invented hieroglyphic writing, mathematics, language, and magic. He is the one who controlled the seasons, moon, and stars. Yet, Thot failed Pharaoh!

I shouted when I studied this because there are still people who lay at the altar of THOT(THOUGHT). They believe if they can just understand it, rationalize it, have time to think about it, they will be able to deal with it.

However, maybe you are like me that the older I am becoming I am starting to realize that their are some problems that the more I think about it the worse it becomes. Pharaoh would wake up from one dream, try and shake it off and dream another. Dreams without interpretation will turn into nightmares. THOT(THOUGHT) can't give you interpretation. ONLY GOD CAN!!!!!!!!!!

There are problems that the more I have THOUGHT about it, the worse my headache became, the worse my blood pressure rose, the worse by stomach became queasy, the worse my ulcers started to bother me. Therein lies the shout. When man didn't have an answer, God had a Joseph in the bullpen of the prison ready to be called up to give an answer for God.

My word for you today is when we cannot CONTROL what we are going thru and we cannot COMPREHEND why its happening in the first place, we must CONTINUE to trust that God knows what HE is doing.

I don't have to understand the whys How's whens what's and where's of life as long as I know WHO. I know who today. I know the one that is in control and when my THOT(THOUGHTS) fail me, my mind fails me, my reason fails me there is a man of God who speaks the Word of God on behalf of God and that Word can soothe my doubts and calms my fears. That Word can lower elevated blood pressures and speak peace to my chaotic spirit and I can go to bed and sleep....................................... not because I understand but because I believe.